1,246 research outputs found

    Establishing conversion of the 16-item Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly scores into interval-level data across multiple samples using Rasch methodology

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    BACKGROUND: The 16-item Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE-16) is a well-validated and widely-used measure of cognitive changes (CCs) among older adults. This study aimed to use Rasch methodology to establish psychometric properties of the IQCODE-16 and validate the existing ordinal-to-interval transformation algorithms across multiple large samples. METHODS: A Partial Credit Rasch model was employed to examine psychometric properties of the IQCODE-16 using data (n = 918) from two longitudinal studies of participants aged 57-99 years: the Older Australian Twins Study (n = 450) and the Canberra Longitudinal Study (n = 468), and reusing the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (MAS) sample (n = 400). RESULTS: Initial analyses indicated good reliability for the IQCODE-16 (Person Separation Index range: 0.82-0.90). However, local dependency was identified between items, with several items showing misfit to the model. Replicating the existing Rasch solution could not reproduce the best Rasch model fit for all samples. Combining locally dependent items into three testlets resolved all misfit and local dependency issues and resulted in the best Rasch model fit for all samples with evidence of unidimensionality, strong reliability, and invariance across person factors. Accordingly, new ordinal-to-interval transformation algorithms were produced to convert the IQCODE-16 ordinal scores into interval data to improve the accuracy of its scores. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study support the reliability and validity of the IQCODE-16 in measuring CCs among older adults. New ordinal-to-interval conversion tables generated using samples from multiple independent datasets are more generalizable and can be used to enhance the precision of the IQCODE-16 without changing its original format. An easy-to-use converter has been made available for clinical and research use

    Predicting adverse outcomes following catheter ablation treatment for atrial fibrillation

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    Objective: To develop prognostic survival models for predicting adverse outcomes after catheter ablation treatment for non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: We used a linked dataset including hospital administrative data, prescription medicine claims, emergency department presentations, and death registrations of patients in New South Wales, Australia. The cohort included patients who received catheter ablation for AF. Traditional and deep survival models were trained to predict major bleeding events and a composite of heart failure, stroke, cardiac arrest, and death. Results: Out of a total of 3285 patients in the cohort, 177 (5.3%) experienced the composite outcomeheart failure, stroke, cardiac arrest, deathand 167 (5.1%) experienced major bleeding events after catheter ablation treatment. Models predicting the composite outcome had high risk discrimination accuracy, with the best model having a concordance index > 0.79 at the evaluated time horizons. Models for predicting major bleeding events had poor risk discrimination performance, with all models having a concordance index < 0.66. The most impactful features for the models predicting higher risk were comorbidities indicative of poor health, older age, and therapies commonly used in sicker patients to treat heart failure and AF. Conclusions: Diagnosis and medication history did not contain sufficient information for precise risk prediction of experiencing major bleeding events. The models for predicting the composite outcome have the potential to enable clinicians to identify and manage high-risk patients following catheter ablation proactively. Future research is needed to validate the usefulness of these models in clinical practice.Comment: Under journal revie

    Population-wide contribution of medically assisted reproductive technologies to overall births in Australia: temporal trends and parental characteristics

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    Advance Access Publication on February 27, 2022STUDY QUESTION: In a country with supportive funding for medically assisted reproduction (MAR) technologies, what is the proportion of MAR births over-time? SUMMARY ANSWER: In 2017, 6.7% of births were conceived by MAR (4.8% ART and 1.9% ovulation induction (OI)/IUI) with a 55% increase in ART births and a stable contribution from OI/IUI births over the past decade. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: There is considerable global variation in utilization rates of ART despite a similar infertility prevalence worldwide. While the overall contribution of ART to national births is known in many countries because of ART registries, very little is known about the contribution of OI/IUI treatment or the socio-demographic characteristics of the parents. Australia provides supportive public funding for all forms of MAR with no restrictions based on male or female age, and thus provides a unique setting to investigate the contribution of MAR to national births as well as the socio-demographic characteristics of parents across the different types of MAR births. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a novel population-based birth cohort study of 898 084 births using linked ART registry data and administrative data including birth registrations, medical services, pharmaceuticals, hospital admissions and deaths. Birth (a live or still birth of at least one baby of ≥400 g birthweight or ≥ 20 weeks’ gestation) was the unit of analysis in this study. Multiple births were considered as one birth in our analysis. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: This study included a total of 898 084 births (606 488 mothers) in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia 2009–2017. We calculated the prevalence of all categories of MAR-conceived births over the study period. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the association between parental characteristics (parent’s age, parity, socio-economic status, maternal country of birth, remoteness of mother’s dwelling, pre-existing medical conditions, smoking, etc.) and ART and OI/IUI births relative to naturally conceived births. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The proportion of MAR births increased from 5.1% of all births in 2009 to 6.7% in 2017, representing a 30% increase over the decade. The proportion of OI/IUI births remained stable at around 2% of all births, representing 32% of all MAR births. Over the study period, ART births conceived by frozen embryo-transfer increased nearly 3-fold. OI/IUI births conceived using clomiphene citrate decreased by 39%, while OI/IUI births conceived using letrozole increased 56-fold. Overall, there was a 55% increase over the study period in the number of ART-conceived births, rising to 56% of births to mothers aged 40 years and older. In 2017, almost one in six births (17.6%) to mothers aged 40 years and over were conceived using ART treatment. Conversely, the proportion of OI/IUI births was similar across different mother’s age groups and remained stable over the study period. ART children, but not OI/IUI children, were more likely to have parents who were socio-economically advantaged compared to naturally conceived children. For example, compared to naturally conceived births, ART births were 16% less likely to be born to mothers who live in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods after accounting for other covariates (adjusted relative risk (aRR): 0.84 [95% CI: 0.81–0.88]). ART- or OI/IUI-conceived children were 25% less likely to be born to immigrant mothers than births after natural conception (aRR: 0.75 [0.74–0.77]). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The social inequalities that we observed between the parents of children born using ART and naturally conceived children may not directly reflect disparities in accessing fertility care for individuals seeking treatment. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: With the ubiquitous decline in fertility rates around the world and the increasing trend to delay childbearing, this population-based study enhances our understanding of the contribution of different types of MARs to population profiles among births in high-income countries. The parental socio-demographic characteristics of MAR-conceived children differ significantly from naturally conceived children and this highlights the importance of accounting for such differences in studies investigating the health and development of MAR-conceived children.Stephanie K.Y. Choi, Christos Venetis, William Ledger, Alys Havard, Katie Harris, Robert J. Norman, Louisa R. Jorm, and Georgina M. Chamber

    The Medicines Intelligence Centre of Research Excellence: Co-creating real-world evidence to support the evidentiary needs of Australian medicines regulators and payers.

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    Regulators and payers play a pivotal role in facilitating timely and affordable access to safe and efficacious medicines. They use evidence generated from randomised clinical trials (RCTs) to support decisions to register and subsidise medicines. However, at the time of registration and subsidy approval, regulators and payers face uncertainty about how RCT outcomes will translate to real-world clinical practice. In response to this situation, medicines policy agencies worldwide have endorsed the use of real-world data (RWD) to derive novel insights on the use and outcomes of prescribed medicines. Recent reforms around data availability and use in Australia are creating unparalleled data access and opportunities for Australian researchers to undertake large-scale research to generate evidence on the safety and effectiveness of medicines in the real world. Highlighting the critical importance of research in this area, Quality Use of Medicines and Medicine Safety was announced as Australia's 10th National Health Priority in 2019. The National Health and Medical Research Council, Medicines Intelligence Centre of Research Excellence (MI-CRE) has been formed to take advantage of the renewed focus on quality use of medicines and the changing data landscape in Australia. It will generate timely research supporting the evidentiary needs of Australian medicines regulators and payers by accelerating the development and translation of real-world evidence on medicines use and outcomes. MI-CRE is developing a coordinated approach to identify, triage and respond to priority questions where there are significant uncertainties about medicines use, (cost)-effectiveness, and/or safety and creating a data ecosystem that will streamline access to Australian data to enable researchers to generate robust evidence in a timely manner. This paper outlines how MI-CRE will partner with policy makers, clinicians, and consumer advocates to leverage real-world data to co-create real-world evidence, to improve quality use of medicines and reduce medicine-related harm

    Ageism

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    Young and older people often experience a range of similar concerns in twenty-first century Australia. Despite being at opposite ends of the age spectrum, they can be subject to stereotyping, experiences of discrimination and barriers to affordable housing and employment. Another shared challenge is an over-representation of mental health issues and risk of suicide. This chapter explores these two age groups who make up a significant portion of the Australian population. Fear of ageing and the flow-on effect to wellbeing is critically examined, and the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Australia explored. Reflections on the meaning of spirituality in later years, personal stories of ageism shared by younger and older adults alike, and the role of volunteering and activism as meaningful activities for young people highlight the lived experience of being young or old in Australia. Experiential activities that encourage the learner to test and challenge societal stereotypes, their own perceptions and gain a greater understanding of environmental, social and institutional barriers faced by people at different stages in the life cycle conclude this chapter

    A bespoke data linkage of an IVF clinical quality registry to population health datasets; methods and performance

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    Introduction Assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), have revolutionised the treatment of infertility, with an estimated 8 million babies born worldwide. However, the long-term health outcomes for women and their offspring remain an area of concern. Linking IVF treatment data to long-term health data is the most efficient method for assessing such outcomes. Objectives To describe the creation and performance of a bespoke population-based data linkage of an ART clinical quality registry to state-based and national administrative datasets. Methods The linked dataset was created by deterministically and probabilistically linking the Australia and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) to New South Wales (NSW) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) administrative datasets (performed by NSW Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL)) and to national claims datasets (performed by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)). The CHeReL's Master Linkage Key (MLK) was used as a bridge between ANZARD's partially identifiable patient data (statistical linkage key) and NSW and ACT administrative datasets. CHeReL then provided personal identifiers to the AIHW to obtain national content data. The results of the linkage were reported, and concordance between births recorded in ANZARD and perinatal data collections (PDCs) was evaluated. Results Of the 62,833 women who had ART treatment in NSW or ACT, 60,419 could be linked to the CHeReL MLK (linkage rate: 96.2%). A reconciliation of ANZARD-recorded births among NSW residents found that 94.2% (95% CI: 93.9-94.4%) of births were also recorded in state/territorybased PDCs. A high concordance was found in plurality status and birth outcome (≥99% agreement rate, Cohen's kappa ranged: 0.78-0.98) between ANZARD and PDCs. Conclusion The data linkage resource demonstrates that high linkage rates can be achieved with partially identifiable data and that a population spine, such as the CHeReL's MLK, can be successfully used as a bridge between clinical registries and administrative datasets

    The babel of drugs: On the consequences of evidential pluralism in pharmaceutical regulation and regulatory data journeys

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    This is the final version. Available on open access from Springer via the DOI in this recordThroughout the last century, pharmaceutical regulators all over the world have used various methods to test medical treatments. From 1962 until 2016, the Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) was the reference test for most regulatory agencies. Today, the standards are about to change, and in this chapter we draw on the idea of the data journey to illuminate the trade-offs involved. The 21st Century Cures Act (21CCA) allows for the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for the assessment of different treatment indications for already approved drugs. This might arguably shorten the testing period, bringing treatments to patients faster. Yet, EHR are not generated for testing purposes and no amount of standardization and curation can fully make up for their potential flaws as evidence of safety and efficacy. The more noise in the data, the more mistakes regulators are likely to make in granting market access to new drugs. In this paper we will discuss the different dimensions of this journey: the different sources and levels of curation involved, the speed at which they can travel, and the level of risk of regulatory error involved as compared with the RCT standard. We are going to defend that what counts as evidence, at the end of the journey, depends on the risk definition and threshold regulators work with.European Research Council (ERC)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC

    Does parity matter in women's risk of dementia? A COSMIC collaboration cohort study

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    Background: Dementia shows sex difference in its epidemiology. Childbirth, a distinctive experience of women, is associated with the risk for various diseases. However, its association with the risk of dementia in women has rarely been studied. Methods: We harmonized and pooled baseline data from 11 population-based cohorts from 11 countries over 3 continents, including 14,792 women aged 60 years or older. We investigated the association between parity and the risk of dementia using logistic regression models that adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cohort, with additional analyses by region and dementia subtype. Results: Across all cohorts, grand multiparous (5 or more childbirths) women had a 47% greater risk of dementia than primiparous (1 childbirth) women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10-1.94), while nulliparous (no childbirth) women and women with 2 to 4 childbirths showed a comparable dementia risk to primiparous women. However, there were differences associated with region and dementia subtype. Compared to women with 1 to 4 childbirths, grand multiparous women showed a higher risk of dementia in Europe (OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.38-6.47) and Latin America (OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.04-2.12), while nulliparous women showed a higher dementia risk in Asia (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.33-3.47). Grand multiparity was associated with 6.9-fold higher risk of vascular dementia in Europe (OR = 6.86, 95% CI = 1.81-26.08), whereas nulliparity was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer disease (OR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.07-3.39) and non-Alzheimer non-vascular dementia (OR = 3.47, 95% CI = 1.44-8.35) in Asia. Conclusion: Parity is associated with women's risk of dementia, though this is not uniform across regions and dementia subtypes. © 2020 The Author(s)

    Transcultural Homo- and Transphobia

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    Negative attitudes toward homosexual and transsexual people are grounded on a number of reasons, ranging from sociocultural to psychological issues. Education, political and religious beliefs, and life experiences undoubtedly play pivotal roles. However, various factors weave together to cause discriminatory behavior toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, with such discrimination currently identified as homophobia and transphobia. Moreover, those exhibiting sexual and gender variations are often ostracized by various components of society: schools and work places as well as health services. Thus, despite Western media attention often aimed at diminishing homophobia and transphobia, negative attitudes and behaviors toward LGBT people persist, and may have actually increased due to expanded coverage of the issue. Therefore, homophobia and transphobia prevention campaigns need to employ rigorous methods that include assessing possible risk factors that give rise to homophobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviors within culturally defined contexts. In this regard, an accurate and specific sociocultural and transcultural reflection should be undertaken so as to prevent discrimination of sexual minorities worldwide
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