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Substantial evidence has highlighted the importance of considering the mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and several organisations have issued guidelines with recommendations. However, the definition of well-being and the evidence base behind such guidelines remain unclear.
The aims of the study are to assess the applicability of well-being guidelines in practice, identify unaddressed healthcare workers’ needs and provide recommendations for supporting front-line staff during the current and future pandemics.
This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative study based on interviews with front-line healthcare workers in the UK (n = 33), and examines them in relation to a rapid review of well-being guidelines developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 14).
The guidelines placed greater emphasis on individual mental health and psychological support, whereas healthcare workers placed greater emphasis on structural conditions at work, responsibilities outside the hospital and the invaluable support of the community. The well-being support interventions proposed in the guidelines did not always respond to the lived experiences of staff, as some reported not being able to participate in these interventions because of understaffing, exhaustion or clashing schedules.
Healthcare workers expressed well-being needs that aligned with socio-ecological conceptualisations of well-being related to quality of life. This approach to well-being has been highlighted in literature on support of healthcare workers in previous health emergencies, but it has not been monitored during this pandemic. Well-being guidelines should explore the needs of healthcare workers, and contextual characteristics affecting the implementation of recommendations.
Depression is characterised by negative views of the self. Antidepressant treatment may remediate negative self-schema through increasing processing of positive information about the self. Changes in affective processing during social interactions may increase expression of prosocial behaviours, improving interpersonal communications.
To examine whether acute administration of citalopram is associated with an increase in positive affective learning biases about the self and prosocial behaviour.
Healthy volunteers (n = 41) were randomised to either an acute 20 mg dose of citalopram or matched placebo in a between-subjects double-blind design. Participants completed computer-based cognitive tasks designed to measure referential affective processing, social cognition and expression of prosocial behaviours.
Participants administered citalopram made more cooperative choices than those administered placebo in a prisoner's dilemma task (β = 20%, 95% CI: 2%, 37%). Exploratory analyses indicated that participants administered citalopram showed a positive bias when learning social evaluations about a friend (β = 4.06, 95% CI: 0.88, 7.24), but not about the self or a stranger. Similarly, exploratory analyses found evidence of increased recall of positive words and reduced recall of negative words about others (β = 2.41, 95% CI: 0.89, 3.93), but not the self, in the citalopram group.
Participants administered citalopram showed greater prosocial behaviours, increased positive recall and increased positive learning of social evaluations towards others. The increase in positive affective bias and prosocial behaviours towards others may, at least partially, be a mechanism of antidepressant effect. However, we found no evidence that citalopram influenced self-referential processing.
The elimination of unwanted catch in mixed species fisheries is technically challenging given the complexity of fish behaviour within nets. Most approaches to date have employed technologies that modify the nets themselves or use physical sorting grids within the gear. There is currently increasing interest in the use of artificial light to either deter fish from entering the net, or to enhance their escapement from within the net. Here, we evaluated the differences in catch retained in a standard otter trawl, relative to the same gear fitted with a square mesh panel, or a square mesh panel fitted with LEDs. We found that the selectivity of the gear differed depending on water depth. When using a square mesh panel in shallow depths of 29–40 m the unwanted bycatch of whiting and haddock was reduced by 86% and 58% respectively. In deep, darker water (45–95 m), no change in catch was observed in the square-mesh panel treatment, however when LEDs were added to the square-mesh panel, haddock and flatfish catches were reduced by 47% and 25% respectively. These findings demonstrate the potential to improve the performance of bycatch reduction devices through the addition of light devices to enhance selectivity. The results also highlight species-specific and site-specific differences in the performance of bycatch reduction devices, and hence a more adaptive approach to reduce bycatch is probably required to maximize performance.
Prevention of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a national priority and may be facilitated by deployment of the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy, a quality improvement framework providing a focused approach to infection prevention. This article describes the process and outcomes of TAP Strategy implementation for CDI prevention in a healthcare system.
Hospital A was identified based on CDI surveillance data indicating an excess burden of infections above the national goal; hospitals B and C participated as part of systemwide deployment. TAP facility assessments were administered to staff to identify infection control gaps and inform CDI prevention interventions. Retrospective analysis was performed using negative-binomial, interrupted time series (ITS) regression to assess overall effect of targeted CDI prevention efforts. Analysis included hospital-onset, laboratory-identified C. difficile event data for 18 months before and after implementation of the TAP facility assessments.
The systemwide monthly CDI rate significantly decreased at the intervention (β2, −44%; P = .017), and the postintervention CDI rate trend showed a sustained decrease (β1 + β3; −12% per month; P = .008). At an individual hospital level, the CDI rate trend significantly decreased in the postintervention period at hospital A only (β1 + β3, −26% per month; P = .003).
This project demonstrates TAP Strategy implementation in a healthcare system, yielding significant decrease in the laboratory-identified C. difficile rate trend in the postintervention period at the system level and in hospital A. This project highlights the potential benefit of directing prevention efforts to facilities with the highest burden of excess infections to more efficiently reduce CDI rates.
To describe pathogen distribution and rates for central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) from different acute-care locations during 2011–2017 to inform prevention efforts.
CLABSI data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) were analyzed. Percentages and pooled mean incidence density rates were calculated for a variety of pathogens and stratified by acute-care location groups (adult intensive care units [ICUs], pediatric ICUs [PICUs], adult wards, pediatric wards, and oncology wards).
From 2011 to 2017, 136,264 CLABSIs were reported to the NHSN by adult and pediatric acute-care locations; adult ICUs and wards reported the most CLABSIs: 59,461 (44%) and 40,763 (30%), respectively. In 2017, the most common pathogens were Candida spp/yeast in adult ICUs (27%) and Enterobacteriaceae in adult wards, pediatric wards, oncology wards, and PICUs (23%–31%). Most pathogen-specific CLABSI rates decreased over time, excepting Candida spp/yeast in adult ICUs and Enterobacteriaceae in oncology wards, which increased, and Staphylococcus aureus rates in pediatric locations, which did not change.
The pathogens associated with CLABSIs differ across acute-care location groups. Learning how pathogen-targeted prevention efforts could augment current prevention strategies, such as strategies aimed at preventing Candida spp/yeast and Enterobacteriaceae CLABSIs, might further reduce national rates.
Carers of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis are at an increased risk of developing their own physical and mental health problems. Psychoeducation has been found to improve carer wellbeing and reduce distress. However, few psychoeducation interventions have considered the resource constraints on mental health services and the impact that these can have on the implementation of any such interventions. The present service evaluation aimed to evaluate an abbreviated version (sole session) of a previously tested psychoeducation intervention (three sessions) that targets less adaptive illness beliefs (n = 17). Pre–post effect sizes reveal that all of the carers’ illness beliefs changed in the desired direction, with four out of the 10 illness beliefs associated with large to moderate improvements. When compared with the outcomes obtained in our evaluation of the more intensive, three-session version of the intervention, the between-group effects largely favoured the three-session version but were mostly small. Moderate to large effects in favour of the three-session version were found for two of the 10 illness beliefs. These findings support the further investigation of the sole session psychoeducation intervention as part of a randomised controlled trial.
Key learning aims
(1) To evaluate the impact of a sole-session psychoeducation intervention on illness beliefs.
(2) To compare the outcomes of the sole-session psychoeducation intervention to the previous, more intensive (three-session) version of the same intervention.
(3) To consider the value of research approaches to evaluating psychoeducation interventions for carers of people with psychosis.
We assessed venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk, barriers to prescribing VTE prophylaxis and completion of VTE risk assessment in psychiatric in-patients. This was a cross-sectional study conducted across three centres. We used the UK Department of Health VTE risk assessment tool which had been adapted for psychiatric patients.
Of the 470 patients assessed, 144 (30.6%) were at increased risk of VTE. Patients on old age wards were more likely to be at increased risk than those on general adult wards (odds ratio = 2.26, 95% CI 1.51–3.37). Of those at higher risk of VTE, auditors recorded concerns about prescribing prophylaxis in 70 patients (14.9%). Only 20 (4.3%) patients had a completed risk assessment.
Mental health in-patients are likely to be at increased risk of VTE. VTE risk assessment is not currently embedded in psychiatric in-patient care. There is a need for guidance specific to this population.
Proglacial environments are ideal for studying the development of soils through the changes of rocks exposed by glacier retreat to weathering and microbial processes. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents as well as soil pH and soil elemental compositions are thought to be dominant factors structuring the bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in the early stages of soil ecosystem formation. However, the functional linkages between C and N contents, soil composition and microbial community structures remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a multivariate analysis of geochemical properties and associated microbial community structures between a moraine and a glaciofluvial outwash in the proglacial area of a High Arctic glacier (Longyearbreen, Svalbard). Our results reveal distinct differences in developmental stages and heterogeneity between the moraine and the glaciofluvial outwash. We observed significant relationships between C and N contents, δ13Corg and δ15N isotopic ratios, weathering and microbial abundance and community structures. We suggest that the observed differences in microbial and geochemical parameters between the moraine and the glaciofluvial outwash are primarily a result of geomorphological variations of the proglacial terrain.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
We explore the variation in pupil attainment at the end of secondary schooling in England. The paper links data on all schools and all pupils within these schools to analyse the role of the school in accounting for this variation. We analyse a number of different indicators of pupil attainment including value added between the end of primary and secondary schooling and attainment levels at the end of secondary schooling. We examine indicators that were the focus of the school accounting framework as well as other indicators that were not directly part of how schools were assessed. We show that schools account for a minority of the variance in pupil attainment, and the extent of the variation accounted for by the school is sensitive to the measure of pupil attainment used. In addition, we find that the majority of the explained school-level variance in attainment is related to school composition. However, most of the variance in attainment remains unexplained, raising questions about what other factors contribute to the variation in school performance.
Computerised cognitive–behavioural therapy (cCBT) for depression has the potential to be efficient therapy but engagement is poor in primary care trials.
We tested the benefits of adding telephone support to cCBT.
We compared telephone-facilitated cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 187) to minimally supported cCBT (MoodGYM) (n = 182) in a pragmatic randomised trial (trial registration: ISRCTN55310481). Outcomes were depression severity (Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD)-7) and somatoform complaints (PHQ-15) at 4 and 12 months.
Use of cCBT increased by a factor of between 1.5 and 2 with telephone facilitation. At 4 months PHQ-9 scores were 1.9 points lower (95% CI 0.5–3.3) for telephone-supported cCBT. At 12 months, the results were no longer statistically significant (0.9 PHQ-9 points, 95% CI −0.5 to 2.3). There was improvement in anxiety scores and for somatic complaints.
Telephone facilitation of cCBT improves engagement and expedites depression improvement. The effect was small to moderate and comparable with other low-intensity psychological interventions.
Cathars have long been regarded as posing the most organised challenge to orthodox Catholicism in the medieval West, even as a "counter-Church" to orthodoxy in southern France and northern Italy. Their beliefs, understood to be inspired by Balkan dualism, are often seen as the most radical among medieval heresies. However, recent work has fiercely challenged this paradigm, arguing instead that "Catharism" was a construct of its persecutors, mis-named and mis-represented by generations of subsequent scholarship, and its supposedly radical views were a fantastical projection of the fears of orthodox commentators. This volume brings together a wide range of views from some of the most distinguished international scholars in the field, in order to address the debate directly while also opening up new areas for research. Focussing on dualism and anti-materialist beliefs in southern France, Italy and the Balkans, it considers a number of crucial issues. These include: what constitutes popular belief; how (and to what extent) societies of the past were based on the persecution of dissidents; and whether heresy can be seen as an invention of orthodoxy. At the same time, the essays shed new light on some key aspects of the political, cultural, religious and economic relationships between the Balkans and more western regions of Europe in the Middle Ages.
Antonio Sennis isSenior Lecturer in Medieval History at University College London Contributors: John H. Arnold, Peter Biller, Caterina Bruschi, David d'Avray, Jörg Feuchter, Bernard Hamilton, Robert I. Moore, MarkGregory Pegg, Rebecca Rist, Lucy Sackville, Antonio Sennis, Claire Taylor, Julien Théry-Astruc, Yuri Stoyanov