Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Olfa Benouda

13 VaR Estimation Using the Informational Content of Futures Traded Volume

Authors: Amel Oueslati, Olfa Benouda


New Value at Risk (VaR) estimation is proposed and investigated. The well-known two stages Garch-EVT approach uses conditional volatility to generate one step ahead forecasts of VaR. With daily data for twelve stocks that decompose the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index, this paper incorporates the volume in the first stage volatility estimation. Afterwards, the forecasting ability of this conditional volatility concerning the VaR estimation is compared to that of a basic volatility model without considering any trading component. The results are significant and bring out the importance of the trading volume in the VaR measure.

Keywords: Garch-EVT, value at risk, volume, volatility

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12 The Reliability of Management Earnings Forecasts in IPO Prospectuses: A Study of Managers’ Forecasting Preferences

Authors: Maha Hammami, Olfa Benouda Sioud


This study investigates the reliability of management earnings forecasts with reference to these two ingredients: verifiability and neutrality. Specifically, we examine the biasedness (or accuracy) of management earnings forecasts and company specific characteristics that can be associated with accuracy. Based on sample of 102 IPO prospectuses published for admission on NYSE Euronext Paris from 2002 to 2010, we found that these forecasts are on average optimistic and two of the five test variables, earnings variability and financial leverage are significant in explaining ex post bias. Acknowledging the possibility that the bias is the result of the managers’ forecasting behavior, we then examine whether managers decide to under-predict, over-predict or forecast accurately for self-serving purposes. Explicitly, we examine the role of financial distress, operating performance, ownership by insiders and the economy state in influencing managers’ forecasting preferences. We find that managers of distressed firms seem to over-predict future earnings. We also find that when managers are given more stock options, they tend to under-predict future earnings. Finally, we conclude that the management earnings forecasts are affected by an intentional bias due to managers’ forecasting preferences.

Keywords: intentional bias, management earnings forecasts, neutrality, verifiability

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11 Evaluating the Effects of a Positive Bitcoin Shock on the U.S Economy: A TVP-FAVAR Model with Stochastic Volatility

Authors: Olfa Kaabia, Ilyes Abid, Khaled Guesmi


This pioneer paper studies whether and how Bitcoin shocks are transmitted to the U.S economy. We employ a new methodology: TVP FAVAR model with stochastic volatility. We use a large dataset of 111 major U.S variables from 1959:m1 to 2016:m12. The results show that Bitcoin shocks significantly impact the U.S. economy. This significant impact is pronounced in a volatile and increasing U.S economy. The Bitcoin has a positive relationship on the U.S real activity, and a negative one on U.S prices and interest rates. Effects on the Monetary Policy exist via the inter-est rates and the Money, Credit and Finance transmission channels.

Keywords: bitcoin, US economy, FAVAR models, stochastic volatility

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10 Vaccination against Hepatitis B in Tunisian Health Care Workers

Authors: Asma Ammar, Nabiha Bouafia , Asma BenCheikh, Mohamed Mahjoub, Olfa Ezzi, Wadiaa Bannour, Radhia Helali, Mansour Njah


Background: The objective of the present study was to identify factors associated with vaccination against Hepatitis B virus (HBV) among healthcare workers (HWs) in the University Hospital Center (UHC) Farhat Hached Sousse, Tunisia. Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study all licensed physicians (n= 206) and a representative sample of paramedical staff (n= 372) exercising at UHC Hached Sousse (Tunisia) during two months (January and February 2014). Data were collected using a self-administered and pre-tested questionnaire, which composed by 21 questions. In order to determinate factors associated with vaccination against hepatitis B among HWs, this questionnaire was based on the Health Belief Model, one of the most classical behavior theories. Logistic regression with the stepwise method of Hosmer and Lemeshow was used to identify the determinants of the use of vaccination against HBV. Results: The response rates were 79.8%. Fifty two percent believe that HBV is frequent in our healthcare units and 60.6% consider it a severe infection. The prevalence of HWs vaccination was 39%, 95% CI [34.49%; 43.5%]. In multivariate analysis, determinants of the use of vaccination against HBV among HWs were young age (p=10-4), male gender (p = 0. 006), high or very high importance accorded to health (p = 0.035), perception membership in a risk group for HBV infection (p = 0.038) and very favorable or favorable opinion about vaccination against HVB (p=10-4). Conclusion: The results of our study should be considered in any strategy for preventing VHB infection in HWs. In the mean time, coverage with standard vaccines should be improved also by supplying complete information on the risks of VHB infection and on the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, healthcare workers, prevalence, vaccination

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9 Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Degradation of Ibuprofen in Ultrapure Water, Municipal and Pharmaceutical Industry Wastewaters Using a TiO2/UV-LED System

Authors: Nabil Jallouli, Luisa M. Pastrana-Martínez, Ana R. Ribeiro, Nuno F. F. Moreira, Joaquim L. Faria, Olfa Hentati, Adrián M. T. Silva, Mohamed Ksibi


Degradation and mineralization of ibuprofen (IBU) were investigated using Ultraviolet (UV) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in TiO2 photocatalysis. Samples of ultrapure water (UP) and a secondary treated effluent of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), both spiked with IBU, as well as a highly concentrated IBU (230 mgL-1) pharmaceutical industry wastewater (PIWW), were tested in the TiO2/UV-LED system. Three operating parameters, namely, pH, catalyst load and number of LEDs were optimized. The process efficiency was evaluated in terms of IBU removal using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Additionally, the mineralization was investigated by determining the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content. The chemical structures of transformation products were proposed based on the data obtained using liquid chromatography with a high resolution mass spectrometer ion trap/time-of-flight (LC-MS-IT-TOF). A possible pathway of IBU degradation was accordingly proposed. Bioassays were performed using the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri to evaluate the potential acute toxicity of original and treated wastewaters. TiO2 heterogeneous photocatalysis was efficient to remove IBU from UP and from PIWW, and less efficient in treating the wastewater from the municipal WWTP. The acute toxicity decreased by ca. 40% after treatment, regardless of the studied matrix.

Keywords: acute toxicity, Ibuprofen, UV-LEDs, wastewaters

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8 Design and Optimization of an Electromagnetic Vibration Energy Converter

Authors: Slim Naifar, Sonia Bradai, Christian Viehweger, Olfa Kanoun


Vibration provides an interesting source of energy since it is available in many indoor and outdoor applications. Nevertheless, in order to have an efficient design of the harvesting system, vibration converters have to satisfy some criterion in terms of robustness, compactness and energy outcome. In this work, an electromagnetic converter based on mechanical spring principle is proposed. The designed harvester is formed by a coil oscillating around ten ring magnets using a mechanical spring. The proposed design overcomes one of the main limitation of the moving coil by avoiding the contact between the coil wires with the mechanical spring which leads to a better robustness for the converter. In addition, the whole system can be implemented in a cavity of a screw. Different parameters in the harvester were investigated by finite element method including the magnet size, the coil winding number and diameter and the excitation frequency and amplitude. A prototype was realized and tested. Experiments were performed for 0.5 g to 1 g acceleration. The used experimental setup consists of an electrodynamic shaker as an external artificial vibration source controlled by a laser sensor to measure the applied displacement and frequency excitation. Together with the laser sensor, a controller unit, and an amplifier, the shaker is operated in a closed loop which allows controlling the vibration amplitude. The resonance frequency of the proposed designs is in the range of 24 Hz. Results indicate that the harvester can generate 612 mV and 1150 mV maximum open circuit peak to peak voltage at resonance for 0.5 g and 1 g acceleration respectively which correspond to 4.75 mW and 1.34 mW output power. Tuning the frequency to other values is also possible due to the possibility to add mass to the moving part of the or by changing the mechanical spring stiffness.

Keywords: energy harvesting, electromagnetic principle, vibration converter, moving coil

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7 Incidence and Risk Factors of Central Venous Associated Infections in a Tunisian Medical Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ghammam Rim, Ezzi Olfa, Ben Cheikh Asma, Mahjoub Mohamed, Helali Radhia, Sma Nesrine, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Central venous catheter associated infections (CVC-AI) are among the serious hospital-acquired infections. The aims of this study are to determine the incidence of CVC-AI, and their risk factors among patients followed in a Tunisian medical intensive care unit (ICU). Materials / Methods: A prospective cohort study conducted between September 15th, 2015 and November 15th, 2016 in an 8-bed medical ICU including all patients admitted for more than 48h. CVC-AI were defined according to CDC of ATLANTA criteria. The enrollment was based on clinical and laboratory diagnosis of CVC-AI. For all subjects, age, sex, underlying diseases, SAPS II score, ICU length of stay, exposure to CVC (number of CVC placed, site of insertion and duration catheterization) were recorded. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Among 192 eligible patients, 144 patients (75%) had a central venous catheter. Twenty-eight patients (19.4%) had developed CVC-AI with density rate incidence 20.02/1000 CVC-days. Among these infections, 60.7% (n=17) were systemic CVC-AI (with negative blood culture), and 35.7% (n=10) were bloodstream CVC-AI. The mean SAPS II of patients with CVC-AI was 32.76 14.48; their mean Charlson index was 1.77 1.55, their mean duration of catheterization was 15.46 10.81 days and the mean duration of one central line was 5.8+/-3.72 days. Gram-negative bacteria was determined in 53.5 % of CVC-AI (n= 15) dominated by multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumani (n=7). Staphylococci were isolated in 3 CVC-AI. Fourteen (50%) patients with CVC-AI died. Univariate analysis identified men (p=0.034), the referral from another hospital department (p=0.03), tobacco (p=0.006), duration of sedation (p=0.003) and the duration of catheterization (p=0), as possible risk factors of CVC-AI. Multivariate analysis showed that independent factors of CVC-AI were, male sex; OR= 5.73, IC 95% [2; 16.46], p=0.001, Ramsay score; OR= 1.57, IC 95% [1.036; 2.38], p=0.033, and duration of catheterization; OR=1.093, IC 95% [1.035; 1.15], p=0.001. Conclusion: In a monocenter cohort, CVC-AI had a high density and is associated with poor outcome. Identifying the risk factors is necessary to find solutions for this major health problem.

Keywords: central venous catheter associated infection, intensive care unit, prospective cohort studies, risk factors

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6 Bacterial Diversity Reports Contamination around the Ichkeul Lake in Tunisia

Authors: Zeina Bourhane, Anders Lanzen, Christine Cagnon, Olfa Ben Said, Cristiana Cravo-Laureau, Robert Duran


The anthropogenic pressure in coastal areas increases dramatically with the exploitation of environmental resources. Biomonitoring coastal areas are crucial to determine the impact of pollutants on bacterial communities in soils and sediments since they provide important ecosystem services. However, relevant biomonitoring tools allowing fast determination of the ecological status are yet to be defined. Microbial ecology approaches provide useful information for developing such microbial monitoring tools reporting on the effect of environmental stressors. Chemical and microbial molecular approaches were combined in order to determine microbial bioindicators for assessing the ecological status of soil and river ecosystems around the Ichkeul Lake (Tunisia), an area highly impacted by human activities. Samples were collected along soil/river/lake continuums in three stations around the Ichkeul Lake influenced by different human activities at two seasons (summer and winter). Contaminant pressure indexes (PI), including PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), alkanes, and OCPs (Organochlorine pesticides) contents, showed significant differences in the contamination level between the stations with seasonal variation. Bacterial communities were characterized by 16S ribosomal RNAs (rRNA) gene metabarcoding. Although microgAMBI indexes, determined from the sequencing data, were in accordance with contaminant contents, they were not sufficient to fully explain the PI. Therefore, further microbial indicators are still to be defined. The comparison of bacterial communities revealed the specific microbial assemblage for soil, river, and lake sediments, which were significantly correlated with contaminant contents and PI. Such observation offers the possibility to define a relevant set of bioindicators for reporting the effects of human activities on the microbial community structure. Such bioindicators might constitute useful monitoring tools for the management of microbial communities in coastal areas.

Keywords: bacterial communities, biomonitoring, contamination, human impacts, microbial bioindicators

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5 Risk Factors of Hospital Acquired Infection Mortality in a Tunisian Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Ben Cheikh Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ammar Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Meddeb Khaoula, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) constitutes an important worldwide health problem. It was associated with high mortality rate in intensive care units (ICU). This study aimed to determine HAI mortality rate in Tunisian intensive care units and identify its risk factors. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study over a 12 months period (September 15th 2015 to September 15 th 2016) in the adult medical ICU of University Hospital-Farhat Hached (Sousse-Tunisia). All patients admitted in the ICU for more than 48 hours were included in the study. We used an anonymous standardized survey record form to collect data by a medical hygienist assisted by an intensivist. We adopted definitions of Center for Diseases Control and prevention of Atlanta to detect HAI, Kaplan Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard regression to identify independent risk factor of HAI mortality. Results: Of 171 patients, 67 developed ICU-acquired infection (global incidence rate=39.2%). The mean age of patients was 59 ± 21.2 years and 60.8% were male. The most frequently identified infections were pulmonary acquired infection (ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and infected atelectasis with density rates 21.4 VAP/1000 days of mechanical ventilation and 9.4 infected atelectasis /1000 days of mechanical ventilation; respectively) and central venous catheter associated infection (CVC - AI) with density rate 28.4 CVC-AI / 1000 CVC-days). HAI mortality rate was 66.7% (n=44). The median survival was 20 days 3.36, 95% Confidential Interval [13.39 – 26.60]. Specific mortality rates according to infectious site were 65.5%, 36.4% and 4.5% respectively for VAP, CVC associated infection and infected atelectasis. In univariate analysis, a significant associations between mortality and cardiovascular history (p=0.04) tracheotomy (p=0.00), peripheral venous catheterization (p=0.04), VAP (p=0.04) and infected atelectasis (p=0.04) were detected. Independent risk factors for HAI mortality were VAP with Hazard Ratio = 3.14, 95% Confidential Interval [1.63 – 6.05] (p=0.001) and tracheotomy (Hazard Ratio=0.22, 95% Confidential Interval [0.10 – 0.44], p=0.000). Conclusions: In the present study, hospital acquired infection mortality rate was relatively high. We need to intensify the fight against these infections especially ventilator-associated pneumonia that is associated with higher risk of mortality in many studies. Thus, more effective infection control interventions were necessary in our hospital.

Keywords: hospital acquired infection, intensive care unit, mortality, risk factors

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4 Healthcare Associated Infections in an Intensive Care Unit in Tunisia: Incidence and Risk Factors

Authors: Nabiha Bouafia, Asma Ben Cheikh, Asma Ammar, Olfa Ezzi, Mohamed Mahjoub, Khaoula Meddeb, Imed Chouchene, Hamadi Boussarsar, Mansour Njah


Background: Hospital acquired infections (HAI) cause significant morbidity, mortality, length of stay and hospital costs, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU), because of the debilitated immune systems of their patients and exposure to invasive devices. The aims of this study were to determine the rate and the risk factors of HAI in an ICU of a university hospital in Tunisia. Materials/Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the 8-bed adult medical ICU of a University Hospital (Sousse Tunisia) during 14 months from September 15th, 2015 to November 15th, 2016. Patients admitted for more than 48h were included. Their surveillance was stopped after the discharge from ICU or death. HAIs were defined according to standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Risk factors were analyzed by conditional stepwise logistic regression. The p-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: During the study, 192 patients had admitted for more than 48 hours. Their mean age was 59.3± 18.20 years and 57.1% were male. Acute respiratory failure was the main reason of admission (72%). The mean SAPS II score calculated at admission was 32.5 ± 14 (range: 6 - 78). The exposure to the mechanical ventilation (MV) and the central venous catheter were observed in 169 (88 %) and 144 (75 %) patients, respectively. Seventy-three patients (38.02%) developed 94 HAIs. The incidence density of HAIs was 41.53 per 1000 patient day. Mortality rate in patients with HAIs was 65.8 %( n= 48). Regarding the type of infection, Ventilator Associated Pneumoniae (VAP) and central venous catheter Associated Infections (CVC AI) were the most frequent with Incidence density: 14.88/1000 days of MV for VAP and 20.02/1000 CVC days for CVC AI. There were 5 Peripheral Venous Catheter Associated Infections, 2 urinary tract infections, and 21 other HAIs. Gram-negative bacteria were the most common germs identified in HAIs: Multidrug resistant Acinetobacter Baumanii (45%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (10.96%) were the most frequently isolated. Univariate analysis showed that transfer from another hospital department (p= 0.001), intubation (p < 10-4), tracheostomy (p < 10-4), age (p=0.028), grade of acute respiratory failure (p=0.01), duration of sedation (p < 10-4), number of CVC (p < 10-4), length of mechanical ventilation (p < 10-4) and length of stay (p < 10-4), were associated to high risk of HAIS in ICU. Multivariate analysis reveals that independent risk factors for HAIs are: transfer from another hospital department: OR=13.44, IC 95% [3.9, 44.2], p < 10-4, duration of sedation: OR= 1.18, IC 95% [1.049, 1.325], p=0.006, high number of CVC: OR=2.78, IC 95% [1.73, 4.487], p < 10-4, and length of stay in ICU: OR= 1.14, IC 95% [1.066,1.22], p < 10-4. Conclusion: Prevention of nosocomial infections in ICUs is a priority of health care systems all around the world. Yet, their control requires an understanding of epidemiological data collected in these units.

Keywords: healthcare associated infections, incidence, intensive care unit, risk factors

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3 Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in a Medical Intensive Care Unit, Incidence and Risk Factors: A Case Control Study

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Ben Cheikh Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Mahjoub Mohamed, Sma Nesrine, Chouchène Imed, Boussarsar Hamadi, Njah Mansour


Background: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is currently recognized as one of the most relevant causes of morbidity and mortality among intensive care unit (ICU) patients worldwide. Identifying modifiable risk factors for VAP could be helpful for future controlled interventional studies aiming at improving prevention of VAP. The purposes of this study were to determine the incidence and risk factors for VAP in in a Tunisian medical ICU. Materials / Methods: A retrospective case-control study design based on the prospective database collected over a 14-month period from September 15th, 2015 through November 15th, 2016 in an 8-bed medical ICU. Patients under ventilation for over 48 h were included. The number of cases was estimated by Epi-info Software with the power of statistical test equal to 90 %. Each case patient was successfully matched to two controls according to the length of mechanical ventilation (MV) before VAP for cases and the total length of MV in controls. VAP in the ICU was defined according to American Thoracic Society; Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines. Early onset or late-onset VAP were defined whether the infectious process occurred within or after 96 h of ICU admission. Patients’ risk factors, causes of admission, comorbidities and respiratory specimens collected were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine variables associated with VAP with a p-value < 0.05. Results: During the period study, a total of 169 patients under mechanical ventilation were considered, 34 patients (20.11%) developed at least one episode of VAP in the ICU. The incidence rate for VAP was 14.88/1000 ventilation days. Among these cases, 9 (26.5 %) were early-onset VAP and 25 (73.5 %) were late-onset VAP. It was a certain diagnosis in 66.7% of cases. Tracheal aspiration was positive in 80% of cases. Multi-drug resistant Acinerobacter baumanii was the most common species detected in cases; 67.64% (n=23). The rate of mortality out of cases was 88.23% (n= 30). In univariate analysis, the patients with VAP were statistically more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases (p=0.035) and prolonged duration of sedation (p=0.009) and tracheostomy (p=0.001), they also had a higher number of re-intubation (p=0.017) and a longer total time of intubation (p=0.012). Multivariate analysis showed that cardiovascular diseases (OR= 4.44; 95% IC= [1.3 - 14]; p=0.016), tracheostomy (OR= 4.2; 95% IC= [1.16 -15.12]; p= 0.028) and prolonged duration of sedation (OR=1.21; 95% IC= [1.07, 1.36]; p=0.002) were independent risk factors for the development of VAP. Conclusion: VAP constitutes a therapeutic challenge in an ICU setting, therefore; strategies that effectively prevent VAP are needed. An infection control-training program intended to all professional heath care in this unit insisting on bundles and elaboration of procedures are planned to reduce effectively incidence rate of VAP.

Keywords: case control study, intensive care unit, risk factors, ventilator associated pneumonia

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2 Symptom Burden and Quality of Life in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients

Authors: Ammar Asma, Bouafia Nabiha, Dhahri Meriem, Ben Cheikh Asma, Ezzi Olfa, Chafai Rim, Njah Mansour


Despite recent advances in treatment of the lung cancer patients, the prognosis remains poor. Information is limited regarding health related quality of life (QOL) status of advanced lung cancer patients. The purposes of this study were: to assess patient reported symptom burden, to measure their QOL, and to identify determinant factors associated with QOL. Materials/Methods: A cross sectional study of 60 patients was carried out from over the period of 03 months from February 1st to 30 April 2016. Patients were recruited in two department of health care: Pneumology department in a university hospital in Sousse and an oncology unit in a University Hospital in Kairouan. Patients with advanced stage (III and IV) of lung cancer who were hospitalized or admitted in the day hospital were recruited by convenience sampling. We used a questionnaire administrated and completed by a trained interviewer. This questionnaire is composed of three parts: demographic, clinical and therapeutic information’s, QOL measurements: based on the SF-36 questionnaire, Symptom’s burden measurement using the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS). To assess Correlation between symptoms burden and QOL, we compared the scores of two scales two by two using the Pearson correlation. To identify factors influencing QOL in Lung cancer, a univariate statistical analysis then, a stepwise backward approach, wherein the variables with p< 0.2, were carried out to determine the association between SF-36 scores and different variables. Results: During the study period, 60 patients consented to complete symptom and quality of life questionnaires at a single point time (72% were recruited from day hospital). The majority of patients were male (88%), age ranged from 21 to 79 years with a mean of 60.5 years. Among patients, 48 (80%) were diagnosed as having non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Approximately, 60 % (n=36) of patients were in stage IV, 25 % in stage IIIa and 15 % in stage IIIb. For symptom burden, the symptom burden index was 43.07 (Standard Deviation, 21.45). Loss of appetite and fatigue were rated as the most severe symptoms with mean scores (SD): 49.6 (25.7) and 58.2 (15.5). The average overall score of SF36 was 39.3 (SD, 15.4). The physical and emotional limitations had the lowest scores. Univariate analysis showed that factors which influence negatively QOL were: married status (p<0.03), smoking cessation after diagnosis (p<0.024), LCSS total score (p<0.001), LCSS symptom burden index (p<0.001), fatigue (p<0.001), loss of appetite (p<0.001), dyspnea (p<0.001), pain (p<0.002), and metastatic stage (p<0.01). In multivariate analysis, unemployment (p<0.014), smoking cessation after diagnosis (p<0.013), consumption of analgesic (p<0.002) and the indication of an analgesic radiotherapy (p<0.001) are revealed as independent determinants of QOL. The result of the correlation analyses between total LCSS scores and the total and individual domain SF36 scores was significant (p<0.001); the higher total LCSS score is, the poorer QOL is. Conclusion: A built in support of lung cancer patients would better control the symptoms and promote the QOL of these patients.

Keywords: quality of life, lung cancer, metastasis, symptoms burden

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1 Epidemiology of Healthcare-Associated Infections among Hematology/Oncology Patients: Results of a Prospective Incidence Survey in a Tunisian University Hospital

Authors: Ezzi Olfa, Bouafia Nabiha, Ammar Asma, Ben Cheikh Asma, Mahjoub Mohamed, Bannour Wadiaa, Achour Bechir, Khelif Abderrahim, Njah Mansour


Background: In hematology/oncology, health care improvement has allowed increasingly aggressive management in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Nevertheless, these intensified procedures have been associated with higher risk of healthcare associated infections (HAIs). We undertook this study to estimate the burden of HAIs in the cancer patients in an onco -hematology unit in a Tunisian university hospital. Materials/Methods: A prospective, observational study, based on active surveillance for a period of 06 months from Mars through September 2016, was undertaken in the department of onco-hematology in a university hospital in Tunisia. Patients, who stayed in the unit for ≥ 48 h, were followed until hospital discharge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria (CDC) for site-specific infections were used as standard definitions for HAIs. Results: One hundred fifty patients were included in the study. The gender distribution was 33.3% for girls and 66.6% boys. They have a mean age of 23.12 years (SD = 18.36 years). The main patient’s diagnosis is: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL): 48.7 %( n=73). The mean length of stay was 21 days +/- 18 days. Almost 8% of patients had an implantable port (n= 12), 34.9 % (n=52) had a lumber puncture and 42.7 % (n= 64) had a medullary puncture. Chemotherapy was instituted in 88% of patients (n=132). Eighty (53.3%) patients had neutropenia at admission. The incidence rate of HAIs was 32.66 % per patient; the incidence density was 15.73 per 1000 patient-days in the unit. Mortality rate was 9.3% (n= 14), and 50% of cases of death were caused by HAIs. The most frequent episodes of infection were: infection of skin and superficial mucosa (5.3%), pulmonary aspergillosis (4.6%), Healthcare associated pneumonia (HAP) (4%), Central venous catheter associated infection (4%), digestive infection (5%), and primary bloodstream infection (2.6%). Finally, fever of unknown origin (FUO) incidence rate was 14%. In case of skin and superficial infection (n= 8), 4 episodes were documented, and organisms implicated were Escherichia.coli, Geotricum capitatum and Proteus mirabilis. For pulmonary aspergillosis, 6 cases were diagnosed clinically and radiologically, and one was proved by positive aspergillus antigen in bronchial aspiration. Only one patient died due this infection. In HAP (6 cases), four episodes were diagnosed clinically and radiologically. No bacterial etiology was established in these cases. Two patients died due to HAP. For primary bloodstream infection (4 cases), implicated germs were Enterobacter cloacae, Geotricum capitatum, klebsiella pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Conclusion: This type of prospective study is an indispensable tool for internal quality control. It is necessary to evaluate preventive measures and design control guides and strategies aimed to reduce the HAI’s rate and the morbidity and mortality associated with infection in a hematology/oncology unit.

Keywords: cohort prospective studies, healthcare associated infections, hematology oncology department, incidence

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