157 research outputs found

    Telehealth in Palliative Care: A Systematic Review of Patient Reported Outcomes

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    A systematic review was conducted to explore published quantitative and qualitative research describing patient-reported outcomes of palliative telehealth intervention studies. Multiple databases were searched for articles published between January 2006 and May 2016, which met study criteria. Methodological quality was assessed using Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias for quantitative articles. For studies reporting qualitative outcomes, a checklist was used to evaluate trustworthiness of the methodology. Of the 6 studies reporting quantitative outcomes, 3 studies were rated as having moderate study quality, and 3 studies were rated as having low study quality. Of the 6 studies reporting qualitative outcomes, 3 reported 5 different methods for ensuring trustworthiness, whereas 1 article reported 4 methods, 1 reported 3, and 1 article reported 2 methods. Studies were notably diverse in terms of patient population, technology used, outcomes measures, and methodology. Results across studies were also variable. Methodological factors were major limitations. Recruitment problems, participant attrition, and lack of standardized outcomes measures impacted outcome assessment. Overall, research support for positive patient outcomes in palliative telehealth interventions was weak. However, all studies but one found positive results to support the intervention

    A Systematic Review of Telehealth in Palliative Care: Caregiver Outcomes

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    Objective: Telehealth interventions have proven efficacy in healthcare, but little is known about the results of such interventions in palliative care. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate caregiver outcomes related to palliative telehealth interventions. Materials and Methods: We searched multiple databases for articles published between January 2003 and January 2015 related to telehealth in palliative care. Two hundred twenty-one articles were considered; nine of these met study inclusion criteria. Data on study design, population, interventions, methods, outcomes, conclusions, and methodological quality were extracted and evaluated by three investigators. Results: Of the nine studies, five measured caregiver quality of life, three measured caregiver anxiety, and two measured caregiver burden. All the studies measuring caregiver quality of life showed no significant difference after telehealth interventions. The caregiver anxiety score decreased after the intervention in two studies, and one study reported significantly reduced caregiver burden. Although feasibility of or caregiver satisfaction with the telehealth intervention was not the focus of this review, most studies reported such findings. Of the nine studies, the majority were rated as having moderate quality using the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests there is evidence of overall satisfaction in caregivers who undergo a telehealth intervention, but outcomes reported were often not substantial. Methodological flaws and small sample sizes negatively affected study quality. More rigorous research to test and evaluate such palliative interventions is needed

    Absence of the Z-disc protein α-actinin-3 impairs the mechanical stability of Actn3KO mouse fast-twitch muscle fibres without altering their contractile properties or twitch kinetics

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    Background: A common polymorphism (R577X) in the ACTN3 gene results in the complete absence of the Z-disc protein α-actinin-3 from fast-twitch muscle fibres in ~ 16% of the world’s population. This single gene polymorphism has been subject to strong positive selection pressure during recent human evolution. Previously, using an Actn3KO mouse model, we have shown in fast-twitch muscles, eccentric contractions at L0 + 20% stretch did not cause eccentric damage. In contrast, L0 + 30% stretch produced a significant ~ 40% deficit in maximum force; here, we use isolated single fast-twitch skeletal muscle fibres from the Actn3KO mouse to investigate the mechanism underlying this. Methods: Single fast-twitch fibres are separated from the intact muscle by a collagenase digest procedure. We use label-free second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging, ultra-fast video microscopy and skinned fibre measurements from our MyoRobot automated biomechatronics system to study the morphology, visco-elasticity, force production and mechanical strength of single fibres from the Actn3KO mouse. Data are presented as means ± SD and tested for significance using ANOVA. Results: We show that the absence of α-actinin-3 does not affect the visco-elastic properties or myofibrillar force production. Eccentric contractions demonstrated that chemically skinned Actn3KO fibres are mechanically weaker being prone to breakage when eccentrically stretched. Furthermore, SHG images reveal disruptions in the myofibrillar alignment of Actn3KO fast-twitch fibres with an increase in Y-shaped myofibrillar branching. Conclusions: The absence of α-actinin-3 from the Z-disc in fast-twitch fibres disrupts the organisation of the myofibrillar proteins, leading to structural weakness. This provides a mechanistic explanation for our earlier findings that in vitro intact Actn3KO fast-twitch muscles are significantly damaged by L0 + 30%, but not L0 + 20%, eccentric contraction strains. Our study also provides a possible mechanistic explanation as to why α-actinin-3-deficient humans have been reported to have a faster decline in muscle function with increasing age, that is, as sarcopenia reduces muscle mass and force output, the eccentric stress on the remaining functional α-actinin-3 deficient fibres will be increased, resulting in fibre breakages

    Biogeography of key mesozooplankton species in the North Atlantic and egg production of Calanus finmarchicus

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    -Here we present a new, pan-North-Atlantic compilation of data on key mesozooplankton species, including the most important copepod, Calanus finmarchicus. Distributional data of eight representative zooplankton taxa, from recent (2000–2009) Continuous Plankton Recorder data, are presented, along with basin-scale data of the phytoplankton colour index. Then we present a compilation of data on C. finmarchicus, including observations of abundance, demography, egg production and female size, with accompanying data on temperature and chlorophyll

    The Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Oncology Palliative Care Education (iCOPE): Meeting the Challenge of Interprofessional Education

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    Abstract Background: Interprofessional education is necessary to prepare students of the health professions for successful practice in today's health care environment. Because of its expertise in interdisciplinary practice and team-based care, palliative care should be leading the way in creating educational opportunities for students to learn the skills for team practice and provision of quality patient-centered care. Multiple barriers exist that can discourage those desiring to create and implement truly interdisciplinary curriculum. Design: An interdisciplinary faculty team planned and piloted a mandatory interdisciplinary palliative oncology curriculum and responded to formative feedback. Setting/Subjects: The project took place at a large public metropolitan university. Medical, nursing, and social work students and chaplains completing a clinical pastoral education internship participated in the curriculum. Measurements: Formative feedback was received via the consultation of an interdisciplinary group of palliative education experts, focus groups from students, and student evaluations of each learning modality. Results: Multiple barriers were experienced and successfully addressed by the faculty team. Curricular components were redesigned based on formative feedback. Openness to this feedback coupled with flexibility and compromise enabled the faculty team to create an efficient, sustainable, and feasible interdisciplinary palliative oncology curriculum. Conclusion: Interdisciplinary palliative education can be successful if faculty teams are willing to confront challenges, accept feedback on multiple levels, and compromise while maintaining focus on desired learner outcomes

    Trans-Epithelial Immune Cell Transfer during Suckling Modulates Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity in Recipients as a Function of Gender

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    INTRODUCTION: Breast feeding has long term effects on the developing immune system which outlive passive immunization of the neonate. We have investigated the transfer of milk immune cells and examined the result of transfer once the recipients were adult. METHODS: Non-transgenic mouse pups were foster-nursed by green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic dams for 3 weeks and the fate of GFP+ cells was followed by FACS analysis, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR for GFP and appropriate immune cell markers. Pups suckled by non-transgenic dams served as controls. RESULTS: Despite a preponderance of B cells and macrophages in the stomach contents of the pups, most cells undergoing trans-epithelial migration derived from the 3-4% of milk cells positive for T lymphocyte markers. These cells homed to the spleen and thymus, with maximal accumulation at 3-4 weeks. By sensitizing dams with an antigen which elicits a T cell-mediated delayed-type-hypersensitivity (DTH) response, we determined that nursing by a sensitized dam (compared to a non-sensitized dam) amplified a subsequent DTH response in females and yet suppressed one in males. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that clinical evaluation weighing the pros and cons of nursing male versus female children by mothers with genetically-linked hypersensitivity diseases, such as celiac disease and eczema, or those in regions of the world with endemic DTH-eliciting diseases, such as tuberculosis, may be warranted

    Selective Attenuation of Norepinephrine Release and Stress-Induced Heart Rate Increase by Partial Adenosine A1 Agonism

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    The release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) is modulated by presynaptic adenosine receptors. In the present study we investigated the effect of a partial activation of this feedback mechanism. We hypothesized that partial agonism would have differential effects on NE release in isolated hearts as well as on heart rate in vivo depending on the genetic background and baseline sympathetic activity. In isolated perfused hearts of Wistar and Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR), NE release was induced by electrical stimulation under control conditions (S1), and with capadenoson 6 · 10−8 M (30 µg/l), 6 · 10−7 M (300 µg/l) or 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA) 10−6 M (S2). Under control conditions (S1), NE release was significantly higher in SHR hearts compared to Wistar (766+/−87 pmol/g vs. 173+/−18 pmol/g, p<0.01). Capadenoson led to a concentration-dependent decrease of the stimulation–induced NE release in SHR (S2/S1 = 0.90±0.08 with capadenoson 6 · 10−8 M, 0.54±0.02 with 6 · 10−7 M), but not in Wistar hearts (S2/S1 = 1.05±0.12 with 6 · 10−8 M, 1.03±0.09 with 6 · 10−7 M). CCPA reduced NE release to a similar degree in hearts from both strains. In vivo capadenoson did not alter resting heart rate in Wistar rats or SHR. Restraint stress induced a significantly greater increase of heart rate in SHR than in Wistar rats. Capadenoson blunted this stress-induced tachycardia by 45% in SHR, but not in Wistar rats. Using a [35S]GTPγS assay we demonstrated that capadenoson is a partial agonist compared to the full agonist CCPA (74+/−2% A1-receptor stimulation). These results suggest that partial adenosine A1-agonism dampens stress-induced tachycardia selectively in rats susceptible to strong increases in sympathetic activity, most likely due to a presynaptic attenuation of NE release

    Predicting range shifts of African apes under global change scenarios

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    Aim: Modelling African great ape distribution has until now focused on current or past conditions, while future scenarios remain scarcely explored. Using an ensemble forecasting approach, we predicted changes in taxon-specific distribution under future scenarios of climate, land use and human populations for (1) areas outside protected areas (PAs) only (assuming complete management effectiveness of PAs), (2) the entire study region and (3) interspecies range overlap. Location: Tropical Africa. Methods: We compiled occurrence data (n = 5,203) on African apes from the IUCN A.P.E.S. database and extracted relevant climate-, habitat- and human-related predictors representing current and future (2050) conditions to predict taxon-specific range change under a best- and a worst-case scenario, using ensemble forecasting. Results: The predictive performance of the models varied across taxa. Synergistic interactions between predictors are shaping African ape distribution, particularly human-related variables. On average across taxa, a range decline of 50% is expected outside PAs under the best scenario if no dispersal occurs (61% in worst scenario). Otherwise, an 85% range reduction is predicted to occur across study regions (94% worst). However, range gains are predicted outside PAs if dispersal occurs (52% best, 21% worst), with a slight increase in gains expected across study regions (66% best, 24% worst). Moreover, more than half of range losses and gains are predicted to occur outside PAs where interspecific ranges overlap. Main Conclusions: Massive range decline is expected by 2050, but range gain is uncertain as African apes will not be able to occupy these new areas immediately due to their limited dispersal capacity, migration lag and ecological constraints. Given that most future range changes are predicted outside PAs, Africa\u27s current PA network is likely to be insufficient for preserving suitable habitats and maintaining connected ape populations. Thus, conservation planners urgently need to integrate land use planning and climate change mitigation measures at all decision-making levels both in range countries and abroad
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