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There is mixed evidence regarding the direction of a potential association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide mortality.
This is the first population-based study to account for both PTSD diagnosis and PTSD symptom severity simultaneously in the examination of suicide mortality.
Retrospective study that included all US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with a PTSD diagnosis and at least one symptom severity assessment using the PTSD Checklist (PCL) between 1 October 1999 and 31 December 2018 (n = 754 197). We performed multivariable proportional hazards regression models using exposure groups defined by level of PTSD symptom severity to estimate suicide mortality rates. For patients with multiple PCL scores, we performed additional models using exposure groups defined by level of change in PTSD symptom severity. We assessed suicide mortality using the VA/Department of Defense Mortality Data Repository.
Any level of PTSD symptoms above the minimum threshold for symptomatic remission (i.e. PCL score >18) was associated with double the suicide mortality rate at 1 month after assessment. This relationship decreased over time but patients with moderate to high symptoms continued to have elevated suicide rates. Worsening PTSD symptoms were associated with a 25% higher long-term suicide mortality rate. Among patients with improved PTSD symptoms, those with symptomatic remission had a substantial and sustained reduction in the suicide rate compared with those without symptomatic remission (HR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.37–0.88).
Ameliorating PTSD can reduce risk of suicide mortality, but patients must achieve symptomatic remission to attain this benefit.
We live in an age where emotional literacy and legibility is highly desirable, and where so-called Emotion Detection technologies lead us to believe that, with enough data, we might crack the enigma of other people’s emotions. This chapter begins from a different proposition: what is it to want to remain emotionally inscrutable? Beginning with Darwin’s 1872 observation that studying other peoples’ emotions is ‘difficult’, the chapter then argues that ambivalence and illegibility is part of the nature of emotion itself. It then moves to consider a series of moments when people have deliberately used emotional inscrutability as a form of self-defence and defiance, including in ‘camp’ retorts by early twentieth century cross-dressers, and in Audre Lorde’s refusal to emotionally engage with white women about race because it came at such a high psychological cost to her. In this way, this chapter shines a light on those moments when emotional inscrutability becomes a powerful political tool.
Outpatient antibiotic use increases during winter months, but information on temporal changes in inpatient antibiotic use in US hospitals is limited. The use of certain inpatient antibiotics, including extended-spectrum cephalosporins, macrolides, and tetracyclines, was strongly associated with influenza activity during the 2015–2019 viral respiratory seasons.
Prostate cancer is a common malignancy with rising incidence in Western countries such as the United Kingdom. In localised disease there are a variety of curative treatment modalities. Patients can be referred for surgery, or for a combination of hormonal therapies and radiotherapy (external beam radiotherapy or brachytherapy). Each treatment option comes with side effects and in the case of radiotherapy one potential complication is bowel toxicity from radiation exposure. New technologies are being developed to try and mitigate the side effects and long term morbidity of this treatment, and to expand access to radiotherapy for patients who may previously have been excluded (i.e those with inflammatory bowel disease). Rectal Spacers are absorbable polyethylene glycol hydrogels injected into the perirectal space. These position the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate, subsequently minimising radiation dose to the rectum. Rectal Spacers have been introduced to National Healthcare Service (NHS) practice as part of the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) programme, however, their use is now under review.
Methodology and Results:
In this editorial we conduct a narrative review of some of the available evidence for Rectal Spacers, discuss their utilization within the NHS and the barriers to their wider use. We also explore preliminary dosimetry and quality of life data for use of Rectal Spacers in our centre where we have been part of the NHS ITP programme. Dosimetry data and Quality of life questionnaires were gathered from 22 treated patients and 11 matched controls. This indicated lower radiation doses to the prostate in those treated with Rectal Spacers.
Rectal Spacers are an effective method to reduce radiation dose to the prostate in men treated for localised prostate cancer, however, their use remains under review in the NHS and there are a variety of barriers to upscaling their use.
Informal care-givers play an important role, with health-care systems relying on the billions of hours of care they provide. Care-givers experience high levels of psychological distress and isolation; however, the efficacy of what support is the best for care-givers is unclear. The primary aim of this systematic review is to determine the effect of group creative arts interventions on informal care-givers of adults. The secondary aim is to understand the impact of group type, the primary outcomes and how they are measured. Given the heterogeneous nature of the included studies, a narrative synthesis approach was taken. Database searches identified 2,587 studies, 25 of which met the full inclusion criteria. Studies included group creative arts interventions for either care-givers only (N = 8) or for care-giver/cared-for dyads (N = 17). The majority of the participants in the studies were older Caucasian females. Group creative arts interventions are beneficial for care-givers and for the person being cared for; however, benefits differ depending on whether the group is for care-givers only or for care-giver/cared-for dyads. Future research will benefit from care-givers being involved in the design of the creative arts intervention to provide input regarding group type and relevant outcome measures. Future research should consider targeting their intervention to care-givers with a low baseline score to increase the ability of the study to demonstrate a significant difference.
Foundation Doctors are exposed to a range of specialties within the Foundation Programme, with 20.9% completing a psychiatry rotation. Those who do not have a psychiatry rotation may have little experience other than what was acquired in undergraduate training, despite being expected to care for patients with mental health problems. According to Mind (2017), one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year thus essential that our medical workforce know and understand the basic principles of psychiatry to aid their management of core psychiatric conditions. The aim of this project was to improve mental health literacy among Foundation Doctors by improving their communication, formulation and risk management skills. Another objective was to encourage uptake to Psychiatry and help plug the high number of unfilled Consultant posts.
The initial pilot was carried out between January and June 2021 over zoom and the sessions were optional. A survey was completed to find out which topics were most relevant and common themes included MCA/MHA interface, risk management and treatment of various conditions. These themes were incorporated into 90-minute sessions which included interactive case-based discussion in small breakout groups and some didactic teaching. The six session topics were EUPD, Dementia, Depression, Delirium, Substance Misuse and Alcohol Misuse. The sessions were facilitated by clinicians of mixed experience from Foundation Doctors to Consultants. Participant knowledge was tested using pre- and post-session quizzes and a working group reviewed feedback, making relevant changes subsequently.
Feedback was majorly positive, and attendees valued the interactivity, breakout rooms, case studies and choice of topics. Suggested areas of improvement were having more time for discussion, technical difficulties, and less psychiatric ‘jargon’, but these tended to be isolated comments. Five out of six sessions showed an improvement in assessment scores afterwards, with an average improvement of 12.6% (average pre-session score of 70% and average post-session score of 82.6%). One session showed a decrease in the post-session quiz scores which on reflection showed that the questions in the assessment covered material not included in the session.
The virtual programme was an effective way of improving knowledge and confidence in psychiatry. Whilst the sessions were positively received and showed improvements in post-session scores, there were some limitations which will be addressed and used to develop future training. There is now more mental health woven throughout the new Foundation curriculum and expected that much of this content will be covered during Foundation Training.
There are over 72 000 licensed IMGs in the UK who fill up crucial shortages in the NHS and provide diversity. In 2020 there were more IMGs than local graduates joining the General Medical Council register with over half (54%) identifying as Black and Minority Ethnic doctors. There are ongoing and extensive conversations about the best approach to tackle differential attainment between IMGs and local graduates. The aims were to identify what the perceived differences were between local graduates and IMGs in various domains and recognise what measures could be taken to improve the issues identified.
This survey utilised the Typeform survey software to ask 23 questions and was left open for 3 months. Participation in the survey was voluntary and anonymized and included feedback from both Core Trainees and Higher Trainees. Initial emails, texts and chats with the survey link and reminders were sent to the Medical Education departments and trainee groups. The qualitative and quantitative data from all 33 respondents were analysed.
90.9% (30) of participants felt there were issues of differential attainment between IMGs and local graduates and felt that the gaps in differential attainment could be addressed by mentoring, networking, IMG lead roles, education of trainers and better support systems. 57.6% (19) of IMGs stated that they had felt bullied, undermined, treated unfairly, or intimidated; with only 29% (9) attempting to challenge this due to the fear of retribution, concerns about accountable, cultural and communication barriers. All respondents felt induction programmes, focusing on IMGs and cultural diversity would be helpful for all trainees, with 93.9% (31) of respondents recommending that more education was needed for trainers. 57.6% (19) stated that they had considered relocating outside the UK after training because they felt they would be better valued elsewhere. 90.9% (30) suggested that a book for IMGs would be a welcomed development. 87.9% (29) recommended that having IMG leads was important for offering well-being support, play a safeguarding role, offer pastoral care, and contribute to induction and education; with 68.8% (22) recommending the person was a College trainer.
These findings highlight several challenges IMGs training in the UK face and must navigate to be successful. A greater awareness of their hurdles is critical to maximising what potentials lie within. As the numbers of IMGs within the system continue to rise, there is an even greater need to support and address the concerns this survey underscores.
Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. Oral medications for control of motor symptoms are the mainstay of treatment however, as the disease progresses, patients with PD may develop dysphagia or other medical illnesses that prohibit them from safely taking oral medications. Currently there are no clinical guidelines for managing distressing motor symptoms in patients with PD and severe dysphagia, which can therefore be quite challenging. Methods: A scoping review using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, CINAHL, AgeLine and Psyc INFO databases (1946-2021) was conducted. Articles examining PD with dysphagia in palliative care or at end-of-life were included. Studies that included patients who were also on oral PD medications or received device-aided therapy were excluded. Results: Of 3836 articles screened for title and abstract, 274 were selected for full text review, and 20 articles were finally selected for data extraction. These included five case reports, one retrospective cohort study, one book chapter and 13 narrative reviews. Conclusions: There are very few articles addressing the issue of treatment of patients with advanced PD who are unable to take oral medications. Although rotigotine patch and apormorphine injections are most frequently recommended, there are no clinical trials in this patient population to support those recommendations.
Older adults experience symptoms of depression, leading to suffering and increased morbidity and mortality. Although we have effective depression therapies, physical distancing and other public health measures have severely limited access to in-person interventions.
To describe the efficacy of virtual interventions for reducing symptoms of depression in community-dwelling older adults.
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Libraries, PsycINFO, and gray literature from inception to July 5, 2021.
Participants and interventions:
We included randomized trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of virtual interventions to any other virtual intervention or usual care in community-dwelling adults ≥60 years old experiencing symptoms of depression or depression as an outcome.
The primary outcome was change in symptoms of depression measured by any depression scale.
We screened 12,290 abstracts and 830 full text papers. We included 15 RCTs (3100 participants). Five RCTs examined persons with depression symptoms at baseline and ten examined depression as an outcome only. Included studies demonstrated feasibility of interventions such as internet or telephone cognitive behavioral therapy with some papers showing statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms.
There is a paucity of studies examining virtual interventions in older adults with depression. Given difficulty in accessing in-person therapies in a pandemic and poor access for people living in rural and remote regions, there is an urgent need to explore efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation of virtual therapies.
This study is aimed to evaluate the efficiency of biochar and crude glycerin as additives in N retention throughout the composting of cattle slaughterhouse waste in static piles receiving forced aeration. There were five treatments (control, biochar accounting for 5 and 10%, and glycerin accounting for 5 and 10%, both at total solids) and four times (20, 50, 70 and 90 days of composting). The slaughterhouse waste was composted with a bulking agent at a ratio of 3:1, and the mixtures of waste and the tested additives were placed in nylon bags. The piles reached thermophilic temperatures soon after the process started and following turnings. The reductions of volatile solids, carbon, hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin were not influenced by the additives, resulting in averages of 69.1, 67.1, 62.1, 51.6 and 35.3%, respectively. The control showed greater N losses (58.38%), compared to the treatments with additives. The inclusions of biochar yielded an average loss of 48.47% N, while 10% of glycerin resulted in the lowest N losses (44.83%). The use of biochar and glycerin as additives in the composting of slaughterhouse waste is recommended in order to decrease N losses and improve the concentration of nutrients, without compromising the biodegradation of organic components.
Drawing on examples from published research, the authors offer a perspective on the side effects that are associated with organizational interventions. This perspective is framed in the context of the many hard-won positive influences that industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists have had on individuals, groups, organizations, and social institutions over the last century. With a few exceptions, we argue that side effects tend to receive less attention from I-O psychology researchers and practitioners than they deserve. A systematic approach to studying, monitoring, and advertising side effects is needed to better understand their causes, consequences, and the contexts in which they are most likely to emerge. The purpose of this piece is to stimulate conversations within the field about the phenomenon of side effects as well as what might be done to improve our science and practice in this domain.
Historically, access to contraception has been supported in a bipartisan way, best exemplified by consistent congressional funding of Title X—the only federal program specifically focused on providing affordable reproductive health care to American residents. However, in an era of partisan polarization, Title X has become a political and symbolic pawn, in part because of its connection to family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood. The conflicts around Title X highlight the effects of intertwining abortion politics and contraception policy, particularly as they relate to reproductive justice and gendered policy making. Family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood have responded to these battles by bowing out of the Title X network. To what extent have contraception deserts—places characterized by inequitable access to Title X—developed or expanded in response to policy changes related to contraception and reproductive health? What is the demographic makeup of these spaces of inequality? We leverage data from the Office of Population Affairs and the U.S. Census Bureau and use the integrated two-step floating catchment area method to illustrate the effects of a major change in the Title X network in 10 states. Our results reveal the widespread human ramifications of increasing constraints on family planning organizations as a result of quiet but insidious federal bureaucratic rule changes.
A patchwork of policies exists across the United States. While citizens’ policy preferences in domains such as the criminal legal system, gun regulations/rights, immigration, and welfare are informed by their political predispositions, they are also shaped by the extent to which policy targets are viewed as deserving. This article centres the idea that collective evaluations matter in policymaking, and it ascertains whether subnational levels of deservingness evaluations of several target groups differ across space to illuminate the link between these judgements and state policy design. We leverage original survey data and multilevel regression and poststratification to create state-level estimates of deservingness evaluations. The analyses elucidate the heterogeneity in state-level deservingness evaluations of several politically relevant groups, and they pinpoint a link between these social reputations and policy design. The article also delivers a useful methodological tool and measures for scholars of state policy design to employ in future research.
Disruptions in routine immunization caused by COVID-19 put African countries with large vaccine-preventable disease burdens at high risk of outbreaks. Abbas et al. (2020) showed that mortality reduction from resuming immunization outweighs excess mortality from COVID-19 caused by exposure during immunization activities. We leverage these estimates to calculate benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) of disrupted immunization and apply cost of illness (COI) and value of statistical life-year (VSLY) approaches to estimate the cost of excess child deaths from eight vaccine-preventable diseases. BCRs were computed for each country, vaccine, and Expanded Program on Immunization visit. Secondary estimates that include the cost of providing immunization are presented in scenario analysis. Suspended immunization may cost $4949 million due to excess mortality using the COI approach, or $34,344 million using the VSLY approach. Likewise, excess COVID-19 deaths caused by exposure from immunization activities would cost $53 and $275 million using the COI and VSLY approaches, respectively. BCRs of continuing routine immunization are 94:1 using COI and 125:1 using VSLY, indicating that the economic costs of suspending immunization exceed that of COVID-19 deaths risked by routine immunization. When including the costs of providing routine immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCRs are 38:1 and 97:1 using the COI and VSLY approaches, respectively.