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

Concept: Program


Most dietary programs fail to produce lasting outcomes because participants soon return to their old habits. Small behavioral and environmental changes based on simple heuristics may have the best chance to lead to sustainable habit changes over time.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Program, 2006 albums, Program management, Habit, Heuristic


School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs can substantially enhance the sub-optimal coverage achieved under existing delivery strategies. Randomized SLIV trials have shown these programs reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This work explores the effectiveness of a SLIV program in reducing the community risk of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) associated emergency care visits.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Program, Influenza vaccine, Influenza-like illness


Stuffed animal sleepover programs have been conducted by libraries worldwide. This study sought to (1) determine whether the stuffed animal sleepover program increased children’s reading and (2) examine the duration of the effect. Forty-two children who attended preschool participated in the study. The results indicated that the number of children who read picture books to stuffed animals increased following the program, but the program’s effect decreased within three days. One month later, the children were reminded of the stuffed animal sleepover program. The number of children who read picture books to stuffed animals increased again after the reminder. The results suggest that (1) stuffed animal sleepover programs can positively affect children’s reading of picture books, (2) the duration of the program’s effect can be short, and (3) reminding children of the program can be an effective strategy to revive and sustain their interest in picture books. These results are discussed in terms of the psychological characteristics of childhood.

Concepts: Effect, Program, Jimi Hendrix, Stuffed toy


The role and value of theory in improvement work in healthcare has been seriously underrecognised. We join others in proposing that more informed use of theory can strengthen improvement programmes and facilitate the evaluation of their effectiveness. Many professionals, including improvement practitioners, are unfortunately mystified-and alienated-by theory, which discourages them from using it in their work. In an effort to demystify theory we make the point in this paper that, far from being discretionary or superfluous, theory (‘reason-giving’), both informal and formal, is intimately woven into virtually all human endeavour. We explore the special characteristics of grand, mid-range and programme theory; consider the consequences of misusing theory or failing to use it; review the process of developing and applying programme theory; examine some emerging criteria of ‘good’ theory; and emphasise the value, as well as the challenge, of combining informal experience-based theory with formal, publicly developed theory. We conclude that although informal theory is always at work in improvement, practitioners are often not aware of it or do not make it explicit. The germane issue for improvement practitioners, therefore, is not whether they use theory but whether they make explicit the particular theory or theories, informal and formal, they actually use.

Concepts: Computer program, Theory, Program, Theorem, Formal, The Point


The benefits of physical activity are well documented, but scalable programs to promote activity are needed. Interventions that assign tailored and dynamically adjusting goals could effect significant increases in physical activity but have not yet been implemented at scale.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Efficacy, Program, Peer-to-peer


BACKGROUND: The vagus nerve is important in maintaining HPA axis and sympatho-adrenal system (SAS) homeostasis, however little is known about the effect of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), as used therapeutically, on these functions. Accordingly, the effect of VNS on plasma indices of HPA axis (ACTH, corticosterone), and SAS (norepinephrine, epinephrine) function were evaluated in rats. METHODS: Male rats, on day-0 (D0), underwent surgeries for implantation of catheters into the right jugular vein and programmable (VNP) or non-programmable (VND) neurocybernetic devices encircling the left cervical vagus. On D7, after a blood sample, the device in VNP rats was programmed to deliver 500μs width, 0.25mA current pulses at 20Hz (‘on’ 30s, ‘off’ 5min) followed by timed blood samples during the next 90min. In acute studies, VNS was stopped at 60min and the rats were perfused at 90min to evaluate neuronal Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR). In chronic studies, the probe remained active. In these rats, the HPA axis response to airpuff-startle stressor (D17) and anterior pituitary CRF-receptor binding (D26) were evaluated. RESULTS: During acute VNS, plasma indices of HPA axis and SAS activity, as well as Fos-IR activation pattern in brain regions known to increase after stress, were not different between VND and VNP rats. During chronic VNS, stress-induced HPA axis responses exhibited a tendency toward faster recovery to baseline in VNP rats. CONCLUSIONS: Therapeutic VNS is not a stressor and does not compromise HPA axis or SAS homeostasis. Chronic VNS may facilitate development of efficient feedback mechanisms.

Concepts: Hypothalamus, Vagus nerve, Cranial nerves, Acetylcholine, Computer program, Internal jugular vein, Vagus nerve stimulation, Program


Exercise programs targeting muscle strength and balance can reduce falls. The study aimed to compare the Otago Exercise Program (OEP), originally designed as supervised home training (HT), with the same programme performed as GT, on functional balance and muscle strength, mobility, fall efficacy and self-reported health.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Muscle, Physical exercise, Computer program, Program, The Program, Exercise physiology, Program management


Background: Medical students value teaching by junior doctors and find it comparable to consultant-led teaching. Although several junior doctor-led teaching programmes have been developed, there is insufficient information in the literature to guide junior doctors planning on developing such programmes. Aim: This article gives junior doctors 12 practical tips on how they might develop and run successful teaching programmes for medical students. Results: The 12 tips are (1) Clearly define the scope of your programme, (2) Ensure student-defined learning goals are included at an early stage, (3) Inform and involve your fellow junior doctors in teaching, (4) Plan teaching rotas in advance, (5) Learn to teach effectively by attending courses, (6) Promote your programme to medical students as widely as possible, (7) Use varied and interactive teaching methods, (8) Establish rapport with students, (9) Include assessment as part of the teaching programme, (10) Seek feedback from attendees and senior faculty, (11) Establish rules for tutorials and (12) Secure formal recognition for your scheme. Conclusions: These 12 tips may help junior doctors to develop and manage successful teaching programmes. It may also be a useful guide for senior faculty advising junior doctors who aspire to establish such teaching programmes.

Concepts: Education, University, Learning, Program, School, Teacher, Teaching


Epidemiological data demonstrate the need for lower extremity injury prevention training. Neuromuscular control (NMC) programs are immediately effective at minimizing lower extremity injury risk and improving sport-related performance measures. Research investigating lasting effects following an injury prevention program is limited.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Improve, Computer program, Program, Program management, Basketball


The postdoctoral application and matching process in dental education is a high-stakes and resource-intensive process for all involved. While programs seek the most qualified candidates, applicants strive to be competitive to increase their likelihood of being accepted to a desirable program. There are limited data regarding either subjective or objective factors underlying the complex interplay between programs and applicants. This qualitative study sought to provide insight into the stakeholders' experiences and views on the matching process. Telephone and in-person interviews were conducted with ten pediatric dentistry program directors and ten recent applicants to pediatric dentistry programs in the United States in 2013-14. Participants were selected to represent the geographic (five districts of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) and institutional (hospital- or university-based) diversity of pediatric dentistry programs. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Veracity and need for more information were the themes most often articulated by both groups. The program directors most valued teachability and self-motivation as desirable applicant characteristics. The applicants relied primarily on subjective sources to gather information about programs and prioritized location and financial factors as pivotal for their rankings. Both groups appreciated the uniformity of the current application process and highlighted several weaknesses and areas for improvement. These results shed light on the postdoctoral matching process in pediatric dentistry via a qualitative description of stakeholders' experiences and viewpoints. These insights can serve as a basis for improving and refining the matching process.

Concepts: Philosophy of science, Computer program, Dental implant, Program, Dentistry