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Do deaf individuals’ dating scripts follow the traditional sexual script?

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 12:39pm

The current study investigated Deaf individuals’ dating expectations. Prior research on dating expectations has identified three common scenes: initiation/meeting, activities, and outcomes/conclusions. Participants were asked to report their expectations for each scene on a typical date. Talking was the most frequently occurring initiation activity. Dinner and a movie were among the top date activities in the activities scene. Activities were often reported as group gatherings. Dating outcomes included a good night kiss and making plans for another date. These expectations do not match prior research with hearing participants where the Traditional Sexual Script could be identified. Comparisons and suggestions for future research are discussed.

An Outcome Study of Seeking Safety With Rural Community-Based Women

Mon, 01/05/2015 - 12:39pm

This pilot study investigated the impact of Seeking Safety (SS) on rural women with comorbid substance abuse and trauma problems. SS is an evidence-based, present-focused therapy that provides coping skills and psychoeducation. Despite its demonstrated effectiveness, this is the first known study using SS with rural women. Investigating the efficacy of evidence-based treatments with rural populations is especially important because, compared with urban residents, they are more likely to meet criteria for comorbid mental illness and substance abuse, exhibit more severe symptoms of both disorders, but are much less likely to receive formal treatment. Such disparities highlight the need for effective treatments to enhance coping skills and reduce unsafe behavior within this population. Data were collected from 23 community-based rural women who voluntarily participated in SS treatment groups twice weekly (a total of 24 1.5-hr sessions were offered). The Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI) was administered pre- and posttreatment. Results showed reductions on all 10 TSI subscales. Effect sizes were large across all subscales, except sexual concerns, which was medium to large. Our findings align with previous SS outcome studies, which report consistent positive results among vulnerable populations with trauma symptoms and substance abuse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

Reply: To PMID 23910457

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

Institutional differences in carotid artery duplex diagnostic criteria result in significant variability in classification of carotid artery stenoses and likely lead to disparities in care

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

BACKGROUND: The indications for carotid revascularization are based almost exclusively on the results of carotid duplex ultrasonography. Noninvasive vascular laboratories show large variation in the diagnostic criteria used to classify degree of carotid artery stenosis. We hypothesize that variability of these diagnostic criteria causes significant variation in stenosis classification directly affecting the number of revascularizations and associated costs.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The diagnostic criteria to interpret carotid duplex ultrasounds were obtained from 10 New England institutions. All carotid duplex scans performed at our institution were reviewed from 2008 to 2012. Using the diagnostic criteria from each institution, the degree of stenosis that would have been reported was classified as 70% to 99% asymptomatic, 80% to 99% asymptomatic, and 50% to 99% symptomatic. We then calculated the theoretical number of carotid revascularization procedures that this cohort would be offered using each institution's diagnostic criteria and the costs of these procedures based on reimbursement rates. Among 10614 patients who underwent 15534 carotid duplex scans, 31025 arteries were reviewed. Application of the 10 institutions' criteria to the patients from our institution yielded marked variation in the number classified as 70% to 99% asymptomatic (range, 186-2201), 80% to 99% asymptomatic (range, 78-426), and 50% to 99% symptomatic (range, 157-781). If revascularizations were based on these results, costs would range from $2.2 to $26 million, $0.9 to $5.0 million, and $1.9 to $9.2 million, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in diagnostic criteria to interpret carotid ultrasound result in significant variation in classification of carotid artery stenosis, likely leading to differences in the number and subsequent costs of revascularizations. This theoretical model highlights the need for standardization of carotid duplex criteria.

Outcomes reported by the Vascular Quality Initiative and the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program are not comparable

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: The Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) and National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) have emerged as the primary vascular surgery quality measurement tools with the purpose of evaluating perioperative outcomes and assessing hospital and physician quality. VQI uses self-reporting to capture all index vascular procedures during the inpatient period. NSQIP employs nurse abstractors to capture a sample of procedures and covers 30-day events. We hypothesize that patients undergoing lower extremity bypass (LEB) will exhibit high concordance for preoperative variables and low concordance for postoperative variables between these data sets.

METHODS: All patients undergoing LEB for peripheral arterial disease at the University of Massachusetts captured in both VQI and NSQIP databases were reviewed (2007-2012). Concordance between categorical variables was assessed by kappa correlation coefficient. All postoperative variables were compared during equivalent inpatient stay. Events between discharge and 30 days postoperatively were tabulated with use of the NSQIP data set.

RESULTS: We identified 240 patients undergoing LEB captured in both VQI and NSQIP. Comparison of this identical patient cohort between VQI and NSQIP revealed a moderate to strong agreement for most preoperative variables except for congestive heart failure (kappa = 0.14) and hypertension (kappa = 0.35), which showed poor agreement. Concordance for inpatient postoperative variables was high for mortality (kappa = 1.0) and myocardial infarction (kappa = 0.86) but moderate for pulmonary complications (kappa = 0.57) and poor for unplanned return to the operating room (kappa = 0.41), wound infection (kappa = -0.01), and change in renal function (kappa = -0.01). A majority of postoperative events (71%) occurred between discharge and 30 days postoperatively, with a significantly higher incidence of wound infections in the outpatient setting (4.2% vs 95.8%; P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: VQI and NSQIP demonstrate substantial concordance for most preoperative variables and poor concordance for most postoperative variables, even at identical collection periods. This discordance is a result of differences in data collection methods and variable definitions. On the basis of these findings, VQI and NSQIP data sets cannot be used to directly compare risk-adjusted patient outcomes between institutions. rights reserved.

Statin therapy after infrainguinal bypass surgery for critical limb ischemia is associated with improved 5-year survival

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: Although statin therapy has been linked to fewer short-term complications after infrainguinal bypass, its effect on long-term survival remains unclear. We therefore examined associations between statin use and long-term mortality, graft occlusion, and amputation after infrainguinal bypass.

METHODS: We used the Vascular Study Group of New England registry to study 2067 patients (71% male; mean age, 67 +/- 11 years; 67% with critical limb ischemia [CLI]) who underwent infrainguinal bypass from 2003 to 2011. Of these, 1537 (74%) were on statins perioperatively and at 1-year follow-up, and 530 received no statin. We examined crude, adjusted, and propensity-matched rates of 5-year surviva1, 1-year amputation, graft occlusion, and perioperative myocardial infarction.

RESULTS: Patients taking statins at the time of surgery and at the 1-year follow-up were more likely to have coronary disease (38% vs 22%; P < .001), diabetes (51% vs 36%; P < .001), hypertension (89% vs 77%; P < .001), and prior revascularization procedures (50% vs 38%; P < .001). Despite higher comorbidity burdens, long-term survival was better for patients taking statins in crude (risk ratio [RR], 0.7; P < .001), adjusted (hazard ratio, 0.7; P = .001), and propensity-matched analyses (hazard ratio, 0.7; P = .03). In subgroup analysis, a survival advantage was evident in patients on statins with CLI (5-year survival rate, 63% vs 54%; log-rank, P = .01) but not claudication (5-year survival rate, 84% vs 80%; log-rank, P = .59). Statin therapy was not associated with 1-year rates of major amputation (12% vs 11%; P = .84) or graft occlusion (20% vs 18%; P = .58) in CLI patients. Perioperative myocardial infarction occurred more frequently in patients on a statin in crude analysis (RR, 2.2; P = .01) but not in the matched cohort (RR, 1.9; P = .17).

CONCLUSIONS: Statin therapy is associated with a 5-year survival benefit after infrainguinal bypass in patients with CLI. However, 1-year limb-related outcomes were not influenced by statin use in our large observational cohort of patients undergoing revascularization in New England.

Copyright © 2015 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Human type I pancreatic elastase treatment of arteriovenous fistulas in patients with chronic kidney disease

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: This study explored the safety and efficacy of recombinant type I pancreatic elastase (PRT-201) topically applied once to the external surface of an arteriovenous fistula.

METHODS: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Adults with kidney disease undergoing creation of a radiocephalic fistula (RCF) or brachiocephalic fistula were randomized to treatment with placebo (n = 51), PRT-201 at 10 mug (n = 51), or PRT-201 at 30 mug (n = 49). The primary efficacy measure was unassisted primary patency (PP) over 1 year. Secondary efficacy measures were secondary patency (SP), unassisted maturation by ultrasound interrogation, use for hemodialysis, and hemodynamically significant lumen stenosis.

RESULTS: Median PP was 224 days for placebo and > 365 days for the PRT-201 groups. At 1 year, 45%, 54%, and 53% of placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug patients retained PP. The risk of PP loss was nonsignificantly reduced for 10 mug (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; P = .19) and 30 mug (HR, 0.67; P = .17) vs placebo. In the subset (44% of patients) with a RCF, the median PP was 125 days for placebo and > 365 days for the PRT-201 groups. At 1 year, 31%, 50%, and 63% of placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug RCFs retained PP. The risk of RCF PP loss was nonsignificantly reduced by 10 mug (HR, 0.59; P = .18) and significantly reduced by 30 mug (HR, 0.37; P = .02) vs placebo. At 1 year, 77%, 81%, and 83% of placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug patients retained SP. The risk of SP loss was nonsignificantly reduced for 10 mug (HR, 0.79; P = .61) and 30 mug (HR, 0.76; P = .55) vs placebo. In the subset with RCFs, 65%, 82%, and 90% of placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug patients retained SP at 1 year. The risk of RCF SP loss was nonsignificantly reduced for 10 mug (HR, 0.45; P = .19) and 30 mug (HR, 0.27; P = .08) vs placebo. At month 3, 67%, 87% (P = .03), and 92% (P < .01) of the placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug group fistulas had unassisted maturation by ultrasound interrogation. At month 3 in the subset with an RCF, 47%, 74% (P = .17), and 93% (P < .01) of placebo, 10-mug, and 30-mug group fistulas had unassisted maturation by ultrasound interrogation. Adverse event reports were not meaningfully different between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: PRT-201 appeared safe. The primary efficacy end point was not met. However, both PRT-201 doses were associated with improved unassisted maturation. The 30-mug dose was associated with increased PP in the subset with RCF.

Routine use of completion imaging after infrainguinal bypass is not associated with higher bypass graft patency

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

BACKGROUND: Significant variability exists in completion imaging (CIM) after infrainguinal lower extremity bypass (LEB). We evaluated the use of CIM and compared graft patency in patients treated by surgeons who performed routine CIM vs those who performed selective CIM.

METHODS: We reviewed the Vascular Study Group of New England database (2003-2010) and assessed the use of CIM (angiography or duplex ultrasound) among patients undergoing LEB. The surgeon-specific CIM strategy was categorized as routine ( > / = 80% of LEBs) vs selective ( < 80% of LEBs). Exclusion criteria included acute limb ischemia, bilateral procedures, and surgeon volume < 10 cases per study period. Primary graft patency at discharge and at 1 year was analyzed on the basis of CIM use and surgeon-specific CIM strategy. Multivariable analyses were performed using Poisson regression.

RESULTS: Among 2032 LEB procedures performed by 48 surgeons, CIM was used in 1368 cases (67.3%). CIM was performed in 72% of autogenous LEBs and 52% of prosthetic grafts. Dialysis (odds ratio [OR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.6; P = .01), elective LEB (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.4-4.8; P = .002), great saphenous vein conduit (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.6-2.5; P < .001), and tibial or pedal target artery (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.3; P < .001) were associated with CIM use. In multivariate models, CIM was not associated with improved primary graft patency at discharge (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.7-1.7; P = .64) or at 1 year (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.7-1.2; P = .47). Sixteen surgeons (33%) were routine users and 32 (67%) were selective users of CIM. Among patients of routine vs selective CIM users, primary graft patency at discharge and at 1 year was 96% vs 94% (P = .21) and 68% vs 72% (P = .09), respectively. In multivariate analysis, routine or selective CIM strategy was not associated with improved discharge (rate ratio, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6-1.1; P = .31) or 1-year (rate ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2; P = .56) graft patency.

CONCLUSIONS: In our observational cohort, CIM does not improve short-term and 1-year bypass graft patency in infrainguinal LEB. The surgeon-specific strategy of selective CIM after LEB has outcomes comparable to those of routine CIM. Copyright © 2014 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

Factors that determine the length of stay after carotid endarterectomy represent opportunities to avoid financial losses

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

BACKGROUND: A postoperative length of stay (LOS) > 1 day after elective surgery incurs financial losses for hospitals, given fixed diagnosis-related group-based reimbursement. We sought to identify factors leading to a prolonged LOS ( > 1 postoperative day) after carotid endarterectomy (CEA). METHODS: Patients undergoing CEA in 23 centers of the Vascular Study Group of New England between 2003 and 2011 (n = 8860) were analyzed. Only elective, primary CEAs were analyzed, leaving a study cohort of 7108 procedures. Hierarchical multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of a postoperative LOS > 1 day. A Knaus-Wagner chi-pie analysis was performed to determine the relative contributions of each significant covariate to a postoperative LOS > 1 day. RESULTS: A postoperative LOS > 1 day occurred in 17.5% of the sample (n = 1244). The average LOS was 1.4 days (range, 1-91 days; median, 1). There was significant variation in rates of postoperative LOS > 1 day across centers (range, 5%-100%; P < .001). Factors independently associated with a postoperative LOS > 1 day and their percentage contribution to the prediction model included the need for postoperative intravenous medications for hypertension or hypotension (26%), any major adverse event (MAE) postoperatively (21%), low-volume ( < 15 CEAs per year) surgeons (28%), increasing age (7%), female gender (4%), positive result on a preoperative stress test (3%), preoperative major stroke < / = 30 days (2%), medication-dependent diabetes (1%), severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1%), history of congestive heart failure (1%), and CEA performed on Friday (2%). CONCLUSIONS: Certain patient characteristics predispose to a postoperative LOS > 1 day after elective CEA. However, patient characteristics play only a modest (17%) role in determining LOS. The need for postoperative blood pressure control and MAEs are the biggest drivers of postoperative LOS > 1 day, but system factors, such as low operative volume, contribute substantially to postoperative LOS > 1 day, independent of MAEs. These findings can be used to guide quality improvement efforts designed to reduce LOS after elective CEA. rights reserved.

Outcomes of carotid endarterectomy versus stenting in comparable medical risk patients

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: In medically high-risk patients the choice between carotid artery stenting (CAS) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) can be difficult. The purpose of this study was to compare risk-stratified outcomes of CAS and CEA. METHODS: Patients who underwent isolated primary CEA (n = 11,336) or primary CAS (n = 544) at 29 centers in the Vascular Study Group of New England were analyzed (2003-2013); patients with previous ipsilateral CEA or CAS, or concomitant coronary artery bypass graft were excluded. A medical risk score based on predicted 5-year mortality was developed for each patient using a Cox proportional hazards model. Patients in the highest risk score quartile were termed high-risk (vs normal-risk for the other three quartiles). Medically high-risk patients had a 5-year survival of 65% and comprised 23% of CEA and 25% of CAS patients. Risk-stratified outcomes were compared within neurologically symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. RESULTS: Among asymptomatic patients, rates of in-hospital stroke and/or death were not different between CAS and CEA in normal and high-risk cohorts, ranging from 0.7% in normal-risk CEA patients to 1.6% in high-risk CAS patients. In symptomatic patients, significantly worse outcomes were seen with CAS compared with CEA in normal-risk and high-risk patients. Normal-risk symptomatic patients had a stroke or death rate of 1.3% with CEA, but 5.2% with CAS (P < .01). In high-risk symptomatic patients, the stroke or death rate was 1.5% with CEA and 9.3% with CAS (P < .01). No significant differences were seen between asymptomatic CEA and CAS within risk strata across secondary outcome measures of stroke, death, or myocardial infarction, and ipsilateral stroke, major stroke, or death. However, symptomatic high-risk CAS patients had significantly greater rates of all secondary outcomes compared with CEA except death, and symptomatic normal-risk CAS patients had only significantly greater rates of death and stroke, death, or myocardial infarction. CONCLUSIONS: In the Vascular Study Group of New England, asymptomatic normal- and high-risk patients do equally well after CEA or CAS. However, normal- and high-risk symptomatic patients have substantially worse outcomes with CAS compared with CEA. High medical risk alone might be an insufficient indication for CAS in symptomatic patients. rights reserved.

The influence of gender on functional outcomes of lower extremity bypass

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the effect of gender on early and late procedural and functional outcomes of lower extremity bypass (LEB). METHODS: We reviewed the records of 2576 patients (828 women; 32%) who underwent LEB for claudication or critical limb ischemia (CLI) in the Vascular Study Group of New England from 2003 to 2010. Logistic regression and proportional hazards models were used to adjust for potential confounding differences between genders. Morbidity, mortality, graft patency, freedom from major amputation, ambulation, and living status were analyzed postoperatively and over 1 year. RESULTS: Women were older (70 vs 68 years; P < .001), had more hypertension (89% vs 85%; P = .006), less coronary artery disease (35% vs 39%; P = .03), smoking (73% vs 88%; P < .001), and preoperative statin use (60% vs 64%; P = .04). Women were more likely to have CLI (76% vs 71%; P = .003), and ambulate with assistance at presentation (19% vs 16%; P = .02). Morbidity was similar except women had higher rates of reoperation for thrombosis (4% vs 2%; P < .001) without differences in major amputation (2% vs 1%; P = .13) or in-hospital mortality (1.7% vs 1.7%; P = .96). Women and men with claudication had similar 1-year graft patency rates. Women with CLI had lower rates of primary (hazard ratio [HR], 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.48; P = .02), assisted primary (HR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.15-1.76; P = .001) and secondary patency (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.10-1.77; P = .006) during the first year compared with men. Freedom from amputation was similar for men and women with CLI (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.84-1.63; P = .36). There were no differences in late survival between women and men with claudication (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.60-1.31; P = .36) or CLI (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.81-1.09; P = .39). More female claudicants were not independently ambulatory at discharge (30% vs 19%; P = .002) and were discharged to a nursing home (15% vs 5%; P < .001) but these differences did not persist at 1 year. Women with CLI were more likely to be nonambulatory at discharge (13% vs 9%; P = .006) and at 1 year (13% vs 8%; P < .001). More women with CLI were discharged to a nursing home (44% vs 35%; P = .01) and resided there at 1 year (11% vs 7%; P = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Women have complication rates similar to men with inferior early and late functional outcomes after LEB. The reduced patency rates in women with CLI did not translate into differences in limb salvage. These findings might help define physician and patient expectations for women before revascularization. rights reserved.

Follow-up compliance after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair in Medicare beneficiaries

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 10:57am

OBJECTIVE: Lifelong imaging follow-up is essential to the safe and appropriate management of patients who undergo endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR). We sought to evaluate the rate of compliance with imaging follow-up after EVAR and to identify factors associated with being lost to imaging follow-up. METHODS: We identified a 20% sample of continuously enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who underwent EVAR between 2001 and 2008. Using data through 2010 from Medicare Inpatient, Outpatient, and Carrier files, we identified all abdominal imaging studies that may have been performed for EVAR follow-up. Patients were considered lost to annual imaging follow-up if they did not undergo any abdominal imaging study within their last 2 years of follow-up. Multivariable models were constructed to identify independent factors associated with being lost to annual imaging follow-up. RESULTS: Among 19,962 patients who underwent EVAR, the incidence of loss to annual imaging follow-up at 5 years after EVAR was 50%. Primary factors associated with being lost to annual imaging follow-up were advanced age (age 65-69 years, reference; age 75-79 years: hazard ratio [HR], 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-1.32; age 80-85 years: HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.35-1.55; age > 85 years: HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.88-2.20) and presentation with an urgent/emergent intact aneurysm (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.20-1.35) or ruptured aneurysm (HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.63-2.08). Additional independent factors included several previously diagnosed chronic diseases and South and West regions of the United States. CONCLUSIONS: Annual imaging follow-up compliance after EVAR in the United States is significantly below recommended levels. Quality improvement efforts to encourage improved compliance with imaging follow-up, especially in older patients with multiple comorbidities and in those who underwent EVAR urgently or for rupture, are necessary. rights reserved.