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In this chapter, we highlight the strategic capabilities that have enabled six Brazilian companies to achieve competitive advantage. We selected firms from different industries and stages of internationalization in order to show a broad perspective of local and international successful firms. WEG and Fanen developed technological capabilities associated to both world-class manufacturing and product innovation, whereas Stefanini and Integration have consolidated knowledge about servicing emerging markets. Grendene’s production and operations are its key capabilities for international operations through exports, while innovative design and processes support their strategy in the local markets. The key capabilities of Dr.Consulta are entrepreneurship and innovation. In sum, due to highly turbulent institutional and economic environment, Brazilian firms have had to develop some specific capabilities, especially those related to financial management and organizational flexibility.
There is controversy regarding whether the addition of cover gowns offers a substantial benefit over gloves alone in reducing personnel contamination and preventing pathogen transmission.
Simulated patient care interactions.
To evaluate the efficacy of different types of barrier precautions and to identify routes of transmission.
In randomly ordered sequence, 30 personnel each performed 3 standardized examinations of mannequins contaminated with pathogen surrogate markers (cauliflower mosaic virus DNA, bacteriophage MS2, nontoxigenic Clostridioides difficile spores, and fluorescent tracer) while wearing no barriers, gloves, or gloves plus gowns followed by examination of a noncontaminated mannequin. We compared the frequency and routes of transfer of the surrogate markers to the second mannequin or the environment.
For a composite of all surrogate markers, transfer by hands occurred at significantly lower rates in the gloves-alone group (OR, 0.02; P < .001) and the gloves-plus-gown group (OR, 0.06; P = .002). Transfer by stethoscope diaphragms was common in all groups and was reduced by wiping the stethoscope between simulations (OR, 0.06; P < .001). Compared to the no-barriers group, wearing a cover gown and gloves resulted in reduced contamination of clothing (OR, 0.15; P < .001), but wearing gloves alone did not.
Wearing gloves alone or gloves plus gowns reduces hand transfer of pathogens but may not address transfer by devices such as stethoscopes. Cover gowns reduce the risk of contaminating the clothing of personnel.
Unlike well-known global patterns of plant species richness along altitudinal gradients, in the mountainous areas of the Brazilian Caatinga, species richness and diversity reach their maxima near mountain tops. The causes of this unusual pattern are not well understood, and in particular the role of edaphic factors on plant community assembly along these gradients has not been investigated. Our goal was to assess the role of edaphic factors (fertility and soil texture) on plant community composition and structure on two mountains of the Brazilian semi-arid region. In 71 plots (Bodocongó site, twenty-one 200-m2 plots, 401–680 m asl; Arara site, fifty 100-m2 plots, 487–660 m asl) we recorded 3114 individuals representing 61 plant species; in addition, at each plot we collected composite soil samples from 0–20 cm depth. Significant altitude-related changes were observed both for community structure and composition, and edaphic variables. A canonical correspondence analysis allowed the distinction of two groups of plots according to species abundances, indicating a preferential habitat distribution of species depending both on altitude and soil variables. Although soil fertility was lowest at the highest altitudes, these areas had high richness and diversity. Conversely, the more fertile foothills were characterized by the dominance of generalist pioneer species. Despite the relatively short altitudinal range that characterizes the studied mountains, this study elucidates the role of edaphic factors on the floristic composition and species richness patterns on the mountains of the Brazilian semi-arid region.
Functional impairment is a defining feature of psychotic disorders. A range of factors has been shown to influence functioning, including negative symptoms, cognitive performance and cognitive reserve (CR). However, it is not clear how these variables may affect functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients. This 2-year follow-up study aimed to explore the possible mediating effects of CR on the relationship between cognitive performance or specific clinical symptoms and functional outcome.
A prospective study of non-affective FEP patients was performed (211 at baseline and 139 at follow-up). CR was entered in a path analysis model as potential mediators between cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning.
At baseline, the relationship between clinical variables or cognitive performance and functioning was not mediated by CR. At follow-up, the effect of attention (p = 0.003) and negative symptoms (p = 0.012) assessed at baseline on functioning was partially mediated by CR (p = 0.032 and 0.016), whereas the relationship between verbal memory (p = 0.057) and functioning was mediated by CR (p = 0.014). Verbal memory and positive and total subscales of PANSS assessed at follow-up were partially mediated by CR and the effect of working memory on functioning was totally mediated by CR.
Our results showed the influence of CR in mediating the relationship between cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning in FEP. In particular, CR partially mediated the relationship between some cognitive domains or clinical symptoms and functioning at follow-up. Therefore, CR could improve our understanding of the long-term functioning of patients with a non-affective FEP.
To develop a semi-quantitative FFQ and to evaluate its validity and reproducibility for the assessment of total dietary intake of Kenyan urban adult population, given its non-existence in Kenya.
The current study adopted a cross-sectional design. A culture-sensitive semi-quantitative FFQ was developed and its validity was tested relative to three non-consecutive 24-h recalls (24hR). Reproducibility was tested by the test–retest method, with a 3-week interval. Spearman’s correlation coefficients and intra-class correlation coefficients were calculated for several macro- and micronutrients. Cross-classification into quartiles and Bland and Altman plots were analysed.
Nairobi county (Dagoreti South and Starehe constituencies).
A convenient sample was recruited in three different clusters in Nairobi.
A culture-sensitive 123-food-item semi-quantitative FFQ showed higher nutrient intakes compared with the 24hR (total energy median 12543·632 v. 8501·888 kJ, P < 0·001). Energy-adjusted and deattenuated Spearman’s correlations for macronutrients ranged between 0·21 (total fat) and 0·47 (protein). The agreement in the same quartile varied from 28 % (protein) to 41 % (carbohydrates). Including adjacent quartiles, the range increased: 76 % (protein and fat) to 81 % (carbohydrates). The extreme disagreement was low. The first FFQ application resulted in higher mean values for all nutrients compared with the second FFQ (total energy median 12459·952 v. 10485·104 kJ, P < 0·001). Energy-adjusted correlations for macronutrients ranged from 0·28 (carbohydrates) to 0·61 (protein). Intra-class correlation coefficients for macronutrients were moderate, between 0·6 and 0·7.
The developed semi-quantitative FFQ was shown to be a valid and reproducible tool for ranking urban adult Kenyans according to their dietary intake.
Efficient algorithm integration is a key issue in aerial robotics. However, only a few integration solutions rely on a cognitive approach. Cognitive approaches break down complex problems into independent units that may deal with progressively lower-level data interfaces, all the way down to sensors and actuators. A cognitive architecture defines information flow among units to produce emergent intelligent behavior. Despite the improvements in autonomous decision-making, several key issues remain open. One of these issues is the selection, coordination, and decision-making related to the several specialized tasks required for fulfilling mission objectives. This work addresses decision-making for the cognitive unmanned-aerial-vehicle architecture coined as ARCog. The proposed architecture lays the groundwork for the development of a software platform aligned with the requirements of the state-of-the-art technology in the field. The system is designed to provide high-level decision-making. Experiments prove that ARCog works correctly in its target scenario.
The effects of bicameral legislatures on government formation have attracted scholarly attention since Lijphart’s (1984) seminal contribution. Previous research found support for the ‘veto control hypothesis,’ showing that bicameralism affects coalition governments’ composition and duration. However, the effects of bicameralism on the duration of the bargaining process over government formation have yet to be explored. Our work contributes to this area of research by focusing on the impact of bicameralism on bargaining delays. We show that the duration of the bargaining process over government formation decreases at increasing levels of partisan incongruence of the two chambers, especially in those legislative assemblies in which the upper chamber plays a relevant role in the policy-making process. Such empirical evidence is in contrast with the conventional expectation according to which bicameralism should delay the government formation process, as it introduces an additional element of complexity in the bargaining environment. We test our hypothesis by using a novel data set about the partisan composition of upper and lower chambers in 12 Western and Eastern European democracies over the postwar period.
Anomalous origin of a branch pulmonary artery from the aorta is a rare malformation, accounting for 0.12% of all congenital heart defects. We present the case of a 43-year-old man with an anomalous origin of the right pulmonary artery (AORPA) from the ascending aorta. Reimplantation of the right pulmonary artery was carried out successfully, with favourable evolution in the medium-term follow-up. It is the first described case that receives corrective treatment in adulthood with a favourable evolution.
The European Psychiatric Association (EPA), the main association in the field of mental health in Europe, has long been supporting the development of early career psychiatrists. The EPA Early Career Psychiatrists Committee (ECPC) and its core task forces promote research activities among young psychiatrists, contribute to their professional development through organising courses and other educational events, prepare online educational materials and publications, and actively collaborate with other organisations. The EPA ECPC is always open to fostering cooperation on new professional, educational or research initiatives with early career psychiatrists from different countries.
For patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization, a traditional fist-bump greeting did not significantly reduce MRSA transfer in comparison to a handshake. However, transfer was reduced with a modified fist bump that minimized the surface area of contact and when hand hygiene was performed before the handshake.
The current pandemic has forced many people into self-isolation and to practice social distancing. When people are physically isolated and distant from each other, technology may play a fundamental role by enabling social connection and reducing feelings of loneliness caused by this prolonged social isolation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health services worldwide have had to shift their routine face-to-face outpatient appointments to remote telepsychiatry encounters. The increased pressure on mental health services highlights the importance of community-led health-promotion interventions, which can contribute to preventing mental illness or their relapses, and to reduce the burden on health services. Patients with psychosis are particularly socially isolated, have sedentary lifestyles, and commonly face stigma and discrimination from the general population. At the same time, patients with psychosis value technology, are interested in, use and own smart-phones to digitally connect, and are satisfied with their use. Thus, among psychosocial interventions, a helpful resource may be “Phone Pal,” a complex intervention which facilitates remote communication between volunteers and socially isolated patients with psychosis through different smart-phone tools. While “Phone Pal” has been originally developed for people with psychosis, it may also be useful to the wider population, helping to overcome the social isolation caused by physical distancing, particularly in these times of widespread isolation. “Phone Pal” may be a potential public health resource for society, providing important support to those that may need it the most, and possibly benefit most from it.
Introduction: Despite recent advances in resuscitation, some patients remain in ventricular fibrillation (VF) after multiple defibrillation attempts during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Vector change defibrillation (VC) and double sequential external defibrillation (DSED) have been proposed as alternate therapeutic strategies for OHCA patients with refractory VF. The primary objective was to determine the feasibility, safety and sample size required for a future cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with crossover comparing VC or DSED to standard defibrillation for patients experiencing refractory VF. Secondary objectives were to evaluate the intervention effect on VF termination and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Methods: We conducted a pilot cluster RCT with crossover in four Canadian paramedic services and included all treated adult OHCA patients who presented in VF and received a minimum of three defibrillation attempts. In addition to standard cardiac arrest care, each EMS service was randomly assigned to provide continued standard defibrillation (control), VC or DSED. Services crossed over to an alternate defibrillation strategy after six months. Prior to the launch of the trial, 2,500 paramedics received in-person training for VC and DSED defibrillation using a combination of didactic, video and simulated scenarios. Results: Between March 2018 and September 2019, 152 patients were enrolled. Monthly enrollment varied from 1.4 to 6.1 cases per service. With respect to feasibility, 89.5% of cases received the defibrillation strategy they were randomly allocated to, and 93.1% of cases received a VC or DSED shock prior to the sixth defibrillation attempt. There were no reported cases of defibrillator malfunction, skin burns, difficulty with pad placement or concerns expressed by paramedics, patients, families, or ED staff about the trial. In the standard defibrillation group, 66.6% of cases resulted in VF termination, compared to 82.0% in VC and 76.3% of cases in the DSED group. ROSC was achieved in 25.0%, 39.3% and 40.0% of standard, VC and DSED groups, respectively. Conclusion: Findings from our pilot RCT suggest the DOSE VF protocol is feasible and safe. VF termination and ROSC were higher with VC and DSED compared to standard defibrillation. The results of this pilot trial will allow us to inform a multicenter cluster RCT with crossover to determine if alternate defibrillation strategies for refractory VF may impact patient-centered, clinical outcomes
Previous literature supports antipsychotics’ (AP) efficacy in acute first-episode psychosis (FEP) in terms of symptomatology and functioning but also a cognitive detrimental effect. However, regarding functional recovery in stabilised patients, these effects are not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to investigate dopaminergic/anticholinergic burden of (AP) on psychosocial functioning in FEP. We also examined whether cognitive impairment may mediate these effects on functioning.
A total of 157 FEP participants were assessed at study entry, and at 2 months and 2 years after remission of the acute episode. The primary outcomes were social functioning as measured by the functioning assessment short test (FAST). Cognitive domains were assessed as potential mediators. Dopaminergic and anticholinergic AP burden on 2-year psychosocial functioning [measured with chlorpromazine (CPZ) and drug burden index] were independent variables. Secondary outcomes were clinical and socio-demographic variables.
Mediation analysis found a statistical but not meaningful contribution of dopaminergic receptor blockade burden to worse functioning mediated by cognition (for every 600 CPZ equivalent points, 2-year FAST score increased 1.38 points). Regarding verbal memory and attention, there was an indirect effect of CPZ burden on FAST (b = 0.0045, 95% CI 0.0011–0.0091) and (b = 0.0026, 95% CI 0.0001–0.0006) respectively. However, only verbal memory post hoc analyses showed a significant indirect effect (b = 0.009, 95% CI 0.033–0.0151) adding premorbid IQ as covariate. We did not find significant results for anticholinergic burden.
CPZ dose effect over functioning is mediated by verbal memory but this association appears barely relevant.
Mixed Bipolar patients are those who have co-existing depressive symptoms during mania. These patients are supposed to have a worse evolution.
The objective of this study was to compare the long-term outcomes of patients who had at least one mixed episode with those who experienced only pure manic episodes.
169 outpatients diagnosed of Bipolar I disorder and treated at least during two years were included. 120 patients (71%) complited the follow-up over 10 years. Baseline demographic and clinical variables were included.
The patients with mixed episodes (37%) had a significantly younger mean age at onset comparing with those with manic episodes (25.3 years vs. 30.8 years; p=0.025) they also had more previous mood- incongruent psychotic symptoms χ2= 6.77, p=0.034), more number of hospitalizations (OR= 1.36, 95% CI = 1.14; -1.63; p< 0.001), and more number of episodes (OR= 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10-1.31; p< 0.001). There were no significant differences relating to depressive episodes, alcohol use, drug abuse, suicidal behaviour and suicide attempts.
Age at onset differed significantly between the mixed episode and pure mania groups, with mixed episode patients having a younger age of onset. This is interesting as one of the major results of the study we have found that age at onset mediates some of the factors classically related to outcome in mixed episodes like alcohol abuse and suicide attempts. However, independently of age at onset, these patients represent a especially severe type of bipolar disorder.
Oxidative stress suposses an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants molecules. Negative and positive family environment have been related with worse and better outcomes respectively in schizophrenic patients.
Our objetive is to determine antioxidant defense in healthy controls and unaffected relatives of early onset psychosis patients and to asses its relationship with familiar environment.
We included 82 healthy controls (HC) and 14 healthy controls with second degree family history of psychosis (HCWFHP), aged between 9 to 17.
Total antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation test were determined in plasma and antioxidant enzime activities and glutathione levels were determined in erytrocytes.
We used the Global Assesment Functioning scale (GAF) and the Family Environment Scale (FES). The FES is made up of ten subscales: cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, independence, achievement, intellectual-cultural, social, moral, organization and control.
The analyses showed a significant decrease in total antioxidant level in HCWFHP compared with the HC (U Mann Withney = 281.00, p=0.009, effect size= -0.78).
HC and HCWFHP did not differ in the GAF scale, nevertheless the scores of HCWFHP were significantly higher in cohesion and intellectual-cultural dimensions of the FES (p=0.007, p=0.025).
Adjusting by this two FES dimensions, antioxidant status remained significantly different between groups: OR= 10.86, p=0.009.
Although we cannot induce causative relations, we can state that family environment is not playing a role in inducing oxidative stress in these subjects. It could be hypothesized that families with affected relatives protect themselves with positive envionmental factors such as cohesion and intellectual-cultural activities.
To evaluate the influence of cannabis in the long-term follow-up in patients with a first psychotic episode, comparing those who have never used cannabis with (a) those who used cannabis before the first psychotic episode but stopped it during the follow-up, and (b) those who used cannabis both before and after the first psychotic episode.
Patients were followed from the first psychotic admission. They were assessed at 1, 3 and 5 years obtaining information about functional outcome, positive and negative symptoms. At 8th year functional outcome was evaluated. Patients were classified in 3 groups: 40 that never used cannabis (NU), 27 that used cannabis and stopped during follow-up (CUS), and 25 that had continued use during follow-up (CU).
At baseline, there were differences neither in functional outcome nor in negative symptoms. The CUS group improved the functional outcome during the follow-up (p< 0.001), while CU and NU groups did not show any significant results (p= 0.466 and p= 0.370 respectively). CUS group had also a significant decreasing trend in negative symptoms (p= 0.012), whereas for the other two groups no significant results were observed (p= 0.069 and p= 0.226 respectively). All groups improved in positive symptoms during follow-up.
Although cannabis use has deleterious effect, to stop it after the first psychotic episode produces a clearly improvement in the long-term follow-up.
Contrasting with the invalidation social phobia with an early beginning may have, research on cognitive-behavioural conceptualization and treatment in children and adolescents with social phobia is scarce.
In our presentation, we will propose a new treatment protocol for adolescents with social phobia, based on the most widely accepted conceptualization model of social phobia in adulthood - Clark & Wells, 1995 - taking into consideration idiosyncrasies in this age group, and also incorporating a positive and acceptant attitude towards themselves and their symptoms, and a curiosity attitude in the changing process. The aim is not only to overcome their social phobia but also to enable the adolescents with a positive view of themselves and of their strengths to empower them to overcome other difficulties and to promote their self-determination, in order to pursue their life-long projects and values.