Publications by authors named "Timothy Switzer"

3 Publications

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General medical publications during COVID-19 show increased dissemination despite lower validation.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(2):e0246427. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has yielded an unprecedented quantity of new publications, contributing to an overwhelming quantity of information and leading to the rapid dissemination of less stringently validated information. Yet, a formal analysis of how the medical literature has changed during the pandemic is lacking. In this analysis, we aimed to quantify how scientific publications changed at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional bibliometric study of published studies in four high-impact medical journals to identify differences in the characteristics of COVID-19 related publications compared to non-pandemic studies. Original investigations related to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 published in March and April 2020 were identified and compared to non-COVID-19 research publications over the same two-month period in 2019 and 2020. Extracted data included publication characteristics, study characteristics, author characteristics, and impact metrics. Our primary measure was principal component analysis (PCA) of publication characteristics and impact metrics across groups.

Results: We identified 402 publications that met inclusion criteria: 76 were related to COVID-19; 154 and 172 were non-COVID publications over the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively. PCA utilizing the collected bibliometric data revealed segregation of the COVID-19 literature subset from both groups of non-COVID literature (2019 and 2020). COVID-19 publications were more likely to describe prospective observational (31.6%) or case series (41.8%) studies without industry funding as compared with non-COVID articles, which were represented primarily by randomized controlled trials (32.5% and 36.6% in the non-COVID literature from 2020 and 2019, respectively).

Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study of publications in four general medical journals, COVID-related articles were significantly different from non-COVID articles based on article characteristics and impact metrics. COVID-related studies were generally shorter articles reporting observational studies with less literature cited and fewer study sites, suggestive of more limited scientific support. They nevertheless had much higher dissemination.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246427PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853485PMC
February 2021

Association between preoperative hemoglobin levels after iron supplementation and perioperative blood transfusion requirements in children undergoing scoliosis surgery.

Paediatr Anaesth 2020 10 29;30(10):1077-1082. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background And Aims: In this study, we assessed the association between preoperative hemoglobin and red blood cell transfusion in children undergoing spine surgery after the implementation of our preoperative iron supplementation protocol.

Method: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion surgery between January 2013 and December 2017 and received preoperative iron supplementation. We used uni- and multivariable logistic regression to determine the association between preoperative hemoglobin level and red blood cell transfusion in patients receiving iron supplementation.

Results: A total of 382 patients treated with preoperative oral iron were included. Of these, 175 (45.5%) patients were transfused intraoperatively. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed nonidiopathic etiology of the scoliosis (OR 4.178 [95% CI: 2.277-7.668], P < .001), the Cobb angle (OR 1.025 [95% CI: 1.010-1.040], P = .001), and number of vertebrae fused (OR 1.169 [95% CI: 1.042-1.312], P = .008) were associated with red blood cell transfusion. In addition, patients with a preoperative hemoglobin ≥ 140 g/L (OR 0.157 [95% CI: 0.046-0.540], P = .003), and hemoglobin between 130 and 140 g/L (OR 0.195 [95% CI: 0.057-0.669], P = .009) were less likely to be transfused compared with patients with preoperative hemoglobin between 120 and 130 g/L (OR 0.294 [95% CI: 0.780-1.082], P = .066) or <120 g/L (reference).

Conclusion: Our study suggests that higher preoperative hemoglobin levels (>130 g/L) are associated with a reduced need for red blood cell transfusion in pediatric patients who have received iron supplementation before undergoing posterior spinal fusion in our institution. The effect of iron supplementation, the optimal dosing, and duration of supplemental iron therapy remains unclear at this time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pan.13987DOI Listing
October 2020

Context dependent memory in two learning environments: the tutorial room and the operating theatre.

BMC Med Educ 2013 Sep 1;13:118. Epub 2013 Sep 1.

Background: Psychologists have previously demonstrated that information recall is context dependent. However, how this influences the way we deliver medical education is unclear. This study aimed to determine if changing the recall context from the learning context affects the ability of medical students to recall information.

Methods: Using a free recall experimental model, fourteen medical student participants were administered audio lists of 30 words in two separate learning environments, a tutorial room and an operating theatre. They were then asked to recall the words in both environments. While in the operating theatre participants wore appropriate surgical clothing and assembled around an operating table. While in the tutorial room, participants dressed casually and were seated around a table. Students experienced the same duration (15 minutes) and disruption in both environments.

Results: The mean recall score from the 28 tests performed in the same environment was 12.96 +/- 3.93 (mean, SD). The mean recall score from the 28 tests performed in an alternative environment to the learning episode was 13.5 +/- 5.31(mean, SD), indicating that changing the recall environment from the learning environment does not cause any statistical difference (p=0.58). The average recall score of participants who learned and recalled in the tutorial room was 13.0 +/- 3.84 (mean, SD). The average recall score of participants who learnt and recalled in the operating theatre was 12.92 +/- 4.18 (mean, SD), representing no significant difference between the two environments for learning (p=0.4792).

Conclusions: The results support the continued use of tutorial rooms and operating theatres as appropriate environments in which to teach medical students, with no significant difference in information recall seen either due to a same context effect or specific context effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-13-118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3766034PMC
September 2013