773 research outputs found

    Effect of Tort Reform on Diagnostic Imaging Rates

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    Introduction: Defensive medicine, is defined as “order[ing] tests, procedures, or visits, or avoid certain high-risk patients or procedures, primarily (but not solely) because of concern about malpractice liability.” Nearly all physician who fear malpractice litigation have admitted to practicing some degree of defensive medicine. In response, many states have enacted policy reforms to lighten the threat of malpractice on physicians. Objective: The most common defensive medicine behavior is ordering diagnostic imaging tests when it is potentially unwarranted. Many states have enacted non-economic damage caps from 2000-2010. We explored if these laws had an impact on the rates of diagnostic imaging in states that enacted the laws compared to those that did not. Methods: We used a retrospective time series analysis on our data from 2002-2016 to compare experimental states with controls, with threshold matching at p \u3c 0.20 based on age distribution, sex, and race. We then calculated if the diagnostic imaging was inappropriate, as derived from the HEDIS measure for inappropriate low back pain imaging. This yielded North Carolina and Tennessee (354,917 episodes) as the only experimental states and Arkansas as the control (58,100 episodes). Results: The experimental groups saw a 0.7% drop in inappropriate diagnostic imaging compared to 0.33% to the control (p \u3c 0.0001). Conclusion: The experimental groups saw a significant reduction in potentially defensive diagnostic imaging compared to the matched control. We hope to adjust our rates period to include more states in the next set of calculations in order to make the results more applicable

    Tracking the Active Speaker Based on a Joint Audio-Visual Observation Model

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    International audienceAny multi-party conversation system benefits from speaker diarization, that is, the assignment of speech signals among the participants. We here cast the diarization problem into a tracking formulation whereby the active speaker is detected and tracked over time. A probabilistic tracker exploits the on-image (spatial) coincidence of visual and auditory observations and infers a single latent variable which represents the identity of the active speaker. Both visual and auditory observations are explained by a recently proposed weighted-data mixture model, while several options for the speaking turns dynamics are fulfilled by a multi-case transition model. The modules that translate raw audio and visual data into on-image observations are also described in detail. The performance of the proposed tracker is tested on challenging data-sets that are available from recent contributions which are used as baselines for comparison

    Audio-Visual Speech-Turn Detection and Tracking

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    International audienceSpeaker diarization is an important component of multi-party dialog systems in order to assign speech-signal segments among participants. Diariza-tion may well be viewed as the problem of detecting and tracking speech turns. It is proposed to address this problem by modeling the spatial coincidence of visual and auditory observations and by combining this coincidence model with a dynamic Bayesian formulation that tracks the identity of the active speaker. Speech-turn tracking is formulated as a latent-variable temporal graphical model and an exact inference algorithm is proposed. We describe in detail an audiovisual discriminative observation model as well as a state-transition model. We also describe an implementation of a full system composed of multi-person visual tracking, sound-source localization and the proposed online diarization technique. Finally we show that the proposed method yields promising results with two challenging scenarios that were carefully recorded and annotated

    Social Network Characteristics and Psychological Well-Being: A Replication and Extension

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    This article represents a replication and extension of a previous study by Israel and her colleagues that investigated the relationship between psychological well-being and social network characteristics. The present research included both a comparable sample of white women (N=104) between the ages of 60 and 68 (as in the original study), and a more extensive adult population of men and women (N=718) between the ages of 50 and 95. The network characteristics examined are categorized along three broad dimensions: Structure—linkages in the overall network (size and density); interaction-nature of the linkages themselves (frequency, geographic dispersion, and reciprocity); and functions that networks provide (affective support and instrumental support). The results indicate a predominance of comparable findings for both the replication and extension studies. Of the eight network characteristics examined, the results of five of the regression analyses were the same across all three studies. The network characteristics of size, density, geographic dispersion, reciprocal instrumental support, and instrumental support did not make a significant contribution to the variance in psychological well-being. Of the other three network characteristics, the effect of frequency of interaction varied across the studies, and a pattern of significant results was found for affective support and reciprocal affective support. A discussion of this evidence in light of current literature and implications for practice and research is included.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/67842/2/10.1177_109019818701400406.pd

    Sí Se Puede: Using Participatory Research to Promote Environmental Justice in a Latino Community in San Diego, California

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    Community-based participatory research (CBPR) increasingly is seen as a potent tool for studying and addressing urban environmental health problems by linking place-based work with efforts to help effect policy-level change. This paper explores a successful CBPR and organizing effort, the Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign, in Old Town National City (OTNC), CA, United States, and its contributions to both local policy outcomes and changes in the broader policy environment, laying the groundwork for a Specific Plan to address a host of interlocking community concerns. After briefly describing the broader research of which the OTNC case study was a part, we provide background on the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) partnership and the setting in which it took place, including the problems posed for residents in this light industrial/residential neighborhood. EHC’s strong in-house research, and its training and active engagement of promotoras de salud (lay health promoters) as co-researchers and policy change advocates, are described. We explore in particular the translation of research findings as part of a policy advocacy campaign, interweaving challenges faced and success factors and multi-level outcomes to which these efforts contributed. The EHC partnership's experience then is compared with that of other policy-focused CBPR efforts in urban environmental health, emphasizing common success factors and challenges faced, as these may assist other partnerships wishing to pursue CBPR in urban communities

    The Social and Political Dimensions of the Ebola Response: Global Inequality, Climate Change, and Infectious Disease

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    The 2014 Ebola crisis has highlighted public-health vulnerabilities in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – countries ravaged by extreme poverty, deforestation and mining-related disruption of livelihoods and ecosystems, and bloody civil wars in the cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola’s emergence and impact are grounded in the legacy of colonialism and its creation of enduring inequalities within African nations and globally, via neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. Recent experiences with new and emerging diseases such as SARS and various strains of HN influenzas have demonstrated the effectiveness of a coordinated local and global public health and education-oriented response to contain epidemics. To what extent is international assistance to fight Ebola strengthening local public health and medical capacity in a sustainable way, so that other emerging disease threats, which are accelerating with climate change, may be met successfully? This chapter considers the wide-ranging socio-political, medical, legal and environmental factors that have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola, with particular emphasis on the politics of the global and public health response and the role of gender, social inequality, colonialism and racism as they relate to the mobilization and establishment of the public health infrastructure required to combat Ebola and other emerging diseases in times of climate change

    Involving people with diabetes and the wider community in diabetes research: a realist review protocol.

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    BACKGROUND: Patient and public involvement in diabetes research is now actively encouraged in different countries because it is believed that involving people with experience of the condition will improve the quality and relevance of the research. However, reviews of patient involvement have noted that inadequate resources, patients' and communities' lack of research knowledge, and researchers' lack of skills to involve patients and communities in research may present significant contextual barriers. Little is known about the extent of patient/community involvement in designing or delivering interventions for people with diabetes. A realist review of involvement will contribute to assessing when, how and why involvement works, or does not work, to produce better diabetes interventions. METHODS/DESIGN: This protocol outlines the process for conducting a realist review to map how patients and the public have been involved in diabetes research to date. The review questions ask the following: How have people with diabetes and the wider community been involved in diabetes research? What are the characteristics of the process that appear to explain the relative success or failure of involvement? How has involvement (or lack of involvement) in diabetes research influenced the development and conduct of diabetes research? The degree of support in the surrounding context will be assessed alongside the ways in which people interact in different settings to identify patterns of interaction between context, mechanisms and outcomes in different research projects. The level and extent of the involvement will be described for each stage of the research project. The descriptions will be critically reviewed by the people with diabetes on our review team. In addition, researchers and patients in diabetes research will be asked to comment. Information from researcher-patient experiences and documents will be compared to theories of involvement across a range of disciplines to create a mid-range theory describing how involvement (or lack of involvement) in diabetes research influences the development and conduct of diabetes research

    ADRB2 Arg16Gly Polymorphism, Lung Function, and Mortality: Results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

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    BACKGROUND: Growing evidence suggests that the Arg16Arg genotype of the beta-2 adrenergic receptor gene may be associated with adverse effects of beta-agonist therapy. We sought to examine the association of beta-agonist use and the Arg16Gly polymorphism with lung function and mortality among participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We genotyped study participants and analyzed the association of the Arg16Gly polymorphism and beta-agonist use with lung function at baseline and clinical examination three years later and with all-cause mortality during 10 years of follow-up. Lung function was characterized by percent-predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Associations were examined separately for blacks and whites. Black beta-agonist users with the Arg/Arg genotype had better lung function at baseline and at the second clinical visit than those with Arg/Gly and Gly/Gly genotypes. Adjusted mean percent-predicted FEV(1) was 21% higher in Arg/Arg subjects compared to Gly/Gly at baseline (p = 0.01) and 20% higher than Gly/Gly at visit 2 (p = 0.01). Arg/Gly subjects had adjusted percent-predicted FEV(1) 17% lower than Arg/Arg at baseline but were similar to Arg/Arg subjects at visit 2. Although black beta-agonist users with the Arg/Arg genotype appeared to have better crude survival rates, the association between genotype and all-cause mortality was inconclusive. We found no difference in lung function or mortality by genotype among blacks who did not use beta-agonists or among whites, regardless of beta-agonist use. CONCLUSIONS: Black beta-agonist users with the ADRB2 Arg16Arg genotype had better lung function, and, possibly, better overall survival compared to black beta-agonist users with the Gly16Gly genotype. Our findings highlight the need for additional studies of sufficient size and statistical power to allow examination of outcomes among beta-agonist users of different races and genotypes