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Michael D. Cusimano, Olli Saarela, Kirsten Hart, Shudong Zhang, and Steven R. McFaull

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to examine the population-based trends and factors associated with hospitalization of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) treated in the Emergency Department (ED) among those 65 years and older. The implications of these trends for neurosurgery and the broader society are discussed.

METHOD

With a national, mandatory reporting system of ED visits, the authors used Poisson regression controlling for age and sex to analyze trends in fall-related TBI of those aged 65 years and older between 2002 and 2017.

RESULTS

The overall rate of ED visits for TBI increased by 78%—from 689.51 per 100,000 (95% CI 676.5–702.8) to 1229 per 100,000 (95% CI 1215–1243) between 2002 and 2017. Females consistently experienced higher rates of fall-related TBI than did males. All age groups 65 years and older experienced significant increases in fall-related TBI rate over the study period; however, the highest rates occurred among the oldest individuals (90+ and 85–89 years). The hospital admission rate increased with age and Charlson Comorbidity Index. Males experienced both a higher admission rate and a greater percentage change in admission rate than females.

CONCLUSIONS

Rates of ED visits for fall-related TBI, hospitalization, and in-ED mortality in those aged 65 years and older are increasing for both sexes. The increasing hospital admission rate is related to more advanced comorbidities, male sex, and increasing age. These findings have significant implications for neurosurgical resources; they emphasize that health professionals should work proactively with patients, families, and caregivers to clarify goals of care, and they also outline the need for more high-level and, preferably, randomized evidence to support outcomes-based decisions. Additionally, the findings highlight the urgent need for improved population-based measures for prevention in not only this age demographic but in younger ones, and the need for changes in the planning of health service delivery and long-term care.

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Roberto Jose Diaz, Nicole Maggacis, Shudong Zhang, and Michael D. Cusimano

Object

Skull base chordomas can be managed by surgical intervention and adjuvant radiotherapy. As survival for this disease increases, identification of determinants of quality of life becomes an important focus for guiding comprehensive patient care. In this study the authors sought to measure functional outcome and quality of life in patients with skull base chordomas and to identify determinants of quality of life in these patients.

Methods

The authors carried out an internet-based cross-sectional survey, collecting detailed data for 83 individual patients. Demographic and clinical variables were evaluated. Functional outcomes were determined by Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE), quality of life was measured using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and depression was assessed using Patient Health Questions–9 (PHQ-9) instrument. Caregiver burden was assessed using the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to identify determinants of the physical and mental components of the SF-36.

Results

Patients with skull base chordomas who have undergone surgery and/or radiation treatment had a median KPS score of 90 (range 10–100, IQR 10) and a median GOSE score of 8 (range 2–8, IQR 3). The mean SF-36 Physical Component Summary score (± SD) was 43.6 ± 11.8, the mean Mental Component Summary score was 44.2 ±12.6, and both were significantly lower than norms for the general US population (p < 0.001). The median PHQ-9 score was 5 (range 0–27, IQR 8). A PHQ-9 score of 10 or greater, indicating moderate to severe depression, was observed in 29% of patients. The median ZBI score was 12 (range 0–27, IQR 11), indicating a low burden. Neurological deficit, use of pain medication, and requirement for corticosteroids were found to be associated with worse SF-36 Physical Component Summary score, while higher levels of depression (higher PHQ-9 score) correlated with worse SF-36 Mental Component Summary score.

Conclusions

Patients with skull base chordomas have a lower quality of life than the general US population. The most significant determinants of quality of life in the posttreatment phase in this patient population were neurological deficits (sensory deficit and bowel/bladder dysfunction), pain medication use, corticosteroid use, and levels of depression as scored by PHQ-9.

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Ami Baba, Ashirbani Saha, Melissa D. McCradden, Kanwar Boparai, Shudong Zhang, Farhad Pirouzmand, Kim Edelstein, Gelareh Zadeh, and Michael D. Cusimano

OBJECTIVE

Meningiomas can have significant impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Patient-centered, disease-specific instruments for assessing HRQOL in these patients are lacking. To this end, the authors sought to develop and validate a meningioma-specific HRQOL questionnaire through a standardized, patient-centered questionnaire development methodology.

METHODS

The development of the questionnaire involved three main phases: item generation, item reduction, and validation. Item generation consisted of semistructured interviews with patients (n = 30), informal caregivers (n = 12), and healthcare providers (n = 8) to create a preliminary list of items. Item reduction with 60 patients was guided by the clinical impact method, multiple correspondence analysis, and hierarchical cluster analysis. The validation phase involved 162 patients and collected evidence on extreme-groups validity; concurrent validity with the SF-36, FACT-Br, and EQ-5D; and test-retest reliability. The questionnaire takes on average 11 minutes to complete.

RESULTS

The meningioma-specific quality-of-life questionnaire (MQOL) consists of 70 items representing 9 domains. Cronbach’s alpha for each domain ranged from 0.61 to 0.91. Concurrent validity testing demonstrated construct validity, while extreme-groups testing (p = 1.45E-11) confirmed the MQOL’s ability to distinguish between different groups of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The MQOL is a validated, reliable, and feasible questionnaire designed specifically for evaluating QOL in meningioma patients. This disease-specific questionnaire will be fundamentally helpful in better understanding and capturing HRQOL in the meningioma patient population and can be used in both clinical and research settings.