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Concept: Outcome


Background Data reported during the past 5 years indicate that rates of survival have increased among infants born at the borderline of viability, but less is known about how increased rates of survival among these infants relate to early childhood neurodevelopmental outcomes. Methods We compared survival and neurodevelopmental outcomes among infants born at 22 to 24 weeks of gestation, as assessed at 18 to 22 months of corrected age, across three consecutive birth-year epochs (2000-2003 [epoch 1], 2004-2007 [epoch 2], and 2008-2011 [epoch 3]). The infants were born at 11 centers that participated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. The primary outcome measure was a three-level outcome - survival without neurodevelopmental impairment, survival with neurodevelopmental impairment, or death. After accounting for differences in infant characteristics, including birth center, we used multinomial generalized logit models to compare the relative risk of survival without neurodevelopmental impairment, survival with neurodevelopmental impairment, and death. Results Data on the primary outcome were available for 4274 of 4458 infants (96%) born at the 11 centers. The percentage of infants who survived increased from 30% (424 of 1391 infants) in epoch 1 to 36% (487 of 1348 infants) in epoch 3 (P<0.001). The percentage of infants who survived without neurodevelopmental impairment increased from 16% (217 of 1391) in epoch 1 to 20% (276 of 1348) in epoch 3 (P=0.001), whereas the percentage of infants who survived with neurodevelopmental impairment did not change significantly (15% [207 of 1391] in epoch 1 and 16% [211 of 1348] in epoch 3, P=0.29). After adjustment for changes in the baseline characteristics of the infants over time, both the rate of survival with neurodevelopmental impairment (as compared with death) and the rate of survival without neurodevelopmental impairment (as compared with death) increased over time (adjusted relative risks, 1.27 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.01 to 1.59] and 1.59 [95% CI, 1.28 to 1.99], respectively). Conclusions The rate of survival without neurodevelopmental impairment increased between 2000 and 2011 in this large cohort of periviable infants. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; numbers, NCT00063063 and NCT00009633 .).

Concepts: Cohort study, Logit, Childbirth, Infant, Relative risk, Child development, Outcome


Background Sciatica can be disabling, and evidence regarding medical treatments is limited. Pregabalin is effective in the treatment of some types of neuropathic pain. This study examined whether pregabalin may reduce the intensity of sciatica. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of pregabalin in patients with sciatica. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either pregabalin at a dose of 150 mg per day that was adjusted to a maximum dose of 600 mg per day or matching placebo for up to 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the leg-pain intensity score on a 10-point scale (with 0 indicating no pain and 10 the worst possible pain) at week 8; the leg-pain intensity score was also evaluated at week 52, a secondary time point for the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the extent of disability, back-pain intensity, and quality-of-life measures at prespecified time points over the course of 1 year. Results A total of 209 patients underwent randomization, of whom 108 received pregabalin and 101 received placebo; after randomization, 2 patients in the pregabalin group were determined to be ineligible and were excluded from the analyses. At week 8, the mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.7 in the pregabalin group and 3.1 in the placebo group (adjusted mean difference, 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.2 to 1.2; P=0.19). At week 52, the mean unadjusted leg-pain intensity score was 3.4 in the pregabalin group and 3.0 in the placebo group (adjusted mean difference, 0.3; 95% CI, -0.5 to 1.0; P=0.46). No significant between-group differences were observed with respect to any secondary outcome at either week 8 or week 52. A total of 227 adverse events were reported in the pregabalin group and 124 in the placebo group. Dizziness was more common in the pregabalin group than in the placebo group. Conclusions Treatment with pregabalin did not significantly reduce the intensity of leg pain associated with sciatica and did not significantly improve other outcomes, as compared with placebo, over the course of 8 weeks. The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher in the pregabalin group than in the placebo group. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; PRECISE Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12613000530729 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Neurology, Placebo, Randomness, Randomization, Outcome, Pregabalin, Neuropathic pain


Functional status and chronic health status are important baseline characteristics of critically ill patients. The assessment of frailty on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) may provide objective, prognostic information on baseline health. To determine the impact of frailty on the outcome of critically ill patients, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing clinical outcomes in frail and non-frail patients admitted to ICU.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Epidemiology, Medical terms, Intensive care medicine, Illness, Meta-analysis, Outcome


Although people often assume that multiple motives for doing something will be more powerful and effective than a single motive, research suggests that different types of motives for the same action sometimes compete. More specifically, research suggests that instrumental motives, which are extrinsic to the activities at hand, can weaken internal motives, which are intrinsic to the activities at hand. We tested whether holding both instrumental and internal motives yields negative outcomes in a field context in which various motives occur naturally and long-term educational and career outcomes are at stake. We assessed the impact of the motives of over 10,000 West Point cadets over the period of a decade on whether they would become commissioned officers, extend their officer service beyond the minimum required period, and be selected for early career promotions. For each outcome, motivation internal to military service itself predicted positive outcomes; a relationship that was negatively affected when instrumental motives were also in evidence. These results suggest that holding multiple motives damages persistence and performance in educational and occupational contexts over long periods of time.

Concepts: Motivation, Outcome, Intrinsic and extrinsic properties, Multiplication, Philosophical terminology, Motive, Officer


The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of shoe inserts and plantar fascia-specific stretching vs shoe inserts and high-load strength training in patients with plantar fasciitis. Forty-eight patients with ultrasonography-verified plantar fasciitis were randomized to shoe inserts and daily plantar-specific stretching (the stretch group) or shoe inserts and high-load progressive strength training (the strength group) performed every second day. High-load strength training consisted of unilateral heel raises with a towel inserted under the toes. Primary outcome was the foot function index (FFI) at 3 months. Additional follow-ups were performed at 1, 6, and 12 months. At the primary endpoint, at 3 months, the strength group had a FFI that was 29 points lower [95% confidence interval (CI): 6-52, Pā€‰=ā€‰0.016] compared with the stretch group. At 1, 6, and 12 months, there were no differences between groups (Pā€‰>ā€‰0.34). At 12 months, the FFI was 22 points (95% CI: 9-36) in the strength group and 16 points (95% CI: 0-32) in the stretch group. There were no differences in any of the secondary outcomes. A simple progressive exercise protocol, performed every second day, resulted in superior self-reported outcome after 3 months compared with plantar-specific stretching. High-load strength training may aid in a quicker reduction in pain and improvements in function.

Concepts: Improve, Randomized controlled trial, Physical exercise, Exercise, Strength training, Outcome, Stretching, Plantar fasciitis


BACKGROUND: We sought to characterise the frequency, health outcomes and economic consequences of diagnostic errors in the USA through analysis of closed, paid malpractice claims. METHODS: We analysed diagnosis-related claims from the National Practitioner Data Bank (1986-2010). We describe error type, outcome severity and payments (in 2011 US dollars), comparing diagnostic errors to other malpractice allegation groups and inpatient to outpatient within diagnostic errors. RESULTS: We analysed 350 706 paid claims. Diagnostic errors (n=100 249) were the leading type (28.6%) and accounted for the highest proportion of total payments (35.2%). The most frequent outcomes were death, significant permanent injury, major permanent injury and minor permanent injury. Diagnostic errors more often resulted in death than other allegation groups (40.9% vs 23.9%, p<0.001) and were the leading cause of claims-associated death and disability. More diagnostic error claims were outpatient than inpatient (68.8% vs 31.2%, p<0.001), but inpatient diagnostic errors were more likely to be lethal (48.4% vs 36.9%, p<0.001). The inflation-adjusted, 25-year sum of diagnosis-related payments was US$38.8 billion (mean per-claim payout US$386 849; median US$213 250; IQR US$74 545-484 500). Per-claim payments for permanent, serious morbidity that was 'quadriplegic, brain damage, lifelong care' (4.5%; mean US$808 591; median US$564 300), 'major' (13.3%; mean US$568 599; median US$355 350), or 'significant' (16.9%; mean US$419 711; median US$269 255) exceeded those where the outcome was death (40.9%; mean US$390 186; median US$251 745). CONCLUSIONS: Among malpractice claims, diagnostic errors appear to be the most common, most costly and most dangerous of medical mistakes. We found roughly equal numbers of lethal and non-lethal errors in our analysis, suggesting that the public health burden of diagnostic errors could be twice that previously estimated. Healthcare stakeholders should consider diagnostic safety a critical health policy issue.

Concepts: Median, Error, Absolute deviation, Mean, Normal distribution, Outcome, Medical malpractice, 175


Previous results from our trial of early treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) versus early surfactant treatment in infants showed no significant difference in the outcome of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. A lower (vs. higher) target range of oxygen saturation was associated with a lower rate of severe retinopathy but higher mortality. We now report longer-term results from our prespecified hypotheses.

Concepts: Cardiology, Outcome, Pulse oximetry, Oxygen saturation, Oxygen sensor, Pulse oximeter, Bronchopulmonary dysplasia


Retrospective studies suggest that online hemodiafiltration (OL-HDF) may reduce the risk of mortality compared with standard hemodialysis in patients with ESRD. We conducted a multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled trial in which we assigned 906 chronic hemodialysis patients either to continue hemodialysis (n=450) or to switch to high-efficiency postdilution OL-HDF (n=456). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes included cardiovascular mortality, all-cause hospitalization, treatment tolerability, and laboratory data. Compared with patients who continued on hemodialysis, those assigned to OL-HDF had a 30% lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.53-0.92; P=0.01), a 33% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.44-1.02; P=0.06), and a 55% lower risk of infection-related mortality (HR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.21-0.96; P=0.03). The estimated number needed to treat suggested that switching eight patients from hemodialysis to OL-HDF may prevent one annual death. The incidence rates of dialysis sessions complicated by hypotension and of all-cause hospitalization were lower in patients assigned to OL-HDF. In conclusion, high-efficiency postdilution OL-HDF reduces all-cause mortality compared with conventional hemodialysis.

Concepts: Dialysis, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Randomized controlled trial, Hemodialysis, Renal replacement therapy, Outcome, Suggestion


Operative correction of anorectal malformations (ARMs) remains a challenge in pediatric surgery. The study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of laparoscopic treatment of ARM in children.

Concepts: Surgery, Outcome, Laparoscopic surgery


To examine whether patients' trust in the health care professional is associated with health outcomes.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Healthcare, Illness, Outcome