A scoring scheme prediction model for dengue outbreaks using weather factors in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Background: The dengue infection cases are increasing in Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC), Vietnam. Previous studies have demonstrated the correlation between dengue cases and weather factors, which then are used to built prediction models for dengue outbreaks. However, the association between dengue and weather varies greatly between regions and locations. In HCMC, a tropical climate city in Vietnam, there is no such a weather-based prediction model for dengue outbreaks.

Objectives: This study aims to determine the correlation between weather factors and a weekly number of dengue cases and to develop a scoring scheme prediction model for dengue outbreaks using weather factors in HCMC, Vietnam. 

Methods: An ecological study was conducted on the evaluation of weekly time-series data from 1999 to 2017. A Poisson regression model coupled with Distributed Lag Non-Linear Model (DLNM) was constructed to evaluate the effects of weather factors (i.e., temperature, relative humidity, cumulative rainfall, wind speed) and the weekly dengue cases in HCMC with lag 1-12 weeks.

Results: The predictive model was based on the following weather factors: wind speed at lag 5-8 and 9-12 weeks; temperature amplitude and humidity at lag 5-8 weeks; rainfall at lag 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12 weeks. The predictive model using climate predictors explained about 80% of the variance in dengue cases with a small value of the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE= 0.17). The scoring scheme was then developed from the predictive model; it had a good prediction power – with the accuracy rate = 81%, sensitivity = 1, and specificity = 0.80. In summary, our study indicated that weather factors significantly influence and are predictors for the variation of dengue cases in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. We recommend applying this model to improve the prevention of dengue outbreak.

Graphical abstract

The effectiveness of music on the result of non-stress test

Original Research

Abstract

Objectives: Determined the effects of music on the result of non-stress test at 33 weeks of gestational ages for prenatal assessment.

Methods: The cohort design was conducted between 89 women who had regular NST (without music), and 88 women who do NST with music. These are women with a single pregnancy of 33 weeks or older who are not in the risk pregnancy group, with no signs of preterm labor.

Results: There were 178 pregnant women participating in the study. The median age of pregnant women in the study group who did not listen to music or listen to music was 30.0 ± 4.60 and 30.4 ± 4.00, respectively. The average gestational age in our study was 36.73 ± 1.64 and 36.07 ± 1.91, respectively, for with and without music group. Music increased the average number of fetal movements in the group of pregnant women listening to the music compared to the group that did not listen to music (11.13 ± 0.91 and 17.52 ± 1.63) during the NST. Music also increased the number of accelerations (5.54 ± 0.43 compared to 7.28 ± 0.47) and the resulting reactive NST in pregnant women.

Conclusion: Music increased the average number of fetal movements and the number of accelerations the group of pregnant women listening to the music compared to the group that did not listen to during the NST. Music also increased the resulting reactive NSTs in pregnant women. We can consider using music during NSTs.

Graphical abstract

Effect of auricular acupuncture on exam anxiety in first-year medical students

Original Research

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Exam anxiety is a commonly seen problem among medical students. Auricular acupuncture has been shown to have an anxiety-reducing effect, however, data on exam anxiety is limited. Research in dental and preoperative anxiety has indicated that anxiety level could be reduced by using ear acupoints on the non-dominant side. Therefore, this study aims to determine whether needling at acupoints on the non-dominant side can reduce exam anxiety in medical students.

Method: This is a prospective observational study on 32 students at The Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Eligible students received auricular acupuncture on the non-dominant side at the Master cerebral, Tranquilizer and Relaxation points. Levels of anxiety were measured using a visual analogue scale before and after the intervention as well as before the exam. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, heart rate, exam performance and adverse events occurring during the study were also collected.

Results: Exam anxiety level and heart rate decreased 30 minutes after auricular acupuncture (p<0.05). Before the exam, exam anxiety level and heart rate increased significantly compared to after the intervention but still lower than baseline (p<0.05). The exam anxiety level with heart rate at each time point did not differ significantly in gender and trait anxiety levels (p>0.05). No adverse events from auricular acupuncture were observed.

Conclusion: Auricular acupuncture at the Master cerebral, Tranquillizer and Relaxation points on the non-dominant side is effective in reducing exam anxiety in medical students.

Graphical abstract

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