• Adult cardiac surgical cost variation around the world: Protocol for a systematic review

      Vervoort, Dominique; Guetter, Camila R.; Trager, Lena; Shah, Priyansh; Diaz-Castrillon, Carlos Eduardo; Etchill, Eric W.; Salenger, Rawn (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-08-03)
      Introduction: Globally, over one million cardiac operations occur each year, whereas cardiac surgery is expensive and largely inaccessible without insurance or philanthropic support. Substantial cost variation has been reported within cardiac surgery in the United States and among non-cardiac surgical procedures globally, but little is known on the global procedural cost variation for common adult cardiac surgical procedures. Objectives and significance: This review seeks to assess variation in procedural costs of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), mitral valve repair, mitral valve replacement, aortic valve repair, aortic valve replacement, and combined CABG-mitral or CABG-aortic valve procedures between and within countries. Results may give insights in the scope and drivers of cost variation around the world, posing cost reduction lessons. Results may further inform the potential of economies of scale in reducing procedural costs, benefiting patients, hospitals, governments, and insurers. Methods and analysis: A systematic review will be performed using the EconLit, Embase, PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, and WHO Global Index Medicus databases to identify articles published between January 1, 2000 and June 1, 2020. Studies describing procedural costs for CABG, mitral valve repair, mitral valve replacement, aortic valve repair, aortic valve replacement, and combined CABG-mitral or CABG-aortic valve procedures will be identified. Articles describing other types of cardiac surgery, concomitant aortic surgery, only describing costs related to non-surgical care, or with incomplete cost data will be excluded from the analysis. No exclusion will be based solely on article type or language. Identified costs will be converted to 2019 USD to account for local currency unit inflation and exchange fluctuations. Ethics and dissemination: This study protocol has been prospectively registered on the International Platform of Registered Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Protocols. This review requires no institutional review board approval. Results of this study will be summarized and disseminated in a peer-review journal. © 2020 The Author(s)
    • Assault-injured youth in the emergency centres of Khayelitsha, South Africa: A prospective study of recidivism and mortality

      Leeper, Sarah C.; Patel, Mehul D.; Lahri, Sa'ad; Beja-Glasser, Alexander; Reddy, Priscilla; Martin, Ian B.K.; van Hoving, Daniël J.; Myers, Justin G. (African Federation for Emergency Medicine, 2021-09-06)
      Introduction: Violence is a major cause of death worldwide among youth. The highest mortality rates from youth violence occur in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). We sought to identify risk factors for violent re-injury and emergency centre (EC) recidivism among assault-injured youth in South Africa. Methods: A prospective follow up study of assault injured youth and controls ages 14–24 presenting for emergency care was conducted in Khayelitsha, South Africa from 2016 to 2018. Sociodemographic and behavioral factors were assessed using a questionnaire administered during the index EC visit. The primary outcomes were return EC visit for violent injury or death within 15 months. We used multivariable logistic regression to compute adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of associations between return EC visits and key demographic, social, and behavioral factors among assault-injured youth. Results: Our study sample included 320 assault-injured patients and 185 non-assault-injured controls. Of the assault-injured, 80% were male, and the mean age was 20.8 years. The assault-injured youth was more likely to have a return EC visit for violent injury (14%) compared to the control group (3%). The non-assault-injured group had a higher mortality rate (7% vs 3%). All deaths in the control group were due to end-stage HIV or TB-related complications. The strongest risk factors for return EC visit were prior criminal activity (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1–5.1), and current enrollment in school (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.0–4.6). Although the assault-injured group reported high rates of binge drinking (73%) at the index visit, this was not found to be a risk factor for violence-related EC recidivism. Discussion: Our findings suggest that assault-injured youth in an LMIC setting are at high risk of EC recidivism and several sociodemographic and behavioral factors are associated with increased risk. These findings can inform targeted intervention programs. © 2021 The Authors
    • Assessment of Local Health Worker Attitudes toward International Medical Volunteers in Low- and Middle-income Countries: A Global Survey

      Bae, Crystal; Naik, Nehal; Misak, Monika; Barnes, Sean L; Verceles, Avelino C; Papali, Alfred; McCurdy, Michael T; Losonczy, Lia I (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-09)
      BACKGROUND: International Medical Volunteers (IMVs) positively and negatively impact host countries, and the goals of their trips may not always align with the interests of the hosts in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). We sought to better understand local physicians' interest of hosting IMVs and what type of support they desired. METHODS: This study was a convenience sample survey-based needs assessment. The surveys were distributed to local physicians by 28 professional society groups in LMICs. FINDINGS: A total of 102 physicians from 51 countries completed the survey. Despite 61.8% participants having no experience with IMVs, 75% were interested in hosting them. Host physicians most desired clinical education (39%), research collaboration (18%), and Systems Development (11%). The most requested specialties were obstetrics and gynecology (25%) and emergency medicine (11%). Respondents considered public hospitals (62%) to be the most helpful clinical setting in which IMVs could work, and 3 months (47%) as the ideal length of stay. Respondents expressed interest in advertising the specific needs of the host country to potential IMVs (80%). Qualitative analyses suggested hosts wanted more training opportunities, inclusion of all stakeholders, culturally competent volunteers, and aid focused on subspecialty education, health policy, public health, and research. CONCLUSION: Hosts desire more bidirectional clinical education and research capacity building than just direct clinical care. Importantly, cultural competence is key to a successful host partnership, potentially improved through IMV preparation. Finally, respondents want IMVs to ensure that they stay within their scope of practice and training.
    • Factors associated with low birth weight in Afghanistan: A cross-sectional analysis of the demographic and health survey 2015

      Gupta, R.D.; Swasey, K.; Burrowes, V. (BMJ Publishing Group, 2019)
      Objectives This study aimed to investigate the factors associated with low birth weight (LBW) in Afghanistan. Design Cross-sectional study. Setting This study used data collected from the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey 2015. Participants Facility-based data from 2773 weighted live-born children enrolled by a two-stage sampling strategy were included in our analysis. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was LBW, defined as birth weight <2.5kg. Results Out of 2773 newborns, 15.5% (n=431) had LBW. Most of these newborns were females (58.3%, n=251), had a mother with no formal schooling (70.5%, n=304), lived in urban areas (63.4%, n=274) or lived in the Central region of Afghanistan (59.7%, n=257). In multivariable analysis, residence in Central (adjusted OR (AOR): 3.4; 95% CI 1.7 to 6.7), Central Western (AOR: 3.0; 95% CI 1.5 to 5.8) and Southern Western (AOR: 4.0; 95% CI 1.7 to 9.1) regions had positive association with LBW. On the other hand, male children (AOR: 0.5; 95% CI 0.4 to 0.8), newborns with primary maternal education (AOR: 0.5; 95% CI 0.3 to 0.8), birth interval ≥48 months (AOR: 0.4; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.8), belonging to the richest wealth quintile (AOR: 0.2; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.6) and rural residence (AOR: 0.3; 95% CI 0.2 to 0.6) had decreased odds of LBW. Conclusions Multiple factors had association with LBW in Afghanistan. Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health programmes should focus on enhancing maternal education and promoting birth spacing to prevent LBW. To reduce the overall burden of LBW, women of the poorest wealth quintiles, and residents of Central, Central Western and South Western regions should also be prioritised. Further exploration is needed to understand why urban areas are associated with higher likelihood of LBW. In addition, research using nationally representative samples are required. Copyright Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
    • Informing randomized clinical trials of respiratory syncytial virus vaccination during pregnancy to prevent recurrent childhood wheezing: A sample size analysis

      Riddell, C.A.; Bhat, N.; Bont, L.J. (Elsevier Ltd, 2018)
      Background: Early RSV illness is associated with wheeze-associated disorders in childhood. Candidate respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines may prevent acute RSV illness in infants. We investigated the feasibility of maternal RSV vaccine trials to demonstrate reductions in recurrent childhood wheezing in general paediatric populations. Methods: We calculated vaccine trial effect sizes that depended on vaccine efficacy, allocation ratio, rate of early severe RSV illness, risk of recurrent wheezing at age 3, and increased risk of RSV infection on recurrent wheezing. Model inputs came from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. For each combination of inputs, we estimated the sample size required to detect the effect of vaccination on recurrent wheezing. Results: There were 81 scenarios with 1:1 allocation ratio. Risk ratios between vaccination and recurrent wheezing ranged from 0.9 to 1.0 for 70% of the scenarios. Among the 57 more plausible scenarios, the lowest sample size required to detect significant reductions in recurrent wheezing was 6196 mother-infant pairs per trial arm; however, 75% and 47% of plausible scenarios required >31,060 and >100,000 mother-infant pairs per trial arm, respectively. Studies with asthma endpoints at age 5 will likely need to be larger. Discussion: Clinical efficacy trials of candidate maternal RSV vaccines undertaken for licensure are unlikely to demonstrate an effect on recurrent wheezing illness due to the large sample sizes likely needed to demonstrate a significant effect. Further efforts are needed to plan for alternative study designs to estimate the impact of maternal RSV vaccine programs on recurrent childhood wheezing in general populations. Copyright 2018 The Author(s)
    • Mapping Evidence on Early Childhood Caries Prevalence: Complexity of Worldwide Data Reporting

      Abdelrahman, Marwa; Hsu, Kuei-Ling; Melo, Mary Anne; Dhar, Vineet; Tinanoff, Norman (Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers, 2021)
      Objective: This review aims to identify variances and research gaps in the early childhood caries (ECC) prevalence within countries and the global community by mapping current evidence. Materials and methods: We performed a literature search in PubMed/MEDLINE and Web of Science to identify English-language, peer-reviewed epidemiologic studies published from January 1999 to January 2019. Abstracts and full-text articles were dual-screened based on predefined eligibility criteria. We classified outcomes by children's age and countries based on economic status. Ranges of reported caries prevalence and median values by country and age were calculated and evidence-mapped. Results: Out of 915 studies, 59 studies met the inclusion criteria. The most significant number of reports were from the USA, Brazil, and India. The ranges of prevalence (1-96%) among the studies were large. The calculated median caries prevalence values may better estimate countries' prevalence than the reported ranges. Early childhood caries prevalence's highest median values were found for South Korea studies (54%) for children <3-year-old and from Bosnia (81%) for children 3-6 years old. No apparent difference was found in the prevalence of ECC from developed and developing countries. Conclusion: This mapping review reflects the ranges and median values of ECC worldwide. Overall, the reported prevalence of ECC in most countries is very high. No apparent difference was found in the prevalence of ECC from developed and developing countries. Reported ranges of ECC, as well as heterogeneity and methodological issues, hamper comparisons across studies globally. Clinical significance: The global ECC prevalence ranges are extreme. Median data may provide a structure for future epidemiological studies to optimizing healthcare resources for caries interventions globally.
    • Tele-ultrasound in resource-limited settings: A systematic review

      Safadi, S.; Siegel, A.; Levine, A.R.; McCurdy, M.T. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2019)
      Background: Telemedicine, or healthcare delivery from a distance, has evolved over the past 50 years and helped alter health care delivery to patients around the globe. Its integration into numerous domains has permitted high quality care that transcends obstacles of geographic distance, lack of access to health care providers, and cost. Ultrasound is an effective diagnostic tool and its application within telemedicine (“tele-ultrasound”) has advanced substantially in recent years, particularly in high-income settings. However, the utility of tele-ultrasound in resource-limited settings is less firmly established. Objective: To determine whether remote tele-ultrasound is a feasible, accurate, and care-altering imaging tool in resource-limited settings. Data Sources: PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase. Study Eligibility Criteria: Twelve original articles met the following eligibility criteria: full manuscript available, written in English, including a direct patient-care intervention, performed in a resource-limited setting, images sent to a remote expert reader for interpretation and feedback, contained objective data on the impact of tele-ultrasound. Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods: Abstracts were independently screened by two authors against inclusion criteria for full-text review. Any discrepancies were settled by a senior author. Data was extracted from each study using a modified Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group’s data extraction template. Study bias was evaluated using the ROBINS-I tool. Results: The study results reflect the diverse applications of tele-ultrasound in low-resource settings. Africa was the most common study location. The specialties of cardiology and obstetrics comprised most studies. Two studies primarily relied on smartphones for image recording and transmission. Real-time, rather than asynchronous, tele-ultrasound image interpretation occurred in five of the 12 studies. The most common outcome measures were image quality, telemedicine system requirements, diagnostic accuracy, and changes in clinical management. Limitations: The studies included were of poor quality with a dearth of randomized control trials and with significant between study heterogeneity which resulted in incomplete data and made cross study comparison difficult. Conclusions and Implications of Key Findings: Low-quality evidence suggests that ultrasound images acquired in resource-limited settings and transmitted using a telemedical platformto an expert interpreter are of satisfactory quality and value for clinical diagnosis and management. Copyright 2019 Britton, Miller, Safadi, Siegel, Levine and McCurdy.