ResearchPad - italian-people https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Understanding the role of regulatory flexibility and context sensitivity in preventing burnout in a palliative home care team]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15735 Although burnout syndrome has been investigated in depth, studies specifically focused on palliative home care are still limited. Moreover, there is still a lack of evidence regarding the interplay between emotional flexibility and sensitivity to context in preventing burnout in home care settings. For these reasons, the aims of this study were to examine burnout symptoms among practitioners specializing in palliative home care and to investigate the role of regulatory flexibility and sensitivity to context in understanding burnout. An exploratory cross-sectional design was adopted. A convenience sample (n = 65) of Italian specialist palliative care practitioners participated in this study. Participants were recruited between February and April 2019 from two palliative home care services that predominantly cared for end-of-life cancer patients. The Italian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the Flexible Regulation of Emotional Expression (FREE) scale (a measure of emotional flexibility), and the Context Sensitivity Index (CSI) (a measure of sensitivity to context) were administered. Analyses of variance were conducted using the three MBI factors as dependent variables and profession as an independent variable. Subsequently, three identical analyses of covariance were conducted with age, work experience, flexibility and sensitivity to context as covariates. The results showed a low burnout risk for all three of the MBI factors, and there were no gender differences. An ANOVA revealed a significant effect of profession type and age on the emotional exhaustion factor of the MBI, and an ANCOVA indicated that these effects persisted after covariates were accounted for. The results also showed a significant effect of the FREE score on emotional exhaustion. These findings can help explain the differential contributions of profession type and age to the burnout symptoms investigated. In addition, the emotional flexibility component, as an aspect of resilience, represents a significant and specific factor of emotional exhaustion. Interventions to prevent burnout must consider these relationships.

]]>
<![CDATA[Psychological symptoms and quality of life after repeated exposure to earthquake: A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13809 In 2005, a random sample of 200 people were assessed in Camerino, Italy, eight years after an earthquake. Psychological symptom levels were low and only one person had current Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2016 a new earthquake occurred in Camerino. The study aims to assess the impact of the second exposure in the same cohort. A longitudinal study was conducted, 130 participants were re-interviewed between July and December 2017. Psychological symptoms were self-rated on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Global Severity Index (GSI) was analysed. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were self-rated on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Subjective quality of life (SQOL) was assessed on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). Mean scores of GSI and IES-R were significantly higher than in 2005 (p<0.01 and p<0.001), whilst SQOL remained almost unchanged (p = 0.163). In 2017, 16.9% of the sample had reached the PTSD threshold whilst in 2005 only the 0.5% had reached it. Despite low symptom levels several years after an earthquake, people can show psychological distress after a new exposure, whilst average quality of life levels are not affected.

]]>
<![CDATA[Prevalence of depressive symptoms among Italian medical students: The multicentre cross-sectional “PRIMES” study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N89095419-220d-4d38-944c-d00bb778cf6f

Background

Four percent of the world’s population suffers from depression, which is a major public health issue. Medical students are at risk, as their depressive symptoms (DS) prevalence is reported to be approximately 27% worldwide. Since few data on Italian medical students exist, this study aimed to estimate their DS prevalence and assess risk and protective factors.

Methods

The PRIMES was a multicentre cross-sectional study performed in 12 Italian medical schools. Questionnaires were self-reported and included 30 sociodemographic items and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The primary outcome was the presence of DS (BDI-II score≥14). The main analyses were chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regressions with a p-value<0.05 considered significant.

Results

The number of collected questionnaires was 2,513 (117 BDI-II incomplete). Females accounted for 61.3% of the respondents, and the median age was 22 years (IQR = 4). The prevalence of DS was 29.5%. Specifically, 14.0% had mild depression, 11.1% had moderate depression, and 4.5% had severe depression. The main risk factors for DS were age, being female, bisexual/asexual orientation, living with partner/housemates, poor economic status (worsened by living far from home), less than 90 min of weekly exercise, relatives with psychiatric disorders, personal chronic disease, judging medical school choice negatively, unsatisfying friendships with classmates, competitive and hostile climate among classmates, thinking that medical school hinders specific activities and being worried about not measuring up to the profession. Protective factors included family cohesion, hobbies, intellectual curiosity as a career motivation and no worries about the future.

Conclusion

Italian medical students are at high risk of reporting DS, similar to the global population of medical students’. Medical schools must make efforts to implement preventive and treatment interventions by offering counselling and working on modifiable factors, such as lifestyle and learning climate.

]]>
<![CDATA[Late-life mortality is underestimated because of data errors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcdbd5eed0c484dec3bf

Knowledge of true mortality trajectory at extreme old ages is important for biologists who test their theories of aging with demographic data. Studies using both simulation and direct age validation found that longevity records for ages 105 years and older are often incorrect and may lead to spurious mortality deceleration and mortality plateau. After age 105 years, longevity claims should be considered as extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence. Traditional methods of data cleaning and data quality control are just not sufficient. New, more strict methodologies of data quality control need to be developed and tested. Before this happens, all mortality estimates for ages above 105 years should be treated with caution.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effects of increased space allowance on animal welfare, meat and ham quality of heavy pigs slaughtered at 160Kg]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706779d5eed0c4847c70a2

Sixty barrows (Body Weight–BW- range: 23.9–160 kg) were allotted to two experimental groups (6 pens of 5 pigs each): the control group was kept at a space allowance of 1m2/head; the second group was kept at 1.3m2/head. Behaviour, growth parameters, carcass and meat quality were assessed, as well as fat and cured ham quality. Results showed that pigs raised at 1.3m2/head spent more time laying (particularly in lateral recumbency, P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively) compared to pigs kept at lower space allowance. They also reduced the aimless exploration of the slatted pen floor (P<0.001) and increased overall expression of other, mainly active, behaviors (e.g., drinking, walking and standing, P<0.01). Pigs raised at 1.3m2/head showed higher final BW (P = 0.02), more favourable Average Daily Gain (ADG) and gain-to-Feed ratio (G:F) both during the last period of the trial (P<0.05 for both parameters) and over the entire trial (P = 0.01 for both parameters). No significant difference was observed between groups for carcass traits and the main meat quality attributes. Subcutaneous fat from green hams had higher α-linolenic acid content (P<0.01) in the group reared at greater space allowance. Green hams from this group lost less weight at trimming (P<0.01) and the resulting cured hams received better sensory evaluations (P<0.05). No difference was observed in fatty acid composition and unsaturation levels of the subcutaneous fat from cured hams. Our data suggest that heavy pigs intended for Parma ham would benefit from the adoption of higher individual floor space allowances, both in terms of animal welfare (increased possibility to rest) and of productive parameters, without having any detrimental effect on the suitability of the thighs for dry-curing or on the quality of the final product.

]]>
<![CDATA[Seeking certainty about Intolerance of Uncertainty: Addressing old and new issues through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b269bd5eed0c484289d6b

Intolerance of Uncertainty is a trans-diagnostic process that spans a range of emotional disorders and it is usually measured through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12. The current study aims at investigating some issues in the assessment of Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) through the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised, a measure adapted from the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 to assess IU across the lifespan. In particular we address the factor structure among a large community sample, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time, together with reliability and validity of the overall scale and its subscales. The questionnaire was administered to community (N = 761; mean age = 35.86 ± 14.01 years) and undergraduate (N = 163; mean age = 21.16 ± 2.64 years) participants, together with other self-report measures assessing constructs theoretically related to IU. The application of a bifactor model shows that the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised possesses a robust general factor, thus supporting the use of the unit-weighted total score of the questionnaire as a measure of the construct. Furthermore, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time is supported. Finally, the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised appears to possess adequate reliability and validity. These findings support the unidimensionality of the measure, a conceptually reasonable result in line with the trans-diagnostic nature of Intolerance of Uncertainty. In addition, this study and comparison with published factor structures of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 and of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised identify some issues for the internal structure of the measure. In particular, concern is expressed for the Prospective IU subscale. In light of the promising psychometric properties, the use of the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised as a univocal measure is encouraged in both research and clinical practice.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Italian Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) study: A cross sectional survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79aff7d5eed0c4841e3b42

The prevalence of osteopathic practitioners, their professional profile and features of their clinical practice, particularly where statutory regulation does not yet exist, are still significantly underreported. The Osteopathic Practitioners Estimates and RAtes (OPERA) project was developed as an European-based census dedicated to profiling the osteopathic profession across Europe. The present study aimed to describe the osteopathic practitioners and the profession in Italy. A voluntary, online based, closed-ended survey was distributed across Italy in the period between February and June 2017. An e-based campaign was set up to reach the Italian osteopathic professionals. Participants were asked to complete the forms by filling in the information regarding the demographics, working status and professional activities, education, consultation fees, patient complaints, treatment and management. The survey was completed by 4816 individuals. 196 people started the survey but did not finish, which corresponds to a 4% attrition rate. The majority of respondents were males (66.7%). The modal age group was 30–39 (40.0%). 73.8% of respondents had a previous academic degree, mainly in the fields of sports science (36.4%) and physiotherapy (25.3%). 25.6% declared not to have a previous academic degree. The majority of respondents declared to work alone (58.4%), while the remaining declared to work in association with other professionals. The osteopaths /citizens ratio was 8.0 osteopaths/100,000 citizens. The profile of osteopaths in Italy seems to be characterised by a self-employed young adult male working mostly as a sole practitioner, who has been trained as osteopath through a part-time curriculum and had a previous degree mostly in the fields of sports science or physiotherapy. These results provide important insights into the osteopathic profession in Italy. The varied professional educational backgrounds need to be considered with regard to the implementation of a professional licensing process and future pre-registration education in the country. The number of respondents is an estimate of the actual number of Italian osteopaths. Only the completion of the regulatory process and the creation of the mandatory official register will allow to know the number of Italy based osteopaths.

]]>
<![CDATA[The graduation shift of German universities of applied sciences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6e5d5eed0c484ef41e7

In research into higher education, the evaluation of completion and dropout rates has generated a steady stream of interest for decades. While most studies only calculate quotes using student and graduate numbers for both phenomena, we propose to additionally consider the budget available to universities. We transfer the idea of the excellence shift indicator [1] from the research to the teaching area, in particular to the completion rate of educational entities. The graduation shift shows the institutions’ ability to produce graduates as measured against their basic academic teaching efficiency. It is an important advantage of the graduation shift that it avoids the well-known heterogeneity problem in efficiency measurements. Our study is based on German universities of applied science. Given their politically determined focus on education, this dataset is well-suited for introducing and evaluating the graduation shift. Using a comprehensive dataset covering the years 2008 to 2013, we show that the graduation shift produces results, which correlate closely with the results of the well-known graduation rate and standard Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Compared to the graduation rate, the graduation shift is preferable because it allows to take the budget of institutions into account. Compared to the DEA, the computation of the graduation shift is easy, the results are robust, and non-economists can understand them results. Thus, we recommend the graduation shift as an alternative method of efficiency measurement in the teaching area.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Fear of Pain Questionnaire: Factor structure, validity and reliability of the Italian translation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c64490cd5eed0c484c2f4d9

Background

The Fear of Pain Questionnaire-III (FPQ-III) is a self-report instrument developed to assess fear of different stimuli usually causing pain. The present study aimed to construct an Italian version of the FPQ-III and examine its psychometric properties in a heterogeneous sample of Italian healthy individuals.

Methods

The questionnaire was translated following the forward-backward method and completed by 511 Italian adults who met the inclusion criteria. Within 2 months of the first assessment, a subgroup of participants (n = 164) was re-tested. The factorial structure of the FPQ-III was assessed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). To better comprehend the FPQ-III’s factorial structure, a CFA was also performed for each of the two reduced versions of the FPQ-III, namely the FPQ-Short Form and the FPQ-9. Divergent validity, test-retest reliability, and gender/age measurement invariance were also evaluated.

Results

The results of the CFA revealed that the original three-factor model poorly fitted the data, but it became satisfactory after allowing correlated error terms. Concerning divergent validity, correlations between FPQ-III scores and pain intensity, depression, and anxiety were found to be positive but weak in magnitude (< .20). FPQ-III subscales and total scores showed good internal consistency and time reliability. Finally, scalar invariance was only partially obtained, whereas all the other types of invariance were fully respected both for gender and age.

Conclusions

The current findings indicate that the Italian version of the FPQ-III provides valid and reliable scores for the assessment of fear of pain in the Italian population.

]]>
<![CDATA[The lost children: The underdiagnosis of dyslexia in Italy. A cross-sectional national study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521831d5eed0c484797709

Background

Developmental dyslexia is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders affecting children, but prevalence data on this condition are poor. The objective of the present study is to determine the prevalence of dyslexia in Italy in an unselected school population, using clearly defined diagnostic criteria and methods.

Methods

Cross-sectional study carried out in nine Italian Regions: two located in Northern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto), three in Central Italy (Marche, Lazio and Umbria) and four in Southern Italy (Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia and Sardegna). Three consecutive levels of screening were carried out: the first two at school, to screen the population and identify children with suspect dyslexia; the last in centers with multi-professional staff specialized in learning disabilities to confirm the diagnosis. The key outcome measure is the prevalence of dyslexia, defined as the ratio between the number of children confirmed positive at the third level of screening and the total number of children enrolled in the study.

Results

We finally recruited 11094 children aged 8–10 years, of which 9964 constituted the final working sample after applying exclusion criteria and including only children who received parents’ consent to participate. The prevalence of dyslexia in the whole sample was 3.5% (95% CI 3.2–3.9%), with little differences between Northern, Central and Southern Italy (respectively 3.6%, 3.2% and 3.7%). In almost two out of three children with dyslexia the disorder had not been previously diagnosed.

Conclusions

This study confirms that in primary school children at the age of 8–10 years in Italy dyslexia is widely underestimated. Reliable data on dyslexia prevalence are needed to allocate necessary human and financial resources both to Health Services and Schools, ensuring timely support to children and families.

]]>
<![CDATA[Self-medication for migraine: A nationwide cross-sectional study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217b4d5eed0c4847943fb

Headache disorders are considered the second leading cause of years lived with disability worldwide, and 90% of people have a headache episode at least once a year, thus representing a relevant public health priority. As the pharmacist is often the first and only point of reference for people complaining of headache, we carried out a survey in a nationwide sample of Italian pharmacies, in order to describe the distribution of migraine or non-migraine type headaches and medicines overuse among people entering pharmacies seeking for self-medication; and to evaluate the association, in particular of migraine, with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, and with the pathway of care followed by the patients. A 14-item questionnaire, including socio-demographic and clinical factors, was administered by trained pharmacists to subjects who entered a pharmacy requesting self-medication for a headache attack. The ID Migraine Screener was used to classify headache sufferers in four classes. From June 2016 to January 2017, 4424 people have been interviewed. The prevalence of definite migraines was 40%, significantly higher among women and less educated people. About half of all headache sufferers and a third of migraineurs do not consider their condition as a disease and are not cared by any doctor. Among people seeking self-medication in pharmacies for acute headache attacks, the rate of definite or probable migraine is high, and a large percentage of them is not correctly diagnosed and treated. The pharmacy can be a valuable observatory for the study of headaches, and the first important step to improve the quality of care delivered to these patients.

]]>
<![CDATA[Translation and cognitive testing of the Italian Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) among patients and healthcare professionals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667c2d5eed0c4841a6318

Background

Outcome measurement is fundamental to assess needs and priority of care in palliative care settings. The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) was developed from earlier versions of this tool. Its use is encouraged to ameliorate the assessment of individual outcomes in palliative care settings. This study aimed to translate and culturally adapt IPOS into Italian, and explore its face and content validity.

Methods

After forward-backward translation, a qualitative study explored the views of and cognitive processes used by respondents. We conducted individual semi structured interviews with 21 patients admitted to two palliative care services, from hospitals, hospices and the community, and focus groups with 12 professionals working in multidisciplinary palliative care teams and used thematic analysis. The results were integrated in a final audit, including the project team and the original POS developers, to refine the final format of the tool.

Results

We conducted 21 face to face cognitive interviews with patients, and 2 focus groups with 14 professionals. Patients and professionals felt content and format of IPOS appropriate and feasible, and not burdensome. Some layout problems were raised leading to adaptation. Main issues regarded: clarifying the meaning of choices and some cultural interpretation of some questions and response options and interpretation of some instructions. We proposed using some new terms as more appropriate and comprehensive in our context, such as replacing the term “family” with “dear ones”. The items that appeared unchanged from the previously validated Italian POS were left unmodified to maintain coherence.

Conclusions

The Italian IPOS, in its four versions directed to patients or staff and with a recall period of 3 or 7 days, has face and content validity for use in clinical settings and is ready for further psychometric and clinimetric validation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Hypothetical errors and plateaus: A response to Newman]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254550d5eed0c48442c4d6

Newman questions recent claims about a plateau in mortality rates for Italians beyond age 105 on the basis of a hypothetical model. His model implies implausibly high error rates for extreme ages. For individuals over 110, for whom birth certificates have been collected, the form in which Italian births were registered precludes the kinds of clerical errors in year of birth that Newman assumes.

]]>
<![CDATA[GI-16 lineage (624/I or Q1), there and back again: The history of one of the major threats for poultry farming of our era]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c33d20ad5eed0c4845dd448

The genetic variability of Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is one of the main challenges for its control, hindering not only the development of effective vaccination strategies but also its classification and, consequently, epidemiology understanding. The 624/I and Q1 genotypes, now recognized to be part of the GI-16 lineage, represent an excellent example of the practical consequences of IBV molecular epidemiology limited knowledge. In fact, being their common origin unrecognized for a long time, independent epidemiological pictures were drawn for the two genotypes. To fix this misinterpretation, the present study reconstructs the history, population dynamics and spreading patterns of GI-16 lineage as a whole using a phylodynamic approach. A collection of worldwide available hypervariable region 1 and 2 (HVR12) and 3 (HVR3) sequences of the S1 protein was analysed together with 258 HVR3 sequences obtained from samples collected in Italy (the country where this genotype was initially identified) since 1963. The results demonstrate that after its emergence at the beginning of the XX century, GI-16 was able to persist until present days in Italy. Approximately in the late 1980s, it migrated to Asia, which became the main nucleus for further spreading to Middle East, Europe and especially South America, likely through multiple introduction events. A remarkable among-country diffusion was also demonstrated in Asia and South America. Interestingly, although most of the recent Italian GI-16 strains originated from ancestral viruses detected in the same country, a couple were closely related to Chinese ones, supporting a backward viral flow from China to Italy. Besides to the specific case-study results, this work highlights the misconceptions that originate from the lack of a unified nomenclature and poor molecular epidemiology data generation and sharing. This shortcoming appears particularly relevant since the described scenario could likely be shared by many other IBV genotypes and pathogens in general.

]]>
<![CDATA[Plane inclinations: A critique of hypothesis and model choice in Barbi et al]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254544d5eed0c48442c3dc

This study highlights how the mortality plateau in Barbi and colleagues can be generated by low-frequency, randomly distributed age-misreporting errors. Furthermore, sensitivity of the late-life mortality plateau in Barbi and colleagues to the particular age range selected for regression is illustrated. Collectively, the simulation of age-misreporting errors in late-life human mortality data and a less-specific model choice than that of Barbi and colleagues highlight a clear alternative hypothesis to explanations based on evolution, the cessation of ageing, and population heterogeneity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Anisakiasis in Italy: Analysis of hospital discharge records in the years 2005-2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f2d5eed0c484b53669

Background

Anisakiasis is a fish-borne zoonosis caused by the ingestion of marine food infected with Anisakis third-stage larvae, widespread marine parasitic nematodes. Gastrointestinal and/or allergic clinical signs and symptoms are not specific. While frequently reported in countries with large raw fish consumption as Japan, the global prevalence of anisakiasis may be severely underestimated due to limitations of available diagnostic tools and to diverse clinical manifestations. Recently, infective larvae were found in the same localization with gastrointestinal tumors. The occurrence of allergic exacerbation upon secondary exposure and the possible occupational exposure, highlight the need to increase scientific evidences on anisakiasis.

Methods

We performed a retrospective descriptive study using analysis of Hospital Discharge Records (HDRs) from 2005 to 2015 in Italy, with particular attention to allergic manifestations. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were performed using backward step-wise logistic regression models to assess spatial distribution and temporal trend as well as the variables independently associated with the allergic clinical signs and symptoms in Italian cases of anisakiasis.

Results

HDRs reporting the ICD-9 code for anisakiasis were retrieved (370), with a higher number of cases reported from central and southern regions, with particular regard to populations inhabiting the coastal territories. Around 40% of patients presented allergic manifestations and half of them showed serious allergic reactions. The multivariate analyses showed an independent association between allergic manifestations and features as living in southern regions and female gender, while anaphylactic episodes was independently associated only with female gender.

Conclusion

The present study is the first attempt to a better understanding of the epidemiological picture of anisakiasis in Italy, mining official data. A common strategy on data collection, monitoring and reporting would favor a more accurate epidemiological scenario in Italy, since the report of the diseases is not mandatory.

]]>
<![CDATA[Validity and measurement invariance of the Unified Multidimensional Calling Scale (UMCS): A three-wave survey study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b57d5eed0c4846eb66d

The accumulation of scientific knowledge on calling is limited by the absence of a common theoretical and measurement framework. Many different models of calling have been proposed, and we do not know how much research results that refer to a specific model are generalizable to different theoretical accounts of calling. In this article, we investigate whether two leading models of calling tackle the same construct. The two models were merged into a comprehensive framework that measures calling across seven facets: Passion, Purposefulness, Sacrifice, Pervasiveness, Prosocial Orientation, Transcendent Summons, and Identity. We then developed the Unified Multidimensional Calling Scale (UMCS) drawing from previous published items. Across two surveys involving college students (N = 5886) and adult employees (N = 205) the UMCS was proved to be valid and reliable. We also observed that the UMCS is invariant across time and calling domains. Finally, we found that facets of calling have very different relationships with outcomes and concurrent measures, suggesting that results obtained with a smaller set of facets are not generalizable to the higher-order construct of calling or to a different model that does not share the same facets.

]]>
<![CDATA[Pseudomonas coronafaciens sp. nov., a new phytobacterial species diverse from Pseudomonas syringae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf2bd5eed0c48491406c

We propose Pseudomonas coronafaciens sp. nov. as a new species in genus Pseudomonas, which is diverse from P. syringae. We also classified strains from onions which are responsible for yellow bud (YB) disease as P. coronafaciens. Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and multi-locus sequence analysis (MLSA) of housekeeping genes (gyrB, rpoD, gltA and gap1 genes) for the P. syringae pv. coronafaciens strains along with other strains of P. syringae pathovars resulted in a distinct cluster separate from other P. syringae pathovars. Based on DNA-DNA relatedness, pathotype strain of P. syringae pv. coronafaciens (CFBP 2216PT) exhibited ≤35.5% similarity with the pathotype strains of P. syringae pv. syringae (CFBP 1392PT, 4702T) but exhibited ≥90.6% with the YB strains (YB 12–1, YB 12–4, YB 09–1). Also, the YB strains (YB 12–1, YB 12–4, YB 09–1) were able to infect only onion but not oat, rye and Italian ryegrass (common hosts for P. syrinage pv. coronafaciens). Contrastingly, P. syringae pv. coronafaciens strains (NCPPB 600PT, ATCC 19608, Pcf 83–300) produced typical halo blight symptoms on oat, rye and Italian rye grass but did not produce any symptoms on onion. These results provide evidence that P. syringae pv. coronafaciens should be elevated to a species level and the new YB strains may potentially be a novel pathovar of hereto proposed P. coronafaciens species.

]]>
<![CDATA[Physical therapists’ perspectives on using contextual factors in clinical practice: Findings from an Italian national survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae448d5eed0c4845894dc

Background

Contextual factors (CFs) represent a potential therapeutic tool to boost physiotherapy outcomes, triggering placebo effects. Nevertheless, no evidence about the use of CFs among physical therapists is currently available.

Objective

To investigate the use of CFs and the opinion of Italian physical therapists specialized in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMTs) on their therapeutic benefits.

Design

An exploratory cross-sectional online survey.

Methods

A 17-item questionnaire and 2 clinical vignettes assessed the perspective of OMTs on the adoption of CFs in daily clinical practice. The target population was composed of 906 OMTs. An online survey was performed in 2016 using SurveyMonkey Software. Data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results

A total of 558 volunteers (61.6% of the target OMT population) participated in the study. Half of the participants (52.0%) claimed to use CFs frequently in their practice. More of 50% of OMTs valued the therapeutic significance of CFs for different health problems as determined by a combined psychological and physiological effect. OMTs considered the use of CFs ethically acceptable when they exert beneficial therapeutic effects and their effectiveness has emerged in previous clinical experiences (30.6%). They disagreed on the adoption of CFs when they are deceptive (14.1%). Moreover, OMTs did not communicate the adoption of CFs to patients (38.2%), and CFs were usually used in addition to other interventions to optimize clinical responses (19.9%). Psychological mechanisms, patient’s expectation and conditioning were believed to be the main components behind CFs (7.9%).

Limitations

Considering that the data collected were self-reported and retrospective, recall and response biases may limit the internal and external validity of the findings.

Conclusions

OMTs used CFs in their clinical practice and believed in their therapeutic effect. The knowledge of CFs, placebo and nocebo mechanisms and their clinical effects should be included in physical therapists’ university studies.

]]>
<![CDATA[Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) reveals host-related population structure in Leishmania infantum from northeastern Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a19d4463d7e428027f8e9

Background

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania infantum is an ongoing health problem in southern Europe, where dogs are considered the main reservoirs of the disease. Current data point to a northward spread of VL and canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Italy, with new foci in northern regions previously regarded as non-endemic.

Methodology/Principal findings

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) was performed to investigate genetic diversity and population structure of L. infantum on 55 samples from infected humans, dogs and sand flies of the E-R region between 2013 and 2017. E-R samples were compared with 10 L. infantum samples from VL cases in other Italian regions (extra E-R) and with 52 strains within the L. donovani complex. Data displayed significant microsatellite polymorphisms with low allelic heterozygosity. Forty-one unique and eight repeated MLMT profiles were recognized among the L. infantum samples from E-R, and ten unique MLMT profiles were assigned to the extra E-R samples. Bayesian analysis assigned E-R samples to two distinct populations, with further sub-structuring within each of them; all CanL samples belonged to one population, genetically related to Mediterranean MON-1 strains, while all but one VL cases as well as the isolate from the sand fly Phlebotomus perfiliewi fell under the second population. Conversely, VL samples from other Italian regions proved to be genetically similar to strains circulating in dogs.

Conclusions/Significance

A peculiar epidemiological situation was observed in northeastern Italy, with the co-circulation of two distinct populations of L. infantum; one population mainly detected in dogs and the other population detected in humans and in a sand fly. While the classical cycle of CanL in Italy fits well into the data obtained for the first population, the population found in infected humans exhibits a different cycle, probably not involving a canine reservoir. This study can contribute to a better understanding of the population structure of L. infantum circulating in northeastern Italy, thus providing useful epidemiologic information for public health authorities.

]]>