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Fieldwork I Program Evaluation of Student Learning Using Goal Attainment Scaling. - The American journal of occupational therapy : official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association
This article describes a program evaluation of student learning during the Level I fieldwork experience of a master of science in occupational therapy program. We sought to determine the utility of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) as a measure of student learning. Over four semesters, from fall 2013 through fall 2014, 240 students completed goal attainment scales for an individualized learning goal for the semester. Using a quantitative pretest-posttest design, we found significant increases in levels of student learning goal attainment during Level I fieldwork. Qualitative data from exit surveys revealed high levels of satisfaction with the program, particularly related to the opportunity to learn a new way of envisioning and writing individualized goals. These findings support the use of GAS as an outcome measure of student learning during fieldwork.Copyright Â© 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Measurement of (233)U/(234)U ratios in contaminated groundwater using alpha spectrometry. - Journal of environmental radioactivity
The uranium isotope (233)U is not usually observed in alpha spectra from environmental samples due to its low natural and fallout abundance. It may be present in samples from sites in the vicinity of nuclear operations such as reactors or fuel reprocessing facilities, radioactive waste disposal sites or sites affected by clandestine nuclear operations. On an alpha spectrum, the two most abundant alpha emissions of (233)U (4.784Â MeV, 13.2%; and 4.824Â MeV, 84.3%) will overlap with the (234)U doublet peak (4.722Â MeV, 28.4%; and 4.775Â MeV, 71.4%), if present, resulting in a combined (233+234)U multiplet. A technique for quantifying both (233)U and (234)U from alpha spectra was investigated. A series of groundwater samples were measured both by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) to determine (233)U/(234)U atom and activity ratios and by alpha spectrometry in order to establish a reliable (233)U estimation technique using alpha spectra. The Genieâ„¢ 2000 Alpha Analysis and Interactive Peak Fitting (IPF) software packages were used and it was found that IPF with identification of three peaks ((234)U minor, combined (234)U major and (233)U minor, and (233)U major) followed by interference correction on the combined peak and a weighted average activity calculation gave satisfactory agreement with the AMS data across the (233)U/(234)U activity ratio range (0.1-20) and (233)U activity range (2-300Â mBq) investigated. Correlation between the AMS (233)U and alpha spectrometry (233)U was r(2)Â =Â 0.996 (nÂ =Â 10).Crown Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Managing frailty as a long-term condition. - Age and ageing
Frailty is a distinctive late-life health state in which apparently minor stressor events are associated with adverse health outcomes. This article considers how the conceptualisation of frailty as a long-term condition offers new management approaches based on systematically applied preventative and proactive interventions. Frailty shares the key features of the common long-term conditions: it can be ameliorated but not cured; it is costly at an individual and societal level; it is progressive; it impacts adversely on life experience and it has episodic crises. The recognition of frailty as a long-term condition is not merely a semantic issue-a wide range of benefits can be anticipated. Primary care-based registers for frailty could be established and chronic disease models applied systematically for co-ordinated and person-centred preventative and proactive care. A team approach is a key component of long-term condition management, incorporating support, follow-up and behaviour change interventions that go beyond the scope of a traditional medical approach. This approach would ideally require changes in secondary care to embrace greater community-based working and closer relationships with the primary health and care team. Although our understanding of interventions to modify or treat frailty has improved, there is considerable scope for further development. Identifying frailty as a long-term condition would be an important step in distinguishing people with frailty as a discrete population for new research.Â© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the diagnosis of dementia within a secondary care setting. - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
The diagnosis of dementia relies on the presence of new-onset cognitive impairment affecting an individual's functioning and activities of daily living. The Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) is a questionnaire instrument, completed by a suitable 'informant' who knows the patient well, designed to assess change in functional performance secondary to cognitive change; it is used as a tool to identifying those who may have dementia.In secondary care there are two specific instances where patients may be assessed for the presence of dementia. These are in the general acute hospital setting, where opportunistic screening may be undertaken, or in specialist memory services where individuals have been referred due to perceived cognitive problems. To ensure an instrument is suitable for diagnostic use in these settings, its test accuracy must be established.To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the informant-based questionnaire IQCODE, for detection of all-cause (undifferentiated) dementia in adults presenting to secondary-care services.We searched the following sources on the 28th of January 2013: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE (Ovid SP), EMBASE (Ovid SP), PsycINFO (Ovid SP), BIOSIS Previews (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), Web of Science Core Collection (includes Conference Proceedings Citation Index) (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), CINAHL (EBSCOhost) and LILACS (BIREME). We also searched sources specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastricht and Leuven); DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects - via the Cochrane Library); HTA Database (Health Technology Assessment Database via the Cochrane Library) and ARIF (Birmingham University). We also checked reference lists of relevant studies and reviews, used searches of known relevant studies in PubMed to track related articles, and contacted research groups conducting work on IQCODE for dementia diagnosis to try to find additional studies. We developed a sensitive search strategy; search terms were designed to cover key concepts using several different approaches run in parallel and included terms relating to cognitive tests, cognitive screening and dementia. We used standardised database subject headings such as MeSH terms (in MEDLINE) and other standardised headings (controlled vocabulary) in other databases, as appropriate.We selected those studies performed in secondary-care settings, which included (not necessarily exclusively) IQCODE to assess for the presence of dementia and where dementia diagnosis was confirmed with clinical assessment. For the 'secondary care' setting we included all studies which assessed patients in hospital (e.g. acute unscheduled admissions, referrals to specialist geriatric assessment services etc.) and those referred for specialist 'memory' assessment, typically in psychogeriatric services.We screened all titles generated by electronic database searches, and reviewed abstracts of all potentially relevant studies. Two independent assessors checked full papers for eligibility and extracted data. We determined quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) using the QUADAS-2 tool, and reporting quality using the STARD tool.From 72 papers describing IQCODE test accuracy, we included 13 papers, representing data from 2745 individuals (n = 1413 (51%) with dementia). Pooled analysis of all studies using data presented closest to a cut-off of 3.3 indicated that sensitivity was 0.91 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.94); specificity 0.66 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.75); the positive likelihood ratio was 2.7 (95% CI 2.0 to 3.6) and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.14 (95% CI 0.09 to 0.22).There was a statistically significant difference in test accuracy between the general hospital setting and the specialist memory setting (P = 0.019), suggesting that IQCODE performs better in a 'general' setting.We found no significant differences in the test accuracy of the short (16-item) versus the 26-item IQCODE, or in the language of administration.There was significant heterogeneity in the included studies, including a highly varied prevalence of dementia (10.5% to 87.4%). Across the included papers there was substantial potential for bias, particularly around sampling of included participants and selection criteria, which may limit generalisability. There was also evidence of suboptimal reporting, particularly around disease severity and handling indeterminate results, which are important if considering use in clinical practice.The IQCODE can be used to identify older adults in the general hospital setting who are at risk of dementia and require specialist assessment; it is useful specifically for ruling out those without evidence of cognitive decline. The language of administration did not affect test accuracy, which supports the cross-cultural use of the tool. These findings are qualified by the significant heterogeneity, the potential for bias and suboptimal reporting found in the included studies.
Establishing a supportive care register improves end-of-life care for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. - Nephron
End-of-life care for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is recognised as an important area for improvement. These patients have a significant mortality and, although some is unpredictable, there is a role for the nephrology multi-disciplinary team (MDT) and palliative care physicians to engage in advance care planning and support patients to discuss their preferences.Retrospective and prospective data were obtained to conduct a comparison observational study to assess the impact of introducing a supportive care register on the end-of-life care for patients with advanced CKD. An electronic supportive care register was implemented. This required a programme of multi-disciplinary staff education, collaborative working with Palliative Care to establish renal-specific protocols and dissemination activities. The impact of the intervention was assessed by analysing all deaths in two six-month periods where all those with an eGFR <15 ml/min/1.73 m(2) at the time of their death were included.A total of 91 patients were included. Post-intervention, there was a 25.4% (95% CI: 6.5-44.3%, p = 0.008) improvement in patients having a documented discussion about end-of-life planning. There was also a 19.7% (95% CI: 4.0-35.5%, p = 0.01) improvement in establishing the place of death. All patients who expressed a preferred place of death died there. The intervention increased engagement with the wider MDT and led to significant improvements in access to specialist palliative care services.These results show that the interventions implemented to introduce a supportive care register resulted in meaningful improvements to the end-of-life care for patients in our region with advanced CKD. Â© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Solution speciation of plutonium and Americium at an Australian legacy radioactive waste disposal site. - Environmental science & technology
During the 1960s, radioactive waste containing small amounts of plutonium (Pu) and americium (Am) was disposed in shallow trenches at the Little Forest Burial Ground (LFBG), located near the southern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Because of periodic saturation and overflowing of the former disposal trenches, Pu and Am have been transferred from the buried wastes into the surrounding surface soils. The presence of readily detected amounts of Pu and Am in the trench waters provides a unique opportunity to study their aqueous speciation under environmentally relevant conditions. This study aims to comprehensively investigate the chemical speciation of Pu and Am in the trench water by combining fluoride coprecipitation, solvent extraction, particle size fractionation, and thermochemical modeling. The predominant oxidation states of dissolved Pu and Am species were found to be Pu(IV) and Am(III), and large proportions of both actinides (Pu, 97.7%; Am, 86.8%) were associated with mobile colloids in the submicron size range. On the basis of this information, possible management options are assessed.
Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) for the diagnosis of dementia within a general practice (primary care) setting. - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
The IQCODE (Informant Questionnaire for Cognitive Decline in the Elderly) is a commonly used questionnaire based tool that uses collateral information to assess for cognitive decline and dementia. Brief tools that can be used for dementia "screening" or "triage" may have particular utility in primary care / general practice healthcare settings but only if they have suitable test accuracy.A synthesis of the available data regarding IQCODE accuracy in a primary care setting should help inform cognitive assessment strategies for clinical practice; research and policy.We sought to describe the accuracy of IQCODE (the index test) against a clinical diagnosis of dementia (the reference standard). In this review we focus on those studies conducted in a primary care (general practice) setting.A search was performed in the following sources on the 28th of January 2013: ALOIS (Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group), MEDLINE (Ovid SP), EMBASE (Ovid SP), PsycINFO (Ovid SP), BIOSIS (Ovid SP), ISI Web of Science and Conference Proceedings (ISI Web of Knowledge), CINHAL (EBSCOhost) and LILACs (BIREME). We also searched sources specific to diagnostic test accuracy: MEDION (Universities of Maastricht and Leuven); DARE (York University); HTA Database (Health Technology Assessments Database via The Cochrane Library) and ARIF (Birmingham University). We developed a sensitive search strategy; search terms were designed to cover key concepts using several different approaches run in parallel and included terms relating to cognitive tests, cognitive screening and dementia. We used standardized database subject headings such as MeSH terms (in MEDLINE) and other standardized headings (controlled vocabulary) in other databases, as appropriate.We selected those studies performed in primary care settings, which included (not necessarily exclusively) IQCODE to assess for the presence of dementia and where dementia diagnosis was confirmed with clinical assessment. For the "primary care" setting, we included those healthcare settings where unselected patients, present for initial, non-specialist assessment of memory or non-memory related symptoms; often with a view to onward referral for more definitive assessment.We screened all titles generated by electronic database searches and abstracts of all potentially relevant studies were reviewed. Full papers were assessed for eligibility and data extracted by two independent assessors. Quality assessment (risk of bias and applicability) was determined using the QUADAS-2 tool. Reporting quality was determined using the STARDdem extension to the STARD tool.From 71 papers describing IQCODE test accuracy, we included 1 paper, representing data from 230 individuals (n=16 [7%] with dementia). The paper described those patients consulting a primary care service who self-identified as Japanese-American. Dementia diagnosis was made using Benson & Cummings criteria and the IQCODE was recorded as part of a longer interview with the informant.IQCODE accuracy was assessed at various test thresholds, with a "trade-off" between sensitivity and specificity across these cutpoints. At an IQCODE threshold of 3.2 sensitivity: 100%, specificity: 76%; for IQCODE 3.7 sensitivity: 75%, specificity: 98%.Applying the QUADAS-2 assessments, the study was at high risk of bias in all categories. In particular degree of blinding was unclear and not all participants were included in the final analysis.It is not possible to give definitive guidance on the test accuracy of IQCODE for the diagnosis of dementia in a primary care setting based on the single study identified. We are surprised by the lack of research using the IQCODE in primary care as this is, arguably, the most appropriate setting for targeted case finding of those with undiagnosed dementia in order to maximise opportunities to intervene and provide support for the individual and their carers.
Timing of rabbit antithymocyte globulin induction therapy in kidney transplantation: an observational cohort study. - Transplantation research
Literature on the timing of rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG) induction and its effects on kidney transplant outcomes is limited. The manufacturer recommends that the first dose be given intra-operatively, however this may present clinical practice risks and challenges. Our objective was to assess the impact of the timing of the first dose of rATG on kidney transplant outcomes.Incident kidney transplant recipients (KTR) from January 2002 to December 2009 receiving the first dose of rATG post-operatively (Post, nâ€‰=â€‰353) or before reperfusion (Pre, nâ€‰=â€‰124) were evaluated. Outcomes assessed included eGFR at 1-year, delta eGFR (12 versus 1 month), and incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection, graft loss, death, and a composite of the time-to-event outcomes. The impact of timing on outcomes was adjusted for potential confounders and assessed using linear and Cox regression models.Among 435 KTR surviving with function to 12 months post-transplant, there was no significant difference in mean estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR (55.0 versus 56.7Â mL/min, Pâ€‰=â€‰0.46) and delta eGFR (1.8 versus 0.3Â mL/min, Pâ€‰=â€‰0.40) in Post versus Pre groups, respectively. At a median follow-up of 3 years, the composite endpoint (time to first biopsy-proven acute rejection, graft loss, or death) was similar by timing group (adjusted HRâ€‰=â€‰0.94; 95% CI: 0.58, 1.53, Pâ€‰=â€‰0.81) in the total study population.Timing of rATG had no appreciable impact on clinically relevant endpoints in this study cohort. These results support consideration of more flexible timing of the first dose of rATG induction in KTR.
Trench 'bathtubbing' and surface plutonium contamination at a legacy radioactive waste site. - Environmental science & technology
Radioactive waste containing a few grams of plutonium (Pu) was disposed between 1960 and 1968 in trenches at the Little Forest Burial Ground (LFBG), near Sydney, Australia. A water sampling point installed in a former trench has enabled the radionuclide content of trench water and the response of the water level to rainfall to be studied. The trench water contains readily measurable Pu activity (~12 Bq/L of (239+240)Pu in 0.45 Î¼m-filtered water), and there is an associated contamination of Pu in surface soils. The highest (239+240)Pu soil activity was 829 Bq/kg in a shallow sample (0-1 cm depth) near the trench sampling point. Away from the trenches, the elevated concentrations of Pu in surface soils extend for tens of meters down-slope. The broader contamination may be partly attributable to dispersion events in the first decade after disposal, after which a layer of soil was added above the trenched area. Since this time, further Pu contamination has occurred near the trench-sampler within this added layer. The water level in the trench-sampler responds quickly to rainfall and intermittently reaches the surface, hence the Pu dispersion is attributed to saturation and overflow of the trenches during extreme rainfall events, referred to as the 'bathtub' effect.
Assessment scales in stroke: clinimetric and clinical considerations. - Clinical interventions in aging
As stroke care has developed, there has been a need to robustly assess the efficacy of interventions both at the level of the individual stroke survivor and in the context of clinical trials. To describe stroke-survivor recovery meaningfully, more sophisticated measures are required than simple dichotomous end points, such as mortality or stroke recurrence. As stroke is an exemplar disabling long-term condition, measures of function are well suited as outcome assessment. In this review, we will describe functional assessment scales in stroke, concentrating on three of the more commonly used tools: the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, the modified Rankin Scale, and the Barthel Index. We will discuss the strengths, limitations, and application of these scales and use the scales to highlight important properties that are relevant to all assessment tools. We will frame much of this discussion in the context of "clinimetric" analysis. As they are increasingly used to inform stroke-survivor assessments, we will also discuss some of the commonly used quality-of-life measures. A recurring theme when considering functional assessment is that no tool suits all situations. Clinicians and researchers should chose their assessment tool based on the question of interest and the evidence base around clinimetric properties.
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