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Same-day discharge after craniotomy for brain tumor resection: enhancing patient selection through a prognostic scoring system

Adam S. Levy, Martin A. Merenzon, Shovan Bhatia, Meredith C. Costello, Long Di, Victor M. Lu, Alexis A. Morell, Lekhaj Daggubati, Ashish H. Shah, Ricardo J. Komotar, and Michael E. Ivan

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgery, among other surgical fields, is amid a shift in patient management with enhanced recovery and same-day discharge (SDD) protocols slowly becoming more popular and feasible. While such protocols reduce the risk of nosocomial complications and improve patient satisfaction, appropriate patient selection remains an area of debate. The authors aimed to better quantify selection criteria through a prospective follow-up study of patients undergoing brain tumor resection with SDD.

METHODS

Three arms of analysis were carried out. First, clinical data of SDD patients were prospectively collected between August 2021 and August 2022. In parallel, a retrospective analysis of patients who qualified for SDD but were excluded at surgeon clinical discretion over the same period was performed. Third, a comparative analysis of the pilot and follow-up studies was done from which a clinical scoring system for patient selection was derived.

RESULTS

Over the duration of the study, 31 of 334 patients were selected for SDD while 59 qualified for SDD by previously defined criteria but were not selected at the surgeon’s discretion. There was no difference in outcomes between the two groups, and there were no postoperative complications among the SDD group within 30 days of surgery. Preoperative clinical characteristics found to be significantly different between the two cohorts (left-sided lesion, extra-axial pathology, prior treatment of brain tumor, and tumor volume ≤ 11.75 cm3) were included in a predictive scoring system for successful SDD. The scoring system was found to significantly predict high or low likelihood for successful SDD when tested on the mixed prospective cohort.

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides a straightforward clinical scoring system for appropriate selection of candidates for SDD after craniotomy for brain tumor resection. This clinical tool aims to aid clinicians in appropriate admission course selection and builds on the growing literature surrounding same-day and outpatient cranial neurosurgery.

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Theory-based implementation of an enhanced recovery protocol for cranial surgery

Aimun A. B. Jamjoom, Olivier J. J. Sluijters, Thomas C. H. Yeung, Jack Wildman, George P. Malcolm, Constantinos Charalambides, Venkat Iyer, and Neil U. Barua

OBJECTIVE

There is growing evidence for the use of enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) in cranial surgery. As they become widespread, successful implementation of these complex interventions will become a challenge for neurosurgical teams owing to the need for multidisciplinary engagement. Here, the authors describe the novel use of an implementation framework (normalization process theory [NPT]) to promote the incorporation of a cranial surgery ERP into routine neuro-oncology practice.

METHODS

A baseline audit was conducted to determine the degree of implementation of the ERP into practice. The Normalization MeAsure Development (NoMAD) questionnaire was circulated among 6 groups of stakeholders (neurosurgeons, anesthetists, intensivists, recovery nurses, preoperative assessment nurses, and neurosurgery ward staff) to examine barriers to implementation. Based on these findings, a theory-guided implementation intervention was delivered. A repeat audit and NoMAD questionnaire were conducted to assess the impact of the intervention on the uptake of the ERP.

RESULTS

The baseline audit (n = 24) demonstrated limited delivery of the ERP elements. The NoMAD questionnaire (n = 32) identified 4 subconstructs of the NPT as barriers to implementation: communal specification, contextual integration, skill set workability, and relational integration. These guided an implementation intervention that included the following: 1) teamwork-focused training; 2) ERP promotion; and 3) procedure simplification. The reaudit (n = 21) demonstrated significant increases in the delivery of 5 protocol elements: scalp block (12.5% of patients before intervention vs 76.2% of patients after intervention, p < 0.00001), recommended analgesia (25.0% vs 100.0%, p < 0.00001) and antiemetics (12.5% vs 100.0%, p < 0.00001), trial without catheter (13.6% vs 88.9%, p < 0.00001), and mobilization on the 1st postoperative day (45.5% vs 94.4%, p < 0.00001). There was a significant reduction in the mean hospital length of stay from 6.3 ± 3.4 to 4.2 ± 1.7 days (p = 0.022). Two months after implementation, a repeat NoMAD survey demonstrated significant improvement in communal specification.

CONCLUSIONS

Here, the authors have demonstrated the successful implementation of a cranial surgery ERP by using a systematic theory-based approach.

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Assessing the state of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion in neurosurgery

Brian D. Foresi, Karolina Pellot, Saif S. Quadri, Logan Muzyka, Sarah White, Cynthia Uzoukwu, and Susan C. Pannullo

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to assess the diversity of neurosurgeons in terms of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) gender and sexual minority status using the Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) as the single nationalized source of LGBTQ+ identification. Additionally, inclusivity was assessed through interviews by residents and attendings in the field.

METHODS

First, a PRISMA literature review was conducted and independently reviewed by two authors on studies involving LGBTQ+ representation in neurosurgery from PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Then, aggregate responses of 16,901 participants’ sexual and gender identities from the GQ administered between 2016 and 2022 were compiled. To statistically analyze the response frequencies, the authors performed a chi-square analysis. Finally, interviews were conducted with individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ and are currently neurosurgical residents or attendings. Direct invitations were extended to participate in interviews, and all participants gave informed consent prior to the interview. Interviews were conducted using standardized questions and were video recorded.

RESULTS

Two studies were identified by literature review that referenced the LGBTQ+ community in neurosurgery. A GQ chi-square analysis comparing neurosurgical with nonneurosurgical LGBTQ+ identification proved statistically insignificant (p = 0.65). More broad analysis of majority sexual and gender identification (heterosexual and cisgendered) compared with the total gender and sexual minority group also proved statistically insignificant (p = 0.32) in response frequency. Five interviews, including 4 residents and 1 attending, provided several overarching themes including self-identification as an invisible minority, self-limiting behavior to ensure inclusion, and LGBTQ+ status as a direct departure from the stereotypical neurosurgeon.

CONCLUSIONS

Results from the GQ analysis indicate that neurosurgery is achieving LGBTQ+ diversity of its incoming members comparable to that of other fields in medicine. However, qualitative data from the interviews and a lack of specific literature indicate that despite obtaining diversity, inclusion of LGBTQ+ neurosurgeons and trainees is lacking.

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County-level disparities in care for patients with glioblastoma

Rishab Ramapriyan, Tarun Ramesh, Hao Yu, Leland G. Richardson, Brian V. Nahed, Bob S. Carter, Fred G. Barker II, William T. Curry, and Bryan D. Choi

OBJECTIVE

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in neuro-oncological care for patients with brain tumors remain underexplored. This study aimed to analyze county-level disparities in glioblastoma (GBM) care in the United States, focusing on access to surgery and the use of adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

METHODS

Using repeated cross-sectional data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 17 database; the Area Health Resources File; and the American Community Survey, from 2010 to 2019, the authors performed multivariate regression analyses to understand the associations between county-level racial and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as the rates of surgery performed, delays in surgery, and use of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy for newly diagnosed GBM.

RESULTS

In total, 29,609 GBM patients from 602 different US counties over a decade were included in this study. Counties with lower rates of surgery for GBM were associated with a higher percentage of Black residents (coefficient [CE] −0.001, 95% CI −0.002 to 0; p < 0.05) and being located in the Midwest (CE −0.132, 95% CI −0.195 to −0.069; p < 0.001) or West (CE −0.127, 95% CI −0.189 to −0.065; p < 0.001) relative to the Northeast. Counties with delayed surgical treatment were more likely to lack neurosurgeons (adjusted OR [aOR] 2.52, 95% CI 1.77–3.60; p < 0.001), have a higher percentage of Black residents (aOR 1.011, 95% CI 1.00–1.02; p < 0.05), and be located in the Midwest (aOR 3.042, 95% CI 1.12–8.24; p < 0.05) or West (aOR 3.175, 95% CI 1.12–8.97 p < 0.05). Counties with high rates of adjuvant radiation therapy were less likely to have higher percentages of Black residents (aOR 0.987, 95% CI 0.980–0.995; p < 0.01) and uninsured individuals (aOR 0.962, 95% CI 0.937–0.987; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Counties without neurosurgeons and those with a higher percentage of Black patients have delays in surgical care and demonstrate lower overall rates of surgery and adjuvant therapy for GBM. This study underscores the need for targeted interventions and policies that address structural barriers in healthcare access, improve equitable distribution of the neurosurgery workforce, and ensure timely and comprehensive GBM care to all populations.

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A decade of diversity: using statistical indices to compare neurosurgery to other surgical specialties

Elijah M. Persad-Paisley, Sarah A. Uriarte, Ziqi Wang, Owen P. Leary, Jay R. Gopal, Mariah Balmaceno-Criss, Albert E. Telfeian, and Deus J. Cielo

OBJECTIVE

Studies have demonstrated the benefits of diversity in neurosurgery. However, recruitment of minoritized groups within the neurosurgical workforce consistently lags other surgical specialties. While racial and gender demographics of neurosurgical residents are well documented, there has been minimal exploration into the multidimensional nature of diversity. The current study will evaluate the longitudinal diversity changes in neurosurgery residency programs compared with other surgical fields with validated diversity indices.

METHODS

Nationwide reports including data about resident physicians were obtained from the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges for the academic years 2008–2021. Self-reported race, biological sex, and medical school affiliation were recorded for surgical residents in the 10 commonly recognized surgical fields. The Gini-Simpson Diversity Index was used to calculate the effective counts (ECs) of races, sexes, and medical school types for each field. A Composite Diversity Index (CDI) comprising the aforementioned diversity traits was used to calculate the percentage of characteristics upon which two randomly selected residents within each specialty would differ. CDIs were calculated for each field in every year from 2008 to 2021. Median CDIs were compared between fields using Kruskal-Wallis testing, and p values < 0.05 were deemed statistically significant.

RESULTS

Plastic surgery had the highest median sex EC (1.92, interquartile range [IQR] 1.78–1.95), indicating greater diversity, while neurosurgery had the third lowest sex EC (1.40, IQR 1.35–1.41). All surgical fields examined had fewer than 3 races effectively represented among their residents, despite there being 8 races present. Neurosurgery ranked among the top fields in effective racial diversity (EC 2.17, IQR 2.09–2.21) and medical school type diversity (EC 1.25, IQR 1.21–1.26). There were statistically significant differences in the sex, race, and school ECs between surgical specialties. While neurosurgery had a relatively low median overall diversity (CDI = 32.7, IQR 32.0–34.6), there was a consistent longitudinal increase in CDI from 2015 to 2021.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurosurgery resident physicians have become increasingly diverse in the past decade but are more homogenous than residents in other surgical fields. The continued use of diversity indices to more accurately track diversity progress over time may better inform leaders in the field of how they may best focus their equity and inclusion efforts.

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Effect of online public domain representation in neurosurgical resident recruitment and decision-making

Cierra N. Harper, Sonia Eden, and William W. Ashley Jr.

OBJECTIVE

Over the past 20 years, female representation in neurosurgical residency programs has steadily increased. Still, the number of Black women and Black neurosurgical residents overall has remained stagnant. The authors aimed to understand the factors that led to this stagnation and how online public domain representation informs current and upcoming resident recruitment and decision-making.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study using the following public domain sources: Doximity, neurosurgical residency program websites, and LinkedIn. The authors collected data from all neurosurgery residents who matriculated into a US neurosurgical residency program from 2015 to 2022. Variables, including name, race, gender, year of matriculation, medical school, and undergraduate institution, were recorded.

RESULTS

The authors analyzed resident data from 110/113 (97.3%) US neurological surgery residency programs. Of these programs, 106 (96.4%) matriculated and retained ≥ 1 female resident over the study period. There were 408 (22.6%) female neurosurgical residents, with 37 (33.6%) programs accounting for 57.8% of all female neurosurgical residents. For those states with a female resident, the lowest percentage of female residents by state was in Iowa (6.25%) and the highest was in New Hampshire (50%). Of all programs, 60 (54.5%) matriculated and retained ≥ 1 Black resident over the study period. There were 88 (4.9%) Black neurosurgical residents, with 19 (17.3%) programs accounting for 55.7% of all Black neurosurgical residents. For those states with a Black resident, the lowest percentage of Black residents by state was in Maryland (2.0%) and the highest was in Arkansas (23.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Recruiting and retaining female and Black residents has increasingly become a focus of neurosurgical programs across the country. The authors’ data show that female and Black residents overwhelmingly choose to apply to and matriculate into programs that demonstrate a commitment to diversity via their online presence. Programs wishing to recruit more diverse residents should make efforts to relay their dedication to diversity, inclusion, and performance through their online presence.

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Gender concordance and publication productivity within Neurosurgical Focus: a 10-year review (2013–2022)

Joanna M. Roy, Aaron Segura, Georgios P. Skandalakis, Kavelin Rumalla, Emily Estes, Javed Iqbal, Muhammad Asjad Riaz, Rachel Sidebottom, Meic H. Schmidt, and Christian A. Bowers

OBJECTIVE

The "leaky academic pipeline" describes how female representation in leadership positions has remained stagnant despite an increase in the number of female trainees. Female mentorship to female mentees, and female role models at higher academic positions have been shown to positively influence academic productivity. To the authors’ knowledge, the impact of female editorial board representation on authorship trends in neurosurgical journals remains undescribed. This study aimed to analyze trends in the representation of female topic editors and its impact on female authorship within Neurosurgical Focus over a 10-year period.

METHODS

Publicly available data were collected from the journal’s website, inclusive from January 2013 to December 2022. The articles were grouped into technical and nontechnical themes based on their relevance to specific technical details regarding surgical techniques. Female gender–concordant publications were defined as publications having a female first author (or co–first author) and a female senior author. Linear regression analysis determined trends in publishing. Odds ratios and 95% CIs were calculated using logistic regression analysis. Pearson correlation and cross-correlation analyses were used to examine each pairwise comparison of time series. The statistical significance of associations was evaluated using t-tests and chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests.

RESULTS

The number of female topic editors and gender-concordant authors increased over time (p < 0.05). Women accounted for ≥ 50% of the topic editors on nontechnical themes relevant to education and gender diversity. Having a female senior author was associated with higher publication productivity for original research and review articles among female authors (OR 13.73, 95% CI 1.75–394.31; p < 0.05). Female authors had higher odds of publishing editorials with a female topic editor (OR 3.81, 95% CI 1.37–11.02; p < 0.01). Publications with female first and senior authors were significantly more likely to have female topic editors (OR 4.05, 95% CI 1.38–12.92; p < 0.01). A positive association was observed between female senior authors and female topic editors at lag −8, with a correlation coefficient of 0.19 (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Female attending–to–female trainee mentorship and female representation among editorial boards play a crucial role in enhancing academic productivity among women. Efforts to sustain academic productivity during the early-career period would presumably help increase female representation in neurosurgery.

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Gender diversity in neurosurgical training: an analysis of trends and resident program characteristics

Grace R. Fassina, Emily E. Nguyen, Helen H. Shi, and Caple A. Spence

OBJECTIVE

Recent trends have shown more women entering neurosurgery, but large gender gaps in the number of female trainees continue to persist. A previous study on the gender diversity of residents and faculty in neurosurgery training programs found that only 18.2% of residents and 8.7% of faculty at neurosurgical training programs were female. The goal of this study was to better understand program characteristics that may affect the recruitment of female residents and the gender composition of neurosurgery residency programs.

METHODS

The authors assessed publicly available information on websites and social media from 116 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)–accredited neurosurgery residency programs from the 2022–2023 academic year. Data collected on residents included gender and postgraduate year (PGY), geographic region, accreditation year, and complement size for programs. The authors analyzed the distribution of female residents at each program and compared accreditation year, program size, program geographics, PGY, and acceptance rates.

RESULTS

There were 1602 residents across the 116 programs included in this study: 1223 (76.3%) male and 379 (23.7%) female residents. The gender distribution of female residents showed 29 programs had 30% or more female residents, 50 programs had between 16% and 30%, and 37 had fewer than 16%, including 8 with none. There were significantly more PGY-1 than PGY-7 female residents (28.9% vs 16.4%, p < 0.01). Programs with ACGME accreditation before 1970 had significantly higher percentages of female residents (26.0%) compared with those accredited after 1970 (18.2%, p < 0.01). Program size was associated with a higher percentage of female residents (large = 25.2%, medium = 24.9%, and small = 19.6%), although the results were not significant. The distribution of female trainees across five geographic regions of the United States was fairly even: Northeast (24.5%), West (25.2%), South Atlantic (23.1%), South Central (21.8%), and North Central (21.2%). Residency acceptance rates were similar between genders.

CONCLUSIONS

The underrepresentation of women in neurosurgery residency programs remains a significant issue. While some programs have achieved higher female representation than the overall average proportion of female neurosurgery residents, many still fall short. There are twice as many female PGY-1 compared with PGY-7 residents, suggesting increased recruitment over the past few years. Programs with longer accreditation histories have significantly higher proportions of female residents. Larger program size can also play a role in attracting more female residents, but geographic location did not impact gender composition of resident cohorts in this study.

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Greater improvement in Neck Disability Index scores in women after surgery for cervical myelopathy: an analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database

Arati Patel, Sravani Kondapavulur, Gray Umbach, Andrew K. Chan, Vivian P. Le, Erica F. Bisson, Mohamad Bydon, Dean Chou, Steve D. Glassman, Kevin T. Foley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric A. Potts, Mark E. Shaffrey, Domagoj Coric, John J. Knightly, Paul Park, Michael Y. Wang, Kai-Ming Fu, Jonathan Slotkin, Anthony L. Asher, Michael S. Virk, Regis W. Haid, Oren Gottfried, Scott Meyer, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Luis M. Tumialán, Jay D. Turner, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

There is a high prevalence of cervical myelopathy that requires surgery; as such, it is important to identify how different groups benefit from surgery. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons launched the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD), a prospective longitudinal registry, that includes demographic, clinical, and patient-reported outcome data to measure the safety and quality of neurosurgical procedures. In this study, the authors assessed the impact of gender on patient-reported outcomes in patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 1152 patients who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy and were included in the QOD cervical module. Univariate comparison of baseline patient characteristics between males and females who underwent surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy was performed. Baseline characteristics that significantly differed between males and females were included in a multivariate generalized linear model comparing baseline and 1-year postoperative Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores.

RESULTS

This study included 546 females and 604 males. Females demonstrated significantly greater improvement in NDI score 1 year after surgery (p = 0.036). In addition to gender, the presence of axial neck pain and insurance status were also significantly predictive of improvement in NDI score after surgery (p = 0.0013 and p = 0.0058, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Females were more likely to benefit from surgery for cervical myelopathy compared with males. It is important to identify gender differences in postoperative outcomes after surgery in order to deliver more personalized and patient-centric care.

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Healthcare disparities in pituitary surgery: a systematic review

Mohammadmahdi Sabahi, Seyed Farzad Maroufi, Adrianna Wierzbicka, Lana Maniakhina, Badih Adada, and Hamid Borghei-Razavi

OBJECTIVE

Pituitary surgery is a frequent neurosurgical procedure for the management of pituitary adenomas, but little research has been done on the impact of healthcare disparities on surgical results. Healthcare inequity/disparity in terms of race and socioeconomic status (SES), in addition to age and gender, was evaluated in this study to see if they affect the results of pituitary surgery.

METHODS

A systematic literature search was carried out utilizing the MEDLINE (PubMed), Web of Science, Scopus, and Embase electronic databases from conception to 2023. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used for quality assessment of the included studies.

RESULTS

Twenty-one studies yielded a total of 381,643 patients, and removal of the studies with temporal overlap resulted in 134,832 patients with a mean ± SD age of 51.52 ± 0.41 years. Based on the available data, 46.63% of patients were male. Black patients were more likely to be recommended against surgery, while Asian or Pacific Islander patients were more likely to be recommended for surgery. Postoperative course and outcome showed mixed results, with some studies reporting higher rates of transient diabetes insipidus and stroke in racial minority populations. Private hospitals admitted more White patients, and certain racial groups had reduced access to high-volume centers. SES disparities were assessed in terms of insurance and income. Patients with government insurance or without insurance were more likely to be recommended active surveillance instead of definitive treatment. Furthermore, high SES was associated with a higher likelihood of receiving surgical treatment, better treatment outcomes, and better access to high-volume centers. In terms of age and gender disparity, older patients and females were less likely to be recommended for surgical treatment. Age and gender did not consistently impact postoperative course and treatment outcomes, with varying results across studies. No significant age and gender disparities were observed in hospital admissions and charges.

CONCLUSIONS

This study revealed the presence of disparities in pituitary adenoma surgery based on race, SES, age, and gender. These disparities highlight the need for further research and interventions to ensure equitable access to appropriate surgical treatment and improved outcomes for all patients with pituitary adenomas.