ResearchPad - original-investigations Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Cigarette Smoking Cessation Intervention for Buprenorphine Treatment Patients]]> Patients receiving medication assisted therapy (MAT) for opioid use disorder have high cigarette smoking rates. Cigarette smoking interventions have had limited success. We evaluated an intervention to increase cigarette abstinence rates in patients receiving buprenorphine-assisted therapy.MethodsCigarette smokers (N = 175; 78% male; 69% Caucasian; 20% Hispanic), recruited from a buprenorphine clinic were randomly assigned to either an extended innovative system intervention (E-ISI) or to Standard Treatment Control (STC). The E-ISI combined motivational intervention with extended treatment (long-term nicotine replacement therapy , varenicline, and extended cognitive behavioral therapy). STC received written information about quit-lines, medication, and resources. Assessments were held at baseline and 3, 6, 12, and 18 months. Seven-day biochemically verified point-prevalence cigarette abstinence was the primary outcome measure.ResultsFifty-four percent of E-ISI participants entered the extended treatment intervention; E-ISI and STC differed at 3 months on abstinence status but not at months 6, 12, and 18. E-ISI participants were more likely to attempt to quit, to have a goal of complete abstinence, and to be in a more advanced stage of change than STC participants. A higher number of cigarettes smoked and the use of cannabis in the previous 30 days predicted continued smokingConclusionsThe E-ISI was successful in increasing motivation to quit smoking but did not result in long-term abstinence. The failure of treatments that have been efficacious in the general population to produce abstinence in patients receiving MAT of opioid use disorder suggests that harm reduction and other innovative interventions should be explored.ImplicationsThis study demonstrates that an intervention combining motivational interviewing with an extended treatment protocol can increase cigarette quit attempts, enhance cigarette abstinence goals, and further movement through stages of change about quitting smoking in patients receiving MAT for opioid use disorder who smoke cigarettes. The intervention did not increase abstinence rates over those observed in a standard treatment control, however. The latter finding supports those of earlier investigators who also failed to find efficacy for smoking cessation in this population and who also used interventions effective in the general population. This pattern of findings suggests that patients with opioid use disorder can be motivated to change smoking behavior, but alternative and innovative approaches to cigarette smoking treatment should be studied. ]]> <![CDATA[Second Generation Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Vape Pen Exposure Generalizes as a Smoking Cue]]> Second generation electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; also known as e-cigarettes, vaporizers or vape pens) are designed for a customized nicotine delivery experience and have less resemblance to regular cigarettes than first generation “cigalikes.” The present study examined whether they generalize as a conditioned cue and evoke smoking urges or behavior in persons exposed to their use.MethodsData were analyzed inN = 108 young adult smokers (≥5 cigarettes per week) randomized to either a traditional combustible cigarette smoking cue or a second generation ENDS vaping cue in a controlled laboratory setting. Cigarette and e-cigarette urge and desire were assessed pre- and post-cue exposure. Smoking behavior was also explored in a subsample undergoing a smoking latency phase after cue exposure (N = 26).ResultsThe ENDS vape pen cue evoked both urge and desire for a regular cigarette to a similar extent as that produced by the combustible cigarette cue. Both cues produced similar time to initiate smoking during the smoking latency phase. The ENDS vape pen cue elicited smoking urge and desire regardless of ENDS use history, that is, across ENDS naїve, lifetime or current users. Inclusion of past ENDS or cigarette use as covariates did not significantly alter the results.ConclusionsThese findings demonstrate that observation of vape pen ENDS use generalizes as a conditioned cue to produce smoking urge, desire, and behavior in young adult smokers. As the popularity of these devices may eventually overtake those of first generation ENDS cigalikes, exposure effects will be of increasing importance.ImplicationsThis study shows that passive exposure to a second generation ENDS vape pen cue evoked smoking urge, desire, and behavior across a range of daily and non-daily young adult smokers. Smoking urge and desire increases after vape pen exposure were similar to those produced by exposure to a first generation ENDS cigalike and a combustible cigarette, a known potent cue. Given the increasing popularity of ENDS tank system products, passive exposures to these devices will no doubt increase, and may contribute to tobacco use in young adult smokers. ]]> <![CDATA[Prescribing Prevalence, Effectiveness, and Mental Health Safety of Smoking Cessation Medicines in Patients With Mental Disorders]]>



We conducted a prospective cohort study of the Clinical Practice Research Database to estimate rates of varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescribing and the relative effects on smoking cessation, and mental health.


We used multivariable logistic regression, propensity score matched regression, and instrumental variable analysis. Exposure was varenicline or NRT prescription. Mental disorders were bipolar, depression, neurotic disorder, schizophrenia, or prescriptions of antidepressants, antipsychotics, hypnotics/anxiolytics, mood stabilizers. Outcomes were smoking cessation, and incidence of neurotic disorder, depression, prescription of antidepressants, or hypnotics/anxiolytics. Follow-ups were 3, 6, and 9 months, and at 1, 2, and 4 years.


In all patients, NRT and varenicline prescribing declined during the study period. Seventy-eight thousand four hundred fifty-seven smokers with mental disorders aged ≥18 years were prescribed NRT (N = 59 340) or varenicline (N = 19 117) from September 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015. Compared with smokers without mental disorders, smokers with mental disorders had 31% (95% CI: 29% to 33%) lower odds of being prescribed varenicline relative to NRT, but had 19% (95% CI: 15% to 24%) greater odds of quitting at 2 years when prescribed varenicline relative to NRT. Overall, varenicline was associated with decreased or similar odds of worse mental health outcomes than NRT in patients both with and without mental disorders, although there was some variation when analyses were stratified by mental disorder subgroup.


Smoking cessation medication prescribing may be declining in primary care. Varenicline was more effective than NRT for smoking cessation in patients with mental disorders and there is not clear consistent evidence that varenicline is adversely associated with poorer mental health outcomes.


Patients with mental disorders were less likely to be prescribed varenicline than NRT. We triangulated results from three analytical techniques. We found that varenicline was more effective than NRT for smoking cessation in patients with mental disorders. Varenicline was generally associated with similar or decreased odds of poorer mental health outcomes (ie, improvements in mental health) when compared with NRT. We report these findings cautiously as our data are observational and are at risk of confounding.

<![CDATA[Agreement and Repeatability of Noncycloplegic and Cycloplegic Wavefront-based Autorefraction in Children]]>


Increasing prevalence of refractive error requires assessment of ametropia as a screening tool in children. If cycloplegia is not an option, knowledge about the increase in uncertainty for wavefront-based autorefraction is needed. The cycloplegic agent as the principal variant presents cross-reference and allows for extraction of the influence of accommodation.


The purpose of this study was to determine the repeatability, agreement, and propensity to accommodate of cycloplegic (ARc) and noncycloplegic (ARnc) wavefront-based autorefraction (ZEISS i.Profiler plus; Carl Zeiss Vision, Aalen, Germany) in children aged 2 to 15 years.


In a clinical setting, three consecutive measurements were feasible for 145 eyes (OD) under both conditions. Data are described by spherical equivalent (M), horizontal or vertical astigmatic component (J0), and oblique astigmatic component (J45). In the case of M, the most positive value of the three measurements was chosen, whereas the mean was applied for astigmatic components.


Regarding agreement, differences for ARc minus ARnc were statistically significant: for M, 0.55 (0.55 D; mean [SD]; P < .001), that is, more hyperopic in cycloplegia; for J0, −0.03 (0.11 D; P = .002); and for J45, −0.03 D (SD, 0.09 D; P < .001). Regarding repeatability, astigmatic components showed excellent repeatability: SD < 0.11 D (ARnc) and SD < 0.09 D (ARc). The repeatability of M was SD = 0.57 D with a 95% interval of 1.49 D (ARnc). Under cycloplegia, this decreased to SD = 0.17 D (ARc) with a 95% interval of 0.50 D. The mean propensity to accommodate was 0.44 D from repeated measurements; in cycloplegia, this was reduced to 0.19 D.


Wavefront-based refraction measurement results are highly repeatable and precise for astigmatic components. Noncycloplegic measurements of M show a systematic bias of 0.55 D. Cycloplegia reduces the propensity to accommodate by a factor of 2.4; for noncycloplegic repeated measurements, accommodation is controlled to a total interval of 1.49 D (95%). Without cycloplegia, results improve drastically when measurements are repeated.

<![CDATA[Diagnostic Yield of Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy Using a Curved-tip Catheter to Aid in the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Lesions]]>


Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) may aid in the diagnosis of solitary pulmonary lesions with a lower complication rate than conventional diagnostic modalities. A curved-tip catheter is now available for use with ENB; however, the diagnostic yield of this device has not been previously reported.


A single-center, single-operator retrospective chart review was performed on patients who underwent ENB for the diagnosis of pulmonary lesions. A curved-tip catheter was used in all procedures; angle options were chosen depending on lesion location. After navigation to the target lesion, fine-needle aspiration, brushings, biopsies, and bronchoalveolar lavage were performed in all patients. Correct localization was confirmed with fluoroscopy.


Thirty-one consecutive patients underwent ENB between February and October 2014. The mean lesion size was 1.8 cm (range, 0.4 to 4.0 cm) and 35% were in the right upper lobe. The probe tip was navigated to the target lesion in all cases. A diagnosis was obtained in 30/31 patients (96.8%). Twenty-two (71%) had a definitive histologic diagnosis of malignancy. One case was nondiagnostic requiring a repeat fine-needle aspiration. The remaining 8 nonmalignant cases were followed radiologically and demonstrated no progression of lesion size through at least 1 year. Fiducials were placed in 48% of cases. There were 2 pneumothoraces (6.5%), one of which required chest tube placement (3.2%).


This study suggests that the curved-tip catheter is a useful modality for diagnosing peripheral pulmonary lesions with ENB. The diagnostic yield of ENB using this catheter was superior to that reported in other studies utilizing straight catheters.

<![CDATA[Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Protrusion Associated with Tilted Optic Discs]]>

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

<![CDATA[Comparing Generic Drug Markets in Europe and the United States: Prices, Volumes, and Spending]]>

Policy Points:

  • Our study indicates that there are opportunities for cost savings in generic drug markets in Europe and the United States.

  • Regulators should make it easier for generic drugs to reach the market.

  • Regulators and payers should apply measures to stimulate price competition among generic drugmakers and to increase generic drug use.

  • To meaningfully evaluate policy options, it is important to analyze historical context and understand why similar initiatives failed previously.


Rising drug prices are putting pressure on health care budgets. Policymakers are assessing how they can save money through generic drugs.


We compared generic drug prices and market shares in 13 European countries, using data from 2013, to assess the amount of variation that exists between countries. To place these results in context, we reviewed evidence from recent studies on the prices and use of generics in Europe and the United States. We also surveyed peer‐reviewed studies, gray literature, and books published since 2000 to (1) outline existing generic drug policies in European countries and the United States; (2) identify ways to increase generic drug use and to promote price competition among generic drug companies; and (3) explore barriers to implementing reform of generic drug policies, using a historical example from the United States as a case study.


The prices and market shares of generics vary widely across Europe. For example, prices charged by manufacturers in Switzerland are, on average, more than 2.5 times those in Germany and more than 6 times those in the United Kingdom, based on the results of a commonly used price index. The proportion of prescriptions filled with generics ranges from 17% in Switzerland to 83% in the United Kingdom. By comparison, the United States has historically had low generic drug prices and high rates of generic drug use (84% in 2013), but has in recent years experienced sharp price increases for some off‐patent products. There are policy solutions to address issues in Europe and the United States, such as streamlining the generic drug approval process and requiring generic prescribing and substitution where such policies are not yet in place. The history of substitution laws in the United States provides insights into the economic, political, and cultural issues influencing the adoption of generic drug policies.


Governments should apply coherent supply‐ and demand‐side policies in generic drug markets. An immediate priority is to convince more physicians, pharmacists, and patients that generic drugs are bioequivalent to branded products. Special‐interest groups continue to obstruct reform in Europe and the United States.