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We undertook a quality improvement project to address challenges with pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) line maintenance in a setting of low-baseline central-line infection rates. We observed a subsequent reduction in Staphylococcal PAC line infections and a trend toward a reduction in overall PAC infection rates over 1 year.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Introduction: Emergency medicine clinicians (physicians, nurses, paramedics, physician assistants) utilize podcasts for learning. However, their versatility produces variability in the ways they are used (e.g. their speed can be increased or decreased, unrelated activities can be performed simultaneously, or they can be accompanied by active learning methods). This study investigated how and why podcasts are used by an international cohort of clinicians. Methods: An international sample of medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and paramedics was recruited to complete a survey hosted on FluidSurveys software using social media (Twitter and Facebook), direct contact from our international authorship group, infographics, and a study website (https://METRIQstudy.org/). Participants who indicated interest in the study were sent an email containing the study survey. Reminder emails were sent every 5-10 days a maximum of three times. Results: 462 clinicians expressed interest and 397 completed the survey (86.0% completion rate). Participants hailed from 34 countries (38.8% Canada, 30% United States, 31.2% outside of North America) and a majority (61.9%) were physicians. Approximately half (45.8%) of the participants listened to podcasts weekly. Podcasts were used to learn core material (75.1%), refresh memory (72.3%), or review new literature (75.8%). Most listened on iPhones (61%) and the native Apple App (66.1%). The preferred Android apps were Pocket Casts (22.8%) and Google Play (18.5%). Many listened to podcasts while driving (72.3%). Active learning techniques such as pausing, repeating segments, taking notes, or listening to a podcast more than once were rarely used (1/4 of the time or less) by the majority of participants. Conclusion: This study describes how and why medical education podcasts are used by emergency medicine clinicians and should inform both podcast producers and future research investigating the impact of various listening habits on retention. Further analysis of the data will elucidate differences in listening habits
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
Introduction: Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) resources have been developed using various needs assessment methods. We describe a storytelling exercise used to identify unperceived medical expert learning needs, which also resulted in the emergence of unknown learning needs within intrinsic physician roles. Methods: A FOAM curriculum was created for thrombosis based on an online needs assessment comprised of a topic listing, case scenarios, and a storytelling exercise. In the storytelling exercise, learners described i) a difficult case in thrombosis, and ii) why that case was difficult. In this qualitative description study, we performed a secondary thematic analysis of this storytelling data, coded for CanMEDS 2015 intrinsic roles. Two investigators independently coded transcripts to iteratively generate a coding framework. Results: 143 respondents completed the storytelling exercise. All responses yielded a gap in medical expertise, while 25 (17.5%) described an additional intrinsic theme. Learning needs in all six intrinsic roles were identified. The most commonly cited learning needs were in the Leader (recognizing how resource allocation impacts healthcare), Communicator (communicating expert knowledge with patients), and Collaborator (unclear communication between providers) domains. Participants who described an intrinsic learning need were primarily from emergency medicine (21/25, 84.0%). These excerpts were notable for how they expressed the complexity and affective components of medicine. Conclusion: Storytelling exercises can highlight context, attitudes, and relationships which provide depth to needs assessments. These narratives are a novel method of capturing emergent learning needs, which may be unknown to learner and faculty (Johari window). These intrinsic learning needs may ultimately be used to enrich learner-centered curricula.
In Hong Kong, universal varicella vaccination started in July 2014. Before this, children could receive varicella vaccine via the private market. We analysed the epidemiology of varicella and zoster before universal vaccination. We estimated varicella vaccination coverage through surveys in preschool children. We estimated the burden of varicella and zoster with varicella notifications from 1999/00 to 2013/14, Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) attendance and inpatient admissions to public hospitals from 2004/05 to 2013/14. We fitted a catalytic model to serological data on antibodies against varicella-zoster virus to estimate the force of infection. We found that varicella vaccination coverage gradually increased to about 50% before programme inception. In children younger than 5 years, the annual rate of varicella notifications, varicella admission and zoster A&E attendance generally declined. The annual notification, A&E attendance and hospitalisation rate of varicella and zoster generally increased for individuals between 10 and 59 years old. Varicella serology indicated an age shift during the study period towards a higher proportion of infections in slightly older individuals, but the change was most notable before vaccine licensure. In conclusion, we observed a shift in the burden of varicella to slightly older age groups with a corresponding increase in incidence but it cannot necessarily be attributed to private market vaccine coverage alone. Increasing varicella vaccination uptake in the private market might affect varicella transmission and epidemiology, but not to the level of interrupting transmission.
Schizotypal traits are considered a phenotypic-indicator of schizotypy, a latent personality organization reflecting a putative liability for psychosis. To date, no previous study has examined the comparability of factorial structures across samples originating from different countries and cultures. The main goal was to evaluate the factorial structure and reliability of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) scores by amalgamating data from studies conducted in 12 countries and across 21 sites.
The overall sample consisted of 27 001 participants (37.5% males, n = 4251 drawn from the general population). The mean age was 22.12 years (s.d. = 6.28, range 16–55 years). The SPQ was used. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Multilevel CFA (ML-CFA) were used to evaluate the factor structure underlying the SPQ scores.
At the SPQ item level, the nine factor and second-order factor models showed adequate goodness-of-fit. At the SPQ subscale level, three- and four-factor models displayed better goodness-of-fit indices than other CFA models. ML-CFA showed that the intraclass correlation coefficients values were lower than 0.106. The three-factor model showed adequate goodness of fit indices in multilevel analysis. The ordinal α coefficients were high, ranging from 0.73 to 0.94 across individual samples, and from 0.84 to 0.91 for the combined sample.
The results are consistent with the conceptual notion that schizotypal personality is a multifaceted construct and support the validity and utility of SPQ in cross-cultural research. We discuss theoretical and clinical implications of our results for diagnostic systems, psychosis models and cross-national mental health strategies.
People with pancreatic cancer have poor survival, and management is challenging. Pancreatic cancer patients' perceptions of their care coordination and its association with their outcomes have not been well-studied. Our objective was to determine if perception of care coordination is associated with patient-reported outcomes or survival.
People with pancreatic cancer who were 1–8 months postdiagnosis (52 with completed resection and 58 with no resection) completed a patient-reported questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of care coordination, quality of life, anxiety, and depression using validated instruments. Mean scores for 15 care-coordination items were calculated and then ranked from highest (best experience) to lowest (worst experience). Associations between care-coordination scores (including communication and navigation domains) and patient-reported outcomes and survival were investigated using general linear regression and Cox regression, respectively. All analyses were stratified by whether or not the tumor had been resected.
In both groups, the highest-ranked care-coordination items were: knowing who was responsible for coordinating care, health professionals being informed about their history, and waiting times. The worst-ranked items related to: how often patients were asked about visits with other health professionals and how well they and their family were coping, knowing the symptoms they should monitor, having sufficient emotional help from staff, and access to additional specialist services. For people who had a resection, better communication and navigation scores were significantly associated with higher quality of life and less anxiety and depression. However, these associations were not statistically significant for those with no resection. Perception of cancer care coordination was not associated with survival in either group.
Significance of results:
Our results suggest that, while many core clinical aspects of care are perceived to be done well for pancreatic cancer patients, improvements in emotional support, referral to specialist services, and self-management education may improve patient-reported outcomes.
Introduction: Developing structured online educational curricula that meet learner needs is challenging. Thrombosis and bleeding are areas of innovation and change in emergency medicine. We aimed to determine the learning needs of the Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) community with the subsequent goal of developing structured curricula to meet them. Methods: A Massive Online Needs Assessment (MONA) was conducted to determine the perceived and unperceived educational needs in thrombosis and bleeding. The survey was designed by a multidisciplinary team of experts and was open from September 20 to December 10, 2016. The survey requested limited demographic information and contained questions to identify topics of interest. Respondents’ baseline knowledge and unperceived needs were assessed using 5 case scenarios containing 3 questions each. Knowledge gaps were defined a priori as topics where <50% of participants answered correctly. Results: We received 198 complete responses by staff physicians (n=109), residents (n=46), medical students (n=29) and allied health professionals (n=14) from 20 countries. 116/198 responses were from people working in emergency medicine. Topics of interest to participants included choice of anticoagulants, interruption of anticoagulation, management of bleeding and monitoring anticoagulation. Knowledge gaps were identified in 4 main areas including interruption of anticoagulation, management of bleeding (including reversal of anticoagulation and massive transfusion), inherited thrombophilia, and screening for malignancy in acute thrombosis. Conclusion: We have identified six priority topics to cover in our future online Thrombosis and Bleeding curriculum by surveying the online medical community. Although perceived and unperceived needs showed high congruence, two priority topics were only identified by assessing unperceived needs.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: The boom in online educational resources for medical education over the past decade has changed how physicians learn and keep up to date with new literature. While nearly all emergency medicine residents use online resources, few of these resources were designed to target knowledge gaps. Novel methods are required to identify learning needs to allow the targeted development of learner-centered curricula. Methods: A multidisciplinary team attempted to determine the feasibility of conducting a Massive Online Needs Assessment (MONA) to assess the perceived and unperceived educational needs in thrombosis and bleeding. An open, online survey was launched via Google Forms and disseminated using the online educational resource CanadiEM.org and social media platforms Twitter and Facebook with the goal of reaching participants of the Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) community. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The survey was designed to identify knowledge gaps and contained demographic, free text, and multiple choice questions. It took individuals approximately 30 minutes to complete and was incentivized with entry into a draw for one of four $250 Amazon Gift cards. Feasibility was defined a priori as 150 responses from at least 4 specialties in 4 or more countries. This sample was deemed the minimum number required to identify knowledge gaps (defined as <50% correct answers). The survey was open from September 20 to December 10, 2016. We received 198 complete responses from 20 countries. Respondents included staff physicians (n=109), residents (n=46), medical students (n=29), nurses (n=8), paramedics (n=4), a pharmacist (n=1) and a physician assistant (n=1). The survey entry page hosted on CanadiEM.org received page views from 866 unique IP addresses. As such, a conservative approximation of the completion rate per unique viewer was 22% (198/866). Conclusion: It is feasible to use a MONA to collect data on the perceived and unperceived needs of an online community. Such needs assessments could be used to make online resources more learner-centered.
To search for studies on tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning used as isolated treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea in children with Pierre Robin sequence.
A systematic literature search of PubMed/Medline and three additional databases, from inception through to 8 July 2016, was performed by two authors.
Seven studies with 90 patients (59 tongue–lip adhesion and 31 tongue repositioning patients) met the inclusion criteria. Tongue–lip adhesion reduced the mean (± standard deviation) apnoea/hypopnoea index from 30.8 ± 22.3 to 15.4 ± 18.9 events per hour (50 per cent reduction). The apnoea/hypopnoea index mean difference for tongue–lip adhesion was −15.28 events per hour (95 per cent confidence interval = −30.70 to 0.15; p = 0.05). Tongue–lip adhesion improved the lowest oxygen saturation from 75.8 ± 6.8 to 84.4 ± 7.3 per cent. Tongue repositioning reduced the apnoea/hypopnoea index from 46.5 to 17.4 events per hour (62.6 per cent reduction). Tongue repositioning improved the mean oxygen saturation from 90.8 ± 1.2 to 95.0 ± 0.5 per cent.
Tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning can improve apnoea/hypopnoea index and oxygenation parameters in children with Pierre Robin sequence and obstructive sleep apnoea.
Rural-to-urban migrant workers are a large marginalised population in urban China. Prevalence estimates of common mental health problems (CMHPs) in previous studies varied widely and very few studies have investigated migration-related factors of CMHPs in migrant workers. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of CMHPs among Chinese migrant workers.
A random sample of 3031 migrant workers of ten manufacturing factories in Shenzhen, China, completed a standardised questionnaire containing socio-demographic and migration-related variables and the Chinese 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). A GHQ-12 score of three or higher was used to denote the presence of CMHPs.
The prevalence of CMHPs was 34.4% in Chinese migrant workers. In multiple logistic regression, risk factors for CMHPs included being 16–25 years old (odd ratio [OR] 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28, 2.12), being 26–35 years old (OR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.75), low monthly income (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.04, 1.92), poor living condition (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.22, 2.54), physical illness in the past 2 weeks (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.43, 2.05), having worked in many cities (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.03, 1.74), infrequently visiting hometown (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.22, 1.99), poor Mandarin proficiency (OR 1.51, 95%CI 1.13, 2.01), a low level of perceived benefits of migration (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14, 1.55) and working more than 8 h/day (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.14, 1.70).
CMHPs are very prevalent among Chinese migrant workers. Given the large number of Chinese migrant workers, there is an urgent need to address the mental health burden of China's migrant worker population.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Jacqueline E. A. K. Bamfo, Subspeciality Trainee in Maternal FetalMedicine, Fetal Medicine Unit, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK,
Matthew D. Phillips, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK,
M. Kingston, Consultant Physician in Genitourinang Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK,
K. Chan, Consultant Obstetrician, Department of Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine Unit, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK,
Ian Clegg, Consultant Anaesthetist, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, UK
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus acquired by direct inoculation of infected bodily fluids. This is most often during sexual intimacy, but may also result from contaminated needles or iatrogenic interventions, such as blood transfusion or surgical procedures with contaminated products. The infection is lifelong and if untreated significant morbidity and mortality arise from HIV-associated infections and malignancies; this is termed the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). During infection, HIV enters cells presenting CD4 receptors, the most common being the CD4+ T lymphocyte. Within the hosting cell, HIV replication, virion release and eventual cell death occur. The main measurable and prognostic parameters widely used are quantification of peripheral CD4 cells (the CD4 count), and the level of viraemia (HIV viral load). The likelihood of AIDS-defining illness developing increases with progressive CD4+ cell depletion, which occurs steadily over time from infection and more rapidly in individuals with a higher HIV viral load.
The advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the late 1990s transformed the management of HIV-positive patients, and the infection is now generally treatable with a good prognosis, particularly when detected early. In addition to this, effective HAART together with appropriate obstetric management, infant antiretroviral prophylaxis and avoidance of breastfeeding has reduced rates of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV significantly. Universal screening for HIV in UK antenatal clinics from 1999 onwards, followed by appropriate management of mothers and their babies, has resulted in MTCT rates falling from between 20–30%, depending on maternal viral load in the mid-1990s to less than 1% in 2010. Worldwide, of the 34 million people living with HIV, 69% reside in sub-Saharan Africa, with other high-prevalence areas including Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Many HIV-positive parturients receiving their antenatal care in the UK have acquired HIV whilst residing in one of the pandemic areas. The estimated UK prevalence in 2009 was 2.2 per 1000 women giving birth; most of these live in urban areas, with London having the highest rates.
Effect of HIV on pregnancy
HIV infection itself does not cause sub-fertility, although HIV-positive women may have decreased fertility due to associated conditions such as concurrent infections or illnesses, opiate use and low weight. HAART itself, particularly protease inhibitors, has been associated with preterm delivery in some studies, but not in others.
Despite evidence on the short-term benefits of early intervention (EI) service for psychosis, long-term outcome studies are limited by inconsistent results. This study examined the 10-year outcomes of patients with first-episode psychosis who received 2-year territory-wide EI service compared to those who received standard care (SC) in Hong Kong using an historical control design.
Consecutive patients who received the EI service between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002, and with diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, were identified and matched with patients who received SC first presented to the public psychiatric service from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001. In total, 148 matched pairs of patients were identified. Cross-sectional information on symptomatology and functioning was obtained through semi-structured interview; longitudinal information on hospitalization, functioning, suicide attempts, mortality and relapse over 10 years was obtained from clinical database. There were 70.3% (N = 104) of SC and 74.3% (N = 110) of EI patients interviewed.
Results suggested that EI patients had reduced suicide rate (χ2(1) = 4.35, p = 0.037), fewer number [odds ratio (OR) 1.56, χ2 = 15.64, p < 0.0001] and shorter duration of hospitalization (OR 1.29, χ2 = 4.06, p = 0.04), longer employment periods (OR −0.28, χ2 = 14.64, p < 0.0001) and fewer suicide attempts (χ2 = 11.47, df = 1, p = 0.001) over 10 years. At 10 years, no difference was found in psychotic symptoms, symptomatic remission and functional recovery.
The short-term benefits of the EI service on number of hospitalizations and employment was sustained after service termination, but the differences narrowed down. This suggests the need to evaluate the optimal duration of the EI service.
Aberrant functional connectivity within the default network is generally assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); however, the genetic risk of default network connectivity in OCD remains largely unknown.
Here, we systematically investigated default network connectivity in 15 OCD patients, 15 paired unaffected siblings and 28 healthy controls. We sought to examine the profiles of default network connectivity in OCD patients and their siblings, exploring the correlation between abnormal default network connectivity and genetic risk for this population.
Compared with healthy controls, OCD patients exhibited reduced strength of default network functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and increased functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal lobe, insula, superior parietal cortex and superior temporal cortex, while their unaffected first-degree siblings only showed reduced local connectivity in the PCC.
These findings suggest that the disruptions of default network functional connectivity might be associated with family history of OCD. The decreased default network connectivity in both OCD patients and their unaffected siblings may serve as a potential marker of OCD.
We examined the impact of the neonatal hepatitis B immunization programme, first provided to all neonates born to mothers screened positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in late 1983, on the age-specific prevalence of HBsAg carriage in teenage mothers managed in 1998–2008. HBsAg carriage was found in 2·5%, 2·7%, 8·8% and 8·0% of mothers aged ⩽16, 17, 18, and 19 years, respectively (P = 0·004), which was also correlated with advancing age (P = 0·011). While neither difference nor correlation with age was found in mothers born before 1984, the prevalence of 1·2%, 1·5%, 7·1% and 8·3%, respectively, was significantly different among (P = 0·008) and correlated with (P = 0·002) age in mothers born 1984 onwards. Regression analysis indicated there was a significantly higher incidence of HBsAg carriage from age 17 onwards (adjusted odds ratio 2·55, 95% confidence interval 1·07–6·10, P = 0·035), suggesting that the protective effect of the vaccine declined in late adolescence.
Prospective memory (PM) refers to the ability to remember to carry out an intended action in the future. PM is consistently found to be impaired in individuals with schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may represent conditions along a continuum, and share similar neurocognitive and genetic architecture. This study aimed to compare the nature and extent of PM impairment in individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Participants were 38 out-patients with schizophrenia and 40 out-patients with bipolar disorder in an early psychosis intervention programme, and 37 healthy controls. Time-, event- and activity-based PMs were assessed using a dual-task laboratory paradigm. Self-reported PM performance was gauged using the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with intelligence quotient (IQ) and education included as covariates, was used to examine group difference on various types of PM. Repeated measures of ANCOVA were used to examine the group × PM type interaction effect. Correspondence between laboratory and self-reported PM measures was examined using correlational analysis.
The group × PM type interaction effect was not significant, but the main effect of group was significant. Patients with schizophrenia and patients with bipolar disorder both performed more poorly than healthy participants in PM. The two clinical groups did not significantly differ in PM. Laboratory and self-reported PM measures did not correlate significantly with each other.
Patients with bipolar disorder shared a similar PM impairment with those with schizophrenia. Findings of this study extended the similarity in neurocognitive impairments between the two psychiatric disorders to PM.