Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Conducting


Racism is increasingly recognized as a key determinant of health. A growing body of epidemiological evidence shows strong associations between self-reported racism and poor health outcomes across diverse minority groups in developed countries. While the relationship between racism and health has received increasing attention over the last two decades, a comprehensive meta-analysis focused on the health effects of racism has yet to be conducted. The aim of this review protocol is to provide a structure from which to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that assess the relationship between racism and health.

Concepts: Epidemiology, United States, United Kingdom, Meta-analysis, Conducting


Though most patients wish to discuss end-of-life (EOL) issues, doctors are reluctant to conduct end-of-life conversations. Little is known about the barriers doctors face in conducting effective EOL conversations with diverse patients. This mixed methods study was undertaken to empirically identify barriers faced by doctors (if any) in conducting effective EOL conversations with diverse patients and to determine if the doctors' age, gender, ethnicity and medical sub-specialty influenced the barriers reported.

Concepts: Medicine, Physician, Conducting, Soap opera


Replication initiatives in psychology continue to gather considerable attention from far outside the field, as well as controversy from within. Some accomplishments of these initiatives are noted, but this article focuses on why they do not provide a general solution for what ails psychology. There are inherent limitations to mass replications ever being conducted in many areas of psychology, both in terms of their practicality and their prospects for improving the science. Unnecessary compromises were built into the ground rules for design and publication of the Open Science Collaboration: Psychology that undermine its effectiveness. Some ground rules could actually be flipped into guidance for how not to conduct replications. Greater adherence to best publication practices, transparency in the design and publishing of research, strengthening of independent post-publication peer review and firmer enforcement of rules about data sharing and declarations of conflict of interest would make many replications unnecessary. Yet, it has been difficult to move beyond simple endorsement of these measures to consistent implementation. Given the strong institutional support for questionable publication practices, progress will depend on effective individual and collective use of social media to expose lapses and demand reform. Some recent incidents highlight the necessity of this.

Concepts: Scientific method, Effectiveness, Academic publishing, Research, Replication, Publishing, Conducting, Open peer review


Discretization of a continuous-valued symptom (attribute) in medical data set is a crucial preprocessing step for the medical classification task. This paper proposes a supportive attribute - assisted discretization (SAAD) model for medical diagnostic problems. The intent of this approach is to discover the best supportive symptom that correlates closely with the continuous-valued symptom being discretized and to conduct the discretization process using the significant supportive information that is provided by the best supportive symptom, because we hypothesize that a good discretization scheme should rely heavily on the interaction between a continuous-valued attribute and both its supportive attribute and the class attribute. SAAD can consider each continuous-valued symptom differently and intelligently, which allows it to be capable of minimizing the information lost and the data uncertainty. Hence, SAAD results in higher classification accuracy. Empirical experiments using ten real-life datasets from the UCI repository were conducted to compare the classification accuracy achieved by several prestigious classifiers with SAAD and other state-of-the-art discretization approaches. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and usefulness of the proposed approach in enhancing the diagnostic accuracy.

Concepts: Mathematics, Economics, Data set, Empiricism, Experiment, Proposal, Conducting, Discretization


BACKGROUND: To date breast assessment has been conducted mainly subjectively. However lately validated objective three-dimensional (3D) imaging was developed. The study aimed to assess breast reconstruction subjectively and objectively and conduct a comparison. METHODS: In forty-four patients after immediate unilateral breast reconstruction with solely the extended latissimus dorsi flap the breast was captured by validated 3D imaging method and standardized 2D photography. Breast symmetry was subjectively evaluated by six experts who applied the Harris score giving a mark of 1-4 for a poor to excellent result. An error study was conducted by examination of the intra and inter-observer agreement and agreement on controls. By Procrustes analysis an objective asymmetry score was obtained and compared to the subjective assessment. RESULTS: The subjective assessment showed that the inter-observer agreement was good or substantial (p-value: <0.0001). There was moderate agreement on the controls (p-value: <0.0001) and fair (p-values: 0.159, 0.134, 0.099) to substantial (p-value: 0.005) intra-observer agreement. The objective assessment revealed that the reconstructed breast showed a significantly smaller volume compared to the opposite side and that the average asymmetry score was 0.052, ranging from 0.019 to 0.136. When comparing the subjective and objective method the relationship between the two scores was highly significant. CONCLUSION: Subjective breast assessment lacked accuracy and reproducibility. This was the first error study of subjective breast assessment versus an objective validated 3D imaging method based on true 3D parameters. The substantial agreement between established subjective breast assessment and new validated objective method supported the value of the later and we expect its future role to expand.

Concepts: Evaluation, Assessment, Latissimus dorsi muscle, Conducting


SUMMARY The objective of a non-inferiority (NI) trial is to affirm the efficacy of a new treatment compared with an active control by verifying that the new treatment maintains a considerable portion of the treatment effect of the control. Compensation by benefits other than efficacy is usually the justification for using a new treatment, as long as the loss of efficacy is within an acceptable margin (NI margin) from the standard treatment. A popular approach is to express this margin in terms of the efficacy difference between the new treatment and the active control. Based on this approach and the realization that NI trials often comprise several new treatments, statistical procedures that simultaneously conduct NI tests of several new treatments have been developed. However, these procedures rely on the assumption that the variances of the treatments are homogeneous. In this paper, we discuss the undesirable effect of using these procedures on the familywise Type I error rate when the treatment responses have heterogeneous variances. To alleviate this problem, we reveal potential procedures that are more appropriate. Further, a power study is conducted to compare the different procedures to provide guidance on the selection of adequate testing procedures in NI trials. Clinical examples are given for illustrative purposes.

Concepts: Effectiveness, The Loss, Conducting, Assumption of Mary, Justification


Patient classification systems (PCSs) are commonly used in nursing units to assess how many nursing care hours are needed to care for patients. These systems then provide staffing and nurse-patient assignment recommendations for a given patient census based on these acuity scores. Our hypothesis is that such systems do not accurately capture workload and we conduct an experiment to test this hypothesis. Specifically, we conducted a survey study to capture nurses' perception of workload in an inpatient unit. 45 nurses from an oncology and surgery unit completed the survey and rated the impact of patient acuity indicators on their perceived workload using a six-point Likert scale. From these ratings we can calculate a workload score for an individual nurse given a set of patient acuity indicators. The approach offers optimization models (prescriptive analytics), which use patient acuity indicators from a commercial PCS as well as a survey-based nurse workload score. The models assigns patients to nurses by distributing acuity scores from the PCS and survey-based perceived workload in a balanced way. Numerical results suggest that the proposed nurse-patient assignment models achieve a balanced assignment and lower overall survey-based perceived workload compared to the assignment based solely on acuity scores from the PCS. This results in an improvement of perceived workload that is upwards of five percent.

Concepts: Patient, Psychometrics, Nursing, Nurse, Likert scale, Nurses, Florence Nightingale, Conducting


The objective of this work was to conduct pre-clinical feasibility studies to determine if a highly efficient, active-mixing, adult extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) system can safely be translated to the pediatric population. The Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (RAS) was tested in vitro and in vivo to evaluate its performance for pediatric veno-venous applications. The Hemolung RAS operates at blood flows of 350-550 ml/min and utilizes an integrated pump-gas exchange cartridge with a membrane surface area of 0.59 m2 as the only component of the extracorporeal circuit. Both acute and seven-day chronic in vivo tests were conducted in healthy juvenile sheep using a veno-venous cannulation strategy adapted to the in vivo model. The Hemolung RAS was found to have gas exchange and pumping capabilities relevant to patients weighing 3-25 kg. Seven-day animal studies in juvenile sheep demonstrated that veno-venous extracorporeal support could be used safely and effectively with no significant adverse reactions related to device operation.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Magnesium, In vivo, Carbon, In vitro, Conducting, Extracorporeal


A new approach to hospital handoffs has shown it can significantly reduce medical errors as well as preventable adverse events. The approach, dubbed the I-PASS bundle, uses a mnemonic to alert providers to all the issues that need to be covered during a handoff, but also includes a written handoff tool, communication training, a sustainability campaign, and a process for feedback. In a study of the I-PASS bundle conducted at nine pediatric hospitals, investigators found that the approach reduced medical errors by 23%, and the rate of preventable adverse events by 30%. Investigators say I-PASS did not increase the amount of time required to conduct a handoff. On average, handoffs in the study took 2.5 minutes per patient. Several medical centers are now implementing the approach hospital-wide, and additional studies into the approach are planned. Developers advise hospitals interested in the approach to first gather data and survey providers to make a case for the intervention.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Physician, Implementation, Conducting, Medical error, Handoff


There is an increasing body of research documenting flaws in many published systematic reviews' methodological and reporting conduct. When good systematic review practice is questioned, attention is rarely turned to the composition of the team that conducted the systematic review. This commentary highlights a number of relevant articles indicating how the composition of the review team could jeopardise the integrity of the systematic review study and its conclusions. Key biases require closer attention such as sponsorship bias and researcher allegiance, but there may also be less obvious affiliations in teams conducting secondary evidence-syntheses. The importance of transparency and disclosure are now firmly on the agenda for clinical trials and primary research, but the meta-biases that systematic reviews may be at risk from now require further scrutiny.

Concepts: Scientific method, Research, Conducting, Orchestra