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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-05-18
    Description: Objectives The aim of this pilot study was to estimate the sample size for a large pragmatic study of the comparative effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) for low back pain (LBP) after back surgery. Design A randomised, active-controlled, assessor-blinded trial. Participants Patients with recurrent or persistent LBP, defined as a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score of ≥50 mm, with or without leg pain after back surgery. Interventions Patients were randomised to an EA plus usual care (UC) group or to a UC alone group at a 1:1 ratio. Patients assigned to each group received UC, including drug therapy, physical therapy and back pain education, twice a week for 4 weeks; those assigned to the EA plus UC group additionally received EA. Outcome measures The primary outcome was severity of LBP as measured by VAS. Secondary outcomes included back pain-related disability, assessed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and quality of life, assessed using the EuroQol Five Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using paired and independent t-tests. A p value of 〈0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Thirty-nine patients were allocated to receive EA plus UC (n=18) or UC alone (n=21). There was no statistically significant difference in VAS or EQ-5D scores between the two groups, but there was a significant decrease in ODI scores (p=0.0081). Using G*Power, it was calculated that 40 participants per group would be needed for a future trial according to VAS scores. Considering for a 25% dropout rate, 108 participants (54 per group) would be needed. Conclusions A future trial addressing the risk of bias and including the estimated sample size would allow for better clinical assessment of the benefits of EA plus UC in treatment of patients with non-acute pain after back surgery. Trial registration number NCT01966250; Results .
    Keywords: Open access, Complementary medicine
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-04-29
    Description: The regulation of water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications, such as reverse electrodialysis and proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes. External thermal and water management systems add both mass and size to systems, and so intrinsic mechanisms of retaining water and maintaining ionic transport in such membranes are particularly important for applications where small system size is important. For example, in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, where water retention in the membrane is crucial for efficient transport of hydrated ions, by operating the cells at higher temperatures without external humidification, the membrane is self-humidified with water generated by electrochemical reactions. Here we report an alternative solution that does not rely on external regulation of water supply or high temperatures. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is regulated through nanometre-scale cracks ('nanocracks') in a hydrophobic surface coating. These cracks work as nanoscale valves to retard water desorption and to maintain ion conductivity in the membrane on dehumidification. Hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings operated at intermediate temperatures show improved electrochemical performance, and coated reverse-electrodialysis membranes show enhanced ionic selectivity with low bulk resistance.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉Park, Chi Hoon -- Lee, So Young -- Hwang, Doo Sung -- Shin, Dong Won -- Cho, Doo Hee -- Lee, Kang Hyuck -- Kim, Tae-Woo -- Kim, Tae-Wuk -- Lee, Mokwon -- Kim, Deok-Soo -- Doherty, Cara M -- Thornton, Aaron W -- Hill, Anita J -- Guiver, Michael D -- Lee, Young Moo -- England -- Nature. 2016 Apr 28;532(7600):480-3. doi: 10.1038/nature17634.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Energy Engineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; Department of Life Science, College of Natural Science, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, South Korea. ; Manufacturing Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia. ; State Key Laboratory of Engines, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China. ; Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Tianjin 300072, China.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27121841" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Keywords: Biomimetic Materials/chemistry ; Biomimetics ; Cactaceae/metabolism ; Desiccation ; Dialysis ; Electrochemistry ; Humidity ; Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions ; *Membranes, Artificial ; *Nanotechnology ; Plant Stomata/metabolism ; Polymers/*chemistry ; Protons ; Surface Properties ; Temperature ; Water/*analysis
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1436-5065
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geography , Physics
    Notes: Summary  This study explores the nowcasting and short-range forecasting (up to 3 days) skills of rainfall over the tropics using a high resolution global model. Since the model-predicted rainfall is very sensitive to model parameters, four key model parameters were first selected. They are the Asselin filter coefficient, the fourth order horizontal diffusion coefficient, the surface moisture flux coefficient, and the vertical diffusion coefficient. The optimal values were defined as those which contributed to the best one day rainfall forecasts in the present study. In order to demonstrate and improve the precipitation forecast skill, several numerical experiments were designed using the 14-level Florida State University Global Spectral Model (FSUGSM) at a resolution of T106. Comparisons were also made of the short-range forecasts obtained from a control experiment subjected to normal mode initialization (NMI) versus experiments based on physical initialization (PI). The latter experiments were integrated using the original FSUGSM and a modified version. This modified FSUGSM was developed here by applying a reverse cumulus parameterization alorithm to the regular forecast model, which restructures the vertical humidity distribution and constrains the large-scale model’s moisture error growth during the model integration. An improved short-range rainfall prediction skill was achieved from the modified FSUGSM in this study. The results showed a better agreement between model-based and observed rainfall intensity and pattern.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1089-7550
    Source: AIP Digital Archive
    Topics: Physics
    Notes: Interfacial microstructures of Pd/Ge/Ti/Au ohmic contact to n-type GaAs have been investigated using cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, and the results are used to interpret the electrical properties. Annealing at 300 °C yields a contact resistance of 0.62 Ω mm and the layer structure is changed to GaAs/PdGe/Au4Ti/TiO. The ohmic contact is formed through a solid phase regrowth of GaAs heavily doped with Ge below the PdGe layer. At 380 °C, the lowest contact resistance of 0.43 Ω mm is obtained. The layer structure is changed to GaAs/(Ge–Ti)/PdGe/TiO. Spikes composed of Au and AuGa are found at the grain boundaries of the PdGe compound. The formation of AuGa at 380 °C reduces the contact resistance through the creation of more Ga vacancies at the interface of GaAs/PdGe, and the incorporation of elemental Ge. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-05-16
    Description: Objectives The choice of doctor is an important issue for patients with cancer, and the reputation of the doctor is the single most important factor for patients to choose a doctor. Media are providing information about the ‘best cancer doctor’, but they vary widely in their selection methodology. We investigated cancer physicians’ attitudes towards the selection of the ‘best cancer doctor’ by the media, by comparing two different selection methodologies: selection by media personnel or selection through peer-review system. Design Nationwide, cross-sectional survey. Setting National Cancer Center and 12 Regional Cancer Centers across Korea. Participants A total of 680 cancer care physicians participated in the survey (75.5% participation rate), and two were excluded due to incomplete response. Main outcome measures Physicians’ opinions on the credibility, fairness, validity, helpfulness to patients, their intention to use the information and helpfulness to improve the quality of cancer care of the two different methods. Results Only a few physicians believed that the selection method of the ‘best cancer doctor’ by the media personnel was credible (9.1%), fair (6.1%) or valid (10.0%). In contrast, the majority agreed that the peer-selection method of the ‘best doctor’ is credible (74.7%), fair (64.7%) and valid (67.4%). More physicians believed the latter methods would be useful for patients when selecting their doctor (38.5% vs 82.2%) and may lead to improvement of the quality of cancer care from the perspective of the healthcare system (12.6% vs 59.8%). The need for ensuring objectiveness and transparency was also raised. Conclusion Physicians showed different attitudes towards two different selection methods. Regulations or guidelines for selecting the ‘best cancer doctor’ and for disclosing the information should be considered in order to control the quality of the information and to protect the customers.
    Keywords: Oncology, Open access, Research methods
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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