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Research is needed to improve understanding of work-life integration issues in academic medicine and to guide the implementation of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists (FRCS), a national initiative offering financial support to physician-scientists facing caregiving challenges. In 2018, as part of a prospective program evaluation, the authors conducted a qualitative study to examine FRCS program participants' initial impressions, solicit descriptions of their career and caregiving experiences, and inquire how such factors might influence their professional advancement. The authors invited all 33 awardees who had been granted FRCS funding in the first year of the program to participate in the study, of whom 28 agreed to complete an interview. Analysts evaluated de-identified transcripts and explicated the data using a thematic analysis approach. While participants described aspects of a culture that harbor stigma against caregivers and impede satisfactory work-life integration, they also perceived an optimistic cultural shift taking place as a result of programs like the FRCS. Their comments indicated that the FRCS has the potential to influence culture if institutional leadership simultaneously fosters a community that validates individuals both as caregivers and as scientists. Insights garnered from this qualitative study suggest that there is a pressing need for institutional leaders to implement programs that can foster awareness and normalization of caregiving challenges. In addition to providing funding and other tangible resources, interventions should strive to reinforce a broader culture that affirms the presence of work-life integration challenges and openly embraces solutions.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Impacts of mindfulness-based programs on blood pressure remain equivocal, possibly because the programs are not adapted to engage with determinants of hypertension, or due to floor effects. Primary objectives were to create a customized Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, and to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms. Secondary outcomes included modifiable determinants of blood pressure (BP), and clinic-assessed systolic blood pressure (SBP).
METHODS - This was a Stage 1 single-arm trial with one year follow-up. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were performed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility. Self-regulation outcomes, and determinants of BP, were assessed using validated questionnaires or objective assessments. The MB-BP curriculum was adapted from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to direct participants' mindfulness skills towards modifiable determinants of blood pressure.
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility findings showed that of 53 eligible participants, 48 enrolled (91%). Of these, 43 (90%) attended at least 7 of the 10 MB-BP classes; 43 were followed to one year (90%). Focus groups (n = 19) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) showed all participants viewed the delivery modality favorably, and identified logistic considerations concerning program access as barriers. A priori selected primary self-regulation outcomes showed improvements at one-year follow-up vs. baseline, including attention control (Sustained Attention to Response Task correct no-go score, p<0.001), emotion regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Score, p = 0.02), and self-awareness (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, p<0.001). Several determinants of hypertension were improved in participants not adhering to American Heart Association guidelines at baseline, including physical activity (p = 0.02), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-consistent diet (p<0.001), and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). Findings demonstrated mean 6.1 mmHg reduction in SBP (p = 0.008) at one year follow-up; effects were most pronounced in Stage 2 uncontrolled hypertensives (SBP≥140 mmHg), showing 15.1 mmHg reduction (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - MB-BP has good acceptability and feasibility, and may engage with self-regulation and behavioral determinants of hypertension.
Although the study of reactive attachment disorder (RAD) in early childhood has received considerable attention, there is emerging interest in RAD that presents in school age children and adolescents. We examined the course of RAD signs from early childhood to early adolescence using both variable-centered (linear mixed modeling) and person-centered (growth mixture modeling) approaches. One-hundred twenty-four children with a history of institutional care from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a randomized controlled trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care, as well as 69 community comparison children were included in the study. While foster care was associated with steep reductions in RAD signs across development, person-centered approaches indicated that later age of placement into families and greater percent time in institutional care were each associated with prolonged elevated RAD signs. Findings suggest the course of RAD is variable but substantially influenced by early experiences.
We sought to determine the relationship of fibroids to pregnancy loss in a prospective cohort in which fibroid status was uniformly documented in early pregnancy. Participants had an intake interview, transvaginal ultrasonography, computer-assisted telephone interview, and follow-up assessment of outcomes. We recruited diverse participants for the Right From the Start study from 8 metropolitan areas in 3 states in the United States during 2000-2012. Participants were at least 18 years of age, trying to become pregnant or at less than 12 weeks' gestation, not using fertility treatments, fluent in English or Spanish, and available for telephone interviews. Miscarriage was defined as loss before 20 weeks' gestation. Fibroid presence, number, type, and volume were assessed using standardized ultrasonography methods. We used proportional hazards models to estimate associations. Among 5,512 participants, 10.4% had at least 1 fibroid, and 10.8% experienced a miscarriage. Twenty-three percent had experienced a prior miscarriage and 52% prior births. Presence of fibroids was associated with miscarriage in models without adjustments. Adjusting for key confounders indicated no increase in risk (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.83, 95% confidence interval: 0.63, 1.08). No characteristic of fibroids was associated with risk. Prior evidence attributing miscarriage to fibroids is potentially biased. These findings imply that surgical removal of fibroids to reduce risk of miscarriage deserves careful scrutiny.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURPOSE - Data about maternal recall accuracy for classifying early pregnancy medication exposure are meager. Nonetheless, studies often rely on recall to evaluate potential impact of pharmaceuticals on the developing fetus.
METHODS - Right from the Start is a community-based pregnancy cohort that enrolled women from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. A subset of 318 women participated in daily medication diaries initiated before conception (2006-2012). We examined nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as an example of a drug type that is difficult to study due to its intermittent and primarily over-the-counter use as well as its incomplete documentation in medical and pharmaceutical records. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) were assessed as a prescription medication comparator. Maternal recall of NSAID and SSRI use in early pregnancy was examined by comparing diary data (gold standard) to first-trimester interview.
RESULTS - Sensitivity and specificity for recall of NSAID exposure were 78.6% and 62.3%, respectively (kappa statistic: 0.41), with 72.3% agreement for exposure classification. Sensitivity and specificity for recall of SSRI exposure were 77.8% and 99.0%, respectively (kappa statistic: 0.79), with 97.8% agreement.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest the validity of maternal recall varies with medication type and prospective data collection should be prioritized when studying early pregnancy drug exposures.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES - To explore health value and perceived control over health in relation to self-management behaviours in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
BACKGROUND - Helping people to modify health related behaviour in diabetes is complex due to a multitude of factors. Exploring the meaning of the constructs of Modified Social Learning Theory could be beneficial to identifying people at risk of poor diabetes self-management.
DESIGN - An exploratory qualitative study.
METHODS - Thirteen adults with insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes mellitus were purposively sampled. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. An in-depth thematic analysis was carried out.
RESULTS - Health became a value priority on diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Participants described holding both terminal (relating to desired end states) and instrumental (a means to an end) health values pre-diagnosis but these became instrumental post-diagnosis to meet new lifestyle needs and maintain their quality of life. Descriptions of 'conflicts' in locus of control beliefs when managing Type 2 diabetes mellitus demonstrated influences on levels of self-efficacy and health value. Common themes that impacted on diabetes self-management included co-morbidities, medication management, blood glucose monitoring and reasoning for Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
CONCLUSIONS - Locus of control beliefs, levels of self-efficacy and health value were influenced by complications associated with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The findings on Modified Social Learning Theory and instrumental health value as a moderator to health behaviour resulted in the development of a proposed framework with potential practical utility.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE - This research demonstrates the relevance of exploring the constructs of Modified Social Learning Theory (MSLT) in relation to diabetes self-management behaviours in Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The proposed Type 2 diabetes mellitus Self-management Behaviour Support framework incorporates Modified Social Learning Theory and instrumental health value as the theoretical basis for development and could provide clinical nurses and doctors with a tool that will allow for in-depth assessment and planning of Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients' self-management behaviours.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The main purpose of this study was to examine whether the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) helped mothers of overweight/obese preschool children to cut down on dietary fat and sugar intake for their families. Data from the Children Eating Well for Health (CHEW) Nutrition Survey, a probability sample of 150 (50 each White, Black and Hispanic) families with preschoolers participating in the WIC program in Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee, were analyzed using logistic regression modeling. Mothers who reported that the WIC program helped them reduce fat intake were 2.5 times more likely to have an overweight/obese child and 2.1 times more likely to be obese themselves. No significant effects were found for adding sugar. These results suggest that the mothers in this sample were applying WIC nutritional counseling to use food preparation techniques that cut down on added fats for themselves and their children who were at risk due to weight status.
BACKGROUND - Early preparation for renal replacement therapy (RRT) is recommended for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), yet many patients initiate RRT urgently and/or are inadequately prepared.
METHODS - We conducted audio-recorded, qualitative, directed telephone interviews of nephrology health care providers (n = 10, nephrologists, physician assistants, and nurses) and primary care physicians (PCPs, n = 4) to identify modifiable challenges to optimal RRT preparation to inform future interventions. We recruited providers from public safety-net hospital-based and community-based nephrology and primary care practices. We asked providers open-ended questions to assess their perceived challenges and their views on the role of PCPs and nephrologist-PCP collaboration in patients' RRT preparation. Two independent and trained abstractors coded transcribed audio-recorded interviews and identified major themes.
RESULTS - Nephrology providers identified several factors contributing to patients' suboptimal RRT preparation, including health system resources (e.g., limited time for preparation, referral process delays, and poorly integrated nephrology and primary care), provider skills (e.g., their difficulty explaining CKD to patients), and patient attitudes and cultural differences (e.g., their poor understanding and acceptance of their CKD and its treatment options, their low perceived urgency for RRT preparation; their negative perceptions about RRT, lack of trust, or language differences). PCPs desired more involvement in preparation to ensure RRT transitions could be as "smooth as possible", including providing patients with emotional support, helping patients weigh RRT options, and affirming nephrologist recommendations. Both nephrology providers and PCPs desired improved collaboration, including better information exchange and delineation of roles during the RRT preparation process.
CONCLUSIONS - Nephrology and primary care providers identified health system resources, provider skills, and patient attitudes and cultural differences as challenges to patients' optimal RRT preparation. Interventions to improve these factors may improve patients' preparation and initiation of optimal RRTs.
SUMMARY Fluoroquinolone use before tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis delays the time to diagnosis and treatment, and increases the risk of fluoroquinolone-resistant TB and death. Ascertainment of fluoroquinolone exposure could identify such high-risk patients. We compared four methods of ascertaining fluoroquinolone exposure in the 6 months prior to TB diagnosis in culture-confirmed TB patients in Tennessee from January 2007 to December 2009. The four methods included a simple questionnaire administered to all TB suspects by health department personnel (FQ-Form), an in-home interview conducted by research staff, outpatient and inpatient medical record review, and TennCare pharmacy database review. Of 177 TB patients included, 72 (41%) received fluoroquinolones during the 6 months before TB diagnosis. Fluoroquinolone exposure determined by review of inpatient and outpatient medical records was considered the gold standard for comparison. The FQ-Form had 61% [95% confidence interval (CI) 48-73] sensitivity and 93% (95% CI 85-98) specificity (agreement 79%, kappa = 0.56) while the in-home interview had 28% (95% CI 18-40) sensitivity and 99% (94-100%) specificity (agreement 68%, kappa = 0.29). A simple questionnaire administered by health department personnel identified fluoroquinolone exposure before TB diagnosis with moderate reliability.
OBJECTIVES - To evaluate associations of sleep duration with total mortality and disease-specific mortality in a Chinese population.
DESIGN - Prospective study conducted from 1996 (for women)/2002 (for men) to 2010.
SETTING - A population-based cohort study in Shanghai, China.
INTERVENTION - None.
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS - A total of 113,138 participants (68,548 women and 44,590 men) of the Shanghai Women's and Men's Health Studies, aged 44-79 y and 40-75 y (women and men, respectively) at sleep duration assessment, were included in the study. In-person interviews were conducted to collect information on sleep duration, socioeconomic status, living conditions, history of chronic disease, participation in regular exercise, and family history of disease. The cohort has been followed using a combination of biannual in-person interviews and record linkages with Shanghai's population-based death registry. Survival status of participants on December 31, 2010 was included as the study outcome. Relative risks were calculated using a Cox proportional model stratified by sex and comorbidity score. There were 4,277 deaths (2,356 among women; 1,921 among men) during a median follow-up time of 7.12 y for women and 6.07 y for men. Among both women and men, sleep duration showed a J-shaped association with total mortality. Hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) were 1.15 (1.01-1.32), 1.06 (0.94-1.20), 1.17 (1.04-1.32), 1.36 (1.13-1.64), and 2.11 (1.77-2.52) for women and 1.06 (0.90-1.25), 1.07 (0.94-1.23), 1.13 (1.00-1.28), 1.34 (1.10-1.62), and 1.55 (1.29-1.86) for men who slept 4-5, 6, 8, 9, and ≥ 10 h per day, respectively, compared with those who slept 7 h per day. Associations for disease-specific mortality, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, also generally followed the same J-shaped pattern. The sleep duration-mortality association was more evident among participants with comorbidities, but varied little by sex.
CONCLUSION - In our study population of Chinese adults, shorter and longer sleep durations were independently associated with increased risk of mortality. But longer sleep duration had a higher mortality risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes than short sleep.
© 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.