The T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School was founded in 1962 with the mission to advance the health and well-being of the people of the Commonwealth and beyond through pioneering education, research, and health care delivery. This collection showcases journal articles, posters, presentations and other publications authored by medical students at UMass Chan. See also the collections for specific programs listed on the T.H. Chan School of Medicine community page.


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Recently Published

  • Prevalence and predictors of shared decision-making in goals-of-care clinician-family meetings for critically ill neurologic patients: a multi-center mixed-methods study

    Fleming, Victoria; Prasad, Abhinav; Ge, Connie; Crawford, Sybil; Meraj, Shazeb; Hough, Catherine L; Lo, Bernard; Carson, Shannon S; Steingrub, Jay; White, Douglas B; et al. (2023-10-21)
    Background: Shared decision-making is a joint process where patients, or their surrogates, and clinicians make health choices based on evidence and preferences. We aimed to determine the extent and predictors of shared decision-making for goals-of-care discussions for critically ill neurological patients, which is crucial for patient-goal-concordant care but currently unknown. Methods: We analyzed 72 audio-recorded routine clinician-family meetings during which goals-of-care were discussed from seven US hospitals. These occurred for 67 patients with 72 surrogates and 29 clinicians; one hospital provided 49/72 (68%) of the recordings. Using a previously validated 10-element shared decision-making instrument, we quantified the extent of shared decision-making in each meeting. We measured clinicians' and surrogates' characteristics and prognostic estimates for the patient's hospital survival and 6-month independent function using post-meeting questionnaires. We calculated clinician-family prognostic discordance, defined as ≥ 20% absolute difference between the clinician's and surrogate's estimates. We applied mixed-effects regression to identify independent associations with greater shared decision-making. Results: The median shared decision-making score was 7 (IQR 5-8). Only 6% of meetings contained all 10 shared decision-making elements. The most common elements were "discussing uncertainty"(89%) and "assessing family understanding"(86%); least frequent elements were "assessing the need for input from others"(36%) and "eliciting the context of the decision"(33%). Clinician-family prognostic discordance was present in 60% for hospital survival and 45% for 6-month independent function. Univariate analyses indicated associations between greater shared decision-making and younger clinician age, fewer years in practice, specialty (medical-surgical critical care > internal medicine > neurocritical care > other > trauma surgery), and higher clinician-family prognostic discordance for hospital survival. After adjustment, only higher clinician-family prognostic discordance for hospital survival remained independently associated with greater shared decision-making (p = 0.029). Conclusion: Fewer than 1 in 10 goals-of-care clinician-family meetings for critically ill neurological patients contained all shared decision-making elements. Our findings highlight gaps in shared decision-making. Interventions promoting shared decision-making for high-stakes decisions in these patients may increase patient-value congruent care; future studies should also examine whether they will affect decision quality and surrogates' health outcomes.
  • Surface modification of neurovascular stents: from bench to patient

    Zoppo, Christopher T; Mocco, J; Manning, Nathan W; Bogdanov, Alexei A. Jr.; Gounis, Matthew J (2023-10-04)
    Flow-diverting stents (FDs) for the treatment of cerebrovascular aneurysms are revolutionary. However, these devices require systemic dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) to reduce thromboembolic complications. Given the risk of ischemic complications as well as morbidity and contraindications associated with DAPT, demonstrating safety and efficacy for FDs either without DAPT or reducing the duration of DAPT is a priority. The former may be achieved by surface modifications that decrease device thrombogenicity, and the latter by using coatings that expedite endothelial growth. Biomimetics, commonly achieved by grafting hydrophilic and non-interacting polymers to surfaces, can mask the device surface with nature-derived coatings from circulating factors that normally activate coagulation and inflammation. One strategy is to mimic the surfaces of innocuous circulatory system components. Phosphorylcholine and glycan coatings are naturally inspired and present on the surface of all eukaryotic cell membranes. Another strategy involves linking synthetic biocompatible polymer brushes to the surface of a device that disrupts normal interaction with circulating proteins and cells. Finally, drug immobilization can also impart antithrombotic effects that counteract normal foreign body reactions in the circulatory system without systemic effects. Heparin coatings have been explored since the 1960s and used on a variety of blood contacting surfaces. This concept is now being explored for neurovascular devices. Coatings that improve endothelialization are not as clinically mature as anti-thrombogenic coatings. Coronary stents have used an anti-CD34 antibody coating to capture circulating endothelial progenitor cells on the surface, potentially accelerating endothelial integration. Similarly, coatings with CD31 analogs are being explored for neurovascular implants.
  • Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor: two cases highlighting differences in clinical and radiologic presentation

    Gu, Joey; Ge, Connie; Joshi, Ganesh; Most, Mathew; Tai, Ryan (2023-10-04)
    Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors are rare, usually benign neoplasms that occur in the soft tissue or bone and are the cause of nearly all cases of tumor-induced osteomalacia. Tumor-induced osteomalacia due to phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor is a challenging diagnosis to make-patients present with variable clinical and radiologic findings and the culprit neoplasm is often small and can occur anywhere head to toe. We present two cases of phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor in the scapular body and plantar foot. In both cases, the patient endured years of debilitating symptoms before a tissue diagnosis was eventually reached. Descriptions of clinical presentation, laboratory workup, surgical resection, and imaging characteristics, with a focus on CT, MRI, and functional imaging, are provided to assist with the diagnosis and management of this rare entity. A brief review of current literature and discussion of the differential diagnoses of phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor is also provided.
  • Association of neighborhood-level sociodemographic factors with Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) distribution of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in 5 US communities

    Herbert, Carly; Shi, Qiming; Baek, Jonggyu; Wang, Biqi; Kheterpal, Vik; Nowak, Christopher; Suvarna, Thejas; Singh, Aditi; Hartin, Paul; Durnam, Basyl; et al. (2023-09-22)
    Background: Many interventions for widescale distribution of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 have utilized online, direct-to-consumer (DTC) ordering systems; however, little is known about the sociodemographic characteristics of home-test users. We aimed to characterize the patterns of online orders for rapid antigen tests and determine geospatial and temporal associations with neighborhood characteristics and community incidence of COVID-19, respectively. Methods: This observational study analyzed online, DTC orders for rapid antigen test kits from beneficiaries of the Say Yes! Covid Test program from March to November 2021 in five communities: Louisville, Kentucky; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fulton County, Georgia; O'ahu, Hawaii; and Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan. Using spatial autoregressive models, we assessed the geospatial associations of test kit distribution with Census block-level education, income, age, population density, and racial distribution and Census tract-level Social Vulnerability Index. Lag association analyses were used to measure the association between online rapid antigen kit orders and community-level COVID-19 incidence. Results: In total, 164,402 DTC test kits were ordered during the intervention. Distribution of tests at all sites were significantly geospatially clustered at the block-group level (Moran's I: p < 0.001); however, education, income, age, population density, race, and social vulnerability index were inconsistently associated with test orders across sites. In Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky, there were strong associations between same-day COVID-19 incidence and test kit orders (Michigan: r = 0.89, Georgia: r = 0.85, Kentucky: r = 0.75). The incidence of COVID-19 during the current day and the previous 6-days increased current DTC orders by 9.0 (95% CI = 1.7, 16.3), 3.0 (95% CI = 1.3, 4.6), and 6.8 (95% CI = 3.4, 10.2) in Michigan, Georgia, and Kentucky, respectively. There was no same-day or 6-day lagged correlation between test kit orders and COVID-19 incidence in Indiana. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that online ordering is not associated with geospatial clustering based on sociodemographic characteristics. Observed temporal preferences for DTC ordering can guide public health messaging around DTC testing programs.
  • Application of Causal Inference Methods to Pooled Longitudinal Non- Randomized Studies: A Methodological Systematic Review [preprint]

    Hufstedler, Heather; Mauer, Nicole; Yeboah, Edmund; Carr, Sinclair; Rahman, Sabahat; Danzer, Alexander M; Debray, Thomas P A; Jong, Valentijn M T; Campbell, Harlan; Gustafson, Paul; et al. (2023-08-30)
    Observational data provide invaluable real-world information in medicine, but certain methodological considerations are required to derive causal estimates. In this systematic review, we evaluated the methodology and reporting quality of individual-level patient data meta-analyses (IPD-MAs) published in 2009, 2014, and 2019 that sought to estimate a causal relationship in medicine. We screened over 16,000 titles and abstracts, reviewed 45 full-text articles out of the 167 deemed potentially eligible, and included 29 into the analysis. Unfortunately, we found that causal methodologies were rarely implemented, and reporting was generally poor across studies. Specifically, only three of the 29 articles used quasi-experimental methods, and no study used G-methods to adjust for time-varying confounding. To address these issues, we propose stronger collaborations between physicians and methodologists to ensure that causal methodologies are properly implemented in IPD-MAs. In addition, we put forward a suggested checklist of reporting guidelines for IPD-MAs that utilize causal methods. This checklist could improve reporting thereby potentially enhancing the quality and trustworthiness of IPD-MAs, which can be considered one of the most valuable sources of evidence for health policy.
  • Heterozygous FOXJ1 Mutations Cause Incomplete Ependymal Cell Differentiation and Communicating Hydrocephalus

    Hou, Connie C; Li, Danielle; Berry, Bethany C; Zheng, Shaokuan; Carroll, Rona S; Johnson, Mark D; Yang, Hong Wei (2023-08-24)
    Heterozygous mutations affecting FOXJ1, a transcription factor governing multiciliated cell development, have been associated with obstructive hydrocephalus in humans. However, factors that disrupt multiciliated ependymal cell function often cause communicating hydrocephalus, raising questions about whether FOXJ1 mutations cause hydrocephalus primarily by blocking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow or by different mechanisms. Here, we show that heterozygous FOXJ1 mutations are also associated with communicating hydrocephalus in humans and cause communicating hydrocephalus in mice. Disruption of one Foxj1 allele in mice leads to incomplete ependymal cell differentiation and communicating hydrocephalus. Mature ependymal cell number and motile cilia number are decreased, and 12% of motile cilia display abnormal axonemes. We observed decreased microtubule attachment to basal bodies, random localization and orientation of basal body patches, loss of planar cell polarity, and a disruption of unidirectional CSF flow. Thus, heterozygous FOXJ1 mutations impair ventricular multiciliated cell differentiation, thereby causing communicating hydrocephalus. CSF flow obstruction may develop secondarily in some patients harboring FOXJ1 mutations. Heterozygous FOXJ1 mutations impair motile cilia structure and basal body alignment, thereby disrupting CSF flow dynamics and causing communicating hydrocephalus.
  • A novel intrasaccular aneurysm device with high complete occlusion rate: initial results in a rabbit model

    Zoppo, Christopher T; Kolstad, Josephine W; King, Robert M; Wolfe, Thomas; Kraitem, Afif; Vardar, Zeynep; Badruddin, Aamir; Pereira, Edgard; Guerrero, Boris Pabón; Rosqueta, Arturo S; et al. (2023-08-01)
    Background: Intrasaccular flow-disrupting devices are a safe and effective treatment strategy for intracranial aneurysms. We utilized high-frequency optical coherence tomography (HF-OCT) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) to evaluate SEAL Arc, a new intrasaccular device, and compare the findings with the well-established Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device in an animal model of saccular aneurysms. Methods: In a rabbit model, elastase-induced aneurysms were treated with SEAL Arc (n=11) devices. HF-OCT and DSA were performed after implant and repeated after 12 weeks. Device protrusion and malapposition were assessed at implant time and scored on a binary system. Aneurysm occlusion was assessed at 12 weeks with the WEB Occlusion Scale and dichotomized to complete (A and B) or incomplete (C and D) occlusion. The percentage of neointimal coverage after 12 weeks was quantified using HF-OCT. We compared these data to previously published historical controls treated with the gold-standard WEB device (n=24) in the same model. Results: Aneurysm size and device placement were not significantly different between the two groups. Complete occlusion was demonstrated in 80% of the SEAL Arc devices, which compared favorably to the 21% of the aneurysms treated with WEB devices (P=0.002). Neointimal coverage across SEAL Arc devices was 86±15% compared with 49±27% for WEB (P=0.001). Protruding devices had significantly less neointimal coverage (P<0.001) as did incompletely occluded aneurysms (P<0.001). Histologically, all aneurysms treated with SEAL Arc devices were completely healed. Conclusion: Complete early aneurysm occlusion was frequently observed in the SEAL Arc treated aneurysms, with significant neointimal coverage after 12 weeks.
  • A mobile addiction service for community-based overdose prevention

    Pepin, Michael D; Joseph, Jillian K; Chapman, Brittany P; McAuliffe, Christina; O'Donnell, Logan K; Marano, Ryan L; Carreiro, Stephanie; Garcia, Erik J; Silk, Hugh; Babu, Kavita M (2023-07-19)
    Mainstays of opioid overdose prevention include medications for opioid use disorder (e.g., methadone or buprenorphine) and naloxone distribution. Inadequate access to buprenorphine limits its uptake, especially in communities of color, and people with opioid use disorders encounter multiple barriers to obtaining necessary medications including insurance, transportation, and consistent availability of telephones. UMass Memorial Medical Center and our community partners sought to alleviate these barriers to treatment through the deployment of a mobile addiction service, called the Road to Care. Using this approach, multidisciplinary and interprofessional providers deliver holistic addiction care by centering our patients' needs with respect to scheduling, location, and convenience. This program also extends access to buprenorphine and naloxone among people experiencing homelessness. Additional systemic and individualized barriers encountered are identified, as well as potential solutions for future mobile addiction service utilization. Over a two-year period, we have cared for 1,121 individuals who have accessed our mobile addiction service in over 4,567 encounters. We prescribed buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) to 330 individuals (29.4% of all patients). We have distributed nearly 250 naloxone kits directly on-site or and more than 300 kits via prescriptions to local pharmacies. To date, 74 naloxone rescue attempts have been reported back to us. We have demonstrated that a community-based mobile addiction service, anchored within a major medical center, can provide high-volume and high-quality overdose prevention services that facilitate engagement with additional treatment. Our experience is described as a case study below.
  • I saw Medusa's head sign and turned to stone

    Zoppo, Christopher T; Taros, Trenton; Singh, Jasmeet; Puri, Ajit; Kuhn, Anna Luisa (2023-07-04)
    Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are characterized by many radially oriented medullary veins surrounding a central draining vessel. When the imaging plane is perpendicular to the central vessel, these medullary veins resemble Medusa's head of snakes. Medusa's head sign, or caput medusae, can be appreciated on contrast enhanced CT scans and MRIs of the brain and is highly indicative of a DVA.
  • Longitudinal healing flow diverting stents with phosphorylcholine surface modification

    Zoppo, Christopher T; Epshtein, Mark; Gounis, Matthew J; Anagnostakou, Vania; King, Robert M (2023-07-04)
    Background: Flow diversion has become a standard treatment for cerebral aneurysms. However, major drawbacks include the need for dual antiplatelet therapy after implant and delayed complete occlusion of the aneurysm, which occurs when new tissue growth excludes the aneurysm from the parent artery. Biomimetic surface modifications such as the phosphorylcholine polymer (Shield surface modification) represent major advances in reducing thrombogenicity of these devices. However, in vitro studies have raised concerns that this modification may also delay endothelialization of flow diverters. Methods: Bare metal Pipeline, Pipeline Shield, and Vantage with Shield devices were implanted in the common carotid arteries (CCAs) of 10 rabbits (two in the left CCA, one in the right CCA). Following implant and at 5, 10, 15, and 30 days, the devices were imaged with high-frequency optical coherence tomography and conventional angiography to evaluate tissue growth. At 30 days the devices were explanted and their endothelial growth was assessed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at five locations along their length using a semi-quantitative score. Results: The average tissue growth thickness (ATGT) was not different between the three devices. Neointima was apparent at 5 days and all devices demonstrated similar ATGT at each time point. On SEM, no difference was found in the endothelium scores between the device types. Conclusion: In vivo, neither the Shield surface modification nor the device design (Vantage) altered the longitudinal healing of the flow diverter.
  • Passive Monitoring of Crowd-Level Cough Counts in Waiting Areas produces Reliable Syndromic Indicator for Total COVID-19 Burden in a Hospital Emergency Clinic [preprint]

    Rahman, Tauhidur; Hossain, Forsad; Tonmoy, Tanjid Hasan; Nuvvula, Sri; Chapman, Brittany P; Gupta, Rajesh; Lover, Andrew; Dinglasan, Rhoel; Carreiro, Stephanie (2023-06-26)
    Syndromic surveillance is an effective tool for enabling the timely detection of infectious disease outbreaks and facilitating the implementation of effective mitigation strategies by public health authorities. While various information sources are currently utilized to collect syndromic signal data for analysis, the aggregated measurement of cough, an important symptom for many illnesses, is not widely employed as a syndromic signal. With recent advancements in ubiquitous sensing technologies, it becomes feasible to continuously measure population-level cough incidence in a contactless, unobtrusive, and automated manner. In this work, we demonstrate the utility of monitoring aggregated cough count as a syndromic indicator to estimate COVID-19 cases. In our study, we deployed a sensor-based platform Syndromic Logger in the emergency room of a large hospital. The platform captured syndromic signals from audio, thermal imaging, and radar, while the ground truth data were collected from the hospital's electronic health record. Our analysis revealed a significant correlation between the aggregated cough count and positive COVID-19 cases in the hospital (Pearson correlation of 0.40, p-value < 0.001). Notably, this correlation was higher than that observed with the number of individuals presenting with fever (Pearson correlation of 0.22, p=0.04), a widely used syndromic signal and screening tool for such diseases. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the data obtained from our Syndromic Logger platform could be leveraged to estimate various COVID-19-related statistics using multiple modeling approaches. Our findings highlight the efficacy of aggregated cough count as a valuable syndromic indicator associated with the occurrence of COVID-19 cases. Incorporating this signal into syndromic surveillance systems for such diseases can significantly enhance overall resilience against future public health challenges, such as emerging disease outbreaks or pandemics.
  • Changes in postpartum contraception utilization rates during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Chin, Emily; Leung, Katherine; Moore Simas, Tiffany A; Kumaraswami, Tara (2023-06-19)
    Background: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with restricted access to reproductive care including delayed abortion and female sterilization procedures, in addition to altered maternity care experiences. Given high rates of unintended and short-interval pregnancies in the United States in general and negative obstetric outcomes specifically associated with COVID-19, access to all effective pregnancy prevention methods during the pandemic was crucial. Objectives: To investigate changes in contraception utilization rates prior to delivery discharge, at outpatient postpartum visits, and at 10 weeks' postpartum, at the largest healthcare system in Central Massachusetts, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (15 March to 15 May 2020), compared to the same period in 2019. Design: Retrospective cohort review. Methods: Compared perinatal individuals (n = 495) who received prenatal care and delivered at UMass Memorial Medical Center from mid-March to mid-May in both 2019 (non-pandemic) and 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic). Receipt of contraception prior to delivery discharge and at outpatient postpartum visit was estimated and compared between the two time periods using the Chi-square test for categorical variables (or Fisher's exact test when cell counts were < 5) and Student's t-test for continuous variables. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to adjust for confounders. Results: The proportion of individuals who used long-acting reversible contraception before delivery discharge was 4% in 2019 and 13% in 2020 (p = 0.01). Modes of outpatient postpartum visit contraception did not vary from 2019 to 2020, (p = 0.06). Overall, there were no differences in contraception utilization rates at 10 weeks' postpartum from 2019 to 2020, (p = 0.50). Conclusion: Compared to a year prior, immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception use increased during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, while overall contraception use at 10 weeks' postpartum remained unchanged. The evaluation of contraceptive use during the most restrictive time of COVID-19 pandemic can help identify opportunities to increase access to effective contraception, such as the immediate postpartum period prior to hospital discharge.
  • COVID-19-induced Esophageal Necrosis Requiring Emergent Total Esophagectomy in a Vaccinated Patient

    Patil, Tanmay; Dickson, Kevin M; Viera, Matthew; Bludevich, Bryce M; Akalin, Ali; Uy, Karl; Lou, Feiran; Maxfield, Mark W (2023-06-09)
    Acute esophageal necrosis may be a potential complication of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 has been associated with a variety of sequelae, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, myocarditis, and thromboembolic events. Here, we present a case of a 43-year-old male who was admitted for acute necrotizing pancreatitis and found to have COVID-19 pneumonia. He subsequently developed acute esophageal necrosis requiring a total esophagectomy. Currently, there are at least five other reported cases of esophageal necrosis with concomitant COVID-19 infection. This case is the first requiring esophagectomy. Future studies may establish esophageal necrosis as a known complication of COVID-19.
  • Prognostic Language in Critical Neurologic Illness: A Multicenter Mixed-Methods Study

    Goss, Adeline; Ge, Connie; Crawford, Sybil; Goostrey, Kelsey; Buddadhumaruk, Praewpannanrai; Hough, Catherine L; Lo, Bernard; Carson, Shannon; Steingrub, Jay; White, Douglas B; et al. (2023-06-08)
    Background and objectives: There are no evidence-based guidelines for discussing prognosis in critical neurologic illness, but in general, experts recommend that clinicians communicate prognosis using estimates, such as numerical or qualitative expressions of risk. Little is known about how real-world clinicians communicate prognosis in critical neurologic illness. Our primary objective was to characterize prognostic language clinicians used in critical neurologic illness. We additionally explored whether prognostic language differed between prognostic domains (e.g., survival, cognition). Methods: We conducted a multicenter cross-sectional mixed-methods study analyzing deidentified transcripts of audio-recorded clinician-family meetings for patients with neurologic illness requiring intensive care (e.g., intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, severe stroke) from 7 US centers. Two coders assigned codes for prognostic language type and domain of prognosis to each clinician prognostic statement. Prognostic language was coded as probabilistic (estimating the likelihood of an outcome occurring, e.g., "80% survival"; "She'll probably survive") or nonprobabilistic (characterizing outcomes without offering likelihood; e.g., "She may not survive"). We applied univariate and multivariate binomial logistic regression to examine independent associations between prognostic language and domain of prognosis. Results: We analyzed 43 clinician-family meetings for 39 patients with 78 surrogates and 27 clinicians. Clinicians made 512 statements about survival (median 0/meeting [interquartile range (IQR) 0-2]), physical function (median 2 [IQR 0-7]), cognition (median 2 [IQR 0-6]), and overall recovery (median 2 [IQR 1-4]). Most statements were nonprobabilistic (316/512 [62%]); 10 of 512 prognostic statements (2%) offered numeric estimates; and 21% (9/43) of family meetings only contained nonprobabilistic language. Compared with statements about cognition, statements about survival (odds ratio [OR] 2.50, 95% CI 1.01-6.18, p = 0.048) and physical function (OR 3.22, 95% 1.77-5.86, p < 0.001) were more frequently probabilistic. Statements about physical function were less likely to be uncertainty-based than statements about cognition (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.17-0.66, p = 0.002). Discussion: Clinicians preferred not to use estimates (either numeric or qualitative) when discussing critical neurologic illness prognosis, especially when they discussed cognitive outcomes. These findings may inform interventions to improve prognostic communication in critical neurologic illness.
  • Spontaneous Rupture of the Extensor Pollicis Longus Tendon: A Systematic Review

    Lister, Rachel C; Bradford, Henry C; Joo, Alex; Carr, Catherine W.; Delancy, Anna; Naram, Aparajit; Rothkopf, Douglas M; Shufflebarger, John V (2023-06-02)
    Background: Extensor pollicis longus (EPL) rupture and tenosynovitis of the third dorsal compartment is often described in association with a history of rheumatoid arthritis or in the setting of a distal radius fracture. However, the literature suggests multiple other potential factors that may lead to a seemingly spontaneous rupture. Methods: We performed a systematic review following guidelines set forth by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The search consisted of headings and keywords related to tendon injuries, tendinopathy, hand surgery, tendon transfer, and injections, as published in reports and studies. Citations were screened by title and abstract against predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria by 2 independent reviewers, with a third reviewer resolving discrepancies. To be eligible, articles had to meet the following inclusion criterion: describe cases of spontaneous EPL rupture or tenosynovitis of the third dorsal compartment. The exclusion criterion was any history of distal radius fracture or rheumatoid arthritis. Results: We identified 29 articles that met the inclusion criterion. Conclusions: A myriad of prodromal events or predisposing factors ultimately led to EPL rupture or tenosynovitis of the third compartment. Methods of reconstruction described included primary repair, tendon grafting, and tendon transfer techniques; all with generally good outcomes. These results highlight the inherent fragility of this tendon and support the historical recommendation for early release of the EPL tendon in the setting of tenosynovitis of the third dorsal compartment.
  • From COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy to Vaccine Acceptance: Results of a Longitudinal Survey

    Fisher, Kimberly A; Nguyen, Ngoc; Fouayzi, Hassan; Crawford, Sybil; Singh, Sonal; Dong, May; Wittenberg, Ruth; Mazor, Kathleen M (2023-05-27)
    Objectives: COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, but uptake is suboptimal. To develop strategies to increase vaccination rates, we sought to (1) characterize adults initially hesitant to be vaccinated for COVID-19 who later received the vaccine and (2) identify factors associated with their vaccination decision. Methods: In January 2021, we conducted an online survey of US adults via Prolific that assessed vaccination intent, COVID-19-related knowledge and attitudes, and demographic characteristics. In May 2021, we recontacted respondents to assess vaccination status and factors influencing their vaccination decision. We used χ2 statistics and t tests to examine associations between respondents' vaccination status and their characteristics, knowledge, and attitudes. We analyzed reasons for vaccination using thematic analysis. Results: Of 756 initially vaccine-hesitant respondents, 529 (70.0%) completed the follow-up survey. Nearly half of those initially not sure about vaccination (47.3%, 112 of 237) were vaccinated at follow-up, while 21.2% (62 of 292) of those initially planning not to be vaccinated were vaccinated at follow-up. Of those initially not sure, higher educational attainment, greater knowledge of COVID-19, and a doctor's recommendation were associated with vaccination. Of those initially intending not to be vaccinated, male sex, Democratic political affiliation, receipt of an influenza shot within 5 years, being more worried about COVID-19, and having greater COVID-19 knowledge were associated with increased likelihood of being vaccinated. Of 167 respondents who gave reasons for vaccination, protecting oneself and others (59.9%), practical issues (29.9%), social influences (17.4%), and vaccine safety (13.8%) were the main reasons. Conclusion: Providing information on the protective value of vaccination, implementing rules that make remaining unvaccinated burdensome, making vaccination easy, and providing social support may influence vaccine-hesitant adults to accept vaccination.
  • "I Have Constant Fear": A National Qualitative Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care and Potential Solutions to Improve the Cancer Care Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Rodriguez, Gladys M; Kumar, Dhanya; Patel, Manali I (2023-05-08)
    Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected cancer care delivery for patients, including cancellation or delays in surveillance imaging, clinic visits, and treatments. Yet, gaps remain in understanding the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer and potential ways to overcome these impacts. Methods: We conducted semistructured, in-depth, one-on-one qualitative interviews among adults with a past or current history of cancer in the United States. Participants from a parent quantitative survey were purposively sampled to participate in a qualitative interview. Interview questions addressed (1) experiences with cancer care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) unmet concerns regarding care and other impacts; and (3) approaches to improve patient experiences. We conducted inductive thematic analysis. Results: Fifty-seven interviews were conducted. Four themes emerged: (1) concern regarding the risk of COVID-19 infection among patients with cancer and their families; (2) disruptions in care increased patients' anxiety about poor cancer outcomes and death from cancer; (3) significant social and economic impacts; and (4) increased social isolation and anxiety about the future. Suggestions for current clinical practice include (1) clear communication on patients' health risks; (2) increased attention to mental health needs and access to mental health services; and (3) routine use of telemedicine as frequently as possible when clinically appropriate. Conclusion: These rich findings reveal the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer and potential approaches to mitigate the impact from the patient perspective. The findings not only inform current cancer care delivery but also health system responses to future public health or environmental crises that may pose a unique health risk for patients with cancer or disrupt their care.
  • Non-invasive fluid biomarkers in the diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI): a systematic review

    Feinberg, Charles; Mayes, Katherine Dickerson; Portman, Ellie; Carr, Catherine W.; Mannix, Rebekah (2023-05-05)
    Background: Despite approximately 55.9 million annual mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) worldwide, the accurate diagnosis of mTBI continues to challenge clinicians due to symptom ambiguity, reliance on subjective report and presentation variability. Non-invasive fluid biomarkers of mTBI offer a biological measure to diagnose and monitor mTBI without the need for blood draws or neuroimaging. The objective of this study is to systematically review the utility of such biomarkers to diagnose mTBI and predict disease progression. Methods: A systematic review performed in PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane and Web of Science followed by a manual search of references without a specified timeframe. Search strings were generated and run (27 June 2022) by a research librarian. Studies were included if they: (1) included human mTBI subjects, (2) assessed utility of a non-invasive biomarker and (3) published in English. Exclusion criteria were (1) non-mTBI subjects, (2) mTBI not assessed separately from moderate/severe TBI, (3) required intracranial haemorrhage or (4) solely assesses genetic susceptibility to mTBI. Results: A total of 29 studies from 27 subject populations (1268 mTBI subjects) passed the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Twelve biomarkers were studied. Salivary RNAs, including microRNA, were assessed in 11 studies. Cortisol and melatonin were assessed in four and three studies, respectively. Eight salivary and two urinary biomarkers contained diagnostic or disease monitoring capability. Discussion: This systematic review identified several salivary and urinary biomarkers that demonstrate the potential to be used as a diagnostic, prognostic and monitoring tool for mTBI. Further research should examine miRNA-based models for diagnostic and predictive utility in patients with mTBI. Prospero registration number: CRD42022329293.
  • The end of Roe v. Wade: implications for Women's mental health and care

    Londoño Tobón, Amalia; McNicholas, Eileen; Clare, Camille A; Ireland, Luu D; Payne, Jennifer L; Moore Simas, Tiffany A; Scott, Rachel K; Becker, Madeleine; Byatt, Nancy (2023-05-05)
    The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson in June 2022 reversed precedent which had previously protected abortion prior to fetal viability as a universal right within the United States. This decision almost immediately led to abortion restrictions across 25 states. The resulting lack of access to abortion care for millions of pregnant people will have profound physical and mental health consequences, the full effects of which will not be realized for years to come. Approximately 1 in 5 women access abortions in the U.S. each year. These women are diverse and represent all American groups. The Supreme court decision, however, will affect populations that have and continue to be marginalized the most. Forcing pregnant individuals to carry unwanted pregnancies worsens health outcomes and mortality risk for both the perinatal individual and the offspring. The US has one of the highest maternal mortality rates and this rate is projected to increase with abortion bans. Abortion policies also interfere with appropriate medical care of pregnant people leading to less safe pregnancies for all. Beyond the physical morbidity, the psychological sequelae of carrying a forced pregnancy to term will lead to an even greater burden of maternal mental illness, exacerbating the already existing maternal mental health crisis. This perspective piece reviews the current evidence of abortion denial on women's mental health and care. Based on the current evidence, we discuss the clinical, educational, societal, research, and policy implications of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision.
  • Improving Accessibility in the Emergency Department for Patients with Disabilities: A Qualitative Study

    Carmichael, J Harrison; Kalagher, Kelly M; Reznek, Martin A; Modi, Payal (2023-05-03)
    Introduction: The emergency department (ED) is a critical service area for patients living with disabilities in the United States. Despite this, there is limited research on best practices from the patient experience regarding accommodation and accessibility for those with disabilities. In this study we investigate the ED experience from the perspective of patients living with physical and cognitive disability, as well as visual impairment and blindness, to better understand the barriers to accessibility in the ED for these populations. Methods: Twelve individuals with either physical or cognitive disabilities, visual impairments or blindness were interviewed regarding their ED experiences, particularly related to accessibility. Interviews were transcribed and coded for qualitative analysis with generation of significant themes relating to accessibility in the ED. Results: Major themes from coded analysis were as follows: 1) inadequate communication between staff and patients with visual impairments and physical disabilities; 2) the need for electronic delivery for after-visit summaries for individuals with cognitive and visual disabilities; 3) the importance of mindful listening and patience by healthcare staff; 4) the role of increased hospital support including greeters and volunteers; and 5) comprehensive training with both prehospital and hospital staff around assistive devices and services. Conclusion: This study serves as an important first step toward improving the ED environment to ensure accessibility and inclusivity for patients presenting with various types of disabilities. Implementing specific training, policies, and infrastructure changes may improve the experiences and healthcare of this population.

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