Publications by authors named "Malena Correa"

8 Publications

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Observations and reports of incidents of how birthing persons are treated during childbirth in two public facilities in Argentina.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2021 Sep 18. Epub 2021 Sep 18.

Department of Mother and Child Health, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Objective: This study sought to estimate the frequency and types of mistreatment during childbirth and explore health professionals' opinions on barriers/facilitators to providing respectful childbirth care.

Methods: This prospective mixed-methods investigation consisted of direct observations of childbirth (n = 250), at-home surveys with birthing individuals (n = 45), and qualitative in-depth health staff interviews (n = 6), conducted between January and July 2019, in two public facilities in Argentina. Frequencies of clinical practices and mistreatment and 5% confidence intervals were calculated. A logistic regression analysis was also conducted to examine associations between mistreatment and covariates of interest, with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: Overall, 61/250 (24.4%, confidence interval 19.6%-30.6%) observations recorded instances of mistreatment; 20/45 surveyed participants (44.4%) reported at least one episode of mistreatment. The most frequent perpetrators were physicians (35.6%), birth companions (24.4%), midwives (22.2%), and nurses (13.3%). Participants with lower educational attainment and those racialized as non-white had higher odds of being mistreated. Health providers reported that respectful childbirth is currently widely implemented due to authorities' and communities' awareness on respectful birth´s rights.

Conclusion: Almost a quarter of birthing people were observed to suffer mistreatment - primarily verbal abuse - and 44.4% of surveyed individuals reported mistreatment. Future research is needed to determine how to ensure the provision of respectful childbirth care for all. A quarter of participants experienced mistreatment; mostly those with lower educational attainment and/or racialized as non-white. Further research on implementation of respectful childbirth is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijgo.13938DOI Listing
September 2021

Factors associated with depression during pregnancy in women from a low socioeconomic level: A hierarchical model approach.

Psychiatry Res 2021 04 9;298:113798. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

University of Buenos Aires, School of Medicine, Institute of Pharmacology. Paraguay 2155, piso 9 (C1121ABG). Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address:

The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and affective disorders during pregnancy in a maternity hospital in Argentina and to explore potential risk factors. Symptoms of depression were measured with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) for diagnosis at mid-pregnancy. 50.7%, 95% CI: 43.7; 57.8 screened positive using a score ≥ 10 and 23% of pregnant women were diagnosed with affective disorders, 11% unipolar, and 12% bipolar. Personal and family depression history were main risk factors. It is advised to routinely screen for depression during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113798DOI Listing
April 2021

Automatic classification of pediatric pneumonia based on lung ultrasound pattern recognition.

PLoS One 2018 5;13(12):e0206410. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America.

Pneumonia is one of the major causes of child mortality, yet with a timely diagnosis, it is usually curable with antibiotic therapy. In many developing regions, diagnosing pneumonia remains a challenge, due to shortages of medical resources. Lung ultrasound has proved to be a useful tool to detect lung consolidation as evidence of pneumonia. However, diagnosis of pneumonia by ultrasound has limitations: it is operator-dependent, and it needs to be carried out and interpreted by trained personnel. Pattern recognition and image analysis is a potential tool to enable automatic diagnosis of pneumonia consolidation without requiring an expert analyst. This paper presents a method for automatic classification of pneumonia using ultrasound imaging of the lungs and pattern recognition. The approach presented here is based on the analysis of brightness distribution patterns present in rectangular segments (here called "characteristic vectors") from the ultrasound digital images. In a first step we identified and eliminated the skin and subcutaneous tissue (fat and muscle) in lung ultrasound frames, and the "characteristic vectors"were analyzed using standard neural networks using artificial intelligence methods. We analyzed 60 lung ultrasound frames corresponding to 21 children under age 5 years (15 children with confirmed pneumonia by clinical examination and X-rays, and 6 children with no pulmonary disease) from a hospital based population in Lima, Peru. Lung ultrasound images were obtained using an Ultrasonix ultrasound device. A total of 1450 positive (pneumonia) and 1605 negative (normal lung) vectors were analyzed with standard neural networks, and used to create an algorithm to differentiate lung infiltrates from healthy lung. A neural network was trained using the algorithm and it was able to correctly identify pneumonia infiltrates, with 90.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity. This approach may be used to develop operator-independent computer algorithms for pneumonia diagnosis using ultrasound in young children.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0206410PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6281243PMC
April 2019

Delays in seeking and receiving health care services for pneumonia in children under five in the Peruvian Amazon: a mixed-methods study on caregivers' perceptions.

BMC Health Serv Res 2018 03 1;18(1):149. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Office of Global Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1140 Canal Street, Suite 2210, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA.

Background: Delays in receiving adequate care for children suffering from pneumonia can be life threatening and have been described associated with parents' limited education and their difficulties in recognizing the severity of the illness. The "three delays" was a model originally proposed to describe the most common determinants of maternal mortality, but has been adapted to describe delays in the health seeking process for caregivers of children under five. This study aims to explore the caregivers' perceived barriers for seeking and receiving health care services in children under five years old admitted to a referral hospital for community-acquired pneumonia in the Peruvian Amazon Region using the three-delays model framework.

Methods: There were two parts to this mixed-method, cross-sectional, hospital-based study. First, medical charts of 61 children (1 to 60 months old) admitted for pneumonia were reviewed, and clinical characteristics were noted. Second, to examine health care-seeking decisions and actions, as well as associated delays in the process of obtaining health care services, we interviewed 10 of the children's caregivers.

Results: Half of the children in our study were 9 months old or less. Main reasons for seeking care at the hospital were cough (93%) and fever (92%). Difficulty breathing and fast breathing were also reported in more than 60% of cases. In the interviews, caregivers reported delays of 1 to 14 days to go to the closest health facility. Factors perceived as causes for delays in deciding to seek care were apparent lack of skills to recognize signs and symptoms and of confidence in the health system, and practicing self-medication. No delays in reaching a health facility were reported. Once the caregivers reached a health facility, they perceived lack of competence of medical staff and inadequate treatment provided by the primary care physicians.

Conclusion: According to caregivers, the main delays to get health care services for pneumonia among young children were identified in the initial decision of caregivers to seek healthcare and in the health system to provide it. Specific interventions targeted to main barriers may be useful for reducing delays in providing appropriate health care for children with pneumonia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2950-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5831863PMC
March 2018

Automatic pneumonia detection based on ultrasound video analysis.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2016 Aug;2016:4117-4120

Pneumonia is a disease which causes high mortality in children under five years old, particularly in developing countries. This paper proposes a novel application of ultrasound video analysis for the detection of pneumonia. This application is based on the processing of small video chunks, in which an image processing algorithm analyzes each frame to get some overall video statistics. Then, based on these quantities, the likeness of presence of pneumonia in the video is determined. The algorithm exploits different geometrical properties of typical anatomical and pathological features that commonly appear in lung sonography and which are already clinically typified in the literature. Our technique has been tested on different transverse thoracic scanning protocols and probe's maneuvers, thus, under a variety of clinical and usage protocols. Then, it can be targeted towards screening applications. We present encouraging results (AUC measure between 0.7851 and 0.9177) based on the analysis of 346 videos with an average duration of eight seconds. The analyzed videos were taken from children who were between three and five years old. Finally, our algorithm can be used directly as a classifier, but we detail how its performance may be enhanced if used as a first stage of a larger pipeline of other complementary pneumonia detection processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591632DOI Listing
August 2016

Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Training in Global Health Through a Novel Joint Project for Trainees from Diverse Disciplines: Benefits, Risks, and Observations.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2017 03 6;96(3):525-529. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Instituto de Efectividad Clinica y Sanitaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Postdoctoral training programs are usually highly individualized arrangements between trainees and a limited number of senior mentors in their field, an approach that contrasts with current trends in public health education that promote interdisciplinary training to spur innovation. Herein, we describe an alternative model for postdoctoral training for a group of fellows from distinct disciplines. Fellows work with mentors from diverse fields to create a joint research project or a group of complementary projects, with the goal of developing a new device, intervention, or innovation to address a global health problem. The perceived benefits, challenges, and limitations of this team approach to interdisciplinary postdoctoral training are presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.16-0402DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5361522PMC
March 2017

Diagnostics barriers and innovations in rural areas: insights from junior medical doctors on the frontlines of rural care in Peru.

BMC Health Serv Res 2015 Oct 5;15:454. Epub 2015 Oct 5.

Department of Global Health Systems & Development, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1900, New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA.

Background: Worldwide, rural communities face barriers when accessing health services. In response, numerous initiatives have focused on fostering technological innovations, new management approaches and health policies. Research suggests that the most successful innovations are those involving stakeholders at all levels. However, there is little evidence exploring the opinions of local health providers that could contribute with further innovation development and research. The aims of this study were to explore the perspectives of medical doctors (MDs) working in rural areas of Peru, regarding the barriers impacting the diagnostic process, and ideas for diagnostic innovations that could assist them.

Methods: Data gathered through three focus group discussions (FGG) and 18 individual semi-structured interviews (SSI) with MDs who had completed their medical service in rural areas of Peru in the last two years were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Three types of barriers emerged. The first barrier was the limited access to point of care (POC) diagnostic tools. Tests were needed for: i) the differential diagnosis of malaria vs. pneumonia, ii) dengue vs. leptospirosis, iii) tuberculosis, iv) vaginal infections and cervical cancer, v) neurocysticercosis, and vi) heavy metal toxicity. Ultrasound was needed for the diagnosis of obstetric and intra-abdominal conditions. There were also health system-related barriers such as limited funding for diagnostic services, shortage of specialists, limited laboratory services and access to telecommunications, and lack of institutional support. Finally, the third type of barriers included patient related-barriers to follow through with diagnostic referrals. Ideas for innovations proposed included POC equipment and tests, and telemedicine.

Conclusions: MDs at primary health facilities in rural Peru face diagnostic challenges that are difficult to overcome due to a limited access to diagnostic tools. Referrals to specialized facilities are constrained by deficiencies in the organization of health services and by barriers that impede the patients' travel to distant health facilities. Technological innovations suggested by the participants such as POC diagnostic tools and mobile-health (m-health) applications could help address part of the problem. However, other types of innovation to address social, adaptation and policy issues should not be dismissed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-015-1114-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595324PMC
October 2015

[Nosocomial bloodstream infections caused by gram-negative bacilli: epidemiology and risk factors for mortality].

Rev Chilena Infectol 2008 Oct 1;25(5):368-73. Epub 2008 Oct 1.

Servicio de Infectología, Hospital Interzonal de Agudos San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Nosocomial bacteremia is a major cause of hospital infection, associated with high rate of morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospital stay and higher costs. However, few prospective studies analyse the prognostic factors associated with mortality of gramnegative rods bloodstream infections in hospital wards outside of intensive care units. A prospective/descriptive study was conducted from March to December 2006. All patients with nosocomial-acquired bloodstream infection due to gramnegative rods were included. Epidemiology and clinical features were analysed as potential prognostic factors for mortality. During the study period, 84 cases were detected, being A. baumannii, Burkholderia sp and E. coli the most frequent isolates, with a mortality of 48%>. Bacteremia derived from a high-mortality associated septic focus (RR 4.9, IC95%> 1.3 - 18.8) and admission to intensive care unit (RR 4.78, IC95%> 1.7- 13.1) were independent variables associated with mortality. Inappropriate empirical antibiotic treatment was not associated with greater risk of mortality. Nosocomial gramnegative bloodstream infections in our series were mainly due to non-fermentative bacilli and were associated with high mortality rates when their origin was a high risk septic focus or the patient was admitted to intensive care unit.
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http://dx.doi.org//S0716-10182008000500010DOI Listing
October 2008
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