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Using novel weekly mortality data for London spanning 1866-1965, we analyze the changing relationship between temperature and mortality as the city developed. Our main results show that warm weeks led to elevated mortality in the late nineteenth century, mainly due to infant deaths from digestive diseases. However, this pattern largely disappeared after WWI as infant digestive diseases became less prevalent. The resulting change in the temperature-mortality relationship meant that thousands of heat-related deaths—equal to 0.9-1.4 percent of all deaths— were averted. These findings show that improving the disease environment can dramatically alter the impact of high temperature on mortality.
Coercive treatment comprises a broad range of practices, ranging from implicit or explicit pressure to accept certain treatment to the use of forced practices such as involuntary admission, seclusion and restraint. Coercion is common in mental health services.
To evaluate the strength and credibility of evidence on the efficacy of interventions to reduce coercive treatment in mental health services. Protocol registration: https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/S76T3.
Systematic literature searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Cochrane Central, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Campbell Collaboration, and Epistemonikos from January 2010 to January 2020 for meta-analyses of randomised studies. Summary effects were recalculated using a common metric and random-effects models. We assessed between-study heterogeneity, predictive intervals, publication bias, small-study effects and whether the results of the observed positive studies were more than expected by chance. On the basis of these calculations, strength of associations was classified using quantitative umbrella review criteria, and credibility of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach.
A total of 23 primary studies (19 conducted in European countries and 4 in the USA) enrolling 8554 participants were included. The evidence on the efficacy of staff training to reduce use of restraint was supported by the most robust evidence (relative risk RR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.62–0.87; suggestive association, GRADE: moderate), followed by evidence on the efficacy of shared decision-making interventions to reduce involuntary admissions of adults with severe mental illness (RR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.60–0.92; weak association, GRADE: moderate) and by the evidence on integrated care interventions (RR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.46–0.95; weak association, GRADE: low). By contrast, community treatment orders and adherence therapy had no effect on involuntary admission rates.
Different levels of evidence indicate the benefit of staff training, shared decision-making interventions and integrated care interventions to reduce coercive treatment in mental health services. These different levels of evidence should be considered in the development of policy, clinical and implementation initiatives to reduce coercive practices in mental healthcare, and should lead to further studies in both high- and low-income countries to improve the strength and credibility of the evidence base.
The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
Daytime sleepiness is associated with multiple negative outcomes in older adults receiving long-term services and supports (LTSS) including reduced cognitive performance, need for greater assistance with activities of daily living and decreased social engagement. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of change in subjective daytime sleepiness among older adults during their first 2 years of receiving LTSS.
Design and Setting:
Secondary analysis of data from a prospective longitudinal study of older adults who received LTSS in their homes, assisted living communities or nursing homes interviewed at baseline and every 3 months for 24 months.
470 older adults (60 years and older) newly enrolled in LTSS (mean = 81, SD = 8.7; range 60–98; 71% women).
Subjective daytime sleepiness was assessed every 3 months through 2 years using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Multiple validated measures were used to capture health-related quality of life characteristics of enrollees and their environment, including symptom status (Symptom Bother Scale), cognition (Mini Mental Status Exam), physical function (Basic Activities of Daily Living), physical and mental general health, quality of life (Dementia Quality of Life, D-QoL), depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale) and social support (Medical Outcomes Survey-Social Support).
Longitudinal mixed effects modeling was used to examine the relationship between independent variables and continuous measure of daytime sleepiness. Increased feelings of belonging, subscale of the D-QoL (effect size = −0.006, 95% CI: −0.013 to −0.0001, p = 0.045) and higher number of depressive symptoms (effect size = −0.002, 95% CI: −0.004 to −0.001, p = 0.001) at baseline were associated with slower rates of increase in daytime sleepiness over time.
Comprehensive baseline and longitudinal screening for changes in daytime sleepiness along with depression and perceived quality of life should be used to inform interventions aimed at reducing daytime sleepiness among older adults receiving LTSS.
Africa is a diverse and changing continent with a rapidly growing population, and the mental health of mothers is a key health priority. Recent studies have shown that: perinatal common mental disorders (depression and anxiety) are at least as prevalent in Africa as in high-income and other low- and middle-income regions; key risk factors include intimate partner violence, food insecurity and physical illness; and poor maternal mental health is associated with impairment of infant health and development. Psychological interventions can be integrated into routine maternal and child healthcare in the African context, although the optimal model and intensity of intervention remain unclear and are likely to vary across settings. Future priorities include: extension of research to include neglected psychiatric conditions; large-scale mixed-method studies of the causes and consequences of perinatal common mental disorders; scaling up of locally appropriate evidence-based interventions, including prevention; and advocacy for the right of all women in Africa to safe holistic maternity care.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) has been used successfully across diverse cultural settings. However, a recent study found poor validity in detecting postnatal common mental disorders (CMD) in rural Ethiopia. Using similar methodology, the study was replicated in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Semantic, content and criterion validity of EPDS, Kessler scale-6 (K6) and Kessler scale-10 (K10) were assessed in postnatal women attending vaccination clinics. Criterion validation was undertaken on 100 postnatal women, with local psychiatrist diagnosis of CMD using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS) as the criterion measure.
The areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUROC) curve for the EPDS, K6 and K10 were 0.85 (95%CI 0.77–0.92), 0.86 (95%CI 0.76–0.97) and 0.87 (95%CI 0.78–0.97), respectively. The EPDS generated sensitivity, specificity and misclassification rates of 78.9%, 75.3% and 24.0%, respectively at an optimal cut-off point of 6/7. The corresponding values for the K6 were 84.2%, 82.7% and 17.0% at a cut-off point of 4/5, and for K10 were 84.2%, 77.8% and 21.0% at a cut-off point of 6/7, respectively. The internal reliability Cronbach's alpha for the EPDS, K6 and K10 were 0.71, 0.86 and 0.90, respectively.
Not all postnatal women bring their infants to vaccination clinics which may limit generalisability.
The EPDS, K6 and K10 all demonstrated acceptable clinical utility as screening scales for postnatal CMD in an urban setting in Ethiopia. The marked urban-rural difference in EPDS performance within Ethiopia highlights the difficulty of applying urban-validated instruments to rural settings in LAMIC.
Multi-attribute utility instruments (MAUIs) are generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures that enable valuation of health states relative to death (0.0) and full health (1.0). The usefulness of MAUIs in people with psychosis has been questioned, with the EQ-5D considered “insensitive”, the 15D “problematic” and the SF-6D “unsuitable”.
Confirm the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL)-4D MAUI is useful and meaningful in people with psychosis.
Assess utility values across demographic, general and disease-specific health categorisations for a large nationally-representative sample with psychosis (n = 1825).
Participants underwent a comprehensive 32 module interview encompassing psychopathology to service use. Utility values were calculated by applying a standard algorithm to responses to each of 12 items of the AQoL-4D.
Utility values were assessed for 1793 participants (98.2%). No ceiling effect was observed and only 6.6% of participants scored in the top decile of HRQoL [0.9–10.0]. In contrast, 10.8% scored in the lowest decile [−0.04–0.10], a floor effect observed in 0.4%. The mean utility value was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.48–0.51), significantly lower than the Australian population norm of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.81–0.82). Greatest impacts on HRQoL were for diminishing global independent functioning as measured by the MSIF (ESMSIF: 0.68–2.24), self-rated current mental health (ESMH: 0.15–1.65) and physical health status (ESPH: 0.11–1.21). Strong effects also observed for course of disorder (ESCoD: 0.08–1.13), current suicidal ideation (ESCSI1: 0.76–1.08), and labor force participation (ESLFP: 0.11–0.97).
The AQoL-4D had good lower end sensitivity in a large sample of people with a psychotic illness, and demonstrated responsiveness across subjective, objective and symptom measures.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Darwinian approaches to human behavior are inherently historical; recounting the origin and development of Homo sapiens and the increasing complexity of human societies over many millennia is second nature to evolutionary psychologists and behavioral ecologists. Admitting the existence of biologically based human universals entails some considerable adjustment for historians, who are forced to retool by learning more about various social and biological sciences. Most historians have specialized interests by region, period, and topic; it is rare enough for practitioners to study the same problem across longer periods or in a different locale.
This contribution will try to speak to both communities of scholars, on the off chance that practicing historians will wish to rethink their problems afresh from the perspective of human nature. Historians often assume that all of our practices are subject to constant change, where we can apply a date to observable shifts in behavior.
Cross-sectional studies show that the prevalence of comorbid depression in people with tuberculosis (TB) is high. The hypothesis that TB may lead to depression has not been well studied. Our objectives were to determine the incidence and predictors of probable depression in a prospective cohort of people with TB in primary care settings in Ethiopia.
We assessed 648 people with newly diagnosed TB for probable depression using Patient Health Questionnaire, nine-item (PHQ-9) at the time of starting their anti-TB medication. We defined PHQ-9 scores 10 and above as probable depression. Participants without baseline probable depression were assessed at 2 and 6 months to measure incidence of depression. Incidence rates per 1000-person months were calculated. Predictors of incident depression were identified using Poisson regression.
Two hundred and ninety-nine (46.1%) of the participants did not have probable depression at baseline. Twenty-two (7.4%) and 26 (8.7%) developed depression at 2 and 6 months of follow up. The incidence rate of depression between baseline and 2 months was 73.6 (95% CI 42.8–104.3) and between baseline and 6 months was 24.2 (95% CI 14.9–33.5) per 1000 person-months respectively. Female sex (adjusted β = 0.22; 95% CI 0.16–0.27) was a risk factor and perceived social support (adjusted β = −0.14; 95% CI −0.24 to −0.03) was a protective factor for depression onset.
There was high incidence of probable depression in people undergoing treatment for newly diagnosed TB. The persistence and incidence of depression beyond 6 months need to be studied. TB treatment guidelines should have mental health component.
Mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders are a leading, but neglected, cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. The treatment gap for MNS is vast with only 10% of people with MNS disorders in low-income countries accessing evidence-based treatments. Reasons for this include low awareness of the burden of MNS disorders and limited evidence to support development, adaptation and implementation of effective and feasible treatments. The overall goal of the African Mental Health Research Initiative (AMARI) is to build an African-led network of MNS researchers in Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, who are equipped to lead high quality mental health research programs that meet the needs of their countries, and to establish a sustainable career pipeline for these researchers with an emphasis on integrating MNS research into existing programs such as HIV/AIDS. This paper describes the process leading to the development of AMARI's objectives through a theory of change workshop, successes and challenges that have been faced by the consortium in the last 4 years, and the future role that AMARI could play in further building MNS research capacity by brining on board more institutions from low- and middle-income countries with an emphasis on developing an evidence-based training curriculum and a research-driven care service.
Although much research has focused on socio-demographic determinants of uptake of contraception, few have studied the impact of poor mental health on women's reproductive behaviours. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of poor mental health on women's unmet need for contraception and fertility rate in a low-income country setting.
A population-based cohort of 1026 women recruited in their third trimester of pregnancy in the Butajira district in rural Ethiopia was assessed for symptoms of antenatal common mental disorders (CMDs; depression and anxiety) using Self-Reporting Questionnaire-20. Women were followed up regularly until 6.5 years postnatal (between 2005 and 2012). We calculated unmet need for contraception at 1 year (n = 999), 2.5 (n = 971) and 3.5 years (n = 951) post-delivery of index child and number of pregnancies during study period. We tested the association between CMD symptoms, unmet need for contraception and fertility rate.
Less than one-third of women reported current use of contraception at each time point. Unmet need for birth spacing was higher at 1 year postnatal, with over half of women (53.8%) not using contraception wanting to wait 2 or more years before becoming pregnant. Higher CMD symptoms 1 year post-index pregnancy were associated with unmet need for contraception at 2.5 years postnatal in the unadjusted [odds ratio (OR) 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.15] and fully adjusted model [OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.01–1.12]. During the 6.5 year cohort follow-up period, the mean number of pregnancies per woman was 2.4 (s.d. 0.98). There was no prospective association between maternal CMD and number of pregnancies in the follow-up period.
CMD symptoms are associated with increased unmet need for family planning in this cohort of women with high fertility and low contraceptive use in rural Ethiopia. There is a lack of models of care promoting integration of mental and physical health in the family planning setting and further research is necessary to study the burden of preconception mental health conditions and how these can be best addressed.
There have been no studies from low- or middle-income countries to investigate the long-term impact of perinatal common mental disorders (CMD) on child educational outcomes.
To test the hypothesis that exposure to antenatal and postnatal maternal CMD would be associated independently with adverse child educational outcomes in a rural Ethiopian.
A population-based birth cohort was established in 2005/2006. Inclusion criteria were: age between 15 and 49 years, ability to speak Amharic, in the third trimester of pregnancy and resident of the health demographic surveillance site. One antenatal and nine postnatal maternal CMD assessments were conducted using a self-reporting questionnaire, validated for the local use. Child educational outcomes were obtained from the mother at T1 (2013/2014 academic year; mean age 8.5 years) and from school records at T2 (2014/2015 academic year; mean age 9.3 years).
Antenatal CMD (risk ratio (RR) = 1.06, 95% CI 1.05–1.07) and postnatal CMD (RR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.06–1.09) were significantly associated with child absenteeism at T2. Exposure to repeatedly high maternal CMD scores in the preschool period was not associated with absenteeism after adjusting for antenatal and postnatal CMD. Non-enrolment at T1 (odds ratio 0.75, 95% CI 0.62–0.92) was significantly but inversely associated with postnatal maternal CMD. There was no association between maternal CMD and child academic achievement or drop-out.
Our findings support the hypothesis of a critical period for exposure to maternal CMD for adverse child outcomes and indicate that programmes to enhance regular school attendance in low-income countries need to address perinatal maternal CMD.
There is limited evidence of the safety and impact of task-shared care for people with severe mental illnesses (SMI; psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder) in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and impact of a district-level plan for task-shared mental health care on 6 and 12-month clinical and social outcomes of people with SMI in rural southern Ethiopia.
In the Programme for Improving Mental health carE, we conducted an intervention cohort study. Trained primary healthcare (PHC) workers assessed community referrals, diagnosed SMI and initiated treatment, with independent research diagnostic assessments by psychiatric nurses. Primary outcomes were symptom severity and disability. Secondary outcomes included discrimination and restraint.
Almost all (94.5%) PHC worker diagnoses of SMI were verified by psychiatric nurses. All prescribing was within recommended dose limits. A total of 245 (81.7%) people with SMI were re-assessed at 12 months. Minimally adequate treatment was received by 29.8%. All clinical and social outcomes improved significantly. The impact on disability (standardised mean difference 0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35–0.65) was greater than impact on symptom severity (standardised mean difference 0.28; 95% CI 0.13–0.44). Being restrained in the previous 12 months reduced from 25.3 to 10.6%, and discrimination scores reduced significantly.
An integrated district level mental health care plan employing task-sharing safely addressed the large treatment gap for people with SMI in a rural, low-income country setting. Randomised controlled trials of differing models of task-shared care for people with SMI are warranted.
The Emerald project's focus is on how to strengthen mental health systems in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda). This was done by generating evidence and capacity to enhance health system performance in delivering mental healthcare.
A common problem in scaling-up interventions and strengthening mental health programmes in LMICs is how to transfer research evidence, such as the data collected in the Emerald project, into practice.
To describe how core elements of Emerald were implemented and aligned with the ultimate goal of strengthening mental health systems, as well as their short-term impact on practices, policies and programmes in the six partner countries.
We focused on the involvement of policy planners, managers, patients and carers.
Over 5 years of collaboration, the Emerald consortium has provided evidence and tools for the improvement of mental healthcare in the six LMICs involved in the project. We found that the knowledge transfer efforts had an impact on mental health service delivery and policy planning at the sites and countries involved in the project.
This approach may be valid beyond the mental health context, and may be effective for any initiative that aims at implementing evidence-based health policies for health system strengthening.
Successful scale-up of integrated primary mental healthcare requires routine monitoring of key programme performance indicators. A consensus set of mental health indicators has been proposed but evidence on their use in routine settings is lacking.
To assess the acceptability, feasibility, perceived costs and sustainability of implementing indicators relating to integrated mental health service coverage in six South Asian (India, Nepal) and sub-Saharan African countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda).
A qualitative study using semi-structured key informant interviews (n = 128) was conducted. The ‘Performance of Routine Information Systems’ framework served as the basis for a coding framework covering three main categories related to the performance of new tools introduced to collect data on mental health indicators: (1) technical; (2) organisation; and (3) behavioural determinants.
Most mental health indicators were deemed relevant and potentially useful for improving care, and therefore acceptable to end users. Exceptions were indicators on functionality, cost and severity. The simplicity of the data-capturing formats contributed to the feasibility of using forms to generate data on mental health indicators. Health workers reported increasing confidence in their capacity to record the mental health data and minimal additional cost to initiate mental health reporting. However, overstretched primary care staff and the time-consuming reporting process affected perceived sustainability.
Use of the newly developed, contextually appropriate mental health indicators in health facilities providing primary care services was seen largely to be feasible in the six Emerald countries, mainly because of the simplicity of the forms and continued support in the design and implementation stage. However, approaches to implementation of new forms generating data on mental health indicators need to be customised to the specific health system context of different countries. Further work is needed to identify ways to utilise mental health data to monitor and improve the quality of mental health services.
Strengthening of mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) requires the involvement of appropriately skilled and committed individuals from a range of stakeholder groups. Currently, few evidence-based capacity-building activities and materials are available to enable and sustain comprehensive improvements.
Within the Emerald project, the goal of this study was to evaluate capacity-building activities for three target groups: (a) service users with mental health conditions and their caregivers; (b) policymakers and planners; and (c) mental health researchers.
We developed and tailored three short courses (between 1 and 5 days long). We then implemented and evaluated these short courses on 24 different occasions. We assessed satisfaction among 527 course participants as well as pre–post changes in knowledge in six LMICs (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda). Changes in research capacity of partner Emerald institutions was also assessed through monitoring of academic outputs of participating researchers and students and via anonymous surveys.
Short courses were associated with high levels of satisfaction and led to improvements in knowledge across target groups. In relation to institutional capacity building, all partner institutions reported improvements in research capacity for most aspects of mental health system strengthening and global mental health, and many of these positive changes were attributed to the Emerald programme. In terms of outputs, eight PhD students submitted a total of 10 papers relating to their PhD work (range 0–4) and were involved in 14 grant applications, of which 43% (n = 6) were successful.
The Emerald project has shown that building capacity of key stakeholders in mental health system strengthening is possible. However, the starting point and appropriate strategies for this may vary across different countries, depending on the local context, needs and resources.
Current coverage of mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is very limited, not only in terms of access to services but also in terms of financial protection of individuals in need of care and treatment.
To identify the challenges, opportunities and strategies for more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in six sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries, namely Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
In the context of a mental health systems research project (Emerald), a multi-methods approach was implemented consisting of three steps: a quantitative and narrative assessment of each country's disease burden profile, health system and macro-fiscal situation; in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders; and a policy analysis of sustainable financing options.
Key challenges identified for sustainable mental health financing include the low level of funding accorded to mental health services, widespread inequalities in access and poverty, although opportunities exist in the form of new political interest in mental health and ongoing reforms to national insurance schemes. Inclusion of mental health within planned or nascent national health insurance schemes was identified as a key strategy for moving towards more equitable and sustainable mental health financing in all six countries.
Including mental health in ongoing national health insurance reforms represent the most important strategic opportunity in the six participating countries to secure enhanced service provision and financial protection for individuals and households affected by mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization.
There is a large treatment gap for mental, neurological or substance use (MNS) disorders. The ‘Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)’ (Emerald) research programme attempted to identify strategies to work towards reducing this gap through the strengthening of mental health systems.
To provide a set of proposed recommendations for mental health system strengthening in LMICs.
The Emerald programme was implemented in six LMICs in Africa and Asia (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda) over a 5-year period (2012–2017), and aimed to improve mental health outcomes in the six countries by building capacity and generating evidence to enhance health system strengthening.
The proposed recommendations align closely with the World Health Organization's key health system strengthening ‘building blocks’ of governance, financing, human resource development, service provision and information systems; knowledge transfer is included as an additional cross-cutting component. Specific recommendations are made in the paper for each of these building blocks based on the body of data that were collected and analysed during Emerald.
These recommendations are relevant not only to the six countries in which their evidential basis was generated, but to other LMICs as well; they may also be generalisable to other non-communicable diseases beyond MNS disorders.