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Concept: Extensional definition


Altruism has long been taken to be the guiding principle of ethical organ donation in the UK, and has been used as justification for rejecting or allowing certain types of donation. We argue that, despite this prominent role, altruism has been poorly defined in policy and position documents, and used confusingly and inconsistently. Looking at how the term has been used over recent years allows us to define ‘organ donation altruism’, and comparing this with accounts in the philosophical literature highlights its theoretical shortcomings. The recent report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics reaffirmed the importance of altruism in organ donation, and offered a clearer definition. This definition is, however, more permissive than that of altruism previously seen in UK policy, and as a result allows some donations that previously have been considered unacceptable. We argue that while altruistic motivation may be desirable, it is not necessary.

Concepts: Definition, Philosophy of language, Extensional definition, Ethics, Bioethics, Altruism, Empathy-altruism, Philosophical Investigations


The late Campanian-early Maastrichtian site of Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spain) has provided a set of well-preserved crocodyliform skull and lower jaw remains, which are described here and assigned to a new basal eusuchian taxon, Lohuecosuchus megadontos gen. et sp. nov. The reevaluation of a complete skull from the synchronous site of Fox-Amphoux (Department of Var, France) allows us to define a second species of this new genus. Phylogenetic analysis places Lohuecosuchus in a clade exclusively composed by European Late Cretaceous taxa. This new clade, defined here as Allodaposuchidae, is recognized as the sister group of Hylaeochampsidae, also comprised of European Cretaceous forms. Allodaposuchidae and Hylaeochampsidae are grouped in a clade identified as the sister group of Crocodylia, the only crocodyliform lineage that reaches our days. Allodaposuchidae shows a vicariant distribution pattern in the European Late Cretaceous archipelago, with several Ibero-Armorican forms more closely related to each other than with to Romanian Allodaposuchus precedens.

Concepts: Definition, Extensional definition, Phylogenetic nomenclature, Europe, Cladistics, Spain, Taxon, Crocodylomorpha


Background:Dementia is a life-limiting disease without curative treatments. Patients and families may need palliative care specific to dementia.Aim:To define optimal palliative care in dementia.Methods:Five-round Delphi study. Based on literature, a core group of 12 experts from 6 countries drafted a set of core domains with salient recommendations for each domain. We invited 89 experts from 27 countries to evaluate these in a two-round online survey with feedback. Consensus was determined according to predefined criteria. The fourth round involved decisions by the core team, and the fifth involved input from the European Association for Palliative Care.Results:A total of 64 (72%) experts from 23 countries evaluated a set of 11 domains and 57 recommendations. There was immediate and full consensus on the following eight domains, including the recommendations: person-centred care, communication and shared decision-making; optimal treatment of symptoms and providing comfort (these two identified as central to care and research); setting care goals and advance planning; continuity of care; psychosocial and spiritual support; family care and involvement; education of the health care team; and societal and ethical issues. After revision, full consensus was additionally reached for prognostication and timely recognition of dying. Recommendations on nutrition and dehydration (avoiding overly aggressive, burdensome or futile treatment) and on dementia stages in relation to care goals (applicability of palliative care) achieved moderate consensus.Conclusion:We have provided the first definition of palliative care in dementia based on evidence and consensus, a framework to provide guidance for clinical practice, policy and research.

Concepts: Health care, Clinical trial, Palliative care, Definition, Extensional definition, The Europeans, Curative care, The Core


Patients with olfactory dysfunction benefit from repeated exposure to odors, so-called olfactory training (OT). This does not mean occasional smelling but the structured sniffing of a defined set of odors, twice daily, for a period of 4 months or longer. In this prospective study, we investigated whether the effect of OT might increase through the use of more odors and extension of the training period.

Concepts: Extensional definition, Olfaction, Odor, Ovulation, Olfactory fatigue, Electronic nose, Olfactometer, Intensional definition


Background. Encephalitis continues to result in substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Advances in diagnosis and management have been limited, in part, by a lack of consensus on case definitions, standardized diagnostic approaches, and priorities for research. Methods. In March of 2012, the International Encephalitis Consortium, a committee begun in 2010 with members worldwide, held a meeting in Atlanta to discuss recent advances in encephalitis and to set priorities for future study. Results. We present a consensus document that proposes a standardized case definition and diagnostic guidelines for evaluation of adults and children with suspected encephalitis. In addition, areas of research priority, including host genetics and selected emerging infections, are discussed. Conclusions. We anticipate that this document, representing a synthesis of our discussions and supported by literature, will serve as a practical aid to clinicians evaluating patients with suspected encephalitis and will identify key areas and approaches to advance our knowledge of encephalitis.

Concepts: Mortality rate, Diagnosis, Evaluation, Definition, Debate, Extensional definition, Priority level, Priority


Numerous studies over several decades suggest that following the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and improve cognitive health. However, there are inconsistencies among methods used for evaluating and defining the MedDiet. Through a review of the literature, we aimed to quantitatively define the MedDiet by food groups and nutrients. Databases PubMed, MEDLINE, Science Direct, Academic Search Premier and the University of South Australia Library Catalogue were searched. Articles were included if they defined the MedDiet in at least two of the following ways: (1) general descriptive definitions; (2) diet pyramids/numbers of servings of key foods; (3) grams of key foods/food groups; and (4) nutrient and flavonoid content. Quantity of key foods and nutrient content was recorded and the mean was calculated. The MedDiet contained three to nine serves of vegetables, half to two serves of fruit, one to 13 serves of cereals and up to eight serves of olive oil daily. It contained approximately 9300 kJ, 37% as total fat, 18% as monounsaturated and 9% as saturated, and 33 g of fibre per day. Our results provide a defined nutrient content and range of servings for the MedDiet based on past and current literature. More detailed reporting amongst studies could refine the definition further.

Concepts: Nutrition, Definition, Extensional definition, Olive oil, Mediterranean diet


Clinical utility describes the benefits of each laboratory test for that patient. Many stakeholders have adopted narrow definitions for the clinical utility of molecular testing as applied to targeted pharmacotherapy in oncology, regardless of the population tested or the purpose of the testing. This definition does not address all of the important applications of molecular diagnostic testing. Definitions consistent with a patient-centered approach emphasize and recognize that a clinical test result’s utility depends on the context in which it is used and are particularly relevant to molecular diagnostic testing because of the nature of the information they provide. Debates surrounding levels and types of evidence needed to properly evaluate the clinical value of molecular diagnostics are increasingly important because the growing body of knowledge, stemming from the increase of genomic medicine, provides many new opportunities for molecular testing to improve health care. We address the challenges in defining the clinical utility of molecular diagnostics for inherited diseases or cancer and provide assessment recommendations. Starting with a modified analytic validity, clinical validity, clinical utility, and ethical, legal, and social implications model for addressing clinical utility of molecular diagnostics with a variety of testing purposes, we recommend promotion of patient-centered definitions of clinical utility that appropriately recognize the valuable contribution of molecular diagnostic testing to improve patient care.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine, Clinical trial, Cancer, Medical terms, Definition, Extensional definition


“Population health” has come to describe an array of initiatives supporting new care and reimbursement models that reward health outcomes rather than volume of services. However, without a standard definition of population health and a comprehensive inventory of the core competencies and knowledge its practitioners must possess, ongoing efforts to address community health outcomes will be hampered. A literature search of peer-reviewed and gray literature, a curriculum scan of current graduate health programs, and an expert panel of industry stakeholders were conducted to develop a comprehensive curriculum framework that broadly defines population health. The result is a concept map consisting of 6 domains-3 knowledge and 3 skills-based-and subcategories. This article discusses the implications for teaching population health and the need for further scholarship to define the field from the point of view of health system leaders, academics, and others who need to hire health professionals with these skills. (Population Health Management 2016;19:39-45).

Concepts: Medicine, Definition, Extensional definition, Management, Academia, Population health


Monoclonal gammopathies (MG) are defined by increased proliferation of clonal plasma cells, resulting in a detectable abnormality called monoclonal component or M-protein. Detection of the M-protein as either narrow peaks on protein electrophoresis and discrete bands on immunofixation is the defining feature of MG. MG are classified as low-tumor burden disorders, pre-malignancies and malignancies. Since significant disease can be present at any level, several different tests are employed in order to encompass the inherent diverse nature of the M-proteins. In this review, we discuss the main characteristics and limitations of clinical assays to detect M-proteins: protein electrophoresis, immunofixation, immunoglobulin quantitation, serum free light chains and heavy-light chain assays, as well as the newly developed MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric methods. In addition, the definitions of the pre-malignancies monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), as well as monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance (MGRS) are presented in the context of the 2014 international guidelines for definition of myeloma requiring treatment, and the role of the laboratory in test selection for screening and monitoring these conditions is highlighted.

Concepts: Multiple myeloma, Definition, Extensional definition, Hematology, Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, Protein electrophoresis, Paraprotein, Serum protein electrophoresis


Strategies are central to the National Institutes of Health’s definition of implementation research as “the study of strategies to integrate evidence-based interventions into specific settings.” Multiple scholars have proposed lists of the strategies used in implementation research and practice, which they increasingly are classifying under the single term “implementation strategies.” We contend that classifying all strategies under a single term leads to confusion, impedes synthesis across studies, and limits advancement of the full range of strategies of importance to implementation. To address this concern, we offer a system for classifying implementation strategies that builds on Proctor and colleagues' (2013) reporting guidelines, which recommend that authors not only name and define their implementation strategies but also specify who enacted the strategy (i.e., the actor) and the level and determinants that were targeted (i.e., the action targets).

Concepts: Definition, Extensional definition, Strategy, Specific gravity, Strategy pattern