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Distinguishing a disorder of persistent and impairing grief from normative grief allows clinicians to identify this often undetected and disabling condition. As four diagnostic criteria sets for a grief disorder have been proposed, their similarities and differences need to be elucidated.
Participants were family members bereaved by US military service death (N = 1732). We conducted analyses to assess the accuracy of each criteria set in identifying threshold cases (participants who endorsed baseline Inventory of Complicated Grief ⩾30 and Work and Social Adjustment Scale ⩾20) and excluding those below this threshold. We also calculated agreement among criteria sets by varying numbers of required associated symptoms.
All four criteria sets accurately excluded participants below our identified clinical threshold (i.e. correctly excluding 86–96% of those subthreshold), but they varied in identification of threshold cases (i.e. correctly identifying 47–82%). When the number of associated symptoms was held constant, criteria sets performed similarly. Accurate case identification was optimized when one or two associated symptoms were required. When employing optimized symptom numbers, pairwise agreements among criteria became correspondingly ‘very good’ (κ = 0.86–0.96).
The four proposed criteria sets describe a similar condition of persistent and impairing grief, but differ primarily in criteria restrictiveness. Diagnostic guidance for prolonged grief disorder in International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition (ICD-11) functions well, whereas the criteria put forth in Section III of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) are unnecessarily restrictive.
The World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Disease (ICD-11) is expected to include a new diagnosis for prolonged grief disorder (ICD-11PGD). This study examines the validity and clinical utility of the ICD-11PGD guideline by testing its performance in a well-characterized clinical sample and contrasting it with a very different criteria set with the same name (PGDPLOS).
We examined data from 261 treatment-seeking participants in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-sponsored multicenter clinical trial to determine the rates of diagnosis using the ICD-11PGD guideline and compared these with diagnosis using PGDPLOS criteria.
The ICD-11PGD guideline identified 95.8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 93.3–98.2%] of a treatment-responsive cohort of patients with distressing and impairing grief. PGDPLOS criteria identified only 59.0% (95% CI 53.0–65.0%) and were more likely to omit those who lost someone other than a spouse, were currently married, bereaved by violent means, or not diagnosed with co-occurring depression. Those not diagnosed by PGDPLOS criteria showed the same rate of treatment response as those who were diagnosed.
The ICD-11PGD diagnostic guideline showed good performance characteristics in this sample, while PGDPLOS criteria did not. Limitations of the research sample used to derive PGDPLOS criteria may partly explain their poor performance in a more diverse clinical sample. Clinicians and researchers need to be aware of the important difference between these two identically named diagnostic methods.
The study investigated housing tenure as a factor moderating the effects of loneliness and socio-economic status (SES) on quality of life (control and autonomy, pleasure, and self-realisation) over a two-year period for older adults. Data from the 2010 and 2012 waves of the New Zealand Health, Work, and Retirement Study were analysed. Using case-control matching, for each tenant (N = 332) we selected a home-owner (N = 332) of the same age, gender, ethnicity, SES, working status and urban/rural residence. Structural equation modelling was employed to examine the impact of SES, housing tenure and loneliness on quality of life over time. Emotional loneliness exerted a significant negative main effect on control and autonomy and pleasure. Tenure and SES influenced control and autonomy, but not pleasure or self-realisation. Tenure moderated the effect of emotional loneliness on control and autonomy, with the negative effect of emotional loneliness weaker for home-owners compared to renters. Tenure moderated the effect of SES on control and autonomy, with the positive impact of SES stronger for home-owners. Findings suggest that owners capitalise on their material and financial resources more than tenants in terms of their quality of life. In addition, home-ownership can act as a protective factor against the harmful effects of emotional loneliness in old age.
To: (i) determine the prevalence of self-reported eating less and eating down during early and late pregnancy and postpartum, and explore risk factors associated with eating less; (ii) examine the association between eating less and diet quality; and (iii) determine the association between eating less and weight gain during pregnancy.
Data were collected longitudinally from a cohort of women participating in a community health programme. Diet was assessed at three time points (≤20 weeks’ gestation, 36 weeks’ gestation, 6 months’ postpartum), body weight was measured during study enrolment (≤20 weeks’ gestation) and at 36 weeks’ gestation, and information about the woman and her household was collected at enrolment.
The Rang-Din Nutrition Study in the Rangpur and Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh.
Women (n 4011).
The prevalence of self-reported eating less differed by time point (75·9 % in early pregnancy, 38·8 % in late pregnancy, 7·4 % postpartum; P<0·001). The most common reason for eating less across all time periods was food aversion or loss of appetite. Women who reported eating less in late pregnancy had consumed animal-source foods less frequently in the preceding week than women who reported eating more (mean (sd): 11·7 (7·4) v. 14·8 (9·2) times/week; P<0·001) and had lower weekly weight gain than women who reported eating more (mean (se): 0·27 (0·004) v. 0·33 (0·004) kg/week; P<0·001).
Eating less has negative implications with respect to diet quality and pregnancy weight gain in this context.
Efforts to address health disparities and achieve health equity are critically dependent on the development of a diverse research workforce. However, many researchers from underrepresented backgrounds face challenges in advancing their careers, securing independent funding, and finding the mentorship needed to expand their research.
Faculty from the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed and evaluated an intensive week-long research and career-development institute—the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI)—with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented scholars who can sustain their ongoing commitment to health equity research.
In 2010-2016, HELI brought 145 diverse scholars (78% from an underrepresented background; 81% female) together to engage with each other and learn from supportive faculty. Overall, scholar feedback was highly positive on all survey items, with average agreement ratings of 4.45-4.84 based on a 5-point Likert scale. Eighty-five percent of scholars remain in academic positions. In the first three cohorts, 73% of HELI participants have been promoted and 23% have secured independent federal funding.
HELI includes an evidence-based curriculum to develop a diverse workforce for health equity research. For those institutions interested in implementing such an institute to develop and support underrepresented early stage investigators, a resource toolbox is provided.
Driving anxiety can range from driving reluctance to driving phobia, and 20% of young older adults experience mild driving anxiety, whereas 6% report moderate to severe driving anxiety. However, we do not know what impact driving anxiety has on health and well-being, especially among older drivers. This is problematic because there is a growing proportion of older adult drivers and a potential for driving anxiety to result in premature driving cessation that can impact on health and mortality. The purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of driving anxiety on young older adults’ health and well-being.
Data were taken from a longitudinal study of health and aging that included 2,473 young older adults aged 55–70 years. The outcome measures were mental and physical health (SF-12) and quality of life (WHOQOL-8).
Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that driving anxiety was associated with poorer mental health, physical health, and quality of life, over and above the effect of socio-demographic variables. Sex moderated the effect of driving anxiety on mental health and quality of life in that, as driving anxiety increased, men and women were more likely to have lower mental health and quality of life, but women were more likely to have higher scores compared to men.
Further research is needed to investigate whether driving anxiety contributes to premature driving cessation. If so, self-regulation of driving and treating driving anxiety could be important in preventing or reducing the declines in health and quality of life associated with driving cessation for older adults affected by driving anxiety.
Passive frame theory attempts to illuminate what consciousness is, in mechanistic and functional terms; it does not address the “implementation” level of analysis (how neurons instantiate conscious states), an enigma for various disciplines. However, in response to the commentaries, we discuss how our framework provides clues regarding this enigma. In the framework, consciousness is passive albeit essential. Without consciousness, there would not be adaptive skeletomotor action.
Peer drinking norms are arguably one of the strongest correlates of adolescent drinking. Prospective studies indicate that adolescents tend to select peers based on drinking (peer selection) and their peers' drinking is associated with changes in adolescent drinking over time (peer socialization). The present study investigated whether the peer selection and socialization processes in adolescent drinking differed as a function of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) variable number tandem repeat genotype in two independent prospective data sets. The first sample was 174 high school students drawn from a two-wave 6-month prospective study. The second sample was 237 college students drawn from a three-wave annual prospective study. Multigroup cross-lagged panel analyses of the high school student sample indicated stronger socialization via peer drinking norms among carriers, whereas analyses of the college student sample indicated stronger drinking-based peer selection in the junior year among carriers, compared to noncarriers. Although replication and meta-analytic synthesis are needed, these findings suggest that in part genetically determined peer selection (carriers of the DRD4 seven-repeat allele tend to associate with peers who have more favorable attitudes toward drinking and greater alcohol use) and peer socialization (carriers' subsequent drinking behaviors are more strongly associated with their peer drinking norms) may differ across adolescent developmental stages.
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
What is the primary function of consciousness in the nervous system? The answer to this question remains enigmatic, not so much because of a lack of relevant data, but because of the lack of a conceptual framework with which to interpret the data. To this end, we have developed Passive Frame Theory, an internally coherent framework that, from an action-based perspective, synthesizes empirically supported hypotheses from diverse fields of investigation. The theory proposes that the primary function of consciousness is well-circumscribed, serving the somatic nervous system. For this system, consciousness serves as a frame that constrains and directs skeletal muscle output, thereby yielding adaptive behavior. The mechanism by which consciousness achieves this is more counterintuitive, passive, and “low level” than the kinds of functions that theorists have previously attributed to consciousness. Passive frame theory begins to illuminate (a) what consciousness contributes to nervous function, (b) how consciousness achieves this function, and (c) the neuroanatomical substrates of conscious processes. Our untraditional, action-based perspective focuses on olfaction instead of on vision and is descriptive (describing the products of nature as they evolved to be) rather than normative (construing processes in terms of how they should function). Passive frame theory begins to isolate the neuroanatomical, cognitive-mechanistic, and representational (e.g., conscious contents) processes associated with consciousness.
Contemporary Western social policy encourages older adults to maintain independence in the community. Socio-cultural norms of independence have recently become associated with successful ageing. Personal autonomy and self-responsibility are cultural markers by which older adults increasingly define their lives and identity. Many older adults seek to remain independent within their communities, while coping with age-related decline, and living alone with decreased social connectedness. These characteristics have also been associated with personal and social vulnerability and explain why older adults are at higher risk of experiencing disproportionate negative outcomes during disasters. This paper describes findings from narrative interviews with a sample of independent community-dwelling New Zealand older adults. The interviews sought to explore their views about disaster preparedness. However, within their accounts was a collective and bigger story about personal preparedness, and social relationships in later life, which extended beyond the context of preparing for a future disaster event. Older adults identified age-specific preparedness as a way to maintain independence in the everyday context of their lives. Concerns about health influenced their choices and actions as they evaluated and prioritised goals and strategies to maintain independence and wellbeing. Social relationships were also considered an important resource to support independence. Understanding the role of preparedness in the everyday lives of older adults has implications for improving the disproportionate negative outcomes this vulnerable age group can experience during a disaster. Therefore, health, gerontology and emergency management have much in common when considering older adults' preparedness during non-disaster times.
National differences in cognitive health of older adults provide an opportunity to shed light on etiological factors. We compared the cognitive health of older adults in New Zealand and the USA, and examined differences in known risk factors.
Two nationally representative samples were derived from the 2010 waves of the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing (n = 953) and the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) (n = 3,746). Data from comparable measures of cognitive function, gender, age, income, education, prevalence of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, exercise, alcohol consumption, smoker status, depression, and self-reported health were subjected to hierarchical regression analysis to examine how national differences in cognitive function might be explained by differences in these risk factors.
The New Zealand sample scored 4.4 points higher on average than the US sample on the 43 point cognitive scale. Regression analyses of the combined samples showed that poorer cognitive health is more likely in those who are male, older, less educated, have suffered a stroke, consume alcohol less frequently, are more depressed, and report worse overall health. Controlling for age and sex reduced the mean difference to 2.6 and controlling for risk factors further reduced it to 2.3.
Older New Zealand adults displayed better cognitive function than those in a US sample. This advantage can be partially explained by age and sex differences and, to some extent, by differences in known risk factors. However, the national advantage remained even when all measured risk factors are statistically controlled.
The impact of disparities in socio-economic status on the health of older people is an important issue for policy makers in the context of population ageing. As older people live in different types of economic circumstances and because, as people age, their desires and needs are different to those of younger generations, measures of living standards need to be appropriate for older people. This paper reports on the validation of a measure of living standards for older people based on Sen's Capability Approach. Using this approach, living standards are conceptualised as varying from constraint to freedom rather than from hardship to comfort. Using the New Zealand Longitudinal Study of Ageing omnibus survey of 3,923 adults aged 50–87 years, the validity of the measure was assessed. The results indicate that this measure assesses what older people are able to achieve. In addition, this measure discriminates better at the higher end of the living standards spectrum than an existing measure that assesses living standards from hardship to comfort in terms of what people possess. From this, a short form of the measure has been developed which offers a conceptually based and valid measure useful for survey research with older people. This measure of living standards provides future avenues for improved understandings of socio-economic position in later life.
Colchicine has a low therapeutic index. Its toxic effects generally occur at doses ≥ 0.5 mg/kg. We present the case of a 39-year-old female with toxicity following ingestion of 0.28 mg/kg. The patient presented to the emergency department (ED) with severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain following an intentional multidrug ingestion that included colchicine, indomethacin, and zopiclone. Despite toxicologic management and supportive care, admission to the intensive care unit was required for clinical deterioration and symptom management. Shock and multiorgan failure resulted, with death occurring 52 hours postingestion. Although the toxic effects of colchicine are well documented, mortality caused by low doses is relatively uncommon. Management of toxicity consists of early diagnosis, decontamination, and supportive measures. Toxicity may be enhanced by drug interactions inhibiting metabolic enzymes or poor excretion due to renal failure. In this case, the ingestion of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug and the associated volume depletion from the gastrointestinal effects of colchicine may have contributed to renal dysfunction, exacerbating the toxicity of colchicine. This ingestion of a relatively small dose of colchicine led to severe toxicity. Treatment options for colchicine toxicity are limited.