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Between 21 November and 22 December 2020, a SARS-CoV-2 community testing pilot took place in the South Wales Valleys. We conducted a case-control study in adults taking part in the pilot using an anonymous online questionnaire. Social, demographic and behavioural factors were compared in people with a positive lateral flow test (cases) and a sample of negatives (controls). A total of 199 cases and 2621 controls completed a questionnaire (response rates: 27.1 and 37.6% respectively). Following adjustment, cases were more likely to work in the hospitality sector (aOR 3.39, 95% CI 1.43–8.03), social care (aOR 2.63, 1.22–5.67) or healthcare (aOR 2.31, 1.29–4.13), live with someone self-isolating due to contact with a case (aOR 3.07, 2.03–4.62), visit a pub (aOR 2.87, 1.11–7.37) and smoke or vape (aOR 1.54, 1.02–2.32). In this community, and at this point in the epidemic, reducing transmission from a household contact who is self-isolating would have the biggest public health impact (population-attributable fraction: 0.2). As restrictions on social mixing are relaxed, hospitality venues will become of greater public health importance, and those working in this sector should be adequately protected. Smoking or vaping may be an important modifiable risk factor.
Sleep is vital for health and wellbeing across the lifecourse. Ethnic differences have been observed with regards to the prevalence and predictors of self-reported sleep problems. An understanding of sleep experiences with ageing and across ethnicities is required to better support older people. Open-ended interviews were conducted with 23 people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand aged 61–92 years (12 Māori and 11 non-Māori) concerning current sleep status, changes over their lifecourse and personal strategies for supporting good sleep. Participants typically expressed satisfaction with current sleep (usually pertaining to duration) or feelings that sleep was compromised (usually pertaining to waking function). Comparisons to a socially perceived ‘ideal’ sleep were common, with sleep transitions presented as a gradual and accepted part of ageing. Participants resisted medicalising sleep disruptions in older age. While participants were aware of ways to enhance their sleep, many acknowledged engaging in practices that undermined it. Unique insights from some Māori participants indicated that sleep disruptions were not so readily pathologised compared to Western views and that sleeplessness could provide opportunity for cultural or spiritual connection. Common narratives underpinning the themes were: ‘You don't need as much sleep when you're older’, ‘Sleep just fits in’ and ‘Having the time of my life’. Findings provide personal experiences and cultural interpretations relating to sleep and ageing. This provides the foundation for future participatory research to co-design sleep health messages which are meaningful for ageing well across ethnicities.
In recent decades, the use of conditionality backed by benefit sanctions for those claiming unemployment and related benefits has become widespread in the social security systems of high-income countries. Critics argue that sanctions may be ineffective in bringing people back to employment or indeed harmful in a range of ways. Existing reviews largely assess the labour market impacts of sanctions but our understanding of the wider impacts is more limited. We report results from a scoping review of the international quantitative research evidence on both labour market and wider impacts of benefit sanctions. Following systematic search and screening, we extract data for 94 studies reporting on 253 outcome measures. We provide a narrative summary, paying attention to the ability of the studies to support causal inference. Despite variation in the evidence base and study designs, we found that labour market studies, covering two thirds of our sample, consistently reported positive impacts for employment but negative impacts for job quality and stability in the longer term, along with increased transitions to non-employment or economic inactivity. Although largely relying on non-experimental designs, wider-outcome studies reported significant associations with increased material hardship and health problems. There was also some evidence that sanctions were associated with increased child maltreatment and poorer child well-being. Lastly, the review highlights the generally poor quality of the evidence base in this area, with few studies employing research methods designed to identify the causal impact of sanctions, especially in relation to wider impacts.
In the UK, postnatal depression is more common in British South Asian women than White Caucasion women. Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended as a first-line treatment, but there is little evidence for the adaptation of CBT for postnatal depression to ensure its applicability to different ethnic groups.
To evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a CBT-based positive health programme group intervention in British South Asian women with postnatal depression.
We have designed a multicentre, two-arm, partially nested, randomised controlled trial with 4- and 12-month follow-up, comparing a 12-session group CBT-based intervention (positive health programme) plus treatment as usual with treatment as usual alone, for British South Asian women with postnatal depression. Participants will be recruited from primary care and appropriate community venues in areas of high South Asian density across the UK. It has been estimated that randomising 720 participants (360 into each group) will be sufficient to detect a clinically important difference between a 55% recovery rate in the intervention group and a 40% recovery rate in the treatment-as-usual group. An economic analysis will estimate the cost-effectiveness of the positive health programme. A qualitative process evaluation will explore barriers and enablers to study participation and examine the acceptability and impact of the programme from the perspective of British South Asian women and other key stakeholders.
Conservation lacks sufficient well-trained leaders who are empowered to catalyse positive change for the natural world. Addressing this need, the University of Cambridge launched a Masters in Conservation Leadership in 2010. The degree includes several features designed to enhance its impact. Firstly, it recruits international, gender-balanced cohorts of mid-career professionals, building leadership capacity in the Global South and providing a rich environment for peer learning. Secondly, teaching includes applied leadership training in topics such as fundraising, leading people and networking, as well as interdisciplinary academic topics. Thirdly, the degree is delivered through the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a partnership of international NGOs and networks, facilitating extensive practitioner-led and experiential learning. We present details of programme design and evaluate the impact of the Masters after 10 years, using data from course records, student and alumni perspectives, and interviews with key stakeholders. The course has broadly succeeded in its design and recruitment objectives. Self-assessed leadership capabilities, career responsibilities and the overall impact of alumni increased significantly 5 years after graduation. However, specific impacts of alumni in certain areas, such as on their professional colleagues, have been less clear. We conclude by outlining future plans for the Masters in light of growing demands on conservation leaders and the changing landscape of leadership capacity development. These include reforms to course structure and assessment, long-term support to the alumni network and developing a conservation leadership community of practice.
The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
Psychiatric prescribers typically assess adherence by patient or caregiver self-report. A new digital medicine (DM) technology provides objective data on adherence by using an ingestible event monitoring (IEM) sensor embedded within oral medication to track ingestion. Despite likely clinical benefit, adoption by prescribers will in part depend on attitudes toward and experience with digital health technology, learning style preference (LSP), and how the technology s utility and value are described.
is to identify attitudes, experiences, and proclivities toward DM platforms that may affect adoption of the IEM platform and provide direction on tailoring educational materials to maximize adoption. Methods A survey of prescribers treating seriously mentally ill patients was conducted to assess drivers/barriers to IEM adoption. Factor analysis was performed on 13 items representing prior experience with and attitudes toward DM. Factor scores were correlated with prescriber characteristics including attitude and experience with digital technologies, LSP, and level of focus on healthcare cost.
A total of 127 prescribers (56% female, 76% physicians, mean age 48.1yrs.) completed the survey. Over 90% agreed medication adherence is important, visits allow enough time to monitor adherence (84.1%), and tailoring treatment to level of adherence would be beneficial (92.9%). The majority (65.9%) preferred relying upon outcomes data as their learning style while 15.9% preferred opinion leader recommendations and 18.3% information about how the technology would affect practice efficiency. Factor analysis revealed four dimensions: Level of comfort with EHR; Concern over current ability to monitor medication adherence; Attitudes about value of DM applications; and Benefits vs cost of DM for payers. Women scored higher on attitudes about the value of digital applications (p<0.01). Providers who perceive non-adherence as costly, and those who believe DM could benefit providers and patients scored higher on the value of DM (p<.05). Those whose LSP focuses on improving efficiency and prescribers with a higher proportion of Medicaid/ uninsured patients displayed concern about their ability to monitor adherence (p<0.05). Willingness to be a Beta Test site for DM applications was positively correlated with concern about their ability to monitor adherence and attitudes about the value of DM (p <0.01).
Prescriber characteristics including LSP, focus on healthcare costs, and attitudes toward DM may be related to adoption of the IEM platform. Those with more Medicaid/ uninsured patients were more concerned about ability to monitor adherence while those focused-on cost and benefit to providers and patients viewed DM as part of a solution for managing outcomes and cost. Overall, LSP, patient panel size by payer type, and focus on healthcare cost containment should be considered when developing IEM provider training materials.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic extend to global biodiversity and its conservation. Although short-term beneficial or adverse impacts on biodiversity have been widely discussed, there is less attention to the likely political and economic responses to the crisis and their implications for conservation. Here we describe four possible alternative future policy responses: (1) restoration of the previous economy, (2) removal of obstacles to economic growth, (3) green recovery and (4) transformative economic reconstruction. Each alternative offers opportunities and risks for conservation. They differ in the agents they emphasize to mobilize change (e.g. markets or states) and in the extent to which they prioritize or downplay the protection of nature. We analyse the advantages and disadvantages of these four options from a conservation perspective. We argue that the choice of post-COVID-19 recovery strategy has huge significance for the future of biodiversity, and that conservationists of all persuasions must not shrink from engagement in the debates to come.
In May 2019 the British School at Athens hosted an international conference on popular music of the Greek world. The conference aimed to explore and evaluate the diversity of Greek music apparent in the rich variety of local traditions and in the richness of urban popular music both established and emerging, and to examine its causes from broader musical, sociological and artistic perspectives. Rather than focus on particular forms, such as traditional folk music, rebetika, or the ‘new wave’ of the 1960s exemplified by the international success of composers such as Hadjidakis and Theodorakis, the conference set out to situate these traditions in a broader Greek context and also an explicitly international one, in this way building upon a growing trend (Bucuvalas 2019; Tragaki 2019).
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
To assess the impact of a newly developed Central-Line Insertion Site Assessment (CLISA) score on the incidence of local inflammation or infection for CLABSI prevention.
A pre- and postintervention, quasi-experimental quality improvement study.
Setting and participants:
Adult inpatients with central venous catheters (CVCs) hospitalized in an intensive care unit or oncology ward at a large academic medical center.
We evaluated CLISA score impact on insertion site inflammation and infection (CLISA score of 2 or 3) incidence in the baseline period (June 2014–January 2015) and the intervention period (April 2015–October 2017) using interrupted times series and generalized linear mixed-effects multivariable analyses. These were run separately for days-to-line removal from identification of a CLISA score of 2 or 3. CLISA score interrater reliability and photo quiz results were evaluated.
Among 6,957 CVCs assessed 40,846 times, percentage of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 in the baseline and intervention periods decreased by 78.2% (from 22.0% to 4.7%), with a significant immediate decrease in the time-series analysis (P < .001). According to the multivariable regression, the intervention was associated with lower percentage of lines with a CLISA score of 2 or 3, after adjusting for age, gender, CVC body location, and hospital unit (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.06–0.34; P < .001). According to the multivariate regression, days to removal of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 was 3.19 days faster after the intervention (P < .001). Also, line dwell time decreased 37.1% from a mean of 14 days (standard deviation [SD], 10.6) to 8.8 days (SD, 9.0) (P < .001). Device utilization ratios decreased 9% from 0.64 (SD, 0.08) to 0.58 (SD, 0.06) (P = .039).
The CLISA score creates a common language for assessing line infection risk and successfully promotes high compliance with best practices in timely line removal.
Terrorist attacks have increased globally since the late 1990s with clear evidence of psychological distress across both adults and children and young people (CYP). After the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, the Resilience Hub was established to identify people in need of psychological and psychosocial support.
To examine the severity of symptoms and impact of the programme.
The hub offers outreach, screening, clinical telephone triage and facilitation to access evidenced treatments. People were screened for trauma, depression, generalised anxiety and functioning who registered at 3, 6 and 9 months post-incident. Baseline scores were compared between screening groups (first screen at 3, 6 or 9 months) in each cohort (adult, CYP), and within groups to compare scores at 9 months.
There were significant differences in adults' baseline scores across screening groups on trauma, depression, anxiety and functioning. There were significant differences in the baseline scores of CYP across screening groups on trauma, depression, generalised anxiety and separation anxiety. Paired samples t-tests demonstrated significant differences between baseline and follow-up scores on all measures for adults in the 3-month screening group, and only depression and functioning measures for adults in the 6-month screening group. Data about CYP in the 3-month screening group, demonstrated significant differences between baseline and follow-up scores on trauma, generalised anxiety and separation anxiety.
These findings suggest people who register earlier are less symptomatic and demonstrate greater improvement across a range of psychological measures. Further longitudinal research is necessary to understand changes over time.
Precise radiocarbon (14C) dating of sedimentary sequences is important for developing robust chronologies of environmental change, but sampling of suitable components can be challenging in highly dynamic landscapes. Here we investigate radiocarbon determinations of different peat size fractions from six peat sites, representing a range of geomorphological contexts on the South Atlantic subantarctic islands of the Falklands and South Georgia. To investigate the most suitable fraction for dating, 112 measurements were obtained from three components within selected horizons: a fine fraction <0.2 mm, a coarse fraction >0.2 mm, and bulk material. We find site selection is critical, with locations surrounded by high-ground and/or relatively slowly accumulating sites more susceptible to the translocation of older carbon. Importantly, in locations with reduced potential for redeposition of material, our results show that there is no significant or systematic difference between ages derived from bulk material, fine or coarse (plant macrofossil) material, providing confidence in the resulting age model. Crucially, in areas comprising complex terrain with extreme relief, we recommend dating macrofossils or bulk carbon rather than a fine fraction, or employing comprehensive dating of multiple sedimentary fractions to determine the most reliable fraction(s) for developing a robust chronological framework.
In politically contested health debates, stakeholders on both sides present arguments and evidence to influence public opinion and the political agenda. The present study aimed to examine whether stakeholders in the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) debate sought to establish or undermine the acceptability of this policy through the news media and how this compared with similar policy debates in relation to tobacco and alcohol industries.
Quantitative and qualitative content analysis of newspaper articles discussing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxation published in eleven UK newspapers between 1 April 2015 and 30 November 2016, identified through the Nexis database. Direct stakeholder citations were entered in NVivo to allow inductive thematic analysis and comparison with an established typology of industry stakeholder arguments used by the alcohol and tobacco industries.
Proponents and opponents of SSB tax/SDIL cited in UK newspapers.
Four hundred and ninety-one newspaper articles cited stakeholders’ (n 287) arguments in relation to SSB taxation (n 1761: 65 % supportive and 35 % opposing). Stakeholders’ positions broadly reflected their vested interests. Inconsistencies arose from: changes in ideological position; insufficient clarity on the nature of the problem to be solved; policy priorities; and consistency with academic rigour. Both opposing and supportive themes were comparable with the alcohol and tobacco industry typology.
Public health advocates were particularly prominent in the UK newspaper debate surrounding the SDIL. Advocates in future policy debates might benefit from seeking a similar level of prominence and avoiding inconsistencies by being clearer about the policy objective and mechanisms.
Plant biodiversity is threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and invasion by exotic species, but the effects of these disturbances on individual plant species are rarely quantified. Since the 1950s, brigalow Acacia harpophylla forests in Australia have been extensively cleared and converted to pastures dominated by exotic grasses. Here we assess the habitat requirements, population numbers and threats for four poorly known bush tomato species, Solanum adenophorum, Solanum dissectum, Solanum elachophyllum and Solanum johnsonianum. Herbarium records and surveys demonstrated a strong association of all four species with brigalow habitat, although S. elachophyllum also occurred in other habitat. We derived historical and current population estimates from plant densities at current sites and the area of mapped brigalow habitat. Density estimates are imprecise because the survey data vary greatly, but the assessment indicates the populations of all four species have declined > 93%. Solanum dissectum and S. johnsonianum did not persist in cleared brigalow habitat, whereas S. adenophorum and S. elachophyllum had some capacity to persist in clearings. None of the species occur where the exotic grass cover is > 40%. Between 27% and 57% of the records of the four species are in brigalow remnants with a high edge-to-area ratio or open canopy (< 50% cover), making them highly vulnerable to invasive grasses. We recommend the categorization of S. dissectum and S. johnsonianum as Critically Endangered, S. adenophorum as Vulnerable and S. elachophyllum as Near Threatened.