Quality Information (quality + information)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Ensuring Quality Information for Patients: development and preliminary validation of a new instrument to improve the quality of written health care information

Beki Moult BA(Hons) MSc
Abstract Background, Despite the recent focus on improving the quality of patient information, there is no rigorous method of assessing quality of written patient information that is applicable to all information types and that prescribes the action that is required following evaluation. Objective, The aims of this project were to develop a practical measure of the presentation quality for all types of written health care information and to provide preliminary validity and reliability of the measure in a paediatric setting. Methods, The Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) tool was developed through a process of item generation, testing for concurrent validity, inter-rater reliability and utility. Patient information managers and health care professionals tested EQIP in three annual audits of health care leaflets produced by a children's hospital. Results, The final tool comprised 20 items. Kendall's , B rank correlation between EQIP and DISCERN was 0.56 (P = 0.001). There was strong agreement between intuitive rating and the EQIP score (Kendall's , B = 0.78, P = 0.009). Internal consistency using Cronbach's , was 0.80. There was good agreement between pairs of raters (mean , = 0.60; SD = 0.18) with no differences based on types of leaflets. Audits showed significant improvement in the number of leaflets achieving a higher quality EQIP rating over a 3-year period. Conclusions, EQIP demonstrated good preliminary validity, reliability and utility when used by patient information managers and healthcare professionals for a wide variety of written health care information. EQIP uniquely identifies actions to be taken as a result of the quality assessment. Use of EQIP improved the quality of written health care information in a children's hospital. Wider evaluation of EQIP with written information for other populations and settings is recommended. [source]

A survey of the quality and accuracy of information leaflets about skin cancer and sun-protective behaviour available from UK general practices and community pharmacies

S Nicholls
Abstract Background, Better information promotes sun protection behaviour and is associated with earlier presentation and survival for malignant melanoma. Aim, To assess the quality of patient information leaflets about skin cancer and sun-protective behaviour available from general practices and community pharmacies. Design of study, A structured review of patient information leaflets. Setting, All community pharmacies and general practices in one Primary Care Trust were invited to supply leaflets. Methods, Readability was assessed using the SMOG scoring system. Presentation and content were reviewed using the Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) guidelines. Three consultant dermatologists assessed each leaflet for accuracy. Results, Thirty-one different patient information leaflets were returned. Thirteen (42%) were published in the previous 2 years, but 10 (32%) were over 5 years old. Nine (29%) leaflets were produced by the NHS or Health Education Authority, and 8 (27%) were linked to a commercial organization. One leaflet had readability in the primary education range (SMOG score = 6), and none with the recommended range for health education material (SMOG score , 5). Two leaflets (6%) were in the highest quartile of EQIP score for presentation and content. Five leaflets (17%) had a major inaccuracy such as over-reliance on sun screen products instead of shade and clothing. Conclusions, Leaflets were of variable quality in presentation and content. All required a reading age higher than recommended. All leaflets with major inaccuracies had links with commercial organizations. This study raises important issues about the potential conflict between marketing and health messages in the way sun creams are promoted. Conflicts of interest None declared [source]

Improving Jurors' Evaluations of Auditors in Negligence Cases,

Kathryn Kadous
Abstract Prior research indicates that individuals acting as jurors experience outcome effects in audit negligence litigation. That is, jurors evaluate auditors more harshly in light of negative outcomes, even when audit quality is constant. I posit that outcome effects in this setting are caused by jurors using their negative affect (i.e., feelings) resulting from learning about negative audit outcomes as information relevant to auditor blameworthiness. I tested this hypothesis in an experiment in which I manipulated audit quality, outcome information, and provision of an attribution instruction. The attribution instruction was designed to discredit negative affect as a cue to auditor blameworthiness. Consistent with expectations, attribution participants' evaluations of auditors exhibited less reliance on outcome information and more reliance on audit quality information than did evaluations made by control participants. In fact, outcome effects were eliminated for attribution participants. Courts may be able to improve the quality of jurors' decisions in such cases by employing an attribution instruction. [source]

A framework for network quality monitoring in the VoIP environment

Ana Flàvia M. de Lima
Monitoring speech quality in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks is important to ensure a minimal acceptable level of speech quality for IP calls running through a managed network. Information such as packet loss, codec type, jitter, end-to-end delay and overall speech quality enables the network manager to verify and accurately tune parameters in order to adjust network problems. The present article proposes the deployment of a monitoring architecture that collects, stores and displays speech quality information about concluded voice calls. This architecture is based on our proposed MIB (Management Information Base) VOIPQOS, deployed for speech quality monitoring purposes. Currently, the architecture is totally implemented, but under adjustment and validation tests. In the future, the VOIPQOS MIB can be expanded to automatically analyze collected data and control VoIP clients and network parameters for tuning the overall speech quality of ongoing calls. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

New Traversability Indices and Traversability Grid for Integrated Sensor/Map-Based Navigation

Homayoun Seraji
This paper presents new measures of terrain traversability at short range and long range of a mobile robot; namely, local and global traversability indices. The sensor-based local traversability index is related by a set of linguistic rules to large obstacles and surface softness within a short range of the robot measured by on-board sensors. The map-based global traversability index is obtained from the terrain topographic map, and is based on major surface features such as hills and lakes within a long range of the robot. These traversability indices complement the mid-range sensor-based regional traversability index introduced earlier. Each traversability index is represented by four fuzzy sets with the linguistic labels {POOR, LOW, MODERATE, HIGH}, corresponding to surfaces that are unsafe, moderately-unsafe, moderately-safe, and safe for traversal, respectively. The global terrain analysis also leads to the new concepts of traversability map and traversability grid for representation of terrain quality based on the global map information. The traversability indices are used in two sensor-based traverse-local and traverse-regional behaviors and one map-based traverse-global behavior. These behaviors are integrated with a map-based seek-goal behavior to ensure that the mobile robot reaches its goal safely while avoiding both sensed and mapped terrain hazards. This provides a unified system in which the two independent sources of terrain quality information, i.e., prior maps and on-board sensors, are integrated together for reactive robot navigation. The paper is concluded by a graphical simulation study. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Consumer responses to new food quality information: are some consumers more sensitive than others?

Zhifeng Gao
Choice experiment; Consumer type; Consumer willingness to pay; Food quality information Abstract Missing information prevails in consumer purchase decisions and studies on consumer preferences. Previous research ignores the relationship between consumer types and their responses to new quality attribute information. In this article, consumer responses to new attribute information are compared across consumer groups. Results show that single households with low income are more responsive to new information than married households with high income. Both groups respond to new information more intensively when a cue attribute, Certified U.S. Product, is presented to consumers. [source]

The prevalence, cost and basis of food allergy across Europe

ALLERGY, Issue 7 2007
E. N. C. Mills
The development of effective management strategies to optimize the quality of life for allergic patients is currently hampered by a lack of good quality information. Estimates of how many individuals suffer from food allergy and the major foods involved vary widely and inadequacies of in vitro diagnostics make food challenges the only reliable means of diagnosis in many instances. The EuroPrevall project brings together a multidisciplinary partnership to address these issues. Cohorts spanning the main climatic regions of Europe are being developed in infants through a birth cohort, community surveys in school-age children and adults and an outpatient clinic study. Confirmatory double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge diagnosis is being undertaken using foods as they are eaten with titrated doses to allow no-effect and lowest-observable effect levels for allergenic foods to be determined. The cohorts will also facilitate validation of novel in vitro diagnostics through the development of the EuroPrevall Serum Bank. Complementary studies in Ghana, western Siberia, India and China will allow us to gain insights into how different dietary patterns and exposure to microorganisms affect food allergies. New instruments to assess the socioeconomic impact of food allergy are being developed in the project and their application in the clinical cohorts will allow, for the first time, an assessment to be made of the burden this disease places on allergy sufferers and their communities. [source]

Enhancing Public Health Law Communication Linkages

Ross D. Silverman
Although interest in the field of public health law has dramatically increased over the past two decades, there remain significant challenges in communicating and sharing public health law-related knowledge. Access to quality information, which may assist in a public health department's efforts to protect the public's health, welfare, and safety, varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and interjurisdictional communication remains at best a patchwork quilt with many holes. What follows is an analysis of several approaches the Public Health Law Association or other public health law-related organizations might undertake to serve as a conduit for the identification, gathering, and dissemination of extant public health law information, as well as the development of new public health law-related content, with a particular focus on the use of electronic means for such efforts. [source]

SNP discovery in Litopenaeus vannamei with a new computational pipeline

D. M. Gorbach
Summary Litopenaeus vannamei (Pacific white shrimp) have been farmed in the Americas for many years and are growing in popularity in Asia with the development of specific pathogen-free stocks. The full genomic sequence of this species might not be available in the near future, so other tools are needed to discover the location of polymorphic sites for quantitative trait loci mapping, association studies and subsequent marker-assisted selection. Currently, 25 937 L. vannamei expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are publicly available. These sequences were manually screened, masked for tandem repeats and inputted into CAP3 for clustering. The resulting 3532 contigs were analysed for possible single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with snpidentifier, a newly developed computer program for predicting SNPs. snpidentifier is designed for ESTs without accompanying chromatogram sequence quality information, and therefore it performs quality control checks on all data. snpidentifier sets a threshold such that the sequences used have a poor quality nucleotide (N) frequency <0.1, and it trims off the first 10 bases of every sequence to ensure higher sequence quality. For a base to be predicted as an SNP, the minor nucleotide (allele) frequency must be >0.1, it must be observed at least four times and the 15 bases on either side must exactly match the consensus sequence. Using these conservative parameters, 504 SNPs were predicted from 141 contigs for L. vannamei. A small sample of 18 individuals from three lines have been sequenced to verify prediction results and 17 of 39 (44%) of the tested SNPs have been confirmed. [source]

Managing biodiversity data within the context of climate change: towards best practice

Abstract Decision makers, planners and researchers have identified the need to assess the effects of climate change on biodiversity, resulting in extensive research across a number of fields. The availability of comprehensive, accurate and relevant data is central to undertaking effective research. However, the quality and availability of biodiversity information is substantially determined by current and historical data collection strategies. If researchers and planners are to make effective use of existing and future investments in biodiversity information, a strategic approach should be taken in identifying and implementing best practice information management. This paper discusses ways to improve institutional support for information management and increase the availability of quality information. The paper reviews the most common areas of climate change and biodiversity research, and identifies best practices in information management, focusing on data used within biodiversity and climate change analyses. [source]

A predictive high-throughput scale-down model of monoclonal antibody production in CHO cells

Rachel Legmann
Abstract Multi-factorial experimentation is essential in understanding the link between mammalian cell culture conditions and the glycoprotein product of any biomanufacturing process. This understanding is increasingly demanded as bioprocess development is influenced by the Quality by Design paradigm. We have developed a system that allows hundreds of micro-bioreactors to be run in parallel under controlled conditions, enabling factorial experiments of much larger scope than is possible with traditional systems. A high-throughput analytics workflow was also developed using commercially available instruments to obtain product quality information for each cell culture condition. The micro-bioreactor system was tested by executing a factorial experiment varying four process parameters: pH, dissolved oxygen, feed supplement rate, and reduced glutathione level. A total of 180 micro-bioreactors were run for 2 weeks during this DOE experiment to assess this scaled down micro-bioreactor system as a high-throughput tool for process development. Online measurements of pH, dissolved oxygen, and optical density were complemented by offline measurements of glucose, viability, titer, and product quality. Model accuracy was assessed by regressing the micro-bioreactor results with those obtained in conventional 3,L bioreactors. Excellent agreement was observed between the micro-bioreactor and the bench-top bioreactor. The micro-bioreactor results were further analyzed to link parameter manipulations to process outcomes via leverage plots, and to examine the interactions between process parameters. The results show that feed supplement rate has a significant effect (P,<,0.05) on all performance metrics with higher feed rates resulting in greater cell mass and product titer. Culture pH impacted terminal integrated viable cell concentration, titer and intact immunoglobulin G titer, with better results obtained at the lower pH set point. The results demonstrate that a micro-scale system can be an excellent model of larger scale systems, while providing data sets broader and deeper than are available by traditional methods. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2009; 104: 1107,1120. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Urology and the Internet: an evaluation of Internet use by urology patients and of information available on urological topics

G.O. Hellawell
Objective To determine the use of the Internet by urological patients for obtaining information about their disease, and to conduct an evaluation of urological websites to determine the quality of information available. Patients and methods Questionnaires about Internet use were completed by 180 patients attending a general urological outpatient clinic and by 143 patients attending a prostate cancer outpatient clinic. The Internet evaluation was conducted by reviewing 50 websites listed by the HotbotÔ search engine for two urological topics, prostate cancer and testicular cancer, and recording details such as authorship, information content, references and information scores. Results Of the patients actively seeking further information about their health, 19% of the general urological outpatient group and 24% of the prostate cancer group used the Internet to obtain this information. Most websites were either academic or biomedical (62%), provided conventional information (95%), and were not referenced (71%). The information score (range 10,100) was 44.3 for testicular cancer and 50.7 for prostate cancer; the difference in scores was not significant. Conclusion The use of the Internet by patients is increasing, with > 20% of urology patients using the Internet to obtain further information about their health. Most Internet websites for urological topics provide conventional and good quality information. Urologists should be aware of the need to familiarize themselves with urological websites. Patients can then be directed to high-quality sites to allow them to educate themselves and to help them avoid misleading or unconventional websites. [source]