123 research outputs found

    Where, when and what? A time study of surgeons' work in urology.

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    INTRODUCTION: Staff time is a relevant resource in the delivery of health care interventions. Its measurement is a prerequisite for unit costing but usually complex. The aim of this study was to analyse the distribution of surgeons' work time among types and places of activities. A second aim was to use these data to calculate costs per unit of output. METHODS: A self-reporting work sampling study was carried out at a department of Urology. All of twelve surgeons involved in clinical care participated in a two-week analysis of their work time. RESULTS: A total of 2,485 data-points were collected, representing about 1,242 hours of work time. Surgeons spent the greater part of their work time in direct patient care, but substantial shares were required for documentation and organisation. Assistants were mainly required at the wards and consultants at the operating theatre and the outpatient unit. Staff costs of surgeons were 32 € and 29 € per patient day at the wards, respectively, 1.30 € per minute at the operating theatre and 32 € per visit at the outpatient unit. CONCLUSION: Results provided a basis for costing of health care interventions at the study site. However, future research should focus on the establishment of standardised terminology in order to increase transferability of results

    Regional and large-scale patterns in Amazon forest structure and function are mediated by variations in soil physical and chemical properties

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    Forest structure and dynamics have been noted to vary across the Amazon Basin in an east-west gradient in a pattern which coincides with variations in soil fertility and geology. This has resulted in the hypothesis that soil fertility may play an important role in explaining Basin-wide variations in forest biomass, growth and stem turnover rates. To test this hypothesis and assess the importance of edaphic properties in affect forest structure and dynamics, soil and plant samples were collected in a total of 59 different forest plots across the Amazon Basin. Samples were analysed for exchangeable cations, C, N, pH with various Pfractions also determined. Physical properties were also examined and an index of soil physical quality developed. Overall, forest structure and dynamics were found to be strongly and quantitatively related to edaphic conditions. Tree turnover rates emerged to be mostly influenced by soil physical properties whereas forest growth rates were mainly related to a measure of available soil phosphorus, although also dependent on rainfall amount and distribution. On the other hand, large scale variations in forest biomass could not be explained by any of the edaphic properties measured, nor by variation in climate. A new hypothesis of self-maintaining forest dynamic feedback mechanisms initiated by edaphic conditions is proposed. It is further suggested that this is a major factor determining forest disturbance levels, species composition and forest productivity on a Basin wide scale

    Macro-Economic Conditions and Infant Health: A Changing Relationship for Black and White Infants in the United States

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    We study whether the relationship between the state unemployment rate at the time of conception and infant health, infant mortality and maternal characteristics in the United States has changed over the years 1980-2004. We use microdata on births and deaths for years 1980-2004 and find that the relationship between the state unemployment rate at the time of conception and infant mortality and birthweight changes over time and is stronger for blacks than whites. For years 1980-1989 increases in the state unemployment rate are associated with a decline in infant mortality among blacks, an effect driven by mortality from gestational development and birth weight, and complications of placenta while in utero. In contrast, state economic conditions are unrelated to black infant mortality in years 1990-2004 and white infant mortality in any period, although effects vary by cause of death. We explore potential mechanisms for our findings and, including mothers younger than 18 in the analysis, uncover evidence of age-related maternal selection in response to the business cycle. In particular, in years 1980-1989 an increase in the unemployment rate at the time of conception is associated with fewer babies born to young mothers. The magnitude and direction of the relationship between business cycles and infant mortality differs by race and period. Age-related selection into motherhood in response to the business cycle is a possible explanation for this changing relationship

    Antimicrobial resistance among migrants in Europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    BACKGROUND: Rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are rising globally and there is concern that increased migration is contributing to the burden of antibiotic resistance in Europe. However, the effect of migration on the burden of AMR in Europe has not yet been comprehensively examined. Therefore, we did a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify and synthesise data for AMR carriage or infection in migrants to Europe to examine differences in patterns of AMR across migrant groups and in different settings. METHODS: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, and Scopus with no language restrictions from Jan 1, 2000, to Jan 18, 2017, for primary data from observational studies reporting antibacterial resistance in common bacterial pathogens among migrants to 21 European Union-15 and European Economic Area countries. To be eligible for inclusion, studies had to report data on carriage or infection with laboratory-confirmed antibiotic-resistant organisms in migrant populations. We extracted data from eligible studies and assessed quality using piloted, standardised forms. We did not examine drug resistance in tuberculosis and excluded articles solely reporting on this parameter. We also excluded articles in which migrant status was determined by ethnicity, country of birth of participants' parents, or was not defined, and articles in which data were not disaggregated by migrant status. Outcomes were carriage of or infection with antibiotic-resistant organisms. We used random-effects models to calculate the pooled prevalence of each outcome. The study protocol is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42016043681. FINDINGS: We identified 2274 articles, of which 23 observational studies reporting on antibiotic resistance in 2319 migrants were included. The pooled prevalence of any AMR carriage or AMR infection in migrants was 25·4% (95% CI 19·1-31·8; I2 =98%), including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (7·8%, 4·8-10·7; I2 =92%) and antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (27·2%, 17·6-36·8; I2 =94%). The pooled prevalence of any AMR carriage or infection was higher in refugees and asylum seekers (33·0%, 18·3-47·6; I2 =98%) than in other migrant groups (6·6%, 1·8-11·3; I2 =92%). The pooled prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms was slightly higher in high-migrant community settings (33·1%, 11·1-55·1; I2 =96%) than in migrants in hospitals (24·3%, 16·1-32·6; I2 =98%). We did not find evidence of high rates of transmission of AMR from migrant to host populations. INTERPRETATION: Migrants are exposed to conditions favouring the emergence of drug resistance during transit and in host countries in Europe. Increased antibiotic resistance among refugees and asylum seekers and in high-migrant community settings (such as refugee camps and detention facilities) highlights the need for improved living conditions, access to health care, and initiatives to facilitate detection of and appropriate high-quality treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections during transit and in host countries. Protocols for the prevention and control of infection and for antibiotic surveillance need to be integrated in all aspects of health care, which should be accessible for all migrant groups, and should target determinants of AMR before, during, and after migration. FUNDING: UK National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, Imperial College Healthcare Charity, the Wellcome Trust, and UK National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimictobial Resistance at Imperial College London

    Does the disturbance hypothesis explain the biomass increase in basin-wide Amazon forest plot data?

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    Positive aboveground biomass trends have been reported from old-growth forests across the Amazon basin and hypothesized to reflect a large-scale response to exterior forcing. The result could, however, be an artefact due to a sampling bias induced by the nature of forest growth dynamics. Here, we characterize statistically the disturbance process in Amazon old-growth forests as recorded in 135 forest plots of the RAINFOR network up to 2006, and other independent research programmes, and explore the consequences of sampling artefacts using a data-based stochastic simulator. Over the observed range of annual aboveground biomass losses, standard statistical tests show that the distribution of biomass losses through mortality follow an exponential or near-identical Weibull probability distribution and not a power law as assumed by others. The simulator was parameterized using both an exponential disturbance probability distribution as well as a mixed exponential–power law distribution to account for potential large-scale blowdown events. In both cases, sampling biases turn out to be too small to explain the gains detected by the extended RAINFOR plot network. This result lends further support to the notion that currently observed biomass gains for intact forests across the Amazon are actually occurring over large scales at the current time, presumably as a response to climate change

    Activity-Based Funding of Hospitals and Its Impact on Mortality, Readmission, Discharge Destination, Severity of Illness, and Volume of Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    Background: Activity-based funding (ABF) of hospitals is a policy intervention intended to re-shape incentives across health systems through the use of diagnosis-related groups. Many countries are adopting or actively promoting ABF. We assessed the effect of ABF on key measures potentially affecting patients and health care systems: mortality (acute and post-acute care); readmission rates; discharge rate to post-acute care following hospitalization; severity of illness; volume of care.     Methods: We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide evidence produced since 1980. We included all studies reporting original quantitative data comparing the impact of ABF versus alternative funding systems in acute care settings, regardless of language. We searched 9 electronic databases (OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, OVID Healthstar, CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL, Health Technology Assessment, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Business Source), hand-searched reference lists, and consulted with experts. Paired reviewers independently screened for eligibility, abstracted data, and assessed study credibility according to a pre-defined scoring system, resolving conflicts by discussion or adjudication.     Results: Of 16,565 unique citations, 50 US studies and 15 studies from 9 other countries proved eligible (i.e. Australia, Austria, England, Germany, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland). We found consistent and robust differences between ABF and no-ABF in discharge to post-acute care, showing a 24% increase with ABF (pooled relative risk = 1.24, 95% CI 1.18–1.31). Results also suggested a possible increase in readmission with ABF, and an apparent increase in severity of illness, perhaps reflecting differences in diagnostic coding. Although we found no consistent, systematic differences in mortality rates and volume of care, results varied widely across studies, some suggesting appreciable benefits from ABF, and others suggesting deleterious consequences.     Conclusions: Transitioning to ABF is associated with important policy- and clinically-relevant changes. Evidence suggests substantial increases in admissions to post-acute care following hospitalization, with implications for system capacity and equitable access to care. High variability in results of other outcomes leaves the impact in particular settings uncertain, and may not allow a jurisdiction to predict if ABF would be harmless. Decision-makers considering ABF should plan for likely increases in post-acute care admissions, and be aware of the large uncertainty around impacts on other critical outcomes

    Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species

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    Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%. We show that the trends observed in Amazonia apply to trees throughout the tropics, and we predict thatmost of the world’s >40,000 tropical tree species now qualify as globally threatened. A gap analysis suggests that existing Amazonian protected areas and indigenous territories will protect viable populations of most threatened species if these areas suffer no further degradation, highlighting the key roles that protected areas, indigenous peoples, and improved governance can play in preventing large-scale extinctions in the tropics in this century

    Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species

    Get PDF
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