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Geriatrics, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life Outcomes in the ONTRAC Study for Skin Cancer Chemoprevention by Nicotinamide
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) has photoprotective effects and reduces skin cancer incidence in high risk patients. Nicotinamide also improves cognition in animal models. As part of the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) phase III placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess nicotinamide’s efficacy in [...] Read more.
Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) has photoprotective effects and reduces skin cancer incidence in high risk patients. Nicotinamide also improves cognition in animal models. As part of the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) phase III placebo-controlled, randomized trial to assess nicotinamide’s efficacy in skin cancer prevention, we included clinical neurocognitive function and patient-reported quality of life assessments at baseline and after 12 months of intervention in individuals with previous skin cancer in order to assess any effect of oral nicotinamide (500 mg po twice daily) on cognitive function and quality of life. In our sample of 310 participants who completed neurocognitive function testing at baseline and at 12 months, we were not able to detect any significant effect of oral nicotinamide on cognitive function nor on quality of life. Further studies of nicotinamide’s effects on cognition in humans might include individuals with pre-existing mild cognitive impairment, and it may be that higher doses of nicotinamide are required to significantly influence cognitive function compared to doses required to reduce skin cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessArticle
Social Determinants of Association among Diabetes Mellitus, Visual Impairment and Hearing Loss in a Middle-Aged or Old Population: Artificial-Neural-Network Analysis of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (2014–2016)
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: This study introduces a new framework based on an artificial neural network (ANN) for testing whether social determinants are major determinants of association among diabetes mellitus, visual impairment and hearing loss in a middle-aged or old population. Methods: The data came from [...] Read more.
Background: This study introduces a new framework based on an artificial neural network (ANN) for testing whether social determinants are major determinants of association among diabetes mellitus, visual impairment and hearing loss in a middle-aged or old population. Methods: The data came from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (2014–2016), with 6120 participants aged 45 years or more. The association was divided into eight categories: one category for having no disease, three categories for having one, three categories for having two and one category for having three. Variable importance, the effect of a variable on model performance, was used to evaluate the hypothesis based on whether family support, socioeconomic status and social activity in Y2014 are among the top 10 determinants of the association in the year 2016 (Y2016). Results: Based on variable importance from the ANN, brothers/sisters cohabiting (0.0167), voluntary activity (0.0148), income (0.0125), family activity (0.0125), parents alive (0.0121), leisure activity (0.0095) and meeting with friends (0.0092) in Y2014 are the top-10 determinants of comorbidity in Y2016. Conclusion: The findings of this study support the hypothesis, highlighting the importance of social determinants for the effective management of the comorbidities of the three diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Documentation of Nutritional Care in A Nursing Home: An Evaluation of A Participatory Action Research Project
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: Nursing home patients at nutritional risk are often not identified, nor given entitled nutritional treatment. One approach proven suitable to facilitate change in clinical practise is participatory action research (PAR). This is a process which involves research participants in reflection, planning, action, [...] Read more.
Background: Nursing home patients at nutritional risk are often not identified, nor given entitled nutritional treatment. One approach proven suitable to facilitate change in clinical practise is participatory action research (PAR). This is a process which involves research participants in reflection, planning, action, observation, assessing and re-planning, targeted to bring about change. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether a PAR project resulted in improved documentation of nutritional care in a nursing home ward. Method and sample: A quantitative evaluation. Documentation of the nutritional information was collected from medical records of residents in a nursing home ward at baseline and five months into the project period. Results: Increased documentation of individual nutritional treatment measures was found from baseline to the follow-up. The number of residents with a nutritional care plan (NCP) also increased significantly. On the other hand, the study identified a significant decrease in the proportion of residents with documented weight and nutritional status. Conclusion: The evaluation found several improvements in the documentation of nutritional care practice in the nursing home ward as a result of the PAR project, indicating that a PAR approach is suitable to bring about change in practice. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Calciphylaxis as A Rare Cause of A Chronic Wound in An 83-Year-Old Woman
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Chronic wounds are common in elderly patients, and the majority of them are caused by vascular diseases, such as peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD) or chronic venous insufficiency. Because of typical signs, these diseases can be usually easily differentiated. However, 10% of chronic [...] Read more.
Chronic wounds are common in elderly patients, and the majority of them are caused by vascular diseases, such as peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD) or chronic venous insufficiency. Because of typical signs, these diseases can be usually easily differentiated. However, 10% of chronic wounds are caused by specific rare diseases, such as vasculitis, specific infections, skin cancer, or calciphylaxis. Calciphylaxis is a rare cause of chronic wounds, and it is usually found in patients with end-stage renal disease. In this paper, we describe the case of an 83-year-old woman with a chronic ulcer of the lower leg caused by calciphylaxis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of Benzodiazepine Use in an Older Population Registered in Family Health Units in the Region of Minho, Portugal
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Benzodiazepines are the most frequently consumed psychotropic drugs among older persons. This pharmacological class has been advised against in this group, due to the various risks associated with its use in an older population. This study seeks to determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine [...] Read more.
Benzodiazepines are the most frequently consumed psychotropic drugs among older persons. This pharmacological class has been advised against in this group, due to the various risks associated with its use in an older population. This study seeks to determine the prevalence of benzodiazepine use in a non-institutionalized older population over the age of 75 that is registered in Family Health Units (USF) in the region of Minho, Portugal, as well as to characterize these patients and understand the link between benzodiazepine use and chronic medication use, risk of falls, and level of physical and functional dependence. The data extracted from the clinical records registered in the SAM® were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). A sample of 700 patients was obtained. These patients presented a mean age of 82.3 years, 62.7% were female, 95.3% were physically independent, and 38.0% were functionally independent. Almost half of the elder persons presented a moderate (36.9%) or high (11.4%) risk of falls. 37.9% of the patients were chronic benzodiazepines users, using between 1 and 3 active substances belonging to this pharmacological class, with a higher rate of use among women (p < 0.001) and elder persons. There was a statistically significant association among the use of benzodiazepines, a functional independence, and a higher risk of falls. These pioneering findings in Portugal reveal a high prevalence of benzodiazepine use in the population studied and warn about the specific characteristics of said population and the importance in reducing the risks associated with the inappropriate prescription of these drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessCommunication
Rehabilitative Support for Persons with Dementia and Their Families to Acquire Self-Management Attitude and Improve Social Cognition and Sense of Cognitive Empathy
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 23 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
People with dementia are often inevitably confronted with various difficulties with social interaction and communication, which is a core problem that can be improved with rehabilitative support, thus improving their quality of life. The authors propose rehabilitative support using communication via activities; co-beneficial [...] Read more.
People with dementia are often inevitably confronted with various difficulties with social interaction and communication, which is a core problem that can be improved with rehabilitative support, thus improving their quality of life. The authors propose rehabilitative support using communication via activities; co-beneficial relationship-based rehabilitation, which emphasizes the following 3 points: support for people with dementia to improve social reserves, which is the ability to overcome the decline in social cognition; support for family members for improving cognitive empathy, which is the ability to analyze the background of others’ behaviors and speech; and the involvement of the practitioner to supervise and empower them. The process of intervention is as follows: (1) selecting activities for collaboration; (2) sharing information on their current situation including declined abilities; (3) enhancing cognitive empathy through dementia education; (4) designing the intervention measures together; and (5) practice and feedback. Living with dementia involves a continuous process of coping with various challenges in daily living, however, the process of effectively managing these challenges is one of the ways to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their family members. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
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Open AccessReview
Psychological Wellbeing and Healthy Aging: Focus on Telomeres
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
Stress and depression are known to modulate the aging process, and might also affect telomere biology. In fact, exposure to some biochemical pathways involved in stress-related depression may contribute to an ‘‘accelerated aging” phenotype, as well as the incidence of age-related diseases, including [...] Read more.
Stress and depression are known to modulate the aging process, and might also affect telomere biology. In fact, exposure to some biochemical pathways involved in stress-related depression may contribute to an ‘‘accelerated aging” phenotype, as well as the incidence of age-related diseases, including metabolic disorders and dementia. Basic studies support the notion that the telomere and telomerase system plays a pivotal role in the aging process and disease promotion. Interestingly, short and dysfunctional telomeres are associated with reduced lifespan, as shown in animal models. In this context, telomeres are very sensitive to stress, mindset, and lifestyle, and their rescue may be sufficient to restore cell and organism viability. This mini-review discusses conceptual models of healthy and active aging and their relationship with telomere biology and mental health. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
ACE Model for Older Adults in ED
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
The emergency department (ED) is uniquely positioned to improve care for older adults and affect patient outcome trajectories. The Mount Sinai Hospital ED cares for 15,000+ patients >65 years old annually. From 2012 to 2015, emergency care in a dedicated Geriatric Emergency Department [...] Read more.
The emergency department (ED) is uniquely positioned to improve care for older adults and affect patient outcome trajectories. The Mount Sinai Hospital ED cares for 15,000+ patients >65 years old annually. From 2012 to 2015, emergency care in a dedicated Geriatric Emergency Department (GED) replicated an Acute Care for Elderly (ACE) model, with focused assessments on common geriatric syndromes and daily comprehensive interdisciplinary team (IDT) meetings for high-risk patients. The IDT, comprised of an emergency physician, geriatrician, transitional care nurse (TCN) or geriatric nurse practitioner (NP), ED nurse, social worker (SW), pharmacist (RX), and physical therapist (PT), developed comprehensive care plans for vulnerable older adults at high risk for morbidity, ED revisit, functional decline, or potentially avoidable hospital admission. Patients were identified using the Identification of Seniors at Risk (ISAR) screen, followed by geriatric assessments to assist in the evaluation of elders in the ED. On average, 38 patients per day were evaluated by the IDT with approximately 30% of these patients formally discussed during IDT rounds. Input from the IDT about functional and cognitive, psychosocial, home safety, and pharmacological assessments influenced decisions on hospital admission, care transitions, access to community based resources, and medication management. This paper describes the role of a Geriatric Emergency Medicine interdisciplinary team as an innovative ACE model of care for older adults who present to the ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment and Nutrition-Related Assessment: A Cross-Sectional Survey for Health Professionals
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: It is important to assess physical and nutritional status using the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA). However, the correlation between the CGA usage and nutritional-related assessments remain unclear. This study aims to clarify the correlation between the CGA usage and other nutritional-related [...] Read more.
(1) Background: It is important to assess physical and nutritional status using the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA). However, the correlation between the CGA usage and nutritional-related assessments remain unclear. This study aims to clarify the correlation between the CGA usage and other nutritional-related assessments. (2) Methods: We conducted a questionnaire survey on clinical use of CGA, assessment of sarcopenia/sarcopenic dysphagia/cachexia, and defining nutritional goals/the Nutrition Care Process/the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)/the Kuchi–Kara Taberu Index. (3) Results: The number of respondents was 652 (response rate, 12.0%), including 77 who used the CGA in the general practice. The univariate analyses revealed that participants using the CGA tended to assess sarcopenia (P = 0.029), sarcopenic dysphagia (P = 0.001), and define nutritional goals (P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analyses for the CGA usage revealed that using ICF (P < 0.001), assessing sarcopenia (P = 0.001), sarcopenic dysphagia (P = 0.022), and cachexia (P = 0.039), and defining nutritional goals (P = 0.001) were statistically significant after adjusting for confounders. (4) Conclusions: There are correlations between the use of CGA and evaluation of sarcopenia, sarcopenic dysphagia, and cachexia and nutritional goals. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Occupational Therapy Approach to Addressing Food Insecurity among Older Adults with Chronic Disease
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
The older adult population is one of the fastest growing age groups in the United States. Various components influence productive aging, and current research has identified nutrition and healthy eating as key factors that impact older adults’ overall health status. While consumption of [...] Read more.
The older adult population is one of the fastest growing age groups in the United States. Various components influence productive aging, and current research has identified nutrition and healthy eating as key factors that impact older adults’ overall health status. While consumption of nutritious meals can help minimize the risk of health decline, the growing rate of food insecurity inhibits older adults’ abilities to access healthy food regularly. Additionally, the high prevalence of chronic disease and disability in older adults can also limit independent participation in food-related activities, such as shopping, self-feeding, and meal preparation. A lack of food access and difficulties engaging in food-related activities place older adults with chronic disease at an increased risk of malnutrition, disability, and losing independence, thereby threatening social participation, healthy aging, and quality of life. Due to their expertise in promoting health and independent living, occupational therapy practitioners may be uniquely positioned to enhance older adults’ healthy eating behaviors through the use of client-centered interventions tailored to food-related activities. This position paper reviews the scope of the occupational therapy profession, the consequences of food insecurity among older adults with chronic conditions, and strategies to enhance food-related activity participation in later life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Regaining Versus Not Regaining Function Following Hip Fracture—A Descriptive Study
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to study the prevalence of patients who did not regain pre-fracture basic mobility status (PF-BMS) at a task-specific level at discharge with 6-month follow-up. Furthermore, the objective was to make a comparative description between patients who did [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to study the prevalence of patients who did not regain pre-fracture basic mobility status (PF-BMS) at a task-specific level at discharge with 6-month follow-up. Furthermore, the objective was to make a comparative description between patients who did and did not regain PF-BMS measured with the Cumulated Ambulation Score (CAS). A cross-sectional study with follow-up at discharge and 6 months was performed from June 2015 to November 2017. Inclusion criteria: all patients ≥65 years admitted with first-time hip fracture. In all, 235 patients were included in the analyses at discharge (76% female, median age 85 (83–87)) and 59 patients at 6 months (48% female, median age 82 (75–88)). At discharge, getting in/out of bed had the highest prevalence of non-regained ability. At 6 months this was the case for getting in/out of bed and walking. At discharge, significant between-group differences were found regarding age, pre-fracture function (PFF), dementia, pre-fracture residence (PFR), comorbidity, and length of stay (LOS). At follow-up, significant differences in PFF, PFR, discharge destination (DD) and residence at 3 months after discharge (RES-3) were found. Getting in/out of bed was the most difficult task to regain both during admission and long term. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommentary
Giving Them a Voice: Challenges to Narrative Agency in People with Dementia
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
In this paper, we argue that the capacity for narrative agency is significantly compromised in individuals with dementia due to at least three factors: (a) Dementia itself, which causes increasing difficulties in constructing and articulating coherent and meaningful stories, and sharing them with [...] Read more.
In this paper, we argue that the capacity for narrative agency is significantly compromised in individuals with dementia due to at least three factors: (a) Dementia itself, which causes increasing difficulties in constructing and articulating coherent and meaningful stories, and sharing them with others; (b) cultural narratives about dementia, which promote an extremely negative and pessimistic view of those with the disease; and (c) the convergence of these two last factors, which can lead to caregiving interactions that do not support storytelling and can even stop people with dementia from telling stories. We highlight the importance of narrative care, which involves interventions that focus on the person and their unique life narrative. In narrative care, people with dementia are treated not as impaired patients defined by the disease, but as human beings. In doing so, people with dementia can have their own voices back, which is silenced and discredited so many times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessArticle
Improving Care Transitions for Hospitalized Veterans Discharged to Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Focus on Polypharmacy and Geriatric Syndromes
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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Abstract
Geriatric syndromes and polypharmacy are common in older patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and increase 30-day readmission risk. In a U.S.A. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-funded Quality Improvement study to improve care transitions from the VA hospital to area SNFs, Veterans [...] Read more.
Geriatric syndromes and polypharmacy are common in older patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and increase 30-day readmission risk. In a U.S.A. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-funded Quality Improvement study to improve care transitions from the VA hospital to area SNFs, Veterans (N = 134) were assessed for geriatric syndromes using standardized instruments as well as polypharmacy, defined as five or more medications. Warm handoffs were used to facilitate the transfer of this information. This paper describes the prevalence of geriatric syndromes, polypharmacy, and readmission rates. Veterans were prescribed an average of 14.7 medications at hospital discharge. Moreover, 75% of Veterans had more than two geriatric syndromes, some of which began during hospitalization. While this effort did not reduce 30-day readmissions, the high prevalence of geriatric syndromes and polypharmacy suggests that future efforts targeting these issues may be necessary to reduce readmissions among Veterans discharged to SNF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Tele-Follow-Up of Older Adult Patients from the Geriatric Emergency Department Innovation (GEDI) Program
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to characterize the content and interventions performed during follow-up phone calls made to patients discharged from the Geriatrics Emergency Department Innovation (GEDI) Program and to demonstrate the benefit of these calls in the care of older adults [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to characterize the content and interventions performed during follow-up phone calls made to patients discharged from the Geriatrics Emergency Department Innovation (GEDI) Program and to demonstrate the benefit of these calls in the care of older adults discharged from the emergency department (ED). This study utilizes retrospective chart review with qualitative analysis. It was set in a large, urban, academic hospital emergency department utilizing the Geriatric Emergency Department Innovations (GEDI) Program. The subjects were adults aged 65 and over who visited the emergency department for acute care. Follow-up telephone calls were made by geriatric nurse liaisons (GNLs) at 24–72 h and 10–14 days post-discharge from the ED. The GNLs documented the content of the phone calls, and these notes were analyzed through a constant comparative method to identify emergent themes. The results showed that the most commonly arising themes in the patients’ questions and nurses’ responses across time-points included symptom management, medications, and care coordination (physician appointments, social services, therapy, and medical equipment). Early follow-up presented the opportunity for nurses to address needs in symptom management and care coordination that directly related to the ED admission; later follow-up presented a unique opportunity to resolve sub-acute issues that were not addressed by the initial discharge plan and to manage newly arising symptoms and patient needs. Thus, telephone follow-up after emergency department discharge presents an opportunity to better connect older adults with appropriate outpatient care and to address needs arising shortly after discharge that may not have otherwise been detected. By following up at two discrete time-points, this intervention identifies and addresses distinct patient needs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Stressors Facing Home-Based Primary Care Providers
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
The numbers of homebound patients in the United States are increasing. Home-based primary care (HBPC) is an effective model of interdisciplinary care that has been shown to have high patient satisfaction rates and excellent clinical outcomes. However, there are few clinicians that practice [...] Read more.
The numbers of homebound patients in the United States are increasing. Home-based primary care (HBPC) is an effective model of interdisciplinary care that has been shown to have high patient satisfaction rates and excellent clinical outcomes. However, there are few clinicians that practice HBPC and clinicians that do face additional stressors. This study sought to better understand the stressors that HBPC providers face in caring for homebound patients. This was a cross-sectional qualitative survey and analysis of HBPC providers. Responses were categorized into four themes: The patient in the home setting, caregiver support, logistics, and administrative concerns. This research is the first to analyze the stressors that providers of HBPC face in serving the needs of complex homebound patients. Awareness and attention to these issues will be important for the future sustainability of home-based primary care. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Feeling Respected as a Person: a Qualitative Analysis of Frail Older People’s Experiences on an Acute Geriatric Ward Practicing a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) practices multidimensional, interdisciplinary, and diagnostic processes as a means to identify care needs, plan care, and improve outcomes of frail older people. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze frail older people’s experiences of receiving CGA. Through a secondary [...] Read more.
Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) practices multidimensional, interdisciplinary, and diagnostic processes as a means to identify care needs, plan care, and improve outcomes of frail older people. Conventional content analysis was used to analyze frail older people’s experiences of receiving CGA. Through a secondary analysis, interviews and transcripts were revisited in an attempt to discover the meaning behind the participants’ implied, ambiguous, and verbalized thoughts that were not illuminated in the primary study. Feeling “respected as a person” is the phenomenon participants described on a CGA acute geriatric ward, achieved by having a reciprocal relationship with the ward staff, enabling their participation in decisions when engaged in communication and understanding. However, when a person was too ill to participate, then care was person-supportive care. CGA, when delivered by staff practicing person-centered care, can keep the frail older person in focus despite them being a patient. If a person-centered care approach does not work because the person is too ill, then person-supportive care is delivered. However, when staff and/or organizational practices do not implement a person-centered care approach, this can hinder patients feeling “respected as a person”. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report
Dementia and Challenging Behaviors in Gerontological Centers. A Case Report
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
Among the main challenges in geriatric and gerontological centers, we consider, central, the individualized attention to those elderly persons with challenging behaviors, to the extent that it is possible to design preventive strategies that delay cognitive deterioration and minimize consequences of behavior disorders. [...] Read more.
Among the main challenges in geriatric and gerontological centers, we consider, central, the individualized attention to those elderly persons with challenging behaviors, to the extent that it is possible to design preventive strategies that delay cognitive deterioration and minimize consequences of behavior disorders. The first step will be to develop the correct interpretation of symptoms and deficits as a guarantee of a correct diagnosis which, in addition to not always being easy, has to be adapted to the progression of the disease. We present the case of a 68-year-old institutionalized individual, with an initial diagnosis of diffuse Lewy bodies dementia, analyzing his cognitive and behavioral evolution, and the pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach to the case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
Open AccessArticle
Baseline Body Mass Predicts Average Depressive Symptoms over the Next Two Decades for White but Not Black Older Adults
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Although obesity and depression have a bidirectional association, this link may vary based on race. The current study tested racial variation in bidirectional links between depressive symptoms and body mass index (BMI) over 24 years of follow-up in older adults over the [...] Read more.
Background: Although obesity and depression have a bidirectional association, this link may vary based on race. The current study tested racial variation in bidirectional links between depressive symptoms and body mass index (BMI) over 24 years of follow-up in older adults over the age of 50 in the United States. We hypothesized weaker bidirectional links in Blacks compared to Whites. Methods: Data came from waves 1 to 12 (1990 to 2014) of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing state-of-the-art national cohort. The study followed a representative sample of Americans (n = 15,194; 2,200 Blacks and 12,994 Whites) over the age of 50. Dependent variables were average depressive symptoms and BMI over 24 years, based on measurements every other year, from 1990 to 2014. Independent variables included baseline depressive symptoms and BMI. Covariates included age, gender, marital status, veteran status, and activities of daily living. Structural equation models were fitted to the data for data analysis. Results: In the pooled sample, bidirectional associations were found between BMI and depressive symptoms as baseline BMI predicted average depressive symptoms over time and baseline depressive symptoms predicted average BMI over 24 years. Racial differences were found in the bidirectional association between BMI and depressive symptoms, with both directions of the associations being absent for Blacks. For Whites, baseline BMI predicted average depressive symptoms over the next 24 years. Conclusion: Reciprocal associations between BMI and depressive symptoms over a 24-year period among individuals over the age of 50 vary for Blacks and Whites. As these associations are stronger for Whites than Blacks, clinical and public health programs that simultaneously target comorbid obesity and depression may be more appropriate for Whites than Blacks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Airway Invasion and Pharyngeal Residue in Patients with Dementia
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Previous research has begun to elucidate the physiological impairments associated with dysphagia in patients with dementia, but in order to select the most appropriate targets of intervention we need to better understand consequences of dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to quantify [...] Read more.
Previous research has begun to elucidate the physiological impairments associated with dysphagia in patients with dementia, but in order to select the most appropriate targets of intervention we need to better understand consequences of dysphagia. The purpose of this study was to quantify penetration, aspiration, and residue in people with dementia, and confirm if residue was associated with airway invasion on subsequent swallows. Videofluoroscopy clips of sips of thin and extremely thick liquid barium from 58 patients with dementia were retrospectively analyzed. Ratings of swallowing safety, using the Penetration–Aspiration Scale (PAS), and efficiency, using Normalized Residue Ratio Scale in the valleculae (NRRSv) and pyriform sinuses (NRRSp), were made on all swallows. Over 70% of both thin and extremely thick liquid swallows were found to be safe (PAS < 3). Results also revealed that residue was generally more common in the valleculae. However, the proportion of thin liquid swallows with significant NRRSp that were unsafe on the subsequent swallow was significantly greater than the proportion of swallows with significant NRRSp that were safe on the subsequent swallow. As such, there was a 2.83 times greater relative risk of penetration–aspiration in the presence of thin liquid pyriform sinus residue. Future research should determine the impaired physiology causing aspiration and residue in this population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Successful Aging in a Cohort of Filipino Women
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
This study describes a multidimensional measure of successful aging (SA) and examines the relationship with chronic disease status and self-reported health. Using data from the 2015 Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey of 1568 Filipino women, we created a four domain measure of [...] Read more.
This study describes a multidimensional measure of successful aging (SA) and examines the relationship with chronic disease status and self-reported health. Using data from the 2015 Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey of 1568 Filipino women, we created a four domain measure of SA (physiological, mental health, cognitive, sociological). We explored age-stratified associations of each domain and total SA with various health behaviors, chronic disease status, and correlations with self-reported health measures. Both age groups reported aging well, but younger women had higher mean SA scores. Association patterns between domain and total SA and sociodemographic and health behaviors were similar across age groups. Physiological score was associated with hypertension for all ages, and with diabetes in younger women. Total SA was moderately correlated with self-reported health measures. Participants reported aging successfully despite chronic disease status. Future studies should use a multidimensional definition of SA which incorporates elders’ perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Well Do Seniors Estimate Distance to Food? The Accuracy of Older Adults’ Reported Proximity to Local Grocery Stores
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: Findings from observational studies of relations between neighborhood environments and health outcomes underscore the importance of both objective and perceived experiences of those environments. A clearer understanding of the factors associated with discrepancies between these two assessment approaches is needed to [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Findings from observational studies of relations between neighborhood environments and health outcomes underscore the importance of both objective and perceived experiences of those environments. A clearer understanding of the factors associated with discrepancies between these two assessment approaches is needed to tailor public health interventions to specific populations. This study examined how individual and neighborhood characteristics affect perceptions of supermarket distance, particularly when perceptions do not match objective measures. (2) Methods: Participants were older adults (n = 880) participating in the Senior Neighborhood Quality of Life Study in the Seattle/King County, WA or Baltimore/Washington, DC regions. Two main analyses were conducted. The primary outcome for Analysis I was participants’ geographic information systems (GIS)-based objective network distance to the closest supermarket. Generalized linear mixed models with block group-level random effects were used to assess associations between objective supermarket distance and individual/neighborhood characteristics. The primary outcome for Analysis II was a categorical “accuracy” variable, based on participants’ perceived distance to the nearest supermarket/grocery store relative to the objective distance, assuming a walking speed of 1.0 m/s. Multivariate log-linear models fit neural networks were used to assess influential covariates. (3) Results: Several significant associations with objective distance to the nearest supermarket were observed, including a negative relationship with body mass index (BMI) (95% CI = −45.56, −0.23), having walked to the supermarket in the last 30 days (−174.86, −59.42), living in a high-walkability neighborhood, and residing in Seattle/King County (−707.69, −353.22). In terms of participants’ distance accuracy, 29% were classified as accurate, 33.9% were “Underestimators”, 24.0% “Overestimators”, and 13.2% responded “Don’t Know”. Compared to Accurate participants, Overestimators were significantly less likely to have walked to the supermarket in the last 30 days, and lived objectively closer to a supermarket; Underestimators perceived significantly higher pedestrian safety and lived objectively further from a supermarket; and Don’t Know were more likely to be women, older, not living independently, and not having recently walked to the supermarket. (4) Conclusions: Both modifiable and nonmodifiable factors influence the accuracy of older adults’ perceptions of their proximity to the nearest supermarket. Recent experience in walking to the closest supermarket, along with personal safety, represent potentially modifiable perceived environmental factors that were related to older adults’ accuracy of perceptions of their neighborhood food environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Under-Recognition of Fractures as Osteoporosis Indicators
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
After the first fracture, the risk of subsequent fractures increases significantly. Medical treatment can reduce the risk of a second fracture by about 50%, but many older adults do not receive osteoporosis medication following their first fracture. This observational study aimed to understand [...] Read more.
After the first fracture, the risk of subsequent fractures increases significantly. Medical treatment can reduce the risk of a second fracture by about 50%, but many older adults do not receive osteoporosis medication following their first fracture. This observational study aimed to understand primary care management patterns of older adults after osteoporotic fractures at the Miami Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. A retrospective review of 219 fracture cases selected by International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes between October 2015 and September 2016 identified 114 individuals age ≥50 years who had a non-traumatic fracture code entered in their medical record for the first time. Among them, 72 (63%) did not undergo a bone mineral density (BMD) test or receive treatment in the 12 months following their fracture. Of the 40 individuals who had a BMD test post-fracture, 17 (100%) received or were considered for anti-osteoporosis treatment if their T-score indicated osteoporosis (T-score ≤−2.5), but only 8/23 (35%) if the T-score was >−2.5. Physicians are more likely to prescribe osteoporosis therapy based on a BMD T-score diagnosis of osteoporosis, rather than a clinical diagnosis of osteoporosis based on a low-trauma fracture. A change in practice patterns is necessary to decrease the incidence of fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Health, Osteoporosis, and Falls)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Geriatrics in 2018
Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
DEMMI Scores, Length of Stay, and 30-Day Readmission of Acute Geriatric Patients in Denmark: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study with Longitudinal Follow-Up
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 31 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
The aims of this study are to describe the mobility of acute geriatric patients, the length of stay, and to characterise patients who were readmitted within 30 days based on the De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI). A cross-sectional observational study with longitudinal follow-up [...] Read more.
The aims of this study are to describe the mobility of acute geriatric patients, the length of stay, and to characterise patients who were readmitted within 30 days based on the De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI). A cross-sectional observational study with longitudinal follow-up was conducted in the period from 1 March 2016 to 31 August 2016. Inclusion criteria were acute geriatric patients hospitalised for a minimum of 24 h. Of the 418 patients hospitalised during the study period, 246 (59%) participated in this study (44% male, median age 83 years [70; 94]). For patients in an acute geriatric department, the median DEMMI score was 41 and the mean score was 39.95. Patients with a DEMMI score ≤40 show a significantly lower Barthel 100 index, lower 30 s. sit-to-stand scores and were significantly more likely to be bedridden or, amongst those not bedridden, to use a mobility aid. Lower DEMMI scores were associated with longer admissions. DEMMI seems to have the ability to predict discharge within one week. There was no significant association between a lower DEMMI score and higher risk for 30-day readmission. Further research is needed to determine whether the DEMMI is suitable for identifying the patient’s need for further rehabilitation following the discharge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dementia in an Acute Hospital Setting: Health Service Research to Profile Patient Characteristics and Predictors of Adverse Clinical Outcomes
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
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Abstract
Introduction: Patients with dementia often have other associated medical co-morbidities resulting in adverse outcomes. The National Audit of Dementia (NAD) in the UK showed a wide variation in the quality and clinical care for acute dementia patients. This study aims to record the [...] Read more.
Introduction: Patients with dementia often have other associated medical co-morbidities resulting in adverse outcomes. The National Audit of Dementia (NAD) in the UK showed a wide variation in the quality and clinical care for acute dementia patients. This study aims to record the clinical profile and benchmark clinical outcomes of acute dementia patients admitted within Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Wales (UK). Methods: This was a retrospective observational study based on analysis of the existing data for all acute dementia patients. Ethical approval was not required for this service evaluation. Results: In 2016, a total of 1770 dementia patients had 2474 acute admissions. We studied 1167 acute admissions (953 dementia patients) from 1st January 2016–30th June 2016. The mean age was 84.5 ± 7.8 years (females = 63.5%). Mean Charlson comorbidity index and the number of drugs were 6.0 ± 1.5 and 5.1 ± 2.1. 15.4% (147/953) patients were on antipsychotics. Overall mean hospital stay was 19.4 ± 27.2 days. 30-days readmission rate was 17.2% (138/800) with a mean hospital stay of 14.6 ± 17.9 days. 3.4% (32/953) patients were excluded due to a coding error. 70.3% (n = 670/953) were previously living in their own homes and only 26.3% (n = 251/953) were admitted from care homes. 59.5% patients (n = 399/670) were discharged back to their homes and 21.6% (145/670) were discharged to a new care home, which represents an approximately 1.68 times higher rate of new care home occupancy than the patients being originally admitted from a care home. Overall inpatient was 16.0% (153/953). 30-days and one-year mortality were 22.3% (213/953) and 49.2% (469/953) respectively. The observed mortality rates between patients admitted from home or from a care home were highly significant for one-year mortality (p < 0.001). The inpatient falls rate was significantly higher (1.8 times) as compared to overall general medical inpatient falls rate. Conclusion: Acute patients with dementia have a higher risk of adverse outcomes and the impact of hospitalisation. Prompt comprehensive geriatric assessment and quality improvement initiatives are needed to improve clinical outcomes and to enhance the quality of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Impairment)
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Open AccessArticle
Delirium Stigma Among Healthcare Staff
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
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Abstract
Older people with delirium occupy more than one third of acute medical beds and require increased medical attention, as care at present is suboptimal. In addition, since delirium is undetected, it should form a target for teaching in wards. Moreover, as people with [...] Read more.
Older people with delirium occupy more than one third of acute medical beds and require increased medical attention, as care at present is suboptimal. In addition, since delirium is undetected, it should form a target for teaching in wards. Moreover, as people with delirium are largely dependent on daily interactions and care by inpatients professional staff, it is important to address stigmatisation of these vulnerable patients. This is especially important as previous studies have shown that negative staff attitudes towards these patients undermine good care. This single center cross-sectional study was designed to determine the extent of institutional stigma among health professionals involved in the care of people with delirium. For this, professional staff working on medical wards and in communities were approached to fill in a questionnaire containing the adapted Delirium Stigma Scale and the EuroQol five dimensions (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire. Additional demographic information concerning their education and professional and personal experience with delirium was also collected. The characteristics associated with stigma were determined from the sample. The findings of our study provide an insight into the high level of stigmatisation of delirium patients among professionals (mean 11.66/18 points). This was not related to professionals’ own experiences of delirium, their educational and professional backgrounds, or them having received formal delirium education. However, working closely with people with delirium seems to have a positive impact on the de-stigmatisation of this population among health professionals. Our findings that attitudes are not influenced by formal delirium teaching need to be incorporated into the design of interprofessional educational interventions. Accordingly, we advocate more direct patient-oriented and care delivered teaching interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychology)
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Open AccessEditorial
The Importance of Geriatric Care Models
Received: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
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Abstract
I am delighted to edit this Special Issue of Geriatrics focusing on Geriatric Care Models. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatric Care Models)
Open AccessArticle
Is a Combination of Melatonin and Amino Acids Useful to Sarcopenic Elderly Patients? A Randomized Trial
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 24 December 2018
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Abstract
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a 4-week intervention of melatonin and essential aminoacid supplementation on body composition, protein metabolism, strength and inflammation in 159 elderly sarcopenic patients (42/117, men/women), assigned to four groups: isocaloric placebo (P, n = 44), melatonin (M, 1 [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a 4-week intervention of melatonin and essential aminoacid supplementation on body composition, protein metabolism, strength and inflammation in 159 elderly sarcopenic patients (42/117, men/women), assigned to four groups: isocaloric placebo (P, n = 44), melatonin (M, 1 mg/daily, n = 42), essential amino acids (eAA 4 g/daily, n = 40) or eAA plus melatonin (eAAM, 4 g eAA and 1 mg melatonin/daily, n = 30). Data from body composition (dual X-ray absortiometry (DXA)), strength (handgrip test) and biochemical parameters for the assessment of protein metabolism (albumin) and inflammation (CRP) were collected at baseline and after the 4-week intervention. Compared with P and M, supplementation with eAA plus M increased total fat-free mass (vs. P: +2190 g; p < 0.01; vs. M: +2107 g; p < 0.05). M alone lowered albumin levels (vs. P: −0.39 g; p < 0.01; vs. eAA: −0.47 g; p < 0.01). This data on albumin was confirmed by within-group analysis (M −0.44g; p < 0.001; eAAM: −0.34 p < 0.05). M and eAA seemed to lower the percentage of gynoid fat (p < 0.05) and android fat (p < 0.01). No significant changes in inflammation or strength were reported. A 4-week intervention with eAA plus M together may be effective in enhancing fat-free-mass compared to M and P but not versus eAA. M alone demonstrates a negative effect on albumin level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing Inpatient Complication Rates between Octogenarians and Nonagenarians following Primary and Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty in a Nationally Representative Sample, 2010–2014
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 22 December 2018
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Abstract
We compared the inpatient postoperative complication rates between octogenarians and nonagenarians undergoing primary and revision total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to analyze inpatient admission data from 2010–2014. We compared the rates at which nonagenarians and octogenarians developed [...] Read more.
We compared the inpatient postoperative complication rates between octogenarians and nonagenarians undergoing primary and revision total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to analyze inpatient admission data from 2010–2014. We compared the rates at which nonagenarians and octogenarians developed each complication following both primary TKA (PTKA) and revision TKA (RTKA). A national estimate of 324,933 patients were included in our study. A total of 313,299 (96.42%) were octogenarians, and 11,634 (3.58%) were nonagenarians. 294,462 (90.62%) underwent PTKA, and 30,471 (9.38%) underwent RTKA. Nonagenarians undergoing PTKA had a higher inpatient mortality rate, and developed sepsis more frequently than octogenarians. Nonagenarians undergoing RTKA had a higher inpatient mortality rate, and developed cardiogenic shock more frequently than octogenarians. In both PTKA and RTKA, nonagenarians received transfusions more frequently, and developed urinary tract infection and acute kidney injury more frequently than octogenarians. In both PTKA and RTKA, nonagenarians sustained a higher inpatient mortality rate than octogenarians. Orthopedic surgeons should counsel nonagenarian patients undergoing both PTKA and RTKA preoperatively about this increased mortality risk, as well as the increased risks of more minor complications like transfusion, urinary tract infection, and acute kidney injury. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Care Home Research: Future Challenges and Opportunities
Received: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
The historical view of care homes as isolated communities is fading, with a new strong focus on offering person-centred care for residents that keeps them integrated in their community [...] Full article
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