ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0029.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: precipitation deficit; precipitation surplus; standardized precipitation index SPI; forecast; verification
Online: 4 November 2016 (13:39:29 CET)
In the paper the verification of forecasts of precipitation conditions measured by the standardized precipitation index SPI is presented. For the verification of categorical forecasts a contingency table was used. Standard verification measures were used for the SPI value forecast. The 30 day SPI moved every 10 days by 10 days was calculated in 2013-2015 from April to September on the basis of precipitation data from 35 meteorological stations in Poland. Predictions of the 30 day SPI were created in which precipitation was forecasted in the next 10 days (the SPI 10-day forecast) and 20 days (the SPI 20-day forecast). Both for the 10 and 20 days, the forecasts were skewed towards drier categories at the expense of wet categories. There was a good agreement between observed and 10-day forecast categories of precipitation. Less agreement is obtained for 20-day forecasts – these forecasts evidently “over-dry” the assessment of precipitation anomalies. The 10-day SPI value forecast accuracy is acceptable, whereas for the 20-day forecast is unsatisfactory. Both for the SPI categorical and the SPI value forecast, the 10-day SPI forecast is reliable and the 20-day forecast should be accepted with reservation and used with caution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0038.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: communication skills; standardized patients; gender; checklist; competence assessment; OSCE
Online: 3 April 2019 (10:22:49 CEST)
Background: The present study analyzes the evaluation of communication skills by standardized patients (SPs) and medical evaluators (Es) in an OSCE setting. Methods: The OSCE involved 189 sixth-year medical students, as well as 34 SPs and 63 Es. Communications skills were evaluated in 8 stations, simultaneously by SPs and Es. The SPs were actors who had been trained in the clinical case and who acted in accordance with a standardized script in a simulated clinical situation. The evaluators, also standardized, were Resident Doctors or staff Doctors from the Hospital Services involved. Results: The global scores awarded to students for communication skills were very similar in both groups, although the score awarded by Es was significantly higher, and a direct relationship was also observed between the mean scores awarded by both groups. Evaluators awarded significantly higher scores than SPs in 7 out of the 10 items on the checklist. Female medical students also scored significantly higher than their male counterparts in many items, including external appearance, listening, cordiality, optimism, interest, expression and empathy. Conclusions: Our data indicate that SPs and Es evaluated communication skills in a similar manner in an OSCE setting, a finding which suggests that health-related professionals can be used as an alternative to SPs, thus helping to lower economic costs. Our study also confirms a gender difference (in favor of women) in the evaluation of communications skills by both groups.Our data indicate that SPs and Es evaluated communication skills in a similar manner in an OSCE setting, a finding which suggests that health-related professionals can be used as an alternative to SPs, thus helping to lower economic costs. Our study also confirms a gender difference (in favor of women) in the evaluation of communications skills by both groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0368.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Aridity Index (AI); Percentage of Normal Index (PNI); Standardized Precipitation -Evopotranspiration Index (SPEI); Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI); Drought; Factor Analysis; Reliability Analysis
Online: 25 February 2020 (11:09:28 CET)
The climate covers a series of events that deeply affect human life. It is possible to understand these events through spatial and statistical analyzes. Today, climate change, which is one of the most important of these events and the impact factors of consequences of this change, become a current issue. Drought is cited as one of the consequences of climate change and it is important to examine it with various methods as it can give negative results to both the economy and the nature. In this study, the drought status of the regions where these stations are located and the effects of drought on climate change were statistically calculated and evaluated using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Percentage of Normal Index (PNI), Aridity Index (AI) and Standardized Precipitation -Evopotranspiration Index (SPEI). The precipitation data from 1981 to 2010 were obtained from Cihanbeyli, Karapınar, Çumra, Seydişehir, Kulu, Ereğli, Niğde, Karaman, Beyşehir and Aksaray meteorology stations affiliated to Turkish State Meteorological Service. At the same time, factor analysis and validity-reliability analysis were conducted to test the computability of the indices used in the study as a single index and to determine the reliability of the operations. While using exploratory factor analysis, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test and Barlett test for factor analysis; Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used for reliability analysis. In our study, K-Means Cluster Analysis method was performed to determine the cutoff values of indices. According to the result of cluster analysis for the new (common) index, new clusters were created and ANOVA test was conducted to determine whether there was a difference between clusters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0084.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Age-standardized rate; Burden of disease; Cancer epidemiology; Malign neoplasm; Sociodemographic index; Subnational heterogeneity
Online: 6 May 2022 (14:47:04 CEST)
In 2019, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimated that prostate cancer (PC) was the 16th cause of death globally in males. In Mexico, PC epidemiology has been reported for a selected number of metrics and years, although without including the most up-to-date estimates. Herein, we describe and compare the burden and trends of PC in Mexico and its 32 states from 2000 to 2019. For this, we extracted online available data from the GBD 2019 to estimate the crude and age-standardized rate (ASR per 100,000 people) of incidence, mortality, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). In Mexico, PC caused 27.1 thousand (95% uncertainty intervals, 20.6-36.0 thousand) incident cases, 9.2 thousand (7.7-12.7 thousand) deaths, and 161.5 thousand (122.7-219.5 thousand) DALYs in males of all ages in 2019. Among states, Sinaloa had the greatest ASR of incidence and Guerrero the highest values of deaths and DALYs. The burden of PC showed an increasing trend, although the magnitude of change differed between metrics and locations. We found both an increasing national trend and subnational variation in the burden of PC. Our results confirm the need for updated and timely estimates to design effective diagnostic and treatment campaigns in locations where the burden of PC is the highest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0409.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: EEG; pain biometrics; stochastic analyses; micro-movements spikes; sensory over responsivity; standardized scale; personalized pain
Online: 16 December 2020 (13:19:42 CET)
The study of pain requires a balance between subjective methods that rely on self-reports and complementary objective biometrics that ascertain physical signals associated with subjective accounts. There are at present no objective scales that enable the personalized assessment of pain, as most work involving electrophysiology rely on summary statistics from a priori theoretical population assumptions. Along these lines, recent work has provided evidence of differences in pain sensations between participants with Sensory Over Responsivity (SOR) and controls. While these analyses are useful to understand pain across groups, there remains a need to quantify individual differences more precisely in a personalized manner. Here we offer new methods to characterize pain using the moment-by-moment standardized fluctuations in EEG brain activity centrally reflecting the person’s experiencing temperature-based stimulation at the periphery. This type of gross data is often disregarded as noise, yet here we show its utility to characterize the lingering sensation of discomfort raising to the level of pain, individually, for each participant. We show fundamental differences between the SOR group in relation to controls and provide an objective account of pain congruent with the subjective self-reported data. This offers the potential to build a standardized scale useful to profile pain levels in a personalized manner across the general population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0216.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Diagnosis delay; rare diseases; undiagnosed programs; standardized phenotype; phenotype ontologies; whole exome analysis; international data sharing
Online: 13 June 2018 (15:41:21 CEST)
One of the IRDiRC goals for 2017-2027 is to achieve definitive diagnosis for rare undiagnosed diseases within one year, as diagnosis delay remains one of the pending issues in the rare diseases field. The Spanish Undiagnosed Rare Diseases Program (SpainUDP) was created in response to this challenging scenario to cover patients’ needs and after seeing the success of the UDP in USA. SpainUDP offers a multidisciplinary approach to those patients who have long sought a diagnosis without any success. During a first phase of the protocol, undiagnosed cases are sent to SpainUDP by individual patients, patient organizations or hospitals. After a carefully analysis of phenotype, data from sequencing experiments (WES) is processed with a standard pipeline and a detailed standardized phenotypic information (mapped to HPO) is connected to genetic data. In addition, the participation of SpainUDP in international initiatives such as the European projects RD-Connect and Solve RD, the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International (UDNI), and the MatchMaker Exchange platform, allows the establishment of a global data sharing strategy across multiple projects submitting data to these international initiatives. From the official beginning of the program (at the end of 2015) until early 2018, 147 cases were accepted in SpainUDP. During this time, 37 cases (25 %) dropped out the program due to several reasons. The remaining 110 cases are distributed as follows: phenotypic and genotypic (WES) characterization was finished in 30 cases, of which 20 (67 %) were diagnosed; 21 cases are pending on variants validation by Sanger; in 25 cases, WES is ongoing and 34 cases are in a deep phenotypic characterization. As a conclusion, SpainUDP aims to achieve a diagnosis following two recommendations of the IRDiRC: the patients’ diagnosis in a period of time as short as possible and the promotion of data sharing (especially genomic) at the international level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0476.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: remotely sensed drought indices (RSDIs); Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI); meteorological drought; Skill Score (SS); Yellow River basin (YRB)
Online: 19 November 2018 (17:26:37 CET)
Due to the advantages of wide coverage and continuity, remotely sensed data are widely used for large-scale drought monitoring to compensate the deficiency and discontinuity of meteorological data. However, few researches have focused on the capability of various remotely sensed drought indices (RSDIs) for representing the spatio-temporal variations of the meteorological droughts. In this study, five RSDIs, namely Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), Temperature Condition Index (TCI), Vegetation Health Index (VHI), Modified Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (MTVDI) and Normalized Vegetation Supply Water Index (NVSWI) were calculated using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) monthly NDVI and LST. The monthly NDVI and LST data were filtered by Savitzky-Golay (S-G) filtering method. Meteorological station-based drought index represented by Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was compared with RSDIs. And the dimensionless Skill Score (SS) method was adopted to identify the spatiotemporally optimal RSDIs for presenting the meteorological droughts in the Yellow River basin (YRB) from 2000 to 2015. The results indicated that (1) RSDIs revealed a decreasing trend to the overall YRB consistent with SPEI except for in winter, and different variations of seasonal trends spatially; (2) the optimal RSDIs in spring, summer, autumn and winter were VHI, TCI, MTVDI and VCI, respectively, and the average correlation coefficient between the RSDIs and SPEI was 0.577 (=0.05); (3) different RSDIs have a 0–3 months’ time-lags compared with meteorological drought index.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0229.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Total metabolic tumor volume; bone marrow to liver ratio; PET/CT; overall survival; immunotherapy; immune checkpoint inhibitor; standardized uptake value; response prediction
Online: 12 November 2021 (14:59:35 CET)
Quantitative biomarkers derived from positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) have been suggested as prognostic variables in immune-checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). As such data for first-line ICI therapy and especially for chemotherapy-ICI combinations are still scarce, we retrospectively evaluated baseline 18F-FDG-PET/CT of 85 consecutive patients receiving first-line pembrolizumab with chemotherapy (n=70) or as monotherapy (n=15). Maximum and mean standardized uptake value, metabolic tumor volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis and bone marrow-/ spleen to liver ratio (BLR/SLR) were calculated. Kaplan-Meier analyses and Cox-regression models were used to assess progression-free/overall survival (PFS/OS) and their determinant variables. Multivariate selection for PFS/OS revealed MTV as most relevant PET/CT biomarker (p<0.001). Median PFS/OS were significantly longer in patients with MTV≤70mL versus >70mL (PFS: 10 months (M; 95% confidence interval 4-16) vs. 4M (3-5), p=0.001; OS: not reached vs. 10M (5-15), p=0.004). Disease control rate was 81% vs. 53% for MTV≤/>70mL (p=0.007). BLR ≤1.06 versus >1.06 was associated with better outcomes (PFS: 8M (4-13) vs. 4M (3-6), p=0.034; OS: 19M (12-/) vs. 6M (4-12), p=0.005). In patients with MTV>70mL, concomitant BLR≤1.06 indicated a better prognosis. Higher MTV is associated with inferior PFS/OS in first-line ICI treated NSCLC, with BLR allowing additional risk stratification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0150.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: rainfall trend; Mann Kendall’s test; Sen’s slope estimator; climate statistics; seasonal rainfall; standardized anomaly index; extreme precipitation indicators; rainfall variability; southern Ghana
Online: 6 August 2021 (08:01:09 CEST)
Rainfall variability has resulted in extreme events like devastating floods and droughts which is the main cause of human vulnerability to precipitation in West Africa. Attempts have been made by previous studies to understand rainfall variability over Ghana but these have mostly focused on the major rainy season of April-July, leaving a gap in our understanding of the variability in the September-November season which is a very important aspect of the Ghanaian climate system. The current study seeks to close this knowledge gap by employing statistical tools to quantify variabilities in rainfall amounts, rain days, and extreme precipitation indices in the minor rainfall season over Ghana. We find extremely high variability in rainfall with a Coefficient of variation (CV) between 25.3% and 70.8%, and moderate to high variability in rain days (CV=14.0% - 48.8%). Rainfall amount was found to be higher over the middle sector (262.7 mm – 400.2 mm) but lowest over the east coast (125.2 mm – 181.8 mm). Analysis of the second rainfall season using the Mankandell Test presents a non-significant trend of rainfall amount and extreme indices (R10, R20, R99p, and R99p) for many places in southern Ghana. Rainfall Anomaly Indices show that the middle sector recorded above normal precipitation which is the opposite for areas in the transition zone. The result of this work provides a good understanding of rainfall in the minor rainfall season and may be used for planning purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0301.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Deficit volume; drought intensity; drought magnitude; extreme number theorem; Markov chain; moving average smoothing; standardized hydrological index; sequent peak algorithm; reservoir volume.
Online: 13 July 2021 (11:25:59 CEST)
The traditional sequent peak algorithm (SPA) was used to assess the reservoir volume (VR) for comparison with deficit volume, DT, (subscript T representing the return period) obtained from the drought magnitude (DM) based method with draft level set at the mean annual flow on 15 rivers across Canada. At an annual scale, the SPA based estimates were found to be larger with an average of nearly 70% compared to DM based estimates. To ramp up DM based estimates to be in parity with SPA based values, the analysis was carried out through the counting and the analytical procedures involving only the annual SHI (standardized hydrological index, i.e. standardized values of annual flows) sequences. It was found that MA2 or MA3 (moving average of 2 or 3 consecutive values) of SHI sequences were required to match the counted values of DT to VR. Further, the inclusion of mean, as well as the variance of the drought intensity in the analytical procedure, with aforesaid smoothing led DT comparable to VR. The distinctive point in the DM based method is that no assumption is necessary such as the reservoir being full at the beginning of the analysis - as is the case with SPA.