To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
There is a great deal of interest by the electronics Industry in understanding the reactions occurring at the interface between a solid metal and a liquid solder or braze. This is due to the complex nature of current microelectronics Packaging, where soldering or brazing operations often involve complex metallurgies and tightly controlled furnace profiles. However, to date only a few studies have been carried out on the reaction kinetics at a liquid metal-solid metal interface. This is due in part to the difficulty in carrying out such , experiments. In the past, two main techniques have been used to obtain solid-state kinetic data. The first, quantitative metallography, is slow and tedious to perform, and generally of limited accuracy. The second technique involves measuring the change of some property, such as electrical resistivity, that is a function of the concentration of one of the phases. The main disadvantages of these techniques are that absolute values of concentration are not obtained, and that the relationships between a property and constitution are rarely available. In addition, most physical properties are sensitive to factors other than constitution, and interference from these factors can often result in erroneous data.
To date, there are no recent studies identifying the prevalence of parasites of human and veterinary importance in dogs and cats in Ireland. The interaction between pets and wildlife species in the environment is an important source of parasite exposure to canids and felines, and one likely to be heightened in the stray animal population. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of endoparasites in unowned dogs and cats in County Dublin, Ireland. Feces from stray dogs (n = 627) and cats (n = 289) entering a rehoming centre were collected immediately after defecation. The main parasitic agents detected were ascarids (15.52 and 30.26%), Cystoisospora (3.27 and 3.69%), Giardia spp. (6.02 and 1.84%) and lungworms (0.64 and 2.08%), in dogs and cats respectively. Animals younger than 3 months of age were more likely to be infected with ascarids (P < 0.001) and Cystoisospora spp. (P = 0.008 and P = 0.014) than older animals. All lungworms were morphologically identified and dogs were infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum (0.48%) and Crenosoma vulpis (0.16%) whereas cats were only infected with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (2.08%). This represents the first prevalence study of stray animals in Ireland. Data collected will inform the treatment and in addition, the future monitoring and control studies of parasite populations.
There is renewed interest in the inverse association between psychiatric hospital and prison places, with reciprocal time trends shown in more than one country. We hypothesised that the numbers of admissions to psychiatric hospitals and committals to prisons in Ireland would also correlate inversely over time (i.e. dynamic measures of admission and committal rather than static, cross-sectional numbers of places).
Publicly available activity statistics for psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland were collated from 1986 to 2010.
There was a reciprocal association between psychiatric admissions and prison committals (Pearson r=−0.788, p<0.001), an increase of 91 prison committals for every 100 psychiatric hospital admissions foregone.
Penrose’s hypothesis applies to admissions to psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland over time (dynamic measures), just as it does to the numbers of places in psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland and elsewhere (static, cross-sectional measures). Although no causal connection can be definitively established yet, mentally disordered prisoners are usually known to community mental health services. Psychiatric services for prisons and the community should be linked to ensure that the needs of those currently accessing care through prisons can also be met in the community.
To systematically review studies from Irish prisons that estimate the prevalence of major mental illness, alcohol and substance misuse, and homelessness at the time of committal.
Healthcare databases were searched for studies quantifying the point prevalence for each outcome of interest. Searches were augmented by scanning of bibliographies and searches of governmental and non-governmental websites. Proportional meta-analyses were completed for each outcome.
We found eight, six and five studies quantifying the point prevalence of major mental illness, substance misuse, and homelessness respectively. Considerable heterogeneity was found for each subgroup (except psychosis where substantial heterogeneity was observed) and random effects models were used to calculate pooled percentages. The pooled percentage for psychotic disorder was 3.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.0–4.2%], for affective disorder 4.3% (95% CI 2.1–7.1%), for alcohol use disorder 28.3% (95% CI 19.9–37.4%), for substance use disorder 50.9% (95% CI 37.6–64.2%) and for those who were homeless on committal 17.4% (95% CI 8.7–28.4%).
Estimates for the prevalence of psychotic illness and substance abuse amongst Irish prisoners are in keeping with international estimates of morbidity in prisons, whilst those for affective disorders are lower. The prevalence of homelessness in committal to Irish prisons is higher than some international estimates. Rates for psychoses, alcohol and substance misuse as well as homelessness in Irish prisons are significantly higher than the general population prevalence of these vulnerabilities. A need for service development is discussed.
Introduction: Run to Quit is a national community-based program that combines smoking cessation support with physical activity through learn to run group-based curriculum, self-help and smoking cessation materials. The program is currently in a three-year scaling up phase.
Aims: The aim of the current study is to explore participant experiences of the Run to Quit program after its first year, and identify potential areas of improvement for future iterations of the program.
Methods: Participants (n = 55) were interviewed over the phone at the end of the 10-week program. Participant interviews were recorded and transcribed. A thematic analysis was conducted.
Results/Findings: Participants were satisfied with the program. Strengths of the program were the group aspect, supervised participation and the running. Weaknesses were seen as the variability in walking and running abilities and inadequate engagement by the Smokers Helpline. Many people who successfully quit smoking reported using additional quit aids. Non-completers of the program gave mostly logistical and personal reasons for dropout.
Conclusions: Overall, Run to Quit was well received by participants. Multiple health behaviour interventions at a scalable level appear feasible. Based on participant feedback, key recommendations to improve the program in the future include greater tailoring to walking or running preference, and increasing engagement with the Smokers Helpline.
The clinical signs of copper (Cu) deficiency are largely non-specific and a number of laboratory tests have been used extensively to assist in diagnosis. Among these are whole blood, plasma and serum Cu and caeruloplasmin (McMurray, 1980). However, for any marker to be useful diagnostically, it is necessary to identify any factors which can affect it. Plasma and serum Cu are not equivalent but are related by the equation:
Serum Cu (mg/l) = 11.7 + 0.66 plasma Cu (mg/l). The regression was obtained from the means of 24 groups of suckler cows and calves (> 10 animals/group). The equivalent relationship between serum and plasma caeruloplasmin is:
Serum caeruloplasmin = 0.0018
+ 0.59 plasma caeruloplasmin.
Units of caeruloplasmin are absorbance units in the phenylene diamine assay.
Thus, the range of normality will depend on the sample being used for the assay. The reduction in serum values is due to the loss of caeruloplasmin during blood clotting.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
This study estimates the symptomatology of attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adult mental health services (AMHS) outpatient clinics.
All consecutive patients attending any of the outpatients’ clinics in Sligo/Leitrim AMHS were invited to participate. Participants completed the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) and the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS) self-report. Clinical notes were reviewed to identify those with a pre-existing ADHD diagnosis.
From 822 attending the clinics, 62 did not meet inclusion criteria, 97 declined to participate and 29 had incomplete data in either of the screening scales, leaving 634 (77%) eligible for full study analysis. Mean age was 40.38 (s.d.: 12.85), and 326 (51.4%) were females. In total, 215 (33.9%) screened positive on the WURS for childhood onset ADHD and 219 (34.5%) participants scored positive on the ASRS. Applying a more stringent criteria of scoring above cut-offs on both scales, suggested 131 (20.7%) screened positive on both. Only three (2.3%) had a prior clinical diagnosis.
This preliminary study suggests the possibility of relatively higher rates of ADHD in a general AMHS than previously thought, however, given the possibility of overlapping symptoms with other major psychiatric disorders in adulthood and recall bias further research is needed before drawing firm conclusions.
Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) course finds a substantial proportion of cases remit within 6 months, a majority within 2 years, and a substantial minority persists for many years. Results are inconsistent about pre-trauma predictors.
The WHO World Mental Health surveys assessed lifetime DSM-IV PTSD presence-course after one randomly-selected trauma, allowing retrospective estimates of PTSD duration. Prior traumas, childhood adversities (CAs), and other lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders were examined as predictors using discrete-time person-month survival analysis among the 1575 respondents with lifetime PTSD.
20%, 27%, and 50% of cases recovered within 3, 6, and 24 months and 77% within 10 years (the longest duration allowing stable estimates). Time-related recall bias was found largely for recoveries after 24 months. Recovery was weakly related to most trauma types other than very low [odds-ratio (OR) 0.2–0.3] early-recovery (within 24 months) associated with purposefully injuring/torturing/killing and witnessing atrocities and very low later-recovery (25+ months) associated with being kidnapped. The significant ORs for prior traumas, CAs, and mental disorders were generally inconsistent between early- and later-recovery models. Cross-validated versions of final models nonetheless discriminated significantly between the 50% of respondents with highest and lowest predicted probabilities of both early-recovery (66–55% v. 43%) and later-recovery (75–68% v. 39%).
We found PTSD recovery trajectories similar to those in previous studies. The weak associations of pre-trauma factors with recovery, also consistent with previous studies, presumably are due to stronger influences of post-trauma factors.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Direct solar flare neutrons are a valuable diagnostic of high-energy ion acceleration in these events, and COMPTEL improves over all previous cosmic neutron detectors in its capacity for neutron energy measurement. Previous studies of COMPTEL neutron data have worked with an incomplete model of the instrumental response, applying energy-by-energy detection efficiencies. Here we employ statistical regularisation techniques with the full (Monte Carlo simulation derived) response matrix to produce improved estimates of neutron numbers and energy distribution. These techniques are applied to data from the well-observed 15 June 1991 flare. Our improved treatment of the instrumental response results in a reduction of 73% in total neutron numbers, compared with previously deduced values. Implications for the picture of primary ion acceleration in this flare are briefly discussed.
The reported incidence of the metastrongylid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum, that infects dogs and other canids, is increasing worldwide outside recognized endemic foci. This apparent expansion of the parasite's range is causing concern to veterinary clinicians as the disease caused in dogs can be life threatening and its treatment is not straightforward. The red fox is thought to be a reservoir host for dogs. To investigate the spatial distribution of infection in foxes in Ireland, the hearts and lungs of 542 foxes from all over Ireland were examined. The incidence of infection was found to be 39·9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 35·7–44·1] with positive samples occurring in each of the country's 26 counties. This report confirms that the parasite is endemic in Ireland and the overall prevalence is the second highest in Europe. This is the first survey of A. vasorum infection in Irish foxes and highlights the potential exposure of the Irish dog population to high risk of cross-infection. Additionally, Crenosoma vulpis was found in seven of the foxes, a parasite not previously reported in the Irish fox.
Quality end-of-life care requires effective communication skills, yet medical and nursing students report limited opportunities to develop these skills, and that they lack confidence and the related competence.
Our purpose was to design, implement, and evaluate an educational intervention employing simulated patient actors to enhance students' abilities to communicate with dying patients and their families.
A study employing a mixed-methods design was conducted with prequalification nursing and medical students recruited from a London university. The first phase involved focus groups with students, which informed the development of an educational intervention involving simulated patient actors. Questionnaires measuring students' perceptions of confidence and competence levels when communicating with dying patients and their families were administered before and after the intervention.
The themes from focus groups related to responding to grief and anger, difficulties dealing with emotions, knowing the “right thing” to say, and a lack of experience. A significant increase (p < 0.5) in competence and confidence from baseline levels followed participation in the simulated scenarios.
Significance of Results:
Simulation was found to be an effective means of preparing students to communicate with dying patients and their families. The opportunity to develop communication skills was valued. Integration of educational interventions employing simulated patient actors into nursing and medical curricula may assist in improving the care provided to patients at the end of life.
Older prisoners are the fastest growing group of prisoners in most countries. They have high rates of physical and psychiatric co-morbidity, compared to community dwelling older persons and also compared with other prisoner groups. Very high rates of mental illness have been found in remand (pre-trial) prisoners when compared with other prisoner groups; however to date there have been no studies examining older male and female remand prisoners.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of all remands, to a male and a female prison, over a six and half-year period. Demographic data were collected pertaining to psychiatric and medical diagnoses and seriousness of offending.
We found rising numbers of older prisoners amongst male remand prisoners. Older remand prisoners had very high rates of affective disorder and alcohol misuse. They had rates of psychotic illnesses and deliberate self-harm comparable to younger remand prisoners. High rates of vulnerability were found among older prisoners and older prisoners had a greater need for general medical and psychiatric services than younger prisoners. We also found comparable offending patterns with younger prisoners and high rates of sexual offending among the older male prisoner group.
Given the ageing population of many countries it is likely the numbers of older prisoners will continue to grow and given their high levels of both physical and psychiatric illness this will have implications for future service delivery.
‘R staging’ is a new ultrasonographic scoring system developed and used by our specialist head and neck radiologist for reporting sonographic risk of malignancy to those at our thyroid multidisciplinary team meeting. This study aimed to: classify the R staging system, examine its relationship with the eventual histopathological diagnosis and define its clinical utility.
The pre-operative ultrasound scans of 78 patients were assigned an R status by our specialist head and neck radiologist. The final histopathology report for each thyroid nodule was used as the ‘gold standard’ for analysis.
When thyroid nodules were classified as low risk (R stages 1–3) or high risk (R stages 4–5) for malignancy, the sensitivity of R staging was 74.2 per cent and specificity was 80.9 per cent. An R5 status was 100 per cent predictive of malignancy.
Our results compare favourably with other suggested ultrasonographic staging systems for thyroid nodules.
Due to an increased need for new antimalarial chemotherapies that show potency against Plasmodium falciparum, researchers are targeting new processes within the parasite in an effort to circumvent or delay the onset of drug resistance. One such promising area for antimalarial drug development has been the parasite mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Efforts have been focused on targeting key processes along the parasite ETC specifically the dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD) enzyme, the cytochrome bc1 enzyme and the NADH type II oxidoreductase (PfNDH2) pathway. This review summarizes the most recent efforts in antimalarial drug development reported in the literature and describes the evolution of these compounds.
Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction is a prominent feature of the functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the neurobiological and cognitive consequences of key pathophysiological features of IBS, such as stress-induced changes in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning, is unknown. Our aim was to determine whether IBS is associated with cognitive impairment, independently of psychiatric co-morbidity, and whether cognitive performance is related to HPA-axis function.
A cross-sectional sample of 39 patients with IBS, a disease control group of 18 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) in clinical remission and 40 healthy age- and IQ-matched control participants were assessed using the Paired Associates Learning (PAL), Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shift (IED) and Spatial Working Memory (SWM) tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and a computerized Stroop test. HPA-axis function was determined by measuring the cortisol awakening response (CAR).
IBS patients exhibited a subtle visuospatial memory deficit at the PAL six- pattern stage (p = 0.03), which remained after psychiatric co-morbidity was controlled for (p = 0.04). Morning cortisol levels were lower in IBS (p = 0.04) and significantly associated with visuospatial memory performance within IBS only (p = 0.02).
For the first time, altered cognitive function on a hippocampal-mediated test of visuospatial memory, which was related to cortisol levels and independent of psychiatric co-morbidity, has been identified in IBS. Visuospatial memory impairment may be a common, but currently neglected, component of IBS. Further elucidation of the nature of this impairment may lead to a greater understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of IBS, and may provide novel therapeutic approaches.