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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Smoking prevalence is higher amongst individuals with schizophrenia and depression compared with the general population. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can examine whether this association is causal using genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
We conducted two-sample MR to explore the bi-directional effects of smoking on schizophrenia and depression. For smoking behaviour, we used (1) smoking initiation GWAS from the GSCAN consortium and (2) we conducted our own GWAS of lifetime smoking behaviour (which captures smoking duration, heaviness and cessation) in a sample of 462690 individuals from the UK Biobank. We validated this instrument using positive control outcomes (e.g. lung cancer). For schizophrenia and depression we used GWAS from the PGC consortium.
There was strong evidence to suggest smoking is a risk factor for both schizophrenia (odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–3.08, p < 0.001) and depression (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71–2.32, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across both lifetime smoking and smoking initiation. We found some evidence that genetic liability to depression increases smoking (β = 0.091, 95% CI 0.027–0.155, p = 0.005) but evidence was mixed for schizophrenia (β = 0.022, 95% CI 0.005–0.038, p = 0.009) with very weak evidence for an effect on smoking initiation.
These findings suggest that the association between smoking, schizophrenia and depression is due, at least in part, to a causal effect of smoking, providing further evidence for the detrimental consequences of smoking on mental health.
Dietary Zn has significant impacts on the growth and development of breeding rams. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary Zn source and concentration on serum Zn concentration, growth performance, wool traits and reproductive performance in rams. Forty-four Targhee rams (14 months; 68 ± 18 kg BW) were used in an 84-day completely randomized design and were fed one of three pelleted dietary treatments: (1) a control without fortified Zn (CON; n = 15; ~1 × NRC); (2) a diet fortified with a Zn amino acid complex (ZnAA; n = 14; ~2 × NRC) and (3) a diet fortified with ZnSO4 (ZnSO4; n = 15; ~2 × NRC). Growth and wool characteristics measured throughout the course of the study were BW, average daily gain (ADG), dry matter intake (DMI), feed efficiency (G : F), longissimus dorsi muscle depth (LMD), back fat (BF), wool staple length (SL) and average fibre diameter (AFD). Blood was collected from each ram at four time periods to quantify serum Zn and testosterone concentrations. Semen was collected 1 to 2 days after the trial was completed. There were no differences in BW (P = 0.45), DMI (P = 0.18), LMD (P = 0.48), BF (P = 0.47) and AFD (P = 0.9) among treatment groups. ZnSO4 had greater (P ≤ 0.03) serum Zn concentrations compared with ZnAA and CON treatments. Rams consuming ZnAA had greater (P ≤ 0.03) ADG than ZnSO4 and CON. There tended to be differences among groups for G : F (P = 0.06), with ZnAA being numerically greater than ZnSO4 and CON. Wool staple length regrowth was greater (P < 0.001) in ZnSO4 and tended to be longer (P = 0.06) in ZnAA treatment group compared with CON. No differences were observed among treatments in scrotal circumference, testosterone, spermatozoa concentration within ram semen, % motility, % live sperm and % sperm abnormalities (P ≥ 0.23). Results indicated beneficial effects of feeding increased Zn concentrations to developing Targhee rams, although Zn source elicited differential responses in performance characteristics measured.
The National Project on Achievement in Twins (NatPAT) began in 2017 as part of the third funding cycle of the Florida Learning Disabilities Research Center, a program project grant funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development. NatPAT will have a nationally representative sample of elementary school-aged twins in the United States. The overall goal of the project is to uncover salient factors, including genetic and environmental influences, which contribute to the co-development of reading and math performance during the critical developmental period of elementary school. Here we present the specific aims, methods and materials, and future directions of the project.
Nutsedge species are problematic in plastic-mulched vegetable production because of the weed’s rapid reproduction and ability to penetrate the mulch. Vegetable growers rely heavily on halosulfuron to manage nutsedge species; however, the herbicide cannot be applied over mulch before vegetable transplanting due to potential crop injury. This can be problematic when multiple crops are produced on a single mulch installation. Field experiments were conducted to determine the response of broccoli, cabbage, squash, and watermelon to halosulfuron applied on top of mulch prior to transplanting. Halosulfuron at 80 g ai ha−1 was applied 21, 14, 7, and 1 d before planting (DBP), and 160 g ai ha−1 was applied 21 DBP. In all experiments, extending the interval between halosulfuron application and planting reduced crop injury. For squash and watermelon, visual injury, plant diameters/vine runner lengths, marketable fruit weights, and postharvest plant biomass resulted in similar values when applying 80 g ha−1 21 DBP and with the nontreated weed-free control. Reducing this interval increased injury for both crops. Visual crop injury and yield reductions up to 40% occurred, with halosulfuron applied 14, 7, or 1 DBP in squash and 1 DBP in watermelon. Broccoli and cabbage showed greater sensitivity, with injury and plant diameter reductions greater than 15%, even with halosulfuron applied at 80 g ha−1 21 DBP. Experimental results confirm that halosulfuron binds to plastic mulch, remains active, and is slowly released from the mulch over a substantial period, during rainfall or overhead irrigation events. Extending the plant-back interval to at least 21 d before transplanting did overcome squash and watermelon injury concerns with halosulfuron at 80 g ha−1, but not broccoli and cabbage. Applying halosulfuron over mulch to control emerged nutsedge before planting squash and watermelon would be beneficial if adequate rainfall or irrigation and appropriate intervals between application and planting are implemented.
There are high rates of obesity and low self-esteem in patients with psychosis. The occurrence of negative voice content directly about appearance is therefore plausible. Derogatory comments about appearance are likely to be distressing, increase depression and contribute to social withdrawal.
To systematically assess the occurrence of voice content regarding appearance and identify correlates.
Sixty patients experiencing verbal auditory hallucinations at least once a week in the context of non-affective psychosis completed a measure assessing positive and negative voice content about appearance. They also completed assessments about body image, self-esteem, psychiatric symptoms and well-being.
Fifty-five (91.7%) participants reported hearing voices comment on their appearance. A total of 54 (90%) patients reported negative voice content about their appearance with 30 (50%) patients experienced negative appearance comments on a daily basis. The most common negative comment was ‘the voices tell me that I am ugly’ (n = 48, 80%). There were 39 (65%) patients who reported positive voice content on appearance. The most frequent positive comment was ‘I look as nice as other people’ (n = 26, 43.3%). Negative voice content about appearance was associated with body image concerns, paranoia, voice hearing severity, depression, worry, negative self-beliefs and safety-seeking behaviours. Positive appearance voice content was associated with greater body esteem and well-being and lower levels of depression and insomnia.
Voice content about appearance is very common for patients seen in clinical services. Negative voice content may reflect – and subsequently reinforce – negative beliefs about one's appearance, low self-esteem, worry and paranoia.
The period before the formation of a persecutory delusion may provide causal insights. Patient accounts are invaluable in informing this understanding.
To inform the understanding of delusion formation, we asked patients about the occurrence of potential causal factors – identified from a cognitive model – before delusion onset.
A total of 100 patients with persecutory delusions completed a checklist about their subjective experiences in the weeks before belief onset. The checklist included items concerning worry, images, low self-esteem, poor sleep, mood dysregulation, dissociation, manic-type symptoms, aberrant salience, hallucinations, substance use and stressors. Time to reach certainty in the delusion was also assessed.
Most commonly it took patients several months to reach delusion certainty (n = 30), although other patients took a few weeks (n = 24), years (n = 21), knew instantly (n = 17) or took a few days (n = 6). The most frequent experiences occurring before delusion onset were: low self-confidence (n = 84); excessive worry (n = 80); not feeling like normal self (n = 77); difficulties concentrating (n = 77); going over problems again and again (n = 75); being very negative about the self (n = 75); images of bad things happening (n = 75); and sleep problems (n = 75). The average number of experiences occurring was high (mean 23.5, s.d. = 8.7). The experiences clustered into six main types, with patients reporting an average of 5.4 (s.d. = 1.0) different types.
Patients report numerous different experiences in the period before full persecutory delusion onset that could be contributory causal factors, consistent with a complex multifactorial view of delusion occurrence. This study, however, relied on retrospective self-report and could not determine causality.
Whole-grain cereal breakfast consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin metabolism as well as satiety. Pearl millet is a popular ancient grain variety that can be grown in hot, dry regions. However, little is known about its health effects. The present study investigated the effect of a pearl millet porridge (PMP) compared with a well-known Scottish oats porridge (SOP) on glycaemic, gastrointestinal, hormonal and appetitive responses. In a randomised, two-way crossover trial, twenty-six healthy participants consumed two isoenergetic/isovolumetric PMP or SOP breakfast meals, served with a drink of water. Blood samples for glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide 1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), peptide YY, gastric volumes and appetite ratings were collected 2 h postprandially, followed by an ad libitum meal and food intake records for the remainder of the day. The incremental AUC (iAUC2h) for blood glucose was not significantly different between the porridges (P > 0·05). The iAUC2h for gastric volume was larger for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·045). The iAUC2h for GIP concentration was significantly lower for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·001). Other hormones and appetite responses were similar between meals. In conclusion, the present study reports, for the first time, data on glycaemic and physiological responses to a pearl millet breakfast, showing that this ancient grain could represent a sustainable alternative with health-promoting characteristics comparable with oats. GIP is an incretin hormone linked to TAG absorption in adipose tissue; therefore, the lower GIP response for PMP may be an added health benefit.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
We studied the genetic diversity and the population structure of human isolates of Histoplasma capsulatum, the causative agent of histoplasmosis, using a randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) assay to identify associations with the geographic distribution of isolates from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina. The RAPD-PCR pattern analyses revealed the genetic diversity by estimating the percentage of polymorphic loci, effective number of alleles, Shannon's index and heterozygosity. Population structure was identified by the index of association (IA) test. Thirty-seven isolates were studied and clustered into three groups by the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Group I contained five subgroups based on geographic origin. The consistency of the UPGMA dendrogram was estimated by the cophenetic correlation coefficient (CCCr = 0.94, P = 0.001). Isolates from Mexico and Colombia presented higher genetic diversity than isolates from Argentina. Isolates from Guatemala grouped together with the reference strains from the United States of America and Panama. The IA values suggest the presence of a clonal population structure in the Argentinian H. capsulatum isolates and also validate the presence of recombining populations in the Colombian and Mexican isolates. These data contribute to the knowledge on the molecular epidemiology of histoplasmosis in Latin America.
Introduction: Although use of point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) protocols for patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the Emergency Department (ED) is widespread, our previously reported SHoC-ED study showed no clear survival or length of stay benefit for patients assessed with PoCUS. In this analysis, we examine if the use of PoCUS changed fluid administration and rates of other emergency interventions between patients with different shock types. The primary comparison was between cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic shock types. Methods: A post-hoc analysis was completed on the database from an RCT of 273 patients who presented to the ED with undifferentiated hypotension (SBP <100 or shock index > 1) and who had been randomized to receive standard care with or without PoCUS in 6 centres in Canada and South Africa. PoCUS-trained physicians performed scans after initial assessment. Shock categories and diagnoses recorded at 60 minutes after ED presentation, were used to allocate patients into subcategories of shock for analysis of treatment. We analyzed actual care delivered including initial IV fluid bolus volumes (mL), rates of inotrope use and major procedures. Standard statistical tests were employed. Sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate difference. Results: Although there were expected differences in the mean fluid bolus volume between patients with non-cardiogenic and cardiogenic shock, there was no difference in fluid bolus volume between the control and PoCUS groups (non-cardiogenic control 1878 mL (95% CI 1550 – 2206 mL) vs. non-cardiogenic PoCUS 1687 mL (1458 – 1916 mL); and cardiogenic control 768 mL (194 – 1341 mL) vs. cardiogenic PoCUS 981 mL (341 – 1620 mL). Likewise there were no differences in rates of inotrope administration, or major procedures for any of the subcategories of shock between the control group and PoCUS group patients. The most common subcategory of shock was distributive. Conclusion: Despite differences in care delivered by subcategory of shock, we did not find any significant difference in actual care delivered between patients who were examined using PoCUS and those who were not. This may help to explain the previously reported lack of outcome difference between groups.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has been reported to improve diagnosis in non-traumatic hypotensive ED patients. We compared diagnostic performance of physicians with and without PoCUS in undifferentiated hypotensive patients as part of an international prospective randomized controlled study. The primary outcome was diagnostic performance of PoCUS for cardiogenic vs. non-cardiogenic shock. Methods: SHoC-ED recruited hypotensive patients (SBP < 100 mmHg or shock index > 1) in 6 centres in Canada and South Africa. We describe previously unreported secondary outcomes relating to diagnostic accuracy. Patients were randomized to standard clinical assessment (No PoCUS) or PoCUS groups. PoCUS-trained physicians performed scans after initial assessment. Demographics, clinical details and findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses including shock category were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes. Final diagnosis was determined by independent blinded chart review. Standard statistical tests were employed. Sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate difference. Results: 273 patients were enrolled with follow-up for primary outcome completed for 270. Baseline demographics and perceived category of shock were similar between groups. 11% of patients were determined to have cardiogenic shock. PoCUS had a sensitivity of 80.0% (95% CI 54.8 to 93.0%), specificity 95.5% (90.0 to 98.1%), LR+ve 17.9 (7.34 to 43.8), LR-ve 0.21 (0.08 to 0.58), Diagnostic OR 85.6 (18.2 to 403.6) and accuracy 93.7% (88.0 to 97.2%) for cardiogenic shock. Standard assessment without PoCUS had a sensitivity of 91.7% (64.6 to 98.5%), specificity 93.8% (87.8 to 97.0%), LR+ve 14.8 (7.1 to 30.9), LR- of 0.09 (0.01 to 0.58), Diagnostic OR 166.6 (18.7 to 1481) and accuracy of 93.6% (87.8 to 97.2%). There was no significant difference in sensitivity (-11.7% (-37.8 to 18.3%)) or specificity (1.73% (-4.67 to 8.29%)). Diagnostic performance was also similar between other shock subcategories. Conclusion: As reported in other studies, PoCUS based assessment performed well diagnostically in undifferentiated hypotensive patients, especially as a rule-in test. However performance was similar to standard (non-PoCUS) assessment, which was excellent in this study.
Medical equipment can transmit pathogenic bacteria to patients. This single-institution point prevalence study aimed to characterise the types and relative amount of bacteria found on surgical loupes, headlights and their battery packs.
Surgical loupes, headlights and battery packs of 16 otolaryngology staff and residents were sampled, cultured and quantified. Plate scores were summed for each equipment type, and the total was divided by the number of users to generate mean bacterial burden scores. Residents completed a questionnaire regarding their equipment cleaning practices.
The contamination rates of loupes, headlights and battery packs were 68.75 per cent, 100 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively. Battery packs cultured more bacteria (1.58 per swab ± 1.00) than loupes (0.75 per swab ± 0.66; p = 0.024). Headlights had non-significantly greater growth (1.50 per swab ± 0.71) than loupes (p = 0.052). Bacterial growth was significantly higher from inner surfaces of loupes (p = 0.035) and headlights (p = 0.037). Potentially pathogenic bacteria were cultured from the equipment of five participants, including: Pantoea agglomerans, Acinetobacter radioresistens, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus baumannii complex and Moraxella osloensis.
This study demonstrates that surgical loupes and headlights used in otolaryngology harbour non-pathogenic skin flora and potentially pathogenic bacteria.
Transoral laser microsurgery is an increasingly common treatment modality for glottic carcinoma. This study aimed to determine the effect of age, gender, stage and time on voice-related quality of life using the Voice Handicap Index-10.
Primary early glottic carcinoma patients treated with transoral laser microsurgery were included in the study. Self-reported Voice Handicap Index testing was completed pre-operatively, three months post-operatively, and yearly at follow-up appointments.
Voice Handicap Index improvement was found to be dependent on age and tumour stage, while no significant differences were found in Voice Handicap Index for gender. Voice Handicap Index score was significantly improved at 12 months and 24 months. Time versus Voice Handicap Index modelling revealed a preference for non-linear over linear regression.
Age and stage are important factors, as younger patients with more advanced tumours show greater voice improvement post-operatively. Patient's Voice Handicap Index is predicted to have 95 per cent of maximal improvement by 5.5 months post-operatively.
A laboratory-based X-ray microprobe, composed of a high-brilliance microfocus X-ray tube, coupled with a small glass capillary, has been developed for materials applications. Because of total external reflectance of X rays from the smooth inside bore of the glass capillary, the microprobe has a high sensitivity as well as a high spatial resolution. The use of X rays to excite elemental fluorescence offers the advantages of good peak-to-background, the ability to operate in air, and minimal specimen preparation. In addition, the development of laboratory-based instrumentation has been of Interest recently because of greater accessibility when compared with synchrotron X-ray microprobes.
We assessed whether paternal demographic, anthropometric and clinical factors influence the risk of an infant being born large-for-gestational-age (LGA). We examined the data on 3659 fathers of term offspring (including 662 LGA infants) born to primiparous women from Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE). LGA was defined as birth weight >90th centile as per INTERGROWTH 21st standards, with reference group being infants ⩽90th centile. Associations between paternal factors and likelihood of an LGA infant were examined using univariable and multivariable models. Men who fathered LGA babies were 180 g heavier at birth (P<0.001) and were more likely to have been born macrosomic (P<0.001) than those whose infants were not LGA. Fathers of LGA infants were 2.1 cm taller (P<0.001), 2.8 kg heavier (P<0.001) and had similar body mass index (BMI). In multivariable models, increasing paternal birth weight and height were independently associated with greater odds of having an LGA infant, irrespective of maternal factors. One unit increase in paternal BMI was associated with 2.9% greater odds of having an LGA boy but not girl; however, this association disappeared after adjustment for maternal BMI. There were no associations between paternal demographic factors or clinical history and infant LGA. In conclusion, fathers who were heavier at birth and were taller were more likely to have an LGA infant, but maternal BMI had a dominant influence on LGA.
We sought to define the prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and determine the utility of screening in asymptomatic patients. We analysed echocardiograms performed on survivors who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 1982 to 2006. A total of 389 patients were alive in 2017, with 114 having an echocardiogram obtained ⩾5 years post-infusion. A total of 95 patients had echocardiogram performed for routine surveillance. The mean time post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 13 years. Of 95 patients, 77 (82.1%) had ejection fraction measured, and 10/77 (13.0%) had ejection fraction z-scores ⩽−2.0, which is abnormally low. Those patients with abnormal ejection fraction were significantly more likely to have been exposed to anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Among individuals who received neither anthracyclines nor total body irradiation, only 1/31 (3.2%) was found to have an abnormal ejection fraction of 51.4%, z-score −2.73. In the cohort of 77 patients, the negative predictive value of having a normal ejection fraction given no exposure to total body irradiation or anthracyclines was 96.7% at 95% confidence interval (83.3–99.8%). Systolic dysfunction is relatively common in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who have received anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Survivors who are asymptomatic and did not receive radiation or anthracyclines likely do not require surveillance echocardiograms, unless otherwise indicated.
Recovery Colleges are opening internationally. The evaluation focus has been on outcomes for Recovery College students who use mental health services. However, benefits may also arise for: staff who attend or co-deliver courses; the mental health and social care service hosting the Recovery College; and wider society. A theory-based change model characterising how Recovery Colleges impact at these higher levels is needed for formal evaluation of their impact, and to inform future Recovery College development. The aim of this study was to develop a stratified theory identifying candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes (impact) for Recovery Colleges at staff, services and societal levels.
Inductive thematic analysis of 44 publications identified in a systematised review was supplemented by collaborative analysis involving a lived experience advisory panel to develop a preliminary theoretical framework. This was refined through semi-structured interviews with 33 Recovery College stakeholders (service user students, peer/non-peer trainers, managers, community partners, clinicians) in three sites in England.
Candidate mechanisms of action and outcomes were identified at staff, services and societal levels. At the staff level, experiencing new relationships may change attitudes and associated professional practice. Identified outcomes for staff included: experiencing and valuing co-production; changed perceptions of service users; and increased passion and job motivation. At the services level, Recovery Colleges often develop somewhat separately from their host system, reducing the reach of the college into the host organisation but allowing development of an alternative culture giving experiential learning opportunities to staff around co-production and the role of a peer workforce. At the societal level, partnering with community-based agencies gave other members of the public opportunities for learning alongside people with mental health problems and enabled community agencies to work with people they might not have otherwise. Recovery Colleges also gave opportunities to beneficially impact on community attitudes.
This study is the first to characterise the mechanisms of action and impact of Recovery Colleges on mental health staff, mental health and social care services, and wider society. The findings suggest that a certain distance is needed in the relationship between the Recovery College and its host organisation if a genuine cultural alternative is to be created. Different strategies are needed depending on what level of impact is intended, and this study can inform decision-making about mechanisms to prioritise. Future research into Recovery Colleges should include contextual evaluation of these higher level impacts, and investigate effectiveness and harms.
This article examines online recruitment via Facebook, Mechanical Turk (MTurk), and Qualtrics panels in India and the United States. It compares over 7300 respondents—1000 or more from each source and country—to nationally representative benchmarks in terms of demographics, political attitudes and knowledge, cooperation, and experimental replication. In the United States, MTurk offers the cheapest and fastest recruitment, Qualtrics is most demographically and politically representative, and Facebook facilitates targeted sampling. The India samples look much less like the population, though Facebook offers broad geographical coverage. We find online convenience samples often provide valid inferences into how partisanship moderates treatment effects. Yet they are typically unrepresentative on such political variables, which has implications for the external validity of sample average treatment effects.