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Sample records for improved adjuvant medical

  1. Improving vaccine delivery using novel adjuvant systems.

    PubMed

    Pichichero, Michael E

    2008-01-01

    Adjuvants have been common additions to vaccines to help facilitate vaccine delivery. With advancements in vaccine technology, several adjuvants which activate immune specific responses have emerged. Available data show these adjuvants elicit important immune responses in both healthy and immunocompromised populations, as well as the elderly. Guidelines for the use and licensure of vaccine adjuvants remain under discussion. However, there is a greater understanding of the innate and adaptive immune response, and the realization of the need for immune specific adjuvants appears to be growing. This is a focused review of four adjuvants currently in clinical trial development: ASO4, ASO2A, CPG 7907, and GM-CSF. The vaccines including these adjuvants are highly relevant today, and are expected to reduce the disease burden of cervical cancer, hepatitis B and malaria. PMID:18398303

  2. Underuse of Breast Cancer Adjuvant Treatment: Patient Knowledge, Beliefs, and Medical Mistrust

    PubMed Central

    Bickell, Nina A.; Weidmann, Jessica; Fei, Kezhen; Lin, Jenny J.; Leventhal, Howard

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Little is known about why women with breast cancer who have surgery do not receive proven effective postsurgical adjuvant treatments. Methods We surveyed 258 women who recently underwent surgical treatment at six New York City hospitals for early-stage breast cancer about their care, knowledge, and beliefs about breast cancer and its treatment. As per national guidelines, all women should have received adjuvant treatment. Adjuvant treatment data were obtained from inpatient and outpatient charts. Factor analysis was used to create scales scored to 100 of treatment beliefs and knowledge, medical mistrust, and physician communication about treatment. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed differences between treated and untreated women. Results Compared with treated women, untreated women were less likely to know that adjuvant therapies increase survival (on a 100-point scale; 66 v 75; P < .0001), had greater mistrust (64 v 53; P = .001), and had less self-efficacy (92 v 97; P < .05); physician communication about treatment did not affect patient knowledge of treatment benefits (r = 0.8; P = .21). Multivariate analysis found that untreated women were more likely to be 70 years or older (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.11; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.13), to have comorbidities (aRR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.12), and to express mistrust in the medical delivery system (aRR, 1.003; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.007), even though they were more likely to believe adjuvant treatments were beneficial (aRR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98 to 0.99; model c, 0.84; P ≤ .0001). Conclusion Patient knowledge and beliefs about treatment and medical mistrust are mutable factors associated with underuse of effective adjuvant therapies. Physicians may improve cancer care by ensuring that discussions about adjuvant therapy include a clear presentation of the benefits, not just the risks of treatment, and by addressing patient trust in and concerns about the medical system. PMID:19770368

  3. Chemotherapy: Does Neoadjuvant or Adjuvant Therapy Improve Outcomes?

    PubMed

    Canter, Robert J

    2016-10-01

    Since preoperative chemotherapy has been clearly shown to improve outcomes for patients with Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and osteosarcoma, practitioners have attempted to extend the use of adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy to other types of adult soft tissue sarcoma. Given the high risk of distant recurrence and disease-specific death for patients with soft tissue sarcoma tumors larger than 10 cm, these patients should be considered candidates for neoadjuvant chemotherapy as well as investigational therapies. Yet, potential toxicity from cytotoxic chemotherapy is substantial, and there remains little consensus and wide variation regarding the indications for use of chemotherapy in the adjuvant/neoadjuvant setting. PMID:27591503

  4. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants.

  5. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  6. Improving compliance and persistence to adjuvant tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor therapy.

    PubMed

    Hadji, Peyman

    2010-02-01

    Better compliance and persistence with therapy are associated with improved patient outcomes. As more and more patients survive breast cancer, compliance with adjuvant therapy becomes increasingly important. In clinical trials, compliance with adjuvant endocrine therapy among women with breast cancer is usually high. Retrospective analyses of databases and medical records from clinical practice, insurance databases of prescription refills, and survey data show a significant decrease in persistence after 12 months of therapy. With ongoing therapy, a further decline in persistence of up to 50% has been reported. A consistent methodology is needed to measure patient behavior and identify patients who are not adhering to therapy. Promising strategies for enhancing adherence to treatment in clinical practice include improving access to health care, increasing patient satisfaction, managing side effects, patient education, and better communication between the patient and health care provider. Positive relationships between patients and their health care providers, and frequent monitoring and feedback, may be most effective. While the lack of conformity across studies in measuring makes cross-study comparisons difficult, this review evaluates the available data regarding compliance and persistence with adjuvant endocrine therapies for breast cancer (tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) and presents strategies for improving adherence.

  7. Pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation improves survival. A prospective, single-institution experience.

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, C J; Abrams, R A; Grochow, L B; Sohn, T A; Ord, S E; Hruban, R H; Zahurak, M L; Dooley, W C; Coleman, J; Sauter, P K; Pitt, H A; Lillemoe, K D; Cameron, J L

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to evaluate prospectively survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, comparing two different postoperative adjuvant chemoradiation protocol to those of no adjuvant therapy. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Based on limited data from the Gastrointestinal Tumor Study Group, adjuvant chemoradiation therapy has been recommended after pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, or uncinate process of the pancrease. However, many patients continue to receive no such therapy. METHODS: From October 1991 through September 1995, all patients with resected, pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, or uncinate process of the pancreas were reviewed by a multidisciplinary group (surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, and pathology) and were offered three options for postoperative treatment after pancreaticoduodenectomy: 1) standard therapy: external beam radiation therapy to the pancreatic bed (4000-4500 cGy) given with two 3-day fluorouracil (5-FU) courses and followed by weekly bolus 5-FU (500 mg/m2 per day) for 4 months; 2) intensive therapy: external beam radiation therapy to the pancreatic bed (5040-5760 cGy) with prophylactic hepatic irradiation (2340-2700 cGy) given with and followed by infusional 5-FU (200 mg/m2 per day) plus leucovorin (5 mg/m2 per day) for 5 of 7 days for 4 months; or 3) no therapy: no postoperative radiation therapy or chemotherapy. RESULTS: Pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed in 174 patients, with 1 in-hospital death (0.6%). Ninety-nine patients elected standard therapy, 21 elected intensive therapy, and 53 patients declined therapy. The three groups were comparable with respect to race, gender, intraoperative blood loss, tumor differentiation, lymph node status, tumor diameter, and resection margin status. Univariate analyses indicated that tumor diameter < 3 cm, intraoperative blood loss < 700 mL, absence of intraoperative blood transfusions, and use

  8. [Adjuvants and additives in vaccines--medical relevance].

    PubMed

    Wiedermann-Schmidt, Ursula; Maurer, Wolfgang

    2005-08-01

    Side effects of vaccinations can have different causes. Substances admixed to vaccines may produce allergic or toxic reactions. The significance and importance of causal associations is discussed in this paper. A table is added listing the most important substances in vaccines, such as inactivating substances, preservatives, stabilizers, adjuvants, and residual substances derived from production processes. Among possible allergic reactions, type I reactions, as the most undesirable ones, should be avoided. In this respect, vaccines against yellow fever are the most important ones. With respect to antibiotics, it should be stressed that penicillin and cephalosporins are not contained in any of the vaccines. The significance of side effects caused by ethylmercury as a preservative (thiomersal) is extensively discussed in the literature. Allergy against this substance is common among the population, manifested as type IV reactions following superficial antigen administration. It has been shown that deep intramuscular injection of thiomersal-containing vaccines may be administered even to persons who are allergic to this substance without risk of side effects. Regarding toxic side effects after application of thiomersal, several studies have disproved a causal relation between thiomersal exposure and developmental disorders. Nevertheless, the general recommendation is to use thiomersal-free vaccines, unless no other preparations are available. In these cases risk of morbidity and mortality from the vaccine-preventable diseases outweigh by far any theoretical risk from ethylmercury.

  9. Evaluation of adjuvant effects of fucoidan for improving vaccine efficacy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Su-Yeon; Joo, Hong-Gu

    2015-01-01

    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweed, including Fucus vesiculosus. This compound is known to have immunostimulatory effects on various types of immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells. A recent study described the application of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. Vaccination is regarded as the most efficient prophylactic method for preventing harmful or epidemic diseases. To increase vaccine efficacy, effective adjuvants are needed. In the present study, we determined whether fucoidan can function as an adjuvant using vaccine antigens. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan increases the expression of the activation markers major histocompatibility complex class II, cluster of differentiation (CD)25, and CD69 in spleen cells. In combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica antigen, fucoidan increased the viability and tumor necrosis factor-α production of spleen cells. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the in vivo production of antigen-specific antibodies in mice inoculated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antigen. Overall, this study has provided valuable information about the use of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. PMID:25549218

  10. Evaluation of adjuvant effects of fucoidan for improving vaccine efficacy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Su-Yeon; Joo, Hong-Gu

    2015-01-01

    Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from brown seaweed, including Fucus vesiculosus. This compound is known to have immunostimulatory effects on various types of immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells. A recent study described the application of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant. Vaccination is regarded as the most efficient prophylactic method for preventing harmful or epidemic diseases. To increase vaccine efficacy, effective adjuvants are needed. In the present study, we determined whether fucoidan can function as an adjuvant using vaccine antigens. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that fucoidan increases the expression of the activation markers major histocompatibility complex class II, cluster of differentiation (CD)25, and CD69 in spleen cells. In combination with Bordetella bronchiseptica antigen, fucoidan increased the viability and tumor necrosis factor-α production of spleen cells. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the in vivo production of antigen-specific antibodies in mice inoculated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antigen. Overall, this study has provided valuable information about the use of fucoidan as a vaccine adjuvant.

  11. Unmet needs in modern vaccinology: adjuvants to improve the immune response.

    PubMed

    Leroux-Roels, Geert

    2010-08-31

    The key objective of vaccination is the induction of an effective pathogen-specific immune response that leads to protection against infection and/or disease caused by that pathogen, and that may ultimately result in its eradication from humanity. The concept that the immune response to pathogen antigens can be improved by the addition of certain compounds into the vaccine formulation was demonstrated about one hundred years ago when aluminium salts were introduced. New vaccine technology has led to vaccines containing highly purified antigens with improved tolerability and safety profiles, but the immune response they induce is suboptimal without the help of adjuvants. In parallel, the development of effective vaccines has been facing more and more important challenges linked to complicated pathogens (e.g. malaria, TB, HIV, etc.) and/or to subjects with conditions that jeopardize the induction or persistence of a protective immune response. A greater understanding of innate and adaptive immunity and their close interaction at the molecular level is yielding insights into the possibility of selectively stimulating immunological pathways to obtain the desired immune response. The better understanding of the mechanism of 'immunogenicity' and 'adjuvanticity' has prompted the research of new vaccine design based on new technologies, such as naked DNA or live vector vaccines and the new adjuvant approaches. Adjuvants can be used to enhance the magnitude and affect the type of the antigen-specific immune response, and the combination of antigens with more than one adjuvant, the so called adjuvant system approach, has been shown to allow the development of vaccines with the ability to generate effective immune responses adapted to both the pathogen and the target population. This review focuses on the adjuvants and adjuvant systems currently in use in vaccines, future applications, and the remaining challenges the field is facing. PMID:20713254

  12. Development of Improved Vaccine Adjuvants Based on the Saponin Natural Product QS-21 through Chemical Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Conspectus Vaccines based on molecular subunit antigens are increasingly being investigated due to their improved safety and more precise targeting compared to classical whole-pathogen vaccines. However, subunit vaccines are inherently less immunogenic; thus, coadministration of an adjuvant to increase the immunogenicity of the antigen is often necessary to elicit a potent immune response. QS-21, an immunostimulatory saponin natural product, has been used as an adjuvant in conjunction with various vaccines in numerous clinical trials, but suffers from several inherent liabilities, including scarcity, chemical instability, and dose-limiting toxicity. Moreover, little is known about its mechanism of action. Over a decade-long effort, beginning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and continuing at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the group of Prof. David Y. Gin accomplished the total synthesis of QS-21 and developed a practical semisynthetic approach to novel variants that overcome the liabilities of the natural product. First, semisynthetic QS-21 variants were designed with stable amide linkages in the acyl chain domain that exhibited comparable in vivo adjuvant activity and lower toxicity than the natural product. Further modifications in the acyl chain domain and truncation of the linear tetrasaccharide domain led to identification of a trisaccharide variant with a simple carboxylic acid side chain that retained potent adjuvant activity, albeit with reemergence of toxicity. Conversely, an acyl chain analogue terminating in a free amine was inactive but enabled chemoselective functionalization with radiolabeled and fluorescent tags, yielding adjuvant-active saponin probes that, unlike inactive congeners, accumulated in the lymph nodes in vaccinated mice and internalized into dendritic cells. Subtle variations in length, stereochemistry, and conformational flexibility around the central glycosidic linkage provided QS-21 variants with

  13. Development of Improved Vaccine Adjuvants Based on the Saponin Natural Product QS-21 through Chemical Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Tejada, Alberto; Tan, Derek S; Gin, David Y

    2016-09-20

    Vaccines based on molecular subunit antigens are increasingly being investigated due to their improved safety and more precise targeting compared to classical whole-pathogen vaccines. However, subunit vaccines are inherently less immunogenic; thus, coadministration of an adjuvant to increase the immunogenicity of the antigen is often necessary to elicit a potent immune response. QS-21, an immunostimulatory saponin natural product, has been used as an adjuvant in conjunction with various vaccines in numerous clinical trials, but suffers from several inherent liabilities, including scarcity, chemical instability, and dose-limiting toxicity. Moreover, little is known about its mechanism of action. Over a decade-long effort, beginning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and continuing at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the group of Prof. David Y. Gin accomplished the total synthesis of QS-21 and developed a practical semisynthetic approach to novel variants that overcome the liabilities of the natural product. First, semisynthetic QS-21 variants were designed with stable amide linkages in the acyl chain domain that exhibited comparable in vivo adjuvant activity and lower toxicity than the natural product. Further modifications in the acyl chain domain and truncation of the linear tetrasaccharide domain led to identification of a trisaccharide variant with a simple carboxylic acid side chain that retained potent adjuvant activity, albeit with reemergence of toxicity. Conversely, an acyl chain analogue terminating in a free amine was inactive but enabled chemoselective functionalization with radiolabeled and fluorescent tags, yielding adjuvant-active saponin probes that, unlike inactive congeners, accumulated in the lymph nodes in vaccinated mice and internalized into dendritic cells. Subtle variations in length, stereochemistry, and conformational flexibility around the central glycosidic linkage provided QS-21 variants with adjuvant

  14. Improving Patient's Primary Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Leguelinel-Blache, Géraldine; Dubois, Florent; Bouvet, Sophie; Roux-Marson, Clarisse; Arnaud, Fabrice; Castelli, Christel; Ray, Valérie; Kinowski, Jean-Marie; Sotto, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Quality of transitions of care is one of the first concerns in patient safety. Redesigning the discharge process to incorporate clinical pharmacy activities could reduce the incidence of postdischarge adverse events by improving medication adherence. The present study investigated the value of pharmacist counseling sessions on primary medication adherence after hospital discharge. This study was conducted in a 1844-bed hospital in France. It was divided in an observational period and an interventional period of 3 months each. In both periods, ward-based clinical pharmacists performed medication reconciliation and inpatient follow-up. In interventional period, initial counseling and discharge counseling sessions were added to pharmaceutical care. The primary medication adherence was assessed by calling community pharmacists 7 days after patient discharge. We compared the measure of adherence between the patients from the observational period (n = 201) and the interventional period (n = 193). The rate of patients who were adherent increased from 51.0% to 66.7% between both periods (P < 0.01). When discharge counseling was performed (n = 78), this rate rose to 79.7% (P < 0.001). The multivariate regression performed on data from both periods showed that age of at least 78 years old, and 3 or less new medications on discharge order were predictive factors of adherence. New medications ordered at discharge represented 42.0% (n = 1018/2426) of all medications on discharge order. The rate of unfilled new medications decreased from 50.2% in the observational period to 32.5% in the interventional period (P < 10−7). However, patients included in the observational period were not significantly more often readmitted or visited the emergency department than the patients who experienced discharge counseling during the interventional period (45.3% vs. 46.2%; P = 0.89). This study highlights that discharge counseling sessions are

  15. Improving Adjuvant Hormone Therapy Use in Medicaid Managed Care–Insured Women, New York State, 2012–2014

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Wei; Boscoe, Francis P.; Schymura, Maria J.; Roohan, Patrick J.; Gesten, Foster C.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction In 2010, national guidelines recommended that women with nonmetastatic, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer take adjuvant hormone therapy for 5 years. As results from randomized clinical trials became available, guidelines were revised in 2014 to recommend 10 years of therapy. Despite evidence of its efficacy, low initiation rates have been documented among women insured by New York State Medicaid. This article describes a coordinated quality improvement pilot conducted by a state department of health and Medicaid managed care plans to engage women in guideline-concordant adjuvant hormone therapy. Methods Women enrolled in Medicaid managed care with nonmetastatic, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer and who had surgery from May 1, 2012, through November 30, 2012, were identified using linked Medicaid and Cancer Registry data. Adjuvant hormone therapy status was determined from Medicaid pharmacy data. Contact information for nonadherent women was supplied to health plan care managers who conducted outreach activities. Adjuvant hormone therapy status in the 6 months following outreach was evaluated. Results In the 6 months postoutreach, 61% of women in the contacted group filled at least 1 prescription, compared with 52% in the noncontacted group. Among those with at least 1 filled prescription, 50% of the contacted group were adherent, compared with 25% in the noncontacted group. Conclusion This pilot suggests outreach conducted by health plan care managers, facilitated by linked Medicaid and Cancer Registry data, is an effective method to improve adjuvant hormone therapy initiation and adherence rates in Medicaid managed care–insured women. PMID:27584876

  16. Improved biochemical outcome with adjuvant radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer with poor pathologic features

    SciTech Connect

    Vargas, Carlos; Kestin, Larry L. . E-mail: lkestin@beaumont.edu; Weed, Dan W.; Krauss, Daniel; Vicini, Frank A.; Martinez, Alvaro A.

    2005-03-01

    5-year BC rate was 52% for RP+RT vs. 30% for RP (p < 0.01). The 5-year BC rate for patients with seminal vesicle invasion was 60% for RP+RT vs. 18% for RP (p < 0.01). For those with positive margins, the 5-year BC rate was 64% for RP+RT vs. 27% for RP (p < 0.01). The use of adjuvant RT remained statistically significant on multivariate analysis when applying either biochemical failure definition. Adjuvant RT also remained statistically significant when including the postoperative PSA level (>30 days after surgery) in the multivariate analyses. In addition, 99 (17%) of the 583 RP patients required salvage prostatic fossa RT (median dose, 59.4 Gy) at a median interval of 1.3 years after surgery (range, 0.1-8.4) for a palpable recurrence (n = 10) or a detectable/rising postoperative PSA level (n = 89). The median PSA level before salvage RT was 0.8 ng/mL (mean, 3.2 ng/mL). The 5-year and 8-year BC rate, using the PSA < 0.1 ng/mL definition, from the date of salvage RT was 41% and 35%, respectively. The 5-year and 8-year BC rate, using the PSA < 0.3 ng/mL definition, was 46% and 36%, respectively. The 8-year local recurrence rate after salvage RT was 4%. Conclusion: Adjuvant RT demonstrated improved efficacy against prostate cancer. For patients with poor pathologic features (extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, positive margins), adjuvant RT improved the biochemical outcome independent of other prognostic factors.

  17. Antigen-adjuvant nanoconjugates for nasal vaccination: an improvement over the use of nanoparticles?

    PubMed

    Slütter, Bram; Bal, Suzanne M; Que, Ivo; Kaijzel, Eric; Löwik, Clemens; Bouwstra, Joke; Jiskoot, Wim

    2010-12-01

    Entrapment of antigens in mucoadhesive nanoparticles prepared from N-trimethyl chitosan (TMC) has been shown to increase their immunogenicity. However, because of their large size compared to soluble antigens, particles poorly diffuse through the nasal epithelium. The aim of this work was to study whether nasal vaccination with a much smaller TMC-antigen nanoconjugate would result in higher antibody responses as compared to TMC nanoparticles. TMC was covalently linked to a model antigen, ovalbumin (OVA), using thiol chemistry. For comparison, TMC/OVA nanoparticles and solutions of OVA and a physical mixture of TMC and OVA were made. As shown previously for TMC/OVA nanoparticles, TMC-OVA conjugate prolonged the nasal residence time of the antigen. TMC-OVA conjugate diffused significantly better through a monolayer of lung carcinoma (Calu-3) cells than TMC/OVA nanoparticles did. Moreover, nasal immunization of mice with the conjugate resulted in significantly more OVA positive DCs in the cervical lymph nodes as compared to TMC/OVA nanoparticles. Mice nasally immunized with TMC-OVA conjugate produced high levels of secretory IgA in nasal washes and higher titers of OVA-specific IgG than mice immunized with TMC/OVA nanoparticles after a priming dose. Moreover, as compared to TMC/OVA nanoparticles, TMC-OVA conjugate induced a more balanced IgG1/IgG2a response. In conclusion, the TMC-antigen nanoconjugate improves nasal delivery and immunogenicity of the antigen. This suggests that efficient codelivery of antigen and adjuvant to DCs, rather than a particulate form of the antigen/adjuvant combination, is decisive for the immunogenicity of the antigen.

  18. Encapsulation and modified-release of thymol from oral microparticles as adjuvant or substitute to current medications.

    PubMed

    Rassu, G; Nieddu, M; Bosi, P; Trevisi, P; Colombo, M; Priori, D; Manconi, P; Giunchedi, P; Gavini, E; Boatto, G

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to encapsulate, thymol, in natural polymers in order to obtain (i) taste masking effect and, then, enhancing its palatability and (ii) two formulations for systemic and local delivery of herbal drug as adjuvants or substitutes to current medications to prevent and treat several human and animal diseases. Microspheres based on methylcellulose or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP) were prepared by spray drying technique. Microparticles were in vitro characterized in terms of yield of production, drug content and encapsulation efficiency, particle size, morphology and drug release. Both formulations were in vivo orally administered and pharmacokinetic analysis was carried out. The polymers used affect the release and, then, the pharmacokinetic profile of thymol. Encapsulation into methylcellulose microspheres leads to short half/life but bioavailability remarkably increases compared to the free thymol. In contrast, enteric formulation based on HPMCP shows very limited systemic absorption. These formulations could be proposed as alternative or adjuvants for controlling pathogen infections in human or animal. In particular, methylcellulose microspheres can be used for thymol systemic administration at low doses and HPMCP particles for local treatment of intestinal infections. PMID:25442269

  19. Graphene Oxides Decorated with Carnosine as an Adjuvant To Modulate Innate Immune and Improve Adaptive Immunity in Vivo.

    PubMed

    Meng, Chunchun; Zhi, Xiao; Li, Chao; Li, Chuanfeng; Chen, Zongyan; Qiu, Xusheng; Ding, Chan; Ma, Lijun; Lu, Hongmin; Chen, Di; Liu, Guangqing; Cui, Daxiang

    2016-02-23

    Current studies have revealed the immune effects of graphene oxide (GO) and have utilized them as vaccine carriers and adjuvants. However, GO easily induces strong oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction at the site of injection. It is very necessary to develop an alternative adjuvant based on graphene oxide derivatives for improving immune responses and decreasing side effects. Carnosine (Car) is an outstanding and safe antioxidant. Herein, the feasibility and efficiency of ultrasmall graphene oxide decorated with carnosine as an alternative immune adjuvant were explored. OVA@GO-Car was prepared by simply mixing ovalbumin (OVA, a model antigen) with ultrasmall GO covalently modified with carnosine (GO-Car). We investigated the immunological properties of the GO-Car adjuvant in model mice. Results show that OVA@GO-Car can promote robust and durable OVA-specific antibody response, increase lymphocyte proliferation efficiency, and enhance CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cell activation. The presence of Car in GO also probably contributes to enhancing the antigen-specific adaptive immune response through modulating the expression of some cytokines, including IL-6, CXCL1, CCL2, and CSF3. In addition, the safety of GO-Car as an adjuvant was evaluated comprehensively. No symptoms such as allergic response, inflammatory redness swelling, raised surface temperatures, physiological anomalies of blood, and remarkable weight changes were observed. Besides, after modification with carnosine, histological damages caused by GO-Car in lung, muscle, kidney, and spleen became weaken significantly. This study sufficiently suggest that GO-Car as a safe adjuvant can effectively enhance humoral and innate immune responses against antigens in vivo.

  20. Combined Adjuvant Radiochemotherapy With IMRT/XELOX Improves Outcome With Low Renal Toxicity in Gastric Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Boda-Heggemann, Judit; Hofheinz, Ralf-Dieter; Weiss, Christel; Mennemeyer, Philipp; Mai, Sabine K.; Hermes, Petra; Wertz, Hansjoerg; Post, Stefan; Massner, Bernd; Hieber, Udo; Hochhaus, Andreas; Wenz, Frederik; Lohr, Frank

    2009-11-15

    Objectives: Adjuvant radiochemotherapy improves survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer. We assessed in two sequential cohorts whether improved radiotherapy technique (IMRT) together with intensified chemotherapy improves outcome vs. conventional three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and standard chemotherapy in these patients while maintaining or reducing renal toxicity. Materials and Methods: Sixty consecutive patients treated for gastric cancer either with 3D-CRT (n = 27) and IMRT (n = 33) were evaluated. More than 70% had undergone D2 resection. Although there was a slight imbalance in R0 status between cohorts, N+ status was balanced. Chemotherapy consisted predominantly of 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (n = 36) in the earlier cohort and mostly of oxaliplatin/capecitabine (XELOX, n = 24) in the later cohort. Primary end points were overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and renal toxicity based on creatinine levels. Results: Median follow-up (FU) of all patients in the 3D-CRT group was 18 months and in the IMRT group 22 months (median FU of surviving patients 67 months in the 3D-CRT group and 25 months in the IMRT group). Overall median survival (and DFS) were 18 (13) months in the 3D-CRT group and both not reached in the IMRT group (p = 0.0492 and 0.0216). Actuarial 2-year survival was 37% and 67% in the 3D-CRT and IMRT groups, respectively. No late renal toxicity >Grade 2 (LENT-SOMA scale) was observed in either cohort. Conclusion: When comparing sequentially treated patient cohorts with similar characteristics, OS and DFS improved with the use of IMRT and intensified chemotherapy without signs of increased renal toxicity.

  1. Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Improves Local Control After Surgical Resection in Patients With Localized Adrenocortical Carcinoma

    SciTech Connect

    Sabolch, Aaron; Else, Tobias; Griffith, Kent A.; Ben-Josef, Edgar; Williams, Andrew; Miller, Barbra S.; Worden, Francis; Jolly, Shruti

    2015-06-01

    Purpose: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy known for high rates of local recurrence, though the benefit of postoperative radiation therapy (RT) has not been established. In this study of grossly resected ACC, we compare local control of patients treated with surgery followed by adjuvant RT to a matched cohort treated with surgery alone. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively identified patients with localized disease who underwent R0 or R1 resection followed by adjuvant RT. Only patients treated with RT at our institution were included. Matching to surgical controls was on the basis of stage, surgical margin status, tumor grade, and adjuvant mitotane. Results: From 1991 to 2011, 360 ACC patients were evaluated for ACC at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Twenty patients with localized disease received postoperative adjuvant RT. These were matched to 20 controls. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups with regard to stage, margins, grade, or mitotane. Median RT dose was 55 Gy (range, 45-60 Gy). Median follow-up was 34 months. Local recurrence occurred in 1 patient treated with RT, compared with 12 patients not treated with RT (P=.0005; hazard ratio [HR] 12.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.62-97.88). However, recurrence-free survival was no different between the groups (P=.17; HR 1.52; 95% CI 0.67-3.45). Overall survival was also not significantly different (P=.13; HR 1.97; 95% CI 0.57-6.77), with 4 deaths in the RT group compared with 9 in the control group. Conclusions: Postoperative RT significantly improved local control compared with the use of surgery alone in this case-matched cohort analysis of grossly resected ACC patients. Although this retrospective series represents the largest study to date on adjuvant RT for ACC, its findings need to be prospectively confirmed.

  2. Adjuvants to improve aerial control of the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) using entomopathogenic nematodes.

    PubMed

    van Niekerk, S; Malan, A P

    2015-03-01

    The citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, is a highly destructive pest of citrus, occurring only in the aerial parts of plants. Humidity will be one of the key factors to consider when using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as biological control agents. Different adjuvants can be added to suspensions of EPNs, to improve control as a foliar application. An aqueous suspension containing Heterorhabditis zealandica and 0.3% Zeba® significantly increased P. citri mortality by 22% at 80% relative humidity (RH) with a temperature cycle starting at 22°C for 14 h and 11°C for 11 h. The same polymer formulation was tested for Steinernema yirgalemense and mortality of P. citri increased by 21% at 60% RH and by 27% at 80% RH. The addition of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to H. zealandica suspensions did not significantly retard application run-off on citrus leaves. The combination of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba®, however, was able to significantly retard sedimentation, increasing the average number of nematodes deposited on 2-cm2 leaf discs by 10 nematodes. In an aqueous suspension, nematodes settle rapidly to the bottom, resulting in an uneven distribution of nematodes. Xanthan gum, at a concentration of 0.2%, was highly effective at retarding sedimentation, with 72% of the initial nematode number still in suspension after 1 h. Zeba®, at a concentration of 0.3%, despite not being as effective as Xanthan gum, nevertheless still retarded sedimentation significantly. This is the first report of the potential of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to improve EPN performance against P. citri when used above ground in citrus orchards. PMID:25652668

  3. Adjuvants to improve aerial control of the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) using entomopathogenic nematodes.

    PubMed

    van Niekerk, S; Malan, A P

    2015-03-01

    The citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri, is a highly destructive pest of citrus, occurring only in the aerial parts of plants. Humidity will be one of the key factors to consider when using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as biological control agents. Different adjuvants can be added to suspensions of EPNs, to improve control as a foliar application. An aqueous suspension containing Heterorhabditis zealandica and 0.3% Zeba® significantly increased P. citri mortality by 22% at 80% relative humidity (RH) with a temperature cycle starting at 22°C for 14 h and 11°C for 11 h. The same polymer formulation was tested for Steinernema yirgalemense and mortality of P. citri increased by 21% at 60% RH and by 27% at 80% RH. The addition of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to H. zealandica suspensions did not significantly retard application run-off on citrus leaves. The combination of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba®, however, was able to significantly retard sedimentation, increasing the average number of nematodes deposited on 2-cm2 leaf discs by 10 nematodes. In an aqueous suspension, nematodes settle rapidly to the bottom, resulting in an uneven distribution of nematodes. Xanthan gum, at a concentration of 0.2%, was highly effective at retarding sedimentation, with 72% of the initial nematode number still in suspension after 1 h. Zeba®, at a concentration of 0.3%, despite not being as effective as Xanthan gum, nevertheless still retarded sedimentation significantly. This is the first report of the potential of Nu-Film-P® and Zeba® to improve EPN performance against P. citri when used above ground in citrus orchards.

  4. Modern Vaccine Adjuvant/Formulation—Session 9: Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Dalençon, François

    2013-01-01

    The Session 9 of the Modern Vaccine Adjuvant/Formulation meeting pointed out the permanent need for vaccine improvement and for adjuvant development. Indeed, the increasing use of recombinant subunit vaccines for both parenteral and mucosal vaccination necessitates the development of improved adjuvants. This session dealt with strategies for the development of new vaccine adjuvants with respect to the availability of new molecules targeting specifically the receptors of the systemic or mucosal immune system. PMID:23938771

  5. Improving medication adherence in migraine treatment.

    PubMed

    Seng, Elizabeth K; Rains, Jeanetta A; Nicholson, Robert A; Lipton, Richard B

    2015-06-01

    Medication adherence is integral to successful treatment of migraine and other headache. The existing literature examining medication adherence in migraine is small, and the methodologies used to assess adherence are limited. However, these studies broadly suggest poor adherence to both acute and preventive migraine medications, with studies using more objective monitoring reporting lower adherence rates. Methods for improving medication adherence are described, including organizational strategies, provider-monitoring and self-monitoring of adherence, regimen strategies, patient education, self-management skills training (e.g., stimulus control, behavioral contracts), and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. The article concludes by discussing the future of research regarding adherence to medications for migraine and other headaches.

  6. Medication taking behaviors among breast cancer patients on adjuvant endocrine therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kimmick, Gretchen; Edmond, Sara N.; Bosworth, Hayden B.; Peppercorn, Jeffrey; Marcom, Paul K.; Blackwell, Kimberly; Keefe, Francis J.; Shelby, Rebecca A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To explore how symptoms and psychosocial factors are related to intentional and unintentional non-adherent medication taking behaviors. Methods Included were postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive, stage I-IIIA breast cancer, who had completed surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, and were taking endocrine therapy. Self-administered, standardized measures were completed during a routine clinic visit: Brief Fatigue Inventory, Brief Pain Inventory, Menopause Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire, Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy General and Neurotoxicity scales, and Self-Efficacy for Appropriate Medication Use Scale. Regression analyses were performed to determine the degree to which demographic, medical, symptom, and psychosocial variables, explain intentional, such as changing one’s doses or stopping medication, and unintentional, such as forgetting to take one’s medication, non-adherent behaviors. Results Participants were 112 women: mean age 64 (SD=9) years; 81% white; mean time from surgery 40 (SD=28) months; 49% received chemotherapy (39% including a taxane); mean time on endocrine therapy, 35 (SD=29.6) months; 82% taking an aromatase inhibitor. Intentional and unintentional non-adherent behaviors were described in 33.9% and 58.9% of participants, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that higher self-efficacy for taking medication was associated with lower levels of unintentional (p=0.002) and intentional (p=0.004) non-adherent behaviors. The presence of symptoms (p=0.03) and lower self-efficacy for physician communication (p=0.009) were associated with higher levels of intentional non-adherent behaviors. Conclusions These results suggest that women who report greater symptoms, lower self-efficacy for communicating with their physician, and lower self-efficacy for taking their medication are more likely to engage in both intentional and unintentional non-adherent behaviors. PMID:26189978

  7. Improved bioherbicidal efficacy by Myrothecium verrucaria via spray adjuvants or herbicide mixtures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbicides and spray adjuvants were evaluated for compatibility with the bioherbicidal fungus, Myrothecium verrucaria. Several commercial formulations of glyphosate were found to be compatible for tank mixing with M. verrucaria, including Touchdown and RoundUp HiTech. Others, such as Accord XRT II...

  8. Radiation Therapy Is Associated With Improved Survival in the Adjuvant and Definitive Treatment of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

    SciTech Connect

    Shinohara, Eric T. Mitra, Nandita; Guo Mengye; Metz, James M.

    2008-12-01

    Purpose: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (IHC) are rare tumors for which large randomized studies regarding the use of radiation are not available. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adjuvant and definitive radiation therapy in the treatment of IHC in a large group of patients. Methods and Materials: This is a retrospective analysis of 3,839 patients with IHC collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Results: Patients received either surgery alone (25%), radiation therapy alone (10%), surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy (7%) or no treatment (58%). The median age of the patient population was 73 years (range, 22-102 years); 52% of patients were male and 81% were Caucasian. Median OS was 11 (95% confidence interval [CI], 9-13), 6 (95% CI, 5-6), 7 (95% CI, 6-8), and 3 months for surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy, sugery alone, radiation therapy alone, and no treatment, respectively. The OS was significantly different between surgery alone and surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy (p = 0.014) and radiation therapy alone and no treatment (p < 0.0001). Use of surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy conferred the greatest benefit on OS (HR = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.34-0.47), followed by surgery alone (hazard ratio [HR], 0.49; 95% CI, 0.44-0.54) and radiation therapy alone (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59-0.77) compared with no treatment, on multivariate analysis. Propensity score adjusted hazard ratios (controlling for age, race/ethnicity, stage, and year of diagnosis) were also significant (surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy vs. surgery alone (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70-0.96); radiation therapy alone vs. no treatment (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.58-0.76)). Conclusions: The study results suggest that adjuvant and definitive radiation treatment prolong survival, although cure rates remain low. Future studies should evaluate the addition of chemotherapy and biologics to the treatment of

  9. Trastuzumab improves locoregional control in HER2-positive breast cancer patients following adjuvant radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lu; Cai, Gang; Xu, Fei; Yang, Zhao-Zhi; Yu, Xiao-Li; Ma, Jin-Li; Zhang, Qian; Wu, Jiong; Guo, Xiao-Mao; Chen, Jia-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The benefit of adjuvant trastuzumab in disease-free and overall survival for human epidermal receptor 2–positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients is well established. However, the effect of trastuzumab on locoregional control remains unclear, particularly in patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy (RT). In this study, we investigated the locoregional benefit of trastuzumab in patients with HER2+ breast cancer after adjuvant RT. Using a single institutional database, we identified 278 patients with stage II/III invasive HER2+ breast tumors receiving adjuvant RT between January 2008 and July 2011. We compared the locoregional outcomes of 134 patients who received trastuzumab to 144 patients without trastuzumab within the same period. Clinical and biological factors that might impact on the locoregional benefit of trastuzumab were also assessed. At the median follow-up of 45 months, trastuzumab significantly lowered the risk of locoregional recurrence (LRR) with a 3-year LRR rate of 2.4% versus 7.5% for the cohort with and without trastuzumab (P = 0.019). Trastuzumab was associated with a more significant locoregional benefit in the hormone receptor–positive (HR+)/HER2+ subgroup, with a 3-year LRR of 0% versus 6.7% in the cohort with and without trastuzumab (P = 0.027). For HR−/HER2+ breast tumor patients, the 3-year LRR rate was still lower for the cohort with trastuzumab (4.7% vs 8.6%). However, statistical significance was not found (P = 0.179). Both univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that trastuzumab treatment was the only significant predictive factor for LRR (hazard ratio, 4.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–15.35; P = 0.039). Adjuvant trastuzumab in addition to RT is associated with significant reduced LRR risk in HER2+ breast cancer. PMID:27512838

  10. Immunopotentiating reconstituted influenza virosomes (IRIVs) and other adjuvants for improved presentation of small antigens.

    PubMed

    Glück, R

    1992-01-01

    Synthetic peptides, purified subunits or inactivated small virus particles require immunopotentiation if they are to be effective vaccines. A large range of procedures to enhance immunogenicity has evolved over the last decades: aluminium salts, proteosomes, immunostimulating complexes (ISCOMs), liposomes, conjugation with bacterial products or derivatives, combination with surface-active agents or application of cytokines have been the most described classes of adjuvants. We describe here the design of an inactivated hepatitis A vaccine adjuvanted with immunopotentiating reconstituted influenza virosomes (IRIVs). The formalin-inactivated hepatitis A particles are attached to reconstituted protein-lipid complexes consisting of a mixture of phospholipids and influenza virus glycoproteins. With this new vaccine design we combined different immunostimulating effects: immunopotentiation by phospholipid vesicles, recognition of the haemagglutinin (HA) epitopes by the immune system, binding capacity of HA to sialic acid-containing receptors of macrophages and immunocompetent cells and mediation of entry into the cytoplasm of macrophages by a membrane-fusion event triggered by HA. Hepatitis A seronegative human volunteers received one intramuscular injection with this new vaccine. There were only few mild local reactions and 14 days after vaccination 100% of the subjects were seropositive. Among the individuals (control group) who received an alum-adsorbed vaccine, 88% developed local reactions. The seroconversion rate was 44%. We conclude from these results that the IRIVs provide a new approach to the future design of adjuvanted vaccines. PMID:1471412

  11. Improved Survival Endpoints With Adjuvant Radiation Treatment in Patients With High-Risk Early-Stage Endometrial Carcinoma

    SciTech Connect

    Elshaikh, Mohamed A.; Vance, Sean; Suri, Jaipreet S.; Mahan, Meredith; Munkarah, Adnan

    2014-02-01

    Purpose/Objective(s): To determine the impact of adjuvant radiation treatment (RT) on recurrence-free survival (RFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with high-risk 2009 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage I-II endometrial carcinoma. Methods and Materials: We identified 382 patients with high-risk EC who underwent hysterectomy. RFS, DSS, and OS were calculated from the date of hysterectomy by use of the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression modeling was used to explore the risks associated with various factors on survival endpoints. Results: The median follow-up time for the study cohort was 5.4 years. The median age was 71 years. All patients underwent hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy, 93% had peritoneal cytology, and 85% underwent lymphadenectomy. Patients with endometrioid histology constituted 72% of the study cohort, serous in 16%, clear cell in 7%, and mixed histology in 4%. Twenty-three percent of patients had stage II disease. Adjuvant management included RT alone in 220 patients (57%), chemotherapy alone in 25 patients (7%), and chemoradiation therapy in 27 patients (7%); 110 patients (29%) were treated with close surveillance. The 5-year RFS, DSS, and OS were 76%, 88%, and 73%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, adjuvant RT was a significant predictor of RFS (P<.001) DSS (P<.001), and OS (P=.017). Lymphovascular space involvement was a significant predictor of RFS and DSS (P<.001). High tumor grade was a significant predictor for RFS (P=.038) and DSS (P=.025). Involvement of the lower uterine segment was also a predictor of RFS (P=.049). Age at diagnosis and lymphovascular space involvement were significant predictors of OS: P<.001 and P=.002, respectively. Conclusion: In the treatment of patients with high-risk features, our study suggests that adjuvant RT significantly improves recurrence-free, disease-specific, and overall survival in patients with early-stage endometrial carcinoma

  12. Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement during Pregnancy: An Adjuvant Option When Medical Therapy Fails

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Fátima; Torres, Rita; Borges, Augusta

    2013-01-01

    The authors present a case of a 27-year-old multiparous woman, with multiple thrombophilia, whose pregnancy was complicated with deep venous thrombosis requiring placement of a vena cava filter. At 15th week of gestation, following an acute deep venous thrombosis of the right inferior limb, anticoagulant therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) was instituted without improvement in her clinical status. Subsequently, at 18 weeks of pregnancy, LMWH was switched to warfarin. At 30th week of gestation, the maintenance of high thrombotic risk was the premise for placement of an inferior vena cava filter for prophylaxis of pulmonary embolism during childbirth and postpartum. There were no complications and a vaginal delivery was accomplished at 37 weeks of gestation. Venal placement of inferior vena cava filters is an attractive option as prophylaxis for pulmonary embolism during pregnancy. PMID:23781361

  13. Metronomic Adjuvant Chemotherapy Improves Treatment Outcome in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients With Postradiation Persistently Detectable Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus Deoxyribonucleic Acid

    SciTech Connect

    Twu, Chih-Wen; Wang, Wen-Yi; Chen, Chien-Chih; Liang, Kai-Li; Jiang, Rong-San; Wu, Ching-Te; Shih, Yi-Ting; Lin, Po-Ju; Liu, Yi-Chun; Lin, Jin-Ching

    2014-05-01

    Purpose: To investigate the effects of adjuvant chemotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients with persistently detectable plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA (pEBV DNA) after curative radiation therapy plus induction/concurrent chemotherapy. Methods and Materials: The study population consisted of 625 NPC patients with available pEBV DNA levels before and after treatment. Eighty-five patients with persistently detectable pEBV DNA after 1 week of completing radiation therapy were eligible for this retrospective study. Of the 85 patients, 33 were administered adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of oral tegafur-uracil (2 capsules twice daily) for 12 months with (n=4) or without (n=29) preceding intravenous chemotherapy of mitomycin-C, epirubicin, and cisplatin. The remaining 52 patients who did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy served as the control group. Results: Baseline patient characteristics at diagnosis (age, sex, pathologic type, performance status, T classification, N classification, and overall stage), as well as previous treatment modality, were comparable in both arms. After a median follow-up of 70 months for surviving patients, 45.5% (15 of 33 patients) with adjuvant chemotherapy and 71.2% (37 of 52 patients) without adjuvant chemotherapy experienced tumor relapses (P=.0323). There were a significant reduction in distant failure (P=.0034) but not in local or regional recurrence. The 5-year overall survival rate was 71.6% for patients with adjuvant chemotherapy and 28.7% for patients without adjuvant chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0.27; 95% confidence interval 0.17-0.55; P<.0001). Conclusions: Our retrospective data showed that adjuvant chemotherapy can reduce distant failure and improve overall survival in NPC patients with persistently detectable pEBV DNA after curative radiation therapy plus induction/concurrent chemotherapy.

  14. Improved Interactive Medical-Imaging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Twombly, Ian A.; Senger, Steven

    2003-01-01

    An improved computational-simulation system for interactive medical imaging has been invented. The system displays high-resolution, three-dimensional-appearing images of anatomical objects based on data acquired by such techniques as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). The system enables users to manipulate the data to obtain a variety of views for example, to display cross sections in specified planes or to rotate images about specified axes. Relative to prior such systems, this system offers enhanced capabilities for synthesizing images of surgical cuts and for collaboration by users at multiple, remote computing sites.

  15. Tissue expander placement and adjuvant radiotherapy after surgical resection of retroperitoneal liposarcoma offers improved local control

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyojun; Lee, Sanghoon; Kim, BoKyong; Lim, Do Hoon; Choi, Yoon-La; Choi, Gyu Seong; Kim, Jong Man; Park, Jae Berm; Kwon, Choon Hyuck David; Joh, Jae-Won; Kim, Sung Joo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Given that retroperitoneal liposarcoma (LPS) is extremely difficult to completely resect, and has a relatively high rate of recurrence, radiotherapy (RT) is the treatment of choice after surgical resection. However, it is difficult to obtain a sufficient radiation field because of the close proximity of surrounding organs. We introduce the use of tissue expanders (TEs) after LPS resection in an attempt to secure a sufficient radiation field and to improve recurrence-free survival. This study is a retrospective review of 53 patients who underwent surgical resection of LPS at Samsung Medical Center between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2012, and had no residual tumor detected 2 months postoperatively. The median follow-up period was 38.9 months. Patients were divided into 3 groups. Those in group 1 (n = 17) had TE inserted and received postoperative RT. The patients in group 2 (n = 9) did not have TE inserted and received postoperative RT. Finally, those in group 3 (n = 27) did not receive postoperative RT. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify the risk factors associated with recurrence-free survival within 3 years. Younger age, history of LPS treatment, and RT after TE insertion (group 1 vs group 2 or 3) were significantly favorable factors influencing 3-year recurrence-free survival. TE insertion after LPS resection is associated with increased 3-year recurrence-free survival, most likely because it allows effective delivery of postoperative RT. PMID:27512857

  16. Vaccine Potentiation by Combination Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Levast, Benoît; Awate, Sunita; Babiuk, Lorne; Mutwiri, George; Gerdts, Volker; van Drunen Littel-van den Hurk, Sylvia

    2014-01-01

    Adjuvants are crucial components of vaccines. They significantly improve vaccine efficacy by modulating, enhancing, or extending the immune response and at the same time reducing the amount of antigen needed. In contrast to previously licensed adjuvants, current successful adjuvant formulations often consist of several molecules, that when combined, act synergistically by activating a variety of immune mechanisms. These “combination adjuvants” are already registered with several vaccines, both in humans and animals, and novel combination adjuvants are in the pipeline. With improved knowledge of the type of immune responses needed to successfully induce disease protection by vaccination, combination adjuvants are particularly suited to not only enhance, but also direct the immune responses desired to be either Th1-, Th2- or Th17-biased. Indeed, in view of the variety of disease and population targets for vaccine development, a panel of adjuvants will be needed to address different disease targets and populations. Here, we will review well-known and new combination adjuvants already licensed or currently in development—including ISCOMs, liposomes, Adjuvant Systems Montanides, and triple adjuvant combinations—and summarize their performance in preclinical and clinical trials. Several of these combination adjuvants are promising having promoted improved and balanced immune responses. PMID:26344621

  17. Improvement of DNA vaccination by adjuvants and sophisticated delivery devices: vaccine-platforms for the battle against infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Advantages of DNA vaccination against infectious diseases over more classical immunization methods include the possibilities for rapid manufacture, fast adaptation to newly emerging pathogens and high stability at ambient temperatures. In addition, upon DNA immunization the antigen is produced by the cells of the vaccinated individual, which leads to activation of both cellular and humoral immune responses due to antigen presentation via MHC I and MHC II molecules. However, so far DNA vaccines have shown most efficient immunogenicity mainly in small rodent models, whereas in larger animals including humans there is still the need to improve effectiveness. This is mostly due to inefficient delivery of the DNA plasmid into cells and nuclei. Here, we discuss technologies used to overcome this problem, including physical means such as in vivo electroporation and co-administration of adjuvants. Several of these methods have already entered clinical testing in humans. PMID:25648133

  18. Adjuvant Intrahepatic Injection Iodine-131-Lipiodol Improves Prognosis of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma After Resection: a Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ye; Wu, Lu-Peng; Ye, Feng; Zhou, Yan-Ming

    2015-12-01

    High incidence of intrahepatic recurrence is a major surgical limitation following hepatectomy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study was intended to investigate the effects of adjuvant intrahepatic injection of iodine-131-lipiodol on disease recurrence and survival in patients with HCC who underwent resection. A computerized literature search was performed to identify relevant articles. Data synthesis was performed using Review Manager 5.0 software, and results are presented as odds ratio (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals. Two randomized controlled trials and three case-control studies with a total of 334 participants were analyzed. Iodine-131-lipiodol treatment achieved significantly lower rates of intrahepatic recurrence (OR = 0.48, 95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) = 0.30-0.74; P = 0.001) and early recurrence (<2 year) (OR = 0.45, 95 % CI = 0.23-0.89; P = 0.02). Likewise, iodine-131-lipiodol treatment improved both the 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival significantly (OR = 1.85, 95 % CI = 1.13-3.03; P = 0.01; OR = 2.00, 95 % CI = 0.99-4.04; P = 0.05, respectively). Adjuvant intrahepatic injection of iodine-131-lipiodol resulted in a preventive effect on recurrence and improved survival after resection of HCC. Further larger, multi-centred, randomized prospective trial is warranted. PMID:27011542

  19. Lipid-Core Nanocapsules Improved Antiedematogenic Activity of Tacrolimus in Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Model.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Rossana B; Coradini, Karine; Fonseca, Francisco N; Guterres, Silvia S; Beck, Ruy C R; Pohlmann, Adriana R

    2016-02-01

    Despite significant technological advances, rheumatoid arthritis remains an incurable disease with great impact on the life quality of patients. We studied the encapsulation of tacrolimus in lipidcore nanocapsules (TAC-LNC) as a strategy to enhance its systemic anti-arthritic properties. TAC-LNC presented unimodal distribution of particles with z-average diameter of 212 +/- 11, drug content close to the theoretical value (0.80 mg mL(-1)), and 99.43% of encapsulation efficiency. An in vitro sustained release was determined for TAC-LNC with anomalous transport mechanism (n = 0.61). In vivo studies using an arthritis model induced by Complete Freund's Adjuvant demonstrated that the animals treated with TAC-LNC presented a significantly greater inhibition of paw oedema after intraperitoneal administration. Furthermore, the encapsulation of TAC in lipid-core nanocapsules was potentially able to prevent hyperglycemia in the animals. In conclusion, TAC-LNC was prepared with 100% yield of nanoscopic particles having satisfactory characteristics for systemic use. This formulation represents a promising strategy to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the near future. PMID:27433576

  20. How to improve medical education website design

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The Internet provides a means of disseminating medical education curricula, allowing institutions to share educational resources. Much of what is published online is poorly planned, does not meet learners' needs, or is out of date. Discussion Applying principles of curriculum development, adult learning theory and educational website design may result in improved online educational resources. Key steps in developing and implementing an education website include: 1) Follow established principles of curriculum development; 2) Perform a needs assessment and repeat the needs assessment regularly after curriculum implementation; 3) Include in the needs assessment targeted learners, educators, institutions, and society; 4) Use principles of adult learning and behavioral theory when developing content and website function; 5) Design the website and curriculum to demonstrate educational effectiveness at an individual and programmatic level; 6) Include a mechanism for sustaining website operations and updating content over a long period of time. Summary Interactive, online education programs are effective for medical training, but require planning, implementation, and maintenance that follow established principles of curriculum development, adult learning, and behavioral theory. PMID:20409344

  1. Improving basic life support training for medical students

    PubMed Central

    Lami, Mariam; Nair, Pooja; Gadhvi, Karishma

    2016-01-01

    Questions have been raised about basic life support (BLS) training in medical education. This article addresses the research evidence behind why BLS training is inadequate and suggests recommendations for improving BLS training for medical students. PMID:27114720

  2. Adjuvant Autologous Melanoma Vaccine for Macroscopic Stage III Disease: Survival, Biomarkers, and Improved Response to CTLA-4 Blockade

    PubMed Central

    Lotem, Michal; Merims, Sharon; Frank, Stephen; Hamburger, Tamar; Nissan, Aviram; Kadouri, Luna; Cohen, Jonathan; Straussman, Ravid; Eisenberg, Galit; Frankenburg, Shoshana; Carmon, Einat; Alaiyan, Bilal; Shneibaum, Shlomo; Ozge Ayyildiz, Zeynep; Isbilen, Murat; Mert Senses, Kerem; Ron, Ilan; Steinberg, Hanna; Smith, Yoav; Shiloni, Eitan; Gure, Ali Osmay; Peretz, Tamar

    2016-01-01

    Background. There is not yet an agreed adjuvant treatment for melanoma patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer stages III B and C. We report administration of an autologous melanoma vaccine to prevent disease recurrence. Patients and Methods. 126 patients received eight doses of irradiated autologous melanoma cells conjugated to dinitrophenyl and mixed with BCG. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response to unmodified melanoma cells was determined on the vaccine days 5 and 8. Gene expression analysis was performed on 35 tumors from patients with good or poor survival. Results. Median overall survival was 88 months with a 5-year survival of 54%. Patients attaining a strong DTH response had a significantly better (p = 0.0001) 5-year overall survival of 75% compared with 44% in patients without a strong response. Gene expression array linked a 50-gene signature to prognosis, including a cluster of four cancer testis antigens: CTAG2 (NY-ESO-2), MAGEA1, SSX1, and SSX4. Thirty-five patients, who received an autologous vaccine, followed by ipilimumab for progressive disease, had a significantly improved 3-year survival of 46% compared with 19% in nonvaccinated patients treated with ipilimumab alone (p = 0.007). Conclusion. Improved survival in patients attaining a strong DTH and increased response rate with subsequent ipilimumab suggests that the autologous vaccine confers protective immunity. PMID:27294163

  3. Adjuvant chemotherapy is not associated with improved survival for all high-risk factors in stage II colon cancer.

    PubMed

    Verhoeff, S R; van Erning, F N; Lemmens, V E P P; de Wilt, J H W; Pruijt, J F M

    2016-07-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy can be considered in high-risk stage II colon cancer comprising pT4, poor/undifferentiated grade, vascular invasion, emergency surgery and/or <10 evaluated lymph nodes (LNs). Adjuvant chemotherapy administration and its effect on survival was evaluated for each known risk factor. All patients with high-risk stage II colon cancer who underwent resection and were diagnosed in the Netherlands between 2008 and 2012 were included. After stratification by risk factor(s) (vascular invasion could not be included), Cox regression was used to discriminate the independent association of adjuvant chemotherapy with the probability of death. Relative survival was used to estimate disease-specific survival. A total of 4,940 of 10,935 patients with stage II colon cancer were identified as high risk, of whom 790 (16%) patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with a pT4 received adjuvant chemotherapy more often (37%). Probability of death in pT4 patients receiving chemotherapy was lower compared to non-recipients (3-year overall survival 91% vs. 73%, HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.28-0.66). The relative excess risk (RER) of dying was also lower for pT4 patients receiving chemotherapy compared to non-recipients (3-year relative survival 94% vs. 85%, RER 0.36, 95% CI 0.17-0.74). For patients with only poor/undifferentiated grade, emergency surgery or <10 LNs evaluated, no association between receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy and survival was observed. In high-risk stage II colon cancer, adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with higher survival in pT4 only. To prevent unnecessary chemotherapy-induced toxicity, further refinement of patient subgroups within stage II colon cancer who could benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy seems indicated.

  4. Quality improvement teaching at medical school: a student perspective

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Pooja; Barai, Ishani; Prasad, Sunila; Gadhvi, Karishma

    2016-01-01

    Guidelines in the UK require all doctors to actively take part in quality improvement. To ease future doctors into the process, formal quality improvement teaching can be delivered during medical school. PMID:27051330

  5. Alcohol Medical Scholars Program--A Mentorship Program for Improving Medical Education regarding Substance Use Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neufeld, Karin J.; Schuckit, Marc A.; Hernandez-Avila, Carlos A.

    2011-01-01

    The Alcohol Medical Scholars Program (AMSP) is designed to improve medical education related to substance use disorders (SUDs) through mentorship of junior, full-time academic faculty from medical schools across the United States. Scholarship focuses on literature review and synthesis, lecture development and delivery, increasing SUD education in…

  6. Medication use evaluation: pharmacist rubric for performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Fanikos, John; Jenkins, Kathryn L; Piazza, Gregory; Connors, Jean; Goldhaber, Samuel Z

    2014-12-01

    Despite rigorous expert review, medications often fall into routine use with unrecognized and unwanted complications. Use of some medications remains controversial because information to support efficacy is conflicting, scant, or nonexistent. Medication use evaluation (MUE) is a performance improvement tool that can be used when there is uncertainty regarding whether a medication will be beneficial. It is particularly useful when limited evidence is available on how best to choose between two or more medications. MUEs can analyze the process of medication prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration, and monitoring. MUEs can be part of a structured or mandated multidisciplinary quality management program that focuses on evaluating medication effectiveness and improving patient safety. Successful MUE programs have a structure in place to support completion of rapid-cycle data collection, analysis, and intervention that supports practice change. PMID:25521847

  7. Improving oral medication management in home health agencies.

    PubMed

    Shearer, Janelle

    2009-03-01

    This study focused on home health agency characteristics and evidence-based practices that could have an impact on the ability to improve the home health outcome-based quality improvement measure: improvement in the management of oral medications. The findings of this Quality Improvement Organization-approved study suggest that there are organizational characteristics and evidence-based practices associated with better rates for this outcome measure. Organizational characteristics include belonging to a healthcare system that is hospital based, not-for-profit part of a network focused on quality, and intentionally working on the oral medications outcome. Evidence-based practices include use of reminder strategies, phone follow-up interventions, repeat patient education about medications at subsequent home care visits, and use of medication simplification strategies for patients receiving multiple medications.

  8. Improving adjuvant systems for polyclonal egg yolk antibody (IgY) production in laying hens in terms of productivity and animal welfare.

    PubMed

    Marcq, Christopher; Marlier, Didier; Beckers, Yves

    2015-05-15

    The antibody production in the egg yolks of immunized laying hens is seen as a way of improving animal welfare compared with conventional production by mammals. Immunoglobulin Y (IgY) technology, however, has still to address welfare issues linked to the widespread use of an adjuvant in vaccines. Currently, Freund's adjuvants, complete (FCA) or incomplete (FIA), remain the standard. This study sought to evaluate various approaches used to enhance egg yolk antibody production in terms of both productivity and avian welfare. The outer membrane protein (OMP) of Salmonella Typhimurium was used as the prototype antigen. At 20 weeks of age, 56 ISA Brown hens, with specific-Salmonella-free status, were divided into seven groups (n=8) and received an initial intramuscular immunization. Hens in the two negative control groups received phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or FIA alone. Hens in the other groups received 80μg of Salmonella OMP emulsified with one of the following adjuvants: 200μl of FIA alone (T1); 200μl of FIA supplemented with 8μg of C-phosphate-guanosine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) (T2); and 280μl of Montanide ISA 70 VG (T4). Birds in the T3 group received the antigen in emulsion with FIA and were given the tested immunostimulatory component (l-carnitine) via their feed (100mg/kg). A positive control group (PC) received FCA for the first and final immunizations and FIA for the other boosters. Immunization was repeated after 20, 46, 82 and 221 days. Eggs were collected regularly until 242 days after the first immunization and the anti-Salmonella Typhimurium activities in the yolk were determined by ELISA. After 242 days, the birds were euthanized and the injection sites were evaluated for gross and microscopic lesions. Among the tested immunostimulatory approaches, supplementation of FIA with CpG-ODN led to a significant and long-lasting enhancement of the specific antibody response. This treatment was even higher than the positive benchmark using FCA in

  9. Improving Medication Management among At-risk Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Delinda; Kripalani, Sunil; DuPapau, V.J.

    2013-01-01

    Low health literacy is common among Medicare recipients and affects their understanding of complex medication regimens. Interventions are needed to improve medication use among older adults, while addressing low health literacy. Community-dwelling older adults in this study were enrolled in an inner-city adult day center. They completed a baseline measure of health literacy, medication self-efficacy, and medication adherence. They were provided with a personalized, illustrated daily medication schedule (PictureRx™). Six weeks later, their medication self-efficacy and adherence were assessed. Among the 20 participants in this pilot project, 70% had high likelihood of limited health literacy and took an average of 13.2 prescription medications. Both self-efficacy and medication adherence increased significantly after provision of the PictureRx cards (p<0.001 and p<0.05, respectively). Al participants rated the PictureRx cards as very helpful in terms of helping them remember the medication’s purpose and dosing. Illustrated daily medication schedules improve medication self-efficacy and adherence among at-risk, community-dwelling older adults. PMID:22587641

  10. Elder and Caregiver Solutions to Improve Medication Adherence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Quin, K. E.; Semalulu, T.; Orom, H.

    2015-01-01

    Medication mismanagement is a growing public health concern, especially among elders. Annually, it is a major contributor to emergency hospitalization and nursing home placement. Elders and their caregivers, as healthcare consumers and stakeholders in this issue, are uniquely qualified to inform strategies to improve medication adherence. We…

  11. Interventional tools to improve medication adherence: review of literature

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Elísio; Giardini, Anna; Savin, Magda; Menditto, Enrica; Lehane, Elaine; Laosa, Olga; Pecorelli, Sergio; Monaco, Alessandro; Marengoni, Alessandra

    2015-01-01

    Medication adherence and persistence is recognized as a worldwide public health problem, particularly important in the management of chronic diseases. Nonadherence to medical plans affects every level of the population, but particularly older adults due to the high number of coexisting diseases they are affected by and the consequent polypharmacy. Chronic disease management requires a continuous psychological adaptation and behavioral reorganization. In literature, many interventions to improve medication adherence have been described for different clinical conditions, however, most interventions seem to fail in their aims. Moreover, most interventions associated with adherence improvements are not associated with improvements in other outcomes. Indeed, in the last decades, the degree of nonadherence remained unchanged. In this work, we review the most frequent interventions employed to increase the degree of medication adherence, the measured outcomes, and the improvements achieved, as well as the main limitations of the available studies on adherence, with a particular focus on older persons. PMID:26396502

  12. Improving medication adherence in hypercholesterolemia: challenges and solutions

    PubMed Central

    Gatwood, Justin; Bailey, James E

    2014-01-01

    Medication nonadherence is a prevalent public health issue that contributes to significant medical costs and detrimental health outcomes. This is especially true in patients with hypercholesterolemia, a condition affecting millions of American adults and one that is associated with increased risk for coronary and cerebrovascular events. Considering the magnitude of outcomes related to this disease, the medical community has placed significant emphasis on addressing the treatment for high cholesterol, and progress has been made in recent years. However, poor adherence to therapy continues to plague health outcomes and more must be understood and done to address suboptimal medication taking. Here we provide an overview of the reasons for poor medication adherence in patients with hypercholesterolemia and describe recent efforts to curb nonadherence. Suggested approaches for improving medication taking in patients with high cholesterol are also provided to guide practitioners, patients, and payers. PMID:25395859

  13. Molecular signatures of vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Olafsdottir, Thorunn; Lindqvist, Madelene; Harandi, Ali M

    2015-09-29

    Mass vaccination has saved millions of human lives and improved the quality of life in both developing and developed countries. The emergence of new pathogens and inadequate protection conferred by some of the existing vaccines such as vaccines for tuberculosis, influenza and pertussis especially in certain age groups have resulted in a move from empirically developed vaccines toward more pathogen tailored and rationally engineered vaccines. A deeper understanding of the interaction of innate and adaptive immunity at molecular level enables the development of vaccines that selectively target certain type of immune responses without excessive reactogenicity. Adjuvants constitute an imperative element of modern vaccines. Although a variety of candidate adjuvants have been evaluated in the past few decades, only a limited number of vaccine adjuvants are currently available for human use. A better understanding of the mode of action of adjuvants is pivotal to harness the potential of existing and new adjuvants in shaping a desired immune response. Recent advancement in systems biology powered by the emerging cutting edge omics technology has led to the identification of molecular signatures rapidly induced after vaccination in the blood that correlate and predict a later protective immune response or vaccine safety. This can pave ways to prospectively determine the potency and safety of vaccines and adjuvants. This review is intended to highlight the importance of big data analysis in advancing our understanding of the mechanisms of actions of adjuvants to inform rational development of future human vaccines. PMID:25989447

  14. Laser vaccine adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Kashiwagi, Satoshi; Brauns, Timothy; Gelfand, Jeffrey; Poznansky, Mark C

    2014-01-01

    Immunologic adjuvants are essential for current vaccines to maximize their efficacy. Unfortunately, few have been found to be sufficiently effective and safe for regulatory authorities to permit their use in vaccines for humans and none have been approved for use with intradermal vaccines. The development of new adjuvants with the potential to be both efficacious and safe constitutes a significant need in modern vaccine practice. The use of non-damaging laser light represents a markedly different approach to enhancing immune responses to a vaccine antigen, particularly with intradermal vaccination. This approach, which was initially explored in Russia and further developed in the US, appears to significantly improve responses to both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines administered to the laser-exposed tissue, particularly the skin. Although different types of lasers have been used for this purpose and the precise molecular mechanism(s) of action remain unknown, several approaches appear to modulate dendritic cell trafficking and/or activation at the irradiation site via the release of specific signaling molecules from epithelial cells. The most recent study, performed by the authors of this review, utilized a continuous wave near-infrared laser that may open the path for the development of a safe, effective, low-cost, simple-to-use laser vaccine adjuvant that could be used in lieu of conventional adjuvants, particularly with intradermal vaccines. In this review, we summarize the initial Russian studies that have given rise to this approach and comment upon recent advances in the use of non-tissue damaging lasers as novel physical adjuvants for vaccines. PMID:25424797

  15. New Models of CKD Care Including Pharmacists: Improving Medication Reconciliation and Medication Management

    PubMed Central

    St Peter, Wendy L.; Wazny, Lori D.; Patel, Uptal D.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Chronic kidney disease patients are complex, have many medication-related problems (MRPs) and high rates of medication nonadherence, and are less adherent to some medications than patients with higher levels of kidney function. Nonadherence in CKD patients increases the odds of uncontrolled hypertension, which can increase the risk of CKD progression. This review discusses reasons for gaps in medication-related care for CKD patients, pharmacy services to reduce these gaps, and successful models that incorporate pharmacist care. Recent findings Pharmacists are currently being trained to deliver patient-centered care, including identification and management of MRPs and helping patients overcome barriers to improve medication adherence. A growing body of evidence indicates that pharmacist services for CKD patients, including medication reconciliation and medication therapy management, positively affect clinical and cost outcomes including lower rates of decline in glomerular filtration rates, reduced mortality, and fewer hospitalizations and hospital days, but more robust research is needed. Team-based models including pharmacists exist today and are being studied in a wide range of innovative care and reimbursement models. Summary Opportunities are growing to include pharmacists as integral members of CKD and dialysis healthcare teams to reduce MRPs, increase medication adherence, and improve patient outcomes. PMID:24076556

  16. Relationship between the size of nanoparticles and their adjuvant activity: Data from a study with an improved experimental design

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xinran; Sloat, Brian R.; Yanasarn, Nijaporn; Cui, Zhengrong

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing interest in identifying the relationship between the size of nanoparticles and their adjuvant activity, but the results from recent studies remain controversial. To address the controversy, it was thought that one should pay attention to the nanoparticle formulations to make sure that the antigen-loaded nanoparticles to be compared are not only different in particle size, but more importantly, as identical to each other as possible in all other formulation properties. In the present study, using ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen conjugated onto nanoparticles engineered from lecithin/glyceryl monostearate-in-water emulsions, we prepared OVA-nanoparticles of 230 nm and 708 nm. Before evaluating the immune responses induced by them in a mouse model, we made sure that: i) the sizes of the two OVA-nanoparticles did not extensively overlap, ii) the nanoparticles have similar zeta potentials and comparable antigen-loading, and iii) the nanoparticles did not aggregate when suspended in simulated biological media. We then showed that when subcutaneously injected into mice, the 230 nm OVA-conjugated nanoparticles induced stronger OVA-specific antibody and cellular immune responses than the 708 nm OVA-nanoparticles. Future studies attempting to correlate the size of nanoparticles and their adjuvant activities need to consider formulation parameters to ensure that the particles are different only in size and are stable before and after injection. PMID:21182941

  17. Continuous quality improvement. A proposal for Arabian Gulf Medical Associations.

    PubMed

    Al-Shahri, M Z; Kinchin-White, J

    2000-02-01

    Having well-established and active medical associations in the Arabian Gulf countries is a promising event. Ideally, however, it must be assured that these associations are efficiently and effectively functioning in a manner designed to serve the ultimate goal of promoting the standards of the medical profession and thus, the quality of health care in the region. This paper is designed to promote the application of Continuous Quality Improvement principles by the medical associations in the Arabian Gulf. The paper is presented in a general format so as to allow for appropriate modifications according to the specific objectives of different medical associations. The indicators identified in this proposal to assess the quality of structure, process or outcome are not intended as a comprehensive list. Rather, the authors aim at establishing a framework on which various fine-tuned and appropriately tailored systems can be based.

  18. Asan Medical Information System for Healthcare Quality Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Hyeon Jeong; Kim, Woo Sung; Min, Sung Woo; Kim, Sun Ja; Lee, Yong Su; Lee, Young Ha; Nam, Sang Woo; Eo, Gi Seung; Seo, Sook Gyoung; Nam, Mi Hyun

    2010-01-01

    Objectives This purpose of this paper is to introduce the status of the Asan Medical Center (AMC) medical information system with respect to healthcare quality improvement. Methods Asan Medical Information System (AMIS) is projected to become a completely electronic and digital information hospital. AMIS has played a role in improving the health care quality based on the following measures: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, privacy, and security. Results AMIS consisted of several distinctive systems: order communication system, electronic medical record, picture archiving communication system, clinical research information system, data warehouse, enterprise resource planning, IT service management system, and disaster recovery system. The most distinctive features of AMIS were the high alert-medication recognition & management system, the integrated and severity stratified alert system, the integrated patient monitoring system, the perioperative diabetic care monitoring and support system, and the clinical indicator management system. Conclusions AMIS provides IT services for AMC, 7 affiliated hospitals and over 5,000 partners clinics, and was developed to improve healthcare services. The current challenge of AMIS is standard and interoperability. A global health IT strategy is needed to get through the current challenges and to provide new services as needed. PMID:21818439

  19. One Approach to Improving Indigenous Health Care through Medical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hays, Richard

    2002-01-01

    Australia's newest medical school, located at James Cook University (Queensland), is committed to improving Aboriginal health care. At least five Indigenous students must be admitted per year, and Indigenous people sit on committees responsible for student selection, curriculum design, staff selection, training, and research. All staff receive…

  20. Enhancing Commitment Improves Adherence to a Medical Regimen.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putnam, Dana E.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Evaluated commitment-based intervention for improvement of adherence to 10-day antibiotic regimen. Subjects were 60 college students. Experimental subjects made verbal and written commitments for adherence and completed tasks designed to increase their investment in medication regimen. Controls performed similarly structured tasks unrelated to…

  1. How Patients Can Improve the Accuracy of their Medical Records

    PubMed Central

    Dullabh, Prashila M.; Sondheimer, Norman K.; Katsh, Ethan; Evans, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Assess (1) if patients can improve their medical records’ accuracy if effectively engaged using a networked Personal Health Record; (2) workflow efficiency and reliability for receiving and processing patient feedback; and (3) patient feedback’s impact on medical record accuracy. Background: Improving medical record’ accuracy and associated challenges have been documented extensively. Providing patients with useful access to their records through information technology gives them new opportunities to improve their records’ accuracy and completeness. A new approach supporting online contributions to their medication lists by patients of Geisinger Health Systems, an online patient-engagement advocate, revealed this can be done successfully. In late 2011, Geisinger launched an online process for patients to provide electronic feedback on their medication lists’ accuracy before a doctor visit. Patient feedback was routed to a Geisinger pharmacist, who reviewed it and followed up with the patient before changing the medication list shared by the patient and the clinicians. Methods: The evaluation employed mixed methods and consisted of patient focus groups (users, nonusers, and partial users of the feedback form), semi structured interviews with providers and pharmacists, user observations with patients, and quantitative analysis of patient feedback data and pharmacists’ medication reconciliation logs. Findings/Discussion: (1) Patients were eager to provide feedback on their medications and saw numerous advantages. Thirty percent of patient feedback forms (457 of 1,500) were completed and submitted to Geisinger. Patients requested changes to the shared medication lists in 89 percent of cases (369 of 414 forms). These included frequency—or dosage changes to existing prescriptions and requests for new medications (prescriptions and over-the counter). (2) Patients provided useful and accurate online feedback. In a subsample of 107 forms

  2. A Synchronized Prescription Refill Program Improved Medication Adherence.

    PubMed

    Doshi, Jalpa A; Lim, Raymond; Li, Pengxiang; Young, Peinie P; Lawnicki, Victor F; State, Joseph J; Troxel, Andrea B; Volpp, Kevin G

    2016-08-01

    Synchronizing medication refills-renewing all medications at the same time from the same pharmacy-is an increasingly popular strategy to improve adherence to medication regimens, but there has been little research regarding its effectiveness. In light of increasing policy interest, we evaluated the impact of a pilot refill synchronization program implemented by a large national insurer. A random sample of Medicare Advantage patients receiving mail-order refills for common maintenance medications (antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, or antidiabetic agents) were invited to join the program and followed for twelve months. On average, the absolute increase in the proportion of patients deemed adherent during follow-up was 3-10 percentage points for the intervention group, compared to 1-5 percentage points for the control group. Patients with poorer baseline adherence showed larger increases in the absolute proportion deemed adherent in intervention (23-26 percentage points) compared to a control group (13-15 percentage points). Synchronizing refills might be a promising intervention to improve adherence to maintenance medications, especially among Medicare patients with low baseline adherence. PMID:27503977

  3. Perception of medical students about pharmacology and scope of improvement.

    PubMed

    Prasad, A; Datta, P P; Pattanayak, C; Panda, P

    2014-01-01

    Pharmacology is a subject taught in the medical curriculum in India over a period of one and half years along with pathology, microbiology and forensic medicine. The present study was planned to know the opinion of medical students regarding pharmacology and to assess the proposed teaching schedule and methods of teaching pharmacology. The study was conducted in a private medical college in eastern India among the medical undergraduate students in 5th semester. Total 74 students participated in the study. A pre-designed, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was given to the students and data was collected after one hour. Collected data was compiled, tabulated and analyzed in SPSS (version 16.0). The subject was perceived as interesting and useful by majority of students and most of them were in opinion to integrate pharmacology with the clinical subjects. Lecture in whole class was the most preferred teaching method according to the students and teaching with chalk and board they preferred most. Rational use of medicine, clinical trial, pediatric and geriatric pharmacology are the important topics the students felt to be included in the curriculum. Regular assessment of teaching methods by the students and taking suggestions from the students about improving the teaching method and redesigning the curriculum can help a lot in improving the learning capacity of the medical students and that will give benefit for the society as a whole.

  4. Leveraging user query sessions to improve searching of medical literature.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shiwen; Hristidis, Vagelis; Weiner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Published reports about searching medical literature do not refer to leveraging the query context, as expressed by previous queries in a session. We aimed to assess novel strategies for context-aware searching, hypothesizing that this would be better than baseline. Building upon methods using term frequency-inverse document frequency, we added extensions such as a function incorporating search results and terms of previous queries, with higher weights for more recent queries. Among 60 medical students generating queries against the TREC 9 benchmark dataset, we assessed recall and mean average precision. For difficult queries, we achieved improvement (27%) in average precision over baseline. Improvements in recall were also seen. Our methods outperformed baseline by 4% to 14% on average. Furthermore, the effectiveness of context-aware search was greater for longer query sessions, which are typically more challenging. In conclusion, leveraging the previous queries in a session improved overall search quality with this biomedical database.

  5. Improving medical imaging report turnaround times: the role of technolgy.

    PubMed

    Marquez, Luis O; Stewart, Howard

    2005-01-01

    At Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), the medical imaging department and the radiologists expressed a strong desire to improve workflow. The improved workflow was a major motivating factor toward implementing a new RIS and speech recognition technology. The need to monitor workflow in a real-time fashion and to evaluate productivity and resources necessitated that a new solution be found. A decision was made to roll out both the new RIS product and speech recognition to maximize the resources to interface and implement the new solution. Prior to implementation of the new RIS, the medical imaging department operated in a conventional electronic-order-entry to paper request manner. The paper request followed the study through exam completion to the radiologist. SOMC entered into a contract with its PACS vendor to participate in beta testing and clinical trials for a new RIS product for the US market. Backup plans were created in the event the product failed to function as planned--either during the beta testing period or during clinical trails. The last piece of the technology puzzle to improve report turnaround time was voice recognition technology. Speech recognition enhanced the RIS technology as soon as it was implemented. The results show that the project has been a success. The new RIS, combined with speech recognition and the PACS, makes for a very effective solution to patient, exam, and results management in the medical imaging department.

  6. Improving the usability of intravenous medication labels to support safe medication delivery

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, David T.; Guerlain, Stephanie

    2011-01-01

    Medication label design is frequently a contributing factor to medication errors. Design regulations and recommendations have been predominantly aimed at manufacturers’ product labels. Pharmacy-generated labels have received less scrutiny despite being an integral artifact throughout the medication use process. This article is an account of our efforts to improve the design of a hospital’s intravenous (IV) medication labels. Our analysis revealed a set of interrelated processes and stakeholders that restrict the range of feasible label designs. The technological and system constraints likely vary among hospitals and represent significant barriers to developing and implementing specific design standards. We propose both an ideal IV label design and one that adheres to the current constraints of the hospital under study. PMID:21731156

  7. Improving medical education in Kenya: an international collaboration.

    PubMed

    Mayo, Alexa

    2014-04-01

    This paper describes a partnership between the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) Library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The libraries are collaborating to develop best practices for the CHS Library as it meets the challenge of changing medical education information needs in a digital environment. The collaboration is part of a Medical Education Partnership Initiative. The library project has several components: an assessment of the CHS Library, learning visits in the United States and Kenya, development of recommendations to enhance the CHS Library, and ongoing evaluation of the program's progress. Development of new services and expertise at the CHS Library is critical to the project's success. A productive collaboration between the HS/HSL and CHS Library is ongoing. A successful program to improve the quality of medical education will have a beneficial impact on health outcomes in Kenya.

  8. How to use information technology to improve medication safety.

    PubMed

    Winter, A; Hilgers, R-D; Hofestädt, R; Knaup-Gregori, P; Ose, C; Timmer, A

    2014-01-01

    The publication of a memorandum on improving medication safety by information technology in both the German journal GMS Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (MIBE) and the journal Methods of Information in Medicine (MIM) gives reason to strengthen cooperation of MIBE and MIM and to report on more publications of MIBE here. The publications in focus deal with simulation-based optimization of emergency processes, handling of research data in publications, open access to research metadata, reliability of digital patient records in medical research, assessment methods for physical activity, using of insurance databases for epidemiological studies, certificates for epidemiological professionals, regression models, computer based training, and performance management in Swiss hospitals. Finally determining factors for scientific careers are discussed. PMID:25308917

  9. Dialect Topic Modeling for Improved Consumer Medical Search

    SciTech Connect

    Crain, Steven P.; Yang, Shuang-Hong; Zha, Hongyuan; Jiao, Yu

    2010-01-01

    Access to health information by consumers is ham- pered by a fundamental language gap. Current attempts to close the gap leverage consumer oriented health information, which does not, however, have good coverage of slang medical terminology. In this paper, we present a Bayesian model to automatically align documents with different dialects (slang, com- mon and technical) while extracting their semantic topics. The proposed diaTM model enables effective information retrieval, even when the query contains slang words, by explicitly modeling the mixtures of dialects in documents and the joint influence of dialects and topics on word selection. Simulations us- ing consumer questions to retrieve medical information from a corpus of medical documents show that diaTM achieves a 25% improvement in information retrieval relevance by nDCG@5 over an LDA baseline.

  10. Dialect topic modeling for improved consumer medical search.

    PubMed

    Crain, Steven P; Yang, Shuang-Hong; Zha, Hongyuan; Jiao, Yu

    2010-11-13

    Access to health information by consumers is hampered by a fundamental language gap. Current attempts to close the gap leverage consumer oriented health information, which does not, however, have good coverage of slang medical terminology. In this paper, we present a Bayesian model to automatically align documents with different dialects (slang, common and technical) while extracting their semantic topics. The proposed diaTM model enables effective information retrieval, even when the query contains slang words, by explicitly modeling the mixtures of dialects in documents and the joint influence of dialects and topics on word selection. Simulations using consumer questions to retrieve medical information from a corpus of medical documents show that diaTM achieves a 25% improvement in information retrieval relevance by nDCG@5 over an LDA baseline.

  11. Improving medical education in Kenya: an international collaboration*†

    PubMed Central

    Mayo, Alexa

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a partnership between the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences (CHS) Library and the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The libraries are collaborating to develop best practices for the CHS Library as it meets the challenge of changing medical education information needs in a digital environment. The collaboration is part of a Medical Education Partnership Initiative. The library project has several components: an assessment of the CHS Library, learning visits in the United States and Kenya, development of recommendations to enhance the CHS Library, and ongoing evaluation of the program's progress. Development of new services and expertise at the CHS Library is critical to the project's success. A productive collaboration between the HS/HSL and CHS Library is ongoing. A successful program to improve the quality of medical education will have a beneficial impact on health outcomes in Kenya. PMID:24860265

  12. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 3: Clinical audit in medical practice].

    PubMed

    Godény, Sándor

    2012-02-01

    The first two articles in the series were about the definition of quality in healthcare, the quality approach, the importance of quality assurance, the advantages of quality management systems and the basic concepts and necessity of evidence based medicine. In the third article the importance and basic steps of clinical audit are summarised. Clinical audit is an integral part of quality assurance and quality improvement in healthcare, that is the responsibility of any practitioner involved in medical practice. Clinical audit principally measures the clinical practice against clinical guidelines, protocols and other professional standards, and sometimes induces changes to ensure that all patients receive care according to principles of the best practice. The clinical audit can be defined also as a quality improvement process that seeks to identify areas for service improvement, develop and carry out plans and actions to improve medical activity and then by re-audit to ensure that these changes have an effect. Therefore, its aims are both to stimulate quality improvement interventions and to assess their impact in order to develop clinical effectiveness. At the end of the article key points of quality assurance and improvement in medical practice are summarised.

  13. Improving acute medical management: Junior Doctor Emergency Prescription Cards

    PubMed Central

    Hutton, Joe; Gingell, Megan; Hutchinson, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Doctors commencing Foundation Year (FY) training face many stresses and challenges. FY doctors are often the first point of contact for acutely unwell and deteriorating patients. Trust guidelines are used to aid acute medical management. Accessing guidelines is often fraught with barriers. Evidence suggests aide-memoire cards can provide easier access to guidelines and management pathways. We aimed to improve prescribing accuracy and efficiency of FY doctors for acute medical conditions within Gloucestershire trust by improving access to and usability of trust guidelines. Questionnaires were distributed to FY doctors to identify acute medical conditions to include on the emergency prescription cards (EPCs). Two small double-sided cards were created containing bullet pointed trust guidelines for: hyper/hypokalaemia, status epilepticus, diabetic emergencies, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, acute asthma, pulmonary oedema, anaphylaxis and a ward-round checklist. Feedback was used to improve EPCs prior to distribution. Pre (N=53) and post-intervention (N=46) written questionnaires were completed by FY doctors. These assessed acute clinical management including use of guidance, confidence in management, speed of prescribing and EPC “usability”. To assess prescribing accuracy, prescriptions for acute medical conditions were reviewed pre (N=8) and post-intervention (N=12). The EPCs were well received (80% quite/very useful) and found “easy to use” (83%). The introduction of EPCs increased guidance use (pre-intervention 58.8%, post-intervention 71.7%), increased confidence (pre-intervention 79%, post-intervention 89%) and significantly improved prescribing speed (p=0.05). There was a significant correlation with confidence and prescribing speed (p = 0.023). The accuracy of prescribed doses improved (pre-intervention 62.5%, post-intervention 87.5% accurate) as did details regarding route / additional required information (pre-intervention 75%, post

  14. Improving acute medical management: Junior Doctor Emergency Prescription Cards.

    PubMed

    Hutton, Joe; Gingell, Megan; Hutchinson, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Doctors commencing Foundation Year (FY) training face many stresses and challenges. FY doctors are often the first point of contact for acutely unwell and deteriorating patients. Trust guidelines are used to aid acute medical management. Accessing guidelines is often fraught with barriers. Evidence suggests aide-memoire cards can provide easier access to guidelines and management pathways. We aimed to improve prescribing accuracy and efficiency of FY doctors for acute medical conditions within Gloucestershire trust by improving access to and usability of trust guidelines. Questionnaires were distributed to FY doctors to identify acute medical conditions to include on the emergency prescription cards (EPCs). Two small double-sided cards were created containing bullet pointed trust guidelines for: hyper/hypokalaemia, status epilepticus, diabetic emergencies, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, acute asthma, pulmonary oedema, anaphylaxis and a ward-round checklist. Feedback was used to improve EPCs prior to distribution. Pre (N=53) and post-intervention (N=46) written questionnaires were completed by FY doctors. These assessed acute clinical management including use of guidance, confidence in management, speed of prescribing and EPC "usability". To assess prescribing accuracy, prescriptions for acute medical conditions were reviewed pre (N=8) and post-intervention (N=12). The EPCs were well received (80% quite/very useful) and found "easy to use" (83%). The introduction of EPCs increased guidance use (pre-intervention 58.8%, post-intervention 71.7%), increased confidence (pre-intervention 79%, post-intervention 89%) and significantly improved prescribing speed (p=0.05). There was a significant correlation with confidence and prescribing speed (p = 0.023). The accuracy of prescribed doses improved (pre-intervention 62.5%, post-intervention 87.5% accurate) as did details regarding route / additional required information (pre-intervention 75%, post-intervention 97

  15. Design and evaluation of surface and adjuvant modified PLGA microspheres for uptake by dendritic cells to improve vaccine responses.

    PubMed

    Salvador, Aiala; Sandgren, Kerrie J; Liang, Frank; Thompson, Elizabeth A; Koup, Richard A; Pedraz, José Luis; Hernandez, Rosa Maria; Loré, Karin; Igartua, Manoli

    2015-12-30

    Designing strategies for targeting antigens to dendritic cells is a major goal in vaccinology. Here, PLGA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) microspheres and with several surface modifications that affect to their uptake by human blood primary dendritic cells and monocytes have been evaluated. Higher uptake was found by all the cell types when cationic microspheres (PLGA modified with polyethylene imine) were used. These cationic particles were in vivo evaluated in mice. In addition, MPLA(1) or poly(I:C)(2) and α-GalCer(3) were also encapsulated to address their adjuvant effect. All the microspheres were able to produce humoral immune responses, albeit they were higher for cationic microspheres. Moreover, surface charge seemed to have a role on biasing the immune response; cationic microspheres induced higher IFN-γ levels, indicative of Th1 activation, while unmodified ones mainly triggered IL4 and IL17A release, showing Th2 activation. Thus, we have shown here the potential and versatility of these MS, which may be tailored to needs.

  16. Improving the extraction and purification of immunoglobulin G by the use of ionic liquids as adjuvants in aqueous biphasic systems.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ana M; Faustino, Vânia F M; Mondal, Dibyendu; Coutinho, João A P; Freire, Mara G

    2016-10-20

    Immunoglobulins G (IgG) could become widespread biopharmaceuticals if cost-efficient processes for their extraction and purification are available. In this work, aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) composed of polyethylene glycols and a buffered salt, and with ionic liquids (ILs) as adjuvants, have been studied as alternative extraction and purification platforms of IgG from a rabbit serum source. Eleven ILs were investigated to provide insights on the chemical features which maximize the IgG partitioning. It is shown that in polymer-salt systems pure IgG preferentially partitions to the polymer-rich phase; yet, the complete extraction was never attained. Remarkably, after the addition of 5wt% of adequate ILs to polymer-salt ABS, the complete extraction of pure IgG in a single-step was accomplished. The best systems and conditions were then applied to the extraction and purification of IgG directly from rabbit serum samples. The complete extraction of IgG in a single-step was maintained while its purity in the polymer-rich phase was enhanced by ca. 37% as compared to the IL-free ABS. The antibody stability was also evaluated revealing that appropriate ILs are able to maintain the IgG stability and can be used as phase-forming components of ABS when envisaging the purification of high-cost biopharmaceuticals.

  17. Rutoside decreases human macrophage-derived inflammatory mediators and improves clinical signs in adjuvant-induced arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Kauss, Tina; Moynet, Daniel; Rambert, Jérôme; Al-Kharrat, Abir; Brajot, Stephane; Thiolat, Denis; Ennemany, Rachid; Fawaz, Fawaz; Mossalayi, M Djavad

    2008-01-01

    Background Dietary flavonols may play an important role in the adjunct therapy of chronic inflammation. The availability of therapeutic formulations of pentahydroxyflavone glycoside, rutoside (RU), led us to investigate the ability of this molecule to modulate the release of various proinflammatory mediators from human activated macrophages in vitro and to ameliorate arthritic markers in a rat model. Methods RU was added simultaneously to human macrophages during their activation. Cells were then analyzed for inflammation-related gene expression using a specific array, and cell supernatants were collected to measure inflammatory mediators. RU was also injected into adjuvant-induced arthritic rats, and disease progression and body weight were evaluated until 50 days after injection. Sera and peritoneal macrophages were also collected to quantify the RU effect on various inflammatory markers. Results RU inhibited inflammation-related gene expression in activated human macrophages and the release of nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-6 from these cells. In a rat model, RU inhibited clinical signs of chronic arthritis, correlating with decreased levels of inflammatory cytokines detected in rat sera and macrophage supernatants. Conclusion Thus, RU may have clinical value in reducing inflammatory manifestations in human arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. PMID:18252009

  18. Using a structured questionnaire improves seizure description by medical students

    PubMed Central

    Kapadia, Saher; Shah, Hemang; McNair, Nancy; Pruitt, J. Ned; Murro, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate a structured questionnaire for improving a medical students’ ability to identify, describe and interpret a witnessed seizure. Methods Ninety two 3rd year medical students, blinded to seizure diagnosis, viewed videos of a primary generalized seizure and a complex partial seizure.  Students next completed an unstructured questionnaire that asked the students to describe the seizure video recordings. The students then completed a structured questionnaire that asked the student to respond to 17 questions regarding specific features occurring during the seizures.  We determined the number and types of correct responses for each questionnaire. Results Overall, the structured questionnaire was more effective in eliciting an average of 9.25 correct responses compared to the unstructured questionnaire eliciting an average of 5.30 correct responses (p < 0.001). Additionally, 10 of the 17 seizure features were identified more effectively with the structured questionnaire. Potentially confounding factors, prior knowledge of someone with epilepsy or a prior experience of viewing a seizure, did not predict the student’s ability to correctly identify any of the 17 features. Conclusions A structured questionnaire significantly improves a medical student’s ability to provide an accurate clinical description of primary generalized and complex partial witnessed seizures. Our analysis identified the 10 specific features improved by using the structured questionnaire. PMID:26752118

  19. Adjuvant therapy of melanoma.

    PubMed

    Agarwala, S S; Kirkwood, J M

    1998-06-01

    Patients with AJCC Stage IIB and III melanoma have a poor 5-year survival rate which has been the driving force behind attempts to find an effective adjuvant therapy for this stage of disease that would effectively reduce relapse and improve survival. Immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), Corynebacterium parvum, and levamisole have not been successful in achieving this goal, nor have trials with chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting, including high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation. The recent Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 1684 study showed significant improvement in relapse-free and overall survival with high doses of alpha interferon (IFNalpha) given for 1 year. Lower dosages of IFNalpha have to date been unsuccessful in impacting upon long-term survival. Recent data with vaccines have been encouraging, and the GM2-KLH vaccine is the focus of ongoing intergroup study comparing this treatment with IFNalpha in resected Stage IIB and III melanoma. The various regimens are reviewed in this article. PMID:9588723

  20. EPSAH, an exopolysaccharide from Aphanothece halophytica GR02, improves both cellular and humoral immunity as a novel polysaccharide adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lei; Zhang, Fan; Yang, Li-Jun; Ge, Yang; Wei, Qing-Fang; Ou, Yu

    2016-07-01

    EPSAH is an exopolysaccharide from Aphanothece halophytica GR02. The present study was designed to evaluate its toxicity and adjuvant potential in the specific cellular and humoral immune responses in ovalbumin (OVA) in mice. EPSAH did not cause any mortality and side effects when the mice were administered subcutaneously twice at the dose of 50 mg·kg(-1). Hemolytic activity in vitro indicated that EPSAH was non-hemolytic. Splenocyte proliferation in vitro was assayed with different concentrations of EPSAH. The mice were immunized subcutaneously with OVA 0.1 mg alone or with OVA 0.1 mg dissolved in saline containing Alum (0.2 mg) or EPSAH (0.2, 0.4, or 0.8 mg) on Day 1 and 15. Two weeks later, splenocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity, production of cytokines IL-2 from splenocytes, and serum OVA-specific antibody titers were measured. Phagocytic activity, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-12 in mice peritoneal macrophages were also determined. EPSAH showed a dose-dependent stimulating effect on mitogen-induced proliferation. The Con A-, LPS-, and OVA-induced splenocyte proliferation and the serum OVA-specific IgG, IgG1, and IgG2a antibody titers in the immunized mice were significantly enhanced. EPSAH also significantly promoted the production of Th1 cytokine IL-2. Besides, EPSAH remarkably increased the killing activities of NK cells from splenocytes in the immunized mice. In addition, EPSAH enhanced phagocytic activity and the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 and IL-12 in macrophages. These results indicated that EPSAH had a strong potential to increase both cellular and humoral immune responses, particularly promoting the development of Th1 polarization. PMID:27507205

  1. Adjuvant Cytokine-Induced Killer Cell Therapy Improves Disease-Free and Overall Survival in Solitary and Nonmicrovascular Invasive Hepatocellular Carcinoma After Curative Resection

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jian-Lin; Lao, Xiang-Ming; Lin, Xiao-Jun; Xu, Li; Cui, Bo-Kang; Wang, Jun; Lin, Guo-He; Shuang, Ze-Yu; Mao, Yi-Ze; Huang, Xin; Yun, Jing-Ping; Jin, Jie-Tian; Li, Sheng-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cell therapy has recently been used as an adjuvant setting following resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while its benefit remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant CIK application in solitary HCC patients undergoing curative resection with stratification of microvascular invasion (MVI). In total, specimens and data from 307 solitary HCC patients undergoing curative resection between January 2007 and December 2010 were included. Of these, 102 patients received CIK treatment after surgery (CIK group), whereas 205 patients did not (control group). Pathological evaluation was used to retrospectively determine MVI status. The CIK group had 60 MVI-negative and 42 MVI-positive patients, while the numbers in control group were 124 and 81. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to validate possible effects of CIK treatment on disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) as appropriate. For all patients, the CIK group exhibited significantly higher OS than the control group (log-rank test; PDFS = 0.055, POS = 0.020). Further analysis based on MVI stratification showed that for patients with MVI, DFS and OS did not differ between the 2 groups (PDFS = 0.439, POS = 0.374). For patients without MVI, the CIK group exhibited better DFS and OS than the control group (PDFS = 0.042, POS = 0.007), and multivariate analyses demonstrated that CIK treatment was an independent prognostic factor both for DFS and OS. For solitary HCC, CIK cell therapy after curative resection improves DFS and OS for patients without MVI, but has no statistically significant survival benefit for patients with MVI. PMID:26844496

  2. Exposed medical staff: challenges, available tools, and opportunities for improvement.

    PubMed

    Dauer, Lawrence T

    2014-02-01

    Medical staff doses have increased over the past decade, as there is an increasing need for the benefits and use of radiation in medicine. While current average medical staff doses are well within limits, some doses to individuals could exceed 20 mSv y deep dose equivalent or lens dose equivalent (if unprotected), and there is the potential for some workers to exceed 500 mSv y shallow dose equivalent without careful assessment and protection. Nuclear medicine radiochemistry and patient dose preparation present challenging opportunities for improved dose control. In addition, fluoroscopically guided intervention procedures continue to represent an important area for careful protection implementation. Optimization of radiation protection in the medical setting should include tried and true principles of justification, optimization, and limitation with emphasis on training, credentialing, planning, and quality management. As newer and developing uses of radiation in medicine are tested and implemented, it is important to consider effective dosimetric monitoring, lens of eye doses, extremity doses, novel uses, and novel radionuclide characteristics. An ongoing assessment of current and future patterns of use for radiation in medicine is an essential activity to assist in prioritizing limited resources for staff protection. Introduction of Exposed Medical Staff (Video 1:27, http://links.lww.com/HP/A20).

  3. Educational improvement in Medical English Practice: Questionnaire survey to sophomore medical students of Hokkaido University.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Manabu; Olga, Amengual; Iguchi, Kaori; Otaki, Junji

    2015-11-01

    In the past, we made several efforts making curriculum changes to Medical English Practice, however, these changes did not improve motivation effectively. We have completely modified the curriculum in 2012, and performed a questionnaire survey to 112 sophomore medical students. In the final exam, students answered a questionnaire assessing all classes of the course by scoring 3 points (no change required), 2 points (minor change required), and 1 point (major change required or discontinue). In addition, students could write free comments about potential contents they would like to add to the curriculum. Each class was assessed as more than or equal to 2.5 points on average (range: 2.50-2.96). Potential contents students want to add are: 1. Speaking (45 students [55%]), 2. Listening (30 students [37%]), 3. Reading (6 students [7%]), 4. Writing (1 student [1%]). The most frequent suggestion was to include group discussions in speaking (27 students [33%]), followed by listening on topics of healthcare systems (11 students [13%]). Many students suggested to include conversation classes in small groups, or classes in which international students introduce the structure of healthcare systems of their home countries to the curriculum. Increasing the participation of international faculty, staff and students in the Medical English Practice might contribute to the improvement of medical students' motivation.

  4. Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care.

    PubMed

    Awosogba, Temitope; Betancourt, Joseph R; Conyers, F Garrett; Estapé, Estela S; Francois, Fritz; Gard, Sabrina J; Kaufman, Arthur; Lunn, Mitchell R; Nivet, Marc A; Oppenheim, Joel D; Pomeroy, Claire; Yeung, Howa

    2013-05-01

    Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities. PMID:23659676

  5. Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care

    PubMed Central

    Awosogba, Temitope; Betancourt, Joseph R.; Conyers, F. Garrett; Estapé, Estela S.; Francois, Fritz; Gard, Sabrina J.; Kaufman, Arthur; Lunn, Mitchell R.; Nivet, Marc A.; Oppenheim, Joel D.; Pomeroy, Claire; Yeung, Howa

    2015-01-01

    Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities. PMID:23659676

  6. Outlining novel cellular adjuvant products for therapeutic vaccines against cancer.

    PubMed

    Tefit, Josianne Nitcheu; Serra, Vincent

    2011-08-01

    Despite the library of new adjuvants available for use in vaccines, we remain, at present, almost reliant on aluminum-based compounds for clinical use. The increasing use of recombinant subunit vaccines, however, makes the need for improved adjuvant of particular interest. Adjuvants are crucial components of all cancer vaccines whether they are composed of whole cells, proteins or peptides. For the purposes of this article, cellular adjuvant products are defined as adjuvants associated with cellular or T-cell immunity. Several pharmaceutical companies are developing new adjuvants or immune enhancers for the treatment of cancers such as melanoma and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Several products are being developed and have entered clinical trials either alone or in combination. In this article, we discuss recent adjuvant development and novel cellular adjuvant products for therapeutic cancer vaccines.

  7. Adjuvants: Classification, Modus Operandi, and Licensing

    PubMed Central

    Apostólico, Juliana de Souza

    2016-01-01

    Vaccination is one of the most efficient strategies for the prevention of infectious diseases. Although safer, subunit vaccines are poorly immunogenic and for this reason the use of adjuvants is strongly recommended. Since their discovery in the beginning of the 20th century, adjuvants have been used to improve immune responses that ultimately lead to protection against disease. The choice of the adjuvant is of utmost importance as it can stimulate protective immunity. Their mechanisms of action have now been revealed. Our increasing understanding of the immune system, and of correlates of protection, is helping in the development of new vaccine formulations for global infections. Nevertheless, few adjuvants are licensed for human vaccines and several formulations are now being evaluated in clinical trials. In this review, we briefly describe the most well known adjuvants used in experimental and clinical settings based on their main mechanisms of action and also highlight the requirements for licensing new vaccine formulations. PMID:27274998

  8. Vaccine adjuvants: putting innate immunity to work.

    PubMed

    Coffman, Robert L; Sher, Alan; Seder, Robert A

    2010-10-29

    Adjuvants enhance immunity to vaccines and experimental antigens by a variety of mechanisms. In the past decade, many receptors and signaling pathways in the innate immune system have been defined and these innate responses strongly influence the adaptive immune response. The focus of this review is to delineate the innate mechanisms by which adjuvants mediate their effects. We highlight how adjuvants can be used to influence the magnitude and alter the quality of the adaptive response in order to provide maximum protection against specific pathogens. Despite the impressive success of currently approved adjuvants for generating immunity to viral and bacterial infections, there remains a need for improved adjuvants that enhance protective antibody responses, especially in populations that respond poorly to current vaccines. However, the larger challenge is to develop vaccines that generate strong T cell immunity with purified or recombinant vaccine antigens.

  9. Using evaluation to improve medical student rural experience.

    PubMed

    Moffatt, Jennifer J; Wyatt, Janine E

    2016-04-01

    Objective The aim of this evaluation was to see whether interventions implemented to improve the Rural Medicine Rotation made this a more effective rural medical education experience. Multiple interventions targeting the student experience, lecturers and preceptors were implemented. Methods A quasi-experimental design using pre- and post-measures was used. The participants were all University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Rural Medicine Rotation students who completed the 2009 and 2010 rural medicine rotation evaluations. There were 769 students, with an 84% response rate in 2009 and an 80% response rate in 2010. In addition, all the 25 program preceptors who were visited in 2009 and the 34 who were visited in 2010 participated in the study. Results The implementation of interventions resulted in significant improvement in three outcome measures, namely teaching effectiveness, provision of an environment supportive of learning in a rural/remote setting and opportunities for professional growth. Two of the three other outcome measures - ensuring a safe clinical placement and opportunities for procedural skills experience and development - were very positively evaluated in both 2009 and 2010. Conclusions The interventions contributed to a more effective rural medical education experience, providing students with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge relevant for rural medicine and to gain an understanding of the context in which rural medicine is practiced. What is known about the topic? Many Australian medical schools offer students rural-based educational opportunities based on the premise that placing medical students in a rural setting may ultimately lead to them choosing careers in rural medicine. However, there is a paucity of evidence on the factors that are considered necessary for medical students to gain a positive rural experience of short conscripted rural placements. What does the paper add? This paper identifies successful interventions

  10. Using evaluation to improve medical student rural experience.

    PubMed

    Moffatt, Jennifer J; Wyatt, Janine E

    2016-04-01

    Objective The aim of this evaluation was to see whether interventions implemented to improve the Rural Medicine Rotation made this a more effective rural medical education experience. Multiple interventions targeting the student experience, lecturers and preceptors were implemented. Methods A quasi-experimental design using pre- and post-measures was used. The participants were all University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Rural Medicine Rotation students who completed the 2009 and 2010 rural medicine rotation evaluations. There were 769 students, with an 84% response rate in 2009 and an 80% response rate in 2010. In addition, all the 25 program preceptors who were visited in 2009 and the 34 who were visited in 2010 participated in the study. Results The implementation of interventions resulted in significant improvement in three outcome measures, namely teaching effectiveness, provision of an environment supportive of learning in a rural/remote setting and opportunities for professional growth. Two of the three other outcome measures - ensuring a safe clinical placement and opportunities for procedural skills experience and development - were very positively evaluated in both 2009 and 2010. Conclusions The interventions contributed to a more effective rural medical education experience, providing students with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge relevant for rural medicine and to gain an understanding of the context in which rural medicine is practiced. What is known about the topic? Many Australian medical schools offer students rural-based educational opportunities based on the premise that placing medical students in a rural setting may ultimately lead to them choosing careers in rural medicine. However, there is a paucity of evidence on the factors that are considered necessary for medical students to gain a positive rural experience of short conscripted rural placements. What does the paper add? This paper identifies successful interventions

  11. Interventions to improve adherence to lipid lowering medication

    PubMed Central

    Schedlbauer, Angela; Schroeder, Knut; Peters, Tim; Fahey, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Background Lipid lowering drugs are still widely underused, despite compelling evidence about their effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Poor patient adherence to medication regimen is a major factor in the lack of success in treating hyperlipidaemia. In this review we focus on interventions, which encourage patients at risk of heart disease or stroke to take lipid lowering medication regularly. Objectives To assess the effect of interventions aiming at improved adherence to lipid lowering drugs, focusing on measures of adherence and clinical outcomes. Search strategy We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo and CINAHL. Date of most recent search was in February 2003. No language restrictions were applied. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials of adherence-enhancing interventions to lipid lowering medication in adults for both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in an ambulatory setting. Data collection and analysis Two reviewers extracted data independently and assessed studies according to criteria outlined by the Cochrane Reviewers’ Handbook. Main results The eight studies found contained data on 5943 patients. Interventions could be stratified into four categories: 1. simplification of drug regimen, 2. patient information/education, 3. intensified patient care such as reminding and 4. complex behavioural interventions such as group sessions. Change in adherence ranged from −3% to 25% (decrease in adherence by 3% to increase in adherence by 25%). Three studies reported significantly improved adherence through simplification of drug regimen (category 1), improved patient information/education (category 2) and reminding (category 3). The fact that the successful interventions were evenly spread across the categories, does not suggest any advantage of one particular type of intervention. The methodological and analytical quality was

  12. Cyclophilin A as a potential genetic adjuvant to improve HIV-1 Gag DNA vaccine immunogenicity by eliciting broad and long-term Gag-specific cellular immunity in mice

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Jue; Zhang, Qicheng; Liu, Zheng; Wang, Shuhui; Li, Dan; Liu, Chang; Liu, Ying; Shao, Yiming

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has shown that host Cyclophilin A (CyPA) can promote dendritic cell maturation and the subsequent innate immune response when incorporated into an HIV-1 Gag protein to circumvent the resistance of dendritic cells to HIV-1 infection. This led us to hypothesize that CyPA may improve HIV-1 Gag-specific vaccine immunogenicity via binding with Gag antigen. The adjuvant effect of CyPA was evaluated using a DNA vaccine with single or dual expression cassettes. Mouse studies indicated that CyPA specifically and markedly promoted HIV-1 Gag-specific cellular immunity but not an HIV-1 Env-specific cellular response. The Gag/CyPA dual expression cassettes stimulated a greater Gag-specific cellular immune response, than Gag immunization alone. Furthermore, CyPA induced a broad Gag-specific T cell response and strong cellular immunity that lasted up to 5 months. In addition, CyPA skewed to cellular rather than humoral immunity. To investigate the mechanisms of the adjuvant effect, site-directed mutagenesis in CyPA, including active site residues H54Q and F60A resulted in mutants that were co-expressed with Gag in dual cassettes. The immune response to this vaccine was analyzed in vivo. Interestingly, the wild type CyPA markedly increased Gag cellular immunity, but the H54Q and F60A mutants drastically reduced CyPA adjuvant activation. Therefore, we suggest that the adjuvant effect of CyPA was based on Gag-CyPA-specific interactions. Herein, we report that Cyclophilin A can augment HIV-1 Gag-specific cellular immunity as a genetic adjuvant in multiplex DNA immunization strategies, and that activity of this adjuvant is specific, broad, long-term, and based on Gag-CyPA interaction. PMID:26305669

  13. The Dialogue Between Medical Doctors and Bioethicists: Rethinking Experience to Improve Medical Education.

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca; Russo, María Teresa; Curcio, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    More and more seems to be necessary to find new ways of communication between medical doctors and bioethicists in order to build a shared vocabulary and to prevent conflicts: many bioethical problems seem to be caused by the lack of dialogue between them, which both seem to speak two different languages. Improving this dialogue means searching new languages and innovative forms of communication: the narration could be a really effective tool to enhance the physicians' and bioethicist's moral conscience, since it facilitates reasoning on someone's particular experience, and, ultimately, on our experience. Starting from the results of a questionnaire administered to a group of students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University Campus Bio-Medico we present a theoretical discussion about the need for more dialogue and for a shared vocabulary in medical experiences. In this regard, we suggest as a possible solution to the conflicts among medical doctors and bioethicists, an educational strategy, i.e., humanities courses for medical students, which may help them to deeply describe their practical present (and future) experience.

  14. The Dialogue Between Medical Doctors and Bioethicists: Rethinking Experience to Improve Medical Education.

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca; Russo, María Teresa; Curcio, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    More and more seems to be necessary to find new ways of communication between medical doctors and bioethicists in order to build a shared vocabulary and to prevent conflicts: many bioethical problems seem to be caused by the lack of dialogue between them, which both seem to speak two different languages. Improving this dialogue means searching new languages and innovative forms of communication: the narration could be a really effective tool to enhance the physicians' and bioethicist's moral conscience, since it facilitates reasoning on someone's particular experience, and, ultimately, on our experience. Starting from the results of a questionnaire administered to a group of students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University Campus Bio-Medico we present a theoretical discussion about the need for more dialogue and for a shared vocabulary in medical experiences. In this regard, we suggest as a possible solution to the conflicts among medical doctors and bioethicists, an educational strategy, i.e., humanities courses for medical students, which may help them to deeply describe their practical present (and future) experience. PMID:27637191

  15. [Influenza vaccine and adjuvant].

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Tetsuo

    2011-01-01

    Adjuvant is originated from the Latin word "adjuvare" which means "help" in English to enhance the immunological responses when given together with antigens. The beginning of adjuvant was mineral oil which enhanced the immune response when it was given with inactivated Salmonella typhimurium. Aluminium salt was used to precipitate diphtheria toxoid and increased level of antibody response was demonstrated when administered with alum-precipitated antigens. Since 1930, aluminium salt has been used as DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine) adjuvant. Many candidates were tested for adjuvant activity but only aluminum salt is allowed to use for human vaccines. New adjuvant MF59, oil-in-water emulsion type, was developed for influenza vaccine for elderly (Fluad) and series of AS adjuvant are used for hepatitis B, pandemic flue, and human papiloma virus vaccines. Oil-adjuvanted influenza pandemic vaccines induced higher antibody response than alum-adjuvanted vaccine with higher incidence of adverse events, especially for local reactions. Alum-adjuvanted whole virion inactivated H5N1 vaccine was developed in Japan, and it induced relatively well immune responses in adults. When it applied for children, febrile reaction was noted in approximately 60% of the subjects, with higher antibodies. Recent investigation on innate immunity demonstrates that adjuvant activity is initiated from the stimulation on innate immunity and/or inflammasome, resulting in cytokine induction and antigen uptake by monocytes and macrophages. The probable reason for high incidence of febrile reaction should be investigated to develop a safe and effective influenza vaccine.

  16. Adjuvant therapy after surgical stone management.

    PubMed

    Ferrandino, Michael N; Monga, Manoj; Preminger, Glenn M

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this article was to review the most widely researched adjuvant medical therapies for the surgical management of urolithiasis. Articles were identified and reviewed from PubMed and Medline databases with MeSH headings focusing on the various surgical treatments of urolithiasis and adjuvant therapy. Additional articles were retrieved from references and conference proceedings. Surgical treatments reviewed included shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Adjuvant therapy was considered medical or complementary therapy as an adjunct to these surgical interventions. Adjuvant therapy for the surgical management of urolithiasis has been documented to increase stone-free rates, reduce stone remission rates, prevent renal damage, and decrease postoperative morbidity. A variety of agents have been studied, ranging from antioxidants to alpha-blockers and to alkalinizing agents. Additionally, there is increasing interest in complementary adjuvant therapy (ie, acupuncture). Adjuvant therapy is a fertile area for research in the surgical management of urolithiasis. The optimal agents have yet to be determined and therefore further investigation is warranted and necessary.

  17. Improving the medical records department processes by lean management

    PubMed Central

    Ajami, Sima; Ketabi, Saeedeh; Sadeghian, Akram; Saghaeinnejad-Isfahani, Sakine

    2015-01-01

    Background: Lean management is a process improvement technique to identify waste actions and processes to eliminate them. The benefits of Lean for healthcare organizations are that first, the quality of the outcomes in terms of mistakes and errors improves. The second is that the amount of time taken through the whole process significantly improves. Aims: The purpose of this paper is to improve the Medical Records Department (MRD) processes at Ayatolah-Kashani Hospital in Isfahan, Iran by utilizing Lean management. Materials and Methods: This research was applied and an interventional study. The data have been collected by brainstorming, observation, interview, and workflow review. The study population included MRD staff and other expert staff within the hospital who were stakeholders and users of the MRD. Statistical Analysis Used: The MRD were initially taught the concepts of Lean management and then formed into the MRD Lean team. The team then identified and reviewed the current processes subsequently; they identified wastes and values, and proposed solutions. Results: The findings showed that the MRD units (Archive, Coding, Statistics, and Admission) had 17 current processes, 28 wastes, and 11 values were identified. In addition, they offered 27 comments for eliminating the wastes. Conclusion: The MRD is the critical department for the hospital information system and, therefore, the continuous improvement of its services and processes, through scientific methods such as Lean management, are essential. Originality/Value: The study represents one of the few attempts trying to eliminate wastes in the MRD. PMID:26097862

  18. Big data in medical informatics: improving education through visual analytics.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2014-01-01

    A continuous effort to improve healthcare education today is currently driven from the need to create competent health professionals able to meet healthcare demands. Limited research reporting how educational data manipulation can help in healthcare education improvement. The emerging research field of visual analytics has the advantage to combine big data analysis and manipulation techniques, information and knowledge representation, and human cognitive strength to perceive and recognise visual patterns. The aim of this study was therefore to explore novel ways of representing curriculum and educational data using visual analytics. Three approaches of visualization and representation of educational data were presented. Five competencies at undergraduate medical program level addressed in courses were identified to inaccurately correspond to higher education board competencies. Different visual representations seem to have a potential in impacting on the ability to perceive entities and connections in the curriculum data.

  19. Comparative safety of vaccine adjuvants: a summary of current evidence and future needs

    PubMed Central

    Petrovsky, Nikolai

    2015-01-01

    Improved use of highly pure antigens to improve vaccine safety has led to reduced vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. This has led to the need to use adjuvants to improve vaccine immunogenicity. The ideal adjuvant should maximize vaccine immunogenicity without compromising tolerability or safety or posing undue risk. Unfortunately, adjuvant research has lagged behind other vaccine areas such as antigen discovery, with the consequence that only a very limited number of adjuvants based on aluminum salts, monophosphoryl lipid A and oil emulsions are currently approved for human use. Recent strategic initiatives to support adjuvant development by the National Institutes of Health should translate into greater adjuvant choices in the future. Mechanistic studies have been valuable in better understanding adjuvant action but mechanisms of adjuvant toxicity are less well understood. The inflammatory or danger-signal model of adjuvant action implies that increased vaccine reactogenicity is the inevitable price for improved immunogenicity. Hence, adjuvant reactogenicity may be avoidable only if it is possible to separate inflammation from adjuvant action. The biggest remaining challenge in the adjuvant field is to decipher the potential relationship between adjuvants and rare vaccine adverse reactions such as narcolepsy, macrophagic myofasciitis or Alzheimer’s disease. While existing adjuvants based on aluminum salts have a strong safety record, there is an ongoing need for new adjuvants and for more intensive research into adjuvants and their effects. PMID:26446142

  20. Biosafe Nanoscale Pharmaceutical Adjuvant Materials

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Shubin; Li, Shengliang; Wang, Chongxi; Liu, Juan; Yang, Xiaolong; Wang, Paul C.; Zhang, Xin; Liang, Xing-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Thanks to developments in the field of nanotechnology over the past decades, more and more biosafe nanoscale materials have become available for use as pharmaceutical adjuvants in medical research. Nanomaterials possess unique properties which could be employed to develop drug carriers with longer circulation time, higher loading capacity, better stability in physiological conditions, controlled drug release, and targeted drug delivery. In this review article, we will review recent progress in the application of representative organic, inorganic and hybrid biosafe nanoscale materials in pharmaceutical research, especially focusing on nanomaterial-based novel drug delivery systems. In addition, we briefly discuss the advantages and notable functions that make these nanomaterials suitable for the design of new medicines; the biosafety of each material discussed in this article is also highlighted to provide a comprehensive understanding of their adjuvant attributes. PMID:25429253

  1. In a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial, adjuvant allopurinol improved symptoms of mania in in-patients suffering from bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Jahangard, Leila; Soroush, Sara; Haghighi, Mohammad; Ghaleiha, Ali; Bajoghli, Hafez; Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith; Brand, Serge

    2014-08-01

    Allopurinol is a drug used primarily to treat hyperuricemia. In patients suffering from acute mania, increased levels of uric acid are observed, and symptom improvements are associated with decreased levels of uric acid. Accordingly, a purinergic dysfunction is plausibly a causative factor in the pathophysiology of mania. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigating whether allopurinol has benefits for patients treated with sodium valproate during acute mania. (Background) A double-blind, placebo-controlled study lasting 4 weeks was performed. The intention-to-treatment population included 57 patients; 50 concluded the study per protocol. Patients suffering from BPD and during acute mania were randomly assigned either to a treatment (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg+300 mg allopurinol twice a day) or to a control condition (sodium valproate 15-20 mg/kg+placebo). Experts rated illness severity and illness improvements (Clinical Global impression), and extent of mania via the Young Mania Rating scale. Uric acid levels were assessed at the beginning and end of the study. (Experimental procedures) Compared to the control group, symptoms of mania decreased significantly over time in the treatment group. Uric acid levels declined significantly in the treatment as compared to the control group. Probability of remission after 4 weeks was 23 times higher in the treatment than the control group. Lower uric acid levels after 4 weeks were associated with symptom improvements. (Results) The pattern of results from this double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study indicates that adjuvant allopurinol leads to significant improvements in patients suffering from acute mania (Conclusion). PMID:24953766

  2. Comparative Safety of Vaccine Adjuvants: A Summary of Current Evidence and Future Needs.

    PubMed

    Petrovsky, Nikolai

    2015-11-01

    Use of highly pure antigens to improve vaccine safety has led to reduced vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. This has led to the need to use adjuvants to improve vaccine immunogenicity. The ideal adjuvant should maximize vaccine immunogenicity without compromising tolerability or safety. Unfortunately, adjuvant research has lagged behind other vaccine areas such as antigen discovery, with the consequence that only a very limited number of adjuvants based on aluminium salts, monophosphoryl lipid A and oil emulsions are currently approved for human use. Recent strategic initiatives to support adjuvant development by the National Institutes of Health should translate into greater adjuvant choices in the future. Mechanistic studies have been valuable for better understanding of adjuvant action, but mechanisms of adjuvant toxicity are less well understood. The inflammatory or danger-signal model of adjuvant action implies that increased vaccine reactogenicity is the inevitable price for improved immunogenicity. Hence, adjuvant reactogenicity may be avoidable only if it is possible to separate inflammation from adjuvant action. The biggest remaining challenge in the adjuvant field is to decipher the potential relationship between adjuvants and rare vaccine adverse reactions, such as narcolepsy, macrophagic myofasciitis or Alzheimer's disease. While existing adjuvants based on aluminium salts have a strong safety record, there are ongoing needs for new adjuvants and more intensive research into adjuvants and their effects. PMID:26446142

  3. Blood pressure control. Improving medication compliance among ESRD patients.

    PubMed

    Krevolin, Larry; Ilagan, Justin

    2015-08-01

    Medication compliance among individuals with hypertension symbolizes a growing concern within the medical community. It is said that roughly 50% of hypertensive patients in the United States do not comply with their medication regimen. Uncontrolled hypertension in turn can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Because compliance to medication regimens is complex and difficult to ascertain, solutions to this problem must be multifactorial.

  4. Implementation of quality improvement methodology and the medical profession.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, M P

    1998-06-01

    Modern quality management (QM) has evolved in industry over the last few decades to be a major factor in organizational structure and focus. The health industry has to a degree recognized or perceived merits in this model and has applied the principles of QM to many of its activities. It has also incorporated the concept of a commitment to quality improvement (QI) into its most recognized peer-review structure, hospital accreditation (ACHS). Apparent resistance exists in the medical fraternity to a transition from audit-focused quality assurance to contemporary systematic QI. An understanding of this issue may be gained from analysis of the medical profession's perception of QI, factors in the historical structures within health, and a review of the factors which hinder the transition to QI. By considering within a framework of organisational behaviour theory (OBT), some key concepts it is possible to work towards some solutions and proposals. These concepts include attitude, motivation, conflict, organizational change and development. It is likely that the appropriate focus should be broader than the 'recalcitrant group of conservative practitioners who resist change'. Indeed where a deficiency exists, QI methodology would have us look beyond an individual or single group towards the processes that create the opportunity for deficiency to occur. Within the current context, such processes are inherently structural and are historically established within the health industry. A solution to this problem requires organizational commitment and a period of analysis as well as the transformation of attitudes and practices. Organizational commitment will take the form of adequate resourcing and a developmental approach to organizational change. Internal professional change (perhaps guided by organizational development) must address the interface between the 'medical profession' and the broader group of professional health-care providers. PMID:9631352

  5. Improving emergency department flow through Rapid Medical Evaluation unit.

    PubMed

    Chartier, Lucas; Josephson, Timothy; Bates, Kathy; Kuipers, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    The Toronto Western Hospital is an academic hospital in Toronto, Canada, with an annual Emergency Department (ED) volume of 64,000 patients. Despite increases in patient volumes of almost six percent per annum over the last decade, there have been no commensurate increases in resources, infrastructure, and staffing. This has led to substantial increase in patient wait times, most specifically for those patients with lower acuity presentations. Despite requiring only minimal care, these patients contribute disproportionately to ED congestion, which can adversely impact resource utilization and quality of care for all patients. We undertook a retrospective evaluation of a quality improvement initiative aimed at improving wait times experienced by patients with lower acuity presentations. A rapid improvement event was organized by frontline workers to rapidly overhaul processes of care, leading to the creation of the Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) unit - a new pathway of care for patients with lower acuity presentations. The RME unit was designed by re-purposing existing resources and re-assigning one physician and one nurse towards the specific care of these patients. We evaluated the performance of the RME unit through measurement of physician initial assessment (PIA) times and total length of stay (LOS) times for multiple groups of patients assigned to various ED care pathways, during three periods lasting three months each. Weekly measurements of mean and 90th percentile of PIA and LOS times showed special cause variation in all targeted patient groups. Of note, the patients seen in the RME unit saw their median PIA and LOS times decrease from 98min to 70min and from 165min to 130min, respectively, from baseline. Despite ever-growing numbers of patient visits, wait times for all patients with lower acuity presentations remained low, and wait times of patients with higher acuity presentations assigned to other ED care pathways were not adversely affected. By

  6. Creating a Quality Improvement Elective for Medical House Officers

    PubMed Central

    Weingart, Saul N; Tess, Anjala; Driver, Jeffrey; Aronson, Mark D; Sands, Kenneth

    2004-01-01

    The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires that house officers demonstrate competencies in “practice-based learning and improvement” and in “the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimum value.” Anticipating this requirement, faculty at a Boston teaching hospital developed a 3-week elective for medical house officers in quality improvement (QI). The objectives of the elective were to enhance residents’ understanding of QI concepts, their familiarity with the hospital's QI infrastructure, and to gain practical experience with root-cause analysis and QI initiatives. Learners participated in three didactic seminars, joined hospital-based QI activities, conducted a root-cause analysis, and completed a QI project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The elective enrolled 26 residents in 3 years. Sixty-three percent of resident respondents said that the elective increased their understanding of QI in health care; 88% better understood QI in their own institution. PMID:15242472

  7. Continuing Medical Education via Telemedicine and Sustainable Improvements to Health

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background. This research aims to investigate the quantitative relationship between telemedicine and online continuing medical education (CME) and to find the optimal CME lectures to be delivered via telemedicine to improve the population's health status. Objective. This study examines the following: (1) What factors foster learning processes in CME via telemedicine? (2) What is the possible role of online CME in health improvement? And (3) How optimal learning processes can be integrated with various health services? Methods. By applying telemedicine experiences in Taiwan over the period 1995–2004, this study uses panel data and the method of ordinary least squares to embed an adequate set of phenomena affecting the provision of online CME lectures versus health status. Results. Analytical results find that a nonlinear online CME-health nexus exists. Increases in the provision of online CME lectures are associated with health improvements. However, after the optimum has been reached, greater provision of online CME lectures may be associated with decreasing population health. Conclusion. Health attainment could be partially viewed as being determined by the achievement of the appropriately providing online CME lectures. This study has evaluated the population's health outcomes and responded to the currently inadequate provision of online CME lectures via telemedicine.

  8. Continuing Medical Education via Telemedicine and Sustainable Improvements to Health.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fuhmei

    2016-01-01

    Background. This research aims to investigate the quantitative relationship between telemedicine and online continuing medical education (CME) and to find the optimal CME lectures to be delivered via telemedicine to improve the population's health status. Objective. This study examines the following: (1) What factors foster learning processes in CME via telemedicine? (2) What is the possible role of online CME in health improvement? And (3) How optimal learning processes can be integrated with various health services? Methods. By applying telemedicine experiences in Taiwan over the period 1995-2004, this study uses panel data and the method of ordinary least squares to embed an adequate set of phenomena affecting the provision of online CME lectures versus health status. Results. Analytical results find that a nonlinear online CME-health nexus exists. Increases in the provision of online CME lectures are associated with health improvements. However, after the optimum has been reached, greater provision of online CME lectures may be associated with decreasing population health. Conclusion. Health attainment could be partially viewed as being determined by the achievement of the appropriately providing online CME lectures. This study has evaluated the population's health outcomes and responded to the currently inadequate provision of online CME lectures via telemedicine. PMID:27660637

  9. Continuing Medical Education via Telemedicine and Sustainable Improvements to Health

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background. This research aims to investigate the quantitative relationship between telemedicine and online continuing medical education (CME) and to find the optimal CME lectures to be delivered via telemedicine to improve the population's health status. Objective. This study examines the following: (1) What factors foster learning processes in CME via telemedicine? (2) What is the possible role of online CME in health improvement? And (3) How optimal learning processes can be integrated with various health services? Methods. By applying telemedicine experiences in Taiwan over the period 1995–2004, this study uses panel data and the method of ordinary least squares to embed an adequate set of phenomena affecting the provision of online CME lectures versus health status. Results. Analytical results find that a nonlinear online CME-health nexus exists. Increases in the provision of online CME lectures are associated with health improvements. However, after the optimum has been reached, greater provision of online CME lectures may be associated with decreasing population health. Conclusion. Health attainment could be partially viewed as being determined by the achievement of the appropriately providing online CME lectures. This study has evaluated the population's health outcomes and responded to the currently inadequate provision of online CME lectures via telemedicine. PMID:27660637

  10. [Discharge from hospital: how to improve continuity of medical care?].

    PubMed

    Garnier, A; Uhlmann, M; Griesser, A-C; Lamy, O

    2015-11-01

    Early readmission is the major success indicator of the transition between hospital and home. Patients admitted with heart failure reach a 20% rate. Potentially avoidable readmissions, defined as unpredictable and related to a known condition during index hospitalization, represent the improvement margin. For these latter, implementation of specific interventions can be effective. Complex interventions on transition, including several modalities and seeking to encourage patient autonomy seem more effective than others. We describe two models: a pragmatic one developed in a regional hospital, and a more complex one developed in a university hospital during the LEAR-HF study. In both cases, it is imperative to work on "medical liability": should it extend beyond discharge up to the threshold of the private practice?

  11. Drug delivery systems improve pharmaceutical profile and facilitate medication adherence.

    PubMed

    Wertheimer, Albert I; Santella, Thomas M; Finestone, Albert J; Levy, Richard A

    2005-01-01

    Innovations in dosage forms and dose delivery systems across a wide range of medications offer substantial clinical advantages, including reduced dosing frequency and improved patient adherence; minimized fluctuation of drug concentrations and maintenance of blood levels within a desired range; localized drug delivery; and the potential for reduced adverse effects and increased safety. The advent of new large-molecule drugs for previously untreatable or only partially treatable diseases is stimulating the development of suitable delivery systems for these agents. Although advanced formulations may be more expensive than conventional dosage forms, they often have a more favorable pharmacologic profile and can be cost-effective. Inclusion of these dosage forms on drug formulary lists may help patients remain on therapy and reduce the economic and social burden of care.

  12. Improving Workplace-Based Learning for Undergraduate Medical Students

    PubMed Central

    Sajjad, Madiha; Mahboob, Usman

    2015-01-01

    Workplace-based learning is considered as one of the most effective way of translating medical theory into clinical practice. Although employed traditionally at postgraduate level, this strategy can be used in undergraduate students coming for clerkships in clinical departments. There are many challenges to workplace learning such as, unfavorable physical environment, lack of interest by clinical staff and teachers, and lack of student motivation. Clinical teachers can help bridge this gap and improve workplace learning through individual and collaborative team effort. Knowledge of various educational theories and principles and their application at workplace can enhance student learning and motivation, for which faculty development is much needed. Different teaching and learning activities can be used and tailored according to the clinical setting. Active reflection by students and constructive feedback from the clinicians forms the backbone of effective workplace learning. PMID:26649028

  13. Improving Workplace-Based Learning for Undergraduate Medical Students.

    PubMed

    Sajjad, Madiha; Mahboob, Usman

    2015-01-01

    Workplace-based learning is considered as one of the most effective way of translating medical theory into clinical practice. Although employed traditionally at postgraduate level, this strategy can be used in undergraduate students coming for clerkships in clinical departments. There are many challenges to workplace learning such as, unfavorable physical environment, lack of interest by clinical staff and teachers, and lack of student motivation. Clinical teachers can help bridge this gap and improve workplace learning through individual and collaborative team effort. Knowledge of various educational theories and principles and their application at workplace can enhance student learning and motivation, for which faculty development is much needed. Different teaching and learning activities can be used and tailored according to the clinical setting. Active reflection by students and constructive feedback from the clinicians forms the backbone of effective workplace learning. PMID:26649028

  14. Adjuvant Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Intracranial Chordomas.

    PubMed

    Choy, Winward; Terterov, Sergei; Ung, Nolan; Kaprealian, Tania; Trang, Andy; DeSalles, Antonio; Chung, Lawrance K; Martin, Neil; Selch, Michael; Bergsneider, Marvin; Yong, William; Yang, Isaac

    2016-02-01

    Objective Chordomas are locally aggressive, highly recurrent tumors requiring adjuvant radiotherapy following resection for successful management. We retrospectively reviewed patients treated for intracranial chordomas with adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT). Methods A total of 57 patients underwent 83 treatments at the UCLA Medical Center between February 1990 and August 2011. Mean follow-up was 57.8 months. Mean tumor diameter was 3.36 cm. Overall, 8 and 34 patients received adjuvant SRS and SRT, and the mean maximal dose of radiation therapy was 1783.3 cGy and 6339 cGy, respectively. Results Overall rate of recurrence was 51.8%, and 1- and 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 88.2% and 35.2%, respectively. Gross total resection was achieved in 30.9% of patients. Adjuvant radiotherapy improved outcomes following subtotal resection (5-year PFS 62.5% versus 20.1%; p = 0.036). SRS and SRT produced comparable rates of tumor control (p = 0.28). Higher dose SRT (> 6,000 cGy) (p = 0.013) and younger age (< 45 years) (p = 0.03) was associated with improved rates of tumor control. Conclusion Adjuvant radiotherapy is critical following subtotal resection of intracranial chordomas. Adjuvant SRT and SRS were safe and improved PFS following subtotal resection. Higher total doses of SRT and younger patient age were associated with improved rates of tumor control. PMID:26949587

  15. The potential of adjuvants to improve immune responses against TdaP vaccines: A preclinical evaluation of MF59 and monophosphoryl lipid A.

    PubMed

    Agnolon, Valentina; Bruno, Cristina; Leuzzi, Rosanna; Galletti, Bruno; D'Oro, Ugo; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Seubert, Anja; O'Hagan, Derek T; Baudner, Barbara C

    2015-08-15

    The successful approach of combining diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis antigens into a single vaccine has become a cornerstone of immunization programs. Yet, even if vaccination coverage is high, a resurgence of pertussis has been reported in many countries suggesting current vaccines may not provide adequate protection. To induce better tailored and more durable immune responses against pertussis vaccines different approaches have been proposed, including the use of novel adjuvants. Licensed aP vaccines contain aluminum salts, which mainly stimulate humoral immune responses and might not be ideal for protecting against Bordetella pertussis infection. Adjuvants inducing more balanced T-helper profiles or even Th1-prone responses might be more adequate. In this study, two adjuvants already approved for human use have been tested: MF59 emulsion and the combination of aluminum hydroxide with the Toll-Like Receptor 4 agonist MPLA. Adjuvanticity was evaluated in a mouse model using a TdaP vaccine containing three B. pertussis antigens: genetically detoxified pertussis toxin (PT-9K/129G), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN) The physico-chemical compatibility of TdaP antigens with the proposed adjuvants, together with a quicker onset and changed quality of the antibody responses, fully supports the replacement of aluminum salts with a new adjuvant to enhance aP vaccines immunogenicity. PMID:26149936

  16. The potential of adjuvants to improve immune responses against TdaP vaccines: A preclinical evaluation of MF59 and monophosphoryl lipid A.

    PubMed

    Agnolon, Valentina; Bruno, Cristina; Leuzzi, Rosanna; Galletti, Bruno; D'Oro, Ugo; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Seubert, Anja; O'Hagan, Derek T; Baudner, Barbara C

    2015-08-15

    The successful approach of combining diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis antigens into a single vaccine has become a cornerstone of immunization programs. Yet, even if vaccination coverage is high, a resurgence of pertussis has been reported in many countries suggesting current vaccines may not provide adequate protection. To induce better tailored and more durable immune responses against pertussis vaccines different approaches have been proposed, including the use of novel adjuvants. Licensed aP vaccines contain aluminum salts, which mainly stimulate humoral immune responses and might not be ideal for protecting against Bordetella pertussis infection. Adjuvants inducing more balanced T-helper profiles or even Th1-prone responses might be more adequate. In this study, two adjuvants already approved for human use have been tested: MF59 emulsion and the combination of aluminum hydroxide with the Toll-Like Receptor 4 agonist MPLA. Adjuvanticity was evaluated in a mouse model using a TdaP vaccine containing three B. pertussis antigens: genetically detoxified pertussis toxin (PT-9K/129G), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN) The physico-chemical compatibility of TdaP antigens with the proposed adjuvants, together with a quicker onset and changed quality of the antibody responses, fully supports the replacement of aluminum salts with a new adjuvant to enhance aP vaccines immunogenicity.

  17. Improving continuing medical education by enhancing interactivity: lessons from Iran

    PubMed Central

    FAGHIHI, SEYED ALIAKBAR; KHANKEH, HAMID REZA; HOSSEINI, SEYED JALIL; SOLTANI ARABSHAHI, SEYED KAMRAN; FAGHIH, ZAHRA; PARIKH, SAGAR V.; SHIRAZI, MANDANA

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Continuing Medical Education (CME) has been considered as a lifelong commitment for doctors to provide the optimal care for patients. Despite a long history of creating CME programs, outcomes are far from ideal. The present qualitative study aims to clarify the barriers affecting effectiveness of the CME programs in Iran based on the experiences of general practitioners. Methods Sixteen general practitioners were recruited to participate in in-depth interviews and field observations concerning experiences with CME. The study was performed using a qualitative content analysis method. The codes, categories and themes were explored through an inductive process in which the researchers moved from specific to general. Results The participants’ experiences identified a number of barriers, particularly insufficient interaction with the instructors; additional problems included the teachers’ use of an undifferentiated approach; unreal and abstract CME; and ignorance of the diverse reasons to participate in CME. Conclusion Based on the study results, there are multiple barriers to effective implementation of CME in Iran. The key barriers include insufficient interaction between the trainees and providers, which must be considered by other stakeholders and program designers. Such interactions would facilitate improved program design, invite more specific tailoring of the education to the participants, allow for more effective educational methods and set the stage for outcome evaluation from the learners actually applying their new knowledge in practice. Replication of these findings with another sample would improve confidence in these recommendations, but these findings are broadly consistent with findings in the educational literature on improving the efficacy of CME. PMID:27104199

  18. Does Adjuvant Radiation Therapy Improve Outcomes In pT1-3N0 Oral Cavity Cancer With Tumor-Free Margins and Perineural Invasion?

    SciTech Connect

    Liao, C.-T.; Chang, J.T.-C.; Wang, H.-M.; Ng, S.-H.; Hsueh Chuen; Lee, L.-Y.; Lin, C.-H.

    2008-06-01

    Purpose: The criteria for administration of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remain controversial, and it is unclear whether patients with pT1-3N0 disease benefit from adjuvant radiation in the presence of free margins and perineural invasion. The goal of this report was to determine whether this group would benefit from adjuvant radiation therapy in terms of 5-year local control rate and overall survival rate. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively reviewed our case records from January 1996 to May 2005. In all, 460 pT1-3N0 OSCC patients had tumor-free margins, of whom 68 had perineural invasion. Postoperative adjuvant RT was performed in patients with pT4 tumors, positive lymph nodes, or close margins ({<=}4 mm). In addition, selected OSCC patients with large pT3 tumors or perineural invasion received postoperative adjuvant RT. Local control and overall survival rates were plotted by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: There were no significant differences in 5-year local control (p 0.1936) and overall survival (p = 0.5580) rates between patients with perineural invasion compared with those without. Among patients with perineural invasion, the addition of adjuvant radiotherapy did not significantly alter the 5-year local control rate (p = 0.3170) or the overall survival rate (p = 0.0935). Conclusion: Altogether, these data seem to indicate that radical surgical resection alone should be considered a sufficient treatment for OSCC patients with pT1-3N0 disease, even in the presence of perineural invasion.

  19. Improved survival in patients with poor-prognosis malignant melanoma treated with adjuvant levamisole: a phase III study by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group.

    PubMed

    Quirt, I C; Shelley, W E; Pater, J L; Bodurtha, A J; McCulloch, P B; McPherson, T A; Paterson, A H; Prentice, R; Silver, H K; Willan, A R

    1991-05-01

    Five hundred forty-three patients with completely resected malignant melanoma who were considered to have a significant risk of developing recurrent disease were randomized to one of four study groups. One group received levamisole 2.5 mg/kg on 2 consecutive days weekly for 3 years, a second group received bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) for 3 years. A third group alternated 8-week courses of BCG and levamisole for 3 years and a fourth group underwent clinical assessment at the same frequency as the three treatment groups. The median duration of follow-up is 8.5 years. The percentage of reduction in the death rate and the recurrence rate in the treatment groups compared with the control group was calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model and adjusted for age, sex, and stage as covariants. The patients treated with levamisole were estimated to have a 29% reduction in both the death rate (P = .08) and the recurrence rate (P = .09) compared with patients receiving no further treatment. Fifty-five patients discontinued levamisole early because of gastrointestinal intolerance or arthralgia, myalgia, fever, and immune leukopenia. The patients treated with BCG alternating with levamisole experienced a 10% reduction in the death rate and a 6% reduction in the recurrence rate, and the patients treated with BCG alone experienced a 4% reduction in the death rate and a 3% increase in the recurrence rate compared with the control group. The degree of improvement experienced by the patients that were treated by levamisole is of sufficient magnitude to warrant further investigation of this dose of levamisole as adjuvant treatment in patients with melanoma.

  20. Recent Advances of Vaccine Adjuvants for Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Minh Trang

    2015-01-01

    Vaccines are the most effective and cost-efficient method for preventing diseases caused by infectious pathogens. Despite the great success of vaccines, development of safe and strong vaccines is still required for emerging new pathogens, re-emerging old pathogens, and in order to improve the inadequate protection conferred by existing vaccines. One of the most important strategies for the development of effective new vaccines is the selection and usage of a suitable adjuvant. Immunologic adjuvants are essential for enhancing vaccine potency by improvement of the humoral and/or cell-mediated immune response to vaccine antigens. Thus, formulation of vaccines with appropriate adjuvants is an attractive approach towards eliciting protective and long-lasting immunity in humans. However, only a limited number of adjuvants is licensed for human vaccines due to concerns about safety and toxicity. We summarize current knowledge about the potential benefits of adjuvants, the characteristics of adjuvants and the mechanisms of adjuvants in human vaccines. Adjuvants have diverse modes of action and should be selected for use on the basis of the type of immune response that is desired for a particular vaccine. Better understanding of current adjuvants will help exploring new adjuvant formulations and facilitate rational design of vaccines against infectious diseases. PMID:25922593

  1. Voluntary Medical Incident Reporting Tool to Improve Physician Reporting of Medical Errors in an Emergency Department

    PubMed Central

    Okafor, Nnaemeka G.; Doshi, Pratik B.; Miller, Sara K.; McCarthy, James J.; Hoot, Nathan R.; Darger, Bryan F.; Benitez, Roberto C.; Chathampally, Yashwant G.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Medical errors are frequently under-reported, yet their appropriate analysis, coupled with remediation, is essential for continuous quality improvement. The emergency department (ED) is recognized as a complex and chaotic environment prone to errors. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a web-based ED-specific incident reporting system using an iterative process. Methods A web-based, password-protected tool was developed by members of a quality assurance committee for ED providers to report incidents that they believe could impact patient safety. Results The utilization of this system in one residency program with two academic sites resulted in an increase from 81 reported incidents in 2009, the first year of use, to 561 reported incidents in 2012. This is an increase in rate of reported events from 0.07% of all ED visits to 0.44% of all ED visits. In 2012, faculty reported 60% of all incidents, while residents and midlevel providers reported 24% and 16% respectively. The most commonly reported incidents were delays in care and management concerns. Conclusion Error reporting frequency can be dramatically improved by using a web-based, user-friendly, voluntary, and non-punitive reporting system. PMID:26759657

  2. Formal Art Observation Training Improves Medical Students’ Visual Diagnostic Skills

    PubMed Central

    Naghshineh, Sheila; Hafler, Janet P.; Miller, Alexa R.; Blanco, Maria A.; Lipsitz, Stuart R.; Dubroff, Rachel P.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2008-01-01

    Background Despite evidence of inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, teaching these skills has declined. One method of enhancing inspection skills is teaching “visual literacy,” the ability to reason physiology and pathophysiology from careful and unbiased observation. Objective To improve students’ visual acumen through structured observation of artworks, understanding of fine arts concepts and applying these skills to patient care. Design Prospective, partially randomized pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis. Participants Twenty-four pre-clinical student participants were compared to 34 classmates at a similar stage of training. Intervention Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis consists of eight paired sessions of art observation exercises with didactics that integrate fine arts concepts with physical diagnosis topics and an elective life drawing session. Measurements The frequency of accurate observations on a 1-h visual skills examination was used to evaluate pre- vs. post-course descriptions of patient photographs and art imagery. Content analysis was used to identify thematic categories. All assessments were blinded to study group and pre- vs. post-course evaluation. Results Following the course, class participants increased their total mean number of observations compared to controls (5.41 ± 0.63 vs. 0.36 ± 0.53, p < 0.0001) and had increased sophistication in their descriptions of artistic and clinical imagery. A ‘dose-response’ was found for those who attended eight or more sessions, compared to participants who attended seven or fewer sessions (6.31 + 0.81 and 2.76 + 1.2, respectively, p = 0.03). Conclusions This interdisciplinary course improved participants’ capacity to make accurate observations of art and physical findings. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0667-0) contains

  3. Medication Safety During Pregnancy: Improving Evidence-Based Practice.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Susan M; Miller, Richard K; Chambers, Christina; Cooper, Elizabeth M

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 90% of women in the United States have taken medications during pregnancy. Medication exposures during pregnancy can result in adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes including birth defects, fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, and longer-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Advising pregnant women about the safety of medication use during pregnancy is complicated by a lack of data necessary to engage the woman in an informed discussion. Routinely, health care providers turn to the package insert, yet this information can be incomplete and can be based entirely on animal studies. Often, adequate safety data are not available. In a busy clinical setting, health care providers need to be able to quickly locate the most up-to-date information in order to counsel pregnant women concerned about medication exposure. Deciding where to locate the best available information is difficult, particularly when the needed information does not exist. Pregnancy registries are initiated to obtain more data about the safety of specific medication exposures during pregnancy; however, these studies are slow to produce meaningful information, and when they do, the information may not be readily available in a published form. Health care providers have valuable data in their everyday practice that can expand the knowledge base about medication safety during pregnancy. This review aims to discuss the limitations of the package insert regarding medication safety during pregnancy, highlight additional resources available to health care providers to inform practice, and communicate the importance of pregnancy registries for expanding knowledge about medication safety during pregnancy. PMID:26771055

  4. Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Improvements to Emergency Medical Response.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeGraffenreid, Jeff Gordon

    The challenge facing many emergency medical services (EMS) is the implementation of a comprehensive educational strategy to address emergency responses to terrorism. One such service, Johnson County (Kansas) Medical Action, needed a strategy that would keep paramedics safe and offer the community an effective approach to mitigation. A…

  5. Microsatellite Instability Predicts Improved Response to Adjuvant Therapy With Irinotecan, Fluorouracil, and Leucovorin in Stage III Colon Cancer: Cancer and Leukemia Group B Protocol 89803

    PubMed Central

    Bertagnolli, Monica M.; Niedzwiecki, Donna; Compton, Carolyn C.; Hahn, Hejin P.; Hall, Margaret; Damas, Beatrice; Jewell, Scott D.; Mayer, Robert J.; Goldberg, Richard M.; Saltz, Leonard B.; Warren, Robert S.; Redston, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Colon cancers exhibiting DNA mismatch repair (MMR) defects demonstrate distinct clinical and pathologic features, including better prognosis and reduced response to fluorouracil (FU) –based chemotherapy. This prospective study investigated adjuvant chemotherapy containing FU and irinotecan in patients with MMR deficient (MMR-D) colon cancers. Patients and Methods Cancer and Leukemia Group B 89803 randomly assigned 1,264 patients with stage III colon cancer to postoperative weekly bolus FU/leucovorin (LV) or weekly bolus irinotecan, FU, and LV (IFL). The primary end point was overall survival; disease-free survival (DFS) was a secondary end point. Tumor expression of the MMR proteins, MLH1 and MSH2, was determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC). DNA microsatellite instability was also assessed using a panel of mono- and dinucleotide markers. Tumors with MMR defects were those demonstrating loss of MMR protein expression (MMR-D) and/or microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) genotype. Results Of 723 tumor cases examined by genotyping and IHC, 96 (13.3%) were MMR-D/MSI-H. Genotyping results were consistent with IHC in 702 cases (97.1%). IFL-treated patients with MMR-D/MSI-H tumors showed improved 5-year DFS as compared with those with mismatch repair intact tumors (0.76; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88 v 0.59; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.64; P = .03). This relationship was not observed among patients treated with FU/LV. A trend toward longer DFS was observed in IFL-treated patients with MMR-D/MSI-H tumors as compared with those receiving FU/LV (0.57; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.71 v 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; P = .07; hazard ratio interaction between tumor status and treatment, 0.51; likelihood ratio P = .117). Conclusion Loss of tumor MMR function may predict improved outcome in patients treated with the IFL regimen as compared with those receiving FU/LV. PMID:19273709

  6. SOAP to SNOCAMP: improving the medical record format.

    PubMed

    Larimore, W L; Jordan, E V

    1995-10-01

    Not since the development of the SOAP note in the problem-oriented medical record has there been a significant need to alter the format of medical record documentation. With the intrusion of third-party audits, malpractice attorney subpoenas, medical guidelines, and reimbursement code criteria into the practice of medicine, there is a need to expand the traditional SOAP note. This article proposes a new acronym, "SNOCAMP," for medical record documentation. SNOCAMP retains the SOAP format, which includes subjective, objective, assessment, and plan of treatment, with the addition of nature of the presenting complaint, counseling, and medical decision-making. It is hoped that this new, more explicit format will prove successful in meeting the divergent needs of practicing physicians, the patients they serve, and the inquiring minds that look over their shoulders.

  7. Optimal grid point selection for improved nonrigid medical image registration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fookes, Clinton; Maeder, Anthony

    2004-05-01

    Non-rigid image registration is an essential tool required for overcoming the inherent local anatomical variations that exist between medical images acquired from different individuals or atlases, among others. This type of registration defines a deformation field that gives a translation or mapping for every pixel in the image. One popular local approach for estimating this deformation field, known as block matching, is where a grid of control points are defined on an image and are each taken as the centre of a small window. These windows are then translated in the second image to maximise a local similarity criterion. This generates two corresponding sets of control points for the two images, yielding a sparse deformation field. This sparse field can then be propagated to the entire image using well known methods such as the thin-plate spline warp or simple Gaussian convolution. Previous block matching procedures all utilise uniformly distributed grid points. This results in the generation of a sparse deformation field containing displacement estimates at uniformly spaced locations. This neglects to make use of the evidence that block matching results are dependent on the amount of local information content. That is, results are better in regions of high information when compared to regions of low information. Consequently, this paper presents a solution to this drawback by proposing the use of a Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (RJMCMC) statistical procedure to optimally select grid points of interest. These grid points have a greater concentration in regions of high information and a lower concentration in regions of small information. Results show that non-rigid registration can by improved by using optimally selected grid points of interest.

  8. Cryptanalysis and improvement of an improved two factor authentication protocol for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Chaudhry, Shehzad Ashraf; Naqvi, Husnain; Shon, Taeshik; Sher, Muhammad; Farash, Mohammad Sabzinejad

    2015-06-01

    Telecare medical information systems (TMIS) provides rapid and convenient health care services remotely. Efficient authentication is a prerequisite to guarantee the security and privacy of patients in TMIS. Authentication is used to verify the legality of the patients and TMIS server during remote access. Very recently Islam et al. (J. Med. Syst. 38(10):135, 2014) proposed a two factor authentication protocol for TMIS using elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to improve Xu et al.'s (J. Med. Syst. 38(1):9994, 2014) protocol. They claimed their improved protocol to be efficient and provides all security requirements. However our analysis reveals that Islam et al.'s protocol suffers from user impersonation and server impersonation attacks. Furthermore we proposed an enhanced protocol. The proposed protocol while delivering all the virtues of Islam et al.'s protocol resists all known attacks. PMID:25912427

  9. Adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer: Is it needed?

    PubMed Central

    Milinis, Kristijonas; Thornton, Michael; Montazeri, Amir; Rooney, Paul S

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy has become a standard treatment of advanced rectal cancer in the West. The benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery alone have been well established. However, controversy surrounds the use adjuvant chemotherapy in patients who received preoperative chemoradiotherapy, despite it being recommended by a number of international guidelines. Results of recent multicentre randomised control trials showed no benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in terms of survival and rates of distant metastases. However, concerns exist regarding the quality of the studies including inadequate staging modalities, out-dated chemotherapeutic regimens and surgical approaches and small sample sizes. It has become evident that not all the patients respond to adjuvant chemotherapy and more personalised approach should be employed when considering the benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy. The present review discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the current evidence-base and suggests improvements for future studies. PMID:26677436

  10. Ontology modularization to improve semantic medical image annotation.

    PubMed

    Wennerberg, Pinar; Schulz, Klaus; Buitelaar, Paul

    2011-02-01

    Searching for medical images and patient reports is a significant challenge in a clinical setting. The contents of such documents are often not described in sufficient detail thus making it difficult to utilize the inherent wealth of information contained within them. Semantic image annotation addresses this problem by describing the contents of images and reports using medical ontologies. Medical images and patient reports are then linked to each other through common annotations. Subsequently, search algorithms can more effectively find related sets of documents on the basis of these semantic descriptions. A prerequisite to realizing such a semantic search engine is that the data contained within should have been previously annotated with concepts from medical ontologies. One major challenge in this regard is the size and complexity of medical ontologies as annotation sources. Manual annotation is particularly time consuming labor intensive in a clinical environment. In this article we propose an approach to reducing the size of clinical ontologies for more efficient manual image and text annotation. More precisely, our goal is to identify smaller fragments of a large anatomy ontology that are relevant for annotating medical images from patients suffering from lymphoma. Our work is in the area of ontology modularization, which is a recent and active field of research. We describe our approach, methods and data set in detail and we discuss our results.

  11. Mechanisms of Action of Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Awate, Sunita; Babiuk, Lorne A.; Mutwiri, George

    2013-01-01

    Adjuvants are used in many vaccines, but their mechanisms of action are not fully understood. Studies from the past decade on adjuvant mechanisms are slowly revealing the secrets of adjuvant activity. In this review, we have summarized the recent progress in our understanding of the mechanisms of action of adjuvants. Adjuvants may act by a combination of various mechanisms including formation of depot, induction of cytokines and chemokines, recruitment of immune cells, enhancement of antigen uptake and presentation, and promoting antigen transport to draining lymph nodes. It appears that adjuvants activate innate immune responses to create a local immuno-competent environment at the injection site. Depending on the type of innate responses activated, adjuvants can alter the quality and quantity of adaptive immune responses. Understanding the mechanisms of action of adjuvants will provide critical information on how innate immunity influences the development of adaptive immunity, help in rational design of vaccines against various diseases, and can inform on adjuvant safety. PMID:23720661

  12. 76 FR 55886 - Selection Criteria-Transportation Infrastructure Improvements Associated With Medical Facilities...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-09

    ... of the Secretary Selection Criteria--Transportation Infrastructure Improvements Associated With... funding from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) for construction of Transportation Infrastructure... Infrastructure Improvements associated with medical facilities related to recommendations of the 2005...

  13. [An improved motion estimation of medical image series via wavelet transform].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Rao, Nini; Wang, Gang

    2006-10-01

    The compression of medical image series is very important in telemedicine. The motion estimation plays a key role in the video sequence compression. In this paper, an improved square-diamond search (SDS) algorithm is proposed for the motion estimation of medical image series. The improved SDS algorithm reduces the number of the searched points. This improved SDS algorithm is used in wavelet transformation field to estimate the motion of medical image series. A simulation experiment for digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is made. The experiment results show that the algorithm accuracy is higher than that of other algorithms in the motion estimation of medical image series. PMID:17121333

  14. Reflections on efforts to improve medical publishing in Africa.

    PubMed

    Gondwe, Mzamose

    2010-12-01

    Over the last five years several scholarly publishing associations have been launched in Africa - the Forum for African Medical Editors (FAME), the Society of African Journals (SAJE), the Consortium of African Scholarly Publishers (CASP), the Africa Journals Partnership Project and the African Association of Science Editors (AASE). What, if any, has been the impact of these initiatives? This paper reviews the most notable of these associations, FAME, which was established in 2003 with the support of the World Association of Medical Editors, the Council of Science Editors and the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). FAME is evaluated in relation to two other international scholarly publishing associations - the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) in South America and the Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME). The article also discusses the future of FAME with regards to new developments in open access publishing through African Journals Online.

  15. Improving medication calculation skills of practicing nurses and senior nursing students: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Harne-Britner, Sarah; Kreamer, Carolyn L; Frownfelter, Penny; Helmuth, Amy; Lutter, Stacy; Schafer, Deborah J; Wilson, Cyndy

    2006-01-01

    Medication administration is an essential nursing competency as calculation difficulties can lead to serious medication errors. Nurses involved in staff education need to be aware of methods to assess for computation difficulty and develop strategies for nurses to improve their computation abilities. The purposes of this quasi-experimental pilot study were to assess the medication calculation skills of nurses and nursing students and to determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies aimed at improving these skills. PMID:16885685

  16. Evaluating spray adjuvants to extend residual activity of microbiol pesticides`

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Based on requests to improve the residual efficacy of baculovirus applications, a commercial adjuvant (Nu-Film 17(R) and an experimental lignin adjuvant were evaluated for resistance to environmental degradation. Nu-Film is a commercial product derived from pine resin; and lignin is a by-product of...

  17. A program to improve communication and collaboration between nurses and medical residents.

    PubMed

    McCaffrey, Ruth G; Hayes, Rosemarie; Stuart, Wendy; Cassell, Asenath; Farrell, Cheryl; Miller-Reyes, Charmin; Donaldson, Audeanne

    2010-04-01

    A program was implemented for nurses and medical residents to improve communication and collaboration. It has been noted that communication and collaboration between members of the health care team improve patient outcomes and job satisfaction among nurses. Nurses on the unit where medical residents trained attended a 2-hour educational program that reviewed effective communication styles and positive aspects of collaboration, including role-playing examples. Medical residents received a self-learning packet with a posttest that was returned to researchers when completed. Focus groups, including both nurses and medical residents, were held twice a month for 6 months after the educational program. Overall improvements in communication, collaboration, patient outcomes, and job satisfaction were noted from the focus group data. The educational program proved to be successful in improving collaboration and communication between nurses and medical residents, which in turn improved patient care.

  18. Do Clinical Breast Examination Skills Improve During Medical School?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Karen C.; Dunlop, Dorothy; Dolan, Nancy C.

    1998-01-01

    A study assessed the effect of training stage, gender, and specialty interest on 493 Northwestern University (Illinois) medical students' breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and clinical breast examination skills. Results suggest knowledge and attitudes are not related to clinical breast examination proficiency, which is a practiced tactile skill.…

  19. Making it work. Process improvement in medical practices.

    PubMed

    Rawlings, Karen

    2004-04-01

    The patient's reaction to an experience in your medical practice can be referred to as a "moment of truth." Orchestrating these moments of truth may require you to change your thinking and behavior. You have to stop thinking about bureaucratic procedures and start focusing on processes that control customer interfaces. PMID:15104021

  20. Polyionic vaccine adjuvants: another look at aluminum salts and polyelectrolytes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvants improve the adaptive immune response to a vaccine antigen by modulating innate immunity or facilitating transport and presentation. The selection of an appropriate adjuvant has become vital as new vaccines trend toward narrower composition, expanded application, and improved safety. Functionally, adjuvants act directly or indirectly on antigen presenting cells (APCs) including dendritic cells (DCs) and are perceived as having molecular patterns associated either with pathogen invasion or endogenous cell damage (known as pathogen associated molecular patterns [PAMPs] and damage associated molecular patterns [DAMPs]), thereby initiating sensing and response pathways. PAMP-type adjuvants are ligands for toll-like receptors (TLRs) and can directly affect DCs to alter the strength, potency, speed, duration, bias, breadth, and scope of adaptive immunity. DAMP-type adjuvants signal via proinflammatory pathways and promote immune cell infiltration, antigen presentation, and effector cell maturation. This class of adjuvants includes mineral salts, oil emulsions, nanoparticles, and polyelectrolytes and comprises colloids and molecular assemblies exhibiting complex, heterogeneous structures. Today innovation in adjuvant technology is driven by rapidly expanding knowledge in immunology, cross-fertilization from other areas including systems biology and materials sciences, and regulatory requirements for quality, safety, efficacy and understanding as part of the vaccine product. Standardizations will aid efforts to better define and compare the structure, function and safety of adjuvants. This article briefly surveys the genesis of adjuvant technology and then re-examines polyionic macromolecules and polyelectrolyte materials, adjuvants currently not known to employ TLR. Specific updates are provided for aluminum-based formulations and polyelectrolytes as examples of improvements to the oldest and emerging classes of vaccine adjuvants in use. PMID:25648619

  1. Vaccines, adjuvants and autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Luísa Eça; Baker, Britain; Perricone, Carlo; Shoenfeld, Yehuda

    2015-10-01

    Vaccines and autoimmunity are linked fields. Vaccine efficacy is based on whether host immune response against an antigen can elicit a memory T-cell response over time. Although the described side effects thus far have been mostly transient and acute, vaccines are able to elicit the immune system towards an autoimmune reaction. The diagnosis of a definite autoimmune disease and the occurrence of fatal outcome post-vaccination have been less frequently reported. Since vaccines are given to previously healthy hosts, who may have never developed the disease had they not been immunized, adverse events should be carefully accessed and evaluated even if they represent a limited number of occurrences. In this review of the literature, there is evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmunity and adjuvant-induced autoimmunity in both experimental models as well as human patients. Adjuvants and infectious agents may exert their immune-enhancing effects through various functional activities, encompassed by the adjuvant effect. These mechanisms are shared by different conditions triggered by adjuvants leading to the autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA syndrome). In conclusion, there are several case reports of autoimmune diseases following vaccines, however, due to the limited number of cases, the different classifications of symptoms and the long latency period of the diseases, every attempt for an epidemiological study has so far failed to deliver a connection. Despite this, efforts to unveil the connection between the triggering of the immune system by adjuvants and the development of autoimmune conditions should be undertaken. Vaccinomics is a field that may bring to light novel customized, personalized treatment approaches in the future.

  2. Rational design of small molecules as vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tom Y-H; Singh, Manmohan; Miller, Andrew T; De Gregorio, Ennio; Doro, Francesco; D'Oro, Ugo; Skibinski, David A G; Mbow, M Lamine; Bufali, Simone; Herman, Ann E; Cortez, Alex; Li, Yongkai; Nayak, Bishnu P; Tritto, Elaine; Filippi, Christophe M; Otten, Gillis R; Brito, Luis A; Monaci, Elisabetta; Li, Chun; Aprea, Susanna; Valentini, Sara; Calabrό, Samuele; Laera, Donatello; Brunelli, Brunella; Caproni, Elena; Malyala, Padma; Panchal, Rekha G; Warren, Travis K; Bavari, Sina; O'Hagan, Derek T; Cooke, Michael P; Valiante, Nicholas M

    2014-11-19

    Adjuvants increase vaccine potency largely by activating innate immunity and promoting inflammation. Limiting the side effects of this inflammation is a major hurdle for adjuvant use in vaccines for humans. It has been difficult to improve on adjuvant safety because of a poor understanding of adjuvant mechanism and the empirical nature of adjuvant discovery and development historically. We describe new principles for the rational optimization of small-molecule immune potentiators (SMIPs) targeting Toll-like receptor 7 as adjuvants with a predicted increase in their therapeutic indices. Unlike traditional drugs, SMIP-based adjuvants need to have limited bioavailability and remain localized for optimal efficacy. These features also lead to temporally and spatially restricted inflammation that should decrease side effects. Through medicinal and formulation chemistry and extensive immunopharmacology, we show that in vivo potency can be increased with little to no systemic exposure, localized innate immune activation and short in vivo residence times of SMIP-based adjuvants. This work provides a systematic and generalizable approach to engineering small molecules for use as vaccine adjuvants.

  3. Visual analytics in medical education: impacting analytical reasoning and decision making for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The medical curriculum is the main tool representing the entire undergraduate medical education. Due to its complexity and multilayered structure it is of limited use to teachers in medical education for quality improvement purposes. In this study we evaluated three visualizations of curriculum data from a pilot course, using teachers from an undergraduate medical program and applying visual analytics methods. We found that visual analytics can be used to positively impacting analytical reasoning and decision making in medical education through the realization of variables capable to enhance human perception and cognition on complex curriculum data. The positive results derived from our evaluation of a medical curriculum and in a small scale, signify the need to expand this method to an entire medical curriculum. As our approach sustains low levels of complexity it opens a new promising direction in medical education informatics research.

  4. Improving psychotropic medication use among persons with dementia.

    PubMed

    Maust, Donovan T

    2016-10-01

    The use of psychotropic medication among persons with dementia (PWD) both in nursing home (Wetzels et al., 2011) and community settings (Maust et al., 2016) far exceeds what might be expected based on their limited evidence for benefit (Kales et al., 2015). This relatively high use persists despite years of evidence about the potential harms associated with their use in older adults generally and PWD in particular (e.g. Wang et al., 2001; Schneider et al., 2005). However, the solution to relatively high psychotropic use is not to end all psychotropic use, as there are individual patients for whom use of such medication is appropriate. For example, a policy that defines all antipsychotic use as inappropriate may simply lead to increased use of alternatives with even less evidence of benefit, as suggested by the response to antipsychotics' black box warning in the United States (Kales et al., 2011). PMID:27658611

  5. Improving medication administration error reporting systems. Why do errors occur?

    PubMed

    Wakefield, B J; Wakefield, D S; Uden-Holman, T

    2000-01-01

    Monitoring medication administration errors (MAE) is often included as part of the hospital's risk management program. While observation of actual medication administration is the most accurate way to identify errors, hospitals typically rely on voluntary incident reporting processes. Although incident reporting systems are more economical than other methods of error detection, incident reporting can also be a time-consuming process depending on the complexity or "user-friendliness" of the reporting system. Accurate incident reporting systems are also dependent on the ability of the practitioner to: 1) recognize an error has actually occurred; 2) believe the error is significant enough to warrant reporting; and 3) overcome the embarrassment of having committed a MAE and the fear of punishment for reporting a mistake (either one's own or another's mistake).

  6. Internet supply ordering. Helping medical group practices improve business operations.

    PubMed

    Mayer, D

    2000-01-01

    Technology has opened the door to a new world of management tools in the physician practice environment. Productivity aids on the Web promise to alter forever the way we do everything--from interacting with vendors to caring for patients. Online medical, surgical and pharmaceutical supply acquisition sites, for example, already offer more efficient alternatives to phone and fax ordering, back-order challenges and supply cost monitoring. Not all sites are the same, however, and physicians and practice administrators must compare and contrast their needs with site offerings.

  7. How to improve the performance of a good medical practice team: twelve techniques.

    PubMed

    Hills, Laura

    2013-01-01

    It is incredibly easy to ignore the medical practice team that is doing a good job. However, when we allow good performers to continue as they are, they probably won't improve. Their performance may even worsen. This is unfortunate because with a little bit of effort and support, good performers can often learn to excel. This article offers 12 techniques medical practice managers can use to bring their team members from good performance to excellent. It describes how to use goal-setting, work assignments, modeling, confidence building, team retreats, rewards, incentives, and reinforcement to ratchet up a good medical practice team's performance. This article also identifies the signs of medical employee mediocrity. It describes why setting higher expectations of your medical practice employees will ultimately improve their performance. Finally, this article suggests 10 practical and affordable strategies that medical practice managers can use to reinforce excellent performance in their good employees. PMID:23866656

  8. How to improve the performance of a good medical practice team: twelve techniques.

    PubMed

    Hills, Laura

    2013-01-01

    It is incredibly easy to ignore the medical practice team that is doing a good job. However, when we allow good performers to continue as they are, they probably won't improve. Their performance may even worsen. This is unfortunate because with a little bit of effort and support, good performers can often learn to excel. This article offers 12 techniques medical practice managers can use to bring their team members from good performance to excellent. It describes how to use goal-setting, work assignments, modeling, confidence building, team retreats, rewards, incentives, and reinforcement to ratchet up a good medical practice team's performance. This article also identifies the signs of medical employee mediocrity. It describes why setting higher expectations of your medical practice employees will ultimately improve their performance. Finally, this article suggests 10 practical and affordable strategies that medical practice managers can use to reinforce excellent performance in their good employees.

  9. Adjuvanting an inactivated influenza vaccine with flagellin improves the function and quantity of the long-term antibody response in a nonhuman primate neonate model.

    PubMed

    Holbrook, Beth C; D'Agostino, Ralph B; Parks, Griffith D; Alexander-Miller, Martha A

    2016-09-01

    Young infants are at significantly increased risk of developing severe disease following infection with influenza virus. At present there is no approved vaccine for individuals below the age of six months given previous studies showing a failure of these individuals to efficiently seroconvert. Given the major impact of influenza on infant health, it is critical that we develop vaccines that will be safe and effective in this population. Using a nonhuman primate (NHP) model, we have evaluated the ability of an inactivated influenza virus vaccine adjuvanted with flagellin to result in long term immune responses in neonates. To evaluate this critical attribute, neonate NHP were vaccinated and boosted with inactivated influenza virus in combination with either flagellin or a mutant inactive flagellin control. Our studies show that inclusion of flagellin resulted in a significant increase (5-fold, p=0.04) in influenza virus-specific IgG antibody at 6months post-vaccination. In addition, the antibody present at this late time was of higher affinity (2.4-fold, p=0.02). Finally a greater percentage of infants had detectable neutralizing antibody. These results support the use of flagellin in neonates as an adjuvant that promotes long-lived, high affinity antibody responses. PMID:27516064

  10. [Medical practice and clinical research: keys to generate knowledge and improve care].

    PubMed

    Martínez Castuera-Gómez, Carla; Talavera, Juan O

    2013-01-01

    The increased quality in medical care may be immediately accomplished if clinical research is integrated into daily clinical practice. In the generation of medical knowledge are four steps: an unanswered question awakened from clinical practice, the critical analysis of specialized literature, the development of a research protocol, and, finally, the publication of outcomes. Decision making and continuous training are becoming part of an effective strategy of medical attention improvement.

  11. Improving the Quality of Nursing Home Care and Medical-Record Accuracy with Direct Observational Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnelle, John F.; Osterweil, Dan; Simmons, Sandra F.

    2005-01-01

    Nursing home medical-record documentation of daily-care occurrence may be inaccurate, and information is not documented about important quality-of-life domains. The inadequacy of medical record data creates a barrier to improving care quality, because it supports an illusion of care consistent with regulations, which reduces the motivation and…

  12. HCFA's health care quality improvement program: the medical informatics challenge.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, J B; Hayes, R P; Pates, R D; Elward, K S; Ballard, D J

    1996-01-01

    The peer-review organizations (PROs) were created by Congress in 1984 to monitor the cost and quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries. In order to do this, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) contracted with the PROs through a series of contracts referred to as "Scopes of Work." Under the Fourth Scope of Work, the HCFA initiated the Health Care Quality Improvement Program (HCQIP) in 1990, as an application of the principles of continuous quality improvement. Since then, the PROs have participated with health care providers in cooperative projects to improve the quality of primarily inpatient care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Through HCFA-supplied administrative data and clinical data abstracted from patient records, the PROs have been able to identify opportunities for improvements in patient care. In May 1995, the HCFA proposed a new Fifth Scope of Work, which will shift the focus of HCQIP from inpatient care projects to projects in outpatient and managed care settings. This article describes the HCQIP process, the types of data used by the PROs to conduct cooperative projects with health care providers, and the informatics challenges in improving the quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries. PMID:8750387

  13. Improving the Effectiveness of Medication Review: Guidance from the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Barry D.; Brega, Angela G.; LeBlanc, William G.; Mabachi, Natabhona M.; Barnard, Juliana; Albright, Karen; Cifuentes, Maribel; Brach, Cindy; West, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Although routine medication reviews in primary care practice are recommended to identify drug therapy problems, it is often difficult to get patients to bring all their medications to office visits. The objective of this study was to determine whether the medication review tool in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit can help to improve medication reviews in primary care practices. Methods The toolkit's “Brown Bag Medication Review” was implemented in a rural private practice in Missouri and an urban teaching practice in California. Practices recorded outcomes of medication reviews with 45 patients before toolkit implementation and then changed their medication review processes based on guidance in the toolkit. Six months later we conducted interviews with practice staff to identify changes made as a result of implementing the tool, and practices recorded outcomes of medication reviews with 41 additional patients. Data analyses compared differences in whether all medications were brought to visits, the number of medications reviewed, drug therapy problems identified, and changes in medication regimens before and after implementation. Results Interviews revealed that practices made the changes recommended in the toolkit to encourage patients to bring medications to office visits. Evaluation before and after implementation revealed a 3-fold increase in the percentage of patients who brought all their prescription medications and a 6-fold increase in the number of prescription medications brought to office visits. The percentage of reviews in which drug therapy problems were identified doubled, as did the percentage of medication regimens revised. Conclusions Use of the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit can help to identify drug therapy problems. PMID:26769873

  14. Update on Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Early Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Rampurwala, Murtuza M; Rocque, Gabrielle B; Burkard, Mark E

    2014-01-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Although most women are diagnosed with early breast cancer, a substantial number recur due to persistent micro-metastatic disease. Systemic adjuvant chemotherapy improves outcomes and has advanced from first-generation regimens to modern dose-dense combinations. Although chemotherapy is the cornerstone of adjuvant therapy, new biomarkers are identifying patients who can forego such treatment. Neo-adjuvant therapy is a promising platform for drug development, but investigators should recognize the limitations of surrogate endpoints and clinical trials. Previous decades have focused on discovering, developing, and intensifying adjuvant chemotherapy. Future efforts should focus on customizing therapy and reducing chemotherapy for patients unlikely to benefit. In some cases, it may be possible to replace chemotherapy with treatments directed at specific genetic or molecular breast cancer subtypes. Yet, we anticipate that chemotherapy will remain a critical component of adjuvant therapy for years to come. PMID:25336961

  15. Adjuvants in micro- to nanoscale: current state and future direction.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Ankur; Das, Soumen; Schanen, Brian; Seal, Sudipta

    2016-01-01

    Adjuvants have been used in vaccines for over 70 years to promote long-lived and sterilizing immunity. Since then, various adjuvant systems were developed by combining nanotechnology with natural and/or synthetic immunomodulatory molecules. These systems are biocompatible, immunogenic, and possess higher antigen carrying capacity. This article showcases advancements made in the adjuvant systems formulations, their synthesis routes, and the improvement of these adjuvants have brought in response to combat against ongoing global health threats such as malaria, hepatitis C, universal influenza, and human immunodeficiency virus. This review also highlights the interaction of adjuvants with the delivery of antigens to cells and unfolds mechanism of actions. In addition, this review discusses the physicochemical factors responsible for the efficient interaction of nanoadjuvants with antigen receptors to develop more effective, less reactogenic, and multifunctional systems for the next generation vaccines.

  16. [Adjuvants--essential components of new generation vaccines].

    PubMed

    Dzierzbicka, Krystyna; Kołodziejczyk, Aleksander M

    2006-01-01

    Adjuvants are essential components of vaccines that augment an immunological reaction of organism. New vaccines based on recombinant proteins and DNA, are more save than traditional vaccines but they are less immunogenic. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of new, improved vaccine adjuvants. There are two classes of adjuvants: vaccine delivery systems (e.g. emulsions, microparticles, immune-stimulating complexes ISCOMs, liposomes) and immunostimulatory adjuvants (e.g. lipopolysaccharide, monophosphoryl lipid A, CpG DNA, or muramylpeptides). The discovery of more potent and safer adjuvants may allow to development better prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against chronic infectious (e.g., HSV, HIV, HCV, HBV, HPV, or Helicobacter pylori) and noninfectious diseases as multiple sclerosis, insulin-dependent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, allergy and tumors (e.g., melanoma, breast, or colon cancer). PMID:17078510

  17. An electronic medication reminder, supported by a monitoring service, to improve medication compliance for elderly people living independently.

    PubMed

    Parker, Roger; Frampton, Christopher; Blackwood, Angela; Shannon, Ady; Moore, Graeme

    2012-04-01

    We conducted a pilot study of a personal medication reminder unit, supported by a monitoring service. A total of 31 elderly residents were offered the reminder service for a period of eight weeks (1736 person-days of service). A telephone call from the monitoring service was made after four weeks to check that each participant was happy with the service and keen to continue. No one opted out and users of the service found it easy to manage, helpful and acceptable. There was a significant improvement (P = 0.012) in the rate of self-assessed medication compliance, from pre (52%) to post (81%) service introduction. There was a significant improvement in people's perceived ability to look after themselves at home (self-care ability) (P = 0.001). The percentage of participants rating their ability to look after themselves at home as excellent increased from 42% to 68%. Health-related quality of life measures, such as physical and mental health, showed positive improvement, but the changes were not significant. The service has the potential to improve health and well-being outcomes for people on multiple medications living independently in the community. PMID:22362828

  18. [The role and place of pathology services in ensuring and improving the quality of medical care: Organizational and legal aspects].

    PubMed

    Timofeev, I V

    2015-01-01

    The paper considers the legal and organizational issues of the activity of pathology services in improving medical care. It shows the main (diagnostic and medico-organizational) areas of pathology work to improve the quality of medical care.

  19. Recent Improvement of Medical Optical Fibre Pressure and Temperature Sensors.

    PubMed

    Poeggel, Sven; Duraibabu, Dineshbabu; Kalli, Kyriacos; Leen, Gabriel; Dooly, Gerard; Lewis, Elfed; Kelly, Jimmy; Munroe, Maria

    2015-07-13

    This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS). The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF) acid and femtosecond (FS) laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of sp = 2-10 nm/kPa and a resolution of better than ΔP = 10 Pa protect (0.1 cm H2O). A static pressure test in 38 cm H2O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H2O) in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by k = 10.7 pm/K, which results in a temperature resolution of better than ΔT = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes.

  20. Recent Improvement of Medical Optical Fibre Pressure and Temperature Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Poeggel, Sven; Duraibabu, Dineshbabu; Kalli, Kyriacos; Leen, Gabriel; Dooly, Gerard; Lewis, Elfed; Kelly, Jimmy; Munroe, Maria

    2015-01-01

    This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS). The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry–Perot interferometer (EFPI) with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF) acid and femtosecond (FS) laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of sp = 2–10 nmkPa and a resolution of better than ΔP = 10 Pa (0.1 cm H2O). A static pressure test in 38 cmH2O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H2O) in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by k=10.7 pmK, which results in a temperature resolution of better than ΔT = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes. PMID:26184331

  1. Recent Improvement of Medical Optical Fibre Pressure and Temperature Sensors.

    PubMed

    Poeggel, Sven; Duraibabu, Dineshbabu; Kalli, Kyriacos; Leen, Gabriel; Dooly, Gerard; Lewis, Elfed; Kelly, Jimmy; Munroe, Maria

    2015-01-01

    This investigation describes a detailed analysis of the fabrication and testing of optical fibre pressure and temperature sensors (OFPTS). The optical sensor of this research is based on an extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) with integrated fibre Bragg grating (FBG) for simultaneous pressure and temperature measurements. The sensor is fabricated exclusively in glass and with a small diameter of 0.2 mm, making it suitable for volume-restricted bio-medical applications. Diaphragm shrinking techniques based on polishing, hydrofluoric (HF) acid and femtosecond (FS) laser micro-machining are described and analysed. The presented sensors were examined carefully and demonstrated a pressure sensitivity in the range of sp = 2-10 nm/kPa and a resolution of better than ΔP = 10 Pa protect (0.1 cm H2O). A static pressure test in 38 cm H2O shows no drift of the sensor in a six-day period. Additionally, a dynamic pressure analysis demonstrated that the OFPTS never exceeded a drift of more than 130 Pa (1.3 cm H2O) in a 12-h measurement, carried out in a cardiovascular simulator. The temperature sensitivity is given by k = 10.7 pm/K, which results in a temperature resolution of better than ΔT = 0.1 K. Since the temperature sensing element is placed close to the pressure sensing element, the pressure sensor is insensitive to temperature changes. PMID:26184331

  2. Pediatric psychotropic medication compliance: a literature review and research-based suggestions for improving treatment compliance.

    PubMed

    Hack, S; Chow, B

    2001-01-01

    Without good compliance the best psychiatric treatment is ineffective. This article reviews what is known or can be inferred about compliance with psychiatric medications in the pediatric population. The review includes discussions of assessment techniques, risk and protective factors, the relevant research literature, and research-based practical techniques to improve compliance. A Medline search surveying the years from 1966 to August 2000 yielded only seven peer-reviewed papers reporting on compliance with pediatric psychopharmacology. All seven studies looked at stimulant compliance among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Reported levels of compliance range from 56% to 75%. These rates, although low, are likely to be overestimates of actual compliance. We review two related areas of research for which there are small but significant bodies of knowledge: pharmacological compliance studies among adult psychiatric populations and pediatric medical populations. This literature supports the idea that medication compliance is a significant obstacle to the effective treatment of patients. Because compliance rates are lower for children as compared to adults and psychiatric patients as compared to medical patients, we suspect that children with psychiatric illness may be at great risk for poor medication compliance. Fortunately, the research literature demonstrates several simple techniques that clinicians can use to improve medication compliance among their patients. The treatment alliance; education; and medication duration, dosing, palatability, and cost can all be tailored to improve medication compliance.

  3. Adjuvants for allergy vaccines.

    PubMed

    Moingeon, Philippe

    2012-10-01

    Allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently performed via either the subcutaneous or sublingual routes as a treatment for type I (IgE dependent) allergies. Aluminum hydroxide or calcium phosphate are broadly used as adjuvants for subcutaneous allergy vaccines, whereas commercial sublingual vaccines rely upon high doses of aqueous allergen extracts in the absence of any immunopotentiator. Adjuvants to be included in the future in products for allergen specific immunotherapy should ideally enhance Th1 and CD4+ regulatory T cell responses. Imunomodulators impacting dendritic or T cell functions to induce IL10, IL12 and IFNγ production are being investigated in preclinical allergy models. Such candidate adjuvants encompass synthetic or biological immunopotentiators such as glucocorticoids, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, selected probiotic strains (e.g., Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species) as well as TLR2 (Pam3CSK4), TLR4 (monophosphoryl lipid A, synthetic lipid A analogs) or TLR9 (CpGs) ligands. Furthermore, the use of vector systems such as mucoadhesive particules, virus-like particles or liposomes are being considered to enhance allergen uptake by tolerogenic antigen presenting cells present in mucosal tissues.

  4. Improving access to a primary care medical clinic.

    PubMed Central

    Meditz, R. W.; Manberg, C. L.; Rosner, F.

    1992-01-01

    Patients presenting to an episodic care walk-in clinic often warrant prompt but not necessarily emergency attention. Legitimate reasons often prohibit these patients from attending regularly scheduled daytime weekday clinics. Most patients interviewed thought that having a single primary care provider was important to ensure continuity of care. Access to primary care can be improved by scheduling clinics and ancillary services on nontraditional times and days. Enhanced communication can help patients differentiate routine from urgent from emergency conditions. Printed and audiovisual materials can be used to increase awareness of the benefits of comprehensive care. PMID:1507251

  5. Liposome-Based Adjuvants for Subunit Vaccines: Formulation Strategies for Subunit Antigens and Immunostimulators

    PubMed Central

    Tandrup Schmidt, Signe; Foged, Camilla; Smith Korsholm, Karen; Rades, Thomas; Christensen, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    The development of subunit vaccines has become very attractive in recent years due to their superior safety profiles as compared to traditional vaccines based on live attenuated or whole inactivated pathogens, and there is an unmet medical need for improved vaccines and vaccines against pathogens for which no effective vaccines exist. The subunit vaccine technology exploits pathogen subunits as antigens, e.g., recombinant proteins or synthetic peptides, allowing for highly specific immune responses against the pathogens. However, such antigens are usually not sufficiently immunogenic to induce protective immunity, and they are often combined with adjuvants to ensure robust immune responses. Adjuvants are capable of enhancing and/or modulating immune responses by exposing antigens to antigen-presenting cells (APCs) concomitantly with conferring immune activation signals. Few adjuvant systems have been licensed for use in human vaccines, and they mainly stimulate humoral immunity. Thus, there is an unmet demand for the development of safe and efficient adjuvant systems that can also stimulate cell-mediated immunity (CMI). Adjuvants constitute a heterogeneous group of compounds, which can broadly be classified into delivery systems or immunostimulators. Liposomes are versatile delivery systems for antigens, and they can carefully be customized towards desired immune profiles by combining them with immunostimulators and optimizing their composition, physicochemical properties and antigen-loading mode. Immunostimulators represent highly diverse classes of molecules, e.g., lipids, nucleic acids, proteins and peptides, and they are ligands for pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs), which are differentially expressed on APC subsets. Different formulation strategies might thus be required for incorporation of immunostimulators and antigens, respectively, into liposomes, and the choice of immunostimulator should ideally be based on knowledge regarding the specific PRR

  6. Health technology assessment to improve the medical equipment life cycle management.

    PubMed

    Margotti, Ana E; Ferreira, Filipa B; Santos, Francisco A; Garcia, Renato

    2013-01-01

    Health technology assessment (HTA) is a tool to support decision making that is intended to assist healthcare managers in their strategic decisions. The use of HTA as a tool for clinical engineering is especially relevant in the domain of the medical equipment once it could improve the performance of the medical equipment. It would be done by their systematically evaluation in several aspects, in their life cycle. In Brazil, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IEB-UFSC) through the clinical engineering area has been working on the development of methodologies and improvements on HTA for medical equipment. Therefore, this paper presents the effort to create specific methodologies that will improve the dissemination of HTA, focusing on incorporation and utilization phase of the medical equipment life cycle. This will give a better support to the decision makers in the management of the health care system.

  7. Value-based insurance design yields near- and long-term improvements in medication adherence.

    PubMed

    Collado, Megan

    2013-03-01

    Key findings. (1) Value-based insurance design (VBID) improves medication adherence by 1 to 3 percent in the first year after implementation; (2) Improvements in adherence were sustained and amplified in the second year post-implementation, ranging from 2 to 5 percent; (3) Adherence improvements varied ac­cording to VBID participants' baseline adherence, with greatest improve­ments evident in those with poorer baseline adherence

  8. Improving Medication Administration Safety in a Community Hospital Setting Using Lean Methodology.

    PubMed

    Critchley, Sandy

    2015-01-01

    Virtually all health care organizations have goals of improving patient safety, but despite clear goals and considerable investments, gains have been limited. This article explores a community hospital's resounding success using Lean methodology to improve medication administration safety with process changes designed by engaged employees and leaders with the knowledge and skill to effect improvements. This article inspires an interdisciplinary approach to quality improvement using reproducible strategies. PMID:25599523

  9. Health Information Technology: Meaningful Use and Next Steps to Improving Electronic Facilitation of Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Background The use of health information technology (HIT) may improve medication adherence, but challenges for implementation remain. Objective The aim of this paper is to review the current state of HIT as it relates to medication adherence programs, acknowledge the potential barriers in light of current legislation, and provide recommendations to improve ongoing medication adherence strategies through the use of HIT. Methods We describe four potential HIT barriers that may impact interoperability and subsequent medication adherence. Legislation in the United States has incentivized the use of HIT to facilitate and enhance medication adherence. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) was recently adopted and establishes federal standards for the so-called "meaningful use" of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology that can directly impact medication adherence. Results The four persistent HIT barriers to medication adherence include (1) underdevelopment of data reciprocity across clinical, community, and home settings, limiting the capture of data necessary for clinical care; (2) inconsistent data definitions and lack of harmonization of patient-focused data standards, making existing data difficult to use for patient-centered outcomes research; (3) inability to effectively use the national drug code information from the various electronic health record and claims datasets for adherence purposes; and (4) lack of data capture for medication management interventions, such as medication management therapy (MTM) in the EHR. Potential recommendations to address these issues are discussed. Conclusion To make meaningful, high quality data accessible, and subsequently improve medication adherence, these challenges will need to be addressed to fully reach the potential of HIT in impacting one of our largest public health issues. PMID:26980270

  10. Does adherence therapy improve medication adherence among patients with schizophrenia? A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Hegedüs, Anna; Kozel, Bernd

    2014-12-01

    Non-adherence to medication is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia. Adherence therapy aims to improve medication adherence of these patients by applying techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy, psycho-education, and motivational interviewing. Even though adherence therapy is frequently discussed and researched, its effectiveness is still uncertain. This paper aims to review the effectiveness of adherence therapy on the medication adherence of patients with schizophrenia. To this end, six electronic databases were systematically searched for randomized, controlled trials on adherence therapy from January 2002 to March 2013. Four trials met the inclusion criteria and were incorporated into the review. The findings suggest that adherence therapy does not improve patients' medication adherence in comparison to treatment as usual or a control intervention. However, all the studies reviewed showed high-adherence ratings at baseline. Thus, further well-designed studies that target adherence therapy to patients who are non-adherent to their medication are needed for a more profound understanding of its effectiveness. In addition, if adherence therapy is aimed not only at improving medication adherence, but also to reach an agreement whereby the patient's decision not to take his medication is accepted, the shared decision-making process needs to be assessed as well.

  11. Adjuvants for veterinary vaccines--types and modes of action.

    PubMed

    Gerdts, Volker

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvants are used to improve the immune response to vaccines. Formulation with adjuvants can result in an earlier onset of immunity, an overall stronger immune response, a specific type of immunity, or a longer duration of immunity to the vaccine. Adjuvants were discovered empirically, and for decades, have been used in both humans and animals without understanding the mechanisms of action. With an improved understanding of the immune system, and in particular the interplay between innate and adaptive immunity, we are now getting better insight into the function of adjuvants. As a result, new adjuvants are being developed that are safe and highly effective for common use in humans and animals, as well as for use in high risk populations such as immunocompromised animals, neonates or very old animals. Furthermore, adjuvants can help to reduce the amount of antigen needed in the vaccine, increase the stability of the vaccine and enable alternatiye administration routes such as needle-free delivery of the vaccine. Here, I will provide an over view of the existing adjuvant technologies for veterinary vaccines and provide an outlook into some of the new technologies in preclinical and clinical development.

  12. Improved particle swarm optimization algorithm for android medical care IOT using modified parameters.

    PubMed

    Sung, Wen-Tsai; Chiang, Yen-Chun

    2012-12-01

    This study examines wireless sensor network with real-time remote identification using the Android study of things (HCIOT) platform in community healthcare. An improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) method is proposed to efficiently enhance physiological multi-sensors data fusion measurement precision in the Internet of Things (IOT) system. Improved PSO (IPSO) includes: inertia weight factor design, shrinkage factor adjustment to allow improved PSO algorithm data fusion performance. The Android platform is employed to build multi-physiological signal processing and timely medical care of things analysis. Wireless sensor network signal transmission and Internet links allow community or family members to have timely medical care network services.

  13. Improved particle swarm optimization algorithm for android medical care IOT using modified parameters.

    PubMed

    Sung, Wen-Tsai; Chiang, Yen-Chun

    2012-12-01

    This study examines wireless sensor network with real-time remote identification using the Android study of things (HCIOT) platform in community healthcare. An improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) method is proposed to efficiently enhance physiological multi-sensors data fusion measurement precision in the Internet of Things (IOT) system. Improved PSO (IPSO) includes: inertia weight factor design, shrinkage factor adjustment to allow improved PSO algorithm data fusion performance. The Android platform is employed to build multi-physiological signal processing and timely medical care of things analysis. Wireless sensor network signal transmission and Internet links allow community or family members to have timely medical care network services. PMID:22492176

  14. Implementing technology to improve medication safety in healthcare facilities: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Hidle, Unn

    Medication errors remain one of the most common causes of patient injuries in the United States, with detrimental outcomes including adverse reactions and even death. By developing a better understanding of why and how medication errors occur, preventative measures may be implemented including technological advances. In this literature review, potential methods of reducing medication errors were explored. Furthermore, technology tools available for medication orders and administration are described, including advantages and disadvantages of each system. It was found that technology can be an excellent aid in improving safety of medication administration. However, computer technology cannot replace human intellect and intuition. Nurses should be involved when implementing any new computerized system in order to obtain the most appropriate and user-friendly structure.

  15. [Improved information in Medical School may increase recruitment of physician-scientists].

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Lars; Stockfelt, Marit; Finizia, Caterina

    The proportion of physicians undertaking doctoral studies has decreased progressively over the last years both in Sweden and internationally. To counteract this trend, it is important to investigate and improve the recruitment of medical students to research. In the fall of 2012, a questionnaire study investigating interest and involvement in research was conducted among all medical students at Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University in Sweden. The proportion of students involved in research (16 %) was unchanged from a previous similar study in 2006, and participating in a research project was considered to contribute positively to medical studies.  A large number of students (36 %) were interested in conducting research during the semesters, and the main disincentives included lack of time, lack of information, and lack of project and research group.  Research stimulating projects such as the 'Amanuensis Program' had a positive impact on research interest in general. For increased and early recruitment of medical students, efforts should be made to offer improved and regular information about conducting research, to publish available research projects and research groups, and to create and expand research programs for motivated medical students. Along with improved conditions and financial resources, we propose that these measures would help to accommodate the growing need for recruitment of medical students and physicians to research. PMID:25405623

  16. Carbohydrate-based immune adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Petrovsky, Nikolai; Cooper, Peter D

    2011-01-01

    The role for adjuvants in human vaccines has been a matter of vigorous scientific debate, with the field hindered by the fact that for over 80 years, aluminum salts were the only adjuvants approved for human use. To this day, alum-based adjuvants, alone or combined with additional immune activators, remain the only adjuvants approved for use in the USA. This situation has not been helped by the fact that the mechanism of action of most adjuvants has been poorly understood. A relative lack of resources and funding for adjuvant development has only helped to maintain alum’s relative monopoly. To seriously challenge alum’s supremacy a new adjuvant has many major hurdles to overcome, not least being alum’s simplicity, tolerability, safety record and minimal cost. Carbohydrate structures play critical roles in immune system function and carbohydrates also have the virtue of a strong safety and tolerability record. A number of carbohydrate compounds from plant, bacterial, yeast and synthetic sources have emerged as promising vaccine adjuvant candidates. Carbohydrates are readily biodegradable and therefore unlikely to cause problems of long-term tissue deposits seen with alum adjuvants. Above all, the Holy Grail of human adjuvant development is to identify a compound that combines potent vaccine enhancement with maximum tolerability and safety. This has proved to be a tough challenge for many adjuvant contenders. Nevertheless, carbohydrate-based compounds have many favorable properties that could place them in a unique position to challenge alum’s monopoly over human vaccine usage. PMID:21506649

  17. Using Simulation to Improve First-Year Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Identify Medication Errors Involving the Top 100 Prescription Medications

    PubMed Central

    Awdishu, Linda; Namba, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate first-year pharmacy students’ ability to identify medication errors involving the top 100 prescription medications. Design. In the first quarter of a 3-quarter pharmacy self-care course, a didactic lecture on the most common prescribing and dispensing prescription errors was presented to first-year pharmacy students (P1) in preparation for a prescription review simulation done individually and as a group. In the following quarter, they were given a formal prescription review workshop before a second simulation involving individual and group review of a different set of prescriptions. Students were evaluated based on the number of correctly checked prescriptions and a self-assessment of their confidence in reviewing prescriptions. Assessment. All 63 P1 students completed the prescription review simulations. The individual scores did not significantly change, but group scores improved from 79 (16.2%) in the fall quarter to 98.6 (4.7%) in the winter quarter. Students perceived improvement of their prescription checking skills, specifically in their ability to fill a prescription on their own, identify prescribing and dispensing errors, and perform pharmaceutical calculations. Conclusion. A prescription review module consisting of a didactic lecture, workshop and simulation-based methods to teach prescription analysis was successful at improving first year pharmacy students’ knowledge, confidence, and application of these skills. PMID:27402989

  18. [Improvement of medical service organization for wounded in traffic accidents in Moscow].

    PubMed

    Fedotov, S A

    2012-11-01

    The article is devoted to the problem of reducing the severity of consequences of the road traffic. This problem refers to the actual intersectoral problems including medical service. The author showed that the main way to improve the medical service administration for the wounded in road accidents is to reduce time of the on-the-scene care and arrival of the wounded at the hospitals. A few ways of improvement of work of First Aid Teams are suggested. The author came to conclusion that every of the incorporated organizational forms improves the effectiveness of emergency medical service for the wounded in road accidents to some extent, but only joint introduction of these forms and creation of united organization-management system are the real ways of getting optimum results.

  19. Medical student mental health 3.0: improving student wellness through curricular changes.

    PubMed

    Slavin, Stuart J; Schindler, Debra L; Chibnall, John T

    2014-04-01

    Medical education can have significant negative effects on the well-being of medical students. To date, efforts to improve student mental health have focused largely on improving access to mental health providers, reducing the stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment, and implementing ancillary wellness programs. Still, new and innovative models that build on these efforts by directly addressing the root causes of stress that lie within the curriculum itself are needed to properly promote student wellness. In this article, the authors present a new paradigm for improving medical student mental health, by describing an integrated, multifaceted, preclinical curricular change program implemented through the Office of Curricular Affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine starting in the 2009-2010 academic year. The authors found that significant but efficient changes to course content, contact hours, scheduling, grading, electives, learning communities, and required resilience/mindfulness experiences were associated with significantly lower levels of depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and stress, and significantly higher levels of community cohesion, in medical students who participated in the expanded wellness program compared with those who preceded its implementation. The authors discuss the utility and relevance of such curricular changes as an overlooked component of change models for improving medical student mental health.

  20. Expanding Educators' Contributions to Continuous Quality Improvement of American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification.

    PubMed

    Nora, Lois Margaret; Pouwels, Mellie Villahermosa; Irons, Mira

    2016-01-01

    The American Board of Medical Specialties board certification has transformed into a career-long process of learning, assessment, and performance improvement through its Program for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Medical educators across many medical professional organizations, specialty societies, and other institutions have played important roles in shaping MOC and tailoring its overarching framework to the needs of different specialties. This Commentary addresses potential barriers to engagement in work related to MOC for medical school (MS) and academic health center (AHC) educators and identifies reasons for, and ways to accomplish, greater involvement in this work. The authors present ways that medical and other health professions educators in these settings can contribute to the continuous improvement of the MOC program including developing educational and assessment activities, engaging in debate about MOC, linking MOC with institutional quality improvement activities, and pursuing MOC-related scholarship. MS- and AHC-based educators have much to offer this still-young and continually improving program, and their engagement is sought, necessary, and welcomed.

  1. Medical Student Mental Health 3.0: Improving Student Wellness Through Curricular Changes

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, Debra L.; Chibnall, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Medical education can have significant negative effects on the well-being of medical students. To date, efforts to improve student mental health have focused largely on improving access to mental health providers, reducing the stigma and other barriers to mental health treatment, and implementing ancillary wellness programs. Still, new and innovative models that build on these efforts by directly addressing the root causes of stress that lie within the curriculum itself are needed to properly promote student wellness. In this article, the authors present a new paradigm for improving medical student mental health, by describing an integrated, multifaceted, preclinical curricular change program implemented through the Office of Curricular Affairs at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine starting in the 2009–2010 academic year. The authors found that significant but efficient changes to course content, contact hours, scheduling, grading, electives, learning communities, and required resilience/mindfulness experiences were associated with significantly lower levels of depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and stress, and significantly higher levels of community cohesion, in medical students who participated in the expanded wellness program compared with those who preceded its implementation. The authors discuss the utility and relevance of such curricular changes as an overlooked component of change models for improving medical student mental health. PMID:24556765

  2. Adjuvant Effect of Biogenic Selenium Nanoparticles Improves the Immune Responses and Survival of Mice Receiving 4T1 Cell Antigens as Vaccine in Breast Cancer Murine Model.

    PubMed

    Yazdi, Mohammad Hossein; Varastehmoradi, Bardia; Faghfuri, Elnaz; Mavandadnejad, Faranak; Mahdavi, Mehdi; Shahverdi, Ahmad Reza

    2015-12-01

    The modification of tumor-associated antigen-based vaccine to elicit a more robust immune response has been addressed in several ways. In the present work, we aimed to investigate the immunomodulatory effect of selenium nanoparticles as an immunoadjuvant in formulation of a tumor-associated antigen-based vaccine in a preventive form. Fortyfive female inbred BALB/c mice five-to-seven weeks old were used and divided into three groups of test and control, each containing fifteen mice. Group one injected by PBS and used as a control. Group two injected by breast tumor cell lysate alone as vaccine. Group three injected by SeNPs with tumor cell lysate as vaccine. All injections were carried out on day fourteen, twentyone and twentyeight of the study. Tumor induction was done at day thirty. Twenty days after tumor induction serum samples were gathered to measure the cytokine assay. Tumor growth and weight of mice as well as delayed type hyper sensitivity (DTH) response were monitored during the study. Results of the present work showed a significant increase in the level of serum IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12 and decreased TGF-β in SeNPs/vaccine injected mice as well as lower tumor volume, more potent DTH responses and longer survival rate in comparison to control and tumor lysate vaccine. Taken together, it can be deduced from this work that SeNPs can be considered as an adjuvant in vaccine in triggering robust immune response against breast cancer. But further evaluations are still needed to find the best formula for this agent in antitumor vaccines. PMID:26682463

  3. A hard pill to swallow: a qualitative study of women's experiences of adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Harrow, Alison; Dryden, Ruth; McCowan, Colin; Radley, Andrew; Parsons, Mark; Thompson, Alastair M; Wells, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Objective To explore women's experiences of taking adjuvant endocrine therapy as a treatment for breast cancer and how their beliefs about the purpose of the medication, side effects experienced and interactions with health professionals might influence adherence. Design Qualitative study using semistructured, one-to-one interviews. Setting 2 hospitals from a single health board in Scotland. Participants 30 women who had been prescribed tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole or letrozole) and had been taking this medication for 1–5 years. Results Women clearly wished to take their adjuvant endocrine therapy medication as prescribed, believing that it offered them protection against breast cancer recurrence. However, some women missed tablets and did not recognise that this could reduce the efficacy of the treatment. Women did not perceive that healthcare professionals were routinely or systematically monitoring their adherence. Side effects were common and impacted greatly on the women’s quality of life but did not always cause women to stop taking their medication, or to seek advice about reducing the side effects they experienced. Few were offered the opportunity to discuss the impact of side effects or the potential options available. Conclusions Although most women in this study took adjuvant endocrine therapy as prescribed, many endured a range of side effects, often without seeking help. Advice, support and monitoring for adherence are not routinely offered in conventional follow-up settings. Women deserve more opportunity to discuss the pros, cons and impact of long-term adjuvant endocrine therapy. New service models are needed to support adherence, enhance quality of life and ultimately improve survival. These should ideally be community based, in order to promote self-management in the longer term. PMID:24928595

  4. Cost-Effectiveness of a Computerized Provider Order Entry System in Improving Medication Safety Ambulatory Care

    PubMed Central

    Forrester, Sara H.; Hepp, Zsolt; Roth, Joshua A.; Wirtz, Heidi S.; Devine, Emily Beth

    2014-01-01

    Background Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is the process of entering physician orders directly into an electronic health record. Although CPOE has been shown to improve medication safety and reduce health care costs, these improvements have been demonstrated largely in the inpatient setting; the cost-effectiveness in the ambulatory setting remains uncertain. Objective The objective was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of CPOE in reducing medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs) in the ambulatory setting. Methods We created a decision-analytic model to estimate the cost-effectiveness of CPOE in a midsized (400 providers) multidisciplinary medical group over a 5-year time horizon— 2010 to 2014— the time frame during which health systems are implementing CPOE to meet Meaningful Use criteria. We adopted the medical group’s perspective and utilized their costs, changes in efficiency, and actual number of medication errors and ADEs. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. Scenario analyses were explored. Results In the base case, CPOE dominated paper prescribing, that is, CPOE cost $18 million less than paper prescribing, and was associated with 1.5 million and 14,500 fewer medication errors and ADEs, respectively, over 5 years. In the scenario that reflected a practice group of five providers, CPOE cost $265,000 less than paper prescribing, was associated with 3875 and 39 fewer medication errors and ADEs, respectively, over 5 years, and was dominant in 80% of the simulations. Conclusions Our model suggests that the adoption of CPOE in the ambulatory setting provides excellent value for the investment, and is a cost-effective strategy to improve medication safety over a wide range of practice sizes. PMID:24968993

  5. Psychosocial and Physical Effects of Adjuvant Chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Hislop, Thomas Gregory; Elwood, J. Mark; Waxler-Morrison, Nancy; Ragaz, Joseph; Skippen, Diane Hazel; Turner, I.D.

    1991-01-01

    Breast cancer patients younger than 55 completed a questionnaire on psychosocial factors and physical side effects shortly after diagnosis and 9 to 15 months after diagnosis. Those who had used adjuvant chemotherapy were more likely than those who had not to report physical side effects; there was little difference in psychosocial factors. Recent users were more likely than ex-users to report physical side effects, difficulties with domestic chores, and improvement in psychosocial factors. PMID:21229020

  6. Effectiveness of Electronic Reminders to Improve Medication Adherence in Tuberculosis Patients: A Cluster-Randomised Trial

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoqiu; Lewis, James J.; Zhang, Hui; Lu, Wei; Zhang, Shun; Zheng, Guilan; Bai, Liqiong; Li, Jun; Li, Xue; Chen, Hongguang; Liu, Mingming; Chen, Rong; Chi, Junying; Lu, Jian; Huan, Shitong; Cheng, Shiming; Wang, Lixia; Jiang, Shiwen; Chin, Daniel P.; Fielding, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Mobile text messaging and medication monitors (medication monitor boxes) have the potential to improve adherence to tuberculosis (TB) treatment and reduce the need for directly observed treatment (DOT), but to our knowledge they have not been properly evaluated in TB patients. We assessed the effectiveness of text messaging and medication monitors to improve medication adherence in TB patients. Methods and Findings In a pragmatic cluster-randomised trial, 36 districts/counties (each with at least 300 active pulmonary TB patients registered in 2009) within the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Chongqing, China, were randomised using stratification and restriction to one of four case-management approaches in which patients received reminders via text messages, a medication monitor, combined, or neither (control). Patients in the intervention arms received reminders to take their drugs and reminders for monthly follow-up visits, and the managing doctor was recommended to switch patients with adherence problems to more intensive management or DOT. In all arms, patients took medications out of a medication monitor box, which recorded when the box was opened, but the box gave reminders only in the medication monitor and combined arms. Patients were followed up for 6 mo. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patient-months on TB treatment where at least 20% of doses were missed as measured by pill count and failure to open the medication monitor box. Secondary endpoints included additional adherence and standard treatment outcome measures. Interventions were not masked to study staff and patients. From 1 June 2011 to 7 March 2012, 4,292 new pulmonary TB patients were enrolled across the 36 clusters. A total of 119 patients (by arm: 33 control, 33 text messaging, 23 medication monitor, 30 combined) withdrew from the study in the first month because they were reassessed as not having TB by their managing doctor (61 patients) or were switched to

  7. Improving educational environment in medical colleges through transactional analysis practice of teachers

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Marina

    2012-01-01

    Context: A FAIMER (Foundation for Advancement in International Medical Education and Research) fellow organized a comprehensive faculty development program to improve faculty awareness resulting in changed teaching practices and better teacher student relationships using Transactional Analysis (TA). Practicing TA tools help development of ‘awareness’ about intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. Objectives: To improve self-awareness among medical educators.To bring about self-directed change in practices among medical educators.To assess usefulness of TA tools for the same. Methods: An experienced trainer conducted a basic course (12 hours) in TA for faculty members. The PAC model of personality structure, functional fluency model of personal functioning, stroke theory on motivation, passivity and script theories of adult functional styles were taught experientially with examples from the Medical Education Scenario. Self-reported improvement in awareness and changes in practices were assessed immediately after, at three months, and one year after training. Findings: The mean improvement in self-'awareness' is 13.3% (95% C.I 9.3-17.2) among nineteen participants. This persists one year after training. Changes in practices within a year include, collecting feedback, new teaching styles and better relationship with students. Discussion and Conclusions: These findings demonstrate sustainable and measurable improvement in self-awareness by practice of TA tools. Improvement in self-'awareness' of faculty resulted in self-directed changes in teaching practices. Medical faculty has judged the TA tools effective for improving self-awareness leading to self-directed changes. PMID:24358808

  8. Adjuvant therapy use among Appalachian breast cancer survivors.

    PubMed

    Tan, Xi; Marshall, Vincent D; Anderson, Roger T; Donohoe, Joseph; Camacho, Fabian; Balkrishnan, Rajesh

    2015-07-01

    of suboptimal AET adherence/persistence in Appalachia as well as positive associations between AET adherence/persistence and overall survival outcomes further underscore the importance of ensuring appropriate AET use in this population to reduce breast cancer mortality disparities. Our findings also suggest that intervention strategies focusing on individualized treatment and medication-related factors may improve adjuvant treatment use.

  9. A multifacited approach to improve patient safety, prevent medical errors and resolve the professional liability crisis.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Louis

    2006-04-01

    The current professional liability crisis is the third in the last 30 years. Similarities of the 3 crises are the rising cost of professional liability insurance and a diminishing number of sources available to purchase coverage. Proposed tort reform with caps on noneconomic damages and attorney contingency fees is a back end approach and will do little to solve this crisis or prevent future ones. The current situation can only be solved by placing an increased emphasis on improving patient safety and elimination of all preventable medical errors. A national electronic medical record must be developed and rapid response teams need to be available in most hospitals. The protective devices of privileged communication and peer review are counterproductive and must be eliminated. Full and prompt disclosure of any medical error or injury needs to be made. Physicians must be taught proper communication skills and the importance of teamwork. Providers with frequent patient, nursing or medical staff complaints must be critically reviewed. The present system of risk management needs to move from a reactive position to a role of being proactive for both patient and physician. Claims management should offer the patient early compensation when appropriate and pursue a vigorous defense when medical care is adequate. Experts should be identified who will render fair, unbiased reviews of medical care with all of their findings being disclosed. Similar experts need to devise clear, concise, evidenced based standards of care for common medical conditions.

  10. [The main ways of improvement of medical support of the Air Forces in modern conditions].

    PubMed

    Blaginin, A A; Grebeniuk, A N; Lizogub, I N

    2014-02-01

    Blaginin A.A., Grebenyuk A.N., Lizogub LN. - The main ways of improvement of medical support of the Air Forces in modern conditions. Aircrew conducting active hostilities suffers from the whole spectrum of factors and conditions of the combat situation. The main task for the medical service of the Air Force is to carry out preventive and curative action for aviation specialists who are responsible for the combat capability of aircraft formations. The medical service of the Air Force must have forces and facilities for planning, organization and implementation of the treatment of lightly wounded and sick aviation professionals with short periods of recovery, medical rehabilitation of aircrew qfter suffering injuries, diseases, sanatorium therapy of aircrew with partial failure of health, outpatient and inpatient medical examination aircrew - flight commissions, preventive rest of aviation specialists with symptoms of chronic fatigue. Should be trained aviation physicians, including both basic military medical education and in-depth study of the medical aspects of various fields of personnel of the Air Force. PMID:25046924

  11. Improvements in CanMEDS competencies for medical students in an interdisciplinary and voluntary setting

    PubMed Central

    Vildbrad, Mads Dam; Lyhne, Johanne Marie

    2014-01-01

    Background To practice medicine, doctors must master leadership, communication, team management, and collaboration, in addition to medical knowledge. The CanMEDS framework describes seven roles of a doctor, but the six nonmedical expert roles are de-emphasized in the academic medical curriculum. Innovative opportunities are needed for medical students to develop as participants in a world of interdisciplinary health care. Methods We founded a volunteer-based, interdisciplinary, student-run project called SUNDdag (HEALTHday) with 60 students from 12 different educational backgrounds. To evaluate the learning outcomes of the project, we conducted a cross-sectional study using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. Results Students joined the project due to it being health-promoting, volunteer-based, and interdisciplinary. The medical students reported a significant increase of skills in all seven roles except for “medical expert”. They reported an increased understanding of the non-health-related students’ skills. Conclusion In their future careers, medical students must collaborate with health care professionals in a team-based approach to patient care and with non-health-related professionals in administrative tasks. Interdisciplinary volunteer-based initiatives like SUNDdag are potential platforms for medical students to improve their CanMEDS competencies. We encourage students to initiate similar projects and we encourage faculties to support volunteer-based, interdisciplinary initiatives due to their favorable cost-benefit ratio. PMID:25540602

  12. Text Messaging to Improve Hypertension Medication Adherence in African Americans: BPMED Intervention Development and Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Artinian, Nancy T; Schwiebert, Loren; Yarandi, Hossein; Levy, Phillip D

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypertension (HTN) is a major public health concern in the United States, with almost 78 million Americans age 20 years and over suffering from the condition. Moreover, HTN is a key risk factor for health disease and stroke. African Americans disproportionately shoulder the burdens of HTN, with greater prevalence, disease severity, earlier onset, and more HTN-related complications than age-matched whites. Medication adherence for the treatment of HTN is poor, with estimates indicating that only about half of hypertensive patients are adherent to prescribed medication regimens. Although no single intervention for improving medication adherence has emerged as superior to others, text message medication reminders have the potential to help improve medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN as mobile phone adoption is very high in this population. Objective The purpose of this two-phased study was to develop (Phase I) and test in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Phase II) a text message system, BPMED, to improve the quality of medication management through increasing medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN. Methods In Phase I, we recruited 16 target end-users from a primary care clinic, to assist in the development of BPMED through participating in one of three focus groups. Focus groups sought to gain patient perspectives on HTN, medication adherence, mobile phone use, and the use of text messaging to support medication adherence. Potential intervention designs were presented to participants, and feedback on the designs was solicited. In Phase II, we conducted two pilot RCTs to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of BPMED in primary care and emergency department settings. Both pilot studies recruited approximately 60 participants, who were randomized equally between usual care and the BPMED intervention. Results Although data collection is now complete, data analysis from the

  13. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home

    PubMed Central

    Gabbay, Robert A.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Miller-Day, Michelle; Cronholm, Peter F.; Adelman, Alan; Schneider, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving the care models of practices showing the greatest and least improvement in diabetes care in a sample of 25 primary care practices in southeast Pennsylvania. METHODS We ranked practices into improvement quintiles on the basis of the average absolute percentage point improvement from baseline to 18 months in 3 registry-based measures of performance related to diabetes care: glycated hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. We then conducted surveys and key informant interviews with leaders and staff in the 5 most and least improved practices, and compared their responses. RESULTS The most improved/higher-performing practices tended to have greater structural capabilities (eg, electronic health records) than the least improved/lower-performing practices at baseline. Interviews revealed striking differences between the groups in terms of leadership styles and shared vision; sense, use, and development of teams; processes for monitoring progress and obtaining feedback; and presence of technologic and financial distractions. CONCLUSIONS Positive deviance analysis suggests that primary care practices’ baseline structural capabilities and abilities to buffer the stresses of change may be key facilitators of performance improvement in medical home transformations. Attention to the practices’ structural capabilities and factors shaping successful change, especially early in the process, will be necessary to improve the likelihood of successful medical home transformation and better care. PMID:23690393

  14. Improving medical graduates’ training in palliative care: advancing education and practice

    PubMed Central

    Head, Barbara A; Schapmire, Tara J; Earnshaw, Lori; Chenault, John; Pfeifer, Mark; Sawning, Susan; Shaw, Monica A

    2016-01-01

    The needs of an aging population and advancements in the treatment of both chronic and life-threatening diseases have resulted in increased demand for quality palliative care. The doctors of the future will need to be well prepared to provide expert symptom management and address the holistic needs (physical, psychosocial, and spiritual) of patients dealing with serious illness and the end of life. Such preparation begins with general medical education. It has been recommended that teaching and clinical experiences in palliative care be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum, yet such education has not become the norm in medical schools across the world. This article explores the current status of undergraduate medical education in palliative care as published in the English literature and makes recommendations for educational improvements which will prepare doctors to address the needs of seriously ill and dying patients. PMID:26955298

  15. Improving medical graduates' training in palliative care: advancing education and practice.

    PubMed

    Head, Barbara A; Schapmire, Tara J; Earnshaw, Lori; Chenault, John; Pfeifer, Mark; Sawning, Susan; Shaw, Monica A

    2016-01-01

    The needs of an aging population and advancements in the treatment of both chronic and life-threatening diseases have resulted in increased demand for quality palliative care. The doctors of the future will need to be well prepared to provide expert symptom management and address the holistic needs (physical, psychosocial, and spiritual) of patients dealing with serious illness and the end of life. Such preparation begins with general medical education. It has been recommended that teaching and clinical experiences in palliative care be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum, yet such education has not become the norm in medical schools across the world. This article explores the current status of undergraduate medical education in palliative care as published in the English literature and makes recommendations for educational improvements which will prepare doctors to address the needs of seriously ill and dying patients.

  16. Performance improvement indicators of the Medical Records Department and Information Technology (IT) in hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Ajami, Sima; Ketabi, Saedeh; Torabiyan, Fatemeh

    2015-01-01

    Medical Record Department (MRD) has a vital role in making short and long term plans to improve health system services. The aim of this study was to describe performance improvement indicators of hospital MRD and information technology (IT). Collection of Data: A search was conducted in various databases, through related keywords in articles, books, and abstracts of conferences from 2001 to 2009. About 58 articles and books were available which were evaluated and finally 15 of them were selected based on their relevance to the study. MRD must be capable of supporting tasks such as patient care and continuity, institute management processes, medical education programs, medical research, communication between different wards of a hospital and administrative and medical staff. The use of IT in MRD can facilitate access to department, expedite communication within and outside department, reduce space with electronic medical records, reduce costs, accelerate activities such as coding by use of coding guide software and facilitate retrieval of records that will ultimately improve the performance of MRD. PMID:26150874

  17. Improving medical student attitudes toward older patients through a "council of elders" and reflective writing experience.

    PubMed

    Westmoreland, Glenda R; Counsell, Steven R; Sennour, Youcef; Schubert, Cathy C; Frank, Kathryn I; Wu, Jingwei; Frankel, Richard M; Litzelman, Debra K; Bogdewic, Stephen P; Inui, Thomas S

    2009-02-01

    In an effort to reduce "agism" which is prevalent among medical trainees, a new geriatrics educational experience for medical students aimed at improving attitudes toward older patients was developed. Each 90-minute Older Adult Session included four components: initial reflective writing exercise; introduction to the session; 75-minute dialogue with the "Council of Elders," a group of active, "well" older adults; and final reflective writing exercise. The new session was provided to 237 first- and second-year medical students during the 2006/07 academic year at Indiana University School of Medicine. Session evaluation included comparing scores on the 14-item Geriatrics Attitude Scale administered before and after the session, identifying attitude changes in the reflective writing exercises, and a student satisfaction survey. Student responses on the Geriatrics Attitude Scale after the session were significantly improved in seven of 14 items, demonstrating better attitudes toward being with and listening to older people and caring for older patients. Analysis of the reflective writings revealed changing of negative to positive or reinforced positive attitudes in 27% of medical students, with attitudes not discernable in the remaining 73% (except one student, in whom positive attitudes changed to negative). Learner satisfaction with the Older Adult Session was high, with 98% agreeing that the session had a positive effect on insight into the care of older adults. A Council of Elders coupled with a reflective writing exercise is a promising new approach to improving attitudes of medical students toward their geriatric patients.

  18. Improvement of the Russian system of medical care at the site of space crew landing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rukavishnikov, Ilya; Bogomolov, Valery; Polyakov, Alexey

    The crew members are delivered to ISS and return back to the Earth on the space craft "Soyuz TMA" at present time. The technical means providing the safe landing of space crews are reliable enough. In spite of that the complex of negative factors (long lasting alternating and shock overloads, effects of landing apparatus rotation on vestibular system) affects the crew during landing and can reach the extreme values under the certain conditions. According to this fact there is a possibility of appearance of bodily damages of different weight besides the traditional functional disturbances. The group of search and rescue on the landing site includes the medical specialists appropriately equipped to stop the symptoms of medical contingency (strong vestibule-vegetative reactions, traumas of different weight, etc.) Medical evacuation complex which provides the acceptable conditions for the cosmonauts including the conditions for medical care is delivered to the landing site as well. The long term experience of search and rescue assurance at the landing site have shown that the specialists successfully cope with this task. In some cases it was required to give the medical help which allowed to improve the general condition and physical capacity of crewmembers and provide their evacuation to the places of postflight rehabilitation. At the same time the solution of some of the problems from our point of view could increase the efficacy of medical care for the landing crew. The organization of the training on emergency under the field conditions for medical specialists on the regular basis (not less that once a year) is extremely important. The equipment of medical specialists requires the regular improvement and modernization due to the fast changing medical technologies and standards. Wearable medical sets must provide the first aid performing in accordance to the modern medical requirements. It is also necessary to include in the list of equipment the textbook of

  19. Outpatient management without initial assessment for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Kosei; Tanaka, Satoru; Iwamoto, Mitsuhiko; Fujioka, Hiroya; Sato, Nayuko; Terasawa, Risa; Kawaguchi, Kanako; Matsuda, Junna; Umezaki, Nodoka; Uchiyama, Kazuhisa

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyze the feasibility of outpatient management without initial assessment for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. A total of 131 consecutive patients with breast cancer treated with adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy from 2011 to 2013 at Osaka Medical College Hospital (Osaka, Japan) were retrospectively reviewed. In the case of developing a fever (body temperature, ≥38°C), the outpatients had been instructed to take previously prescribed oral antibiotics for 3 days without any initial assessment, and if no improvement had occurred by then, they were required to visit the hospital for examination and to undergo treatment based on the results of a risk assessment for complications. The primary aim of the present study was to assess the outcome of febrile episodes, while the secondary aim was to assess the incidence of febrile episodes, hospitalizations, and the type of chemotherapy. The 131 patients received 840 chemotherapy administrations. Fifty-five patients (42.0%) had a total of 75 febrile episodes after 840 chemotherapy administrations (8.9%). Treatment failure occurred in 12 of the 75 episodes (16.0%) in 11 of the 55 patients (20.0%). Only four episodes required hospitalization. Treatment success was achieved in 63 episodes (84.0%). In conclusion, the feasibility of outpatient management without initial assessment was evaluated in the present study for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, and the outpatient strategy regimen may be safe and convenient for these patients. PMID:27699031

  20. Outpatient management without initial assessment for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Kosei; Tanaka, Satoru; Iwamoto, Mitsuhiko; Fujioka, Hiroya; Sato, Nayuko; Terasawa, Risa; Kawaguchi, Kanako; Matsuda, Junna; Umezaki, Nodoka; Uchiyama, Kazuhisa

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyze the feasibility of outpatient management without initial assessment for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. A total of 131 consecutive patients with breast cancer treated with adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy from 2011 to 2013 at Osaka Medical College Hospital (Osaka, Japan) were retrospectively reviewed. In the case of developing a fever (body temperature, ≥38°C), the outpatients had been instructed to take previously prescribed oral antibiotics for 3 days without any initial assessment, and if no improvement had occurred by then, they were required to visit the hospital for examination and to undergo treatment based on the results of a risk assessment for complications. The primary aim of the present study was to assess the outcome of febrile episodes, while the secondary aim was to assess the incidence of febrile episodes, hospitalizations, and the type of chemotherapy. The 131 patients received 840 chemotherapy administrations. Fifty-five patients (42.0%) had a total of 75 febrile episodes after 840 chemotherapy administrations (8.9%). Treatment failure occurred in 12 of the 75 episodes (16.0%) in 11 of the 55 patients (20.0%). Only four episodes required hospitalization. Treatment success was achieved in 63 episodes (84.0%). In conclusion, the feasibility of outpatient management without initial assessment was evaluated in the present study for febrile patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, and the outpatient strategy regimen may be safe and convenient for these patients.

  1. A review of behavioral tailoring strategies for improving medication adherence in serious mental illness.

    PubMed

    Kreyenbuhl, Julie; Record, Elizabeth J; Palmer-Bacon, Jessica

    2016-06-01

    Nonadherence to psychopharmacological treatments poses a significant challenge to treatment success in individuals with serious mental illness, with upwards of 60% of people not taking their psychiatric medications as prescribed. Nonadherence is associated with adverse outcomes, including exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, increased hospitalizations and emergency room use, and increased health care costs. Whereas interventions using psychoeducation or cognitive approaches, such as motivational interviewing, have largely proven ineffective in improving adherence, approaches employing behavioral tailoring that incorporate medication taking into the daily routine and/or use environmental supports have shown promise. Recently, adherence-enhancing behavioral tailoring interventions that utilize novel technologies, such as electronic monitors and mobile phones, have been developed. Although interventions utilizing these platforms have the potential for widespread dissemination to a broad range of individuals, most require further empirical testing. This paper reviews selected behavioral tailoring strategies that aim to improve medication adherence and other functional outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness.

  2. A review of behavioral tailoring strategies for improving medication adherence in serious mental illness.

    PubMed

    Kreyenbuhl, Julie; Record, Elizabeth J; Palmer-Bacon, Jessica

    2016-06-01

    Nonadherence to psychopharmacological treatments poses a significant challenge to treatment success in individuals with serious mental illness, with upwards of 60% of people not taking their psychiatric medications as prescribed. Nonadherence is associated with adverse outcomes, including exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, increased hospitalizations and emergency room use, and increased health care costs. Whereas interventions using psychoeducation or cognitive approaches, such as motivational interviewing, have largely proven ineffective in improving adherence, approaches employing behavioral tailoring that incorporate medication taking into the daily routine and/or use environmental supports have shown promise. Recently, adherence-enhancing behavioral tailoring interventions that utilize novel technologies, such as electronic monitors and mobile phones, have been developed. Although interventions utilizing these platforms have the potential for widespread dissemination to a broad range of individuals, most require further empirical testing. This paper reviews selected behavioral tailoring strategies that aim to improve medication adherence and other functional outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness. PMID:27489459

  3. A review of behavioral tailoring strategies for improving medication adherence in serious mental illness

    PubMed Central

    Kreyenbuhl, Julie; Record, Elizabeth J.; Palmer-Bacon, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Nonadherence to psychopharmacological treatments poses a significant challenge to treatment success in individuals with serious mental illness, with upwards of 60% of people not taking their psychiatric medications as prescribed. Nonadherence is associated with adverse outcomes, including exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, increased hospitalizations and emergency room use, and increased health care costs. Whereas interventions using psychoeducation or cognitive approaches, such as motivational interviewing, have largely proven ineffective in improving adherence, approaches employing behavioral tailoring that incorporate medication taking into the daily routine and/or use environmental supports have shown promise. Recently, adherence-enhancing behavioral tailoring interventions that utilize novel technologies, such as electronic monitors and mobile phones, have been developed. Although interventions utilizing these platforms have the potential for widespread dissemination to a broad range of individuals, most require further empirical testing. This paper reviews selected behavioral tailoring strategies that aim to improve medication adherence and other functional outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness. PMID:27489459

  4. Improving medication adherence with a targeted, technology-driven disease management intervention.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, David B; Allison, Wanda; Chen, Joyce C; Demand, Michael

    2008-06-01

    Treatment adherence is critical in managing chronic disease, but achieving it remains an elusive goal across many prevalent conditions. As part of its care management strategy, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (BCBSSC) implemented the Longitudinal Adherence Treatment Evaluation program, a behavioral intervention to improve medication adherence among members with cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes. The objectives of this study were to 1) assess the effectiveness of telephonic intervention in influencing reinitiation of medication therapy, and 2) evaluate the rate and timing of medication reinitiation. BCBSSC applied algorithms against pharmacy claims data to identify patients prescribed targeted medications who were 60 or more days overdue for refills. This information was provided to care managers to address during their next patient contact. Care managers received focused training on techniques for medication behavior change, readiness to change, motivational interviewing, and active listening. Training also addressed common barriers to adherence and available resources, including side effect management, mail order benefits, drug assistance programs, medication organizers, and reminder systems. Overdue refills were tracked for 12 months, with medication reinitiation followed for an additional 3 months. In the intervention group, 94 patients were identified with 123 instances of late medication refills. In the age- and gender-matched comparison group, 61 patients were identified with 76 late refills. The intervention group had a significantly higher rate of medication reinitiation (59.3%) than the control group (42.1%; P < 0.05). Time to reinitiation was significantly shorter in the intervention group, 59.5 (+/- 69.0) days vs. 107.4 (+/- 109) days for the control group (P < 0.05). This initiative demonstrated that a targeted disease management intervention promoting patient behavior change increased the number of patients who reinitiated therapy after a

  5. The perfect mix: recent progress in adjuvant research.

    PubMed

    Guy, Bruno

    2007-07-01

    Developing efficient and safe adjuvants for use in human vaccines remains both a challenge and a necessity. Past approaches have been largely empirical and generally used a single type of adjuvant, such as aluminium salts or emulsions. However, new vaccine targets often require the induction of well-defined cell-mediated responses in addition to antibodies, and thus new immunostimulants are required. Recent advances in basic immunology have elucidated how early innate immune signals can shape subsequent adaptive responses and this, coupled with improvements in biochemical techniques, has led to the design and development of more specific and focused adjuvants. In this Review, I discuss the research that has made it possible for vaccinologists to now be able to choose between a large panel of adjuvants, which potentially can act synergistically, and combine them in formulations that are specifically adapted to each target and to the relevant correlate(s) of protection. PMID:17558426

  6. Activity of glycated chitosan and other adjuvants to PDT vaccines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korbelik, Mladen; Banáth, Judit; Čiplys, Evaldas; Szulc, Zdzislaw; Bielawska, Alicja; Chen, Wei R.

    2015-03-01

    Glycated chitosan (GC), a water soluble galactose-conjugated natural polysaccharide, has proven to be an effective immunoadjuvant for treatment of tumors based on laser thermal therapy. It was also shown to act as adjuvant for tumor therapy with high-intensity ultrasound and in situ photodynamic therapy (PDT). In the present study, GC was examined as potential adjuvant to PDT-generated cancer vaccine. Two other agents, pure calreticulin protein and acid ceramidase inhibitor LCL521, were also tested as prospective adjuvants for use in conjunction with PDT vaccines. Single treatment with GC, included with PDT vaccine cells suspension, improved the therapeutic efficacy when compared to vaccine alone. This attractive prospect of GC application remains to be carefully optimized and mechanistically elucidated. Both calreticulin and LCL521 proved also effective adjuvants when combined with PDT vaccine tumor treatment.

  7. 76 FR 12969 - Campaign To Improve Poor Medication Adherence (U18)

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-09

    ... goal of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research is to raise consumers' awareness of the ] importance of good medication adherence, a vital first step toward improved adherence behavior and better... National Consumers League (NCL) to develop and lead a groundbreaking national campaign to raise...

  8. Structured Medication Review to Improve Pharmacotherapy in People with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheifes, Arlette; Egberts, Toine C. G.; Stolker, Joost Jan; Nijman, Henk. L. I.; Heerdink, Eibert R.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Polypharmacy and chronic drug use are common in people with intellectual disability and behavioural problems, although evidence of effectiveness and safety in this population is lacking. This study examined the effects of a structured medication review and aimed to improve pharmacotherapy in inpatients with intellectual disability.…

  9. Laboratory Session to Improve First-year Pharmacy Students' Knowledge and Confidence Concerning the Prevention of Medication Errors

    PubMed Central

    Darbishire, Patricia L.; Plake, Kimberly S.; Oswald, Christopher; Walters, Brenda M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives To implement a laboratory session into the first-year pharmacy curriculum that would provide active-learning experiences in the recognition, resolution, and prevention of medication errors. Design Students participated in medication error-prone prescription processing and counseling simulations, role-played communication strategies after a medication error occurred, and discussed an introductory pharmacy practice experience focused on prescription processing and prevention of medication errors. Assessment Students completed an assessment prior to and after completion of the laboratory on their knowledge of and confidence in identifying medication errors. Students' knowledge and awareness of medication errors improved as did confidence in their ability to (1) recognize and avoid errors, (2) utilize methods to prevent errors, (3) communicate about errors with involved parties, and (4) select and report medication errors on an appropriate form. Conclusion Students' awareness of the pharmacist's role in medication error reduction improved and confidence in their ability to recognize, prevent, and communicate medication errors increased. PMID:19885068

  10. Advances in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research and its mechanism.

    PubMed

    He, Peng; Zou, Yening; Hu, Zhongyu

    2015-01-01

    In the past few decades, hundreds of materials have been tried as adjuvant; however, only aluminum-based adjuvants continue to be used widely in the world. Aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate and alum constitute the main forms of aluminum used as adjuvants. Among these, aluminum hydroxide is the most commonly used chemical as adjuvant. In spite of its wide spread use, surprisingly, the mechanism of how aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants exert their beneficial effects is still not fully understood. Current explanations for the mode of action of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants include, among others, the repository effect, pro-phagocytic effect, and activation of the pro-inflammatory NLRP3 pathway. These collectively galvanize innate as well as acquired immune responses and activate the complement system. Factors that have a profound influence on responses evoked by aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant applications include adsorption rate, strength of the adsorption, size and uniformity of aluminum hydroxide particles, dosage of adjuvant, and the nature of antigens. Although vaccines containing aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants are beneficial, sometimes they cause adverse reactions. Further, these vaccines cannot be stored frozen. Until recently, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants were known to preferentially prime Th2-type immune responses. However, results of more recent studies show that depending on the vaccination route, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants can enhance both Th1 as well as Th2 cellular responses. Advances in systems biology have opened up new avenues for studying mechanisms of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants. These will assist in scaling new frontiers in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research that include improvement of formulations, use of nanoparticles of aluminum hydroxide and development of composite adjuvants. PMID:25692535

  11. Advances in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research and its mechanism

    PubMed Central

    He, Peng; Zou, Yening; Hu, Zhongyu

    2015-01-01

    In the past few decades, hundreds of materials have been tried as adjuvant; however, only aluminum-based adjuvants continue to be used widely in the world. Aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate and alum constitute the main forms of aluminum used as adjuvants. Among these, aluminum hydroxide is the most commonly used chemical as adjuvant. In spite of its wide spread use, surprisingly, the mechanism of how aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants exert their beneficial effects is still not fully understood. Current explanations for the mode of action of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants include, among others, the repository effect, pro-phagocytic effect, and activation of the pro-inflammatory NLRP3 pathway. These collectively galvanize innate as well as acquired immune responses and activate the complement system. Factors that have a profound influence on responses evoked by aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant applications include adsorption rate, strength of the adsorption, size and uniformity of aluminum hydroxide particles, dosage of adjuvant, and the nature of antigens. Although vaccines containing aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants are beneficial, sometimes they cause adverse reactions. Further, these vaccines cannot be stored frozen. Until recently, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants were known to preferentially prime Th2-type immune responses. However, results of more recent studies show that depending on the vaccination route, aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants can enhance both Th1 as well as Th2 cellular responses. Advances in systems biology have opened up new avenues for studying mechanisms of aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvants. These will assist in scaling new frontiers in aluminum hydroxide-based adjuvant research that include improvement of formulations, use of nanoparticles of aluminum hydroxide and development of composite adjuvants. PMID:25692535

  12. Adjuvant Therapy for Gallbladder Carcinoma: The Mayo Clinic Experience

    SciTech Connect

    Gold, Douglas G.; Miller, Robert C. Haddock, Michael G.; Gunderson, Leonard L.; Quevedo, Fernando; Donohue, John H.; Bhatia, Sumita; Nagorney, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Purpose: To analyze the effect of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy on gallbladder carcinoma. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively reviewed the records from consecutive patients who underwent R0 resection of gallbladder carcinoma between January 1, 1985, and December 31, 2004. Patients had either Stage I (T1-T2N0M0) or Stage II (T3N0M0 or T1-T3N1M0) disease. Patients undergoing adjuvant therapy received 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy concurrently with radiotherapy (median dosage, 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions). Adverse prognostic factors and the effect of adjuvant treatment on overall survival (OS) were evaluated. Results: A total of 73 patients were included in the analysis; of these, 25 received adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. On univariate analysis, no adverse prognostic factors for OS reached statistical significance, but trends were noted for Stage N1 vs. N0 (p = .06), Nx vs. N0 (p = .09), Stage T3 vs. T1-T2 (p = .06), and histologic findings other than adenocarcinoma (p = .13). The median OS for patients receiving adjuvant chemoradiotherapy vs. surgery alone was 4.8 years and 4.2 years, respectively (log-rank test, p = .56). However, a significantly greater percentage of patients receiving adjuvant chemoradiotherapy had Stage II disease (p <.001). In the multivariate Cox model, increasing T and N category and histologic findings other than adenocarcinoma were significant predictors of decreased OS. Additionally, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy was a significant predictor of improved OS after adjusting for these prognostic factors (hazard ratio for death, 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.13-0.69; p = .004). Conclusion: After adjusting for the stage parameters and histologic findings, our data suggest that adjuvant chemoradiotherapy might improve OS for patients with gallbladder cancer.

  13. The Importance of Medication Errors Reporting in Improving the Quality of Clinical Care Services

    PubMed Central

    Elden, Nesreen Mohamed Kamal; Ismail, Amira

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Medication errors have significant implications on patient safety. Error detection through an active management and effective reporting system discloses medication errors and encourages safe practices. Objectives: To improve patient safety through determining and reducing the major causes of medication errors (MEs), after applying tailored preventive strategies. Methodology: A pre-test, post-test study was conducted on all inpatients at a 177 bed hospital where all medication procedures in each ward were monitored by a clinical pharmacist. The patient files were reviewed, as well. Error reports were submitted to a hospital multidisciplinary committee to identify major causes of errors. Accordingly, corrective interventions that consisted of targeted training programs for nurses and physicians were conducted. Results: Medication errors were higher during ordering/prescription stage (38.1%), followed by administration phase (20.9%). About 45% of errors reached the patients: 43.5% were harmless and 1.4% harmful. 7.7% were potential errors and more than 47% could be prevented. After the intervention, error rates decreased from (6.7%) to (3.6%) (P≤0.001). Conclusion: The role of a ward based clinical pharmacist with a hospital multidisciplinary committee was effective in recognizing, designing and implementing tailored interventions for reduction of medication errors. A systematic approach is urgently needed to decrease organizational susceptibility to errors, through providing required resources to monitor, analyze and implement effective interventions. PMID:27045415

  14. Educational strategies aimed at improving student nurse's medication calculation skills: a review of the research literature.

    PubMed

    Stolic, Snezana

    2014-09-01

    Medication administration is an important and essential nursing function with the potential for dangerous consequences if errors occur. Not only must nurses understand the use and outcomes of administering medications they must be able to calculate correct dosages. Medication administration and dosage calculation education occurs across the undergraduate program for student nurses. Research highlights inconsistencies in the approaches used by academics to enhance the student nurse's medication calculation abilities. The aim of this integrative review was to examine the literature available on effective education strategies for undergraduate student nurses on medication dosage calculations. A literature search of five health care databases: Sciencedirect, Cinahl, Pubmed, Proquest, Medline to identify journal articles between 1990 and 2012 was conducted. Research articles on medication calculation educational strategies were considered for inclusion in this review. The search yielded 266 papers of which 20 meet the inclusion criteria. A total of 5206 student nurse were included in the final review. The review revealed educational strategies fell into four types of strategies; traditional pedagogy, technology, psychomotor skills and blended learning. The results suggested student nurses showed some benefit from the different strategies; however more improvements could be made. More rigorous research into this area is needed.

  15. Improving Confidence in Competencies for International Medical Trips Using a Curriculum with Simulation.

    PubMed

    Birckhead, Brandon J; Mullikin, Trey C; Zubair, Adeel S; Alniemi, Dema; Franz, Walter B; Bachman, John W

    2015-01-01

    Many incoming medical and undergraduate students seek out international medical mission trips to supplement their education and training. However, few have the necessary skills to perform simple clinical tasks such as taking vital signs or conducting an initial patient interview. We conducted a small pilot study to assess the impact of simulation exercises on teaching incoming first-year medical students and undergraduate students basic clinical skills and teamwork. Our study population consisted of nine incoming medical students and 11 undergraduate students who participated in a training session involving simulated tasks prior to taking a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Participants completed a survey before and after the simulation and at the end of the trip. All 20 indicated the simulation was effective in teaching clinical and team-building skills. In addition, the simulation exercise improved participants' confidence in their ability to perform certain clinical tasks and work as a team prior to the mission trip. We concluded that simulation is effective for incoming medical and undergraduate students and can be used prior to global health trips to increase their confidence in performing tasks required for a successful experience.

  16. Improving Confidence in Competencies for International Medical Trips Using a Curriculum with Simulation.

    PubMed

    Birckhead, Brandon J; Mullikin, Trey C; Zubair, Adeel S; Alniemi, Dema; Franz, Walter B; Bachman, John W

    2015-01-01

    Many incoming medical and undergraduate students seek out international medical mission trips to supplement their education and training. However, few have the necessary skills to perform simple clinical tasks such as taking vital signs or conducting an initial patient interview. We conducted a small pilot study to assess the impact of simulation exercises on teaching incoming first-year medical students and undergraduate students basic clinical skills and teamwork. Our study population consisted of nine incoming medical students and 11 undergraduate students who participated in a training session involving simulated tasks prior to taking a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Participants completed a survey before and after the simulation and at the end of the trip. All 20 indicated the simulation was effective in teaching clinical and team-building skills. In addition, the simulation exercise improved participants' confidence in their ability to perform certain clinical tasks and work as a team prior to the mission trip. We concluded that simulation is effective for incoming medical and undergraduate students and can be used prior to global health trips to increase their confidence in performing tasks required for a successful experience. PMID:26720942

  17. Cognitive aid use improves transition of care by graduating medical students during a simulated crisis

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Brooke; Rebel, Annette; Dilorenzo, Amy; Schell, Randall M.; Dority, Jeremy S.; Lukens, Faith; Sloan, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Residents are expected to have transition of care (ToC) skills upon entering graduate medical education. It is unclear whether experience and training during medical school is adequate. Objective The aim of the project was to assess: 1) graduating medical students’ ability to perform ToC in a crisis situation, and 2) whether using a cognitive aid improves the ToC quality. Methods The authors developed simulation scenarios for rapid response teams and a cognitive aid to assist in the ToC during crisis situations. Graduating medical students were enrolled and randomly divided into teams of three students, randomly assigned into one of two groups: teams using a cognitive aid for ToC (CA), or not using a cognitive aid (nCA). In the scenario, teams respond to a deteriorating patient and then transfer care to the next provider after stabilization. Three faculty reviewed the recording to assess completeness of the ToC and the overall quality. A completeness score was expressed as a fraction of the maximum score. Statistical analysis was performed using a t-test and Mann-Whitney U test. Results A total of 112 senior medical students participated: CA n=19, nCA n=17. The completeness score of the ToC and overall quality improved when using the cognitive aid (completeness score: CA 0.80±0.06 vs. nCA 0.52±0.07, p<0.01; ToC quality: CA 3.16±0.65 vs. nCA 1.92±0.56, p<0.01). Participants’ rating of knowledge and comfort with the ToC process increased after the simulation. Conclusion The completeness of information transfer during the ToC process by graduating medical students improved by using a cognitive aid in a simulated patient crisis. PMID:27435838

  18. A comprehensive model to build improvement capability in a pediatric academic medical center.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, Gerry M; Schoettker, Pamela J; Alessandrini, Evaline A; Luzader, Carolyn; Kotagal, Uma

    2014-01-01

    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center developed a comprehensive model to build quality improvement (QI) capability to support its goal to transform its delivery system through a series of training courses. Two online modules orient staff to basic concepts and terminology and prepare them to participate more effectively in QI teams. The basic program (Rapid Cycle Improvement Collaborative, RCIC) is focused on developing the capability to use basic QI tools and complete a narrow-scoped project in approximately 120 days. The Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I(2)S(2)) program is a leadership course focusing on improvement skills and developing a broader and deeper understanding of QI in the context of the organization and external environment. The Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM) course and Quality Scholars Program stimulate the use of more sophisticated methods and prepare Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and external faculty to undertake QI research. The Advanced Improvement Leadership Systems (AILS) sessions enable interprofessional care delivery system leadership teams to effectively lead a system of care, manage a portfolio of projects, and to deliver on CCHMC's strategic plan. Implementing these programs has shown us that 1) a multilevel curricular approach to building improvement capability is pragmatic and effective, 2) an interprofessional learning environment is critical to shifting mental models, 3) repetition of project experience with coaching and feedback solidifies critical skills, knowledge and behaviors, and 4) focusing first on developing capable interprofessional improvement leaders, versus engaging in broad general QI training across the whole organization, is effective. PMID:24369867

  19. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 1. Definition and importance of quality in medical practice].

    PubMed

    Godény, Sándor

    2012-01-22

    In Hungary, financing of healthcare has decreased relative to the GDP, while the health status of the population is still ranks among the worst in the European Union. Since healthcare financing is not expected to increase, the number of practicing doctors per capita is continuously decreasing. In the coming years, it is an important question that in this situation what methods can be used to prevent further deterioration of the health status of the Hungarian population, and within this is the role of the quality approach, and different methods of quality management. In the present and the forthcoming two articles those standpoints will be summarized which support the need for the integration of quality assurance in the everyday medical practice. In the first part the importance of quality thinking, quality management, quality assurance, necessity of quality measurement and improvement, furthermore, advantages of the quality systems will be discussed.

  20. Improve medical malpractice law by letting health care insurers take charge.

    PubMed

    Reinker, Kenneth S; Rosenberg, David

    2011-01-01

    This essay discusses unlimited insurance subrogation (UIS) as a means of improving the deterrence and compensation results of medical malpractice law. Under UIS, health care insureds could assign their entire potential medical malpractice claims to their first-party commercial and government insurers. UIS should improve deterrence by establishing first-party insurers as plaintiffs to confront liability insurers on the defense side, leading to more effective prosecution of meritorious claims and reducing meritless and unnecessary litigation. UIS should improve compensation outcomes by converting litigation cost- and risk- laden "tort insurance" into cheaper and enhanced first-party insurance. UIS also promises dynamic benefits through further reforms by contract between the first-party and liability insurers that would take charge of system. No UIS-related costs are apparent that would outweigh these benefits.

  1. A network-based system to improve care for schizophrenia: the Medical Informatics Network Tool (MINT).

    PubMed

    Young, Alexander S; Mintz, Jim; Cohen, Amy N; Chinman, Matthew J

    2004-01-01

    The Medical Informatics Network Tool (MINT) is a software system that supports the management of care for chronic illness. It is designed to improve clinical information, facilitate teamwork, and allow management of health care quality. MINT includes a browser interface for entry and organization of data and preparation of real-time reports. It includes personal computer-based applications that interact with clinicians. MINT is being used in a project to improve the treatment of schizophrenia. At each patient visit, a nurse briefly assesses symptoms, side effects, and other key problems and enters this information into MINT. When the physician subsequently opens the patient's electronic medical record, a window appears with the assessment information, a messaging interface, and access to treatment guidelines. Clinicians and managers receive reports regarding the quality of patients' treatment. To date, MINT has been used with more than 165 patients and 29 psychiatrists and has supported practices that are consistent with improvements in the quality of care.

  2. Organizational barriers to quality improvement in medical and health care organizations.

    PubMed

    Ziegenfuss, J T

    1991-01-01

    This paper identifies organizational barriers to quality improvement in medical and health care organizations. Quality is now recognized as one of the most challenging issues of the 1990s. The push for quality improvement rests on the significant assumption that large and small medical and health care organizations will engage in quality assessment and assurance. Both researchers and practitioners must consider the organizational barriers the quality movement will encounter, particularly those major impediments to be overcome in the next 5-10 years. This paper organizes the analysis of organizational barriers to quality assessment and assurance according to a five-part systems model of the organization. The barriers are categorized as technical, structural, psychosocial, managerial, and goals and values. Following a mapping of the barriers, education, training, and research and development needs to support quality improvement are identified.

  3. Reduced medication use and improved pulmonary function with supplements containing vegetable and fruit concentrate, fish oil and probiotics in asthmatic school children: a randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shu-Chen; Yang, Yao-Hsu; Chuang, Shao-Yuan; Huang, Shih-Yi; Pan, Wen-Harn

    2013-07-14

    Dietary pattern changes may be one of the key factors associated with increasing asthma prevalence. Observational studies have found negative associations between fruit, vegetable and fish consumption and risk of asthma. Experimental studies have also shown that probiotics can modulate the immune system. However, each dietary component exhibits a modest effect. The objective of the present study was to investigate the joint effect of multiple beneficial dietary components on asthma. We designed a 16-week school-based double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial. The supplement group received fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics (FVFP supplement), while the control group received placebos. A total of 192 asthmatic children aged 10-12 years were recruited from elementary schools in metropolitan Taipei. Pulmonary function, medication usage, Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAQLQ) score and the Childhood Asthma Control Test score were evaluated at baseline, and at weeks 8 and 16. Compared with the placebo group, the supplement group showed significant improvement in pulmonary function parameters (91 v. 178 ml for forced vital capacity (FVC), 40 v. 107 ml for forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and 1·6 v. 4·8 % for FEV1:FVC ratio; all P values < 0·01) and had a significantly reduced proportion of those using short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. However, the PAQLQ score and the Childhood Asthma Control Test score were not significantly different between the two groups, possibly because the majority of the children were treated routinely. FVFP supplements reduced medication use and improved pulmonary function in asthmatic children. The present study supports an adjuvant intervention with a combination of fruit, vegetable, fish and probiotic foods.

  4. Adjuvant therapy with bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids suppresses systemic inflammation and improves quality of life in patients with solid tumors: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Panahi, Yunes; Saadat, Alireza; Beiraghdar, Fatemeh; Sahebkar, Amirhossein

    2014-10-01

    Curcuminoids are bioactive polyphenolics with potent antiinflammatory properties. Although several lines of in vitro and preclinical evidence suggest potent anticancer effects of curcuminoids, clinical findings have not been conclusive. The present randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of curcuminoids as adjuvant therapy in cancer patients. Eighty subjects with solid tumors who were under standard chemotherapy regimens were randomly assigned to a bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids preparation (180 mg/day; n = 40) or matched placebo (n = 40) for a period of 8 weeks. Efficacy measures were changes in the health-related quality of life (QoL) score (evaluated using the University of Washington index) and serum levels of a panel of mediators implicated in systemic inflammation including interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 8 (IL-8), TNF-α, transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). Curcuminoid supplementation was associated with a significantly greater improvement in QoL compared with placebo (p < 0.001). Consistently, the magnitude of reductions in TNF-α (p < 0.001), TGFβ (p < 0.001), IL-6 (p = 0.061), substance P (p = 0.005), hs-CRP (p < 0.001), CGRP (p < 0.001) and MCP-1 (p < 0.001) were all significantly greater in the curcuminoids versus placebo group. In contrast, the extent of reduction in serum IL-8 was significantly greater with placebo versus curcuminoids (p = 0.012). Quality of life variations were associated with changes in serum TGFβ levels in both correlation and regression analyses. Adjuvant therapy with a bioavailable curcuminoid preparation can significantly improve QoL and suppress systemic inflammation in patients with solid tumors who are under treatment with standard chemotherapy protocols.

  5. Continuing medical education, quality improvement, and organizational change: implications of recent theories for twenty-first-century CME.

    PubMed

    Price, David

    2005-05-01

    Healthcare providers and systems are being asked to measure and improve the quality of care delivered to their patients. Additionally, the American Board of Medical Specialties now requires physicians to participate in systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement activities as part of maintenance of specialty board certification. These changing paradigms provide opportunities for continuing medical education to become more aligned with health system goals and help prepare clinicians to practice in this new environment. Organizational change and quality improvement principles have much in common with continuing medical education planning processes. Medical education can play a role in helping organizations improve. Continuing medical education must move beyond delivering content to individual clinicians towards becoming a facilitator of organizational improvement. Research is needed to determine the effect of integrating continuing medical education with organizational change approaches on professional competence, organizational processes and patient outcomes.

  6. Research on an Improved Medical Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model.

    PubMed

    Dong, Beibei; Yang, Jingjing; Hao, Shangfu; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Image enhancement can improve the detail of the image and so as to achieve the purpose of the identification of the image. At present, the image enhancement is widely used in medical images, which can help doctor's diagnosis. IEABPM (Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model) is one of the most common image enhancement algorithms. However, it may cause the lost of the texture details and other features. To solve the problems, this paper proposes an IIEABPM (Improved Image Enhancement Algorithm Based on P-M Model). Simulation demonstrates that IIEABPM can effectively solve the problems of IEABPM, and improve image clarity, image contrast, and image brightness. PMID:26628929

  7. Improving viable low cost generic medication prescription rate in primary care pediatric practice

    PubMed Central

    Sudhanthar, Sathyanarayan; Turner, Jane; Thakur, Kripa; Sigal, Yakov

    2015-01-01

    answer any questions from parents. Monthly reports were obtained from the HIT about our progress. After 12 months of implementing this project, the overall generic prescription rate increased from 20% at the end of first quarter 2012 to 53% at the end of 12 months, and 65.5% at the end of two years. This was well above the MSU health team (about six large group practices) primary care average of 34.6%. All brand name medication prescription rates were also decreased. This is a positive outcome for this project in a relatively short period of time, and a further plan will be to repeat the cycle and continue to improve on the generic prescription rate, thereby saving valuable dollars spent on health care. PMID:26734452

  8. [Dentists should improve the ability to deal with medical emergencies in dental clinic].

    PubMed

    Pan, Jian; Liao, Xuejuan; Zhang, Zhuang

    2015-08-01

    In recent years, the number of outpatients in stomatological hospital is in increasing year by year and being accompanied by the corresponding medical risks. One of the risks which may endanger the patient life is medical emergency which need emergency treatment by the dentists in dental clinical practice. The most common emergency type is syncope, followed by hyperventilation, drug overdose, adrenaline reaction and hypertension, etc. Unexpected events mainly occurred at the end of the treatment and before leaving the dental clinic, during or immediately after the local anesthesia, in the treatment process. Tooth extraction related emergency is the most frequently occurring emergency, followed by the local anesthesia related ones. It's strongly suggested that dentists should pay more attention to outpatient clinical emergency treatment, and related knowledge and skills training should be offered to improve the ability to handle medical emergencies.

  9. Intravitreal Ranibizumab Injection as an Adjuvant in the Treatment of Neovascular Glaucoma Accompanied by Vitreous Hemorrhage after Diabetic Vitrectomy

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Xi; Chen, Yanwei; Wang, Yanuo; Yang, Lu; Zhong, Yisheng

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To determine the efficacy of intravitreal ranibizumab injection as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of neovascular glaucoma (NVG) accompanied by postvitrectomy diabetic vitreous hemorrhage (PDVH). Methods. Eighteen NVG patients (18 eyes) accompanied by PDVH were enrolled in this prospective, monocenter, 12-month, interventional case series. The consecutive 18 patients with an IOP ≥ 25 mmHg despite being treated with the maximum medical therapy were treated with intravitreal ranibizumab injections. Vitreous surgery or/with Ahmed valve implantation were indicated if no clinical improvement in vitreous haemorrhage and uncontrolled IOP was shown. Results. Ten patients got clear vitreous and controlled IOP only with 2.7 ± 1.8 injections of ranibizumab without additional surgery. Vitrectomy or/with Ahmed valve implantation was administered in the other 8 eyes due to uncontrolled VH and IOP. At follow-up month 12, all the 18 eyes gained clear vitreous. At month 12 BCVA improved significantly compared to baseline. The baseline and follow-up at month 12 IOP/medication usage were 36.7 ± 8.1 mmHg on 3.4 ± 0.7 medications and 16.2 ± 4.9 mmHg on 0.67 ± 0.77 medications, respectively. Conclusions. The findings suggest that intravitreal ranibizumab injection as adjuvant therapy for treatment of NVG accompanied by PDVH may be safe and potentially effective. This clinical trial is registered with NCT02647515. PMID:27293875

  10. Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Ciarlo, Timothy J.; Mullin, Christopher A.; Frazier, James L.; Schmehl, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s). The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. Methodology/Principal Findings An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants) were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. Conclusions/Significance A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many social interactions

  11. Adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment in pancreatic cancer

    PubMed Central

    Herreros-Villanueva, Marta; Hijona, Elizabeth; Cosme, Angel; Bujanda, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most aggressive human malignancies, ranking 4th among causes for cancer-related death in the Western world including the United States. Surgical resection offers the only chance of cure, but only 15 to 20 percent of cases are potentially resectable at presentation. Different studies demonstrate and confirm that advanced pancreatic cancer is among the most complex cancers to treat and that these tumors are relatively resistant to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Currently there is no consensus around the world on what constitutes “standard” adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer. This controversy derives from several studies, each fraught with its own limitations. Standards of care also vary somewhat with regard to geography and economy, for instance chemo-radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy or vice versa is considered the optimal therapy in North America while chemotherapy alone is the current standard in Europe. Regardless of the efforts in adjuvant and neoadjuvant improved therapy, the major goal to combat pancreatic cancer is to find diagnostic markers, identifying the disease in a pre-metastatic stage and making a curative treatment accessible to more patients. In this review, authors examined the different therapy options for advanced pancreatic patients in recent years and the future directions in adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments for these patients. PMID:22529684

  12. Comparable quality attributes of hepatitis E vaccine antigen with and without adjuvant adsorption-dissolution treatment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Li, Min; Yang, Fan; Li, Yufang; Zheng, Zizheng; Zhang, Xiao; Lin, Qingshan; Wang, Ying; Li, Shaowei; Xia, Ningshao; Zhang, Jun; Zhao, Qinjian

    2015-01-01

    Most vaccines require adjuvants for antigen stabilization and immune potentiation. Aluminum-based adjuvants are the most widely used adjuvants for human vaccines. Previous reports demonstrated the preservation of antigen conformation and other antigen characteristics after recovery from adjuvanted Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus vaccines. In this study, we used a combination of various physiochemical and immunochemical methods to analyze hepatitis E vaccine antigen quality attributes after recovery from adjuvants. All biochemical and biophysical methods showed similar characteristics of the p239 protein after recovery from adjuvanted vaccine formulation compared to the antigen in solution which never experienced adsorption/desorption process. Most importantly, we demonstrated full preservation of key antigen epitopes post-recovery from adjuvanted vaccine using a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies as exquisite probes. Antigenicity of p239 was probed with a panel of 9 mAbs using competition/blocking ELISA, surface plasmon resonance and sandwich ELISA methods. These multifaceted analyses demonstrated the preservation of antigen key epitopes and comparable protein thermal stability when adsorbed on adjuvants or of the recovered antigen post-dissolution treatment. A better understanding of the antigen conformation in adjuvanted vaccine will enhanced our knowledge of antigen-adjuvant interactions and facilitate an improved process control and development of stable vaccine formulation.

  13. Comparable quality attributes of hepatitis E vaccine antigen with and without adjuvant adsorption-dissolution treatment

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yue; Li, Min; Yang, Fan; Li, Yufang; Zheng, Zizheng; Zhang, Xiao; Lin, Qingshan; Wang, Ying; Li, Shaowei; Xia, Ningshao; Zhang, Jun; Zhao, Qinjian

    2015-01-01

    Most vaccines require adjuvants for antigen stabilization and immune potentiation. Aluminum-based adjuvants are the most widely used adjuvants for human vaccines. Previous reports demonstrated the preservation of antigen conformation and other antigen characteristics after recovery from adjuvanted Hepatitis B and human papillomavirus vaccines. In this study, we used a combination of various physiochemical and immunochemical methods to analyze hepatitis E vaccine antigen quality attributes after recovery from adjuvants. All biochemical and biophysical methods showed similar characteristics of the p239 protein after recovery from adjuvanted vaccine formulation compared to the antigen in solution which never experienced adsorption/desorption process. Most importantly, we demonstrated full preservation of key antigen epitopes post-recovery from adjuvanted vaccine using a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies as exquisite probes. Antigenicity of p239 was probed with a panel of 9 mAbs using competition/blocking ELISA, surface plasmon resonance and sandwich ELISA methods. These multifaceted analyses demonstrated the preservation of antigen key epitopes and comparable protein thermal stability when adsorbed on adjuvants or of the recovered antigen post-dissolution treatment. A better understanding of the antigen conformation in adjuvanted vaccine will enhanced our knowledge of antigen-adjuvant interactions and facilitate an improved process control and development of stable vaccine formulation. PMID:26018442

  14. A vertically integrated geriatric curriculum improves medical student knowledge and clinical skills.

    PubMed

    Supiano, Mark A; Fitzgerald, James T; Hall, Karen E; Halter, Jeffrey B

    2007-10-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a vertically integrated curriculum intervention on the geriatric knowledge and performance in clinical skills of third-year medical students. This observational cohort study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School evaluates the performance of 622 third-year medical students from the graduating class years of 2004 through 2007. An integrated curriculum intervention was developed and implemented for the class of 2006. Its elements included identification and tracking of geriatric learning outcomes in an individualized Web-based student portfolio, integration of geriatric content into preclinical courses, development of a geriatric functional assessment standardized patient instructor, and an experience in a geriatrics clinic during the ambulatory component of the third-year internal medicine clerkship. Medical student performance was assessed on a geriatric knowledge test and during a geriatric functional assessment station administered during an Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) at the beginning of the fourth year. Student performance on the geriatric functional assessment OSCE station progressively improved from pre-intervention performance (mean performance+/-standard deviation 43+/-15% class of 2005, 62 + 15% class of 2006, 78+/-10% class of 2007; analysis of variance, P<.001). Similarly, student performance on the geriatric knowledge test was significantly better for the classes of 2006 and 2007 than for the class of 2005 (model F ratio=4.72; P<.001). In conclusion, an integrated approach to incorporating new educational geriatric objectives into the medical school curriculum leads to significant improvements in medical student knowledge and in important clinical skills in the functional assessment of older patients.

  15. Medical education and the quality improvement spiral: A case study from Mpumalanga, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bergh, Anne-Marie; Etsane, Mama E.; Hugo, Jannie

    2015-01-01

    Background: The short timeframe of medical students’ rotations is not always conducive to successful, in-depth quality-improvement projects requiring a more longitudinal approach. Aim: To describe the process of inducting students into a longitudinal quality-improvement project, using the topic of the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative as a case study; and to explore the possible contribution of a quality-improvement project to the development of student competencies. Setting: Mpumalanga clinical learning centres, where University of Pretoria medical students did their district health rotations. Method: Consecutive student groups had to engage with a hospital's compliance with specific steps of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that form the standards for the Mother- and Baby-Friendly Initiative. Primary data sources included an on-site PowerPoint group presentation (n = 42), a written group report (n = 42) and notes of individual interviews in an end-of-rotation objectively structured clinical examination station (n = 139). Results: Activities in each rotation varied according to the needs identified through the application of the quality-improvement cycle in consultation with the local health team. The development of student competencies is described according to the roles of a medical expert in the CanMEDS framework: collaborator, health advocate, scholar, communicator, manager and professional. The exposure to the real-life situation in South African public hospitals had a great influence on many students, who also acted as catalysts for transforming practice. Conclusion: Service learning and quality-improvement projects can be successfully integrated in one rotation and can contribute to the development of the different roles of a medical expert. More studies could provide insight into the potential of this approach in transforming institutions and student learning. PMID:26245606

  16. Integrated Medical Model (IMM) Optimization Version 4.0 Functional Improvements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arellano, John; Young, M.; Boley, L.; Garcia, Y.; Saile, L.; Walton, M.; Kerstman, E.; Reyes, D.; Goodenow, D. A.; Myers, J. G.

    2016-01-01

    The IMMs ability to assess mission outcome risk levels relative to available resources provides a unique capability to provide guidance on optimal operational medical kit and vehicle resources. Post-processing optimization allows IMM to optimize essential resources to improve a specific model outcome such as maximization of the Crew Health Index (CHI), or minimization of the probability of evacuation (EVAC) or the loss of crew life (LOCL). Mass and or volume constrain the optimized resource set. The IMMs probabilistic simulation uses input data on one hundred medical conditions to simulate medical events that may occur in spaceflight, the resources required to treat those events, and the resulting impact to the mission based on specific crew and mission characteristics. Because IMM version 4.0 provides for partial treatment for medical events, IMM Optimization 4.0 scores resources at the individual resource unit increment level as opposed to the full condition-specific treatment set level, as done in version 3.0. This allows the inclusion of as many resources as possible in the event that an entire set of resources called out for treatment cannot satisfy the constraints. IMM Optimization version 4.0 adds capabilities that increase efficiency by creating multiple resource sets based on differing constraints and priorities, CHI, EVAC, or LOCL. It also provides sets of resources that improve mission-related IMM v4.0 outputs with improved performance compared to the prior optimization. The new optimization represents much improved fidelity that will improve the utility of the IMM 4.0 for decision support.

  17. Innate immunity and adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Akira, Shizuo

    2011-01-01

    Innate immunity was for a long time considered to be non-specific because the major function of this system is to digest pathogens and present antigens to the cells involved in acquired immunity. However, recent studies have shown that innate immunity is not non-specific, but is instead sufficiently specific to discriminate self from pathogens through evolutionarily conserved receptors, designated Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Indeed, innate immunity has a crucial role in early host defence against invading pathogens. Furthermore, TLRs were found to act as adjuvant receptors that create a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, and to have important roles in the induction of adaptive immunity. This paradigm shift is now changing our thinking on the pathogenesis and treatment of infectious, immune and allergic diseases, as well as cancers. Besides TLRs, recent findings have revealed the presence of a cytosolic detector system for invading pathogens. I will review the mechanisms of pathogen recognition by TLRs and cytoplasmic receptors, and then discuss the roles of these receptors in the development of adaptive immunity in response to viral infection. PMID:21893536

  18. The Role of Adjuvant Radiation in Uterine Sarcomas

    SciTech Connect

    Sampath, Sagus; Schultheiss, Timothy E.; Ryu, Janice K.; Wong, Jeffrey Y.C.

    2010-03-01

    Purpose: To determine clinical and pathological factors significant for overall survival (OS) and local-regional failure-free survival (LRFFS) in uterine sarcoma as they relate to adjuvant radiotherapy (AR). Methods and Materials: A retrospective analysis of 3,650 patients with uterine sarcoma was conducted using the National Oncology Database, a proprietary database of aggregated tumor registries owned by Impac Medical Systems (Sunnyvale, CA). Adjuvant radiotherapy was defined as postoperative external beam radiation to the pelvis, with or without brachytherapy. Prognostic factors were identified by multivariate analysis (MVA) using the Cox proportional hazards model. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival, with significant differences (p < 0.05) determined using the log-rank test. Results: The median follow-up time was 59 months, with a 5-year OS of 37%. Significant prognostic factors for OS were stage, race/ethnicity, grade, age, histology, lymph node status, and surgical treatment (p < 0.01 for all factors). Use of AR was not predictive for OS. For nonmetastatic cancer patients receiving definitive surgery (n = 2,206), the 5-year LRFFS was 87%. In this group, stage, grade, histology, and AR were prognostic for LRFFS (p < 0.05), with AR associated with improved outcome compared with surgery alone (hazard ratio = 0.4, p < 0.001). Patients with carcinosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, poorly differentiated tumors, and negative lymph nodes had reduced local-regional failure (LRF) with AR (log-rank, p < 0.05 for all). Conclusion: In the largest retrospective analysis of uterine sarcoma published thus far, AR conferred a 53% reduction in the risk of LRF at 5 years. Use of AR may have broader indications than what are currently accepted in clinical practice.

  19. Improving the social responsiveness of medical schools: lessons from the Canadian experience.

    PubMed

    Cappon, P; Watson, D

    1999-08-01

    The recent Canadian experience in promoting social accountability and social responsiveness of medical schools has been one of steady improvement in certain institutions, against a background lacking overall national policy direction. Canada has several distinct advantages in trying to devise means of enhancing social accountability of medical training and health services, including a strong national system of publicly supported and financed health care of high quality, a network of excellent academic medical centers, and well-established accreditation bodies. A review of the literature, complemented by a new survey of Canadian medical schools, confirms that some of the centers, conscious of the need to promote social responsiveness, are developing innovative programs to do so. Future progress toward the goal of social responsiveness of medical schools on a pan-Canadian basis will require a more cohesive approach involving systematic sharing of best practices among academic health centers, effective alliances with other health professionals to promote these objectives, and support by federal and provincial ministries of health. Canadian awareness of an international movement tending to similar objectives would support the efforts of Canadian health professionals engaged in practices of enhanced accountability.

  20. Security analysis and improvement of a privacy authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fan; Xu, Lili

    2013-08-01

    Nowadays, patients can gain many kinds of medical service on line via Telecare Medical Information Systems(TMIS) due to the fast development of computer technology. So security of communication through network between the users and the server is very significant. Authentication plays an important part to protect information from being attacked by malicious attackers. Recently, Jiang et al. proposed a privacy enhanced scheme for TMIS using smart cards and claimed their scheme was better than Chen et al.'s. However, we have showed that Jiang et al.'s scheme has the weakness of ID uselessness and is vulnerable to off-line password guessing attack and user impersonation attack if an attacker compromises the legal user's smart card. Also, it can't resist DoS attack in two cases: after a successful impersonation attack and wrong password input in Password change phase. Then we propose an improved mutual authentication scheme used for a telecare medical information system. Remote monitoring, checking patients' past medical history record and medical consultant can be applied in the system where information transmits via Internet. Finally, our analysis indicates that the suggested scheme overcomes the disadvantages of Jiang et al.'s scheme and is practical for TMIS. PMID:23818249

  1. Security analysis and improvement of a privacy authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Wu, Fan; Xu, Lili

    2013-08-01

    Nowadays, patients can gain many kinds of medical service on line via Telecare Medical Information Systems(TMIS) due to the fast development of computer technology. So security of communication through network between the users and the server is very significant. Authentication plays an important part to protect information from being attacked by malicious attackers. Recently, Jiang et al. proposed a privacy enhanced scheme for TMIS using smart cards and claimed their scheme was better than Chen et al.'s. However, we have showed that Jiang et al.'s scheme has the weakness of ID uselessness and is vulnerable to off-line password guessing attack and user impersonation attack if an attacker compromises the legal user's smart card. Also, it can't resist DoS attack in two cases: after a successful impersonation attack and wrong password input in Password change phase. Then we propose an improved mutual authentication scheme used for a telecare medical information system. Remote monitoring, checking patients' past medical history record and medical consultant can be applied in the system where information transmits via Internet. Finally, our analysis indicates that the suggested scheme overcomes the disadvantages of Jiang et al.'s scheme and is practical for TMIS.

  2. Improving the social responsiveness of medical schools: lessons from the Canadian experience.

    PubMed

    Cappon, P; Watson, D

    1999-08-01

    The recent Canadian experience in promoting social accountability and social responsiveness of medical schools has been one of steady improvement in certain institutions, against a background lacking overall national policy direction. Canada has several distinct advantages in trying to devise means of enhancing social accountability of medical training and health services, including a strong national system of publicly supported and financed health care of high quality, a network of excellent academic medical centers, and well-established accreditation bodies. A review of the literature, complemented by a new survey of Canadian medical schools, confirms that some of the centers, conscious of the need to promote social responsiveness, are developing innovative programs to do so. Future progress toward the goal of social responsiveness of medical schools on a pan-Canadian basis will require a more cohesive approach involving systematic sharing of best practices among academic health centers, effective alliances with other health professionals to promote these objectives, and support by federal and provincial ministries of health. Canadian awareness of an international movement tending to similar objectives would support the efforts of Canadian health professionals engaged in practices of enhanced accountability. PMID:10495748

  3. Voucher reinforcement improves medication adherence in HIV-positive methadone patients: a randomized trial.

    PubMed

    Sorensen, James L; Haug, Nancy A; Delucchi, Kevin L; Gruber, Valerie; Kletter, Evan; Batki, Steven L; Tulsky, Jacqueline P; Barnett, Paul; Hall, Sharon

    2007-04-17

    This clinical trial evaluated a contingency management intervention designed to improve medication adherence among HIV-positive methadone maintenance patients. After a 4-week baseline observation phase, eligible participants (N=66) were randomly assigned to: (a) medication coaching sessions every other week to assist with adherence strategies (comparison group) or (b) medication coaching plus voucher reinforcement for opening electronic medication caps on time (voucher group). Baseline adherence (percent doses taken/percent total possible doses) was 51% using electronic measurement, 75% using self-report and 75% using pill count. The intervention was provided for 12 weeks, with a 4-week follow-up. The primary outcome results of the clinical trial indicated effectiveness during the intervention, with significant mean adherence differences between voucher and comparison groups using electronic measurement (78% versus 56%), pill count (86% versus 75%), and self-report (87% versus 69%). Differences between groups faded after vouchers were discontinued. Contingency management shows promise as a strategy to promote antiretroviral medication adherence in this population.

  4. Strategy to improve quality in emergency medical services: from assessment to policy.

    PubMed

    Tozija, Fimka; Jankulovski, Nikola

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this paper was to present the strategic approach applied for improvement of quality in emergency medical services (EMS) in the Republic of Macedonia. This approach was accomplished through three stages: (I) assessment and recommendations for policies; (II) development of innovative evidence-based programmes; and (III) policy implementation. Strategic assessment of EMS was performed by applying WHO standard methodology. A survey was conducted in 2006/2007 on the national level in fifteen general hospitals, four university hospitals, and sixteen pre-hospital EMS. The overall evaluation was based on a hospital emergency department (ED) questionnaire, information on the general characteristics of the pre-hospital dispatch centre, review of ED medical records, and the patient questionnaire. The key findings of the assessment showed that EMS required extensive changes and improvements. Pre-hospital EMS was not well-developed and utilised. Hospital EDs were not organised as separate divisions ran by a head medical doctor. The diagnostic and treatment capacities were insufficient or outdated. Most of the surveyed hospitals were capable of providing essential diagnostic tests in 24 h or less. There was no follow-up of the EMS patients or an appropriate link between the hospital EDs and primary health care facilities. The main findings of the assessment, recommendations, and proposals for action served as the basis for new policies and integrated into Macedonia's official strategy for emergency medical services 2009-2017.

  5. Getting Our Own House in Order: Improving Psychiatry Education to Medical Students as a Prelude to Medical School Education Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alpert, Jonathan E.; Schlozman, Steve; Badaracco, Mary Anne; Burke, Jay; Borus, Jonathan F.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: The authors summarize efforts to revitalize psychiatry teaching to medical students at Harvard Medical School (HMS) in advance of a major overhaul of the medical school curriculum. Methods: This preliminary report chronicles key challenges and the organization of the reform effort within the departments of psychiatry affiliated with the…

  6. Isometric handgrip training improves local flow-mediated dilation in medicated hypertensives.

    PubMed

    McGowan, Cheri L; Visocchi, Adrienne; Faulkner, Martha; Verduyn, Robin; Rakobowchuk, Mark; Levy, Andrew S; McCartney, Neil; Macdonald, Maureen J

    2006-11-01

    Bilateral isometric handgrip (IHG) training lowers resting arterial blood pressure (BP) in medicated hypertensives. Numerous mechanisms have been suggested, but have yet to be investigated. One such mechanism is that of improved systemic endothelial-dependent vasodilation. The purpose of this investigation was twofold: (1) to determine if Bilateral IHG training had any beneficial effects on endothelial-dependent vasodilation, and (2) to see if improved systemic endothelial-dependent vasodilation was responsible for lowering BP. Sixteen participants performed four, 2 min IHG contractions at 30% of their maximal voluntary effort, using either a Bilateral (n = 7) or a Unilateral IHG protocol (n = 9), three times per week for 8 weeks. Brachial artery (BA) flow-mediated dilation (FMD, an index of endothelial-dependent vasodilation, measured in both arms) was assessed pre-and post-training. Following Bilateral IHG training, BA FMD improved in both arms (normalized to peak shear rate, 0.005 +/- 0.001 to 0.02 +/- 0.002 s(-1), P < 0.01). Following Unilateral IHG training, BA FMD improved in the trained arm only (normalized: 0.009 +/- 0.002 to 0.02 +/- 0.005 s(-1), P < 0.01). These findings suggest that although IHG training improves endothelial-dependent vasodilation, the improvements occur only locally in the trained limbs. This suggests that enhanced systemic endothelial-dependent vasodilation is not the mechanism responsible for the observed post-IHG training reductions in BP in medicated hypertensives. PMID:16924526

  7. Use of S-[2,3-Bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-Propyl]-R-Cysteinyl-Amido-Monomethoxy Polyethylene Glycol as an Adjuvant Improved Protective Immunity Associated with a DNA Vaccine Encoding Cu,Zn Superoxide Dismutase of Brucella abortus in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Retamal-Díaz, Angello; Riquelme-Neira, Roberto; Sáez, Darwin; Rivera, Alejandra; Fernández, Pablo; Cabrera, Alex; Guzmán, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a DNA vaccine encoding Brucella abortus Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) using the Toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist S-[2,3-bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-propyl]-R-cysteinyl-amido-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (BPPcysMPEG) as an adjuvant. Intranasal coadministration of BPPcysMPEG with a plasmid carrying the SOD-encoding gene (pcDNA-SOD) into BALB/c mice elicited antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Humoral responses were characterized by the stimulation of IgG2a and IgG1 and by the presence of SOD-specific secretory IgA in nasal and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. Furthermore, T-cell proliferative responses and increased production of gamma interferon were also observed upon splenocyte restimulation with recombinant SOD. Cytotoxic responses were also stimulated, as demonstrated by the lysis of RB51-SOD-infected J774.A1 macrophages by cells recovered from immunized mice. The pcDNA-SOD/BPPcysMPEG formulation induced improved protection against challenge with the virulent strain B. abortus 2308 in BALB/c mice over that provided by pcDNA-SOD, suggesting the potential of this vaccination strategy against Brucella infection. PMID:25165025

  8. Use of S-[2,3-bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-propyl]-R-cysteinyl-amido-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol as an adjuvant improved protective immunity associated with a DNA vaccine encoding Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase of Brucella abortus in mice.

    PubMed

    Retamal-Díaz, Angello; Riquelme-Neira, Roberto; Sáez, Darwin; Rivera, Alejandra; Fernández, Pablo; Cabrera, Alex; Guzmán, Carlos A; Oñate, Angel

    2014-11-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a DNA vaccine encoding Brucella abortus Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) using the Toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist S-[2,3-bispalmitoyiloxy-(2R)-propyl]-R-cysteinyl-amido-monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (BPPcysMPEG) as an adjuvant. Intranasal coadministration of BPPcysMPEG with a plasmid carrying the SOD-encoding gene (pcDNA-SOD) into BALB/c mice elicited antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Humoral responses were characterized by the stimulation of IgG2a and IgG1 and by the presence of SOD-specific secretory IgA in nasal and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. Furthermore, T-cell proliferative responses and increased production of gamma interferon were also observed upon splenocyte restimulation with recombinant SOD. Cytotoxic responses were also stimulated, as demonstrated by the lysis of RB51-SOD-infected J774.A1 macrophages by cells recovered from immunized mice. The pcDNA-SOD/BPPcysMPEG formulation induced improved protection against challenge with the virulent strain B. abortus 2308 in BALB/c mice over that provided by pcDNA-SOD, suggesting the potential of this vaccination strategy against Brucella infection.

  9. Improving Medical Device Regulation: The United States and Europe in Perspective

    PubMed Central

    SORENSON, CORINNA; DRUMMOND, MICHAEL

    2014-01-01

    Context: Recent debates and events have brought into question the effectiveness of existing regulatory frameworks for medical devices in the United States and Europe to ensure their performance, safety, and quality. This article provides a comparative analysis of medical device regulation in the two jurisdictions, explores current reforms to improve the existing systems, and discusses additional actions that should be considered to fully meet this aim. Medical device regulation must be improved to safeguard public health and ensure that high-quality and effective technologies reach patients. Methods: We explored and analyzed medical device regulatory systems in the United States and Europe in accordance with the available gray and peer-reviewed literature and legislative documents. Findings: The two regulatory systems differ in their mandate and orientation, organization, pre-and postmarket evidence requirements, and transparency of process. Despite these differences, both jurisdictions face similar challenges for ensuring that only safe and effective devices reach the market, monitoring real-world use, and exchanging pertinent information on devices with key users such as clinicians and patients. To address these issues, reforms have recently been introduced or debated in the United States and Europe that are principally focused on strengthening regulatory processes, enhancing postmarket regulation through more robust surveillance systems, and improving the traceability and monitoring of devices. Some changes in premarket requirements for devices are being considered. Conclusions: Although the current reforms address some of the outstanding challenges in device regulation, additional steps are needed to improve existing policy. We examine a number of actions to be considered, such as requiring high-quality evidence of benefit for medium-and high-risk devices; moving toward greater centralization and coordination of regulatory approval in Europe; creating

  10. An Enhanced Synthetic Multiclade DNA Prime Induces Improved Cross-Clade-Reactive Functional Antibodies when Combined with an Adjuvanted Protein Boost in Nonhuman Primates

    PubMed Central

    Wise, Megan C.; Hutnick, Natalie A.; Pollara, Justin; Myles, Devin J. F.; Williams, Constance; Yan, Jian; LaBranche, Celia C.; Khan, Amir S.; Sardesai, Niranjan Y.; Montefiori, David; Barnett, Susan W.; Zolla-Pazner, Susan; Ferrari, Guido

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The search for an efficacious human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine remains a pressing need. The moderate success of the RV144 Thai clinical vaccine trial suggested that vaccine-induced HIV-1-specific antibodies can reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection. We have made several improvements to the DNA platform and have previously shown that improved DNA vaccines alone are capable of inducing both binding and neutralizing antibodies in small-animal models. In this study, we explored how an improved DNA prime and recombinant protein boost would impact HIV-specific vaccine immunogenicity in rhesus macaques (RhM). After DNA immunization with either a single HIV Env consensus sequence or multiple constructs expressing HIV subtype-specific Env consensus sequences, we detected both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses to all vaccine immunogens. These T-cell responses were further increased after protein boosting to levels exceeding those of DNA-only or protein-only immunization. In addition, we observed antibodies that exhibited robust cross-clade binding and neutralizing and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity after immunization with the DNA prime-protein boost regimen, with the multiple-Env formulation inducing a more robust and broader response than the single-Env formulation. The magnitude and functionality of these responses emphasize the strong priming effect improved DNA immunogens can induce, which are further expanded upon protein boost. These results support further study of an improved synthetic DNA prime together with a protein boost for enhancing anti-HIV immune responses. IMPORTANCE Even with effective antiretroviral drugs, HIV remains an enormous global health burden. Vaccine development has been problematic in part due to the high degree of diversity and poor immunogenicity of the HIV Env protein. Studies suggest that a relevant HIV vaccine will likely need to induce broad cellular and humoral responses from a simple vaccine

  11. Resiliency Improvements in Medical Emergency Staff in Burn Missions: A Qualitative Study in an Iranian Context

    PubMed Central

    Froutan, Razieh; Khankeh, Hamid Reza; Fallahi, Masoud; Ahmadi, Fazlollah; Norouzi, Kian

    2015-01-01

    Background: Medical emergency staff complete understanding of the nature of resiliency in burn events is a prerequisite for improving the quality of clinical service delivery in pre-hospital burn events. Objectives: The present study aimed to describe resiliency in view of medical emergency staff in burn events. Materials and Methods: The present qualitative study was performed using a content analysis method. In total, 18 Iranian emergency care personnel participated in the study. A purposeful sampling method was applied until reaching data saturation. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and field observations. Afterwards, data was analyzed by face content analysis. Results: By analyzing 456 primary codes, four main concepts including: 1) scene safety/security, 2) effective clinical decision making, 3) self-efficacy and 4) religious support were extracted through content analysis from experiences of pre-hospital emergency personnel during burn care. Conclusions: Different factors affect resiliency improvements in medical emergency staff and consequently the quality of pre-hospital burn care. This study showed that various factors such as scene security/safety, effective decision making, self-efficacy and religious support are effective in the improvement of resiliency and the quality of pre-hospital emergency care. PMID:26421172

  12. Expanding Continuous Quality Improvement Capacity in the Medical Intensive Care Unit: Prehealth Volunteers as a Solution.

    PubMed

    Priest, Kelsey C; Lobingier, Hannah; McCully, Nancy; Lombard, Jackie; Hansen, Mark; Uchiyama, Makoto; Hagg, Daniel S

    2016-01-01

    Health care delivery systems are challenged to support the increasing demands for improving patient safety, satisfaction, and outcomes. Limited resources and staffing are common barriers for making significant and sustained improvements. At Oregon Health & Science University, the medical intensive care unit (MICU) leadership team faced internal capacity limitations for conducting continuous quality improvement, specifically for the implementation and evaluation of the mobility portion of an evidence-based care bundle. The MICU team successfully addressed this capacity challenge using the person power of prehealth volunteers. In the first year of the project, 52 trained volunteers executed an evidence-based mobility intervention for 305 critically ill patients, conducting more than 200 000 exercise repetitions. The volunteers contributed to real-time evaluation of the project, with the collection of approximately 26 950 process measure data points. Prehealth volunteers are an untapped resource for effectively expanding internal continuous quality improvement capacity in the MICU and beyond. PMID:27031356

  13. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Nihad; Conn, Rory; Latif Marini, Abdel

    2016-01-01

    Physical health monitoring is an integral part of caring for patients with mental health problems. It is proven that serious physical health problems are more common among patients with severe mental health illness (SMI), this monitoring can be challenging and there is a need for improvement. The project aimed at improving the physical health monitoring among patients with SMI who are receiving antipsychotic medications. The improvement process focused on ensuring there is a good communication with general practitioners (GPs) as well as patient's education and education of care home staff. GP letters requesting physical health monitoring were updated; care home staff and patients were given more information about the value of regular physical health monitoring. There was an improvement in patients' engagement with the monitoring and the monitoring done by GPs was more adherent to local and national guidelines and was communicated with the mental health service.

  14. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Nihad; Conn, Rory; Latif Marini, Abdel

    2016-01-01

    Physical health monitoring is an integral part of caring for patients with mental health problems. It is proven that serious physical health problems are more common among patients with severe mental health illness (SMI), this monitoring can be challenging and there is a need for improvement. The project aimed at improving the physical health monitoring among patients with SMI who are receiving antipsychotic medications. The improvement process focused on ensuring there is a good communication with general practitioners (GPs) as well as patient's education and education of care home staff. GP letters requesting physical health monitoring were updated; care home staff and patients were given more information about the value of regular physical health monitoring. There was an improvement in patients' engagement with the monitoring and the monitoring done by GPs was more adherent to local and national guidelines and was communicated with the mental health service. PMID:27559474

  15. Barriers to improving primary care of depression: perspectives of medical group leaders.

    PubMed

    Whitebird, Robin R; Solberg, Leif I; Margolis, Karen L; Asche, Stephen E; Trangle, Michael A; Wineman, Arthur P

    2013-06-01

    Using clinical trials, researchers have demonstrated effective methods for treating depression in primary care, but improvements based on these trials are not being implemented. This might be because these improvements require more systematic organizational changes than can be made by individual physicians. We interviewed 82 physicians and administrative leaders of 41 medical groups to learn what is preventing those organizational changes. The identified barriers to improving care included external contextual problems (reimbursement, scarce resources, and access to/communication with specialty mental health), individual attitudes (physician and patient resistance), and internal care process barriers (organizational and condition complexity, difficulty standardizing and measuring care). Although many of these barriers are challenging, we can overcome them by setting clear priorities for change and allocating adequate resources. We must improve primary care of depression if we are to reduce its enormous adverse social and economic impacts. PMID:23515301

  16. Improving physical health monitoring for patients with chronic mental health problems who receive antipsychotic medications.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Nihad; Conn, Rory; Latif Marini, Abdel

    2016-01-01

    Physical health monitoring is an integral part of caring for patients with mental health problems. It is proven that serious physical health problems are more common among patients with severe mental health illness (SMI), this monitoring can be challenging and there is a need for improvement. The project aimed at improving the physical health monitoring among patients with SMI who are receiving antipsychotic medications. The improvement process focused on ensuring there is a good communication with general practitioners (GPs) as well as patient's education and education of care home staff. GP letters requesting physical health monitoring were updated; care home staff and patients were given more information about the value of regular physical health monitoring. There was an improvement in patients' engagement with the monitoring and the monitoring done by GPs was more adherent to local and national guidelines and was communicated with the mental health service. PMID:27559474

  17. Strategies to improve adherence to medications for cardiovascular diseases in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Laba, Tracey-Lea; Bleasel, Jonathan; Brien, Jo-Anne; Cass, Alan; Howard, Kirsten; Peiris, David; Redfern, Julie; Salam, Abdul; Usherwood, Tim; Jan, Stephen

    2013-09-10

    Medication non-adherence poses a major barrier to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden globally, and is increasingly recognised as a socioeconomically determined problem. Strategies promoting CVD medication adherence appear of moderate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Potentially, 'one-size-fits-all' measures are ill-equipped to address heterogeneous adherence behaviour between social groups. This review aims to determine the effects of strategies to improve adherence to CVD-related medications in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Randomised/quasi-randomised controlled trials (1996-June 2012, English), testing strategies to increase adherence to CVD-related medications prescribed to adult patients who may experience health inequity (place of residence, occupation, education, or socioeconomic position) were reviewed. 772 abstracts were screened, 111 full-text articles retrieved, and 16 full-text articles reporting on 14 studies, involving 7739 patients (age range 41-66 years), were included. Methodological and clinical heterogeneity precluded quantitative data synthesis. Studies were thematically grouped by targeted outcomes; underlying interventions and policies were classified using Michie et al.'s Behaviour Change Wheel. Contrasting with patient or physician/practice strategies, those simultaneously directed at patients and physicians/practices resulted in statistically significant improvements in relative adherence (16-169%). Comparative cost and cost-effectiveness analyses from three studies did not find cost-saving or cost-effective strategies. Unlike much current evidence in general populations, promising evidence exists about what strategies improve adherence in disadvantaged groups. These strategies were generally complex: simultaneously targeting patients and physicians; addressing social, financial, and treatment-related adherence barriers; and supported by broader guidelines, regulatory and communication-based policies. Given their

  18. A Frequency-based Technique to Improve the Spelling Suggestion Rank in Medical Queries

    PubMed Central

    Crowell, Jonathan; Zeng, Qing; Ngo, Long; Lacroix, Eve-Marie

    2004-01-01

    Objective: There is an abundance of health-related information online, and millions of consumers search for such information. Spell checking is of crucial importance in returning pertinent results, so the authors propose a technique for increasing the effectiveness of spell-checking tools used for health-related information retrieval. Design: A sample of incorrectly spelled medical terms was submitted to two different spell-checking tools, and the resulting suggestions, derived under two different dictionary configurations, were re-sorted according to how frequently each term appeared in log data from a medical search engine. Measurements: Univariable analysis was carried out to assess the effect of each factor (spell-checking tool, dictionary type, re-sort, or no re-sort) on the probability of success. The factors that were statistically significant in the univariable analysis were then used in multivariable analysis to evaluate the independent effect of each of the factors. Results: The re-sorted suggestions proved to be significantly more accurate than the original list returned by the spell-checking tool. The odds of finding the correct suggestion in the number one rank were increased by 63% after re-sorting using the authors' method. This effect was independent of both the dictionary and the spell-checking tools that were used. Conclusion: Using knowledge about the frequency of a given word's occurrence in the medical domain can significantly improve spelling correction for medical queries. PMID:14764616

  19. Mucosal adjuvants: Opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Lingbin

    2016-09-01

    Most pathogens access the body via mucosal surfaces. Mucosal vaccination is a highly effective and recommended method to prevent mucosally transmitted infections. Compared with immunization via intramuscular injection, mucosal immunization offers remarkable advantages, including non-invasiveness, low costs and reduced risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases, which make it more acceptable to human beings, especially to young children. However, only few mucosal vaccines are licensed for human, which is mainly due to the deficiency of safe and effective mucosal adjuvants. Adjuvants, as important components of most vaccines, are essential to enhance immunity and induce immune memory. The development of mucosal adjuvants, unfortunately, has been severely hampered by research strategies based on empiric trials and non-comprehensive methods for safety evaluation. Therefore, changing the research and development strategies of mucosal adjuvant field from empiricism based discovery to rational design based invention is highly demanded. The change of strategies mainly depends upon clarification of mechanism of mucosal adjuvant activity though a combination of life science, information science and materials science. PMID:27159278

  20. RF-Medisys: a radio frequency identification-based electronic medical record system for improving medical information accessibility and services at point of care.

    PubMed

    Ting, Jacky S L; Tsang, Albert H C; Ip, Andrew W H; Ho, George T S

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents an innovative electronic medical records (EMR) system, RF-MediSys, which can perform medical information sharing and retrieval effectively and which is accessible via a 'smart' medical card. With such a system, medical diagnoses and treatment decisions can be significantly improved when compared with the conventional practice of using paper medical records systems. Furthermore, the entire healthcare delivery process, from registration to the dispensing or administration of medicines, can be visualised holistically to facilitate performance review. To examine the feasibility of implementing RF-MediSys and to determine its usefulness to users of the system, a survey was conducted within a multi-disciplinary medical service organisation that operates a network of medical clinics and paramedical service centres throughout Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories. Questionnaires were distributed to 300 system users, including nurses, physicians and patients, to collect feedback on the operation and performance of RF-MediSys in comparison with conventional paper-based medical record systems. The response rate to the survey was 67%. Results showed a medium to high level of user satisfaction with the radiofrequency identification (RFID)-based EMR system. In particular, respondents provided high ratings on both 'user-friendliness' and 'system performance'. Findings of the survey highlight the potential of RF-MediSys as a tool to enhance quality of medical services and patient safety. PMID:21430306

  1. Interventions to improve adherence and persistence with osteoporosis medications: a systematic literature review

    PubMed Central

    Gleeson, T.; Iversen, M. D.; Avorn, J.; Brookhart, A. M.; Katz, J. N.; Losina, E.; May, F.; Patrick, A. R.; Shrank, W. H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Adherence and persistence with osteoporosis medications are poor. We conducted a systematic literature review of interventions to improve adherence and persistence with osteoporosis medications. Seven studies met eligibility requirements and were included in the review. Few interventions were efficacious, and no clear trends regarding successful intervention techniques were identified. However, periodic follow-up interaction between patients and health professionals appeared to be beneficial. Introduction Adherence and persistence with pharmacologic therapy for osteoporosis are suboptimal. Our goal was to examine the design and efficacy of published interventions to improve adherence and persistence. Methods We searched medical literature databases for English-language papers published between January 1990 and July 2008. We selected papers that described interventions and provided results for control and intervention subjects. We assessed the design and methods of each study, including randomization, blinding, and reporting of drop-outs. We summarized the results and calculated effect sizes for each trial. Results Seven studies met eligibility requirements and were included in the review. Five of the seven studies provided adherence data. Of those five studies, three showed a statistically significant (p≤0.05) improvement in adherence by the intervention group, with effect sizes from 0.17 to 0.58. Five of the seven studies provided persistence data. Of those five, one reported statistically significant improvement in persistence by the intervention group, with an effect size of 0.36. Conclusions Few interventions were efficacious, and no clear trends regarding successful intervention techniques were identified in this small sample of studies. However, periodic follow-up interaction between patients and health professionals appeared to be beneficial. PMID:19499273

  2. Improving pain management practice. A medical center moves beyond education to document and manage patient care.

    PubMed

    Super, A

    1996-01-01

    In 1993 nurses at Providence/ Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR, initiated a quality improvement project to assess pain levels in the facility's inpatients. A convenience sample in April 1993 showed an average pain intensity of 6.30 on a 0-10 scale (where O equals no pain and 10 is the worst pain imaginable). With the nursing administrator's support, pain management nurses presented a four-hour course in the basics of pain assessment and intervention to more than 850 nurses and 100 other professionals. In August 1993 nurses found that the intensity of patient pain had dropped to 5.70 on the 0-10 scale. Still dissatisfied with this situation, the nurses proceeded with a three-pronged approach to improve the medical center's quality of pain management: making the problem visible by better documentation and communication about pain; making an institutional commitment to pain management, including establishing pain management quality improvement as the medical center's first patient outcome institutional objective; eliciting the endorsement of influential committees. In August 1994 a random sample revealed patient pain had decreased to 3.21. The next step focused on empowering patients and families through education (e.g., revising the booklet on patient rights and responsibilities, posting signs in rooms encouraging patients to report pain) and clearing up myths and misconceptions through inservices and posters. A sampling in November 1995 showed that the average pain intensity of inpatients had been reduced to 2.32. Plans for continuous quality improvement interventions will further enhance patient comfort and recovery. PMID:10159177

  3. Adjuvant chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma.

    PubMed

    Casali, Paolo G

    2015-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is not standard treatment in soft tissue sarcoma (STS). However, when the risk of relapse is high, it is an option for shared decision making with the patient in conditions of uncertainty. This is because available evidence is conflicting, even if several randomized clinical trials have been performed for 4 decades and also have been pooled into meta-analyses. Indeed, available meta-analyses point to a benefit in the 5% to 10% range in terms of survival and distant relapse rate. Some local benefit also was suggested by some trials. Placing chemotherapy in the preoperative setting may help gain a local advantage in terms of the quality of surgical margins or decreased sequelae. This may be done within a personalized approach according to the clinical presentation. Attempts to personalize treatment on the basis of the variegated pathology and molecular biology of STS subgroups are ongoing as well, according to what is done in the medical treatment of advanced STS. Thus, decision making for adjuvant and neoadjuvant indications deserves personalization in clinical research and in clinical practice, taking profit from all multidisciplinary clinical skills available at a sarcoma reference center, though with a degree of subjectivity because of the limitations of available evidence. PMID:25993233

  4. Initiatives by the government and physician groups to improve awareness of medical ethics: Challenges in Japan

    PubMed Central

    MORIOKA, Yasuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Physicians have been required to possess high ethical standards, as medical practice is directly involved with patients' lives. Although ethics arise out of an individual's consciousness, ethical regulations imposed by the nation/government together with self-regulation by physician groups are important in the practice of ethics, for which reason countries around the world undertake various initiatives. This paper investigates physician licensure, organizations governing physician status, the role of physician groups, and the actual conditions of lifelong learning and ethics education in developed countries worldwide, in contrast with which it throws problems in the situation in Japan into relief. Organizations governing physician status, the form of medical associations, and the improvement of lifelong learning are pointed out as critical issues especially in Japan. PMID:22498978

  5. Combining image features, case descriptions and UMLS concepts to improve retrieval of medical images.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Miguel E

    2006-01-01

    This paper evaluates a system, UBMedTIRS, for retrieval of medical images. The system uses a combination of image and text features as well as mapping of free text to UMLS concepts. UBMedTIRS combines three publicly available tools: a content-based image retrieval system (GIFT), a text retrieval system (SMART), and a tool for mapping free text to UMLS concepts (MetaMap). The system is evaluated using the ImageCLEFmed 2005 collection that contains approximately 50,000 medical images with associated text descriptions in English, French and German. Our experimental results indicate that the proposed approach yields significant improvements in retrieval performance. Our system performs 156% above the GIFT system and 42% above the text retrieval system.

  6. Adjuvant Teriparatide Therapy for Surgical Treatment of Femoral Fractures; Does It Work?

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jung Taek; Jeong, Hyung Jun; Lee, Soong Joon; Kim, Hee Joong

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Atypical femoral fracture (AFF), periprosthetic femoral fracture (PPFF) and femoral nonunion (FNU) are recalcitrant challenges for orthopedic surgeons. Teriparatide (TPTD) had been demonstrated to have anabolic effects on bone in various studies. We postulated that adjuvant TPTD after operation would enhance biologic stimulation for bone formation. We investigated (1) whether the adjuvant TPTD could achieve satisfactory union rate of surgically challenging cases such as displaced AFF, PPFF and FNU; (2) whether the adjuvant TPTD could promote development of abundant callus after surgical fixation; (3) whether the adjuvant TPTD had medically serious adverse effects. Materials and Methods Thirteen patients who agreed to off label use of TPTD in combination of operation were included in this retrospective case series. Median patients' age was 68.7 years, and there were three male and ten female patients. Their diagnoses were nonunion in six patients and acute fracture in seven. Medical records and radiographic images were reviewed. Results Twelve of thirteen fractures were united both clinically and radiologically within a year after adjuvant TPTD. Union completed radiologically median 5.4 months and clinically 5.7 months after the medication, respectively. Callus appeared abundantly showing median 1.4 of fracture healing response postoperatively. There was no serious adverse reaction of medication other than itching, muscle cramp, or nausea. Conclusion Even appropriate surgical treatment is a mainstay of treatment for AFF, PPFF, and FNU, the current report suggested that adjuvant TPTD combined with stable fixation results in satisfactory outcome for the challenging fractures of femur. PMID:27777917

  7. Quality improvement and practice-based research in neurology using the electronic medical record

    PubMed Central

    Frigerio, Roberta; Kazmi, Nazia; Meyers, Steven L.; Sefa, Meredith; Walters, Shaun A.; Silverstein, Jonathan C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We describe quality improvement and practice-based research using the electronic medical record (EMR) in a community health system–based department of neurology. Our care transformation initiative targets 10 neurologic disorders (brain tumors, epilepsy, migraine, memory disorders, mild traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, Parkinson disease, restless legs syndrome, and stroke) and brain health (risk assessments and interventions to prevent Alzheimer disease and related disorders in targeted populations). Our informatics methods include building and implementing structured clinical documentation support tools in the EMR; electronic data capture; enrollment, data quality, and descriptive reports; quality improvement projects; clinical decision support tools; subgroup-based adaptive assignments and pragmatic trials; and DNA biobanking. We are sharing EMR tools and deidentified data with other departments toward the creation of a Neurology Practice-Based Research Network. We discuss practical points to assist other clinical practices to make quality improvements and practice-based research in neurology using the EMR a reality. PMID:26576324

  8. STAAR: improving the reliability of care coordination and reducing hospital readmissions in an academic medical centre

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Jocelyn Alexandria; Carr, Laura S; Collins, Jacqueline; Doyle Petrongolo, Joanne; Hall, Kathryn; Murray, Jane; Smith, Jessica; Tata, Lee Ann

    2015-01-01

    Setting Massachusetts General Hospital embarked on a 4-year project to reduce readmissions in a high volume general medicine unit (November 2009 to September 2013). Objective To reduce 30-day readmissions to 10% through improved care coordination. Design As a before–after study, a total of 7586 patients admitted to the medicine unit during the intervention period included 2620 inpatients meeting high risk for readmission criteria. Of those, 2620 patients received nursing interventions and 539 patients received pharmacy interventions. Intervention The introduction of a Discharge Nurse (D/C RN) for patient/family coaching and a Transitional Care Pharmacist (TC PharmD) for predischarge medication reconciliation and postdischarge patient phone calls. Other interventions included modifications to multidisciplinary care rounds and electronic medication reconciliation. Main outcome measure All-cause 30-day readmission rates. Results Readmission rates decreased by 30% (21% preintervention to 14.5% postintervention) (p<0.05). From July 2010 to December 2011, rates of readmission among high-risk patients who received the D/C RN intervention with or without the TC PharmD medication reconciliation/education intervention decreased to 15.9% (p=0.59). From January to June 2010, rates of readmission among high-risk patients who received the TC PharmD postdischarge calls decreased to 12.9% (p=0.55). From June 2010 to December 2011, readmission rates for patients on the medical unit that did not receive the designated D/C RN or TC PharmD interventions decreased to 15.8% (p=0.61) and 16.2% (0.31), respectively. Conclusions A multidisciplinary approach to improving care coordination reduced avoidable readmissions both among those who received interventions and those who did not. This further demonstrated the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration. PMID:26246901

  9. Can enriching emotional intelligence improve medical students’ proactivity and adaptability during OB/GYN clerkships?

    PubMed Central

    Guseh, Stephanie H.; Chen, Xiaodong P.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this pilot study was to examine our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence through resident coaches could improve third-year medical students’ adaptability and proactivity on the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship. Methods An observational pilot study was conducted in a teaching hospital. Fourteen 3rd year medical students from two cohorts of clerkships were randomly divided into two groups, and equally assigned to trained resident coaches and untrained resident coaches. Data was collected through onsite naturalistic observation of students’ adaptability and proactivity in clinical settings using a checklist with a 4-point Likert scale (1=poor to 4=excellent). Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the differences between these two groups. Results A total of 280 data points were collected through onsite observations conducted by investigators. All (n=14) students’ adaptability and proactivity performance significantly improved from an average of 3.04 to 3.45 (p=0.014) over 6-week clerkship. Overall, students with trained resident coaches adapted significantly faster and were more proactive in the obstetrics and gynecology clinical setting than the students with untrained coaches (3.31 vs. 3.24, p=0.019). Conclusions Findings from our pilot study supported our hypothesis that enriching workplace emotional intelligence knowledge through resident coaches was able to help medical students adapt into obstetrics and gynecology clinical settings faster and become more proactive in learning. Clerkship programs can incorporate the concept of a resident coach in their curriculum to help bridge medical students into clinical settings and to help them engage in self-directed learning throughout the rotation. PMID:26708233

  10. The ultrastructure of tomatine adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ya-Wun; Sheikh, Nadeem A; Morrow, W J W

    2002-12-01

    The tomatine adjuvant, consisting of tomatine, n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside, phosphatidylethanolamine, cholesterol, and ovalbumin, has recently been shown to potentiate the immunogenicity of protein antigen and elicit cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in immunized animals. The physicochemical properties of tomatine adjuvant have not been characterized. The aim of this study was to examine the microstructure of this complex formulation, as directly related to its physicochemical properties. To elucidate the micromorphology of this system, the tomatine adjuvant was separated by isopycnic ultracentrifugation, followed by freeze fracturing and examination by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The adjuvant mixture was shown to be composed of several micro- and nano-structures. The major fraction obtained from isopycnic separation was shown to consist of flaky needle-like microcrystals, approximately 80-160 nm in width and 2-4 microm in length. The tomatine crystals alone in 0.9% NaCl, on the other hand, were shown to be elongated hollow tubular crystals of hundreds of nanometers up to a few microns in length, along which n-octyl-beta-glucopyranoside was speculated to serve as a seeding microtemplate for gel crystallization of protein complexes. Indented marks within the gel phase were observed in the freeze fractured replicas of the adjuvant, suggesting that protein complexes may have been crystallized or precipitated within the gels. Several other forms of micro- and nano-structures were also observed, showing multiple-dispersion features with gel characteristics. The presence of gel crystalline and multiple-dispersed phases is postulated to contribute to the sustained immunopotentiation effect of tomatine adjuvant.

  11. Current adjuvant treatment modalities for gastric cancer: From history to the future

    PubMed Central

    Kilic, Leyla; Ordu, Cetin; Yildiz, Ibrahim; Sen, Fatma; Keskin, Serkan; Ciftci, Rumeysa; Pilanci, Kezban Nur

    2016-01-01

    The discrepancy between the surgical technique and the type of adjuvant chemotherapy used in clinical trials and patient outcomes in terms of overall survival rates has led to the generation of different adjuvant treatment protocols in distinct parts of the world. The adjuvant treatment recommendation is generally chemoradiotherapy in the United States, perioperative chemotherapy in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and chemotherapy in Asia. These options mainly rely on the United States Intergroup-0116, United Kingdom British Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy, and the Asian Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of S-1 for Gastric Cancer and Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin Adjuvant Study in Stomach Cancer trials. However, the benefits were evident for only certain patients, which were not very homogeneous regarding the type of surgery, chemotherapy regimens, and stage of disease. Whether the dissimilarities in survival are attributable to surgical technique or intrinsic biological differences is a subject of debate. Regardless of the extent of surgery, multimodal therapy may offer modest survival advantage at least for diseases with lymph node involvement. Moreover, in the era of individualized treatment for most of the other cancer types, identification of special subgroups comprising those who will derive more or no benefit from adjuvant therapy merits further investigation. The aim of this review is to reveal the historical evolution and future reflections of adjuvant treatment modalities for resected gastric cancer patients. PMID:27190583

  12. Choice and Design of Adjuvants for Parenteral and Mucosal Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Savelkoul, Huub F J; Ferro, Valerie A; Strioga, Marius M; Schijns, Virgil E J C

    2015-03-05

    The existence of pathogens that escape recognition by specific vaccines, the need to improve existing vaccines and the increased availability of therapeutic (non-infectious disease) vaccines necessitate the rational development of novel vaccine concepts based on the induction of protective cell-mediated immune responses. For naive T-cell activation, several signals resulting from innate and adaptive interactions need to be integrated, and adjuvants may interfere with some or all of these signals. Adjuvants, for example, are used to promote the immunogenicity of antigens in vaccines, by inducing a pro-inflammatory environment that enables the recruitment and promotion of the infiltration of phagocytic cells, particularly antigen-presenting cells (APC), to the injection site. Adjuvants can enhance antigen presentation, induce cytokine expression, activate APC and modulate more downstream adaptive immune reactions (vaccine delivery systems, facilitating immune Signal 1). In addition, adjuvants can act as immunopotentiators (facilitating Signals 2 and 3) exhibiting immune stimulatory effects during antigen presentation by inducing the expression of co-stimulatory molecules on APC. Together, these signals determine the strength of activation of specific T-cells, thereby also influencing the quality of the downstream T helper cytokine profiles and the differentiation of antigen-specific T helper populations (Signal 3). New adjuvants should also target specific (innate) immune cells in order to facilitate proper activation of downstream adaptive immune responses and homing (Signal 4). It is desirable that these adjuvants should be able to exert such responses in the context of mucosal administered vaccines. This review focuses on the understanding of the potential working mechanisms of the most well-known classes of adjuvants to be used effectively in vaccines.

  13. Improving Education in Medical Statistics: Implementing a Blended Learning Model in the Existing Curriculum

    PubMed Central

    Milic, Natasa M.; Trajkovic, Goran Z.; Bukumiric, Zoran M.; Cirkovic, Andja; Nikolic, Ivan M.; Milin, Jelena S.; Milic, Nikola V.; Savic, Marko D.; Corac, Aleksandar M.; Marinkovic, Jelena M.; Stanisavljevic, Dejana M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Although recent studies report on the benefits of blended learning in improving medical student education, there is still no empirical evidence on the relative effectiveness of blended over traditional learning approaches in medical statistics. We implemented blended along with on-site (i.e. face-to-face) learning to further assess the potential value of web-based learning in medical statistics. Methods This was a prospective study conducted with third year medical undergraduate students attending the Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, who passed (440 of 545) the final exam of the obligatory introductory statistics course during 2013–14. Student statistics achievements were stratified based on the two methods of education delivery: blended learning and on-site learning. Blended learning included a combination of face-to-face and distance learning methodologies integrated into a single course. Results Mean exam scores for the blended learning student group were higher than for the on-site student group for both final statistics score (89.36±6.60 vs. 86.06±8.48; p = 0.001) and knowledge test score (7.88±1.30 vs. 7.51±1.36; p = 0.023) with a medium effect size. There were no differences in sex or study duration between the groups. Current grade point average (GPA) was higher in the blended group. In a multivariable regression model, current GPA and knowledge test scores were associated with the final statistics score after adjusting for study duration and learning modality (p<0.001). Conclusion This study provides empirical evidence to support educator decisions to implement different learning environments for teaching medical statistics to undergraduate medical students. Blended and on-site training formats led to similar knowledge acquisition; however, students with higher GPA preferred the technology assisted learning format. Implementation of blended learning approaches can be considered an attractive, cost-effective, and efficient

  14. Retrospective Study of Adjuvant Chemotherapy Effects on Survival Rate after Three-Field Lymph Node Dissection for Stage IIA Esophageal Cancer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hua-Xia; Wang, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    To determine the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel plus cisplatin (Taxol+DDP, TP therapy) for stage IIA esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to investigate the expression of RUNX3 in lymph node metastasis-negative esophageal cancer and its relationship with medical prognosis, a retrospective summary of clinical treatment of 143 cases of stage IIA esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients was made. The patients were divided into two groups, a surgery alone control group (52 patients) and a chemotherapy group that received postoperative TP therapy (91 patients). The disease-free and 5 year survival rates were compared between the groups and a multivariate analysis of prognostic factors was performed. The same analysis was performed for cases classified as RUNX3 positive and negative, with post-operative specimens assessed by immunohistochemistry. Although the disease-free and 5 year survival rates in control and chemotherapy groups did not significantly differ and there was no significance in RUNX3 negative cases, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in the chemotherapy group was shown to improve disease-free and 5 year survival rate compared to the control group in RUNX3 positive cases. On Cox regression multivariate analysis, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy (P<0.01) was an independent prognostic factor for RUNX3 positive cases, suggesting that postoperative TP may be effective as adjuvant chemotherapy for stage IIA esophageal cancer patients with RUNX3 positive lesions. PMID:26225648

  15. Collaborative Depression Care in a Safety Net Medical Home: Facilitators and Barriers to Quality Improvement.

    PubMed

    Price-Haywood, Eboni G; Dunn-Lombard, Donisha; Harden-Barrios, Jewel; Lefante, John J

    2016-02-01

    Little is known about how to integrate primary care with mental/behavioral services outside of clinical trials. The authors implemented a collaborative care model (CCM) for depression in a safety net patient-centered medical home. The model focused on universal screening for symptoms, risk stratification based on symptom severity, care management for intensive follow-up, and psychiatry consultation. CCM increased rates of primary care physician encounters, timely follow-up for monitoring symptoms of depression, and documentation of treatment response. Contextual factors that facilitated or hindered practice redesign included clinic leadership, quality improvement culture, staffing, technology infrastructure, and external incentives/disincentives for organizational change. PMID:26087153

  16. Automating patient safety incident reporting to improve healthcare quality in the defence medical services.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Di; Piper, N

    2015-12-01

    There are many reasons for poor compliance with patient safety incident reporting in the UK. The Defence Medical Services has made a significant investment to address the culture and process by which risk to patient safety is managed within its organisation. This paper describes the decision process and technical considerations in the design of an automated reporting system together with the implementation procedure aimed to maximise compliance. The elimination of inherent weaknesses in feedback mechanisms from the three Armed Forces, which had been uniquely different, ensured the quality of data improved, which enabled resources to be prioritised that would also have a direct impact upon the quality of patient care.

  17. Is Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Overtreatment in Cervical Cancer Patients With Intermediate Risk Factors?

    SciTech Connect

    Ryu, Sang-Young; Park, Sang-Il; Nam, Byung-Ho; Cho, Chul-Koo; Kim, Kidong; Kim, Beob-Jong; Kim, Moon-Hong; Choi, Seok-Cheol; Lee, Eui-Don; Lee, Kyoung-Hee

    2011-03-01

    Purpose: To determine whether adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) improves the outcome of cervical cancer patients with intermediate risk factors. Methods and Materials: Between January 2000 and June 2006, the medical records of 735 patients who had undergone radical surgery for Stage IB-IIA cervical cancer were reviewed retrospectively. Of the 735 patients, 172 with two or more intermediate risk factors (i.e., lymphovascular space involvement, deep stromal invasion, and tumor size {>=}2 cm) were grouped as follows according to the adjuvant treatment received: 34 patients, no further treatment; 49 patients, RT; and 89 patients, CRT. The significance of the clinical parameters and recurrence-free survival of each group were analyzed. Results: Of the 172 patients with any of the intermediate risk factors, 137 (79.6%) had two or more intermediate risk factors. Of the 172 patients, 12 developed recurrences (6.4%)->(7.0%), with 6 in the pelvis and 6 in distant sites. All 12 recurrences occurred in those who had two or more intermediate risk factors (sensitivity, 100%); however, only six recurrences were detected in patients who met the Gynecologic Oncology Group criteria for the intermediate-risk group (sensitivity, 50%; Z test, p < .05). A statistically significant difference was found in the 3-year recurrence-free survival rate among the no further treatment, RT, and CRT groups (67.5%, 90.5%, and 97.5%, respectively; p < .05). The incidence of Grade 3-4 hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicities was not significantly different statistically between the RT and CRT groups (6.1% and 13.4%, respectively; p > .05). Conclusion: Postoperative adjuvant CRT can improve the outcome of cervical cancer patients with intermediate risk factors, with low increase in toxicity.

  18. A Metaanalysis of Interventions to Improve Adherence to Lipid-Lowering Medication

    PubMed Central

    Deichmann, Richard E.; Morledge, Michael D.; Ulep, Robin; Shaffer, Johnathon P.; Davies, Philippa; van Driel, Mieke L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Inadequate patient adherence to a medication regimen is a major factor in the lack of success in treating hyperlipidemia. Improved adherence rates may result in significantly improved cardiovascular outcomes in populations treated with lipid-lowering therapy. The purpose of this metaanalysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving adherence to lipid-lowering drugs, focusing on measures of adherence and clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases through January 14, 2015, and also used the results from previous Cochrane reviews of this title. Randomized controlled trials of adherence-enhancing interventions for lipid-lowering medication in adults in an ambulatory setting with measurable outcomes were evaluated with criteria outlined by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Results: Twenty-seven studies randomly assigning 899,068 participants to a variety of interventions were analyzed. One group of interventions categorized as intensified patient care showed significant improvement in adherence rates when compared to usual care (odds ratio 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29-2.88). Additionally, after <6 months of follow-up, total cholesterol decreased by a mean of 17.15 mg/dL (95% CI 1.17-33.14), while after >6 months total cholesterol decreased by a mean of 17.57 mg/dL (95% CI 14.95-20.19). Conclusion: Healthcare systems that can implement team-based intensified patient care interventions, such as electronic reminders, pharmacist-led interventions, and healthcare professional education of patients, may be successful in improving adherence rates to lipid-lowering medicines. PMID:27660570

  19. A Metaanalysis of Interventions to Improve Adherence to Lipid-Lowering Medication

    PubMed Central

    Deichmann, Richard E.; Morledge, Michael D.; Ulep, Robin; Shaffer, Johnathon P.; Davies, Philippa; van Driel, Mieke L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Inadequate patient adherence to a medication regimen is a major factor in the lack of success in treating hyperlipidemia. Improved adherence rates may result in significantly improved cardiovascular outcomes in populations treated with lipid-lowering therapy. The purpose of this metaanalysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving adherence to lipid-lowering drugs, focusing on measures of adherence and clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases through January 14, 2015, and also used the results from previous Cochrane reviews of this title. Randomized controlled trials of adherence-enhancing interventions for lipid-lowering medication in adults in an ambulatory setting with measurable outcomes were evaluated with criteria outlined by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Results: Twenty-seven studies randomly assigning 899,068 participants to a variety of interventions were analyzed. One group of interventions categorized as intensified patient care showed significant improvement in adherence rates when compared to usual care (odds ratio 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29-2.88). Additionally, after <6 months of follow-up, total cholesterol decreased by a mean of 17.15 mg/dL (95% CI 1.17-33.14), while after >6 months total cholesterol decreased by a mean of 17.57 mg/dL (95% CI 14.95-20.19). Conclusion: Healthcare systems that can implement team-based intensified patient care interventions, such as electronic reminders, pharmacist-led interventions, and healthcare professional education of patients, may be successful in improving adherence rates to lipid-lowering medicines.

  20. Who Benefits From Adjuvant Radiation Therapy for Gastric Cancer? A Meta-Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ohri, Nitin; Garg, Madhur K.; Aparo, Santiago; Kaubisch, Andreas; Tome, Wolfgang; Kennedy, Timothy J.; Kalnicki, Shalom; Guha, Chandan

    2013-06-01

    Purpose: Large randomized trials have demonstrated significant survival benefits with the use of adjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiation therapy for gastric cancer. The importance of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) remains unclear. We performed an up-to-date meta-analysis of randomized trials testing the use of RT for resectable gastric cancer. Methods and Materials: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for randomized trials testing adjuvant (including neoadjuvant) RT for resectable gastric cancer. Hazard ratios describing the impact of adjuvant RT on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were extracted directly from the original studies or calculated from survival curves. Pooled estimates were obtained using the inverse variance method. Subgroup analyses were performed to determine whether the efficacy of RT varies with chemotherapy use, RT timing, geographic region, type of nodal dissection performed, or lymph node status. Results: Thirteen studies met all inclusion criteria and were used for this analysis. Adjuvant RT was associated with a significant improvement in both OS (HR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.70-0.86, P<.001) and DFS (HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.63-0.80, P<.001). In the 5 studies that tested adjuvant chemoradiation therapy against adjuvant chemotherapy, similar effects were seen for OS (HR = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.67-1.03, P=.087) and DFS (HR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.91-0.65, P=.002). Available data did not reveal any subgroup of patients that does not benefit from adjuvant RT. Conclusion: In randomized trials for resectable gastric cancer, adjuvant RT provides an approximately 20% improvement in both DFS and OS. Available data do not reveal a subgroup of patients that does not benefit from adjuvant RT. Further study is required to optimize the implementation of adjuvant RT for gastric cancer with regard to patient selection and integration with systemic therapy.

  1. A randomized trial comparing in person and electronic interventions for improving adherence to oral medications in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Velligan, Dawn; Mintz, Jim; Maples, Natalie; Xueying, Li; Gajewski, Stephanie; Carr, Heather; Sierra, Cynthia

    2013-09-01

    Poor adherence to medication leads to symptom exacerbation and interferes with the recovery process for patients with schizophrenia. Following baseline assessment, 142 patients in medication maintenance at a community mental health center were randomized to one of 3 treatments for 9 months: (1) PharmCAT, supports including pill containers, signs, alarms, checklists and the organization of belongings established in weekly home visits from a PharmCAT therapist; (2) Med-eMonitor (MM), an electronic medication monitor that prompts use of medication, cues the taking of medication, warns patients when they are taking the wrong medication or taking it at the wrong time, record complaints, and, through modem hookup, alerts treatment staff of failures to take medication as prescribed; (3) Treatment as Usual (TAU). All patients received the Med-eMonitor device to record medication adherence. The device was programmed for intervention only in the MM group. Data on symptoms, global functioning, and contact with emergency services and police were obtained every 3 months. Repeated measures analyses of variance for mixed models indicated that adherence to medication was significantly better in both active conditions than in TAU (both p<0.0001). Adherence in active treatments ranged from 90-92% compared to 73% in TAU based on electronic monitoring. In-person and electronic interventions significantly improved adherence to medication, but that did not translate to improved clinical outcomes. Implications for treatment and health care costs are discussed.

  2. Improving the legibility of prescription medication labels for older adults and adults with visual impairment

    PubMed Central

    Leat, Susan J.; Krishnamoorthy, Abinaya; Carbonara, Antonio; Gold, Deborah; Rojas-Fernandez, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Most current prescription labels fail to meet print guidelines, especially in print size. We therefore compared the legibility of current prescription medication labels against the legibility of prototype labels, based on current guidelines for legibility. Method: Sample medication labels were obtained from pharmacies, and prototype medication labels were developed according to legibility guidelines from nongovernmental organizations and pharmacy organizations. Three groups of participants, consisting of older adults with normal vision, older adults with visual impairment and younger adults with visual impairment (total N = 71) took part. Participants were asked to read and rank the labels. Reading speed and accuracy were determined. Results: Accuracies were high (75%–100%), and there were no significant differences between samples or prototypes or between groups. Prototypes, however, were read faster than samples (p < 0.001). Subjectively, participants preferred the largest print option (p < 0.001) and instructions with the numbers written in highlighted uppercase words (p < 0.001). Discussion: The results indicate that improvements to the label would include larger print size, a consistent layout with left justification and using upper case with highlighting for emphasis of the numbers in the instructions. PMID:27212968

  3. Design, evaluation, and dissemination of a plastic syringe clip to improve dosing accuracy of liquid medications.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, Garrett J; Dinh, Cindy; Gutierrez, Amanda; Lukomnik, Julia; Lu, Benjamin; Shah, Kamal; Slough, Tara; Yeh, Ping Teresa; Mirabal, Yvette; Gray, Lauren Vestewig; Marton, Stephanie; Adler, Michelle; Schutze, Gordon E; Wickham, Hadley; Oden, Maria; Richards-Kortum, Rebecca

    2013-09-01

    Pediatricians in Africa requested a tool to improve caregiver dosing of liquid antiretroviral medication. We developed, evaluated and disseminated a clip to control the amount of medication drawn into an oral syringe. In a laboratory, a user tested clips of different lengths, corresponding to different volumes, by drawing water into a syringe with a clip. In Texas and Malawi, 149 adults attempted to measure Pepto-Bismol™ using a syringe with a clip, a syringe without a clip, and a dosing cup, in a randomly assigned order. In the laboratory, the volume of liquid, ranging from 1 to 4.5 mL, drawn into the syringe was always within at least 5 μL of the intended dose. In Texas, 84% of doses were accurate within ±10%, vs. 63% using the syringe alone, and 21% with the dosing cup. In Malawi, 98% of doses were accurate to within ±10%, vs. 90% using the syringe alone, and 27% with the dosing cup. For target accuracy values within ±45% (±21%), a significantly higher fraction of Houston (Kamangira) participants delivered an accurate dose using the syringe with the clip than with the syringe alone (p < 0.05). The clip enables a greater proportion of users to accurately measure liquid medication.

  4. An overview of veterinary medical education in China: current status, deficiencies, and strategy for improvement.

    PubMed

    Yin, Jie-chao; Li, Guang-xing; Ren, Xiao-feng

    2006-01-01

    Especially in developing countries, the profession of veterinary medicine is closely tied with agriculture and government economic development, the national structure of education, and national public health. Currently, the Chinese veterinary medical educational system and accreditation standards are distinctly different from those of some more developed countries, such as the United States, Japan, or the countries of the European Union. Chinese veterinary education is still closely based on traditional Chinese education approaches and standards, which has led to some deficiencies in the Chinese system. With the development of a stronger economy in China and the growing trend toward globalization, and particularly since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), some important questions about China's system of veterinary education are being raised: How can veterinary science develop more rapidly in China? How can it meet the needs of the growing Chinese society? How can China bring its veterinary medical practice more in line with that of other, more advanced countries? This article describes some of the realities of veterinary medical education in China, discusses several existing problems, and puts forward some ideas for possible reforms. It is hoped that by this means those outside China may gain insight into our veterinary education program and that this, in turn, will lead to helpful input from international educators and other professionals to help improve our programs.

  5. [Further training for medical specialists in respiratory medicine: how can we improve it?].

    PubMed

    Karg, O

    2015-09-01

    Young physicians in Germany often criticize the advanced training programme, especially the lack of structure and the insufficient rotations. The Medical Association in each Bundesland/federal state require to include a proposal for advanced training and rotation in a trainer's aplication for an educational license. However, there is no systematic scrutiny of these concepts and therefore the criteria stated outcomes are often only incompletely met. Trainers engage too little in training methods and medical didactics. They rarely evaluate learning outcomes, and structured assessments based on workplace are exceptions. The reasons are deeply rooted in Germany's education system: Resources for specialist training are not provided, and there is no funding for a commitment in continued medical education. In addition, teaching is not assigned a quantifiable value. However, during the last decade awareness has arisen that good training programmes are an important part of quality assurance and the validation of a hospital. Better planning, structuring and evaluation of training programmes is necessary. New learning methods should be incorporated in training programmes. The German Respiratory Society (DGP) wishes to contribute to the improvement of advanced training: for example with "train the trainer" seminars for teachers, with a structured educational course programme for the trainees, with assessments such as the HERMES (Harmonized Education in Respiratory Medicine for European Specialists) exam and with support for the accreditation as a Respiratory Training Centre of the ERS (European Respiratory Society) and EBAP (European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology). PMID:26335895

  6. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: a road ahead.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Teena; Verma, Priyanka; Rao, D Nageswara

    2013-11-01

    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines.

  7. Regulatory considerations on new adjuvants and delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Sesardic, D

    2006-04-12

    New and improved vaccines and delivery systems are increasingly being developed for prevention, treatment and diagnosis of human diseases. Prior to their use in humans, all new biological products must undergo pre-clinical evaluation. These pre-clinical studies are important not only to establish the biological properties of the material and to evaluate its possible risk to the public, but also to plan protocols for subsequent clinical trials from which safety and efficacy can be evaluated. For vaccines, evaluation in pre-clinical studies is particularly important as information gained may also contribute to identifying the optimum composition and formulation process and provide an opportunity to develop suitable indicator tests for quality control. Data from pre-clinical and laboratory evaluation studies, which continue during clinical studies, is used to support an application for marketing authorisation. Addition of a new adjuvant and exploration of new delivery systems for vaccines presents challenges to both manufacturers and regulatory authorities. Because no adjuvant is licensed as a medicinal product in its own right, but only as a component of a particular vaccine, pre-clinical and appropriate toxicology studies need to be designed on a case-by-case basis to evaluate the safety profile of the adjuvant and adjuvant/vaccine combination. Current regulatory requirements for the pharmaceutical and pre-clinical safety assessment of vaccines are insufficient and initiatives are in place to develop more specific guidelines for evaluation of adjuvants in vaccines.

  8. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: a road ahead.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Teena; Verma, Priyanka; Rao, D Nageswara

    2013-11-01

    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines. PMID:24434331

  9. Role of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Resected Extrahepatic Biliary Tract Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Tae Hyun; Han, Sung-Sik; Park, Sang-Jae Lee, Woo Jin; Woo, Sang Myung; Moon, Sung Ho; Yoo, Tae; Kim, Sang Soo; Kim, Seong Hoon; Hong, Eun Kyung; Kim, Dae Yong; Park, Joong-Won

    2011-12-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the effect of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on locoregional control (LRC), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) for patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer treated with curative resection. Methods and Materials: The study involved 168 patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer undergoing curative resection between August 2001 and April 2009. Of the 168 patients, 115 received adjuvant CRT (CRT group) and 53 did not (no-CRT group). Gender, age, tumor size, histologic differentiation, pre- and postoperative carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level, resection margin, vascular invasion, perineural invasion, T stage, N stage, overall stage, and the use of adjuvant CRT were analyzed to identify the prognostic factors associated with LRC, DFS, and OS. Results: For all patients, the 5-year LRC, DFS, and OS rate was 54.8%, 30.6%, and 33.9%, respectively. On univariate analysis, the 5-year LRC, DFS, and OS rates in the CRT group were significantly better than those in the no-CRT group (58.5% vs. 44.4%, p = .007; 32.1% vs. 26.1%, p = .041; 36.5% vs. 28.2%, p = .049, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that adjuvant CRT was a significant independent prognostic factor for LRC, DFS, and OS (p < .05). Conclusion: Our results have suggested that adjuvant CRT helps achieve LRC and, consequently, improves DFS and OS in patients with extrahepatic biliary tract cancer.

  10. Novel adjuvants & delivery vehicles for vaccines development: A road ahead

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Teena; Verma, Priyanka; Rao, D. Nageswara

    2013-01-01

    The pure recombinant and synthetic antigens used in modern day vaccines are generally less immunogenic than older style live/attenuated and killed whole organism vaccines. One can improve the quality of vaccine production by incorporating immunomodulators or adjuvants with modified delivery vehicles viz. liposomes, immune stimulating complexes (ISCOMs), micro/nanospheres apart from alum, being used as gold standard. Adjuvants are used to augment the effect of a vaccine by stimulating the immune system to respond to the vaccine, more vigorously, and thus providing increased immunity to a particular disease. Adjuvants accomplish this task by mimicking specific sets of evolutionary conserved molecules which include lipopolysaccharides (LPS), components of bacterial cell wall, endocytosed nucleic acids such as dsRNA, ssDNA and unmethylated CpG dinucleotide containing DNA. This review provides information on various vaccine adjuvants and delivery vehicles being developed to date. From literature, it seems that the humoral immune responses have been observed for most adjuvants and delivery platforms while viral-vector, ISCOMs and Montanides have shown cytotoxic T-cell response in the clinical trials. MF59 and MPL® have elicited Th1 responses, and virus-like particles (VLPs), non-degradable nanoparticle and liposomes have also generated cellular immunity. Such vaccine components have also been evaluated for alternative routes of administration with clinical success reported for intranasal delivery of viral-vectors and proteosomes and oral delivery of VLP vaccines. PMID:24434331

  11. QS-21: a potent vaccine adjuvant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    QS-21 is an potent adjuvant derived from the bark of a Chilean tree, Quillaja saponaria. One of the advantages of this adjuvant is that it promotes a balanced humoral and cell-mediaed immune response and can be widely applicable to a variety of vaccines. This adjuvant has used for some veterinary va...

  12. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... RETIREMENT BOARD REGULATIONS UNDER THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT DETERMINING DISABILITY Continuing or Stopping... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement...

  13. The Usability of Diabetes MAP: A Web-delivered Intervention for Improving Medication Adherence

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Lyndsay A; Bethune, Magaela C; Lagotte, Andrea E

    2016-01-01

    Background Web-delivered interventions are a feasible approach to health promotion. However, if a website is poorly designed, difficult to navigate, and has technical bugs, it will not be used as intended. Usability testing prior to evaluating a website’s benefits can identify barriers to user engagement and maximize future use. Objective We developed a Web-delivered intervention called Diabetes Medication Adherence Promotion (Diabetes MAP) and used a mixed-methods approach to test its usability prior to evaluating its efficacy on medication adherence and glycemic control in a randomized controlled trial. Methods We recruited English-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) from an academic medical center who were prescribed diabetes medications. A trained research assistant administered a baseline survey, collected medical record information, and instructed participants on how to access Diabetes MAP. Participants were asked to use the site independently for 2 weeks and to provide survey and/or focus group feedback on their experience. We analyzed survey data descriptively and qualitative data thematically to identify participants’ favorable and unfavorable experiences, characterize usability concerns, and solicit recommendations for improving Diabetes MAP. Results Enrolled participants (N=32) were an average of 51.7 ± 11.8 years old, 66% (21/32) female, 60% (19/32) non-Hispanic White, 88% (28/32) had more than 12 years of education, half had household incomes over $50,000, and 78% (25/32) were privately insured. Average duration of diagnosed diabetes was 7.8 ± 6.3 years, average A1c was 7.4 ± 2.0, and 38% (12/32) were prescribed insulin. Of enrolled participants, 91% (29/32) provided survey and/or focus group feedback about Diabetes MAP. On the survey, participants agreed website information was clear and easy to understand, but in focus groups they reported navigational challenges and difficulty overcoming user errors (eg, entering data in an

  14. Improving end of life care: an information systems approach to reducing medical errors.

    PubMed

    Tamang, S; Kopec, D; Shagas, G; Levy, K

    2005-01-01

    Chronic and terminally ill patients are disproportionately affected by medical errors. In addition, the elderly suffer more preventable adverse events than younger patients. Targeting system wide "error-reducing" reforms to vulnerable populations can significantly reduce the incidence and prevalence of human error in medical practice. Recent developments in health informatics, particularly the application of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as data mining, neural networks, and case-based reasoning (CBR), presents tremendous opportunities for mitigating error in disease diagnosis and patient management. Additionally, the ubiquity of the Internet creates the possibility of an almost ideal network for the dissemination of medical information. We explore the capacity and limitations of web-based palliative information systems (IS) to transform the delivery of care, streamline processes and improve the efficiency and appropriateness of medical treatment. As a result, medical error(s) that occur with patients dealing with severe, chronic illness and the frail elderly can be reduced.The palliative model grew out of the need for pain relief and comfort measures for patients diagnosed with cancer. Applied definitions of palliative care extend this convention, but there is no widely accepted definition. This research will discuss the development life cycle of two palliative information systems: the CONFER QOLP management information system (MIS), currently used by a community-based palliative care program in Brooklyn, New York, and the CAREN case-based reasoning prototype. CONFER is a web platform based on the idea of "eCare". CONFER uses XML (extensible mark-up language), a W3C-endorced standard mark up to define systems data. The second system, CAREN, is a CBR prototype designed for palliative care patients in the cancer trajectory. CBR is a technique, which tries to exploit the similarities of two situations and match decision-making to the best

  15. Knowns and Known Unknowns of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Adjuvant Therapy.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Marín, Virginia; Maki, Robert G

    2016-09-01

    The first 15 years of management of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) have led to 3 lines of therapy for metastatic disease: imatinib, sunitinib, and regorafenib. In the adjuvant setting, imatinib is usually given for 3 years postoperatively to patients with higher-risk primary tumors that are completely resected. In this review, issues regarding GIST adjuvant therapy are discussed. It is hoped this review will help the reader understand the present standard of care to improve upon it in years to come. PMID:27546844

  16. Adjuvant therapy of malignant melanoma.

    PubMed

    Molife, R; Hancock, B W

    2002-10-01

    High risk surgically resected melanoma is associated with a less than 50% 5-year survival. Adjuvant therapy is an appropriate treatment modality in this setting, and is more likely to be effective as the tumour burden here is small. Clinical observations of spontaneous tumour regressions and a highly variable rate of disease progression suggest a role of the immune system in the natural history of melanoma. Biological agents have therefore been the subjects of numerous adjuvant studies. Early, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), levamisole, Corynebacterium parvum, chemotherapy, isolated limb perfusion (ILP), radiotherapy, transfer factor (TF), megestrol acetate and vitamin A yielded largely negative results. Current trials focus on vaccines and the interferons. To date the latter is the only therapy to have shown a significant benefit in the prospective randomised controlled phase III setting. This report represents a systematic review of studies in adjuvant therapy in melanoma. Data from ongoing studies is awaited before a role for adjuvant agents in high risk melanoma is confirmed. PMID:12399001

  17. Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Premenopausal Women with Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kadakia, Kunal C.; Henry, N. Lynn

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality in premenopausal women. Multiple advances in local and systemic therapies have dramatically improved outcomes in women with HR+ early stage breast cancer. Despite these advances, early and late relapses occur. Therefore multiple adjuvant endocrine therapy trials have been conducted with the goal of decreasing breast cancer recurrence and mortality. Recently, large international trials evaluating extended endocrine therapy as well as ovarian suppression with and without tamoxifen or exemestane have been reported. These studies add to the large body of existing data related to adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal women with breast cancer and provide additional therapeutic options in those at high risk of disease recurrence. This review will synthesize the most recent data and provide an evidenced based approach, highlighting quality-of-life concerns, when considering adjuvant endocrine therapies in premenopausal women. PMID:27058571

  18. [Assessment of financial performance improves the quality of healthcare provided by medical organizations].

    PubMed

    Afek, Arnon; Meilik, Ahuva; Rotstein, Zeev

    2009-01-01

    Today, medical organizations have to contend with a highly competitive environment, an atmosphere saturated with a multitude of innovative new technologies and ever-increasing costs. The ability of these organizations to survive and to develop and expand their services mandates adoption of management guidelines based on the world of finance/commerce, adapted to make them relevant to the world of medical service. In this article the authors chose to present a management administration assessment which is a process that ensures that the management will effectively administer the organization's resources, and meet the goals set by the organization. The system demands that hospital "centers of responsibility" be defined, a management information system be set up, activities be priced, budget be defined and the expenses assessed. These processes make it possible to formulate a budget and assess any possible deviation between the budget and the actual running costs. An assessment of deviations will reveal any possible deviation of the most significant factor--efficiency. Medical organization managers, with the cooperation of the directors of the "centers of responsibility", can assess subunit activities and gain an understanding of the significance of management decisions and thus improve the quality of management, and the medical organization. The goal of this management system is not only to Lower costs and to meet the financial goals that were set; it is a tool that ensures quality. Decreasing expenditure is important in this case, but is only secondary in importance and will be a result of reducing the costs incurred by services lacking in quality. PMID:19320392

  19. Search and retrieval of medical images for improved diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekin, Ahmet; Jasinschi, Radu; Turan, Erman; Engbers, Rene; van der Grond, Jeroen; van Buchem, Mark A.

    2007-01-01

    In the medical world, the accuracy of diagnosis is mainly affected by either lack of sufficient understanding of some diseases or the inter-, and/or intra-observer variability of the diagnoses. The former requires understanding the progress of diseases at much earlier stages, extraction of important information from ever growing amounts of data, and finally finding correlations with certain features and complications that will illuminate the disease progression. The latter (inter-, and intra- observer variability) is caused by the differences in the experience levels of different medical experts (inter-observer variability) or by mental and physical tiredness of one expert (intra-observer variability). We believe that the use of large databases can help improve the current status of disease understanding and decision making. By comparing large number of patients, some of the otherwise hidden relations can be revealed that results in better understanding, patients with similar complications can be found, the diagnosis and treatment can be compared so that the medical expert can make a better diagnosis. To this effect, this paper introduces a search and retrieval system for brain MR databases and shows that brain iron accumulation shape provides additional information to the shape-insensitive features, such as the total brain iron load, that are commonly used in the clinics. We propose to use Kendall's correlation value to automatically compare various returns to a query. We also describe a fully automated and fast brain MR image analysis system to detect degenerative iron accumulation in brain, as it is the case in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The system is composed of several novel image processing algorithms and has been extensively tested in Leiden University Medical Center over so far more than 600 patients.

  20. Does primary medical practitioner involvement with a specialist team improve patient outcomes? A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Geoffrey; Del Mar, Chris; Francis, Daniel

    2002-11-01

    Patients with chronic or complex medical or psychiatric conditions are treated by many practioners, including general practitioners (GPs). Formal liaison between primary and specialist is often assumed to offer benefits to patients. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of formal liaison of GPs with specialist service providers on patient health outcomes, by conducting a systematic review of the published literature in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL and Cochrane Library databases using the following search terms: 'family physician': synonyms of 'patient care planning', 'patient discharge' and 'patient care team'; and synonyms of 'randomised controlled trials'. Seven studies were identified, involving 963 subjects and 899 controls. Most health outcomes were unchanged, although some physical and functional health outcomes were improved by formal liaison between GPs and specialist services, particularly among chronic mental illness patients. Some health outcomes worsened during the intervention. Patient retention rates within treatment programmes improved with GP involvement, as did patient satisfaction. Doctor (GP and specialist) behaviour changed with reports of more rational use of resources and diagnostic tests, improved clinical skills, more frequent use of appropriate treatment strategies, and more frequent clinical behaviours designed to detect disease complications. Cost effectiveness could not be determined. In conclusion, formal liaison between GPs and specialist services leaves most physical health outcomes unchanged, but improves functional outcomes in chronically mentally ill patients. It may confer modest long-term health benefits through improvements in patient concordance with treatment programmes and more effective clinical practice. PMID:12434964

  1. Dietary and medication adjustments to improve seizure control in patients treated with the ketogenic diet

    PubMed Central

    Selter, Jessica H.; Turner, Zahava; Doerrer, Sarah C.; Kossoff, Eric H.

    2014-01-01

    Unlike anticonvulsant drugs and vagus nerve stimulation, there are no guidelines regarding adjustments to ketogenic diet regimens to improve seizure efficacy once the diet has been started. A retrospective chart review was performed of 200 consecutive patients treated with the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2007-2013. Ten dietary and supplement changes were identified, along with anticonvulsant adjustments. A total of 391 distinct interventions occurred, of which 265 were made specifically to improve seizure control. Adjustments lead to >50% further seizure reduction in-18%, but only 3% became seizure-free. The benefits of interventions did not decrease over time. There was a trend towards medication adjustments being more successful than dietary modifications (24% vs. 15%, p = 0.08). No single dietary change stood out as the most effective, but calorie changes were largely unhelpful (10% with additional benefit). PMID:24859788

  2. Improved dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Cao, Tianjie; Zhai, Jingxuan

    2013-04-01

    In order to protect users' identity privacy, Chen et al. proposed an efficient dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems. However, Chen et al.'s scheme has some weaknesses. In Chen et al.'s scheme, an attacker can track a user by a linkability attack or an off-line identity guessing attack. Chen et al.'s scheme is also vulnerable to an off-line password guessing attack and an undetectable on-line password guessing attack when user's smart card is stolen. In server side, Chen et al.'s scheme needs large computational load to authentication a legal user or reject an illegal user. To remedy the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme, we propose an improved smart card based password authentication scheme. Our analysis shows that the improved scheme can overcome the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme.

  3. Improved dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Cao, Tianjie; Zhai, Jingxuan

    2013-04-01

    In order to protect users' identity privacy, Chen et al. proposed an efficient dynamic ID-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems. However, Chen et al.'s scheme has some weaknesses. In Chen et al.'s scheme, an attacker can track a user by a linkability attack or an off-line identity guessing attack. Chen et al.'s scheme is also vulnerable to an off-line password guessing attack and an undetectable on-line password guessing attack when user's smart card is stolen. In server side, Chen et al.'s scheme needs large computational load to authentication a legal user or reject an illegal user. To remedy the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme, we propose an improved smart card based password authentication scheme. Our analysis shows that the improved scheme can overcome the weaknesses in Chen et al.'s scheme. PMID:23345091

  4. Interactive Learning Module Improves Resident Knowledge of Risks of Ionizing Radiation Exposure From Medical Imaging.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Alexander Y; Breaud, Alan H; Schneider, Jeffrey I; Kadom, Nadja; Mitchell, Patricia M; Linden, Judith A

    2016-01-01

    Physician awareness of the risks of ionizing radiation exposure related to medical imaging is poor. Effective educational interventions informing physicians of such risk, especially in emergency medicine (EM), are lacking. The SIEVERT (Suboptimal Ionizing Radiation Exposure Education - A Void in Emergency Medicine Residency Training) learning module was designed to improve provider knowledge of the risks of radiation exposure from medical imaging and comfort in communicating these risks to patients. The 1-hour module consists of introductory lecture, interactive discussion, and role-playing scenarios. In this pilot study, we assessed the educational effect using unmatched, anonymous preintervention and postintervention questionnaires that assessed fund of knowledge, participant self-reported imaging ordering practices in several clinical scenarios, and trainee comfort level in discussing radiation risks with patients. All 25 EM resident participants completed the preintervention questionnaire, and 22 completed the postintervention questionnaire within 4 hours after participation. Correct responses on the 14-question learning assessment increased from 6.32 (standard deviation = 2.36) preintervention to 12.23 (standard deviation = 1.85) post-intervention. Overall, 24% of residents were comfortable with discussing the risks of ionizing radiation exposure with patients preintervention, whereas 41% felt comfortable postintervention. Participants ordered fewer computed tomography scans in 2 of the 4 clinical scenarios after attending the educational intervention. There was improvement in EM residents' knowledge regarding the risks of ionizing radiation exposure from medical imaging, and increased participant self-reported comfort levels in the discussion of these risks with patients after the 1-hour SIEVERT learning module.

  5. The use of information technology in improving medical performance. Part II. Physician-support tools.

    PubMed

    Gawande, A A; Bates, D W

    2000-02-14

    Increasing data from a few sites demonstrate that information technologies can improve physician decision making and clinical effectiveness. For example, computer-based physician order entry systems, automated laboratory alert systems, and artificial neural networks have demonstrated significant reductions in medical errors. In addition, Internet services to disseminate new knowledge and safety alerts to physicians more rationally and effectively are rapidly developing, and telemedicine to improve rural access to specialty services is undergoing substantial growth. However, even technologies demonstrated to yield beneficial effects have not yet achieved widespread adoption, though the pace of change appears to be increasing as the Internet takes hold. Scientific evaluation of many technologies is also lacking, and the dangers of some of these technologies may be underappreciated. Research on the effects of specific technologies should be a priority. Policies should be developed to press information technology companies, such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, to recognize the importance of clinical evaluation. Research could also analyze the characteristics of effective technologies and of physicians and organizations who implement these technologies effectively.

  6. A Multifaceted Prospective Memory Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence: Design of a Randomized Control Trial

    PubMed Central

    Insel, Kathie C.; Einstein, Gilles O.; Morrow, Daniel G.; Hepworth, Joseph T.

    2012-01-01

    Adherence to prescribed antihypertensive agents is critical because control of elevated blood pressure is the single most important way to prevent stroke and other end organ damage. Unfortunately, nonadherence remains a significant problem. Previous interventions designed to improve adherence have demonstrated only small benefits of strategies that target single facets such as understanding medication directions. The intervention described here is informed by prospective memory theory and performance of older adults in laboratory-based paradigms and uses a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to improve adherence. It incorporates multiple strategies designed to support key components of prospective remembering involved in taking medication. The intervention is delivered by nurses in the home with an education control group for comparison. Differences between groups in overall adherence following the intervention and 6 months later will be tested. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels also will be examined between groups and as it relates to adherence. Intra-individual regression is planned to examine change in adherence over time and its predictors. Finally, we will examine the association between executive function/working memory and adherence, predicting that adherence will be related to executive/working memory in the control group but not in the intervention group. PMID:23010608

  7. A multifaceted prospective memory intervention to improve medication adherence: design of a randomized control trial.

    PubMed

    Insel, Kathleen C; Einstein, Gilles O; Morrow, Daniel G; Hepworth, Joseph T

    2013-01-01

    Adherence to prescribed antihypertensive agents is critical because control of elevated blood pressure is the single most important way to prevent stroke and other end organ damage. Unfortunately, nonadherence remains a significant problem. Previous interventions designed to improve adherence have demonstrated only small benefits of strategies that target single facets such as understanding medication directions. The intervention described here is informed by prospective memory theory and performance of older adults in laboratory-based paradigms and uses a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to improve adherence. It incorporates multiple strategies designed to support key components of prospective remembering involved in taking medication. The intervention is delivered by nurses in the home with an education control group for comparison. Differences between groups in overall adherence following the intervention and 6 months later will be tested. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels also will be examined between groups and as they relate to adherence. Intra-individual regression is planned to examine change in adherence over time and its predictors. Finally, we will examine the association between executive function/working memory and adherence, predicting that adherence will be related to executive/working memory in the control group but not in the intervention group. PMID:23010608

  8. Management of Pediatric Myxopapillary Ependymoma: The Role of Adjuvant Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Agbahiwe, Harold C.; Wharam, Moody; Batra, Sachin; Cohen, Kenneth; Terezakis, Stephanie A.

    2013-02-01

    Introduction: Myxopapillary ependymoma (MPE) is a rare tumor in children. The primary treatment is gross total resection (GTR), with no clearly defined role for adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Published reports, however, suggest that children with MPE present with a more aggressive disease course. The goal of this study was to assess the role of adjuvant RT in pediatric patients with MPE. Methods: Sixteen patients with MPE seen at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) between November 1984 and December 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Fifteen of the patients were evaluable with a mean age of 16.8 years (range, 12-21 years). Kaplan-Meier curves and descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Results: All patients received surgery as the initial treatment modality. Surgery consisted of either a GTR or a subtotal resection (STR). The median dose of adjuvant RT was 50.4 Gy (range, 45-54 Gy). All patients receiving RT were treated at the involved site. After a median follow-up of 7.2 years (range, 0.75-26.4 years), all patients were alive with stable disease. Local control at 5 and 10 years was 62.5% and 30%, respectively, for surgery alone versus 100% at both time points for surgery and adjuvant RT. Fifty percent of the patients receiving surgery alone had local failure. All patients receiving STR alone had local failure compared to 33% of patients receiving GTR alone. One patient in the surgery and adjuvant RT group developed a distant site of recurrence 1 year from diagnosis. No late toxicity was reported at last follow-up, and neurologic symptoms either improved or remained stable following surgery with or without RT. Conclusions: Adjuvant RT improved local control compared to surgery alone and should be considered after surgical resection in pediatric patients with MPE.

  9. [Adjuvants in modern medicine and veterinary].

    PubMed

    Kozlov, V G; Ozherelkov, S V; Sanin, A V; Kozhevnikova, T N

    2014-01-01

    The review is dedicated to immunologic adjuvants--various natural and synthetics substances that are added to vaccines for stimulation of specific immune response, but they do not induce specific response themselves. Critically important is the selection of the correct adjuvants, for which mechanisms of effect on immune system are studied the most. The majority of these mechanisms as well as physical-chemical and biological features of modern adjuvants are analyzed in the review. The problem of safety of adjuvants, types of immune response induced by adjuvants of various nature, excipients that are being verified or already in use in modern medicine and veterinary are also examined.

  10. Improving the Safety of Oral Chemotherapy at an Academic Medical Center

    PubMed Central

    Casella, Erica; Capozzi, Donna; McGettigan, Suzanne; Gangadhar, Tara C.; Schuchter, Lynn; Myers, Jennifer S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Over the last decade, the use of oral chemotherapy (OC) for the treatment of cancer has dramatically increased. Despite their route of administration, OCs pose many of the same risks as intravenous agents. In this quality improvement project, we sought to examine our current process for the prescription of OC at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and to improve on its safety. Methods: A multidisciplinary team that included oncologists, advanced-practice providers, and pharmacists was formed to analyze the current state of our OC practice. Using Lean Six Sigma quality improvement tools, we identified a lack of pharmacist review of the OC prescription as an area for improvement. To address these deficiencies, we used our electronic medical system to route OC orders placed by treating providers to an oncology-specific outpatient pharmacist at the Abramson Cancer Center for review. Results: Over 7 months, 63 orders for OC were placed for 45 individual patients. Of the 63 orders, all were reviewed by pharmacists, and, as a result, 22 interventions were made (35%). Types of interventions included dosage adjustment (one of 22), identification of an interacting drug (nine of 22), and recommendations for additional drug monitoring (12 of 22). Conclusion: OC poses many of the same risks as intravenous chemotherapy and should be prescribed and reviewed with the same oversight. At our institution, involvement of an oncology-trained pharmacist in the review of OC led to meaningful interventions in one third of the orders. PMID:26733627

  11. Physicians’ use of computerized clinical decision supports to improve medication management in the elderly – the Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technology intervention

    PubMed Central

    Alagiakrishnan, Kannayiram; Wilson, Patricia; Sadowski, Cheryl A; Rolfson, Darryl; Ballermann, Mark; Ausford, Allen; Vermeer, Karla; Mohindra, Kunal; Romney, Jacques; Hayward, Robert S

    2016-01-01

    Background Elderly people (aged 65 years or more) are at increased risk of polypharmacy (five or more medications), inappropriate medication use, and associated increased health care costs. The use of clinical decision support (CDS) within an electronic medical record (EMR) could improve medication safety. Methods Participatory action research methods were applied to preproduction design and development and postproduction optimization of an EMR-embedded CDS implementation of the Beers’ Criteria for medication management and the Cockcroft–Gault formula for estimating glomerular filtration rates (GFR). The “Seniors Medication Alert and Review Technologies” (SMART) intervention was used in primary care and geriatrics specialty clinics. Passive (chart messages) and active (order-entry alerts) prompts exposed potentially inappropriate medications, decreased GFR, and the possible need for medication adjustments. Physician reactions were assessed using surveys, EMR simulations, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews. EMR audit data were used to identify eligible patient encounters, the frequency of CDS events, how alerts were managed, and when evidence links were followed. Results Analysis of subjective data revealed that most clinicians agreed that CDS appeared at appropriate times during patient care. Although managing alerts incurred a modest time burden, most also agreed that workflow was not disrupted. Prevalent concerns related to clinician accountability and potential liability. Approximately 36% of eligible encounters triggered at least one SMART alert, with GFR alert, and most frequent medication warnings were with hypnotics and anticholinergics. Approximately 25% of alerts were overridden and ~15% elicited an evidence check. Conclusion While most SMART alerts validated clinician choices, they were received as valuable reminders for evidence-informed care and education. Data from this study may aid other attempts to implement Beers’ Criteria in

  12. Vaccine adjuvants as potential cancer immunotherapeutics.

    PubMed

    Temizoz, Burcu; Kuroda, Etsushi; Ishii, Ken J

    2016-07-01

    Accumulated evidence obtained from various clinical trials and animal studies suggested that cancer vaccines need better adjuvants than those that are currently licensed, which include the most commonly used alum and incomplete Freund's adjuvant, because of either a lack of potent anti-tumor immunity or the induction of undesired immunity. Several clinical trials using immunostimulatory adjuvants, particularly agonistic as well as non-agonistic ligands for TLRs, C-type lectin receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and stimulator of interferon genes, have revealed their therapeutic potential not only as vaccine adjuvants but also as anti-tumor agents. Recently, combinations of such immunostimulatory or immunomodulatory adjuvants have shown superior efficacy over their singular use, suggesting that seeking optimal combinations of the currently available or well-characterized adjuvants may provide a better chance for the development of novel adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. PMID:27006304

  13. Vaccine adjuvants as potential cancer immunotherapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Temizoz, Burcu; Kuroda, Etsushi

    2016-01-01

    Accumulated evidence obtained from various clinical trials and animal studies suggested that cancer vaccines need better adjuvants than those that are currently licensed, which include the most commonly used alum and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant, because of either a lack of potent anti-tumor immunity or the induction of undesired immunity. Several clinical trials using immunostimulatory adjuvants, particularly agonistic as well as non-agonistic ligands for TLRs, C-type lectin receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and stimulator of interferon genes, have revealed their therapeutic potential not only as vaccine adjuvants but also as anti-tumor agents. Recently, combinations of such immunostimulatory or immunomodulatory adjuvants have shown superior efficacy over their singular use, suggesting that seeking optimal combinations of the currently available or well-characterized adjuvants may provide a better chance for the development of novel adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy. PMID:27006304

  14. Advances and challenges in mucosal adjuvant technology.

    PubMed

    Newsted, Daniel; Fallahi, Firouzeh; Golshani, Ashkan; Azizi, Ali

    2015-05-15

    Adjuvants play attractive roles in enhancement of immune response during vaccination; however, due to several challenges, only a limited number of adjuvants are licensed by health authorities. The lack of an effective mucosal adjuvant is even more significant as none of the licensed adjuvants revealed a strong enhancement in immune system after mucosal administration. Over the past two decades, several mucosal adjuvants have been developed to deliver antigens to the target cells in the mucosal immune system and increase specific immune responses. However, the safety and efficacy of these adjuvants for testing in human trials is still an important issue, requiring further study. In this article, we briefly review the challenges associated with most common mucosal adjuvants and discuss potential strategies for targeting the mucosal immune system.

  15. Cognitive and Performance Enhancing Medication Use to Improve Performance in Poker.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Joshua; Ownby, Raymond L; Rey, Jose A; Clauson, Kevin A

    2016-09-01

    Use of neuroenhancers has been studied in groups ranging from students to surgeons; however, use of cognitive and performance enhancing medications (CPEMs) to improve performance in poker has remained largely overlooked. To assess the use of CPEMs to improve poker performance, a survey of poker players was conducted. Participants were recruited via Internet poker forums; 198 completed the online survey. Approximately 28 % of respondents used prescription CPEMs, with the most commonly used including: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (62 %), benzodiazepines (20 %), and methylphenidate (20 %). CPEMs were used in poker to focus (73 %), calm nerves (11 %), and stay awake (11 %). Caffeine (71 %), as well as conventionally counter-intuitive substances like marijuana (35 %) and alcohol (30 %) were also reported to enhance poker performance. Non-users of CPEMs were dissuaded from use due to not knowing where to get them (29 %), apprehension about trying them (26 %), and legal or ethical concerns (16 %). Respondents most frequently acquired CPEMs via friends/fellow poker players (52 %), or prescription from physician (38 %). Additionally, greater use of CPEMs was associated with living outside the United States (p = 0.042), prior use of prescription medications for improving non-poker related performance (p < 0.001), and amateur and semi-professional player status (p = 0.035). Unmonitored use of pharmacologically active agents and their methods of acquisition highlight safety concerns in this cohort of poker players, especially among non-professional players. The current state of guidance from national organizations on CPEM use in healthy individuals could impact prescribing patterns. PMID:26450125

  16. Immune Adjuvant Effect of Molecularly-defined Toll-Like Receptor Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Toussi, Deana N.; Massari, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Vaccine efficacy is optimized by addition of immune adjuvants. However, although adjuvants have been used for over a century, to date, only few adjuvants are approved for human use, mostly aimed at improving vaccine efficacy and antigen-specific protective antibody production. The mechanism of action of immune adjuvants is diverse, depending on their chemical and molecular nature, ranging from non-specific effects (i.e., antigen depot at the immunization site) to specific activation of immune cells leading to improved host innate and adaptive responses. Although the detailed molecular mechanism of action of many adjuvants is still elusive, the discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) has provided new critical information on immunostimulatory effect of numerous bacterial components that engage TLRs. These ligands have been shown to improve both the quality and the quantity of host adaptive immune responses when used in vaccine formulations targeted to infectious diseases and cancer that require both humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The potential of such TLR adjuvants in improving the design and the outcomes of several vaccines is continuously evolving, as new agonists are discovered and tested in experimental and clinical models of vaccination. In this review, a summary of the recent progress in development of TLR adjuvants is presented. PMID:26344622

  17. Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Cervical Cancer.

    PubMed

    Mallmann, Peter; Mallmann, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is indicated in patients who can tolerate the side effects of a chemotherapy and with preoperative presentation of one of the following clinical risk situations: bulky disease with a maximal tumor diameter of > 4 cm, suspicious lymph nodes in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scan or endosonography, histopathologically confirmed lymph node metastasis, or histopathologically documented risk factors such as G3 and L1V1. A neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery should be performed with cisplatin at a dosage of > 25 mg/m2 per week and an application interval of < 14 days. The previously published data suggests an improved rate of complete resection and reduced incidences of positive lymph nodes and parametric infiltration. Accordingly, the percentage of patients in need for adjuvant radiochemotherapy after operation can be significantly reduced. Some studies demonstrated a prolongation of progression-free and overall survival. Following the previously published studies, adjuvant chemotherapy after operation or after radiochemotherapy has no significant effect on the overall survival and, following the current guidelines, should be avoided. PMID:27614740

  18. Limited Advantages of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Over 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy in the Adjuvant Management of Gastric Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Alani, Shlomo; Soyfer, Viacheslav; Strauss, Natan; Schifter, Dan; Corn, Benjamin W.

    2009-06-01

    Purpose: Although chemoradiotherapy was considered the standard adjuvant treatment for gastric cancer, a recent Phase III trial (Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy [MAGIC]) did not include radiotherapy in the randomization scheme because it was considered expendable. Given radiotherapy's potential, efforts needed to be made to optimize its use for treating gastric cancer. We assessed whether intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) could improve upon our published results in patients treated with three-dimensional (3D) conformal therapy. Methods and Materials: Fourteen patients with adenocarcinoma of the stomach were treated with adjuvant chemoradiotherapy using a noncoplanar four-field arrangement. Subsequently, a nine-field IMRT plan was designed using a CMS Xio IMRT version 4.3.3 module. Two IMRT beam arrangements were evaluated: beam arrangement 1 consisted of gantry angles of 0 deg., 53 deg., 107 deg., 158 deg., 204 deg., 255 deg., and 306 deg.. Beam arrangement 2 consisted of gantry angles of 30 deg., 90 deg., 315 deg., and 345 deg.; a gantry angle of 320 deg./couch, 30 deg.; and a gantry angle of 35{sup o}/couch, 312{sup o}. Both the target volume coverage and the dose deposition in adjacent critical organs were assessed in the plans. Dose-volume histograms were generated for the clinical target volume, kidneys, spine, and liver. Results: Comparison of the clinical target volumes revealed satisfactory coverage by the 95% isodose envelope using either IMRT or 3D conformal therapy. However, IMRT was only marginally better than 3D conformal therapy at protecting the spine and kidneys from radiation. Conclusions: IMRT confers only a marginal benefit in the adjuvant treatment of gastric cancer and should be used only in the small subset of patients with risk factors for kidney disease or those with a preexisting nephropathy.

  19. The efficiency of adjuvants combined with flupyrsulfuron-methyl plus metsulfuron-methyl (Lexus XPE) on weed control.

    PubMed

    Heremans, B; Isebaert, S; Verhoeven, R; Haesaert, G

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of laboratory tests on a selection of weeds (Viola arvensis, Polygonum persicaria, Chamomilla recutita, Chenopodium album, Veronica persicaria, Alopecurus myosusroides) to investigate the efficiency of flupyrsulfuron-methyl plus metsutfuronmethyl (Lexus XPE) in combination with different adjuvants. The efficiency of the herbicide improved in combination of adjuvants. The level of phytotoxicity of the adjuvants-herbicide treatments appllied varied among the different weed species. PMID:18399424

  20. The adjuvant MF59 induces ATP release from muscle that potentiates response to vaccination.

    PubMed

    Vono, Maria; Taccone, Marianna; Caccin, Paola; Gallotta, Marilena; Donvito, Giovanna; Falzoni, Simonetta; Palmieri, Emiliano; Pallaoro, Michele; Rappuoli, Rino; Di Virgilio, Francesco; De Gregorio, Ennio; Montecucco, Cesare; Seubert, Anja

    2013-12-24

    Vaccines are the most effective agents to control infections. In addition to the pathogen antigens, vaccines contain adjuvants that are used to enhance protective immune responses. However, the molecular mechanism of action of most adjuvants is ill-known, and a better understanding of adjuvanticity is needed to develop improved adjuvants based on molecular targets that further enhance vaccine efficacy. This is particularly important for tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, and other diseases for which protective vaccines do not exist. Release of endogenous danger signals has been linked to adjuvanticity; however, the role of extracellular ATP during vaccination has never been explored. Here, we tested whether ATP release is involved in the immune boosting effect of four common adjuvants: aluminum hydroxide, calcium phosphate, incomplete Freund's adjuvant, and the oil-in-water emulsion MF59. We found that intramuscular injection is always associated with a weak transient release of ATP, which was greatly enhanced by the presence of MF59 but not by all other adjuvants tested. Local injection of apyrase, an ATP-hydrolyzing enzyme, inhibited cell recruitment in the muscle induced by MF59 but not by alum or incomplete Freund's adjuvant. In addition, apyrase strongly inhibited influenza-specific T-cell responses and hemagglutination inhibition titers in response to an MF59-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. These data demonstrate that a transient ATP release is required for innate and adaptive immune responses induced by MF59 and link extracellular ATP with an enhanced response to vaccination. PMID:24324152

  1. [Adjuvant chemotherapy for resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)].

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Eiji; Katou, H

    2008-01-01

    A randomized clinical trial of adjuvant chemotherapy has been evaluated for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, because the prognosis of early NSCLC does not enough after surgery (stage I: 70-80%, stage II: 50% in overall 5-years survival). Japanese guide line for lung cancer treatment (2005 edition) recommends adjuvant chemotherapy after complete resection for pathological stage IB, II and IIIA. Previous studies have suggested that uracil-tegafur has benefit for stage IB NSCLC patients, and platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy has benefit for stage IB, II and IIIA NSCLC patients. In 2007 ASCO Annual Meeting, Harpole D talked about molecular prognostic profiles in early resected NSCLC. The goal of this study design is to validate a molecular-based tumor model that identifies those patients at low risk for cancer recurrence who will not benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. The remaining patients will be randomly assigned to observation (the present standard of care) or adjuvant chemotherapy to determine the efficacy of adjuvant in this population. Biomarker for response of chemotherapy will be available to know who has benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. When each patient has appropriate adjuvant chemotherapy, the prognosis is improved by that.

  2. Safety in the academic medical center: transforming challenges into ingredients for improvement.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, David; Ferris, Timothy G

    2006-09-01

    Patient safety has emerged as an important challenge to the leadership of academic medical centers (i.e., teaching hospitals with significant research activity). This article describes the evidence regarding patient safety at academic medical centers (AMCs) and the special circumstances of AMCs that create challenges and opportunities for making improvements. While the research on the relative safety of patients in AMCs compared to other types of hospitals is sparse, it seems clear that AMCs in general do not stand out as models of patient safety. AMCs are unique as health care providers because of the multiple consequences of their three missions: patient care, research, and teaching. Aspects of these missions can serve to both enhance an AMC's ability to address safety issues and at the same time create unique and challenging barriers. For example, the research enterprise may distract managers' focus on safety issues but at the same time provide a wealth of highly trained talent for investigating and reducing safety problems. By addressing these challenges, AMCs have the opportunity, even the obligation, to be both the source of new knowledge on health care safety as well as the transmitter of new skills in safe patient care for the health care providers of the future.

  3. Mpeg2 codec HD improvements with medical and robotic imaging benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picard, Wayne F. J.

    2010-02-01

    In this report, we propose an efficient scheme to use High Definition Television (HDTV) in a console or notebook format as a computer terminal in addition to their role as TV display unit. In the proposed scheme, we assume that the main computer is situated at a remote location. The computer raster in the remote server is compressed using an HD E- >Mpeg2 encoder and transmitted to the terminal at home. The built-in E->Mpeg2 decoder in the terminal decompresses the compressed bit stream, and displays the raster. The terminal will be fitted with a mouse and keyboard, through which the interaction with the remote computer server can be performed via a communications back channel. The terminal in a notebook format can thus be used as a high resolution computer and multimedia device. We will consider developments such as the required HD enhanced Mpeg2 resolution (E->Mpeg2) and its medical ramifications due to improvements on compressed image quality with 2D to 3D conversion (Mpeg3) and using the compressed Discrete Cosine Transform coefficients in the reality compression of vision and control of medical robotic surgeons.

  4. Viewpoint: Improving the health of the public requires changes in medical education.

    PubMed

    Solyom, Antal E

    2005-12-01

    It has been widely accepted and recommended that the needed improvements in the quality of health care require fundamental reforms in medical education. However, it is essential to recognize that there are significant problems not only with the quality but also with the quantity of health care in the United States. The medical profession has to confront the fundamental moral problem of unrealized rights and unattained justice in health care that has resulted in explicit harm to the health of a large portion of the population. Does this state of affairs have anything to do with the ways physicians have been educated about civic responsibilities, leadership, and professional integrity? What kind of education is to be provided for what kind of physicians and for what kind of medicine? Emphasis should be placed on the leadership role and on the underlying attitudes and values of physicians that reflect the morality of medicine. The doctor-patient and doctor-society relationships are part and parcel of the moral and professional responsibilities of physicians. Different moralities are involved when medicine is practiced as a job or business or vocation, because these entail different dispositions toward patients and society. The envisioned educational changes should challenge and prepare physicians not only with regard to their knowledge and skills but also with regard to their moral and professional integrity and leadership, so they may serve individuals and society in a health care system that ensures equal access to high-quality services for all.

  5. Needs and opportunities for improving the health, safety, and productivity of medical research facilities.

    PubMed Central

    Hodgson, M; Brodt, W; Henderson, D; Loftness, V; Rosenfeld, A; Woods, J; Wright, R

    2000-01-01

    Medical research facilities, indeed all the nation's constructed facilities, must be designed, operated, and maintained in a manner that supports the health, safety, and productivity of the occupants. The National Construction Goals, established by the National Science and Technology Council, envision substantial improvements in occupant health and worker productivity. The existing research and best practices case studies support this conclusion, but too frequently building industry professionals lack the knowledge to design, construct, operate, and maintain facilities at these optimum levels. There is a need for more research and more collaborative efforts between medical and facilities engineering researchers and practitioners in order to attain the National Construction Goals. Such collaborative efforts will simultaneously support attainment of the National Health Goals. This article is the summary report of the Healthy Buildings Committee for the Leadership Conference: Biomedical Facilities and the Environment sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Association of Physicians for the Environment, and the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers on 1--2 November 1999 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. PMID:11124125

  6. Private medical services in the Italian public hospitals: the case for improving HRM.

    PubMed

    De Pietro, Carlo

    2006-08-22

    This study explores how Italian public hospitals can use private medical activities run by their employed physicians as a human resources management (HRM) tool. It is based on field research in two acute-care hospitals and a review of Italian literature and laws. The Italian National Health Service (NHS) allows employed physicians to run private, patient-funded activities ("private beds", surgical operations, hospital outpatient clinics, etc.). Basic regulation is set at the national level, but it can be greatly improved at the hospital level. Private activities, if poorly managed, can damage efficiency, equity, quality of care, and public trust in the NHS. On the other hand, hospitals can also use them as leverage to improve HRM, with special attention to three issues: (1) professional evaluation, development, and training; (2) compensation policies; (3) competition for, and retention of, professionals in short supply. The two case studies presented here show great differences between the two hospitals in terms of regulation and organizational solutions that have been adopted to deal with such activities. However, in both hospitals, private activities do not seem to benefit HRM. Private activities are not systematically considered in compensation policies. Moreover, private revenues are strongly concentrated in a few physicians. Hospitals use very little of the information provided by the private activities to improve knowledge management, career development, or training planning. Finally, hospitals do not use private activities management as a tool for competing in the labor market for health professionals who are in short supply. PMID:16253384

  7. Implementation of unit-based interventions to improve teamwork and patient safety on a medical service.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Kevin J; Creden, Amanda J; Slade, Maureen E; Landler, Matthew P; Kulkarni, Nita; Lee, Jungwha; Vozenilek, John A; Pfeifer, Pamela; Eller, Susan; Wayne, Diane B; Williams, Mark V

    2015-01-01

    In a prior study involving 2 medical units, Structured Interdisciplinary Rounds (SIDRs) improved teamwork and reduced adverse events (AEs). SIDR was implemented on 5 additional units, and a pre- versus postintervention comparison was performed. SIDR combined a structured format for communication with daily interprofessional meetings. Teamwork was assessed using the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (score range = 0-100), and AEs were identified using queries of information systems confirmed by 2 physician researchers. Paired analyses for 82 professionals completing surveys both pre and post implementation revealed improved teamwork (mean 76.8 ± 14.3 vs 80.5 ± 11.6; P = .02), which was driven mainly by nurses (76.4 ± 14.1 vs 80.8 ± 10.4; P = .009). The AE rate was similar across study periods (3.90 vs 4.07 per 100 patient days; adjusted IRR = 1.08; P = .60). SIDR improved teamwork yet did not reduce AEs. Higher baseline teamwork scores and lower AE rates than the prior study may reflect a positive cultural shift that began prior to the current study.

  8. Improving the quality of care for medical inpatients by placing a higher priority on ward rounds.

    PubMed

    Soliman, Ash; Riyaz, Shahzad; Said, Elmhutady; Hale, Melissa; Mills, Andy; Kapur, Kapil

    2013-12-01

    Models suggested for managing acute, non-elective, medical admissions include expanding geriatric services, extending the role of the acute physician and rejuvenating the role of the general physician. We investigated improving inpatient care by changing consultants' work patterns and placing a higher priority on the ward rounds. A focus group and a questionnaire were used to study the impact on several ward round parameters. All respondents reported an overall satisfaction: 93% rated the quality of care as good or excellent, 75% reported increased safe patient discharges and 68% observed improved teamwork. Length of stay reduced to 4 days from 5.3 days without an increase in readmission. The main themes showed improved quality of care, better assured patients and relatives, and better consultant job satisfaction, but also showed reduced junior doctors' independent decision-making and a slight reduction in specialty-related activity. The study concluded that placing a higher priority on ward rounds by altering consultants' work patterns has a positive impact on inpatient care. PMID:24298094

  9. Medical knowledge and the improvement of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy: A case study from Transylvania (1770–1830)

    PubMed Central

    Sechel, Teodora Daniela

    2012-01-01

    In all European countries, the eighteenth century was characterised by efforts to improve the vernaculars. The Transylvanian case study shows how both codified medical language and ordinary language were constructed and enriched by a large number of medical books and brochures. The publication of medical literature in Central European vernacular languages in order to popularise new medical knowledge was a comprehensive programme, designed on the one hand by intellectual, political and religious elites who urged the improvement of the fatherland and the promotion of the common good by perfecting the arts and sciences. On the other hand, the imperial administration’s initiatives affected local forms of medical knowledge and the construction of vernacular languages. In the eighteenth century, the construction of vernacular languages in the Habsburg Monarchy took on a significant political character. However, in the process of building of the scientific and medical vocabulary, the main preoccupation was precision, clarity and accessibility of the neologisms being invented to encompass the medical phenomena being described. In spite of political conflicts among the ‘nations’ living in Transylvania, physicians borrowed words from German, Hungarian and Romanian. Thus they elevated several words used in everyday language to the upper social stratum of language use, leading to the invention of new terms to describe particular medical practices or phenomena. PMID:22595134

  10. Adjuvant therapy for endometrial cancer

    PubMed Central

    DeLeon, Maria C.; Ammakkanavar, Natraj R.

    2014-01-01

    Endometrial cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy typically diagnosed at early stage and cured with surgery alone. Adjuvant therapy is tailored according to the risk of recurrence, estimated based on the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage and other histological factors. The objective of this manuscript is to review the evidence guiding adjuvant therapy for early stage and locally advanced uterine cancer. For patients with early stage disease, minimizing toxicity, while preserving outstanding cure rates remains the major goal. For patients with locally advanced endometrial cancer optimal combined regimens are being defined. Risk stratification based on molecular traits is under development and may aid refine the current risk prediction model and permit personalized approaches for women with endometrial cancer. PMID:24761218

  11. Improving levels of service through enhanced distribution techniques at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

    PubMed

    Faup, S A; Felix, M J

    1994-02-01

    In an effort to reduce cost and improve service, Materiels Management Distribution Services, in cooperation with a prime vendor, created a distribution method unique to the needs of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. The project combined the vendor's expertise and ability to "deliver direct" to an internal hospital location by product group with the distribution staff's ability to complete the process and deliver the merchandise to the final destination in an expedited manner. This article provides a contract template that can be adapted for other collaborative efforts and highlights the components of a successful program: electronic data interchange, verification of usage and par, reconfiguration of space, direct pallet delivery, and some basic indicators of success. PMID:10131692

  12. A Description and Qualitative Assessment of a 4-Year Intervention to Improve Patient Counseling by Improving Medical Student Health

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Erica; Smith, Donna; Fitzmaurice, Dorothy

    2005-01-01

    Background To test whether promoting medical student health could efficiently improve patient counseling, we developed and implemented a 4-year-long curricular and extracurricular intervention to promote healthy behaviors among students in the Class of 2003 at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. Methods We asked students: (1) “What did you think about these [listed intervention components]”; (2) “did any of these interventions influence your personal health habits/attitudes toward your personal health”; and (3) “did any of these interventions influence your behavior or attitudes regarding current or future clinical practices, including history taking or counseling? If so, how? If not, why not?” Students evaluated the effectiveness of these formats and proposed changes in our intervention. The focus groups were transcribed and analyzed with QSR N5. Results Several major themes emerged from the focus groups: Listen to the students early, often, substantively, and noticeably;Incorporate many faculty and student leaders;Quietly integrate the curricular activities into the regular curriculum;Provide a strong, science-based, pragmatic prevention curriculum to complement the personal health promotion;Don't just use lectures to teach;Offer plentiful, nonrequired, fun extracurriculars;Don't nag;Have achievable interventions and recommendations;Provide collective data, but don't overexpose the students to it, and don't assume that collective data apply to every student, especially if it's unpleasant news;Provide personalized data where possible; andUncouple evaluations from the intervention, and keep evaluations brief. Conclusions Some students seemed pleased to have their medical school be attentive to their health, and believed that the project positively influenced their personal health practices and clinical practices (which was our goal). The students enjoyed many components of the intervention, especially the extracurricular activities

  13. Improving the power of genetic association tests with imperfect phenotype derived from electronic medical records.

    PubMed

    Sinnott, Jennifer A; Dai, Wei; Liao, Katherine P; Shaw, Stanley Y; Ananthakrishnan, Ashwin N; Gainer, Vivian S; Karlson, Elizabeth W; Churchill, Susanne; Szolovits, Peter; Murphy, Shawn; Kohane, Isaac; Plenge, Robert; Cai, Tianxi

    2014-11-01

    To reduce costs and improve clinical relevance of genetic studies, there has been increasing interest in performing such studies in hospital-based cohorts by linking phenotypes extracted from electronic medical records (EMRs) to genotypes assessed in routinely collected medical samples. A fundamental difficulty in implementing such studies is extracting accurate information about disease outcomes and important clinical covariates from large numbers of EMRs. Recently, numerous algorithms have been developed to infer phenotypes by combining information from multiple structured and unstructured variables extracted from EMRs. Although these algorithms are quite accurate, they typically do not provide perfect classification due to the difficulty in inferring meaning from the text. Some algorithms can produce for each patient a probability that the patient is a disease case. This probability can be thresholded to define case-control status, and this estimated case-control status has been used to replicate known genetic associations in EMR-based studies. However, using the estimated disease status in place of true disease status results in outcome misclassification, which can diminish test power and bias odds ratio estimates. We propose to instead directly model the algorithm-derived probability of being a case. We demonstrate how our approach improves test power and effect estimation in simulation studies, and we describe its performance in a study of rheumatoid arthritis. Our work provides an easily implemented solution to a major practical challenge that arises in the use of EMR data, which can facilitate the use of EMR infrastructure for more powerful, cost-effective, and diverse genetic studies. PMID:25062868

  14. Prospects for the development of new vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Cox, J; Coulter, A

    1999-12-01

    This review focuses on the impact of various new adjuvant formulations on the efficacy of existing and new human vaccines. Despite major advances in our understanding of immunology and vaccine adjuvants, existing and even new prophylactic vaccines seem likely to maintain their dependence upon aluminium salts for the foreseeable future. Additional immunomodulators may be included in these formulations to improve efficacy. A number of immunotherapeutic cancer vaccines appear likely to be registered soon and these will be dependent for efficacy upon new adjuvant formulations. The most useful to date have been the saponins e.g. QS-21, detox-B and Mycobacterial cells (either live as BCG, or killed). Vaccines to treat chronic infections will doubtless benefit from these developments. Adjuvant formulations and technologies exist to permit development of mucosal delivery, needle-free parenteral delivery and single dose vaccines. However, each of these will require intensive development, which will doubtless arrive when demanded by a specific application. Possibilities exist to improve responses in the elderly and to overcome the inhibitory effects of maternal antibodies in neonates. However, considerable work is required to establish the practicality and general utility of new approaches. PMID:18031193

  15. Effectiveness of medical equipment donations to improve health systems: how much medical equipment is broken in the developing world?

    PubMed

    Perry, Lora; Malkin, Robert

    2011-07-01

    It is often said that most of the medical equipment in the developing world is broken with estimates ranging up to 96% out of service. But there is little documented evidence to support these statements. We wanted to quantify the amount of medical equipment that was out of service in resource poor health settings and identify possible causes. Inventory reports were analyzed from 1986 to 2010, from hospitals in sixteen countries across four continents. The UN Human Development Index was used to determine which countries should be considered developing nations. Non-medical hospital equipment was excluded. This study examined 112,040 pieces of equipment. An average of 38.3% (42,925, range across countries: 0.83-47%) in developing countries was out of service. The three main causes were lack of training, health technology management, and infrastructure. We hope that the findings will help biomedical engineers with their efforts toward effective designs for the developing world and NGO's with efforts to design effective healthcare interventions.

  16. 78 FR 10181 - Global Quality Systems-An Integrated Approach To Improving Medical Product Safety; Public Workshop

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-13

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach To Improving... ``Global Quality Systems--An Integrated Approach to Improving Medical Product Safety.'' This 2-day public... With Implementation of U.S.P. 35 on a Global Basis. Pilot Program for Abbreviated Drug Inspections....

  17. [Grade III general hospital grade assessment as an opportunity to improve the management level of medical equipment].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Qian, Jianguo

    2012-11-01

    In the grade III general hospital reassessment, The department of hospital equipment accords its demand to find the problems and gaps in the actual work, gives modification opinions and programs, and clarifies continuous improved contents in next step, so to improve the management level of medical equipment.

  18. Adverse events following immunization with vaccines containing adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Cerpa-Cruz, S; Paredes-Casillas, P; Landeros Navarro, E; Bernard-Medina, A G; Martínez-Bonilla, G; Gutiérrez-Ureña, S

    2013-07-01

    A traditional infectious disease vaccine is a preparation of live attenuated, inactivated or killed pathogen that stimulates immunity. Vaccine immunologic adjuvants are compounds incorporated into vaccines to enhance immunogenicity. Adjuvants have recently been implicated in the new syndrome named ASIA autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants. The objective describes the frequencies of post-vaccination clinical syndrome induced by adjuvants. We performed a cross-sectional study; adverse event following immunization was defined as any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunization 54 days prior to the event. Data on vaccinations and other risk factors were obtained from daily epidemiologic surveillance. Descriptive statistics were done using means and standard deviation, and odds ratio adjusted for potential confounding variables was calculated with SPSS 17 software. Forty-three out of 120 patients with moderate or severe manifestations following immunization were hospitalized from 2008 to 2011. All patients fulfilled at least 2 major and 1 minor criteria suggested by Shoenfeld and Agmon-Levin for ASIA diagnosis. The most frequent clinical findings were pyrexia 68%, arthralgias 47%, cutaneous disorders 33%, muscle weakness 16% and myalgias 14%. Three patients had diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome, one patient had Adult-Still's disease 3 days after vaccination. A total of 76% of the events occurred in the first 3 days post-vaccination. Two patients with previous autoimmune disease showed severe adverse reactions with the reactivation of their illness. Minor local reactions were present in 49% of patients. Vaccines containing adjuvants may be associated with an increased risk of autoimmune/inflammatory adverse events following immunization.

  19. Cost effectiveness of a computer-delivered intervention to improve HIV medication adherence

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background High levels of adherence to medications for HIV infection are essential for optimal clinical outcomes and to reduce viral transmission, but many patients do not achieve required levels. Clinician-delivered interventions can improve patients’ adherence, but usually require substantial effort by trained individuals and may not be widely available. Computer-delivered interventions can address this problem by reducing required staff time for delivery and by making the interventions widely available via the Internet. We previously developed a computer-delivered intervention designed to improve patients’ level of health literacy as a strategy to improve their HIV medication adherence. The intervention was shown to increase patients’ adherence, but it was not clear that the benefits resulting from the increase in adherence could justify the costs of developing and deploying the intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relation of development and deployment costs to the effectiveness of the intervention. Methods Costs of intervention development were drawn from accounting reports for the grant under which its development was supported, adjusted for costs primarily resulting from the project’s research purpose. Effectiveness of the intervention was drawn from results of the parent study. The relation of the intervention’s effects to changes in health status, expressed as utilities, was also evaluated in order to assess the net cost of the intervention in terms of quality adjusted life years (QALYs). Sensitivity analyses evaluated ranges of possible intervention effectiveness and durations of its effects, and costs were evaluated over several deployment scenarios. Results The intervention’s cost effectiveness depends largely on the number of persons using it and the duration of its effectiveness. Even with modest effects for a small number of patients the intervention was associated with net cost savings in some scenarios and for

  20. Use of a continuing medical education course to improve fellows' knowledge and skills in esophageal disorders.

    PubMed

    Kim, H C; Pandolfino, J E; Komanduri, S; Hirano, I; Cohen, E R; Wayne, D B

    2011-08-01

    Advanced esophageal endoscopic procedures such as stricture dilation, hemostasis tools, and stent placement as well as high-resolution manometry (HRM) interpretation are necessary skills for gastroenterology fellows to obtain during their training. Becoming proficient in these skills may be challenging in light of higher complication rates compared with diagnostic procedures and infrequent opportunities to practice these skills. Our aim was to determine if intensive training during a continuing medical education (CME) course boosts the knowledge and skills of gastroenterology fellows in esophageal diagnostic test interpretation and performance of therapeutic procedures. This was a pretest-posttest design without a control group of a simulation-based, educational intervention in esophageal stricture balloon dilation and HRM interpretation. The participants were 24 gastroenterology fellows from 21 accredited US training programs. This was an intensive CME course held in Las Vegas, Nevada from August 7 to August 9, 2009. The research procedure had two phases. First, the subjects were measured at baseline (pretest) for their knowledge and procedural skill. Second, the fellows received 6 hours of education sessions featuring didactic content, instruction in HRM indications and interpretation, and deliberate practice using an esophageal stricture dilation model. After the intervention, all of the fellows were retested (posttest). A 17-item checklist was developed for the esophageal balloon dilation procedure using relevant sources, expert opinion, and rigorous step-by-step procedures. Nineteen representative HRM swallow studies were obtained from Northwestern's motility lab and formed the pretest and posttest in HRM interpretation. Mean scores on the dilation checklist improved 81% from 39.4% (standard deviation [SD]= 33.4%) at pretest to 71.3% (SD = 29.5%) after simulation training (P < 0.001). HRM mean examination scores increased from 27.2% (SD = 16.4%) to 46.5% (SD

  1. Ginseng and aluminium hydroxide act synergistically as vaccine adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Rivera, E; Hu, S; Concha, C

    2003-03-01

    The dry extract prepared from the Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer-root (total ginseng (T-ginseng)) contain ginsenosides (G-des) which were shown to have adjuvant properties as demonstrated by: (a) injecting guinea pigs with a mixture of T-ginseng and inactivated porcine parvovirus (PPV) as a conventional vaccine; (b)injecting PPV-antigen and T-ginseng simultaneously but separately at different sites on the animal and (c)injecting only the T-ginseng 1 or 2 weeks prior to immunisation with the PPV-antigen. Using a haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test in the antibody titration, it was found that the mean HI-titre for the animals injected with PPV-antigen only was 320 +/- 0. By comparison, the mean titre value was 2026 +/- 1206 for the sera from the animals injected with the same vaccine but adjuvanted with 4 mg of T-ginseng, while the antibody titre induced by a vaccine containing Al(OH)(3)-gel was 2986 +/- 1596. Interestingly, the T-ginseng and Al(OH)(3) acted synergistically and further improved the antibody response to the PPV-antigen to 6826 +/- 2413, i.e. more than 20 times the HI titre of the non-adjuvanted PPV-vaccine. Immunisations using PPV-vaccines adjuvanted with single purified G-des demonstrated that the ginseng fractions Rb1 and Rg1 are potent adjuvants inducing higher or similar antibody titres than the vaccine adjuvanted with Al(OH)(3), e.g. Rb1 tested at a concentration of 830 microg per dose induced a significantly (P = 0.009) higher antibody titre than the one adjuvanted with Al(OH)(3). Nevertheless, different than the mixture Al(OH)(3)-T-ginseng; Rb1 and Rg1 act antagonistically and partially inhibit each other. The G-des adjuvanted vaccines induced significantly (P = 0.0011) higher titres of IgG2 antibodies compared with IgG1.

  2. Improvement of debate competence: an outcome of an introductory course for medical humanities

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Kyung Hee; Lee, Young Hwan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Academic debate is an effective method to enhance the competences of critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills and cooperation skills. The present study examined the improvement of debate competence which is an outcome of debate-based flipped learning. Methods: A questionnaire was administrated to second-year premedical school students at Yeungnam University. In total 45 students participated in the survey. The survey questionnaire was composed of 60 items of eight subfactors on debate competence. To investigate the homogeneous of low and high achievement groups, 18 items on empathy and 75 items on critical thinking scales were used. To compare the pretest with posttest scores, data was analyzed using paired sample t-test. Results: There were no significant differences between low and high achievement groups by average grade at the beginning of the semester. There was a significant improvement in high achievers on the logical argumentation (p<0.001), proficiency in inquiry (p<0.01), active participation (p<0.001), ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.001), observance of debate rules (p<0.05), and acceptability (p<0.05). Even in low achievers, active participation (p<0.05) and ability to investigate and analyze (p<0.01) were significantly improved. Conclusion: Results showed that students could improve their debate competence by the debate-based flipped learning. A prospective and comparative study on the communication and teamwork competences needs to be conducted in the future. It is suggested that in-depth discussion for the curriculum design and teaching will be needed in terms of the effectiveness and the outcomes of the medical humanities. PMID:26838572

  3. Is the quality of care in general medical practice improving? Results of a longitudinal observational study.

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Stephen; Steiner, Andrea; Robison, Judy; Webb, Dale; Raven, Ann; Roland, Martin

    2003-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The demand for increased accountability within health care has led to a myriad of government initiatives in the United Kingdom, with the aim of improving care, setting minimum standards, and addressing poor performance. AIM: To assess the quality of care in English general practice in the year 2001 compared with 1998, in terms of access, interpersonal care, and clinical care (chronic disease management, elderly care, and mental health care). DESIGN OF STUDY: Observational study in a purposive sample of general practices in England. SETTING: Twenty-three general practices in England--eight in North Thames, seven in the North West, and eight in the South West. RESULTS: Outcome measures were: quality of chronic disease management (angina, adult asthma and type 2 diabetes from practice questionnaires and medical record review), elderly care and mental health care (from practice questionnaires), access to care, continuity of care and interpersonal care (from practice and patient questionnaires) and costs (mean change in practice budget between 1998 and 2001). There were significant improvements in quality of care in terms of organisational access to services (P = 0.016), practice organisation of chronic disease management (P = 0.039), and the quality of angina care (P = 0.003). There were no significant changes in quality scores for mental health care, elderly care, access and interpersonal care. The mean practice budget rose by 3.4% between 1998 and 2001 (adjusted for inflation). CONCLUSION: These findings provide evidence of improvements in some aspects of the quality of care, achieved at modest cost. This was achieved during a time when the National Health Service was undergoing a series of reforms. However, primary care in England is characterised by variation in care, with significant improvements still possible. PMID:12879830

  4. Adjuvant progestagens for endometrial cancer

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Hirsch, Pierre PL; Bryant, Andrew; Keep, Sarah L; Kitchener, Henry C; Lilford, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Background Endometrial cancer is the most common genital tract carcinoma among women in developed countries, with most women presenting with stage 1 disease. Adjuvant progestagen therapy has been advocated following primary surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence of disease. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adjuvant progestagen therapy for the treatment of endometrial cancer. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group Trials Specilaised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) Issue 2, 2009. MEDLINE and EMBASE up to April 2009. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of progestagen therapy in women who have had surgery for endometrial cancer. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently abstracted data and assessed risk of bias. Risk ratios (RRs) comparing survival in women who did and did not receive progestagen were pooled in random effects meta-analyses.. Main results Seven trials assessing 4556 women were identified. Three trials included women with stage one disease only, whereas four included women with more advanced disease. Meta-analysis of four trials showed that there was no significant difference in the risk of death at five years between adjuvant progestagen therapy and no further treatment (RR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.18). This conclusion is also robust to single trial analyses at 4 and 7 years and in one trial across all points in time using a hazard ratio (HR). There was also no significant difference between progestagen therapy and control in terms of the risk of death from endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease and intercurrent disease. Relapse of disease appeared to be reduced by progestagen therapy in one trial (HR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.97 and 5 year RR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.96), but there was no evidence of a difference in disease recurrence in another trial at 7 years (RR = 1.34, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.27). Authors’ conclusions There

  5. The impact of tort reform and quality improvements on medical liability claims: a tale of 2 States.

    PubMed

    Illingworth, Kenneth D; Shaha, Steven H; Tzeng, Tony H; Sinha, Michael S; Saleh, Khaled J

    2015-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of tort reform and quality improvement measures on medical liability claims in 2 groups of hospitals within the same multihospital organization: one in Texas, which implemented medical liability tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in 2003, and one in Louisiana, which did not undergo significant tort reform during the same time period. Significant reduction in medical liability claims per quarter in Texas was found after tort reform implementation (7.27 to 1.4; P<.05). A significant correlation was found between the increase in mean Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services performance score and the decrease in the frequency of claims observed in Louisiana (P<.05). Although tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in Texas caused the largest initial decrease, increasing quality improvement measures without increasing financial burden also decreased liability claims in Louisiana. Uniquely, this study showed that increasing patient quality resulted in decreased medical liability claims.

  6. Under-prescribing and non-adherence to medications after coronary bypass surgery in older adults: strategies to improve adherence.

    PubMed

    Sengstock, David; Vaitkevicius, Peter; Salama, Ahmed; Mentzer, Robert M

    2012-02-01

    The focus for this clinical review is under-prescribing and non-adherence to medication guidelines in older adults after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. Non-adherence occurs in all age groups, but older adults have a unique set of challenges including difficulty hearing, comprehending, and remembering instructions; acquiring and managing multiple medications; and tolerating drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Still, non-adherence leads to increased morbidity, mortality, and costs to the healthcare system. Factors contributing to non-adherence include failure to initiate therapy before hospital discharge; poor education about the importance of each medication by hospital staff; poor education about medication side effects; polypharmacy; multiple daily dosing; excessive cost; and the physician's lack of knowledge of clinical indicators for use of medications. To improve adherence, healthcare systems must ensure that (i) all patients are prescribed the appropriate medications at discharge; (ii) patients fill and take these medications post-operatively; and (iii) patients continue long-term use of these medications. Interventions must target central administrative policies within healthcare institutions, the difficulties facing providers, as well as the concerns of patients. Corrective efforts need to be started early during the hospitalization and involve practitioners who can follow patients after the date on which surgical care is no longer needed. A solid, ongoing relationship between patients and their primary-care physicians and cardiologists is essential. This review summarizes the post-operative medication guidelines for CABG surgery, describes barriers that limit the adherence to these guidelines, and suggests possible avenues to improve medication adherence in older cardiac surgery patients. PMID:22239673

  7. Dimensionality Reduction in Complex Medical Data: Improved Self-Adaptive Niche Genetic Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Min; Xia, Jing; Yan, Molei; Cai, Guolong; Yan, Jing; Ning, Gangmin

    2015-01-01

    With the development of medical technology, more and more parameters are produced to describe the human physiological condition, forming high-dimensional clinical datasets. In clinical analysis, data are commonly utilized to establish mathematical models and carry out classification. High-dimensional clinical data will increase the complexity of classification, which is often utilized in the models, and thus reduce efficiency. The Niche Genetic Algorithm (NGA) is an excellent algorithm for dimensionality reduction. However, in the conventional NGA, the niche distance parameter is set in advance, which prevents it from adjusting to the environment. In this paper, an Improved Niche Genetic Algorithm (INGA) is introduced. It employs a self-adaptive niche-culling operation in the construction of the niche environment to improve the population diversity and prevent local optimal solutions. The INGA was verified in a stratification model for sepsis patients. The results show that, by applying INGA, the feature dimensionality of datasets was reduced from 77 to 10 and that the model achieved an accuracy of 92% in predicting 28-day death in sepsis patients, which is significantly higher than other methods. PMID:26649071

  8. Epidemic Surveillance Using an Electronic Medical Record: An Empiric Approach to Performance Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Hongzhang; Gaff, Holly; Smith, Gary; DeLisle, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Backgrounds Electronic medical records (EMR) form a rich repository of information that could benefit public health. We asked how structured and free-text narrative EMR data should be combined to improve epidemic surveillance for acute respiratory infections (ARI). Methods Eight previously characterized ARI case detection algorithms (CDA) were applied to historical EMR entries to create authentic time series of daily ARI case counts (background). An epidemic model simulated influenza cases (injection). From the time of the injection, cluster-detection statistics were applied daily on paired background+injection (combined) and background-only time series. This cycle was then repeated with the injection shifted to each week of the evaluation year. We computed: a) the time from injection to the first statistical alarm uniquely found in the combined dataset (Detection Delay); b) how often alarms originated in the background-only dataset (false-alarm rate, or FAR); and c) the number of cases found within these false alarms (Caseload). For each CDA, we plotted the Detection Delay as a function of FAR or Caseload, over a broad range of alarm thresholds. Results CDAs that combined text analyses seeking ARI symptoms in clinical notes with provider-assigned diagnostic codes in order to maximize the precision rather than the sensitivity of case-detection lowered Detection Delay at any given FAR or Caseload. Conclusion An empiric approach can guide the integration of EMR data into case-detection methods that improve both the timeliness and efficiency of epidemic detection. PMID:25006878

  9. Making a difference for children: the medical community's role in improving child care.

    PubMed

    Reisman, B

    1995-01-01

    The quality of child care for the majority of children in the United States is poor to mediocre. The lack of good quality child care has serious consequences for family stability, work force productivity, and child health and development. The medical community, especially pediatricians, family practitioners, nurses, and nurse practitioners, can play five key roles in helping to ensure that every child has a solid early foundation: 1) they can become trusted sources of support for parents, who are often isolated from their extended families and unsure about their new roles as parents; 2) they can give child care providers in the community information about health and safety practices; 3) they can provide preventive and diagnostic services to children in child care programs; 4) they can act as advocates for improved services to children and families; and 5) they can refer parents and siblings for care. This paper describes some of these efforts and calls for their replication in communities throughout the country. It also describes policies in other countries that have improved children's health and development and reduced child poverty and its related impact on health. PMID:7499707

  10. Dimensionality Reduction in Complex Medical Data: Improved Self-Adaptive Niche Genetic Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Min; Xia, Jing; Yan, Molei; Cai, Guolong; Yan, Jing; Ning, Gangmin

    2015-01-01

    With the development of medical technology, more and more parameters are produced to describe the human physiological condition, forming high-dimensional clinical datasets. In clinical analysis, data are commonly utilized to establish mathematical models and carry out classification. High-dimensional clinical data will increase the complexity of classification, which is often utilized in the models, and thus reduce efficiency. The Niche Genetic Algorithm (NGA) is an excellent algorithm for dimensionality reduction. However, in the conventional NGA, the niche distance parameter is set in advance, which prevents it from adjusting to the environment. In this paper, an Improved Niche Genetic Algorithm (INGA) is introduced. It employs a self-adaptive niche-culling operation in the construction of the niche environment to improve the population diversity and prevent local optimal solutions. The INGA was verified in a stratification model for sepsis patients. The results show that, by applying INGA, the feature dimensionality of datasets was reduced from 77 to 10 and that the model achieved an accuracy of 92% in predicting 28-day death in sepsis patients, which is significantly higher than other methods.

  11. Improving the adoption of evidence-based practice among nurses in Army outpatient medical treatment facilities.

    PubMed

    Yackel, Edward E; Short, Nancy M; Lewis, Paul C; Breckenridge-Sproat, Sara T; Turner, Barbara S

    2013-09-01

    This quality improvement project implemented and evaluated an evidence-based practice (EBP) program at two Army outpatient health care facilities. The EBP program consisted of five implementation strategies that aimed to inculcate EBP into organizational culture as well as nursing practice and culture. A conceptual model of the "Diffusion of Innovations" theory was adapted to explain the application of the program. The Institutional Review Boards at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Duke University School of Medicine reviewed and exempted this quality improvement project. A pretest-posttest design was used with four instruments at each facility. The EBP program was successful in enhancing organizational culture and readiness for EBP (p < 0.01) and nursing staff's belief about the value of EBP and their ability to implement it (p < 0.05). Another indicator that the EBP program achieved its goals was the significant difference (p = 0.002) in the movement of the outpatient health care facilities toward an EBP culture. These results suggest that this EBP program may be an effective method for empowering outpatient nursing staff with the knowledge and tools necessary to use evidence-based nursing practice. PMID:24005550

  12. [Reference the YY/T 0841-2011 standard to improve preventive maintenance of medical electrical equipment and experience].

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiang; Ge, Bin; Liu, Jinchu

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we interpret the new YY/T 0841-2011 standard and contrast the difference between it and GB9706.1-2007 standard. Then, we improved the current preventive maintenance work. After the improvement, we not only have more effective detection of the electrical safety performance of all kinds of medical electrical equipment, but also reduce the workload of clinical engineers, improve efficiency, and reduce the risk of electrical shock.

  13. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics-A scoping review.

    PubMed

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L

    2016-01-01

    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization's culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence. PMID:26835016

  14. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics—A scoping review

    PubMed Central

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L

    2016-01-01

    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization’s culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence. PMID:26835016

  15. The Effectiveness of Mobile Phone Text Messaging in Improving Medication Adherence for Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Ershad Sarabi, Roghayeh; Sadoughi, Farahnaz; Jamshidi Orak, Roohangiz; Bahaadinbeigy, Kambiz

    2016-01-01

    Context Medication non-adherence is a commonly observed problem in the self-administration of treatment, regardless of the disease type. Text messaging reminders, as electronic reminders, provide an opportunity to improve medication adherence. In this study, we aimed to provide evidence addressing the question of whether text message reminders were effective in improving patients’ adherence to medication. Evidence Acquisition We carried out a systematic literature search, using the five electronic bibliographic databases: PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials. Studies were included on the basis of whether they examined the benefits and effects of short-message service (SMS) interventions on medication adherence. Results The results of this systematic review indicated that text messaging interventions have improved patients’ medication adherence rate (85%, 29.34). Included in the review, those who had problems with adherence, or those whom text messaging was most helpful had HIV, asthma, diabetes, schizophrenia and heart disease (73.5%). The period of intervention varied from 1 week to 14 months. The most common study design was randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (66%) carried out in the developed countries. Conclusions This study demonstrated the potential of mobile phone text messaging for medication non-adherence problem solving. PMID:27437126

  16. Improving medication adherence among kidney transplant recipients: Findings from other industries, patient engagement, and behavioral economics-A scoping review.

    PubMed

    Oberlin, Shelley R; Parente, Stephen T; Pruett, Timothy L

    2016-01-01

    The immune system is a powerful barrier to successful organ transplantation, but one that has been routinely thwarted through modern pharmacotherapeutics. Despite the benefits of immunosuppressive therapy, medication non-adherence leads to an increased risk of graft rejection, higher hospital utilization and costs, and poor outcomes. We conduct a scoping review following Arksey and O'Malley's five-stage framework methodology to identify established or novel interventions that could be applied to kidney transplant recipients to improve medication adherence. As the desired outcome is a behavior (taking a pill), we assess three areas: behavioral-focused interventions in other industries, patient engagement theories, and behavioral economic principles. Search strategies included mining business, social sciences, and medical literature with additional guidance from six consultative interviews. Our review suggests that no intervention stands out as superior or likely to be more effective than any other intervention; yet promising strategies and interventions were identified across all three areas examined. Based on our findings, we believe there are five strategies that transplant centers and other organizations can implement to improve medication adherence: (1) Build a foundation of trust; (2) Employ multiple interventions; (3) Stratify the population; (4) Develop collaborative partnerships; and (5) Embed medication adherence into the organization's culture. The effectiveness of these interventions will need to be investigated further, but we believe they are a step in the right direction for organizations to consider in their efforts to improve medication adherence.

  17. Improving Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education for Medical Students: An Inter-Organizational Collaborative Action Plan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Geraldine S.; Stock, Saundra; Briscoe, Gregory W.; Beck, Gary L.; Horton, Rita; Hunt, Jeffrey I.; Liu, Howard Y.; Rutter, Ashley Partner; Sexson, Sandra; Schlozman, Steven C.; Stubbe, Dorothy E.; Stuber, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: A new Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Medical Education (CAPME) Task Force, sponsored by the Association for Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP), has created an inter-organizational partnership between child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) educators and medical student educators in psychiatry. This paper…

  18. Pharmacist’s Role in Improving Medication Safety for Patients in an Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Ambulatory Clinic

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Lina; Akada, Keith; Messner, Hans; Kuruvilla, John; Wright, Janice; Seki, Jack T

    2013-01-01

    yielded positive responses supporting pharmacists’ participation. Conclusions: Pharmacists working as part of the multidisciplinary team identified and resolved medication discrepancies, thereby improving medication safety at the allo-HCT clinic. PMID:23616675

  19. Herbal Medicines as Adjuvants for Cancer Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chong-Zhi; Calway, Tyler; Yuan, Chun-Su

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, many patients, including cancer patients, concurrently take prescription drugs and herbal supplements. Co-administration of prescription medicines and herbal supplements may have negative outcomes via pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic herb-drug interactions. However, multiple constituents in botanicals may also yield beneficial pharmacological activities. Botanicals could possess effective anticancer compounds that may be used as adjuvants to existing chemotherapy to improve efficacy and/or reduce drug-induced toxicity. Herbal medicines, such as ginseng, potentiated the effects of chemotherapeutic agents via synergistic activities, supported by cell cycle evaluations, apoptotic observations, and computer-based docking analysis. Since botanicals are nearly always administrated orally, the role of intestinal microbiota in metabolizing ginseng constituents is presented. Controlled clinical studies are warranted to verify the clinical utility of the botanicals in cancer chemoprevention. PMID:22809022

  20. Improving preparedness of medical students and junior doctors to manage patients with diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Narcie A A; Brandom, Kevin G; Mattick, Karen L

    2015-01-01

    Objective New medical graduates are the front-line staff in many hospital settings and manage patients with diabetes frequently. Prescribing is an area of concern for junior doctors, however, with insulin prescribing reported as a particular weakness. This study aimed to produce an educational intervention which aimed to improve preparedness to manage patients with diabetes and evaluate it using a mixed methods approach. Research design and methods An e-resource (http://www.diabetesscenariosforjuniordoctors.co.uk) was created to contain commonplace and authentic diabetes decision-making scenarios. –32 junior doctors (n=20) and year 5 students (n=12) in South West England worked through the scenarios while ‘thinking aloud’ and then undertook a semistructured interview. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. Participant confidence to manage patients with diabetes before, immediately after, and 6 weeks after the educational intervention was also measured using a self-rating scale. Results Participants reported that patients with diabetes were daunting to manage because of the wide array of insulin products, their lack of confidence with chronic disease management and the difficulty of applying theory to practice. The e-resource was described as authentic, practical, and appropriate for the target audience. Junior doctors’ self-rated confidence to manage patients with diabetes increased from 4.7 (of 10) before using the e-resource, to 6.4 immediately afterwards, and 6.8 6 weeks later. Medical students’ confidence increased from 5.1 before, to 6.4 immediately afterwards, and 6.4 6 weeks later. Conclusions Providing opportunities to work with authentic scenarios in a safe environment can help to ameliorate junior doctors’ lack of confidence to manage patients with diabetes. PMID:26435838

  1. Neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for resectable gastric cancer? A practice guideline

    PubMed Central

    Earle, Craig C.; Maroun, Jean; Zuraw, Lisa

    2002-01-01

    Objective To make recommendations on the use of neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy in addition to surgery in patients with resectable gastric cancer (T1–4, N1–2, M0). Options Neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatments compared with “curative” surgery alone. Outcomes Overall survival, disease-free survival, and adverse effects. Evidence The MEDLINE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases and relevant conference proceedings were searched to identify randomized trials. Values Evidence was selected and reviewed by one member of the Cancer Care Ontario Practice Guidelines Initiative (CCOPGI) Gastrointestinal Cancer Disease Site Group and methodologists. A systematic review of the published literature was combined with a consensus process around the interpretation of the evidence in the context of conventional practice, to develop an evidence-based practice guideline. This report has been reviewed and approved by the Gastrointestinal Cancer Disease Site Group, comprising medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, a pathologist and 2 community representatives. Benefits, harms and costs When compared with surgery alone, at 3 years adjuvant chemoradiotherapy has been shown to increase overall survival by 9% (50% v. 41%, p = 0.005) and to improve relapse-free survival from 31% to 48% (p = 0.001). At 5 years, it has been shown to increase overall survival by 11.6% (40% v. 28.4%) and to improve relapse-free survival from 25% to 38% (p < 0.001). Treatment has been associated with toxic deaths in 1% of patients. The most frequent adverse effects (> grade 3 [Southwest Oncology Group toxicity scale] are hematologic (54%), gastrointestinal (33%), influenza-like (9%), infectious (6%) and neurologic (4%). The radiation fields used can possibly damage the left kidney, resulting in hypertension and other renal problems. Furthermore, this therapy could increase the demand on radiation resources. Physicians and patients should understand the tradeoffs between survival benefit

  2. Successful Resident Engagement in Quality Improvement: The Detroit Medical Center Story.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Syed Ahmed; Arsene, Camelia; Hamstra, Corinne; Woehrlen, Tess H; Wiese-Rometsch, Wilhelmine; White, Suzanne R

    2016-05-01

    Background In 2014, the Detroit Medical Center launched a new program to engage residents and fellows in a strategy to deliver optimal care within 1 year, focusing on quality at an earlier stage of their careers and preparing them for working posttraining. Methods Residents from clinically relevant residency and fellowships programs were selected to be Resident Quality Directors. The project involved development of an interactive electronic health record (EHR) checklist to visually depict real time gaps in 40 process measures, while focusing on 14 areas related to stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis. We also implemented an incentive approach, using a pay-for-performance (P4P) model. Results The project included 800 residents led by 14 resident quality directors. We were able to achieve 100% resident participation. Prior compliance with VTE quality measures 6 months was 88.5%, with performance increasing to 94.2% (P < .006) at 6 months and 100% at 12 months (P < .005) after the intervention. The VTE prophylaxis score improved from the 89.7% to 92.9% range at inception to 100% by 12 months. A similar steady improvement of stroke process measures was observed, with a 100% compliance within 12 months. The institution made 4 incentive payments to trainees (ranging from $300 to $4,000 per year). The remaining 26 process measures remained at goal with above 95% compliance. Conclusions This quality improvement initiative was associated with system-wide quality performance on VTE prevention and stroke care process measures, which was facilitated by a interactive EHR-based checklist and linkage to P4P incentive payments.

  3. Successful Resident Engagement in Quality Improvement: The Detroit Medical Center Story.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Syed Ahmed; Arsene, Camelia; Hamstra, Corinne; Woehrlen, Tess H; Wiese-Rometsch, Wilhelmine; White, Suzanne R

    2016-05-01

    Background In 2014, the Detroit Medical Center launched a new program to engage residents and fellows in a strategy to deliver optimal care within 1 year, focusing on quality at an earlier stage of their careers and preparing them for working posttraining. Methods Residents from clinically relevant residency and fellowships programs were selected to be Resident Quality Directors. The project involved development of an interactive electronic health record (EHR) checklist to visually depict real time gaps in 40 process measures, while focusing on 14 areas related to stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis. We also implemented an incentive approach, using a pay-for-performance (P4P) model. Results The project included 800 residents led by 14 resident quality directors. We were able to achieve 100% resident participation. Prior compliance with VTE quality measures 6 months was 88.5%, with performance increasing to 94.2% (P < .006) at 6 months and 100% at 12 months (P < .005) after the intervention. The VTE prophylaxis score improved from the 89.7% to 92.9% range at inception to 100% by 12 months. A similar steady improvement of stroke process measures was observed, with a 100% compliance within 12 months. The institution made 4 incentive payments to trainees (ranging from $300 to $4,000 per year). The remaining 26 process measures remained at goal with above 95% compliance. Conclusions This quality improvement initiative was associated with system-wide quality performance on VTE prevention and stroke care process measures, which was facilitated by a interactive EHR-based checklist and linkage to P4P incentive payments. PMID:27168890

  4. Role of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Ampulla of Vater Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Kyubo; Chie, Eui Kyu Jang, Jin-Young; Kim, Sun Whe; Oh, Do-Youn; Im, Seock-Ah; Kim, Tae-You; Bang, Yung-Jue; Ha, Sung W.

    2009-10-01

    Purpose: To evaluate the role of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for ampulla of Vater cancer. Methods and Materials: Between January 1991 and December 2002, 118 patients with ampulla of Vater cancer underwent en bloc resection. Forty-one patients received adjuvant chemoradiotherapy [RT(+) group], and 77 did not [RT(-) group]. Postoperative radiotherapy was delivered to the tumor bed and regional lymph nodes, for a total dose of up to 40 Gy delivered in 2-Gy fractions, with a planned 2-week rest period halfway through the treatment period. Intravenous 5-fluorouracil (500 mg/m{sup 2}/day) was given on Days 1 to 3 of each split course. The median follow-up was 65 months. Results: The 5-year overall survival rate in the RT(-) and RT(+) groups was 66.9% and 52.8%, respectively (p = 0.2225). The 5-year locoregional relapse-free survival rate in the RT(-) and RT(+) groups was 79.9% and 80.2%, respectively (p = 0.9582). When age, type of operation, T stage, N stage, histologic differentiation, and the use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy were incorporated into the Cox proportional hazard model, there was an improvement in the locoregional relapse-free survival rate (p = 0.0050) and a trend toward a longer overall survival (p = 0.0762) associated with the use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Improved overall survival (p = 0.0235) and locoregional relapse-free survival (p = 0.0095) were also evident in patients with nodal metastasis. In contrast, enhanced locoregional control (p = 0.0319) did not result in longer survival in patients with locally advanced disease (p = 0.4544). Conclusions: Adjuvant chemoradiotherapy may enhance locoregional control and overall survival in patients with ampulla of Vater cancer after curative resection, especially in those with nodal involvement.

  5. Have adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitors lost their shine?

    PubMed

    Sabari, Joshua K; Chaft, Jamie E

    2016-08-01

    Despite broad advances in molecularly targeted therapies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations occur in approximately 17% of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US population. The remarkable efficacy of small-molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in this unique subset of patients has revolutionized the therapeutic approach to lung cancer. The success of these agents in the metastatic setting leads to the logical question of what role these drugs may have in the adjuvant setting for patients with earlier stage disease. RADIANT, an international randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled phase III study in patients with completely resected stage IB to IIIA NSLC whose tumors expressed EGFR by IHC and EGFR amplification by FISH, attempted to answer the question of whether erlotinib would improve disease free survival and overall survival in the adjuvant setting. While RADIANT does not conclude for or against adjuvant use of EGFR-TKIs, all data points towards benefit in a selected population. As clinicians, we must continue to enroll to potentially practice changing therapeutic neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy studies internationally. PMID:27568486

  6. Have adjuvant tyrosine kinase inhibitors lost their shine?

    PubMed Central

    Sabari, Joshua K.

    2016-01-01

    Despite broad advances in molecularly targeted therapies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the United States. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations occur in approximately 17% of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the US population. The remarkable efficacy of small-molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in this unique subset of patients has revolutionized the therapeutic approach to lung cancer. The success of these agents in the metastatic setting leads to the logical question of what role these drugs may have in the adjuvant setting for patients with earlier stage disease. RADIANT, an international randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled phase III study in patients with completely resected stage IB to IIIA NSLC whose tumors expressed EGFR by IHC and EGFR amplification by FISH, attempted to answer the question of whether erlotinib would improve disease free survival and overall survival in the adjuvant setting. While RADIANT does not conclude for or against adjuvant use of EGFR-TKIs, all data points towards benefit in a selected population. As clinicians, we must continue to enroll to potentially practice changing therapeutic neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy studies internationally. PMID:27568486

  7. Integration of targeted agents in the neo-adjuvant treatment of gastro-esophageal cancers.

    PubMed

    Power, D G; Ilson, D H

    2009-11-01

    Pre- and peri-operative strategies are becoming standard for the management of localized gastro-esophageal cancer. For localized gastric/gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer there are conflicting data that a peri-operative approach with cisplatin-based chemotherapy improves survival, with the benefits seen in esophageal cancer likely less than a 5-10% incremental improvement. Further trends toward improvement in local control and survival, when combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given pre-operatively, are suggested by recent phase III trials. In fit patients, a significant survival benefit with pre-operative chemoradiation is seen in those patients who achieve a pathologic complete response. In esophageal/GEJ cancer, definitive chemoradiation is now considered in medically inoperable patients. In squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, surgery after primary chemoradiation is not clearly associated with an improved overall survival, however, local control may be better. In localized gastric/GEJ cancer, the integration of bevacizumab with pre-operative chemotherapy is being explored in large randomized studies, and with chemoradiotherapy in pilot trials. The addition of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor and anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 antibody treatment to pre-operative chemoradiation continues to be explored. Early results show the integration of targeted therapy is feasible. Metabolic imaging can predict early response to pre-operative chemotherapy and biomarkers may further predict response to pre-operative chemo-targeted therapy. A multimodality approach to localized gastro-esophageal cancer has resulted in better outcomes. For T3 or node-positive disease, surgery alone is no longer considered appropriate and neo-adjuvant therapy is recommended. The future of neo-adjuvant strategies in this disease will involve the individualization of therapy with the integration of molecular signatures, targeted therapy, metabolic imaging

  8. Missing signposts on the roadmap to quality: a call to improve medication adherence indicators in data collection for population research

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Bradi B.; Rusincovitch, Shelley A.; Avery, Suzanne; Batch, Bryan C.; Dunham, Ashley A.; Feinglos, Mark N.; Kelly, Katherine; Pierre-Louis, Marjorie; Spratt, Susan E.; Califf, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Poor adherence to prescribed medicines is associated with increased rates of poor outcomes, including hospitalization, serious adverse events, and death, and is also associated with increased healthcare costs. However, current approaches to evaluation of medication adherence using real-world electronic health records (EHRs) or claims data may miss critical opportunities for data capture and fall short in modeling and representing the full complexity of the healthcare environment. We sought to explore a framework for understanding and improving data capture for medication adherence in a population-based intervention in four U.S. counties. Approach: We posited that application of a data model and a process matrix when designing data collection for medication adherence would improve identification of variables and data accessibility, and could support future research on medication-taking behaviors. We then constructed a use case in which data related to medication adherence would be leveraged to support improved healthcare quality, clinical outcomes, and efficiency of healthcare delivery in a population-based intervention for persons with diabetes. Because EHRs in use at participating sites were deemed incapable of supplying the needed data, we applied a taxonomic approach to identify and define variables of interest. We then applied a process matrix methodology, in which we identified key research goals and chose optimal data domains and their respective data elements, to instantiate the resulting data model. Conclusions: Combining a taxonomic approach with a process matrix methodology may afford significant benefits when designing data collection for clinical and population-based research in the arena of medication adherence. Such an approach can effectively depict complex real-world concepts and domains by “mapping” the relationships between disparate contributors to medication adherence and describing their relative contributions to the shared goals

  9. Improvement in medical students' communication and interpersonal skills as evaluated by patient satisfaction questionnaire after curriculum reform.

    PubMed

    Oda, Yasutomo; Onishi, Hirotaka; Sakemi, Takanobu; Fujimoto, Kazuma; Koizumi, Shunzo

    2014-07-01

    Fifteen years of undergraduate medical education curriculum reform at Saga Medical School was evaluated by measuring medical students' communication and interpersonal skills with a patient satisfaction questionnaire developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine. A multiphase cross-sectional study was conducted at the General Medicine Clinic of Saga Medical School Hospital in phase I (1998-1999), phase II (2001-2002), and phase III (2009-2010). A total of 1,963 patient ratings for 437 medical students' performance was analyzed. The average scores of phases II and III were significantly higher than for phase I. The average score of female students showed a significant difference between phases I and II, but no difference between phases II and III. The average score of male students showed no difference between phases I and II, but significant difference between phases II and III. The phase II curriculum introduced basic clinical skills and examination and improved female students' performance. The phase III curriculum was effective for male students because it emphasized the clinical skill program more and introduced problem-based learning. Curriculum reform at Saga Medical School is considered to have made good progress in improving students' clinical competence and patient-centered attitudes.

  10. Desktop microsimulation: a tool to improve efficiency in the medical office practice.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, James B; Linville, Beth A; Slonim, Anthony D

    2013-01-01

    Because the economic crisis in the United States continues to have an impact on healthcare organizations, industry leaders must optimize their decision making. Discrete-event computer simulation is a quality tool with a demonstrated track record of improving the precision of analysis for process redesign. However, the use of simulation to consolidate practices and design efficiencies into an unfinished medical office building was a unique task. A discrete-event computer simulation package was used to model the operations and forecast future results for four orthopedic surgery practices. The scenarios were created to allow an evaluation of the impact of process change on the output variables of exam room utilization, patient queue size, and staff utilization. The model helped with decisions regarding space allocation and efficient exam room use by demonstrating the impact of process changes in patient queues at check-in/out, x-ray, and cast room locations when compared to the status quo model. The analysis impacted decisions on facility layout, patient flow, and staff functions in this newly consolidated practice. Simulation was found to be a useful tool for process redesign and decision making even prior to building occupancy.

  11. Improved medical image modality classification using a combination of visual and textual features.

    PubMed

    Dimitrovski, Ivica; Kocev, Dragi; Kitanovski, Ivan; Loskovska, Suzana; Džeroski, Sašo

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present the approach that we applied to the medical modality classification tasks at the ImageCLEF evaluation forum. More specifically, we used the modality classification databases from the ImageCLEF competitions in 2011, 2012 and 2013, described by four visual and one textual types of features, and combinations thereof. We used local binary patterns, color and edge directivity descriptors, fuzzy color and texture histogram and scale-invariant feature transform (and its variant opponentSIFT) as visual features and the standard bag-of-words textual representation coupled with TF-IDF weighting. The results from the extensive experimental evaluation identify the SIFT and opponentSIFT features as the best performing features for modality classification. Next, the low-level fusion of the visual features improves the predictive performance of the classifiers. This is because the different features are able to capture different aspects of an image, their combination offering a more complete representation of the visual content in an image. Moreover, adding textual features further increases the predictive performance. Finally, the results obtained with our approach are the best results reported on these databases so far. PMID:24997992

  12. Improved detectability in medical microwave radio-thermometers as obtained by active antennas.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Svein; Klemetsen, Øystein

    2008-12-01

    Microwave radiometry is a spectral measurement technique for resolving blackbody radiation of heated matter above absolute zero. The emission levels vary with frequency and are at body temperatures maximized in the infrared spectral band. Medical radio-thermometers are mostly noninvasive short-range instruments that can provide temperature distributions in subcutaneous biological tissues when operated in the microwave region. However, a crucial limitation of the microwave radiometric observation principle is the extremely weak signal level of the thermal noise emitted by the lossy material (-174 dBm/Hz at normal body temperature). To improve the radiometer SNR, we propose to integrate a tiny, moderate gain, low-noise preamplifier (LNA) close to the antenna terminals as to obtain increased detectability of deep seated thermal gradients within the volume under investigation. The concept is verified experimentally in a lossy phantom medium by scanning an active antenna across a thermostatically controlled water phantom with a hot object embedded at 38 mm depth. Three different setups were investigated with decreasing temperature contrasts between the target and ambient medium. As a direct consequence of less ripple on the raw radiometric signal, statistical analysis shows a marked increase in signal-to-clutter ratio of the brightness temperature spatial scan profiles, when comparing active antenna operation with conventional passive setups.

  13. The emergency physician and knowledge transfer: continuing medical education, continuing professional development, and self-improvement.

    PubMed

    Kilian, Barbara J; Binder, Louis S; Marsden, Julian

    2007-11-01

    A workshop session from the 2007 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference, Knowledge Translation in Emergency Medicine: Establishing a Research Agenda and Guide Map for Evidence Uptake, focused on developing a research agenda for continuing medical education (CME) in knowledge transfer. Based on quasi-Delphi methodology at the conference session, and subsequent electronic discussion and refinement, the following recommendations are made: 1) Adaptable tools should be developed, validated, and psychometrically tested for needs assessment. 2) "Point of care" learning within a clinical context should be evaluated as a tool for practice changes and improved knowledge transfer. 3) The addition of a CME component to technological platforms, such as search engines and databases, simulation technology, and clinical decision-support systems, may help knowledge transfer for clinicians or increase utilization of these tools and should, therefore, be evaluated. 4) Further research should focus on identifying the appropriate outcomes for physician CME. Emergency medicine researchers should transition from previous media-comparison research agendas to a more rigorous qualitative focus that takes into account needs assessment, instructional design, implementation, provider change, and care change. 5) In the setting of continued physician learning, barriers to the subsequent implementation of knowledge transfer and behavioral changes of physicians should be elicited through research.

  14. [Priorities for health improvement in the medical personnel of phthisiatric service in the Primor'ie Territory].

    PubMed

    Bektasova, M V; Kaptsov, V A; Sheparev, A A

    2012-01-01

    The authors analyze occupational morbidity rates in the medical personnel of tuberculosis facilities in the Primorsky Territory, as well as the location of the institutions (workrooms) and the influence of occupational factors on medical workers. The nature of work and working conditions in the medical workers of a tuberculosis facility where they are exposed to occupational hazards in practically 100% of cases necessitate effective measures to promote and preserve their health. The absence of standard buildings and premises for tuberculosis facilities and the low efficiency of rehabilitative sanatorium-and-spa treatment, health improvement, and the prevention of occupational diseases are one of the problems of a tuberculosis service in the Primorsky Territory. The findings serve as the basis for the development of an approach to preventing occupational diseases and recovering the health status among the medical workers who have experienced tuberculosis.

  15. Evaluation of use of electronic patient controlled analgesia pumps to improve patient safety in an academic medical center.

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Kumiko; Dykes, Patricia; Mcintosh, Kathleen; Buckley, Elizabeth; Yoon, Catherine; Luppi, Carol; Bane, Anne; Bates, David W

    2014-01-01

    Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) and Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) pumps are methods of pain control with complex smart infusion devices and are widely used in hospitals. Smart PCA/PCEA pumps can be programmed with the dose and rate of medications within pre-set ranges. However, adverse effects have been reported associated with these pumps' use. In this paper, we describe a prevalence observational study where observers used an electronic data collection tool to record pump settings and medications with PCA pumps, corresponding medication orders to identify errors. The results showed that there were many labeling and tubing change tag errors, which were a violation of hospital policy. A few potential harmful medication errors were identified but no critical errors. Study results suggest the importance of a standard process of PCA pump use. Next steps include implementing a safety bundle for improving PCA practice to support safe and effective pain management.

  16. Clinical simulation training improves the clinical performance of Chinese medical students

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ming-ya; Cheng, Xin; Xu, An-ding; Luo, Liang-ping; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    Background Modern medical education promotes medical students’ clinical operating capacity rather than the mastery of theoretical knowledge. To accomplish this objective, clinical skill training using various simulations was introduced into medical education to cultivate creativity and develop the practical ability of students. However, quantitative analysis of the efficiency of clinical skill training with simulations is lacking. Methods In the present study, we compared the mean scores of medical students (Jinan University) who graduated in 2013 and 2014 on 16 stations between traditional training (control) and simulative training groups. In addition, in a clinical skill competition, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) scores of participating medical students trained using traditional and simulative training were compared. The data were statistically analyzed and qualitatively described. Results The results revealed that simulative training could significantly enhance the graduate score of medical students compared with the control. The OSCE scores of participating medical students in the clinical skill competition, trained using simulations, were dramatically higher than those of students trained through traditional methods, and we also observed that the OSCE marks were significantly increased for the same participant after simulative training for the clinical skill competition. Conclusions Taken together, these data indicate that clinical skill training with a variety of simulations could substantially promote the clinical performance of medical students and optimize the resources used for medical education, although a precise analysis of each specialization is needed in the future. PMID:26478142

  17. Improvement of a Privacy Authentication Scheme Based on Cloud for Medical Environment.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Shin-Yan; Ying, Zhaoqin; Liu, Junqiang

    2016-04-01

    Medical systems allow patients to receive care at different hospitals. However, this entails considerable inconvenience through the need to transport patients and their medical records between hospitals. The development of Telecare Medicine Information Systems (TMIS) makes it easier for patients to seek medical treatment and to store and access medical records. However, medical data stored in TMIS is not encrypted, leaving patients' private data vulnerable to external leaks. In 2014, scholars proposed a new cloud-based medical information model and authentication scheme which would not only allow patients to remotely access medical services but also protects patient privacy. However, this scheme still fails to provide patient anonymity and message authentication. Furthermore, this scheme only stores patient medical data, without allowing patients to directly access medical advice. Therefore, we propose a new authentication scheme, which provides anonymity, unlinkability, and message authentication, and allows patients to directly and remotely consult with doctors. In addition, our proposed scheme is more efficient in terms of computation cost. The proposed system was implemented in Android system to demonstrate its workability. PMID:26875078

  18. CpG DNA as a vaccine adjuvant.

    PubMed

    Bode, Christian; Zhao, Gan; Steinhagen, Folkert; Kinjo, Takeshi; Klinman, Dennis M

    2011-04-01

    Synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing unmethylated CpG motifs trigger cells that express Toll-like receptor 9 (including human plasmacytoid dendritic cells and B cells) to mount an innate immune response characterized by the production of Th1 and proinflammatory cytokines. When used as vaccine adjuvants, CpG ODNs improve the function of professional antigen-presenting cells and boost the generation of humoral and cellular vaccine-specific immune responses. These effects are optimized by maintaining ODNs and vaccine in close proximity. The adjuvant properties of CpG ODNs are observed when administered either systemically or mucosally, and persist in immunocompromised hosts. Preclinical studies indicate that CpG ODNs improve the activity of vaccines targeting infectious diseases and cancer. Clinical trials demonstrate that CpG ODNs have a good safety profile and increase the immunogenicity of coadministered vaccines. PMID:21506647

  19. Intranasal hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-adjuvanted influenza vaccine protects against sub-heterologous virus infection.

    PubMed

    Kusakabe, Takato; Ozasa, Koji; Kobari, Shingo; Momota, Masatoshi; Kishishita, Natsuko; Kobiyama, Kouji; Kuroda, Etsushi; Ishii, Ken J

    2016-06-01

    Intranasal vaccination with inactivated influenza viral antigens is an attractive and valid alternative to currently available influenza (flu) vaccines; many of which seem to need efficient and safe adjuvant, however. In this study, we examined whether hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), a widely used pharmaceutical excipient to improve solubility and drug delivery, can act as a mucosal adjuvant for intranasal flu vaccines. We found that intranasal immunization of mice with hemagglutinin split- as well as inactivated whole-virion influenza vaccine with HP-β-CD resulted in secretion of antigen-specific IgA and IgGs in the airway mucosa and the serum as well. As a result, both HP-β-CD adjuvanted-flu intranasal vaccine protected mice against lethal challenge with influenza virus, equivalent to those induced by experimental cholera toxin-adjuvanted ones. Of note, intranasal use of HP-β-CD as an adjuvant induced significantly lower antigen-specific IgE responses than that induced by aluminum salt adjuvant. These results suggest that HP-β-CD may be a potent mucosal adjuvant for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine. PMID:27160037

  20. GLA-AF, an emulsion-free vaccine adjuvant for pandemic influenza.

    PubMed

    Clegg, Christopher H; Roque, Richard; Perrone, Lucy A; Rininger, Joseph A; Bowen, Richard; Reed, Steven G

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing threat from Influenza necessitates the development of new vaccine and adjuvant technologies that can maximize vaccine immunogenicity, shorten production cycles, and increase global vaccine supply. Currently, the most successful adjuvants for Influenza vaccines are squalene-based oil-in-water emulsions. These adjuvants enhance seroprotective antibody titers to homologous and heterologous strains of virus, and augment a significant dose sparing activity that could improve vaccine manufacturing capacity. As an alternative to an emulsion, we tested a simple lipid-based aqueous formulation containing a synthetic TLR4 ligand (GLA-AF) for its ability to enhance protection against H5N1 infection. GLA-AF was very effective in adjuvanting recombinant H5 hemagglutinin antigen (rH5) in mice and was as potent as the stable emulsion, SE. Both adjuvants induced similar antibody titers using a sub-microgram dose of rH5, and both conferred complete protection against a highly pathogenic H5N1 challenge. However, GLA-AF was the superior adjuvant in ferrets. GLA-AF stimulated a broader antibody response than SE after both the prime and boost immunization with rH5, and ferrets were better protected against homologous and heterologous strains of H5N1 virus. Thus, GLA-AF is a potent emulsion-free adjuvant that warrants consideration for pandemic influenza vaccine development. PMID:24551202

  1. Empirical research in medical ethics: How conceptual accounts on normative-empirical collaboration may improve research practice

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The methodology of medical ethics during the last few decades has shifted from a predominant use of normative-philosophical analyses to an increasing involvement of empirical methods. The articles which have been published in the course of this so-called 'empirical turn' can be divided into conceptual accounts of empirical-normative collaboration and studies which use socio-empirical methods to investigate ethically relevant issues in concrete social contexts. Discussion A considered reference to normative research questions can be expected from good quality empirical research in medical ethics. However, a significant proportion of empirical studies currently published in medical ethics lacks such linkage between the empirical research and the normative analysis. In the first part of this paper, we will outline two typical shortcomings of empirical studies in medical ethics with regard to a link between normative questions and empirical data: (1) The complete lack of normative analysis, and (2) cryptonormativity and a missing account with regard to the relationship between 'is' and 'ought' statements. Subsequently, two selected concepts of empirical-normative collaboration will be presented and how these concepts may contribute to improve the linkage between normative and empirical aspects of empirical research in medical ethics will be demonstrated. Based on our analysis, as well as our own practical experience with empirical research in medical ethics, we conclude with a sketch of concrete suggestions for the conduct of empirical research in medical ethics. Summary High quality empirical research in medical ethics is in need of a considered reference to normative analysis. In this paper, we demonstrate how conceptual approaches of empirical-normative collaboration can enhance empirical research in medical ethics with regard to the link between empirical research and normative analysis. PMID:22500496

  2. Interprofessional collaborative model for medication therapy management (MTM) services to improve health care access and quality for underserved populations.

    PubMed

    Truong, Hoai-An; Groves, C Nicole; Congdon, Heather Brennan; Botchway, Rosemary; Dang, Diem-Thanh Tanya; Clark, Nancy Ripp; Zarfeshan, Faramarz

    2012-08-01

    As part of the Health Resources and Services Administration Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Collaborative (PSPC), an interprofessional model with medication therapy management documentation and outcomes tracking tools (MTM-DOTT) is established to improve health care access and quality for underserved populations. Despite limitations, there have been positive outcomes and national recognitions.

  3. Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence among Older Adults: Meta-Analysis of Adherence Outcomes among Randomized Controlled Trials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conn, Vicki S.; Hafdahl, Adam R.; Cooper, Pamela S.; Ruppar, Todd M.; Mehr, David R.; Russell, Cynthia L.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness of interventions to improve medication adherence (MA) in older adults. Design and Methods: Meta-analysis was used to synthesize results of 33 published and unpublished randomized controlled trials. Random-effects models were used to estimate overall mean effect sizes (ESs) for MA, knowledge,…

  4. Using an Advance Organizer to Improve Knowledge Application by Medical Students in Computer-Based Clinical Simulations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krahn, Corrie G.; Blanchaer, Marcel C.

    1986-01-01

    This study investigated the efficacy of using the advance organizer as a device to improve medical students' understanding of a clinical case simulation on the microcomputer and to enhance performance on a posttest. Advance organizers were found to be effective and most consistent with Mayer's assimilation theory. (MBR)

  5. A System of Analyzing Medical Errors To Improve GME Curricula and Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Battles, James B.; Shea, Christine E.

    2001-01-01

    Performed an analysis of the root causes of events involving graduate medical trainees that were recorded in hospital-based near-miss reporting systems. Classified root causes using the Eindhoven Classification Model, medical version. Found lack of knowledge and organizational causes at root of near-miss incidents. Concluded that root cause…

  6. An education intervention to improve nursing students' understanding of medication safety.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Jayne; Tower, Marion; Latimer, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    Medication safety is a significant issue. Whilst medication administration is a routine task, it is a complex nursing activity. It is recognised in the literature that medication related adverse events are most often related to systems failures associated with the complex process of medication administration. This paper examines student's perceived effectiveness of an educational intervention, designed to demonstrate the complex and multidisciplinary factors of systems related failures in medication administration. The intervention was underpinned by adult and experiential learning concepts and used a problem-based learning approach. A series of short digital recordings were developed along with discussion points to illustrate multidisciplinary interactions involved in medication administration. A small sample of second and third year undergraduate nursing students (n = 28) evaluated the effectiveness of the educational resource. Our findings suggest that such resources are effective in demonstrating the complexity of medication related error and were authentic to practice. An educational intervention using problem based learning afforded nursing students the opportunity to engage with the systems factors that contribute to medication errors. Interventions that highlight these factors may play an important role in raising awareness of these issues and encourage students to carry this knowledge into clinical practice.

  7. Does Adding Medication to Psychotherapy for Depression Improve or Worsen Outcome?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karon, Bertram P.

    2007-01-01

    That two-thirds of depressed adults are resistant to medication has led to the addition of psychotherapy to treatment, but is medication necessary? Results are at least as good with psychotherapy alone, and the relapse rate is less. Handling of suicidal danger, sleep disorders, and common depressing issues in college students are discussed along…

  8. Novel adjuvant Alum-TLR7 significantly potentiates immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines.

    PubMed

    Buonsanti, Cecilia; Balocchi, Cristiana; Harfouche, Carole; Corrente, Federica; Galli Stampino, Luisa; Mancini, Francesca; Tontini, Marta; Malyala, Padma; Bufali, Simone; Baudner, Barbara; De Gregorio, Ennio; Valiante, Nicholas M; O'Hagan, Derek T; Rappuoli, Rino; D'Oro, Ugo

    2016-01-01

    Although glycoconjugate vaccines are generally very efficacious, there is still a need to improve their efficacy, especially in eliciting a strong primary antibody response. We have recently described a new type of vaccine adjuvant based on a TLR7 agonist adsorbed to alum (Alum-TLR7), which is highly efficacious at enhancing immunogenicity of protein based vaccines. Since no adjuvant has been shown to potentiate the immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines in humans, we investigated if Alum-TLR7 is able to improve immunogenicity of this class of vaccines. We found that in a mouse model Alum-TLR7 greatly improved potency of a CRM197-MenC vaccine increasing anti-MenC antibody titers and serum bactericidal activity (SBA) against MenC compared to alum adjuvanted vaccine, especially with a low dose of antigen and already after a single immunization. Alum-TLR7 also drives antibody response towards Th1 isotypes. This adjuvant was also able to increase immunogenicity of all polysaccharides of a multicomponent glycoconjugate vaccine CRM197-MenACWY. Furthermore, we found that Alum-TLR7 increases anti-polysaccharide immune response even in the presence of a prior immune response against the carrier protein. Finally, we demonstrate that Alum-TLR7 adjuvant effect requires a functional TLR7. Taken together, our data support the use of Alum-TLR7 as adjuvant for glycoconjugate vaccines. PMID:27439378

  9. Novel adjuvant Alum-TLR7 significantly potentiates immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Buonsanti, Cecilia; Balocchi, Cristiana; Harfouche, Carole; Corrente, Federica; Galli Stampino, Luisa; Mancini, Francesca; Tontini, Marta; Malyala, Padma; Bufali, Simone; Baudner, Barbara; De Gregorio, Ennio; Valiante, Nicholas M.; O’Hagan, Derek T.; Rappuoli, Rino; D’Oro, Ugo

    2016-01-01

    Although glycoconjugate vaccines are generally very efficacious, there is still a need to improve their efficacy, especially in eliciting a strong primary antibody response. We have recently described a new type of vaccine adjuvant based on a TLR7 agonist adsorbed to alum (Alum-TLR7), which is highly efficacious at enhancing immunogenicity of protein based vaccines. Since no adjuvant has been shown to potentiate the immune response to glycoconjugate vaccines in humans, we investigated if Alum-TLR7 is able to improve immunogenicity of this class of vaccines. We found that in a mouse model Alum-TLR7 greatly improved potency of a CRM197-MenC vaccine increasing anti-MenC antibody titers and serum bactericidal activity (SBA) against MenC compared to alum adjuvanted vaccine, especially with a low dose of antigen and already after a single immunization. Alum-TLR7 also drives antibody response towards Th1 isotypes. This adjuvant was also able to increase immunogenicity of all polysaccharides of a multicomponent glycoconjugate vaccine CRM197-MenACWY. Furthermore, we found that Alum-TLR7 increases anti-polysaccharide immune response even in the presence of a prior immune response against the carrier protein. Finally, we demonstrate that Alum-TLR7 adjuvant effect requires a functional TLR7. Taken together, our data support the use of Alum-TLR7 as adjuvant for glycoconjugate vaccines. PMID:27439378

  10. Predictors of adjuvant treatment for pancreatic adenocarcinoma at the population level

    PubMed Central

    Kagedan, D.J.; Dixon, M.E.; Raju, R.S.; Li, Q.; Elmi, M.; Shin, E.; Liu, N.; El-Sedfy, A.; Paszat, L.; Kiss, A.; Earle, C.C.; Mittmann, N.; Coburn, N.G.

    2016-01-01

    Background In the present study, we aimed to describe, at the population level, patterns of adjuvant treatment use after curative-intent resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (pcc) and to identify independent predictors of adjuvant treatment use. Methods In this observational cohort study, patients undergoing pcc resection in the province of Ontario (population 13 million) during 2005–2010 were identified using the provincial cancer registry and were linked to administrative databases that include all treatments received and outcomes experienced in the province. Patients were defined as having received chemotherapy (ctx), chemoradiation (crt), or observation (obs). Clinicopathologic factors associated with the use of ctx, crt, or obs were identified by chi-square test. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify independent predictors of adjuvant treatment versus obs, and ctx versus crt. Results Of the 397 patients included, 75.3% received adjuvant treatment (27.2% crt, 48.1% ctx) and 24.7% received obs. Within a single-payer health care system with universal coverage of costs for ctx and crt, substantial variation by geographic region was observed. Although the likelihood of receiving adjuvant treatment increased from 2005 to 2010 (p = 0.002), multivariate analysis revealed widespread variation between the treating hospitals (p = 0.001), and even between high-volume hepatopancreatobiliary hospitals (p = 0.0006). Younger age, positive lymph nodes, and positive surgical resection margins predicted an increased likelihood of receiving adjuvant treatment. Among patients receiving adjuvant treatment, positive margins and a low comorbidity burden were associated with crt compared with ctx. Conclusions Interinstitutional medical practice variation contributes significantly to differential patterns in the rate of adjuvant treatment for pcc. Whether such variation is warranted or unwarranted requires further investigation. PMID:27803598

  11. National Clinical Skills Competition: an effective simulation-based method to improve undergraduate medical education in China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Guanchao; Chen, Hong; Wang, Qiming; Chi, Baorong; He, Qingnan; Xiao, Haipeng; Zhou, Qinghuan; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Background The National Clinical Skills Competition has been held in China for 5 consecutive years since 2010 to promote undergraduate education reform and improve the teaching quality. The effects of the simulation-based competition will be analyzed in this study. Methods Participation in the competitions and the compilation of the questions used in the competition finals are summarized, and the influence and guidance quality are further analyzed. Through the nationwide distribution of questionnaires in medical colleges, the effects of the simulation-based competition on promoting undergraduate medical education reform were evaluated. Results The results show that approximately 450 students from more than 110 colleges (accounting for 81% of colleges providing undergraduate clinical medical education in China) participated in the competition each year. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes were comprehensively evaluated by simulation-based assessment. Eight hundred and eighty copies of the questionnaires were distributed to 110 participating medical schools in 2015. In total, 752 valid responses were received across 95 schools. The majority of the interviewees agreed or strongly agreed that competition promoted the adoption of advanced educational principles (76.8%), updated the curriculum model and instructional methods (79.8%), strengthened faculty development (84.0%), improved educational resources (82.1%), and benefited all students (53.4%). Conclusions The National Clinical Skills Competition is widely accepted in China. It has effectively promoted the reform and development of undergraduate medical education in China. PMID:26894586

  12. Improving pediatric liquid medication labeling of the hospital information system in Malaysia: qualitative analysis of pharmacists’ perceptions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background: Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS) is used. Objective: To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications. Methods: This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group discussions (FGDs), face-to-face interviews (FTFIs), and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy) of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach. Results: Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions. Conclusion: This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications. PMID:27382422

  13. Induced lexico-syntactic patterns improve information extraction from online medical forums

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Sonal; MacLean, Diana L; Heer, Jeffrey; Manning, Christopher D

    2014-01-01

    Objective To reliably extract two entity types, symptoms and conditions (SCs), and drugs and treatments (DTs), from patient-authored text (PAT) by learning lexico-syntactic patterns from data annotated with seed dictionaries. Background and significance Despite the increasing quantity of PAT (eg, online discussion threads), tools for identifying medical entities in PAT are limited. When applied to PAT, existing tools either fail to identify specific entity types or perform poorly. Identification of SC and DT terms in PAT would enable exploration of efficacy and side effects for not only pharmaceutical drugs, but also for home remedies and components of daily care. Materials and methods We use SC and DT term dictionaries compiled from online sources to label several discussion forums from MedHelp (http://www.medhelp.org). We then iteratively induce lexico-syntactic patterns corresponding strongly to each entity type to extract new SC and DT terms. Results Our system is able to extract symptom descriptions and treatments absent from our original dictionaries, such as ‘LADA’, ‘stabbing pain’, and ‘cinnamon pills’. Our system extracts DT terms with 58–70% F1 score and SC terms with 66–76% F1 score on two forums from MedHelp. We show improvements over MetaMap, OBA, a conditional random field-based classifier, and a previous pattern learning approach. Conclusions Our entity extractor based on lexico-syntactic patterns is a successful and preferable technique for identifying specific entity types in PAT. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to extract SC and DT entities from PAT. We exhibit learning of informal terms often used in PAT but missing from typical dictionaries. PMID:24970840

  14. Improved rural provider access to continuing medical education through interactive videoconferencing.

    PubMed

    Callas, P W; Ricci, M A; Caputo, M P

    2000-01-01

    We sought to describe use patterns and user evaluation of remotely-attended continuing medical education (CME) programs in Vermont and upstate New York. Remote attendees were required to return an evaluation form to receive CME credit. The form included name and date of the program; name, location, and specialty of the respondent; and questions regarding program quality, value, effectiveness, and attendee plans if the program had not been available via telemedicine. From April, 1996, through December, 1998, health care providers from 14 remote sites used the network 927 times to attend 394 CME programs at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont. After the start-up period, an average of over three programs per week was attended, with an average of 2.4 remote attendees per program. Seventy-seven percent of remote attendees stated that they would not have attended the program if it had not been available over telemedicine, while the remaining 23% said that they avoided traveling due to videoconferencing. When asked the effectiveness of telemedicine technology for attending, 73% said it was as effective as having the presenter in the room, 23% said it was less effective, and 4% said it was more effective. Major technical problems, such as having the call disconnect during the presentation, decreased over time. There were continuing minor logistical problems common to large group videoconferencing. The telemedicine system has increased availability of CME programs for rural providers in Vermont and upstate New York. Most attendees have found the programs to be worthwhile, and technological advancements have improved the quality of the system.

  15. Implementing a nurse-shadowing program for first-year medical students to improve interprofessional collaborations on health care teams.

    PubMed

    Jain, Anuja; Luo, Eva; Yang, Jun; Purkiss, Joel; White, Casey

    2012-09-01

    Although physicians and nurses play critical roles in providing team-based collaborative care, the literature on current relationships between physicians and nurses in typical health care settings reveals troublesome characteristics that affect the quality of the patient care that they provide. Studies report communication failures, poor coordination, and fragmented care within and across organizations, which then have been associated with medication errors, patient safety issues, and patient deaths. Because the physician-nurse relationship is a critical component of a high-functioning patient care team, curricular interventions are needed to improve communication between physicians and nurses and to avoid professional conflict that can potentially compromise the quality of the patient care they offer.Currently, medical schools provide students with limited education and training on the roles of other health care professionals. In 2009, to begin addressing this need in the curriculum, the authors implemented a nurse-shadowing program at the University of Michigan Medical School. They set out to help first-year medical students learn more about the role of nurses in health care to positively influence their attitudes toward nurses and improve their understanding of nurses' roles in health care teams. Pre- and postprogram survey results revealed that medical students' attitudes toward nurses improved and their knowledge of the profession increased as a result of this intervention. In this article, the authors provide a description of the half-day program, evidence of its effectiveness, the implications of those findings, and future directions for teaching medical students about effectively working on interprofessional teams.

  16. Hypokalaemia: Improving the investigation, management and therapeutic monitoring of hypokalaemic medical inpatients at a district general hospital.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Mark; Caesar, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Hypokalaemia is prevalent in 20% of hospitalised patients. Furthermore, inadequate management of hypokalemia was identified in 24% of these patients. Associated with significant patient morbidity and mortality, the identification, investigation, and treatment of hypokalaemia was identified as an area for improvement in the management of medical inpatients. The project aims to measure the assessment, management, and therapeutic monitoring of medical inpatients with hypokalaemia in a district general hospital. All medical inpatients over a one week period who met the criteria for hypokalaemia (serum potassium <3.5 mmol/L on standard biochemical sample) were included in the audit. Patient's notes were located and evaluated to identify if they had mild, moderate, or severe hypokalaemia. Further data on ECG requests, repeat U&Es, serum magnesium analysis, treatment prescribed, and medication review dates was collated. A re-audit was completed after the introduction of a set of interventions which included a hypokalaemia treatment algorithm. Pre-intervention analysis of all medical inpatients, who met our inclusion criteria for hypokalaemia, identified 32 patients. 25 of these patients met the criteria for mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 7 met the criteria for moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). Only 7/32 (22 %) patients were receiving adequate treatment based on trust guidelines. Post intervention results showed marked improvement in the management of patients with hypokalaemia. A total of 30 patients were identified in this post-intervention group. There were 16/30 patients who qualified as mild hypokalaemia (3.1-3.4 mmol/L) and 14/30 with moderate hypokalaemia (2.5-3.0 mmol/L). 19/30 (63%) patients in the post-intervention group were correctly prescribed appropriate medication doses consistent with the treatment algorithm. Following the initial success of the project, analysis at 3 months showed a positive trend for sustained improvement when compared to

  17. Korean association of medical journal editors at the forefront of improving the quality and indexing chances of its member journals.

    PubMed

    Suh, Chang-Ok; Oh, Se Jeong; Hong, Sung-Tae

    2013-05-01

    The article overviews some achievements and problems of Korean medical journals published in the highly competitive journal environment. Activities of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) are viewed as instrumental for improving the quality of Korean articles, indexing large number of local journals in prestigious bibliographic databases and launching new abstract and citation tracking databases or platforms (eg KoreaMed, KoreaMed Synapse, the Western Pacific Regional Index Medicus [WPRIM]). KAMJE encourages its member journals to upgrade science editing standards and to legitimately increase citation rates, primarily by publishing more great articles with global influence. Experience gained by KAMJE and problems faced by Korean editors may have global implications.

  18. Adjuvant-induced Human Monocyte Secretome Profiles Reveal Adjuvant- and Age-specific Protein Signatures.

    PubMed

    Oh, Djin-Ye; Dowling, David J; Ahmed, Saima; Choi, Hyungwon; Brightman, Spencer; Bergelson, Ilana; Berger, Sebastian T; Sauld, John F; Pettengill, Matthew; Kho, Alvin T; Pollack, Henry J; Steen, Hanno; Levy, Ofer

    2016-06-01

    Adjuvants boost vaccine responses, enhancing protective immunity against infections that are most common among the very young. Many adjuvants activate innate immunity, some via Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), whose activities varies with age. Accordingly, characterization of age-specific adjuvant-induced immune responses may inform rational adjuvant design targeting vulnerable populations. In this study, we employed proteomics to characterize the adjuvant-induced changes of secretomes from human newborn and adult monocytes in response to Alum, the most commonly used adjuvant in licensed vaccines; Monophosphoryl Lipid A (MPLA), a TLR4-activating adjuvant component of a licensed Human Papilloma Virus vaccine; and R848 an imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist that is a candidate adjuvant for early life vaccines. Monocytes were incubated in vitro for 24 h with vehicle, Alum, MPLA, or R848 and supernatants collected for proteomic analysis employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) (data available via ProteomeXchange, ID PXD003534). 1894 non-redundant proteins were identified, of which ∼30 - 40% were common to all treatment conditions and ∼5% were treatment-specific. Adjuvant-stimulated secretome profiles, as identified by cluster analyses of over-represented proteins, varied with age and adjuvant type. Adjuvants, especially Alum, activated multiple innate immune pathways as assessed by functional enrichment analyses. Release of lactoferrin, pentraxin 3, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was confirmed in newborn and adult whole blood and blood monocytes stimulated with adjuvants alone or adjuvanted licensed vaccines with distinct clinical reactogenicity profiles. MPLA-induced adult monocyte secretome profiles correlated in silico with transcriptome profiles induced in adults immunized with the MPLA-adjuvanted RTS,S malaria vaccine (Mosquirix™). Overall, adjuvants such as Alum, MPLA and R848 give rise to distinct and age-specific monocyte secretome profiles

  19. Adjuvant-induced Human Monocyte Secretome Profiles Reveal Adjuvant- and Age-specific Protein Signatures*

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Djin-Ye; Dowling, David J.; Ahmed, Saima; Choi, Hyungwon; Brightman, Spencer; Bergelson, Ilana; Berger, Sebastian T.; Sauld, John F.; Pettengill, Matthew; Kho, Alvin T.; Pollack, Henry J.; Steen, Hanno; Levy, Ofer

    2016-01-01

    Adjuvants boost vaccine responses, enhancing protective immunity against infections that are most common among the very young. Many adjuvants activate innate immunity, some via Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), whose activities varies with age. Accordingly, characterization of age-specific adjuvant-induced immune responses may inform rational adjuvant design targeting vulnerable populations. In this study, we employed proteomics to characterize the adjuvant-induced changes of secretomes from human newborn and adult monocytes in response to Alum, the most commonly used adjuvant in licensed vaccines; Monophosphoryl Lipid A (MPLA), a TLR4-activating adjuvant component of a licensed Human Papilloma Virus vaccine; and R848 an imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist that is a candidate adjuvant for early life vaccines. Monocytes were incubated in vitro for 24 h with vehicle, Alum, MPLA, or R848 and supernatants collected for proteomic analysis employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) (data available via ProteomeXchange, ID PXD003534). 1894 non-redundant proteins were identified, of which ∼30 - 40% were common to all treatment conditions and ∼5% were treatment-specific. Adjuvant-stimulated secretome profiles, as identified by cluster analyses of over-represented proteins, varied with age and adjuvant type. Adjuvants, especially Alum, activated multiple innate immune pathways as assessed by functional enrichment analyses. Release of lactoferrin, pentraxin 3, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was confirmed in newborn and adult whole blood and blood monocytes stimulated with adjuvants alone or adjuvanted licensed vaccines with distinct clinical reactogenicity profiles. MPLA-induced adult monocyte secretome profiles correlated in silico with transcriptome profiles induced in adults immunized with the MPLA-adjuvanted RTS,S malaria vaccine (Mosquirix™). Overall, adjuvants such as Alum, MPLA and R848 give rise to distinct and age-specific monocyte secretome profiles

  20. Adjuvants are Key Factors for the Development of Future Vaccines: Lessons from the Finlay Adjuvant Platform

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Oliver; Romeu, Belkis; Cabrera, Osmir; González, Elizabeth; Batista-Duharte, Alexander; Labrada, Alexis; Pérez, Rocmira; Reyes, Laura M.; Ramírez, Wendy; Sifontes, Sergio; Fernández, Nelson; Lastre, Miriam

    2013-01-01

    The development of effective vaccines against neglected diseases, especially those associated with poverty and social deprivation, is urgently needed. Modern vaccine technologies and a better understanding of the immune response have provided scientists with the tools for rational and safer design of subunit vaccines. Often, however, subunit vaccines do not elicit strong immune responses, highlighting the need to incorporate better adjuvants; this step therefore becomes a key factor for vaccine development. In this review we outline some key features of modern vaccinology that are linked with the development of better adjuvants. In line with the increased desire to obtain novel adjuvants for future vaccines, the Finlay Adjuvant Platform offers a novel approach for the development of new and effective adjuvants. The Finlay Adjuvants (AFs), AFPL (proteoliposome), and AFCo (cochleate), were initially designed for parenteral and mucosal applications, and constitute potent adjuvants for the induction of Th1 responses against several antigens. This review summarizes the status of the Finlay technology in producing promising adjuvants for unsolved-vaccine diseases including mucosal approaches and therapeutic vaccines. Ideas related to adjuvant classification, adjuvant selection, and their possible influence on innate recognition via multiple toll-like receptors are also discussed. PMID:24348475

  1. Strategies to improve medication adherence in patients with schizophrenia: the role of support services

    PubMed Central

    El-Mallakh, Peggy; Findlay, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to describe research over the past 10 years on the role of support services in promoting medication adherence in mental health consumers diagnosed with schizophrenia. A literature search was conducted using the terms “medication adherence,” “schizophrenia,” and “support services,” using Medline, PubMed, and CINAHL. Reference lists from published studies were also reviewed to identify additional research studies. Twenty-two articles focused on support-service intervention studies, and these were selected for review. Available support-service interventions include adherence therapy, electronic reminders via text messages and telephones, cognitive–behavioral and motivational strategies, and financial incentives. Support-service intervention strategies need to be tailored to the specific needs of mental health consumers with schizophrenia. More research is needed to investigate effective support services to enhance long-term adherence and adherence to medications for medical illnesses in this population. PMID:25931823

  2. Using an iconic language to improve access to electronic medical records in general medicine.

    PubMed

    Simon, Christian; Hassler, Sylvain; Beuscart-Zephir, Marie-Catherine; Favre, Madeleine; Venot, Alain; Duclos, Catherine; Lamy, Jean-Baptiste

    2014-01-01

    Physicians have difficulties to access and analyse information in a medical record. In a previous work on drug databanks, we have shown that with an iconic language as VCM, an icon-based presentation can help physicians to access medical information. Our objective, herein, is to study whether VCM can be used in an electronic medical record for facilitating physician access in general practice. We identify the data and the functionalities of an electronic medical record that could benefit from VCM icons representing clinical findings, patient history, etc. We also present a preliminary evaluation of this new icon-focused interface. We conclude by discussing the results like the assessment of the user's satisfaction and pointing out the importance of coding data.

  3. Improving the Return on Investment of Graduate Medical Education in North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Newton, Warren; Wouk, Noah; Spero, Julie C

    2016-01-01

    The National Academy of Medicine has called for fundamental reform in the governance and accountability of graduate medical education, but how to implement this change is unclear. We describe the North Carolina graduate medical education system, and we propose tracking outcomes and aligning residency stipends with outcomes such as specialty choice, practice in North Carolina, and acceptance of new Medicaid and Medicare patients. PMID:26961836

  4. Improving COPD Care in a Medically Underserved Primary Care Clinic: A Qualitative Study of Patient Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Irene; Wang, Fei; Reardon, Jane; Vergara, Cunegundo D; Salvietti, Ralph; Acevedo, Myrtha; Santana, Blanca; Fortunato, Gil

    2016-10-01

    We conducted a focus group study in an urban hospital-based primary care teaching clinic serving an indigent and Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) population in New England in order to learn how patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) perceive their disease, how they experience their medical care, and the barriers they face managing their disease and following medical recommendations. The research team included medical doctors, nurses, a medical anthropologist, a clinical pharmacist, a hospital interpreter, and a systems analyst. Four focus groups were conducted in Spanish and English in April and May 2014. The demographic characteristics of the 25 focus group participants closely reflected the demographics of the total COPD clinic patients. The participants were predominantly female (72%) and Hispanic (72%) and had a median age of 63. The major themes expressed in the focus groups included: problems living with COPD; coping with complexities of comorbid illnesses; challenges of quitting smoking and maintaining cessation; dealing with second-hand smoke; beliefs and myths about quitting smoking; difficulty paying for and obtaining medications; positive experiences obtaining and managing medications; difficulties in using sleep machines at home; expressions of disappointment with the departure of their doctors; and overall satisfaction with the clinic health care providers. The study led to the creation of an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by the focus study participants. The action plan is spearheaded by a designated bilingual and bicultural nurse and is now in operation.

  5. Improving medication adherence for severely mentally ill adults by decreasing coercion and increasing cooperation.

    PubMed

    Danzer, Graham; Rieger, Sarah M

    2016-01-01

    Severe mental illnesses, mainly schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, often go untreated until the afflicted persons become dangerous to themselves or others. In such states, they must be hospitalized and medicated, often involuntarily due to the stigma and low insight into need for treatment that can be considered characteristic of severe illnesses. Hospitalization and medications can help the mentally ill stabilize. But these options also can have a demoralizing effect on future engagement with providers. Accordingly, the process of involuntary hospitalization and medication treatment must be maximally dignified and respectful of patient autonomy, within the limits of manifest illnesses. Literature that was reviewed and synthesized suggests best practice strategies for helping involuntary mentally ill patients grow into voluntary consumers of medication. In turn, risk of relapse is lowered and quality of life is enhanced. Best practice strategies included decreasing usage of coercive tactics, helping patients cope with medication side effects, and emphasizing the necessity of family involvement. The authors conclude with a review of the limitations of arguing for involuntary hospitalization and treatment as restoring patient autonomy, along with implications for future practice focusing on increasing the medication adherence of severely mentally ill populations. PMID:27028337

  6. Interprofessional Workshop to Improve Mutual Understanding Between Pharmacy and Medical Students

    PubMed Central

    Bjork, Bryan C.; Chandar, Nalini; Cornell, Susan; Fjortoft, Nancy; Green, Jacalyn M.; La Salle, Sophie; Lynch, Sean M.; Viselli, Susan M.; Burdick, Paulette

    2012-01-01

    Objective. To measure changes in pharmacy and medical students’ physician-pharmacist collaboration scores resulting from a workshop designed to promote understanding of the others’ roles in health care. Methods. More than 88% of first-year pharmacy (n = 215) and medical (n = 205) students completed the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration on 3 occasions in order to establish a baseline of median scores and to determine whether the scores were influenced by an interprofessional workshop. Results. Participation in the interprofessional workshop increased pharmacy students’ collaboration scores above baseline (p=0.02) and raised the scores of medical students on the education component of the collaboration survey instrument (p=0.015). The collaboration scores of pharmacy students greatly exceeded those of medical students (p<0.0001). Conclusion. A workshop designed to foster interprofessional understanding between pharmacy and medical students raised the physician-pharmacist collaboration scores of both. Crucial practical goals for the future include raising the collaboration scores of medical students to those of pharmacy students. PMID:23129849

  7. Improving COPD Care in a Medically Underserved Primary Care Clinic: A Qualitative Study of Patient Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Irene; Wang, Fei; Reardon, Jane; Vergara, Cunegundo D; Salvietti, Ralph; Acevedo, Myrtha; Santana, Blanca; Fortunato, Gil

    2016-10-01

    We conducted a focus group study in an urban hospital-based primary care teaching clinic serving an indigent and Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) population in New England in order to learn how patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) perceive their disease, how they experience their medical care, and the barriers they face managing their disease and following medical recommendations. The research team included medical doctors, nurses, a medical anthropologist, a clinical pharmacist, a hospital interpreter, and a systems analyst. Four focus groups were conducted in Spanish and English in April and May 2014. The demographic characteristics of the 25 focus group participants closely reflected the demographics of the total COPD clinic patients. The participants were predominantly female (72%) and Hispanic (72%) and had a median age of 63. The major themes expressed in the focus groups included: problems living with COPD; coping with complexities of comorbid illnesses; challenges of quitting smoking and maintaining cessation; dealing with second-hand smoke; beliefs and myths about quitting smoking; difficulty paying for and obtaining medications; positive experiences obtaining and managing medications; difficulties in using sleep machines at home; expressions of disappointment with the departure of their doctors; and overall satisfaction with the clinic health care providers. The study led to the creation of an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by the focus study participants. The action plan is spearheaded by a designated bilingual and bicultural nurse and is now in operation. PMID:26807853

  8. Design of the Physical exercise during Adjuvant Chemotherapy Effectiveness Study (PACES):A randomized controlled trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of physical exercise in improving physical fitness and reducing fatigue

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cancer chemotherapy is frequently associated with a decline in general physical condition, exercise tolerance, and muscle strength and with an increase in fatigue. While accumulating evidence suggests that physical activity and exercise interventions during chemotherapy treatment may contribute to maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness and strength, the results of studies conducted to date have not been consistent. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal intensity of exercise training programs in general and in particular the relative effectiveness of supervised, outpatient (hospital- or physical therapy practice-based) versus home-based programs. Methods This multicenter, prospective, randomized trial will evaluate the effectiveness of a low to moderate intensity, home-based, self-management physical activity program, and a high intensity, structured, supervised exercise program, in maintaining or enhancing physical fitness (cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength), in minimizing fatigue and in enhancing the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast or colon cancer (n = 360) are being recruited from twelve hospitals in the Netherlands, and randomly allocated to one of the two treatment groups or to a 'usual care' control group. Performance-based and self-reported outcomes are assessed at baseline, at the end of chemotherapy and at six month follow-up. Discussion This large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial will provide additional empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical exercise during adjuvant chemotherapy in enhancing physical fitness, minimizing fatigue, and maintaining or enhancing patients' quality of life. If demonstrated to be effective, exercise intervention programs will be a welcome addition to the standard program of care offered to patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy. Trial registration This study is registered at the Netherlands Trial

  9. Treatment of early uterine sarcomas: disentangling adjuvant modalities.

    PubMed

    Zagouri, Flora; Dimopoulos, Athanasios-Meletios; Fotiou, Stelios; Kouloulias, Vassilios; Papadimitriou, Christos A

    2009-01-01

    Uterine sarcomas are a rare group of neoplasms with aggressive clinical course and poor prognosis. They are classified into four main histological subtypes in order of decreasing incidence: carcinosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, endometrial stromal sarcomas and "other" sarcomas. The pathological subtype demands a tailored approach. Surgical resection is regarded as the mainstay of treatment. Total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy represents the standard treatment of uterine sarcomas. Pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection in carcinosarcomas is recommended, given their high incidence of lymph node metastases, and may have a role in endometrial stromal sarcomas. Adjuvant radiation therapy has historically been of little survival value, but it appears to improve local control and may delay recurrence. Regarding adjuvant chemotherapy, there is little evidence in the literature supporting its use except for carcinosarcomas. However, more trials are needed to address these issues, especially, their sequential application. Patients with uterine sarcomas should be referred to large academic centers for participation in clinical trials.

  10. Obesity Outweighs Protection Conferred by Adjuvanted Influenza Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Karlsson, Erik A.; Hertz, Tomer; Johnson, Cydney; Mehle, Andrew; Krammer, Florian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Obesity is a risk factor for developing severe influenza virus infection, making vaccination of utmost importance for this high-risk population. However, vaccinated obese animals and adults have decreased neutralizing antibody responses. In these studies, we tested the hypothesis that the addition of either alum or a squalene-based adjuvant (AS03) to an influenza vaccine would improve neutralizing antibody responses and protect obese mice from challenge. Our studies demonstrate that adjuvanted vaccine does increase both neutralizing and nonneutralizing antibody levels compared to vaccine alone. Although obese mice mount significantly decreased virus-specific antibody responses, both the breadth and the magnitude of the responses against hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) are decreased compared to the responses in lean mice. Importantly, even with a greater than fourfold increase in neutralizing antibody levels, obese mice are not protected against influenza virus challenge and viral loads remain elevated in the respiratory tract. Increasing the antigen dose affords no added protection, and a decreasing viral dose did not fully mitigate the increased mortality seen in obese mice. Overall, these studies highlight that, while the use of an adjuvant does improve seroconversion, vaccination does not fully protect obese mice from influenza virus challenge, possibly due to the increased sensitivity of obese animals to infection. Given the continued increase in the global obesity epidemic, our findings have important implications for public health. PMID:27486196

  11. Immunological adjuvants: a role for liposomes.

    PubMed

    Gregoriadis, G

    1990-03-01

    Recent technological advances have resulted in the production of safe subunit and synthetic small peptide vaccines. These vaccines are weakly or non-immunogenic and cannot, therefore, be used effectively in the absence of immunological adjuvants (agents that can induce strong immunity to antigens). Owing to the toxicity of adjuvants, only one (aluminium salts) has hitherto been licensed for use in humans, and it is far from ideal. In this article, Gregory Gregoriadis discusses the use of liposomes as an alternative safe, versatile, universal adjuvant that can induce humoral- and cell-mediated immunity to antigens when administered parenterally or enterally. PMID:2186746

  12. Assessing the effectiveness of pharmacist- directed medication therapy management in improving diabetes outcomes in patients with poorly controlled diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Jeannine S.; Poe, Brett; Hopper, Rebecca; Boyer, Alaina; Wilkins, Consuelo H.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare medication adherence rates and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) health outcomes in a sample of underserved patients with suboptimally controlled T2DM (HbA1C>7%) who had received pharmacist-directed medication therapy management (MTM) to those who had not received MTM. Methods A retrospective review of 100 patient records was conducted. For the MTM group, a pharmacist engaged patients in patient-centered services to optimize therapeutic outcomes. Non-MTM patients received usual care. Outcomes were HbA1C, medication adherence, blood pressure, lipids and creatinine. Group comparisons on clinical outcomes were analyzed before and after matching MTM and non-MTM patients on demographic characteristics. Results Before matching, the MTM group had a higher rate of medication adherence than the non-MTM group. Hemoglobin A1C levels were lower in the MTM group compared to the non-MTM group. Similarly, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were lower in the MTM group compared to the non-MTM group. After matching, medication adherence rate remained higher in the MTM group than the non-MTM group. Similarly, HbA1C levels remained lower in the MTM group than the non-MTM group. Conclusions There is a paucity of research focused on behavioral interventions for improving health outcomes in underserved communities. Our results advance the existing literature by demonstrating a positive association between pharmacist-directed MTM, medication adherence, and glycemic control in a sample of underserved patients with suboptimally controlled T2DM. A prospective pharmacy intervention and examination of long-term effects of MTM on medication adherence and T2DM health outcomes in this population is warranted. PMID:26009557

  13. How Well Establishment of Research Plans Can Improve Scientific Ranking of Medical Universities

    PubMed Central

    Saadat, Seyed Hassan; Izadi, Morteza; Aslani, Jafar; Ghanei, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Background: As a developing country, Iran has not had a substantial share in global science production activities; however, this country has recently been the forth country in the world regarding research output publications, and biomedical research has played a crucial role in achieving this honorable position. Objectives: In this paper, we aimed to introduce the strategies employed at Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences of Iran, to enhance scientific research output of this university. Patients and Methods: The present study used the qualitative content analysis technique. The Research deputies and the head of research centers of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences were the research subjects. The main researcher conducted all the interviews. The participants were all authorities of the university. Sampling continued until data saturation. After speaking with 16 participants, the interviews yielded no new information, and no new categories or subcategories were added to the previous ones. Deep and semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used to collect data. Results: Diplomacies employed to promote research, organizing educational classes, and foundation of infrastructural organizations for research and true surveillance of research programs were the main characteristics of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences research strategies. Conclusions: Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences is a military university of limited resources that has won several awards in the recent years, and has been categorized as one of the leading first ranked medical universities in Iran; a position quite higher than several other larger universities of the country. We recommend more enhanced strategies for other universities. PMID:25793114

  14. Improving undergraduate medical education about pain assessment and management: A qualitative descriptive study of stakeholders’ perceptions

    PubMed Central

    Tellier, Pierre-Paul; Bélanger, Emmanuelle; Rodríguez, Charo; Ware, Mark A; Posel, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Pain is one of the most common reasons for individuals to seek medical advice, yet it remains poorly managed. One of the main reasons that poor pain management persists is the lack of adequate knowledge and skills of practicing clinicians, which stems from a perceived lack of pain education during the training of undergraduate medical students. OBJECTIVE: To identify gaps in knowledge with respect to pain management as perceived by students, patients and educators. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. Data were generated through six focus groups with second- and fourth-year medical students, four focus groups with patients and individual semistructured interviews with nine educators. All interviews were audiotaped and an inductive thematic analysis was performed. RESULTS: A total of 70 individuals participated in the present study. Five main themes were identified: assessment of physical and psychosocial aspects of pain; clinical management of pain with pharmacology and alternative therapies; communication and the development of a good therapeutic relationship; ethical considerations surrounding pain; and institutional context of medical education about pain. CONCLUSION: Participating patients, students and pain experts recognized a need for additional medical education about pain assessment and management. Educational approaches need to teach students to gather appropriate information about pain, to acquire knowledge of a broad spectrum of therapeutic options, to develop a mutual, trusting relationship with patients and to become aware of their own biases and prejudice toward patients with pain. The results of the present study should be used to develop and enhance existing pain curricula content. PMID:23985579

  15. The science of medical decision making: neurosurgery, errors, and personal cognitive strategies for improving quality of care.

    PubMed

    Fargen, Kyle M; Friedman, William A

    2014-01-01

    During the last 2 decades, there has been a shift in the U.S. health care system towards improving the quality of health care provided by enhancing patient safety and reducing medical errors. Unfortunately, surgical complications, patient harm events, and malpractice claims remain common in the field of neurosurgery. Many of these events are potentially avoidable. There are an increasing number of publications in the medical literature in which authors address cognitive errors in diagnosis and treatment and strategies for reducing such errors, but these are for the most part absent in the neurosurgical literature. The purpose of this article is to highlight the complexities of medical decision making to a neurosurgical audience, with the hope of providing insight into the biases that lead us towards error and strategies to overcome our innate cognitive deficiencies. To accomplish this goal, we review the current literature on medical errors and just culture, explain the dual process theory of cognition, identify common cognitive errors affecting neurosurgeons in practice, review cognitive debiasing strategies, and finally provide simple methods that can be easily assimilated into neurosurgical practice to improve clinical decision making.

  16. An improved biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dianli; Wen, Qiaoyan; Li, Wenmin; Zhang, Hua; Jin, Zhengping

    2015-03-01

    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) offers healthcare delivery services and patients can acquire their desired medical services conveniently through public networks. The protection of patients' privacy and data confidentiality are significant. Very recently, Mishra et al. proposed a biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information system. Their scheme can protect user privacy and is believed to resist a range of network attacks. In this paper, we analyze Mishra et al.'s scheme and identify that their scheme is insecure to against known session key attack and impersonation attack. Thereby, we present a modified biometrics-based authentication scheme for TMIS to eliminate the aforementioned faults. Besides, we demonstrate the completeness of the proposed scheme through BAN-logic. Compared to the related schemes, our protocol can provide stronger security and it is more practical. PMID:25663481

  17. An improved biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dianli; Wen, Qiaoyan; Li, Wenmin; Zhang, Hua; Jin, Zhengping

    2015-03-01

    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) offers healthcare delivery services and patients can acquire their desired medical services conveniently through public networks. The protection of patients' privacy and data confidentiality are significant. Very recently, Mishra et al. proposed a biometrics-based authentication scheme for telecare medical information system. Their scheme can protect user privacy and is believed to resist a range of network attacks. In this paper, we analyze Mishra et al.'s scheme and identify that their scheme is insecure to against known session key attack and impersonation attack. Thereby, we present a modified biometrics-based authentication scheme for TMIS to eliminate the aforementioned faults. Besides, we demonstrate the completeness of the proposed scheme through BAN-logic. Compared to the related schemes, our protocol can provide stronger security and it is more practical.

  18. Novel Adjuvants and Immunomodulators for Veterinary Vaccines.

    PubMed

    Heegaard, Peter M H; Fang, Yongxiang; Jungersen, Gregers

    2016-01-01

    Adjuvants are crucial for efficacy of vaccines, especially subunit and recombinant vaccines. Rational vaccine design, including knowledge-based and molecularly defined adjuvants tailored for directing and potentiating specific types of host immune responses towards the antigens included in the vaccine is becoming a reality with our increased understanding of innate and adaptive immune activation. This will allow future vaccines to induce immune reactivity having adequate specificity as well as protective and recallable immune effector mechanisms in appropriate body compartments, including mucosal surfaces. Here we describe these new developments and, when possible, relate new immunological knowledge to the many years of experience with traditional, empirical adjuvants. Finally, some protocols are given for production of emulsion (oil-based) and liposome-based adjuvant/antigen formulations.

  19. Extended Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer

    Cancer.gov

    An NCI Cancer Currents blog on findings from a recent clinical trial which showed that extending adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor can have important benefits for some women with early-stage cancer.

  20. Adjuvant Bisphosphonates for Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

    Cancer.gov

    A summary of a meta-analysis of randomized trials of bisphosphonates as adjuvant therapy for women with early-stage breast cancer that shows the drugs can reduce the rate of disease recurrence in bone.

  1. Atypical Antipsychotic Medication Improves Aggression, but Not Self-Injurious Behaviour, in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruedrich, S. L.; Swales, T. P.; Rossvanes, C.; Diana, L.; Arkadiev, V.; Lim, K.

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Atypical antipsychotic medications have largely supplanted their typical counterparts, both for psychosis and for the treatment of aggression and/or self-injurious behaviour (SIB), in persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). However, with the exception of risperidone, little systematic research supports their use in such persons.…

  2. Improving medical students’ knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices

    PubMed Central

    Wolyniak, Michael J; Bemis, Lynne T; Prunuske, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student’s critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. PMID:26604852

  3. New French Coverage with Evidence Development for Innovative Medical Devices: Improvements and Unresolved Issues.

    PubMed

    Martelli, Nicolas; van den Brink, Hélène; Borget, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    We describe here recent modifications to the French Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) scheme for innovative medical devices. CED can be defined as temporary coverage for a novel health product during collection of the additional evidence required to determine whether definitive coverage is possible. The principle refinements to the scheme include a more precise definition of what may be considered an innovative product, the possibility for device manufacturers to request CED either independently or in partnership with hospitals, and the establishment of processing deadlines for health authorities. In the long term, these modifications may increase the number of applications to the CED scheme, which could lead to unsustainable funding for future projects. It will also be necessary to ensure that the study conditions required by national health authorities are suitable for medical devices and that processing deadlines are met for the scheme to be fully operational. Overall, the modifications recently applied to the French CED scheme for innovative medical devices should increase the transparency of the process, and therefore be more appealing to medical device manufacturers. PMID:26797231

  4. Improving medical students' knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices.

    PubMed

    Wolyniak, Michael J; Bemis, Lynne T; Prunuske, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student's critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. PMID:26604852

  5. Using a Geriatric Mentoring Narrative Program to Improve Medical Student Attitudes towards the Elderly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duke, Pamela; Cohen, Diane; Novack, Dennis

    2009-01-01

    This study examined first-year medical student attitudes concerning the elderly before and after instituting a geriatric mentoring program. The program began and ended with a survey designed to assess students' attitudes toward the elderly. During the mentoring program, students visited the same senior for four visits throughout the academic year.…

  6. New French Coverage with Evidence Development for Innovative Medical Devices: Improvements and Unresolved Issues.

    PubMed

    Martelli, Nicolas; van den Brink, Hélène; Borget, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    We describe here recent modifications to the French Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) scheme for innovative medical devices. CED can be defined as temporary coverage for a novel health product during collection of the additional evidence required to determine whether definitive coverage is possible. The principle refinements to the scheme include a more precise definition of what may be considered an innovative product, the possibility for device manufacturers to request CED either independently or in partnership with hospitals, and the establishment of processing deadlines for health authorities. In the long term, these modifications may increase the number of applications to the CED scheme, which could lead to unsustainable funding for future projects. It will also be necessary to ensure that the study conditions required by national health authorities are suitable for medical devices and that processing deadlines are met for the scheme to be fully operational. Overall, the modifications recently applied to the French CED scheme for innovative medical devices should increase the transparency of the process, and therefore be more appealing to medical device manufacturers.

  7. Improving medical students' knowledge of genetic disease: a review of current and emerging pedagogical practices.

    PubMed

    Wolyniak, Michael J; Bemis, Lynne T; Prunuske, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student's critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizontally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics.

  8. Micelle-Based Adjuvants for Subunit Vaccine Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Trimaille, Thomas; Verrier, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In the development of subunit vaccines with purified or recombinant antigens for cancer and infectious diseases, the design of improved and safe adjuvants able to efficiently target the antigen presenting cells, such as dendritic cells, represents a crucial challenge. Nanoparticle-based antigen delivery systems have been identified as an innovative strategy to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines. Among them, self-assembled micellar nanoparticles from amphiphilic (macro)molecules have recently emerged as promising candidates. In this short review, we report on the recent research findings highlighting the versatility and potential of such systems in vaccine delivery. PMID:26426060

  9. Aluminium adjuvants and adverse events in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Exley, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Sub-cutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergy. It works by helping to modify or re-balance an individual's immune response to allergens and its efficacy is greatly improved by the use of adjuvants, most commonly, aluminium hydroxide. Aluminium salts have been used in allergy therapy for many decades and are assumed to be safe with few established side-effects. This assumption belies their potency as adjuvants and their potential for biological reactivity both at injection sites and elsewhere in the body. There are very few data purporting to the safety of aluminium adjuvants in allergy immunotherapy and particularly so in relation to longer term health effects. There are, if only few, published reports of adverse events following allergy immunotherapy and aluminium adjuvants are the prime suspects in the majority of such incidents. Aluminium adjuvants are clearly capable of initiating unwanted side effects in recipients of immunotherapy and while there is as yet no evidence that such are commonplace it is complacent to consider aluminium salts as harmless constituents of allergy therapies. Future research should establish the safety of the use of aluminium adjuvants in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy. PMID:24444186

  10. Influence of irrigation methods and an adjuvant on the persistence of carbaryl on pakchoi.

    PubMed

    Marutani, Mari; Edirveerasingam, Veronica

    2006-01-01

    Influence of irrigation methods and use of an adjuvant on the persistence of the carbaryl (1-naphthyl N-methylcarbamate) on pakchoi [Brassica rapa L. subsp. chinensis (Rupr.) Olsson] was studied using a commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kit. After applying carbaryl at a.i. 10.6 g L(-1) with or without an adjuvant (Latron B-1956) to leaves, plants were provided water daily by either overhead or basal application. Pesticide residue on leaf tissues was examined immediately after pesticide application and on 2, 4, 6, and 8 d after pesticide application. Use of the adjuvant did not affect the initial deposit of the pesticide, however pesticide persistence was improved with the adjuvant regardless of irrigation. Overhead irrigation contributed to rapid loss of the pesticide by washing carbaryl from the leaf surface. The longest half-life of carbaryl (6.5 d) was detected on plants receiving basal irrigation plus the adjuvant while the shortest half-life (2 d) was observed when plants were treated with overhead irrigation and no adjuvant.

  11. Toward understanding the mechanism underlying the strong adjuvant activity of aluminum salt nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Ruwona, Tinashe B; Xu, Haiyue; Li, Xu; Taylor, Amber N; Shi, Yan-Chun; Cui, Zhengrong

    2016-06-01

    Aluminum salts such as aluminum oxyhydroxide and aluminum hydroxyphosphate are commonly used human vaccine adjuvants. In an effort to improve the adjuvant activity of aluminum salts, we previously showed that the adjuvant activity of aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles is significantly more potent than that of aluminum oxyhydroxide microparticles. The present study was designed to (i) understand the mechanism underlying the potent adjuvant activity of aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles, relative to microparticles, and (ii) to test whether aluminum hydroxyphosphate nanoparticles have a more potent adjuvant activity than aluminum hydroxyphosphate microparticles as well. In human THP-1 myeloid cells, wild-type and NLRP3-deficient, both aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles and microparticles stimulate the secretion of proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β by activating NLRP3 inflammasome, although aluminum oxyhydroxide nanoparticles are more potent than microparticles, likely related to the higher uptake of the nanoparticles by the THP-1 cells than the microparticles. Aluminum hydroxyphosphate nanoparticles also have a more potent adjuvant activity than microparticles in helping a model antigen lysozyme to stimulate specific antibody response, again likely related to their stronger ability to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. PMID:27155490

  12. Aluminium adjuvants and adverse events in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Sub-cutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment for allergy. It works by helping to modify or re-balance an individual’s immune response to allergens and its efficacy is greatly improved by the use of adjuvants, most commonly, aluminium hydroxide. Aluminium salts have been used in allergy therapy for many decades and are assumed to be safe with few established side-effects. This assumption belies their potency as adjuvants and their potential for biological reactivity both at injection sites and elsewhere in the body. There are very few data purporting to the safety of aluminium adjuvants in allergy immunotherapy and particularly so in relation to longer term health effects. There are, if only few, published reports of adverse events following allergy immunotherapy and aluminium adjuvants are the prime suspects in the majority of such incidents. Aluminium adjuvants are clearly capable of initiating unwanted side effects in recipients of immunotherapy and while there is as yet no evidence that such are commonplace it is complacent to consider aluminium salts as harmless constituents of allergy therapies. Future research should establish the safety of the use of aluminium adjuvants in sub-cutaneous allergy immunotherapy. PMID:24444186

  13. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as antigen carriers and adjuvants for vaccine delivery.

    PubMed

    Mody, Karishma T; Popat, Amirali; Mahony, Donna; Cavallaro, Antonino S; Yu, Chengzhong; Mitter, Neena

    2013-06-21

    Vaccines have been at the forefront of improving human health for over two centuries. The challenges faced in developing effective vaccines flow from complexities associated with the immune system and requirement of an efficient and safe adjuvant to induce a strong adaptive immune response. Development of an efficient vaccine formulation requires careful selection of a potent antigen, efficient adjuvant and route of delivery. Adjuvants are immunological agents that activate the antigen presenting cells (APCs) and elicit a strong immune response. In the past decade, the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) has gained significant attention as potential delivery vehicles for various biomolecules. In this review, we aim to highlight the potential of MSNs as vaccine delivery vehicles and their ability to act as adjuvants. We have provided an overview on the latest progress on synthesis, adsorption and release kinetics and biocompatibility of MSNs as next generation antigen carriers and adjuvants. A comprehensive summary on the ability of MSNs to deliver antigens and elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses is provided. Finally, we give insight on fundamental challenges and some future prospects of these nanoparticles as adjuvants. PMID:23657437

  14. Adjuvant therapy for gastric cancer: What have we learned since INT0116?

    PubMed Central

    Jácome, Alexandre A; Sankarankutty, Ajith K; dos Santos, José Sebastião

    2015-01-01

    Gastric cancer is one of the main cancer-related causes of death worldwide. The curative treatment of gastric cancer consists of tumor resection and lymphadenectomy. However, surgical treatment alone is associated with high recurrence rates. Adjuvant treatment strategies have been studied over the last decades, but there have been controversial results from the initial studies. The pivotal INT0116 study demonstrated that the use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy with 5-fluorouracil increases relapse-free and overall survival, and it has been adopted across the Western world. The high toxicity of radiochemotherapy and suboptimal surgical treatment employed, with fewer than 10% of the patients submitted to D2 lymphadenectomy, were the main study limitations. Since its publication, other adjuvant treatment modalities have been studied, and radiochemotherapy is being refined to improve its efficacy and safety. A multimodal approach has been demonstrated to significantly increase relapse-free and overall survival, and it can be offered in the form of perioperative chemotherapy, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy or adjuvant chemotherapy, regardless of the extent of lymphadenectomy. The objective of the present review is to report the major advances obtained in the last decades in the adjuvant treatment of gastric cancer as well as the perspectives of treatment based on recent knowledge of the molecular biology of the disease. PMID:25852269

  15. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as antigen carriers and adjuvants for vaccine delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mody, Karishma T.; Popat, Amirali; Mahony, Donna; Cavallaro, Antonino S.; Yu, Chengzhong; Mitter, Neena

    2013-05-01

    Vaccines have been at the forefront of improving human health for over two centuries. The challenges faced in developing effective vaccines flow from complexities associated with the immune system and requirement of an efficient and safe adjuvant to induce a strong adaptive immune response. Development of an efficient vaccine formulation requires careful selection of a potent antigen, efficient adjuvant and route of delivery. Adjuvants are immunological agents that activate the antigen presenting cells (APCs) and elicit a strong immune response. In the past decade, the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) has gained significant attention as potential delivery vehicles for various biomolecules. In this review, we aim to highlight the potential of MSNs as vaccine delivery vehicles and their ability to act as adjuvants. We have provided an overview on the latest progress on synthesis, adsorption and release kinetics and biocompatibility of MSNs as next generation antigen carriers and adjuvants. A comprehensive summary on the ability of MSNs to deliver antigens and elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses is provided. Finally, we give insight on fundamental challenges and some future prospects of these nanoparticles as adjuvants.

  16. Physician Beliefs and Practices for Adjuvant and Salvage Radiation Therapy After Prostatectomy

    SciTech Connect

    Showalter, Timothy N.; Ohri, Nitin; Teti, Kristopher G.; Foley, Kathleen A.; Keith, Scott W.; Trabulsi, Edouard J.; Lallas, Costas D.; Dicker, Adam P.; Hoffman-Censits, Jean; Pizzi, Laura T.; Gomella, Leonard G.

    2012-02-01

    Purpose: Despite results of randomized trials that support adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer with adverse pathologic features (APF), many clinicians favor selective use of salvage RT. This survey was conducted to evaluate the beliefs and practices of radiation oncologists (RO) and urologists (U) regarding RT after RP. Methods and Materials: We designed a Web-based survey of post-RP RT beliefs and policies. Survey invitations were e-mailed to a list of 926 RO and 591 U. APF were defined as extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, or positive surgical margin. Differences between U and RO in adjuvant RT recommendations were evaluated by comparative statistics. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate factors predictive of adjuvant RT recommendation. Results: Analyzable surveys were completed by 218 RO and 92 U (overallresponse rate, 20%). Adjuvant RT was recommended based on APF by 68% of respondents (78% RO, 44% U, p <0.001). U were less likely than RO to agree that adjuvant RT improves survival and/or biochemical control (p < 0.0001). PSA thresholds for salvage RT were higher among U than RO (p < 0.001). Predicted rates of erectile dysfunction due to RT were higher among U than RO (p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, respondent specialty was the only predictor of adjuvant RT recommendations. Conclusions: U are less likely than RO to recommend adjuvant RT. Future research efforts should focus on defining the toxicities of post-RP RT and on identifying the subgroups of patients who will benefit from adjuvant vs. selective salvage RT.

  17. Evolution of endocrine adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Lønning, Per Eystein

    2010-04-01

    Endocrine treatment plays a pivotal role in the adjuvant therapy of patients harbouring oestrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive breast cancer. The objective of this paper is to critically review endocrine treatment options in early breast cancer focusing on ongoing development. Literature was collected through the ISI Web of Science and PubMed in January/February 2009 with subsequent update by December 2009, using the words breast cancer, endocrine therapy, oestrogen receptor and aromatase. Endocrine therapy improves outcome in early breast cancer. Yet several controversies remain. There has recently been a lack of general consensus regarding the limit of oestrogen receptor positivity. As for adjuvant therapy in general and use of aromatase inhibitors in particular, we need the results from ongoing studies to decide what may be the optimal duration of therapy and regimen (sequential treatment versus monotherapy; one drug compared with another). Further, there is a need to critically assess optimal use of endocrine therapy for metastatic disease among patients previously exposed to endocrine regimens in the adjuvant setting. While in general the mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapy among ER positive tumours remains unknown, merging evidence suggest a role of different growth factor pathways, in particular HER-2 activation. Thus, particular attention is paid to the topic of HER-2 expression as a potential cause of endocrine resistance.

  18. The Skylab Medical Operations Project: Recommendations to Improve Crew Health and Performance for Future Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polk, James D.; Duncan, James M.; Davis, Jeffrey R.; Williams, Richard S.; Lindgren, Kjell N.; Mathes, Karen L.; Gillis, David B.; Scheuring, Richard A.

    2009-01-01

    From May of 1973 to February of 1974, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted a series of three manned missions to the Skylab space station, a voluminous vehicle largely descendant of Apollo hardware, and America s first space station. The crewmembers of these three manned missions spent record breaking durations of time in microgravity (28 days, 59 days and 84 days, respectively) and gave the U.S. space program its first experiences with long-duration space flight. The program overcame a number of obstacles (including a significant crippling of the Skylab vehicle) to conduct a lauded scientific program that encompassed life sciences, astronomy, solar physics, materials sciences and Earth observation. Skylab has more to offer than the results of its scientific efforts. The operations conducted by the Skylab crews and ground personnel represent a rich legacy of operational experience. As we plan for our return to the moon and the subsequent manned exploration of Mars, it is essential to utilize the experiences and insights of those involved in previous programs. Skylab and SMEAT (Skylab Medical Experiments Altitude Test) personnel have unique insight into operations being planned for the Constellation Program, such as umbilical extra-vehicular activity and water landing/recovery of long-duration crewmembers. Skylab was also well known for its habitability and extensive medical suite; topics which deserve further reflection as we prepare for lunar habitation and missions beyond Earth s immediate sphere of influence. The Skylab Medical Operations Summit was held in January 2008. Crewmembers and medical personnel from the Skylab missions and SMEAT were invited to participate in a two day summit with representatives from the Constellation Program medical operations community. The purpose of the summit was to discuss issues pertinent to future Constellation operations. The purpose of this document is to formally present the recommendations of the

  19. Applications of nanomaterials as vaccine adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Motao; Wang, Rongfu; Nie, Guangjun

    2014-01-01

    Vaccine adjuvants are applied to amplify the recipient's specific immune responses against pathogen infection or malignancy. A new generation of adjuvants is being developed to meet the demands for more potent antigen-specific responses, specific types of immune responses, and a high margin of safety. Nanotechnology provides a multifunctional stage for the integration of desired adjuvant activities performed by the building blocks of tailor-designed nanoparticles. Using nanomaterials for antigen delivery can provide high bioavailability, sustained and controlled release profiles, and targeting and imaging properties resulting from manipulation of the nanomaterials’ physicochemical properties. Moreover, the inherent immune-regulating activity of particular nanomaterials can further promote and shape the cellular and humoral immune responses toward desired types. The combination of both the delivery function and immunomodulatory effect of nanomaterials as adjuvants is thought to largely benefit the immune outcomes of vaccination. In this review, we will address the current achievements of nanotechnology in the development of novel adjuvants. The potential mechanisms by which nanomaterials impact the immune responses to a vaccine and how physicochemical properties, including size, surface charge and surface modification, impact their resulting immunological outcomes will be discussed. This review aims to provide concentrated information to promote new insights for the development of novel vaccine adjuvants. PMID:25483497

  20. Using multimedia tools and high-fidelity simulations to improve medical students' resuscitation performance: an observational study

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Candice; Huang, Chin-Chou; Lin, Shing-Jong; Chen, Jaw-Wen

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The goal of our study was to shed light on educational methods to strengthen medical students' cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) leadership and team skills in order to optimise CPR understanding and success using didactic videos and high-fidelity simulations. Design An observational study. Setting A tertiary medical centre in Northern Taiwan. Participants A total of 104 5–7th year medical students, including 72 men and 32 women. Interventions We provided the medical students with a 2-hour training session on advanced CPR. During each class, we divided the students into 1–2 groups; each group consisted of 4–6 team members. Medical student teams were trained by using either method A or B. Method A started with an instructional CPR video followed by a first CPR simulation. Method B started with a first CPR simulation followed by an instructional CPR video. All students then participated in a second CPR simulation. Outcome measures Student teams were assessed with checklist rating scores in leadership, teamwork and team member skills, global rating scores by an attending physician and video-recording evaluation by 2 independent individuals. Results The 104 medical students were divided into 22 teams. We trained 11 teams using method A and 11 using method B. Total second CPR simulation scores were significantly higher than first CPR simulation scores in leadership (p<0.001), teamwork (p<0.001) and team member skills (p<0.001). For methods A and B students' first CPR simulation scores were similar, but method A students' second CPR simulation scores were significantly higher than those of method B in leadership skills (p=0.034), specifically in the support subcategory (p=0.049). Conclusions Although both teaching strategies improved leadership, teamwork and team member performance, video exposure followed by CPR simulation further increased students' leadership skills compared with CPR simulation followed by video exposure. PMID:27678539

  1. Improving Adherence to Medication Regimens for Children with Asthma and Its Effect on Clinical Outcome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Costa, Irene G.; Rapoff, Michael A.; Lemanek, Kathleen; Goldstein, Gerald L.

    1997-01-01

    A study examined the effects of a combined education and token system intervention to improve adherence to inhaled corticosteroids for an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy with asthma. A withdrawal design demonstrated improved adherence and, for one child, an associated improvement in pulmonary function occurred. (Author/CR)

  2. Intravenous Lidocaine as an Adjuvant for Pain Associated with Sickle Cell Disease.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Natalie L; Kome, Anne M; Lowe, Denise K; Coyne, Patrick; Hawks, Kelly G

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjuvant intravenous (IV) lidocaine in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). This was a retrospective review. Adults with SCD receiving at least one IV lidocaine infusion from 2004 to 2014 were included. Patient demographics, lidocaine treatment parameters, pain scores, pain medications, and adverse effects were recorded. Eleven patients were identified, yielding 15 IV lidocaine trials. Clinical improvement in pain scores from pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge, defined by ≥ 20% reduction in pain scores, was achieved in 53.3% (8 of 15) of IV lidocaine challenges. Of the 8 clinically successful trials, the mean reduction in morphine dose equivalents (MDE) from 24 hours pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge was 32.2%. Additionally, clinically successful trials had a mean initial and a maximum dose of 1 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-2.7 mg/kg/h) and 1.3 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-1.9 mg/kg/h), respectively. On average, these patients underwent 3 dose titrations (range: 1-8) and received lidocaine infusions for 4.4 days (range: 2-8 days). Two patients experienced disorientation and dizziness. The authors conclude that adjuvant IV lidocaine provided pain relief and a mean reduction in MDE during sickle cell pain crisis. These results provide preliminary insight into the use of IV lidocaine for treating pain in patients with SCD, although prospective studies are needed to determine efficacy, dosing, and tolerability of IV lidocaine in this patient population.

  3. Squalene and squalane emulsions as adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Allison, A C

    1999-09-01

    Microfluidized squalene or squalane emulsions are efficient adjuvants, eliciting both humoral and cellular immune responses. Microfluidization stabilizes the emulsions and allows sterilization by terminal filtration. The emulsions are stable for years at ambient temperature and can be frozen. Antigens are added after emulsification so that conformational epitopes are not lost by denaturation and to facilitate manufacture. A Pluronic block copolymer can be added to the squalane or squalene emulsion. Soluble antigens administered in such emulsions generate cytotoxic T lymphocytes able to lyse target cells expressing the antigen in a genetically restricted fashion. Optionally a relatively nontoxic analog of muramyl dipeptide (MDP) or another immunomodulator can be added; however, the dose of MDP must be restricted to avoid systemic side effects in humans. Squalene or squalane emulsions without copolymers or MDP have very little toxicity and elicit potent antibody responses to several antigens in nonhuman primates. They could be used to improve a wide range of vaccines. Squalene or squalane emulsions have been administered in human cancer vaccines, with mild side effects and evidence of efficacy, in terms of both immune responses and antitumor activity.

  4. Adjuvant chemotherapy in head and neck cancer.

    PubMed Central

    Stell, P. M.; Rawson, N. S.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is presented of 23 trials of adjuvant chemotherapy in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. These were reviewed from the point of view of design of the trial, analysis of survival, response rates, meta-analysis, site of failure, toxicity and cost. The minimal increase in survival that could be detected ranged from 11 to 51%, with a median of 25%. No trial was big enough to detect the likely increase of survival, which is 5%. Many trials excluded some eligible patients before randomisation, the proportion being 21% in those series with details. A further 9% of treated patients were excluded from analysis. A response rate in four induction studies of 47% equated with a 6% increase in cancer mortality. Meta-analysis showed an insignificant overall improvement in cancer mortality of 0.5%. Induction chemotherapy, synchronous chemotherapy and induction/maintenance chemotherapy did not affect cancer mortality whereas synchronous/maintenance therapy did. Cisplatinum, methotrexate, bleomycin, 5-FU and a variety of other regimens did not affect the death rate from cancer, but the combination of VBM significantly increased it. Neither single agent nor combination chemotherapy produced a significant reduction of cancer deaths. The rate of locoregional failure was significantly lower in the treated arms, whereas the metastatic rate was similar in both arms. Only three papers gave full details of toxicity with grading: these showed a high toxicity rate. The mortality rate from chemotherapy in nine series averaged 6.5%. PMID:2140045

  5. Utilizing the Wikidata System to Improve the Quality of Medical Content in Wikipedia in Diverse Languages: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Pfundner, Alexander; Schönberg, Tobias; Horn, John; Boyce, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    Background Wikipedia is an important source of medical information for both patients and medical professionals. Given its wide reach, improving the quality, completeness, and accessibility of medical information on Wikipedia could have a positive impact on global health. Objective We created a prototypical implementation of an automated system for keeping drug-drug interaction (DDI) information in Wikipedia up to date with current evidence about clinically significant drug interactions. Our work is based on Wikidata, a novel, graph-based database backend of Wikipedia currently in development. Methods We set up an automated process for integrating data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) high priority DDI list into Wikidata. We set up exemplary implementations demonstrating how the DDI data we introduced into Wikidata could be displayed in Wikipedia articles in diverse languages. Finally, we conducted a pilot analysis to explore if adding the ONC high priority data would substantially enhance the information currently available on Wikipedia. Results We derived 1150 unique interactions from the ONC high priority list. Integration of the potential DDI data from Wikidata into Wikipedia articles proved to be straightforward and yielded useful results. We found that even though the majority of current English Wikipedia articles about pharmaceuticals contained sections detailing contraindications, only a small fraction of articles explicitly mentioned interaction partners from the ONC high priority list. For 91.30% (1050/1150) of the interaction pairs we tested, none of the 2 articles corresponding to the interacting substances explicitly mentioned the interaction partner. For 7.21% (83/1150) of the pairs, only 1 of the 2 associated Wikipedia articles mentioned the interaction partner; for only 1.48% (17/1150) of the pairs, both articles contained explicit mentions of the interaction partner. Conclusions Our prototype

  6. Improved self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of medical students through structured improvement measures in an internal medicine bedside course

    PubMed Central

    Fünger, S. M.; Lesevic, H.; Rosner, S.; Ott, I.; Berberat, P.; Nikendei, C.; Sonne, C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Bedside courses are of outstanding importance when training medical students. The fact that less and less teaching is taking place nowadays at the patient's bedside makes it all the more important that the available time be put to effective use. The aim of this study was to check whether structured improvement measures in the course (scripts, lecturer briefing, e-learning cases) would improve the abilities of the students on the basis of a subjective self-assessment as well as an external assessment by the lecturers with respect to clinical abilities. Methods: Bedside teaching takes place in the fourth study year in the Medical Clinics of the TU Munich. Both students and lecturers had the chance to hand in an anonymous, quantitative self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of the students (German grading system) after every course date. This assessment took place online in the three categories "Medical history & examination", "Diagnosis" and "Therapy". An overall period of four semesters, each with 6 course dates, was investigated. After two of the total of four semesters in the study, the course was changed by introducing scripts, lecturer briefing as well as interactive e-learning cases. The self- and external assessment was compared both within the semester (date 1-3: A; date 4-6: B), during the course as well as before and after introducing the improvement measures ("before" (T0): SS 2012, SS 2013, "after" (T1): WS 2013/2014, SS 2014). Results: There was a significant improvement in one's own abilities on the basis of the self-assessment within each semester when comparing the first (A) and the last (B) course dates. Moreover, there was a significant improvement in the performances in all three categories when T0 was compared with T1, from both the point of view of the students ("Medical history & examination": T0 =2.5±0.9, T1=2.2±0.7, pp<0.001; "Diagnosis" T0=3.1±1.0, T1=2.8 ±0.9, pp<0.001; "Therapy": T0=3.8±1.3, T1=3.5±1.2, pp

  7. The effect of short-term workshop on improving clinical reasoning skill of medical students

    PubMed Central

    Yousefichaijan, Parsa; Jafari, Farshad; Kahbazi, Manijeh; Rafiei, Mohammad; Pakniyat, AbdolGhader

    2016-01-01

    Background: Clinical reasoning process leads clinician to get purposeful steps from signs and symptoms toward diagnosis and treatment. This research intends to investigate the effect of teaching clinical reasoning on problem-solving skills of medical students. Methods: This research is a semi-experimental study. Nineteen Medical student of the pediatric ward as case group participated in a two-day workshop for training clinical reasoning. Before the workshop, they filled out Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (DTI) questionnaires. Fifteen days after the workshop the DTI questionnaire completed and "key feature" (KF) test and "clinical reasoning problem" (CRP) test was held. 23 Medical student as the control group, without passing the clinical reasoning workshop DTI questionnaire completed, and KF test and CRP test was held. Results: The average score of the DTI questionnaire in the control group was 162.04 and in the case group before the workshop was 153.26 and after the workshop was 181.68. Compare the average score of the DTI questionnaire before and after the workshop there is a significant difference. The difference between average KF test scores in the control and the case group was not significant but between average CRP test scores was significant. Conclusion: Clinical reasoning workshop is effectiveness in promoting problem-solving skills of students. PMID:27579286

  8. Preparing medical students for the continual improvement of health and health care: Abraham Flexner and the new "public interest".

    PubMed

    Berwick, Donald M; Finkelstein, Jonathan A

    2010-09-01

    In 1910, in his recommendations for reforming medical education, Abraham Flexner responded to what he deemed to be the "public interest." Now, 100 years later, to respond to the current needs of society, the education of physicians must once again change. In addition to understanding the biological basis of health and disease, and mastering technical skills for treating individual patients, physicians will need to learn to navigate in and continually improve complex systems in order to improve the health of the patients and communities they serve. Physicians should not be mere participants in, much less victims of, such systems. Instead, they ought to be prepared to help lead those systems toward ever-higher-quality care for all. A number of innovative programs already exist for students and residents to help integrate improvement skills into professional preparation, and that goal is enjoying increasing support from major professional organizations and accrediting bodies. These experiences have shown that medical schools and residency programs will need to both teach the scientific foundations of system performance and provide opportunities for trainees to participate in team-based improvement of the real-world health systems in which they work. This significant curricular change, to meet the social need of the 21st century, will require educators and learners to embrace new core values, in addition to those held by the profession for generations. These include patient-centeredness, transparency, and stewardship of limited societal resources for health care. PMID:20736631

  9. Adjuvant effects of saponins on animal immune responses*

    PubMed Central

    Rajput, Zahid Iqbal; Hu, Song-hua; Xiao, Chen-wen; Arijo, Abdullah G.

    2007-01-01

    Vaccines require optimal adjuvants including immunopotentiator and delivery systems to offer long term protection from infectious diseases in animals and man. Initially it was believed that adjuvants are responsible for promoting strong and sustainable antibody responses. Now it has been shown that adjuvants influence the isotype and avidity of antibody and also affect the properties of cell-mediated immunity. Mostly oil emulsions, lipopolysaccharides, polymers, saponins, liposomes, cytokines, ISCOMs (immunostimulating complexes), Freund’s complete adjuvant, Freund’s incomplete adjuvant, alums, bacterial toxins etc., are common adjuvants under investigation. Saponin based adjuvants have the ability to stimulate the cell mediated immune system as well as to enhance antibody production and have the advantage that only a low dose is needed for adjuvant activity. In the present study the importance of adjuvants, their role and the effect of saponin in immune system is reviewed. PMID:17323426

  10. Effects of solution conditions and surface chemistry on the adsorption of three recombinant botulinum neurotoxin antigens to aluminum salt adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Vessely, Christina; Estey, Tia; Randolph, Theodore W; Henderson, Ian; Nayar, Rajiv; Carpenter, John F

    2007-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a biological warfare threat. Protein antigens have been developed against the seven major BoNT serotypes for the development of a recombinant protein vaccine. This study is an evaluation of adsorption profiles for three of the recombinant protein antigens to aluminum salt adjuvants in the development of a trivalent vaccine against BoNT. Adsorption profiles were obtained over a range of protein concentrations. The results document that charge-charge interactions dominate the adsorption of antigen to adjuvant. Optimal conditions for adsorption were determined. However, potency studies and solution stability studies indicated the necessity of using aluminum hydroxide adjuvant at low pH. To improve the adsorption profiles to AlOH adjuvant, phosphate ions were introduced into the adsorption buffers. The resulting change in the adjuvant chemistry led to an improvement of adsorption of the BoNT antigens to aluminum hydroxide adjuvant while maintaining potency. Competitive adsorption profiles were also determined, and showed changes in maximum adsorption from mixed solutions compared to adsorption from individual protein solutions. The adsorption profiles for each protein varied due to differences in adsorption mechanism and affinity for the adjuvant surface. These results emphasize the importance of evaluating competitive adsorption in the development of multivalent vaccine products. PMID:17518359

  11. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors at the Forefront of Improving the Quality and Indexing Chances of its Member Journals

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Chang-Ok; Oh, Se Jeong

    2013-01-01

    The article overviews some achievements and problems of Korean medical journals published in the highly competitive journal environment. Activities of Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE) are viewed as instrumental for improving the quality of Korean articles, indexing large number of local journals in prestigious bibliographic databases and launching new abstract and citation tracking databases or platforms (eg KoreaMed, KoreaMed Synapse, the Western Pacific Regional Index Medicus [WPRIM]). KAMJE encourages its member journals to upgrade science editing standards and to legitimately increase citation rates, primarily by publishing more great articles with global influence. Experience gained by KAMJE and problems faced by Korean editors may have global implications. PMID:23678253

  12. Medical interpreters: improvements to address access, equity, and quality of care for limited-English-proficient patients.

    PubMed

    VanderWielen, Lynn M; Enurah, Alexander S; Rho, Helen Y; Nagarkatti-Gude, David R; Michelsen-King, Patricia; Crossman, Steven H; Vanderbilt, Allison A

    2014-10-01

    Limited-English-proficient (LEP) patients in the United States experience a variety of health care disparities associated with language barriers, including reduced clinical encounter time and substandard medical treatment compared with their English-speaking counterparts. In most current U.S. health care settings, interpretation services are provided by personnel ranging from employed professional interpreters to untrained, ad hoc interpreters such as friends, family, or medical staff. Studies have demonstrated that untrained individuals commit many interpretation errors that may critically compromise patient safety and ultimately prove to be life-threatening. Despite documented risks, the U.S. health care system lacks a required standardized certification for medical interpreters. The authors propose that the standardization of medical interpreter training and certification would substantially reduce the barriers to equitable care experienced by LEP patients in the U.S. health care system, including the occurrence of preventable clinical errors. Recent efforts of the U.S. federal court system are cited as a successful and realistic example of how these goals may be achieved. As guided by the evolution of the federal court interpreting certification program, subsequent research will be required to demonstrate the improvements and challenges that would result from national certification standards and policy for medical interpreters. Research should examine cost-effectiveness and ensure that certified interpreting services are appropriately used by health care practitioners. Ongoing commitment is required from lawmakers, health care providers, and researchers to remove barriers to care and to demand that equity remain a consistent goal of our health care system.

  13. Enhancing Practice Improvement by Facilitating Practitioner Interactivity: New Roles for Providers of Continuing Medical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parboosingh, I. John; Reed, Virginia A.; Palmer, James Caldwell; Bernstein, Henry H.

    2011-01-01

    Research into networking and interactivity among practitioners is providing new information that has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of practice improvement initiatives. This commentary reviews the evidence that practitioner interactivity can facilitate emergent learning and behavior change that lead to practice improvements. Insights…

  14. Improving the economic and humanistic outcomes for diabetic patients: making a case for employer-sponsored medication therapy management

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Sharrel L; Kumar, Jinender; Partha, Gautam; Bechtol, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to determine the cost savings of a pharmacist-led, employer-sponsored medication therapy management (MTM) program for diabetic patients and to assess for any changes in patient satisfaction and self-reported medication adherence for enrollees. Methods Participants in this study were enrollees of an employer-sponsored MTM program. They were included if their primary medical insurance and prescription coverage was from the City of Toledo, they had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and whether or not they had been on medication or had been given a new prescription for diabetes treatment. The data were analyzed on a prospective, pre-post longitudinal basis, and tracked for one year following enrollment. Outcomes included economic costs, patient satisfaction, and self-reported patient adherence. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the population, calculate the number of visits, and determine the mean costs for each visit. Friedman’s test was used to determine changes in outcomes due to the nonparametric nature of the data. Results The mean number of visits to a physician’s office decreased from 10.22 to 7.07. The mean cost of these visits for patients increased from $47.70 to $66.41, but use of the emergency room and inpatient visits decreased by at least 50%. Employer spending on emergency room visits decreased by $24,214.17 and inpatient visit costs decreased by $166,610.84. Office visit spending increased by $11,776.41. A total cost savings of $179,047.80 was realized by the employer at the end of the program. Significant improvements in patient satisfaction and adherence were observed. Conclusion Pharmacist interventions provided through the employer-sponsored MTM program led to substantial cost savings to the employer with improved patient satisfaction and adherence on the part of employees at the conclusion of the program. PMID:23610526

  15. Guidelines in the Register of the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany – A Quality Improvement Campaign

    PubMed Central

    Nothacker, M. J.; Muche-Borowski, C.; Kopp, I. B.

    2014-01-01

    The Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) is the umbrella organization of medical scientific societies in Germany. The development of guidelines goes back to an initiative of the medical scientific societies and is coordinated by the AWMF. Rules for the inclusion of guidelines in the AWMF Guideline Register have been defined including how guidelines are classified. S1 guidelines are based only on recommendations by experts, whereas S2 guidelines require a structured consensus process or a systematic literature review. S3 guidelines include both elements. In addition to compulsory disclosure of any potential conflict of interest, transparent handling of potential conflicts of interest is an important confidence-building measure. For years, the trend has been to develop higher order (S2/S3) guidelines, and the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG) has been no exception to the trend. In addition to its responsibility for specific S2 and S3 guidelines, the DGGG is also involved in numerous other interdisciplinary guidelines. When developing a guideline, it is essential to define the guidelineʼs scope, identify aspects which require improvement and agree on the goals. Target groups affected by the guidelines should be involved if they are interested. Different formats (long and short versions, practical instructions, conventional or electronic decision aids, patient versions) are useful to disseminate the guideline. The guideline can be adapted to local circumstances to encourage implementation of its recommendations. Implementation can be measured using quality indicators. Feedback from practitioners is important as this highlights areas which require improvement. The medical scientific societies in Germany can look back on almost two decades of work spent on developing guidelines, most of it done by unpaid voluntary contributors, making this a very successful quality initiative. PMID:25061235

  16. Effectiveness of a focused, brief psychoeducation program for parents of ADHD children: improvement of medication adherence and symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Guan-nan; Wang, Yu-feng; Yang, Li; Niu, Wen-yi

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the efficacy of a psychoeducation program for parents of children with ADHD in enhancing adherence to pharmacological treatment and improving clinical symptoms. Methods We developed a psychoeducation program based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Eighty-nine children with ADHD were cluster randomly assigned for their families to receive 3 months of well-structured psychoeducation (intervention group, n=44) or only general clinical counseling (control group, n=45). Parents in the intervention group were given an expert lecture (with slides and a parent manual), attended two expert-guided parent group sessions, and were invited to join a professional-guided online community. Measurement of parents’ knowledge about ADHD, components of the TPB model, and child ADHD symptoms were taken before and after intervention. Medication adherence was assessed thoroughly at the end of the first and third months. Satisfaction with the psychoeducation program was assessed only in the intervention group. Two-independent-samples t-test, ANOVA, and chi-square test were employed to compare differences between groups. Results Compared to the control group, medication adherence in the intervention group was significantly higher after 1 and 3 months (97.7% intervention vs 75.6% control, P=0.002, and 86.4% intervention vs 53.3% control, P=0.001, respectively). Accordingly, the ADHD rating scale scores were lower in the intervention group than the control group after intervention (33.7±5.4 vs 45.1±7.9, P=0.008). Greater improvements in parents’ knowledge about ADHD and many components of the TPB model were observed in the intervention group, especially increased intention to adhere to medication, compared to the control group (P<0.001). Conclusion This psychoeducation program had a positive impact on both medication adherence and clinical symptoms of ADHD children. It could be considered as a potential beneficial supplement to clinical practice. PMID

  17. In silico identified CCR4 antagonists target regulatory T cells and exert adjuvant activity in vaccination.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Tchilian, Elma Z; Davies, Matthew N; Forbes, Emily K; Draper, Simon J; Kaveri, Srini V; Hill, Adrian V S; Kazatchkine, Michel D; Beverley, Peter C L; Flower, Darren R; Tough, David F

    2008-07-22

    Adjuvants are substances that enhance immune responses and thus improve the efficacy of vaccination. Few adjuvants are available for use in humans, and the one that is most commonly used (alum) often induces suboptimal immunity for protection against many pathogens. There is thus an obvious need to develop new and improved adjuvants. We have therefore taken an approach to adjuvant discovery that uses in silico modeling and structure-based drug-design. As proof-of-principle we chose to target the interaction of the chemokines CCL22 and CCL17 with their receptor CCR4. CCR4 was posited as an adjuvant target based on its expression on CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), which negatively regulate immune responses induced by dendritic cells (DC), whereas CCL17 and CCL22 are chemotactic agents produced by DC, which are crucial in promoting contact between DC and CCR4(+) T cells. Molecules identified by virtual screening and molecular docking as CCR4 antagonists were able to block CCL22- and CCL17-mediated recruitment of human Tregs and Th2 cells. Furthermore, CCR4 antagonists enhanced DC-mediated human CD4(+) T cell proliferation in an in vitro immune response model and amplified cellular and humoral immune responses in vivo in experimental models when injected in combination with either Modified Vaccinia Ankara expressing Ag85A from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MVA85A) or recombinant hepatitis B virus surface antigen (rHBsAg) vaccines. The significant adjuvant activity observed provides good evidence supporting our hypothesis that CCR4 is a viable target for rational adjuvant design. PMID:18621704

  18. Examples of adjuvant treatment enhancing the antitumor effect of photodynamic therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korbelik, Mladen; Cecic, Ivana; Sun, Jinghai; Chaplin, David J.

    1999-07-01

    Strategies for improving the clinical efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in treatment of solid cancers include applications of different types of adjuvant treatments in addition to this modality that may result in superior therapeutic outcome. Examples of such an approach investigated using mouse tumor models are presented in this report. It is shown that the cures of PDT treated subcutaneous tumors can be substantially improved by adjuvant therapy with: metoclopramide (enhancement of cancer cell apoptosis), combretastatin A-4 (selective destruction of tumor neovasculature), Roussin's Black Salt (light activated tumor localized release of nitric oxide), or dendritic cell-based adoptive immunotherapy (immune rejection of treated tumor).

  19. Medication adherence feedback intervention predicts improved human immunodeficiency virus clinical markers.

    PubMed

    Reich, Warren A

    2013-12-01

    Thirty-three participants in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) medication adherence feedback (MAF) intervention were compared with 58 HIV-positive non-participants in laboratory-tested CD4 and viral load. The intervention provided adherence feedback and counselling based on a visual display from an electronic pill bottle (MEMS(TM) ). Multiple regression controlling for baseline CD4 and showed that postintervention CD4 was higher for MAF participants than for non-MAF participants. Non-MAF participants' CD4 significantly declined over time. MAF participants were also less likely than non-MAF participants to have a detectable postintervention viral load.

  20. Does Spanish instruction for emergency medicine resident physicians improve patient satisfaction in the emergency department and adherence to medical recommendations?

    PubMed Central

    Stoneking, LR; Waterbrook, AL; Garst Orozco, J; Johnston, D; Bellafiore, A; Davies, C; Nuño, T; Fatás-Cabeza, J; Beita, O; Ng, V; Grall, KH; Adamas-Rappaport, W

    2016-01-01

    Background After emergency department (ED) discharge, Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency are less likely than English-proficient patients to be adherent to medical recommendations and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their visit. Objectives To determine if integrating a longitudinal medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into emergency medicine residency didactics improves patient satisfaction and adherence to medical recommendations in Spanish-speaking patients with limited English proficiency. Methods Our ED has two Emergency Medicine Residency Programs, University Campus (UC) and South Campus (SC). SC program incorporates a medical Spanish and cultural competency curriculum into their didactics. Real-time Spanish surveys were collected at SC ED on patients who self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking during registration and who were treated by resident physicians from both residency programs. Surveys assessed whether the treating resident physician communicated in the patient’s native Spanish language. Follow-up phone calls assessed patient satisfaction and adherence to discharge instructions. Results Sixty-three patients self-identified as primarily Spanish-speaking from August 2014 to July 2015 and were initially included in this pilot study. Complete outcome data were available for 55 patients. Overall, resident physicians spoke Spanish 58% of the time. SC resident physicians spoke Spanish with 66% of the patients versus 45% for UC resident physicians. Patients rated resident physician Spanish ability as very good in 13% of encounters – 17% for SC versus 5% for UC. Patient satisfaction with their ED visit was rated as very good in 35% of encounters – 40% for SC resident physicians versus 25% for UC resident physicians. Of the 13 patients for whom Spanish was the language used during the medical encounter who followed medical recommendations, ten (77%) of these encounters were with SC resident physicians

  1. Enhancing practice improvement by facilitating practitioner interactivity: new roles for providers of continuing medical education.

    PubMed

    Parboosingh, I John; Reed, Virginia A; Caldwell Palmer, James; Bernstein, Henry H

    2011-01-01

    Research into networking and interactivity among practitioners is providing new information that has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of practice improvement initiatives. This commentary reviews the evidence that practitioner interactivity can facilitate emergent learning and behavior change that lead to practice improvements. Insights from learning theories provide a framework for understanding emergent learning as the product of interactions between individuals in trusted relationships, such as occurs in communities of practice. This framework helps explain why some groups respond more favorably to improvement initiatives than others. Failure to take advantage of practitioner interactivity may explain in part the disappointingly low mean rates of practice improvement reported in studies of the effectiveness of practice improvement projects. Examples of improvement models in primary care settings that explicitly use relationship building and facilitation techniques to enhance practitioner interactivity are provided. Ingredients of a curriculum to teach relationship building in communities of practice and facilitation skills to enhance learning in small group education sessions are explored. Sufficient evidence exists to support the roles of relationships and interactivity in practice improvement initiatives such that we recommend the development of training programs to teach these skills to CME providers.

  2. Enhancing practice improvement by facilitating practitioner interactivity: new roles for providers of continuing medical education.

    PubMed

    Parboosingh, I John; Reed, Virginia A; Caldwell Palmer, James; Bernstein, Henry H

    2011-01-01

    Research into networking and interactivity among practitioners is providing new information that has the potential to enhance the effectiveness of practice improvement initiatives. This commentary reviews the evidence that practitioner interactivity can facilitate emergent learning and behavior change that lead to practice improvements. Insights from learning theories provide a framework for understanding emergent learning as the product of interactions between individuals in trusted relationships, such as occurs in communities of practice. This framework helps explain why some groups respond more favorably to improvement initiatives than others. Failure to take advantage of practitioner interactivity may explain in part the disappointingly low mean rates of practice improvement reported in studies of the effectiveness of practice improvement projects. Examples of improvement models in primary care settings that explicitly use relationship building and facilitation techniques to enhance practitioner interactivity are provided. Ingredients of a curriculum to teach relationship building in communities of practice and facilitation skills to enhance learning in small group education sessions are explored. Sufficient evidence exists to support the roles of relationships and interactivity in practice improvement initiatives such that we recommend the development of training programs to teach these skills to CME providers. PMID:21671279

  3. Financial incentives to improve adherence to antipsychotic maintenance medication in non-adherent patients: a cluster randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed Central

    Priebe, Stefan; Bremner, Stephen A; Lauber, Christoph; Henderson, Catherine; Burns, Tom

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Poor adherence to long-term antipsychotic injectable (LAI) medication in patients with psychotic disorders is associated with a range of negative outcomes. No psychosocial intervention has been found to be consistently effective in improving adherence. OBJECTIVES: To test whether or not offering financial incentives is effective and cost-effective in improving adherence and to explore patient and clinician experiences with such incentives. DESIGN: A cluster randomised controlled trial with economic and nested qualitative evaluation. The intervention period lasted for 12 months with 24 months' follow-up. The unit of randomisation was mental health teams in the community. SETTING: Community teams in secondary mental health care. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis or bipolar illness, receiving ≤ 75% of their prescribed LAI medication. In total, 73 teams with 141 patients (intervention n = 78 and control n = 63) were included. INTERVENTIONS: Participants in the intervention group received £15 for each LAI medication. Patients in the control group received treatment as usual. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PRIMARY OUTCOME: adherence to LAI medication (the percentage of received out of those prescribed). SECONDARY OUTCOMES: percentage of patients with at least 95% adherence; clinical global improvement; subjective quality of life; satisfaction with medication; hospitalisation; adverse events; and costs. Qualitative evaluation: semistructured interviews with patients in the intervention group and their clinicians. RESULTS: PRIMARY OUTCOME: outcome data were available for 131 patients. Baseline adherence was 69% in the intervention group and 67% in the control group. During the intervention period, adherence was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (85% vs. 71%) [adjusted mean difference 11.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.9% to 19.0%; p = 0.003]. Secondary outcome

  4. Improving adherence to medication regimens for children with asthma and its effect on clinical outcome.

    PubMed

    da Costa, I G; Rapoff, M A; Lemanek, K; Goldstein, G L

    1997-01-01

    We examined the effects of a combined education and token system intervention to improve adherence to inhaled corticosteroids for an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy with asthma. Adherence was measured by an electronic chronolog monitor, and disease outcome was assessed by repeated pulmonary function testing. A withdrawal design demonstrated improved adherence and, for 1 child, an associated improvement in pulmonary function occurred. Methodological and clinical implications are discussed, including variables other than adherence that may affect disease outcome.

  5. A pilot study to improve adherence among MS patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Jared; Bruce, Amanda; Lynch, Sharon; Strober, Lauren; O'Bryan, Sean; Sobotka, Deborah; Thelen, Joan; Ness, Abigail; Glusman, Morgan; Goggin, Kathy; Bradley-Ewing, Andrea; Catley, Delwyn

    2016-04-01

    Between 30 and 50% of MS patients may prematurely discontinue disease modifying therapies. Little research has examined how to best talk with patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether telephone counseling increases disease modifying therapy (DMT) re-initiation among nonadherent patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Participants were eligible if they had relapsing-remitting disease, had stopped taking a DMT, and had no plan to re-initiate treatment despite a provider recommendation. Following a baseline assessment, 81 patients were randomly assigned to either five 20 min, weekly sessions of Motivational Interviewing/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MI-CBT) or Treatment as Usual (TAU) with brief education. At 10 weeks, patients initially assigned to TAU switched over to MI-CBT. Compared to patients in the TAU group, patients undergoing MI-CBT were significantly more likely to indicate they were re-initiating DMT (41.7 vs. 14.3%). These significant results were replicated among patients crossing over from TAU to MI-CBT. Treatment satisfaction was high, with 97% of participants reporting that they would recommend MI-CBT to other patients with MS. Results of this pilot study provide initial support for the use of MI-CBT among MS patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice.Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01925690. PMID:26563147

  6. Random walker with improved weighting function for interactive medical image segmentation.

    PubMed

    Yin, Lim Khai; Rajeswari, Mandava

    2014-01-01

    To segment an image using the random walks algorithm; users are often required to initialize the approximate locations of the objects and background in the image. Due to its segmenting model that is mainly reflected by the relationship among the neighborhood pixels and its boundary conditions, random walks algorithm has made itself sensitive to the inputs of the seeds. Instead of considering the relationship between the neighborhood pixels solely, an attempt has been made to modify the weighting function that accounts for the intensity changes between the neighborhood nodes. Local affiliation within the defined neighborhood region of the two nodes is taken into consideration by incorporating an extra penalty term into the weighting function. Besides that, to better segment images, particularly medical images with texture features, GLCM variance is incorporated into the weighting function through kernel density estimation (KDE). The probability density of each pixel belonging to the initialized seeds is estimated and integrated into the weighting function. To test the performance of the proposed weighting model, several medical images that mainly made up of 174-brain tumor images are experimented. These experiments establish that the proposed method produces better segmentation results than the original random walks. PMID:25227043

  7. A pilot study to improve adherence among MS patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Jared; Bruce, Amanda; Lynch, Sharon; Strober, Lauren; O'Bryan, Sean; Sobotka, Deborah; Thelen, Joan; Ness, Abigail; Glusman, Morgan; Goggin, Kathy; Bradley-Ewing, Andrea; Catley, Delwyn

    2016-04-01

    Between 30 and 50% of MS patients may prematurely discontinue disease modifying therapies. Little research has examined how to best talk with patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether telephone counseling increases disease modifying therapy (DMT) re-initiation among nonadherent patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Participants were eligible if they had relapsing-remitting disease, had stopped taking a DMT, and had no plan to re-initiate treatment despite a provider recommendation. Following a baseline assessment, 81 patients were randomly assigned to either five 20 min, weekly sessions of Motivational Interviewing/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MI-CBT) or Treatment as Usual (TAU) with brief education. At 10 weeks, patients initially assigned to TAU switched over to MI-CBT. Compared to patients in the TAU group, patients undergoing MI-CBT were significantly more likely to indicate they were re-initiating DMT (41.7 vs. 14.3%). These significant results were replicated among patients crossing over from TAU to MI-CBT. Treatment satisfaction was high, with 97% of participants reporting that they would recommend MI-CBT to other patients with MS. Results of this pilot study provide initial support for the use of MI-CBT among MS patients who have discontinued treatment against medical advice.Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01925690.

  8. Collaborating to improve the global competitiveness of US academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Allen, Molly; Garman, Andrew; Johnson, Tricia; Hohmann, Samuel; Meurer, Steve

    2012-01-01

    President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in his 2010 State of the Union address and set the ambitious goal of doubling US exports by the end of 2014 to support millions of domestic jobs. Understanding the competitive position of US health care in the global market for international patients, University Health System Consortium (UHC), an alliance of 116 academic medical centers and 272 of their affiliated hospitals, representing 90 percent of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers partnered with Rush University, a private University in Chicago, IL and the International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA) to participate in the Market Development Cooperator Program. The goal of this private-public partnership is to increase the global competitiveness of the US health care industry, which represents over 16 percent of the GDP, amongst foreign health care providers. This article provides an overview of the US health care market and outlines the aims of the US Cooperative for International Patient Programs, the end result of the partnership between UHC, ITA and Rush University.

  9. Collaborating to improve the global competitiveness of US academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Allen, Molly; Garman, Andrew; Johnson, Tricia; Hohmann, Samuel; Meurer, Steve

    2012-01-01

    President Obama announced the National Export Initiative in his 2010 State of the Union address and set the ambitious goal of doubling US exports by the end of 2014 to support millions of domestic jobs. Understanding the competitive position of US health care in the global market for international patients, University Health System Consortium (UHC), an alliance of 116 academic medical centers and 272 of their affiliated hospitals, representing 90 percent of the nation's non-profit academic medical centers partnered with Rush University, a private University in Chicago, IL and the International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA) to participate in the Market Development Cooperator Program. The goal of this private-public partnership is to increase the global competitiveness of the US health care industry, which represents over 16 percent of the GDP, amongst foreign health care providers. This article provides an overview of the US health care market and outlines the aims of the US Cooperative for International Patient Programs, the end result of the partnership between UHC, ITA and Rush University. PMID:22913124

  10. Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence in Hypertensive Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Conn, Vicki S; Ruppar, Todd M; Chase, Jo-Ana D; Enriquez, Maithe; Cooper, Pamela S

    2015-12-01

    This systematic review applied meta-analytic procedures to synthesize medication adherence interventions that focus on adults with hypertension. Comprehensive searching located trials with medication adherence behavior outcomes. Study sample, design, intervention characteristics, and outcomes were coded. Random-effects models were used in calculating standardized mean difference effect sizes. Moderator analyses were conducted using meta-analytic analogues of ANOVA and regression to explore associations between effect sizes and sample, design, and intervention characteristics. Effect sizes were calculated for 112 eligible treatment-vs.-control group outcome comparisons of 34,272 subjects. The overall standardized mean difference effect size between treatment and control subjects was 0.300. Exploratory moderator analyses revealed interventions were most effective among female, older, and moderate- or high-income participants. The most promising intervention components were those linking adherence behavior with habits, giving adherence feedback to patients, self-monitoring of blood pressure, using pill boxes and other special packaging, and motivational interviewing. The most effective interventions employed multiple components and were delivered over many days. Future research should strive for minimizing risks of bias common in this literature, especially avoiding self-report adherence measures. PMID:26560139

  11. How the radiologic and nuclear medical communities can improve nuclear security.

    PubMed

    Kahn, Laura H; von Hippel, Frank

    2007-04-01

    Highly enriched uranium (HEU) is used to manufacture technetium-99m, the most widely used medical radioisotope in the world. Highly enriched uranium is also used to make nuclear bombs; 50 kg of HEU is enough to make a Hiroshima-type bomb. It is generally agreed that this technology is within the reach of a terrorist group; the main obstacle is acquiring HEU. Currently, as a legacy of the US and Soviet Atoms for Peace Program, there are civilian users of HEU in 40 countries, and about 1,000 kg are still being shipped each year. Unfortunately, the major international manufacturers of technetium-99m have been refusing to convert their production facilities to use low-enriched uranium (LEU), which cannot be used to make a nuclear bomb. Only 1% to 2% of the HEU is consumed in the process of producing technetium-99m. The remainder is accumulating in radioactive waste storage facilities. The radiologic and nuclear medical communities could make a tremendous contribution to a safer world by supporting the replacement of HEU with LEU in the production of technetium-99m. Low-enriched uranium is just as cost effective as HEU for the manufacture of technetium-99m and does not contribute to the risk for nuclear terrorism. PMID:17412277

  12. Adjuvant immunotherapy with BCG in squamous cell bronchial carcinoma.

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, H M; The, T H; Orie, N G

    1980-01-01

    Fifty-four patients with evidence of locally advanced primary squamous cell bronchial carcinoma (SCC), and three patients with adenocarcinoma (AC) had lung resection to remove all the visible tumour. After operation an randomly chosen group of 20 SCC patients received adjuvant BCG immunostimulation by scarifications (BCG-A). An additional group of 14 SCC patients, and three AC patients received initially intrapleural BCG treatment and subsequently scarifications (BCG-B). A control group of 20 SCC patients received no adjuvant treatment. Follow-up studies were done from three to 51 months. Immune reactivity was monitored in vivo with PPD skin tests in 33 treated and in 18 untreated patients. In both the BCG-treated SCC groups recurrence rates decreased statistically significant during follow-up (BCG-A; six to 51 months, p less than 0.001; BCG: 6-9 months, p less than 0.01 and nine to 24 months, p less than 0.001). However, no difference could be demonstrated between systemic and combined systemic and intrapleural treatment. The three BCG-treated AC patients all relapsed within nine months of follow-up. A pronounced increase in skin reactivity to PPD was seen six months after surgery in the BCG-treated patients (BCG-A, p less than 0.001; BCG-B, p less than 0.01), whereas the control patients remained anergic after surgery. This improved immune reactivity went in parallel with a more favourable outcome of the individual patients (BCG-A, p less than 0.02; BCG-B, p less than 0.05). It is concluded that adjuvant BCG immunotherapy used in strongly selected patients with minimal residual squamous cell bronchial carcinoma improves the prognosis. Intrapleural treatment did not improve the prognosis further. A favourable clinical outcome was mirrored by an increase in cellular immune reactivity. PMID:7466726

  13. Teaching Quality Improvement in Graduate Medical Education: An Experiential and Team-Based Approach to the Acquisition of Quality Improvement Competencies

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Karen; Scott, Abigail; Pollock, Emily; Kotecha, Jyoti; Martin, Danyal

    2015-01-01

    Problem An emerging priority in medical education is the need to facilitate learners’ acquisition of quality improvement (QI) competencies. Accreditation bodies in both Canada and the United States have included QI and patient safety in their core competencies. Approach In 2010, the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University designed a graduate medical education curriculum to engage residents in a clinical QI program that would meet accreditation requirements. Monthly didactic sessions were combined with an experiential, team-based QI project that aligned with existing clinic priorities. The curriculum spans the first year of residency and is divided into three stages: (1) Engaging, (2) Understanding, and (3) Improving and translating. In Stage 1, teams of residents select a clinical QI topic, engage stakeholders, and collect baseline data related to their topic. In Stage 2, they focus on understanding their problem, interpreting their results, and applying QI tools. In Stage 3, they develop change ideas, translate their knowledge, and prepare to hand over their project. Outcomes This QI curriculum aided residents in effectively acquiring QI competencies and allowed them to experience real-world challenges, such as securing project buy-in, negotiating with peers, and developing solutions to problems. Unlike in many QI programs, residents learned how to improve quality rather than about QI; thus, they formed the necessary foundation to carry out QI work in the future. Next Steps The curriculum will be evaluated using a knowledge assessment and satisfaction tool and postproject resident interviews. Facilitators will focus more on improving faculty develop ment in QI. PMID:26200583

  14. Beyond antigens and adjuvants: formulating future vaccines.

    PubMed

    Moyer, Tyson J; Zmolek, Andrew C; Irvine, Darrell J

    2016-03-01

    The need to optimize vaccine potency while minimizing toxicity in healthy recipients has motivated studies of the formulation of vaccines to control how, when, and where antigens and adjuvants encounter immune cells and other cells/tissues following administration. An effective subunit vaccine must traffic to lymph nodes (LNs), activate both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and persist for a sufficient time to promote a mature immune response. Here, we review approaches to tailor these three aspects of vaccine function through optimized formulations. Traditional vaccine adjuvants activate innate immune cells, promote cell-mediated transport of antigen to lymphoid tissues, and promote antigen retention in LNs. Recent studies using nanoparticles and other lymphatic-targeting strategies suggest that direct targeting of antigens and adjuvant compounds to LNs can also enhance vaccine potency without sacrificing safety. The use of formulations to regulate biodistribution and promote antigen and inflammatory cue co-uptake in immune cells may be important for next-generation molecular adjuvants. Finally, strategies to program vaccine kinetics through novel formulation and delivery strategies provide another means to enhance immune responses independent of the choice of adjuvant. These technologies offer the prospect of enhanced efficacy while maintaining high safety profiles necessary for successful vaccines.

  15. Synthetic Self-Adjuvanting Glycopeptide Cancer Vaccines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Richard; McDonald, David; Byrne, Scott

    2015-10-01

    Due