Publications by authors named "Jessica Ratner"

9 Publications

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Micro-dosing Intravenous Buprenorphine to Rapidly Transition From Full Opioid Agonists.

J Addict Med 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (APT); Department of Pharmacy, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD (LJ); Department of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (JR); Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (DAR).

For patients with opioid use disorder transitioning from methadone or requiring opioid analgesia, initiating buprenorphine for opioid use disorder can be difficult because of the risk of precipitated withdrawal. Low-dose initiation, also known as micro-dosing, is an alternative to standard initiation. Prior studies relied on nonstandard dosing of tablets or films, patches, or buccal formulations, all of which are unavailable in many hospitals. We report a novel approach to micro-dosing using intravenous buprenorphine. Two patients, one on methadone maintenance and another requiring postoperative opioid analgesia, were transitioned to buprenorphine with concurrent full-agonist opioids and without precipitated withdrawal.
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March 2021

Treating Perioperative and Acute Pain in Patients on Buprenorphine: Narrative Literature Review and Practice Recommendations.

J Gen Intern Med 2020 12 21;35(12):3635-3643. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Opioid use disorder (OUD), a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the USA, can be effectively treated with buprenorphine. However, the same pharmacologic properties (e.g., high affinity, partial agonism, long half-life) that make it ideal as a treatment for OUD often cause concern among clinicians that buprenorphine will prevent effective management of acute pain with full agonist opioid analgesics. Because of this concern, many patients are asked to stop buprenorphine preoperatively or at the onset of acute pain, placing them at high risk for both relapse and a difficult transition back to buprenorphine after acute pain has resolved. The purpose of this review is to summarize the existing literature for acute pain and perioperative management in patients treated with buprenorphine for OUD and to provide practical management recommendations for generalist practitioners based on evidence and clinical experience. In short, evidence suggests that sufficient analgesia can be achieved with maintenance of buprenorphine and use of both opioid and non-opioid analgesic options for breakthrough pain. We recommend that clinicians (1) continue buprenorphine in the perioperative or acute pain period for patients with OUD; (2) use a multi-modal analgesic approach; (3) pay attention to care coordination and discharge planning when making an analgesic plan for patients with OUD treated with buprenorphine; and (4) use an individualized approach founded upon shared decision-making. Clinical examples involving mild and severe pain are discussed to highlight important management principles.
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December 2020

The Development of a Pediatric Inpatient Experience of Care Measure: Child HCAHPS.

Pediatrics 2015 Aug 20;136(2):360-9. Epub 2015 Jul 20.

Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts;

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses Adult Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Adult HCAHPS) scores for public reporting and pay-for-performance for most US hospitals, but no publicly available standardized survey of inpatient experience of care exists for pediatrics. To fill the gap, CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality commissioned the development of a pediatric version (Child HCAHPS), a survey of parents/guardians of pediatric patients (<18 years old) who were recently hospitalized. This article describes the development of Child HCAHPS, which included an extensive review of the literature and quality measures, expert interviews, focus groups, cognitive testing, pilot testing of the draft survey, a national field test with 69 hospitals in 34 states, psychometric analysis, and end-user testing of the final survey. We conducted extensive validity and reliability testing to determine which items would be included in the final survey instrument and develop composite measures. We analyzed national field test data of 17,727 surveys collected in November 2012 to January 2014 from parents of recently hospitalized children. The final Child HCAHPS instrument has 62 items, including 39 patient experience items, 10 screeners, 12 demographic/descriptive items, and 1 open-ended item. The 39 experience items are categorized based on testing into 18 composite and single-item measures. Our composite and single-item measures demonstrated good to excellent hospital-level reliability at 300 responses per hospital. Child HCAHPS was developed to be a publicly available standardized survey of pediatric inpatient experience of care. It can be used to benchmark pediatric inpatient experience across hospitals and assist in efforts to improve the quality of inpatient care.
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August 2015

Cost of talking parents, healthy teens: a worksite-based intervention to promote parent-adolescent sexual health communication.

J Adolesc Health 2013 Nov 11;53(5):595-601. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York. Electronic address:

Purpose: To examine the cost and cost-effectiveness of implementing Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, a worksite-based parenting program designed to help parents address sexual health with their adolescent children.

Methods: We enrolled 535 parents with adolescent children at 13 worksites in southern California in a randomized trial. We used time and wage data from employees involved in implementing the program to estimate fixed and variable costs. We determined cost-effectiveness with nonparametric bootstrap analysis. For the intervention, parents participated in eight weekly 1-hour teaching sessions at lunchtime. The program included games, discussions, role plays, and videotaped role plays to help parents learn to communicate with their children about sex-related topics, teach their children assertiveness and decision-making skills, and supervise and interact with their children more effectively.

Results: Implementing the program cost $543.03 (standard deviation, $289.98) per worksite in fixed costs, and $28.05 per parent (standard deviation, $4.08) in variable costs. At 9 months, this $28.05 investment per parent yielded improvements in number of sexual health topics discussed, condom teaching, and communication quality and openness. The cost-effectiveness was $7.42 per new topic discussed using parental responses and $9.18 using adolescent responses. Other efficacy outcomes also yielded favorable cost-effectiveness ratios.

Conclusions: Talking Parents, Healthy Teens demonstrated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a worksite-based parenting program to promote parent-adolescent communication about sexual health. Its cost is reasonable and is unlikely to be a significant barrier to adoption and diffusion for most worksites considering its implementation.
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November 2013

Disparities in unmet need for care coordination: the national survey of children's health.

Pediatrics 2013 Feb 21;131(2):217-24. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

MPhil, MSc, Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Objective: To determine (1) the proportion of parents who report a need for and receipt of effective care coordination for their child, (2) whether unmet care coordination needs differ by children with special health care needs (CSHCN) status and sociodemographic characteristics, and (3) whether having a personal provider or family-centered care mitigates disparities.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional analysis of the 2007 National Survey for Children's Health, a nationally representative survey of 91 642 parents. Outcome measures were parent report of need for and lack of effective care coordination. We also examined the effect of parent report of having a personal provider and family-centered care. We conducted weighted bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Forty-one percent of parents reported that their child needed care coordination. Among those who needed care coordination, 31% did not receive effective coordination. CSHCN (41%) were more likely than children without special health care needs (26%; P < .001) to have unmet care coordination needs. Latino (40%) and black (37%) children were more likely to have unmet needs than white (27%; P < .001) children. These patterns remained in multivariate analysis. Having a personal provider decreased the odds of having unmet need for care coordination but did not attenuate disparities. Receiving family-centered care mitigated disparities associated with race/ethnicity but not with health status or health insurance.

Conclusions: A considerable proportion of parents reported their child needed more care coordination than they received. This was especially true for parents of CSHCN and parents of black and Latino children. Interventions that enhance family-centered care might particularly contribute to reducing racial/ethnic disparities.
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February 2013

Racial and ethnic health disparities among fifth-graders in three cities.

N Engl J Med 2012 Aug;367(8):735-45

Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Background: For many health-related behaviors and outcomes, racial and ethnic disparities among adolescents are well documented, but less is known about health-related disparities during preadolescence.

Methods: We studied 5119 randomly selected public-school fifth-graders and their parents in three metropolitan areas in the United States. We examined differences among black, Latino, and white children on 16 measures, including witnessing of violence, peer victimization, perpetration of aggression, seat-belt use, bike-helmet use, substance use, discrimination, terrorism worries, vigorous exercise, obesity, and self-rated health status and psychological and physical quality of life. We tested potential mediators of racial and ethnic disparities (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and the child's school) using partially adjusted models.

Results: There were significant differences between black children and white children for all 16 measures and between Latino children and white children for 12 of 16 measures, although adjusted analyses reduced many of these disparities. For example, in unadjusted analysis, the rate of witnessing a threat or injury with a gun was higher among blacks (20%) and Latinos (11%) than among whites (5%), and the number of days per week on which the student performed vigorous exercise was lower among blacks (3.56 days) and Latinos (3.77 days) than among whites (4.33 days) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). After statistical adjustment, these differences were reduced by about half between blacks and whites and were eliminated between Latinos and whites. Household income, household highest education level, and the child's school were the most substantial mediators of racial and ethnic disparities.

Conclusions: We found that harmful health behaviors, experiences, and outcomes were more common among black children and Latino children than among white children. Adjustment for socioeconomic status and the child's school substantially reduced most of these differences. Interventions that address potentially detrimental consequences of low socioeconomic status and adverse school environments may help reduce racial and ethnic differences in child health. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).
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August 2012

Benefit of Qigong exercise in patients with fibromyalgia: a pilot study.

Int J Neurosci 2012 Nov 3;122(11):657-64. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7601, USA.

Objective: Fibromyalgia (FM) patients present with widespread chronic pain and other symptoms. Some studies in the literature have reported inconsistent results after a Qigong exercise intervention in patients with FM. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of a home-based Qigong exercise in patients with FM.

Methods: A total of 14 subjects were randomly assigned into one of two groups. The experimental group went through a six-week Qigong exercise program involving meditation, deep breathing, and synchronized rhythmic body movements. The control group took part in a sham Qigong exercise program using the same body movements also for six weeks. Clinical assessments at baseline and end of intervention used the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.

Results: Group mean scores of four measurements were significantly (p < .0125) reduced in the intervention group, but not in the control group. The percentage changes in the four measurements were 44.2%, 24.8%, 37.3%, and 44.3% in the intervention group, and 10.1%, 6.3%, 9.9%, and 11.8% in the control group.

Conclusion: Qigong exercise may potentially be an effective self-management approach in controlling FM symptoms. In this pilot study, regular daily Qigong exercise, accumulated number of exercise sessions, and the specific form of Qigong exercise may all be important factors for the significant improvement in the study subjects. Future research is required to determine whether the same benefit can be obtained in a larger sample.
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November 2012

The patient-centered medical home, practice patterns, and functional outcomes for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Acad Pediatr 2011 Nov-Dec;11(6):500-7. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

Division of General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Objective: To determine whether children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) receive care in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and how that relates to their ADHD treatment and functional outcomes.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of the 2007 National Survey for Children's Health, a nationally representative survey of 91,642 parents. This analysis covers 5169 children with parent-reported ADHD ages 6-17. The independent variable is receiving care in a PCMH. Main outcome measures are receiving ADHD medication, mental health specialist involvement, and functional outcomes (difficulties with participation in activities, attending school, making friends; having problem behaviors; missed school days; and number of times parents contacted by school).

Results: Only 44% of children with ADHD received care in a PCMH. Children with ADHD receiving care in a PCMH compared with those who did not were more likely to receive medication for ADHD (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.9); less likely to have mental health specialist involvement (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.7); less likely to have difficulties participating in activities (OR, 0.6; 95% CI 0.4-0.8), making friends (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9), and attending school (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.3-06); less likely to have problem behaviors (OR 0.6; 95% CI 0.5-0.9); had fewer missed school days (β = -1.5, 95% CI -2.4 to -0.5); and parents were contacted by school less frequently (β = -0.2, 95% CI -0.3 to -0.1).

Conclusions: For children with ADHD, receiving care in a PCMH is associated with practice pattern change and better outcomes. The PCMH may represent a promising opportunity to improve quality of care and outcomes for children with ADHD.
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April 2012

Factors influencing the enrollment of eligible extremely-low-birth-weight children in the part C early intervention program.

Acad Pediatr 2009 Jul-Aug;9(4):283-7. Epub 2009 May 30.

RAND Health, Santa Monica, California, USA.

Objective: To determine whether eligible extremely-low-birth-weight children (<1000 g) were enrolled in the federally enacted, state-coordinated Early Intervention (EI) program intended to help children with developmental delay or disability regardless of parental income, and the factors associated with enrollment.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of 884 EI-eligible ELBW children born in South Carolina with birth weight 401 to 999 g, gestation > or =24 weeks, and survival for the first 120 days of life. We created a linked data set with data from Early Intervention (1996-2001), Vital Records (1996-1998), death certificates, and Medicaid. Each child was followed from birth to 3 years old, the program eligibility period.

Results: A total of 54% of ELBW children were enrolled in EI at any time from birth to 36 months. Even among children ever enrolled in Medicaid (83% of all ELBW children), only 63% were enrolled in EI. Being born in a multiple gestational birth, having heavier birth weight (750 to 999 g), and having ever enrolled in Medicaid were positively associated with EI enrollment. Among Medicaid patients for whom perinatal data were available, additional risk adjustment showed that EI enrollment was more likely with birth in level 3 hospitals, birth weight 750 to 999 g, Neonatal Medical Index severity level V (most severe), and longer initial length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: Only about half of eligible ELBW children in South Carolina were enrolled-much lower than reported elsewhere. Efforts are needed to understand why eligible infants are not being enrolled and to develop strategies to remedy the situation.
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October 2009