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The Systems Ecology Paradigm (SEP) incorporates humans as integral parts of ecosystems and emphasizes issues that have significant societal relevance such as grazing land, forestland, and agricultural ecosystem management, biodiversity and global change impacts. Accomplishing this societally relevant research requires cutting-edge basic and applied research. This book focuses on environmental and natural resource challenges confronting local to global societies for which the SEP methodology must be utilized for resolution. Key elements of SEP are a holistic perspective of ecological/social systems, systems thinking, and the ecosystem approach applied to real world, complex environmental and natural resource problems. The SEP and ecosystem approaches force scientific emphasis to be placed on collaborations with social scientists and behavioral, learning, and marketing professionals. The SEP has given environmental scientists, decision makers, citizen stakeholders, and land and water managers a powerful set of tools to analyse, integrate knowledge, and propose adoption of solutions to important local to global problems.
Assessment of risks of illnesses has been an important part of medicine for decades. We now have hundreds of ‘risk calculators’ for illnesses, including brain disorders, and these calculators are continually improving as more diverse measures are collected on larger samples.
We first replicated an existing psychosis risk calculator and then used our own sample to develop a similar calculator for use in recruiting ‘psychosis risk’ enriched community samples. We assessed 632 participants age 8–21 (52% female; 48% Black) from a community sample with longitudinal data on neurocognitive, clinical, medical, and environmental variables. We used this information to predict psychosis spectrum (PS) status in the future. We selected variables based on lasso, random forest, and statistical inference relief; and predicted future PS using ridge regression, random forest, and support vector machines.
Cross-validated prediction diagnostics were obtained by building and testing models in randomly selected sub-samples of the data, resulting in a distribution of the diagnostics; we report the mean. The strongest predictors of later PS status were the Children's Global Assessment Scale; delusions of predicting the future or having one's thoughts/actions controlled; and the percent married in one's neighborhood. Random forest followed by ridge regression was most accurate, with a cross-validated area under the curve (AUC) of 0.67. Adjustment of the model including only six variables reached an AUC of 0.70.
Results support the potential application of risk calculators for screening and identification of at-risk community youth in prospective investigations of developmental trajectories of the PS.
Cognitive tasks delivered during ecological momentary assessment (EMA) may elucidate the short-term dynamics and contextual influences on cognition and judgements of performance. This paper provides initial validation of a smartphone task of facial emotion recognition in serious mental illness.
A total of 86 participants with psychotic disorders (non-affective and affective psychosis), aged 19–65, were administered in-lab ‘gold standard’ affect recognition, neurocognition, and symptom assessments. They subsequently completed 10 days of the mobile facial emotion recognition task, assessing both accuracy and self-assessed performance, along with concurrent EMA of psychotic symptoms and mood. Validation focused on task adherence and predictors of adherence, gold standard convergent validity, and symptom and diagnostic group variation.
The mean rate of adherence to the task was 79%; no demographic or clinical variables predicted adherence. Convergent validity was observed with in-lab measures of facial emotion recognition, and no practice effects were observed on the mobile facial emotion recognition task. EMA reports of more severe voices, sadness, and paranoia were associated with worse performance, whereas mood more strongly associated with self-assessed performance.
The mobile facial emotion recognition task was tolerated and demonstrated convergent validity with in-lab measures of the same construct. Social cognitive performance, and biased judgements previously shown to predict function, can be evaluated in real-time in naturalistic environments.
Adolescent diet, physical activity and nutritional status are generally known to be sub-optimal. This is an introduction to a special issue of papers devoted to exploring factors affecting diet and physical activity in adolescents, including food insecure and vulnerable groups.
Eight settings including urban, peri-urban and rural across sites from five different low- and middle-income countries.
Focus groups with adolescents and caregivers carried out by trained researchers.
Our results show that adolescents, even in poor settings, know about healthy diet and lifestyles. They want to have energy, feel happy, look good and live longer, but their desire for autonomy, a need to ‘belong’ in their peer group, plus vulnerability to marketing exploiting their aspirations, leads them to make unhealthy choices. They describe significant gender, culture and context-specific barriers. For example, urban adolescents had easy access to energy dense, unhealthy foods bought outside the home, whereas junk foods were only beginning to permeate rural sites. Among adolescents in Indian sites, pressure to excel in exams meant that academic studies were squeezing out physical activity time.
Interventions to improve adolescents’ diets and physical activity levels must therefore address structural and environmental issues and influences in their homes and schools, since it is clear that their food and activity choices are the product of an interacting complex of factors. In the next phase of work, the Transforming Adolescent Lives through Nutrition consortium will employ groups of adolescents, caregivers and local stakeholders in each site to develop interventions to improve adolescent nutritional status.
We examined demographic, clinical, and psychological characteristics of a large cohort (n = 368) of adults with dissociative seizures (DS) recruited to the CODES randomised controlled trial (RCT) and explored differences associated with age at onset of DS, gender, and DS semiology.
Prior to randomisation within the CODES RCT, we collected demographic and clinical data on 368 participants. We assessed psychiatric comorbidity using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) and a screening measure of personality disorder and measured anxiety, depression, psychological distress, somatic symptom burden, emotional expression, functional impact of DS, avoidance behaviour, and quality of life. We undertook comparisons based on reported age at DS onset (<40 v. ⩾40), gender (male v. female), and DS semiology (predominantly hyperkinetic v. hypokinetic).
Our cohort was predominantly female (72%) and characterised by high levels of socio-economic deprivation. Two-thirds had predominantly hyperkinetic DS. Of the total, 69% had ⩾1 comorbid M.I.N.I. diagnosis (median number = 2), with agoraphobia being the most common concurrent diagnosis. Clinical levels of distress were reported by 86% and characteristics associated with maladaptive personality traits by 60%. Moderate-to-severe functional impairment, high levels of somatic symptoms, and impaired quality of life were also reported. Women had a younger age at DS onset than men.
Our study highlights the burden of psychopathology and socio-economic deprivation in a large, heterogeneous cohort of patients with DS. The lack of clear differences based on gender, DS semiology and age at onset suggests these factors do not add substantially to the heterogeneity of the cohort.
Introduction: This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of the Échelle québécoise de triage préhospitalier en traumatologie (EQTPT) to identify patients who will need urgent and specialized trauma care in the La Capitale-Nationale region, province of Quebec. Methods: A detailed review of prehospital and in-hospital medical charts was conducted for a sample of patients transported following a trauma by ambulance to one of the five CHU de Quebec's emergency departments (ED) between November 2016 and March 2017. Data related to the trauma mechanism, population, injuries sustained, diagnosis, intervention and patient outcomes were extracted. The study primary outcome was the use of at least one urgent and specialized trauma care defined as: admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), urgent surgery within less than 24 hours after arrival (excluding orthopedic surgery for one limb only), intubation in ED, angioembolization within 24 hours after ED arrival, activation of a massive transfusion protocol in the ED. Also, patients who died secondary to their trauma were also considered as requiring urgent care. Results: 902 patients were included. The mean age (SD) was 59 (28.5) years old, 494 (54.8%) were female. The main trauma mechanisms were falls (592 (65.6%)) followed by motor vehicle accident (201 (22%)). 367 (40.7%) patients were transported directly to the tertiary trauma centre from the field. 231 (25.6%) patients had at least one criteria included in the steps 1, 2 or 3 of the EQTPT. Subsequently, most patients (649 (71.9%) were discharged home from the ED while 177 (19.6%) patients were admitted to the hospital. 82 (9.1%) patients required urgent and specialized trauma care. Of these 82 patients, 27 patients (32%) were identified in step 1 of the protocol, 12 patients (14.6%) in step 2, 5 patients (6.1%) in step 3, 13 patients (15.9%) in step 4 and 2 patients (2.4%) in step 5 while 23 (28.0%) patients were not identified by any steps of the EQTPT protocol. Therefore, 44 (53.6%) of the patients requiring urgent and specialized trauma care were identified by the criteria proposed in the steps 1, 2 or 3. Conclusion: In this retrospective cohort study, the EQTPT was insensitive to identify trauma patients who will need prompt and complex trauma management. Studies are required to determine the factors that could help improve its accuracy.
Objective. To identify clinically useful predictors of adherence to medication among persons with schizophrenia. Method. We evaluated levels of compliance with neuroleptic medication among 32 consecutive admissions with DSM-III-R schizophrenia from a geographically defined catchment area using a compliance interview. We also assessed symptomatology, insight, neurological status and memory. Results. Less than 25% of consecutive admissions reported being fully compliant. Drug attitudes were the best predictor of regular compliance, symptomatology the best predictor of noncompliance, and memory the best predictor of partial compliance with neuroleptic medication. Conclusions. These data emphasise the complexity of factors that influence whether a person adheres to his medication regimen. Furthermore, they suggest that these factors may vary within the same person over time.
National and international research has shown the association between depression and anxiety disorders with the risk of planned and impulsive suicidal behavior. Patients with depression may have severe anxiety or agitation associated with their depression with or without comorbid additional anxiety disorder diagnoses.
1. Evaluate differences between self rated overall suicide risk of inpatients on a treatment resistant depression unit based on presence or absence of comorbid anxiety disorder.
2. Evaluate association of pharmacogenetic testing results with self-ratings of suicide risk.
1. To determine if suicide risk of psychiatric inpatients is higher in patients with depression and comorbid anxiety disorder.
2. To determine utility of pharmacogenetic testing with suicide risk assessment and patterns of use in patients with treatment resistant depression at a large academic medical center.
This is a retrospective records review study of a sample of over 700 inpatients on a treatment resistant depression unit at the Mayo Clinic. Patients overall suicide risk self-assessments will be analyzed for differences in suicide risk assessment controlling for diagnoses, age, and sex. Pharmacogenetic testing results, including serotonin transporter and p450 2D6 testing results, will be analyzed for their association with suicide risk.
Statistical analyses results are pending at time of abstract submission.
At a population level, the interplay between anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms is felt to be key to understanding the progression from suicidal ideation to suicidal behavior. Factors complicating this at an individual patient level along with results of research study will be discussed.
In the NHS Forth Valley (Central Scotland) substance misuse service (SMS), there is an arrangement whereby the details of individuals administered naloxone for overdose via the ambulance service are passed to the SMS. Each patient has an allocated keyworker (nurse). It is accepted that near fatal overdoses (NFOs) are possible precursors to fatal overdose and drug-related deaths.
– if the information is being disseminated appropriately;
– service response and follow-up for individuals;
– patterns which might influence prescribing practice.
A list of NFOs of known patients for the previous two years was acquired from the ambulance service. There was a retrospective review of the SMS prescribing database and clinical casenotes.
– 81% male;
– 53% aged < 40;
– 14% of NFO's involved those in titration phase;
– 86% were prescribed methadone. Methadone average dose 57 mg (20–80 mg) and 54% were prescribed > 60 mg/day.
Receipts of information:
– sixty-one percent of keyworkers were notified.
– in most cases when the keyworkers was informed, there was prompt action to contact and review patients (0–21 days). However, only 21% had a timely review (within 1 month) by a doctor following NFO.
There needs to be an improvement in the dissemination of information between the ambulance service, administrative staff and keyworkers. Most NFO patients were prescribed > 60 mg of methadone. There needs to better identification of “harm-reduction” prescribing whereby methadone doses should be reduced at times of ongoing drug use. Fourteen percent of NFO's involved those in titration phase (twice weekly reviews) which provides an opportunity to screen and intervene for potential NFOs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The hepatic safety of agomelatine was assessed in 49 phase II and III studies. The aim was to analyze the characteristics of patients who developed an increase in transaminases whilst taking agomelatine.
A retrospective pooled analysis of changes in serum transaminase in 7605 patients treated with agomelatine (25 mg or 50 mg/day) from 49 completed studies was undertaken. A significant increase in serum transaminase was defined as > 3-fold the upper limit of normal (> 3 ULN). Final causality was determined in a case-by-case review by five academic experts.
Transaminase increased to > 3 ULN in 1.3% and 2.5% of patients treated with 25 mg and 50 mg of agomelatine respectively, compared to 0.5% for placebo. The onset of increased transaminases occurred at < 12 weeks in 64% of patients. The median time to recovery (to ≤ 2ULN) was 14 days following treatment withdrawal. Liver function tests recovered in 36.1% patients despite the continuation of agomelatine, suggesting the presence of a liver adaptive mechanism. Patients with elevated transaminases at baseline, secondary to obesity and fatty liver disease (NAFLD), had an equally increased risk of developing further elevations of transaminases with agomelatine and placebo. This reflects the widespread fluctuations of serum transaminases in patients with NAFLD.
The overall incidence of abnormal transaminases was low and dose dependent. No specific population was identified regarding potential risk factors. Withdrawal of agomelatine led to rapid recovery, and some patients exhibited an adaptive phenomenon. The liver profile of agomelatine seems safe when serum transaminases are monitored.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
Evidence suggests that dietary intake of UK children is currently suboptimal. It is therefore imperative to identify effective and sustainable methods of improving dietary habits and knowledge in this population, whilst also promoting the value of healthiness of food products beyond price. Schools are ideally placed to influence children's knowledge and health, and Project Daire, in partnership with schools, food industry partners and stakeholders, aims to improve children's knowledge of, and interest in, food to improve health, wellbeing and educational attainment.
Daire is a randomised-controlled, factorial design trial evaluating two interventions. In total, n = 880 Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 pupils have been recruited from 18 primary schools in the North West of Northern Ireland and will be randomised to one of four 6-month intervention arms: i) ‘Engage’, ii) ‘Nourish’, iii) ‘Engage’ and ‘Nourish’ and iv) Delayed. ‘Engage’ is an age-appropriate, cross-curricular educational intervention on food, agriculture, science and careers linked to the current curriculum. ‘Nourish’ is an intervention aiming to alter schools’ food environments and increase exposure to local foods. Study outcomes include food knowledge, attitudes, trust, diet, behaviour, health and wellbeing and will be collected at baseline and six months. Qualitative data on teacher/pupil opinions will also be collected. The intervention phase is currently ongoing. We present baseline results from our involvement and food attitudes measure from all participating schools. Results were compared by Key Stage and sex using Pearson Chi-Squared test.
Baseline results from our food involvement and attitudes measure are presented for n = 880 KS1 (n = 454) and KS2 (n = 426) pupils. KS1 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (89.0%) whilst KS2 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food preparation (69.0%). A higher proportion of KS1 pupils reported liking to try new foods (66.1%) and that it was important that food looked (64.5%), tasted (71.1%) and smelled good (60.6%) compared with KS2 children (P < 0.01). Girls were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (96.2%) and preparation (73%) when compared with boys; whilst a higher proportion of girls reported they liked to try new foods (48.2%) and that it was important that food looked (68%) smelled (50.5%) and tasted (71.8%) good compared with boys (P < 0.01).
Results suggest that involvement in food preparation and shopping, willingness to try new foods and attitudes towards food presentation varied by KS and sex in this cohort.
Beyond safety considerations for other patients and staff in the immediate vicinity, those practising in the field of infectious diseases, microbiology and virology must have proficient knowledge, skills and behaviour relating to the public health considerations of communicable disease control. Practitioners must be able to describe the public health issues relating to communicable diseases and to specific infections (incubation periods, transmission routes, vaccinations available, need for mandatory notification), as well as understand basic epidemiological methods and the functions of health protection and environmental health teams.
The cornerstone of practice for practitioners in infectious diseases, microbiology and virology is the ability to diagnose and manage important clinical syndromes where infection is in the differential diagnosis. Practitioners must hold a detailed knowledge (covering the epidemiology, clinical presentation, relevant investigations and management and prognosis) of both community-acquired and healthcare-associated infections. This knowledge must cover infections in all body compartments and those causing systemic infections (such as blood-borne viruses). This must incorporate patients presenting from the community, and infections which develop among those already undergoing healthcare treatment for other conditions. In this latter group, infections among surgical patients and those colonised and infected with multi-drug-resistant organisms must be able to be managed with confidence. Similarly, common clinical infection syndromes presenting among patients returning from travel abroad must be able to be recognised, investigated appropriately and treated promptly. Practitioners must also be able to manage infections among special populations, including itinerant populations, those who may misuse drugs or alcohol, those at the extremes of age or who are pregnant and immunocompromised individuals. Specific to immunocompromised individuals, this should encompass both those with primary and with secondary immunocompromise.
In a clinical setting, practising infectious diseases medicine must incorporate knowledge, skills and behaviour to prevent onward spread of communicable diseases to other patients and to members of staff. The mode of transmission of communicable diseases must be understood, and practitioners must be able to interrupt their onward transmission. This includes the use of personal protective equipment for clinical interactions; from the types of equipment available, to their indication and the legislation surrounding their use (including Health and Safety at work). This also includes the use of isolation facilities; the indications for side rooms, negative pressure ventilation rooms; and when and how to arrange transfer to high-consequence infectious diseases units.
Patients living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have particular health needs relating to their diagnosis, the opportunistic infections which can affect them, and the chronic disease management of their condition which is impacted by the disease process itself and the medication used to control it. Practitioners working with patients living with human immunodeficiency virus must hold knowledge of the pathophysiology and natural history of the disease, the therapeutic options available for virological control and the likely complication from HIV and the medications. Practitioners must be able to safely monitor and interpret the test results of patients living with human immunodeficiency virus. They must also be able to advise on strategies to decrease onwards transmission of HIV, including pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis. Practitioners managing patients living with human immunodeficiency virus must be able to identify and treat the opportunistic infections which may arise.
An essential resource for practitioners in infectious diseases and microbiology, studying for the new FRCPath Part 1 infection examination accredited by the Royal College of Pathologists, and trainees sitting the membership exams of the Royal College of Physicians. Including over 300 multiple choice questions in an exam-style Q&A format, this guide provides an invaluable revision platform for domestic and international trainees alike, with scope to present infection-based support for other medical specialties, where infection forms a core component, including intensive care. Authored by leading specialists in infectious diseases and microbiology, this invaluable training guide is the first of its kind to cover both undergraduate and postgraduate material in infectious diseases. Mapping directly from the FRCPath and RCP infection curricula, students are able to explore areas of curriculum to gain knowledge and optimise decision-making skills, under pressure.
The nature of infectious diseases means that they are not bound by political or social boundaries. Practitioners in infectious diseases, microbiology and virology must, therefore, be competent in the recognition and management of imported infections and be aware of mechanisms to identify prevalent infections in different geographical areas. Practitioners must also be able to recognise problems of non-communicable diseases among immigrants from low- and middle-income settings. Practitioners in infectious diseases must also be competent in giving pre-travel medical advice including vaccination against communicable diseases and prophylaxis (both physical and chemical).