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Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool

Welcome to the Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool (MSIT). Military Health System (MHS) data are used by Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and academic health professionals and scientists to implement health care studies. These studies reflect the MHS interest to rigorously assess and improve our beneficiaries’ access to the high quality health care services they need. Additionally, these studies are frequently used to develop or improve MHS policy and often adopt useful, relevant comparisons to the national health care experience.

The MSIT allows easy review of recent studies that are either conducted or sponsored by the MHS, or accomplished using datasets developed or maintained by the Defense Health Agency for administrative, operational, or research purposes. The studies within this website represent important contributions of the MHS to the national health care dialogue and reflect our capacity to tackle the challenging issues needed to support evidence-informed health policy. Thank you for your interest in them.

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Typhoid fever cases in the U.S. military.

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi (S. Typhi), a causative agent of enteric fever (typhoid fever), predominately affects populations in developing regions with poor access to clean food and water. In addition, travelers to these regions are at risk of exposure. METHODS: We report the epidemiological characteristics of S. Typhi cases among active duty United States military personnel from 1998 to 2011 using data obtained from the Defense Medical Surveillance System. Cases were identified based on International Classification for Disease Ninth Edition - Clinical Modification codes. RESULTS: We identified a total of 205 cases S. Typhi for an incidence of 1.09 per 100,000 person-years. Cases were on average 31.7 years old, predominately married (n = 129, 62.9 %), Caucasian (n = 142, 69.3 %), male (n = 176, 85.9 %), and had a high school education (n = 101, 49.3 %). Of the identified cases, 122 had received a Typhoid vaccination within 4 years of diagnosis. CONCLUSION: This study provides an overview of enteric fever in the United States military. The incidence was similar to the general U.S. population except for increased incidence from 1998 to 2000, perhaps attributable to operational deployments in that period. Given that vaccination is an effective primary prevention measure against typhoid fever, active monitoring of pre-deployment vaccine history is warranted.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Navy
  • Sponsoring Office: Naval Medical Research Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Navy
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Sorrell T, Selig DJ, Riddle MS, Porter CK. Typhoid fever cases in the U.S. military. BMC Infect Dis. 2015 Oct 14;15:424.

An Overview of Biorepositories-Past, Present, and Future

Study

Abstract

The collection, storage, and distribution of biological materials for research and improving health have been employed for more than a century. Biorepositories have been used to maintain and reallocate these specimens. Historically, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been maintaining biorepositories and using the materials stored to expand our understanding of diseases and for developing medical countermeasures since the Civil War. Other U.S. Government and nongovernmental organizations are also engaged in curating human and other samples for future studies, as are organizations in other countries. The reasons for collection and the possible uses of specimens maintained within repositories have changed with the advent of novel technologies and the genomics discipline. However, over the years, many of the issues faced by repositories have remained largely the same, although of increased importance more recently because of limited funding and enhanced ethical concerns. These issues include what samples to collect; how to collect, transport, and store the samples; legal and ethical matters relating to sample collection and use; durability of analytes of interest in stored specimens; assessing the quality of stored specimens and providing researchers with statements of specimen quality; costs; maintenance and sustainability of the repository; and, implementing and maintaining laboratory quality programs and possibly accreditation. National and international scientific groups are working to identify and define best practices, but universal standards and practices remain challenges for the future. To begin addressing the above issues, the DoD implemented several initiatives, which are described elsewhere in this Military Medicine Supplement. Additionally, staff members working on the issues saw potential value in identifying other biorepository groups and similar work being done by these groups with the expectation of developing lines of communication and, eventually, even collaboration in establishing universal standards and practices. The repositories identified are briefly discussed in this report.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Siwek M. An Overview of Biorepositories-Past, Present, and Future. Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10 Suppl):57-66.

Completeness and timeliness of reporting of notifiable medical conditions, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008-2014.

Study

Abstract

The complete and timely reporting of notifiable medical conditions occurring among U.S. military service members is important for the control of communicable and preventable diseases and injuries. The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) was used to identify all hospital and ambulatory care encounters among service members occurring during 2008-2014. Incident encounters with diagnoses of Department of Defense notifiable medical conditions were matched to reportable medical events entered through the Disease Reporting System Internet. Over this time period, the Services reported 47.6% of notifiable hospitalized cases and 57.2% of notifiable ambulatory care cases. Timeliness of reporting improved over the time period with 40.0% of notifiable hospitalized cases reported within 1 week in 2008 and 73.6% in 2014. For ambulatory care cases, 62.3% were reported within 1 week in 2008 and 81.3% in 2014.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Hurt L, Ying S. Completeness and timeliness of reporting of notifiable medical conditions, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2008-2014. MSMR. 2015 Nov;22(11):8-21.

Insomnia in the Military: Application and Effectiveness of Cognitive and Pharmacologic Therapies.

Study

Abstract

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints of US armed service members. Diagnosis and treatment of insomnia in active duty and veteran populations are often complicated by comorbid disorders experienced by military personnel, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi), pharmacologic interventions, and alternative therapies are discussed as relevant to their applications within military populations. Future directions in research are suggested.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Capaldi VF 2nd, Kim JR, Grillakis AA, Taylor MR, York CM. Insomnia in the Military: Application and Effectiveness of Cognitive and Pharmacologic Therapies. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Oct;17(10):85

Causes of combat ocular trauma-related blindness from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The incidence of eye injuries in military service members is high in the combat setting. This is the first study that identifies the primary reason for poor visual acuity (worse than 20/200). METHODS: This is a retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series analyzing US Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom members who were evacuated from the theater of operations to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2001 through 2011. Primary outcome measures were the length of follow-up, globe survival, and anatomic causes of blindness. Secondary outcome measures included surgical procedures performed, use of eye protection, nonocular injuries, incidence of traumatic brain injury, source of injury, visual outcomes, and predictability of Ocular Trauma Score (OTS) on visual outcome. Univariate analysis was performed using χ and Fisher's exact test. A p < 0.01 was considered significant because of the multiple hypotheses tested. RESULTS: There were 265 eyes of 239 patients who had final best-corrected visual acuity of worse than 20/200. The average age was 27.4 years (range, 19-53 years). Of the patients, 97.5% were male, and 28.9% had documented use of eye protection. The average follow-up was 350.19 days (range, 3-2,421 days). There were 128 right-eye and 133 left-eye injuries, with a total of 26 bilateral injuries. There were 206 open-globe and 56 closed-globe injuries, which were further subdivided into zones. Open-globe Zone III injuries (81.6%) were the number one cause of blindness, and most injuries were caused by improvised explosive devices (64.2%). Enucleation was the most common surgery performed (40.6%) and therefore the leading cause of blindness, followed by a multifactorial cause and direct traumatic optic neuropathy. CONCLUSION: Ocular trauma is common among combat injuries. Close to a third of service members that experience an ocular trauma become legally blind. Further research is needed to focus on strategies to prevent injury and improve visual outcomes.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Vlasov A, Ryan DS, Ludlow S, Weichel ED, Colyer MH. Causes of combat ocular trauma-related blindness from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Oct;79(4 Suppl 2):S210-5.

A Brief Description of the Operation of the DoD Serum Repository.

Study

Abstract

Beginning in 1985, the United States military has consistently maintained repositories of frozen human serum for force health protection reasons. The separate repositories created by the Army, Navy, and Air Force during the startup of their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening programs were fully combined by 1996, along with the Defense Medical Surveillance System, to form the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR). Currently comprised of 450,000 square feet of storage space at a constant -30 degrees Celsius, the DoDSR, operated by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), receives approximately 2 million new serum specimens per year as a result of current HIV screening programs and pre- and post-deployment serum collection. Following initial testing for HIV when required, each specimen remains frozen until needed for clinical testing or a public health study, and its physical location is carefully tracked. Certain militarily-relevant research studies occur, though the serum from a specific individual is never allowed to be fully exhausted. AFHSC maintains careful control over the repository, utilizing a scientific review board to determine which requests for serum will be granted. As of 2012, only 0.42% of all of the frozen specimens in the DoDSR had been thawed for any type of use. The addition of new specimen processing capacity and significant changes to policy would be required if more of the specimens were to be used to answer relevant epidemiological, operational, or medical research questions.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Perdue CL, Eick-Cost AA, Rubertone MV. A Brief Description of the Operation of the DoD Serum Repository. Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10 Suppl):10-2.

The DoD Joint Pathology Center as a Resource for Researchers.

Study

Abstract

The Department of Defense's Joint Pathology Center (JPC) is the world's largest collection of human pathology specimens, comprising some 7.4 million accessions. The biorepository, which began during the Civil War as a collection of materials obtained from medical and surgical procedures performed by Army physicians, houses specimens and associated data obtained for diagnostic purposes. It also holds several collections of specimens from military personnel who shared a common, service-related exposure or medical condition. This article, which is excerpted and adapted from the 2012 Institute of Medicine report "Future Uses of the Department of Defense JPC Biorepository,"1 summarizes information on the repository, its past uses, and the future operational issues and challenges that the JPC faces as it develops a concept of operations that will allow it to move forward as a resource for researchers.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Joint Pathology Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Butler DA, Baker TP. The DoD Joint Pathology Center as a Resource for Researchers. Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10 Suppl):85-9.

Molecular Epidemiology of Adenovirus Type 21 Respiratory Strains Isolated From US Military Trainees (1996-2014).

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The circulation of human adenovirus type 21 (HAdV21) in the United States has been documented since the 1960s in association with outbreaks of febrile respiratory illness (FRI) in military boot camps and civilian cases of respiratory disease. METHODS: To describe the molecular epidemiology of HAdV21 respiratory infections across the country, 150 clinical respiratory isolates obtained from continuous surveillance of military recruit FRI, and 23 respiratory isolates recovered from pediatric and adult civilian cases of acute respiratory infection were characterized to compile molecular typing data spanning 37 years (1978-2014). RESULTS: Restriction enzyme analysis and genomic sequencing identified 2 clusters of closely related genomic variants readily distinguishable from the prototype and designated 21a-like and 21b-like. A-like variants predominated until 1999. A shift to b-like variants was noticeable by 2007 after a 7-year period (2000-2006) of cocirculation of the 2 genome types. US strains are phylogenetically more closely related to European and Asian strains isolated over the last 4 decades than to the Saudi Arabian prototype strain AV-1645 isolated in 1956. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of circulating HAdV21 variants and their epidemic behavior will be of significant value to local and global FRI surveillance efforts.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Kajon AE, et. al., Molecular Epidemiology of Adenovirus Type 21 Respiratory Strains Isolated From US Military Trainees (1996-2014). J Infect Dis. 2015 Sep 15;212(6):871-80.

Longitudinal determinants of mental health treatment-seeking by US soldiers.

Study

Abstract

Background Studies with members of the armed forces have found a gap between reports of mental health symptoms and treatment-seeking. Aims To assess the impact of attitudes on treatment-seeking behaviours in soldiers returning from a combat deployment. Method A sample of 529 US soldiers were surveyed 4 months (time 1) and 12 months (time 2) post-deployment. Mental health symptoms and treatment-seeking attitudes were assessed at time 1; reported mental healthcare visits were assessed at time 2.Results Factor analysis of the total time 1 sample revealed four attitude factors: professional concerns, practical barriers, preference for self-management and positive attitudes about treatment. For the subset of 160 soldiers reporting a mental health problem at time 1, and controlling for mental health symptom severity, self-management inversely predicted treatment-seeking; positive attitudes were positively related. Conclusions Results demonstrate the importance of broadening the conceptualization of barriers and facilitators of mental healthcare beyond stigma. Techniques and delivery models emphasising self-care may help increase soldiers' interest in using mental health services.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Army
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Adler AB, Britt TW, Riviere LA, Kim PY, Thomas JL. Longitudinal determinants of mental health treatment-seeking by US soldiers. Br J Psychiatry. 2015 Oct;207(4):346-50.

All Military Adolescents Are Not the Same: Sexuality and Substance Use among Adolescents in the U.S. Military Healthcare System.

Study

Abstract

Data examining sexuality and substance use among active duty and military-dependent youth is limited; however, these psychosocial factors have military implications. Adolescents and young adults aged 12-23 were recruited from an active-duty trainee clinic (n = 225) and a military pediatric clinic (n = 223). Active duty participants were more likely to be older, male, White, previous tobacco users, and report a history of sexual activity and less contraception use at their most recent intercourse, compared to the dependent group. Over 10% of all participants indicated attraction to members of the same gender or both genders. In logistic regression analysis, non-White participants were less likely to use contraception compared to White participants. Adolescents and young adults seen in military clinics frequently engage in high-risk behavior. Clinicians who care for military youth should assess their patient's psychosocial history. Further study of this population is warranted to identify factors that may influence risk and resilience.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Air Force
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Klein DA, Adelman WP, Thompson AM, Shoemaker RG, Shen-Gunther J. All Military Adolescents Are Not the Same: Sexuality and Substance Use among Adolescents in the U.S. Military Healthcare System. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 29;10(10):e0141430

Protecting military personnel from high risk dietary supplements.

Study

Abstract

It is legal to market most naturally occurring substances as dietary supplements in the USA without manufacturers demonstrating they are safe or effective, and an endless variety of ingredients, from esoteric botanicals to unapproved pharmaceuticals, can be found in dietary supplements. Use of certain supplements can pose a risk, but since a robust reporting system does not exist in the USA it is difficult to know which are problematic and the number of adverse events (AE) resulting from their use. Certain populations, including military personnel, are more likely to use dietary supplements than the general population. Approximately 70% of military personnel take dietary supplements while about 50% of civilians do. Service members prefer supplements purported to enhance physical performance such as supposedly natural stimulants, protein and amino acids, and combination products. Since some of these may be problematic, Service members are probably at higher risk of injury than the general population. Ten percent of military populations appear to be taking potentially risky supplements, and the US Department of Defense (DoD) has taken various measures to protect uniformed personnel including education, policy changes, and restricting sales. Actions taken include launching Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS), introducing a High Risk Supplement list, educating health care professionals on reporting AE that might be associated with dietary supplements, recommending policy for reporting AE, and developing an online AE reporting system. OPSS is a DoD-wide effort to educate service members, leaders, health care providers, military families, and retirees on how to safely select supplements

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Deuster PA, Lieberman HR. Protecting military personnel from high risk dietary supplements. Drug Test Anal. 2015 Oct 16.

Palliative Care in the U.S. Military Health System.

Study

Abstract

No abstract available

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Snyder S. Palliative Care in the U.S. Military Health System. Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10):1024-6.

Chikungunya infection in DoD healthcare beneficiaries following the 2013 introduction of the virus into the Western Hemisphere, 1 January 2014 to 28 February 2015.

Study

Abstract

The introduction and rapid spread of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) into the Western Hemisphere after December 2013 pose a potentially significant risk to Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, operations, and the military healthcare system. This report describes the DoD experience with CHIKV between January 2014 and February 2015 using case reports in the Defense Medical Surveillance System's (DMSS) Reportable Medical Events database and the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center's laboratory test results database. Case finding identified 157 confirmed cases; of these, 118 (75.2%) were either active or reserve component service members and 39 (24.8%) were other beneficiaries. Exposure locations were known for 117 (74.5%) of all cases, and of these, 113 (96.6%) reported likely exposures in the Western Hemisphere; 85 (75.2%) of those cases occurred in Puerto Rico. Although historical data on CHIKV in DoD populations are scant, introduction of CHIKV into the Western Hemisphere with ongoing transmission appears to have resulted in a significant increase in the number of cases among DoD healthcare beneficiary populations.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Chikungunya infection in DoD healthcare beneficiaries following the 2013 introduction of the virus into the Western Hemisphere, 1 January 2014 to 28 February 2015. MSMR. 2015 Oct;22(10):2-6.

The vital civilian-military link in combat casualty care research: Impact of attendance at scientific conferences.

Study

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Attendance by military medical personnel (MMP) at scientific meetings (SMs) of civilian associations has been centrally managed since 2012. We aimed to document the importance of civilian-military interaction to and the impact of this change on combat casualty care (CCC) research. METHODS: (1) We identified 25 clinically significant CCC articles published by MMP between 2005 and 2014; we determined whether these articles were preceded by presentation by MMP at an SM. (2) We examined the changing civilian-military mix of publications on "damage control resuscitation" (DCR). (3) We analyzed the number of presentations by MMP each year at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. (4) We reviewed whether past presidents of the AAST (for 1992-2014) had military experience. RESULTS: (1) Ninety-two percent of the CCC articles were previously presented at an SM; 66% were presented at civilian association venues such as AAST. (2) DCR was first described in 2006; the civilian-military mix of publications rose steadily from 0 in 2006 to 80% in 2014. (3) The number of MMP oral presentations at AAST peaked during 2005 to 2007 and has declined to one to two per year since 2012. (4) Thirty-three percent of recent AAST presidents had military experience, versus 100% for the previous era. CONCLUSION: Recent conflicts led to intense civilian-military collaboration in CCC research and to the spread of ideas such as DCR from military to civilian care. However, long-term trends (e.g., declining rates of military service nationally) place such collaboration at risk. Vigorous efforts to foster the vital civilian-military link in CCC are needed. PMID: 26406434 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Cancio LC, Rasmussen TE, Cannon JW, Dubick MA. The vital civilian-military link in combat casualty care research: Impact of attendance at scientific conferences. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Oct;79(4 Suppl 2):S221-6.

Safety, Tolerability, and Compliance with Long-Term Antimalarial Chemoprophylaxis in American Soldiers in Afghanistan.

Study

Abstract

Long-term antimalarial chemoprophylaxis is currently used by deployed U.S. military personnel. Previous small, short-term efficacy studies have shown variable rates of side effects among patients taking various forms of chemoprophylaxis, though reliable safety and tolerability data on long-term use are limited. We conducted a survey of troops returning to Fort Drum, NY following a 12-month deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan from 2006 to 2007. Of the 2,351 respondents, 95% reported taking at least one form of prophylaxis during their deployment, and 90% were deployed for > 10 months. Compliance with daily doxycycline was poor (60%) compared with 80% with weekly mefloquine (MQ). Adverse events (AEs) were reported by approximately 30% with both MQ and doxycycline, with 10% discontinuing doxycycline compared with 4% of MQ users. Only 6% and 31% of soldiers reported use of bed nets and skin repellents, respectively. Compliance with long-term malaria prophylaxis was poor, and there were substantial tolerability issues based on these anonymous survey results, though fewer with MQ than doxycycline. Given few long-term antimalarial chemoprophylaxis options, there is an unmet medical need for new antimalarials safe for long-term use.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: September 01, 2015
  • Citation: Saunders DL, et. al.,
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