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    The association between nutritional adequacy and 28-day mortality in the critically ill is not modified by their baseline nutritional status and disease severity
    (BMC, 2019-06-18) Lew, Charles Chin Han ; Wong, Gabriel Jun Yung ; Cheung, Ka Po ; Fraser, Robert J L ; Chua, Ai Ping ; Chong, Mary Foong Fong ; Miller, Michelle Deanne
    BACKGROUND: During the initial phase of critical illness, the association between the dose of nutrition support and mortality risk may vary among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) because the prevalence of malnutrition varies widely (28 to 78%), and not all ICU patients are severely ill. Therefore, we hypothesized that a prognostic model that integrates nutritional status and disease severity could accurately predict mortality risk and classify critically ill patients into low- and high-risk groups. Additionally, in critically ill patients placed on exclusive nutritional support (ENS), we hypothesized that their risk categories could modify the association between dose of nutrition support and mortality risk. METHODS: A prognostic model that predicts 28-day mortality was built from a prospective cohort study of 440 patients. The association between dose of nutrition support and mortality risk was evaluated in a subgroup of 252 mechanically ventilated patients via logistic regressions, stratified by low- and high-risk groups, and days of exclusive nutritional support (ENS) [short-term (≤ 6 days) vs. longer-term (≥ 7 days)]. Only the first 6 days of ENS was evaluated for a fair comparison. RESULTS: The prognostic model demonstrated good discrimination [AUC 0.78 (95% CI 0.73–0.82), and a bias-corrected calibration curve suggested fair accuracy. In high-risk patients with short-term ENS (≤ 6 days), each 10% increase in goal energy and protein intake was associated with an increased adjusted odds (95% CI) of 28-day mortality [1.60 (1.19–2.15) and 1.47 (1.12–1.86), respectively]. In contrast, each 10% increase in goal protein intake during the first 6 days of ENS in high-risk patients with longer-term ENS (≥ 7 days) was associated with a lower adjusted odds of 28-day mortality [0.75 (0.57–0.99)]. Despite the opposing associations, the mean predicted mortality risks and prevalence of malnutrition between short- and longer-term ENS patients were similar. CONCLUSIONS: Combining baseline nutritional status and disease severity in a prognostic model could accurately predict 28-day mortality. However, the association between the dose of nutrition support during the first 6 days of ENS and 28-day mortality was independent of baseline disease severity and nutritional status.
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    Interagency collaboration in primary mental health care: lessons from the Partners in Recovery program
    (BMC, 2019-05-31) Henderson, Julie Anne ; Javanparast, Sara ; Baum, Fran ; Freeman, Toby ; Fuller, Jeffrey ; Ziersch, Anna Marie ; Mackean, Tamara Jade
    BACKGROUND: Collaborative care is a means of improving outcomes particularly for people with complex needs. The Partners in Recovery (PIR) program, established in Australia in 2012, provides care coordination to facilitate access to health and social support services for people with severe and persistent mental illness. Of the 48 PIR programs across Australia, 35 were led by Medicare Locals, the previous Australian regional primary health care organisation and nine involved Medicare Locals as partner organisations. AIMS: To identify features which enabled and hindered collaboration in PIR programs involving Medicare Locals and determine what can be learnt about delivering care to this population. METHODS: Data were collected from 50 interviews with senior staff at Medicare Locals and from eight focus groups with 51 mental health stakeholders in different Australian jurisdictions. RESULTS: Successful PIR programs were based upon effective collaboration. Collaboration was facilitated by dedicated funding, a shared understanding of PIR aims, joint planning, effective network management, mutual respect and effective communication. Collaboration was also enhanced by the local knowledge and population health planning functions of Medicare Locals. Jurisdictional boundaries and funding discontinuity were the primary barriers to collaboration.
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    A South African experience in applying the Adopt–Contextualise–Adapt framework to stroke rehabilitation clinical practice guidelines
    (BMC, 2019-06-06) Grimmer, K A ; Louw, Quinette ; Dizon, Janine M ; Brown, Sjan-Mari ; Ernstzen, Dawn ; Wiysonge, Charles S
    BACKGROUND: Clinical practice guideline (CPG) activity has escalated internationally in the last 20 years, leading to increasingly sophisticated methods for CPG developers and implementers. Despite this, there remains a lack of practical support for end-users in terms of effectively and efficiently implementing CPG recommendations into local practice. This paper describes South African experiences in implementing international CPG recommendations for best practice stroke rehabilitation into local contexts, using a purpose-build approach. METHODS: Composite recommendations were synthesised from 16 international CPGs to address end-user questions about best practice rehabilitation for South African stroke survivors. End-user representatives on the project team included methodologists, policy-makers, clinicians, managers, educators, researchers and stroke survivors. The Adopt–Contextualise–Adapt model was applied as a decision-guide to streamline discussions on endorsement and development of implementation strategies. Where recommendations required contextualisation to address local barriers before they could be effectively implemented, prompts were provided to identify barriers and possible solutions. Where recommendations could not be implemented without additional local evidence (adaptation), options were identified to establish new evidence. FINDINGS: The structured implementation process was efficient in terms of time, effort, resources and problem solving. The process empowered the project team to make practical decisions about local uptake of international recommendations, develop local implementation strategies, and determine who was responsible, for what and when. Different implementation strategies for the same recommendation were identified for different settings, to address different barriers. CONCLUSION: The South African evidence translation experience could be useful for evidence implementers in other countries, when translating CPG recommendations developed elsewhere, into local practice.
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    Tissue and nitrogen-linked expression profiles of ammonium and nitrate transporters in maize
    (BMC, 2019-05-20) Dechorgnat, Julie ; Francis, Karen L ; Dhugga, Kanwarpal S ; Rafalski, J. A ; Tyerman, Stephen D ; Kaiser, Brent N
    BACKGROUND: In order to grow, plants rely on soil nutrients which can vary both spatially and temporally depending on the environment, the soil type or the microbial activity. An essential nutrient is nitrogen, which is mainly accessible as nitrate and ammonium. Many studies have investigated transport genes for these ions in Arabidopsis thaliana and recently in crop species, including Maize, Rice and Barley. However, in most crop species, an understanding of the participants in nitrate and ammonium transport across the soil plant continuum remains undefined. RESULTS: We have mapped a non-exhaustive set of putative nitrate and ammonium transporters in maize. The selected transporters were defined based on previous studies comparing nitrate transport pathways conserved between Arabidopsis and Zea mays (Plett D et. al, PLOS ONE 5:e15289, 2010). We also selected genes from published studies (Gu R et. al, Plant and Cell Physiology, 54:1515-1524, 2013, Garnett T et. al, New Phytol 198:82-94, 2013, Garnett T et. al, Frontiers in Plant Sci 6, 2015, Dechorgnat J et. al, Front Plant Sci 9:531, 2018). To analyse these genes, the plants were grown in a semi-hydroponic system to carefully control nitrogen delivery and then harvested at both vegetative and reproductive stages. The expression patterns of 26 putative nitrogen transporters were then tested. Six putative genes were found not expressed in our conditions. Transcripts of 20 other genes were detected at both the vegetative and reproductive stages of maize development. We observed the expression of nitrogen transporters in all organs tested: roots, young leaves, old leaves, silks, cobs, tassels and husk leaves. We also followed the gene expression response to nitrogen starvation and resupply and uncovered mainly three expression patterns: (i) genes unresponsiveness to nitrogen supply; (ii) genes showing an increase of expression after nitrogen starvation; (iii) genes showing a decrease of expression after nitrogen starvation. CONCLUSIONS: These data allowed the mapping of putative nitrogen transporters in maize at both the vegetative and reproductive stages of development. No growth-dependent expression was seen in our conditions. We found that nitrogen transporter genes were expressed in all the organs tested and in many cases were regulated by the availability of nitrogen supplied to the plant. The gene expression patterns in relation to organ specificity and nitrogen availability denote a speciality of nitrate and ammonium transporter genes and their probable function depending on the plant organ and the environment.
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    Health deficits in community dwelling adults aged 40 to 75 years
    (BMC, 2019-05-27) Gordon, Susan J ; Kidd, Michael Richard ; Maeder, Anthony ; Baker, Nicky ; Marin, Tania ; Grimmer, K A
    BACKGROUND: Middle and older years are associated with age related health deficits but how early this begins and progresses is poorly understood. Better understanding is needed to address early decline and support healthier ageing outcomes. METHODS: Seemingly healthy, community dwelling adults aged 40 to 75 years were recruited via local council and business networks. They completed online surveys about sleep quality, distress and physical activity, and two hours of objective testing of physiologic and anthropometric measures, mobility, cognition, grip strength, foot sensation, dexterity and functional hearing. Analysis compared outcomes for age, gender, and age and gender groups with population norms for 21 health assessments. The total number of non-compliant tests for each participant was calculated by summing the number of non-compliant tests, and the frequency of these scores across the sample was reported. Gender and age effects were tested using ANOVA models. Combined age and gender categories were used for subsequent logistic regression modelling, with females aged 40–49 years being the default comparator. RESULTS: Of 561 participants (67% female; mean age 60 years (SD 10.3)), everyone had at least one deficit and median deficits was 5 (IQR 2). More than 50% of participants did not meet anthropometric and exercise norms, while 30 to 40% had reduced functional hearing and cognition. Overall, men performed worse and deficits increased with age particularly for physical activity, audiology, mobility, anthropometry, oximetry and foot sensation. Heart rate, body temperature and dyspnoea were the only variables where compliance was within 95% of expected values. Multiple areas of functional decline were found in people aged in their 40s and 50s. CONCLUSIONS: The health deficits identified are mostly mutable hence identification and interventions to address the multi-system functional decline in people as young as 40 has the capacity to ensure healthier ageing.
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    Enrolment of families with overweight children into a program aimed at reducing childhood obesity with and without a weight criterion: a natural experiment
    (BMC, 2019-06-14) Esdaile, Emma ; Hernandez, Emely ; Moores, Carly J ; Vidgen, Helen A
    BACKGROUND: Difficulties engaging families with overweight children to enrol into programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity have been well documented. During the implementation of the Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health Program (PEACH™) over a large geographical area (Queensland (QLD), Australia), a natural experiment developed. This experiment provided an opportunity to observe if there was a difference in enrolment for families with overweight children with a weight criterion (referred to as the period with a Targeted Eligibility Criterion (TEC)) compared to when a weight criterion was removed (the period referred to as Universal Eligibility Criterion (UEC)). We also examined the eligibility criterion’s relationship with attendance, parental concern about their child’s weight, estimation of overweight and obesity from parent-reported data. METHODS: A secondary analysis of baseline data from 926 overweight/obese children from 817 families enrolled in PEACH™ QLD was performed. Analyses were adjusted to control for the presence of clustered data. Bivariate statistics were performed using Pearson chi-square test with the second-order Rao-Scott correction, and Mann–Whitney U-test for non-parametric continuous variables. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) explored the association between weight status-based eligibility criteria and enrolment of overweight children. GEE were adjusted for sex, age and socioeconomic index and stratified for weight category. RESULTS: Compared to obese children, overweight children were almost twice as likely to be enrolled when the program did not have weight status-based eligibility criteria (during UEC period) (OR = 1.90 (CI 95% 1.35–2.68, p <  0.001)). Parents of overweight children enrolled during the UEC period were more likely to regard their child’s weight as less of a concern than during the TEC period (UEC 67% vs. TEC 45%, p = 0.036). Children whose parent-reported data underestimated their weight category were more likely to be enrolled while the program did not have weight-related eligibility criteria OR = 2.27 (CI 1.38–3.70, p <  0.01). Program session attendance did not appear to be impacted by the changes in eligibility criteria. CONCLUSIONS: The omission of weight criteria for healthy lifestyle programs is a consideration for health professionals and decision-makers alike when encouraging the enrolment of children who are overweight into healthy lifestyle programs.