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


Given the magnitude of increasing heart failure mortality, multidisciplinary approaches, in the form of disease management programs and other integrative models of care, are recommended to optimize treatment outcomes. Remote monitoring, either as structured telephone support or telemonitoring or a combination of both, is fast becoming an integral part of many disease management programs. However, studies reporting on the evaluation of real-world heart failure remote monitoring programs are scarce.

Concepts: Heart failure, Vector space, Computer program, Program, The Program, Programming language, Project management, Program management


Employer-sponsored well-being programs have been growing in popularity as a means to control rising health care costs and increase workplace productivity. Engagement by employees is necessary for these programs to achieve their desired effects. Extrinsic motivators in the form of incentives and surcharges are commonly introduced by employer program sponsors to promote meaningful engagement. Although these may be successful in achieving a degree of engagement, individuals benefit by being intrinsically motivated as they modify behaviors and improve short- and long-term well-being. Telephonic guides equipped with motivational interviewing and other behavioral strategies to improve engagement may bridge the gap between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The objectives of this study are to determine characteristics associated with employee utilization of these guides when offered and to compare subsequent program engagement rates between utilizers to a propensity score matched group of employees who were not offered the service. The data were retrieved from a well-being program provider’s database. The study examined 166,258 employees across 35 employers. It found utilizers were older, proportionally more female, in the manufacturing industry, incented to use the guide service, offered a larger incentive for program participation, had healthier self-reported behaviors, and had a higher perception of their employer’s focus on well-being. The study found that guide utilizers were significantly more likely to engage in telephonic coaching, digital coaching, and activity tracking up to 6 months. The study’s findings suggest telephonic guides using a range of behavioral techniques are an effective strategy to drive well-being program engagement.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Employment, Behavior, Motivation, Human behavior, Program, Intrinsic and extrinsic properties


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 behavioral management of laboratory nonhuman primates in the United States has not been thoroughly characterized since 2003. This article presents the results of a survey behavioral management programs at 27 facilities and covering a total of 59,636 primates, 27,916 housed in indoor cages and 31,720 in group enclosures. The survey included questions regarding program structure, implementation, and methodology associated with social housing, positive reinforcement training, positive human interaction, exercise enclosures, and several categories of inanimate enrichment. The vast majority of laboratory primates are housed socially (83%). Since 2003, the proportion of indoor-housed primates reported to be housed singly has fallen considerably, from 59% to 35% in the facilities surveyed. The use of social housing remains significantly constrained by: 1) research protocol requirements, highlighting the value of closely involved IACUCs for harmonizing research and behavioral management; and 2) the unavailability of compatible social partners, underscoring the necessity of objective analysis of the methods used to foster and maintain compatibility. Positive reinforcement training appears to have expanded and is now used at all facilities responding to the survey. The use of enrichment devices has also increased in the participating facilities. For most behavioral management techniques, concerns over the possibility of negative consequences to animals are expressed most frequently for social housing and destructible enrichment, while skepticism regarding efficacy is limited almost exclusively to sensory enrichment. Behavioral management program staffing has expanded over time in the facilities surveyed, due not only to increased numbers of dedicated behavioral management technicians but also to greater involvement of animal care technicians, suggesting an increase in the integration of behavioral care into animal husbandry. Broad awareness of common practice may assist facilities with program evaluation and assessment of progress in the field can generate recommendations for continuing the advancement of primate behavioral management programs. Am. J. Primatol. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Evaluation, United States, Animal, Primate, Program, Reinforcement, Surveying, Program management


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