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We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Internet-delivered treatments for depression have proved successful, with supported programs offering the potential for improved adherence and outcomes. Internet interventions are particularly interesting in the context of increasing access to interventions, and delivering interventions population-wide.
Investigate the potential feasibility and effectiveness of an online intervention for depression in the community.
Establish the effectiveness of a supported online delivered cognitive behavioural intervention for symptoms of depression in adults in the community.
The study was a randomized controlled trial of an 8-module internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) program for adults with depressive symptoms (n = 96) compared to a waiting-list control group (n = 92). Participants received weekly support from a trained supporter. The primary outcome was depressive symptoms as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). The program was made available nationwide from an established and recognized charity for depression.
For the treatment group, post-treatment effect sizes reported were large for the primary outcome measure (d = 0.91). The between-group effects were moderate to large and statistically significant for the primary outcomes (d = 0.50) favoring the treatment group. Gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up.
The study has demonstrated the efficacy of the online delivered space from depression treatment. Participants demonstrated reliable and statistically significant changes in symptoms from pre- to post-intervention. The study supports a model for delivering online depression interventions population-wide using trained supporters.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Globally, marine turtles are considered threatened throughout their range, and therefore conservation practitioners are increasingly investing resources in marine protected areas to protect key life history stages and critical habitats, including foraging grounds, nesting beaches and inter-nesting areas. Empirical data on the distribution of these habitats and/or the spatial ecology and behaviour of individuals of many marine turtle populations are often lacking, undermining conservation efforts, particularly along the Atlantic coast of Africa. Here we contribute to the knowledge base in this region by describing patterns of habitat use for nine green turtles Chelonia mydas tagged with satellite platform transmitter terminals at a foraging ground in Loango Bay, Republic of the Congo, one of only a few documented mainland foraging grounds for marine turtles in Central Africa. Analyses of these data revealed that core areas of habitat use and occupancy for a wide range of size/age classes were restricted to shallow waters adjacent to Pointe Indienne in Loango Bay, with most individuals showing periods of high fidelity to this area. These data are timely given the Congolese government recently announced its intention to create a marine conservation zone to protect marine turtles in Loango Bay. Despite the small sample size of this study, these data exemplify the need for comprehensive strategies that span national jurisdictions, as we provide the first documented evidence of linkages between green turtle foraging sites in Central Africa (Loango Bay, Republic of the Congo) and Southern Africa (Mussulo Bay, Angola).
We compared antibiotic prescribing to older people in different settings to inform antibiotic stewardship interventions. We used data linkage to stratify individuals aged 65 years and over in Northern Ireland, 1st January 2012–31st December 2013, by residence: community dwelling, care home dwelling or ‘transitioned’ if admitted to a care home. The odds of being prescribed an antibiotic by residence were analysed using logistic regression, adjusting for patient demographics and selected medication use (proxy for co-morbidities). Trends in monthly antibiotic prescribing were examined in the 6 months pre- and post-admission to the care home. The odds of being prescribed at least one antibiotic were twofold higher in care homes compared with community dwellers (adjusted odds ratio 2.05, 95% CI 1.93–2.17). There was a proportionate increase of 51.5% in the percentage prescribed an antibiotic on admission, with a monthly average of 23% receiving an antibiotic in the 6 months post admission. While clinical need likely accounts for some of the observed antibiotic prescribing in care homes we cannot rule out more liberal prescribing, given the twofold difference between care home residents and their community dwelling peers having accounted for co-morbidities. The appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in the care home setting should be examined.
Across the globe, the implementation of quality improvement science and collaborative learning has positively affected the care and outcomes for children born with CHD. These efforts have advanced the collective expertise and performance of inter-professional healthcare teams. In this review, we highlight selected quality improvement initiatives and strategies impacting the field of cardiovascular care and describe implications for future practice and research. The continued leveraging of technology, commitment to data transparency, focus on team-based practice, and recognition of cultural norms and preferences ensure the success of sustainable models of global collaboration.
Background: Stroke alerts are used to triage patients with acute neurologic change for rapid imaging evaluation. CTA has been advocated to rapidly triage stroke patients for endovascular therapy. However, the yield of this approach is not well established. We evaluated the stroke alert yield in a non-teaching hospital system. Methods: A retrospective review of radiology reports for stroke alerts using PACS archive. Cases were then followed for 72 hours to determine the types of advanced imaging obtained and the findings of those studies. Results: From January to March 2014, 269 stroke alert head CTs were performed. Subsequent imaging included 128 MRIs (48%), 25 CTAs (9%) and 2 angiograms (0.7%). There were 58 (22%) tissue-defined strokes and 16 were non-lacunar (6% stroke alerts). 61% of stroke alert head CTs were negative or reported microvascular change. Other findings included large vessel occlusion (5%), intracranial stenosis (1.5%), extracranial stenosis(1.5 %), intracranial hemorrhage (9%) and masses (13%). Conclusions: Most stroke alerts were negative for tissue-defined stroke. Based on this data, universal use of CTA in the ER to triage patients with acute neurologic symptoms may not be appropriate. An updated triage system to facilitate endovascular rescue is being analyzed for changes to advanced imaging utilization and yield.
The Universities of Adelaide and Tasmania (UAT) have now collaborated in the preparation of four experiments on British Skylark rockets. Two independent X-ray detectors of total sensitive area 40 cm2 were flown on each of two rocket flights launched in April, 1967. The most significant result of these measurements was the discovery of Cen XR-2 and the measurement of the variation in its intensity and spectrum. The third flight, launched in December 1967, carried three X-ray detectors of total area 140 cm2. One of the main results from this flight, evidence for a new X-ray source at high galactic latitude, will be presented in the following paper.
Mental disorder is common among individuals with neurological illness. We aimed to characterise the patient population referred for psychiatry assessment at a tertiary neurology service in terms of neurological and psychiatric diagnoses and interventions provided.
We studied all individuals referred for psychiatry assessment at a tertiary neurology service over a 2-year period (n= 82).
The most common neurological diagnoses among those referred were epilepsy (16%), Parkinson’s disease (15%) and multiple sclerosis (8%). The most common reasons for psychiatric assessment were low mood or anxiety (48%) and medically unexplained symptoms or apparent functional or psychogenic disease (21%). The most common diagnoses among those with mental disorder were mood disorders (62%), and neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders, including dissociative (conversion) disorders (28%). Psychiatric diagnosis was not related to gender, neurological diagnosis or psychiatric history.
Individuals with neurological illness demonstrate significant symptoms of a range of mental disorders. There is a need for further research into the characteristics and distribution of mental disorder in individuals with neurological illness, and for the enhancement of integrated psychiatric and neurological services to address the comorbidities demonstrated in this population.
A survey of management practices in 309 Irish dairy herds was used to identify risk factors for the presence of antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in extensively managed unvaccinated dairy herds. A previous study documented a herd-level seroprevalence in bulk milk of 49%, 19% and 86% for Salmonella, Neospora caninum and leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, respectively in the unvaccinated proportion of these 309 herds in 2009. Association analyses in the present study were carried out using multiple logistic regression models. Herds where cattle were purchased or introduced had a greater likelihood of being positive to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.01) and Salmonella (P<0.01). Larger herds had a greater likelihood of recording a positive bulk milk antibody result to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.05). Herds that practiced year round calving were more likely to be positive to Neospora caninum (P<0.05) compared to herds with a spring-calving season, with no difference in risk between herds that practiced split calving compared to herds that practiced spring calving. No association was found between presence of dogs on farms and prevalence of Neospora caninum possibly due to limited access of dogs to infected materials including afterbirths. The information from this study will assist in the design of suitable control programmes for the diseases under investigation in pasture-based livestock systems.
The Mental Health Act 2001 was implemented in 2006 to bring Ireland into line with international practice and United Nations Conventions on Human Rights. Previous studies have reported some practical difficulties for the professionals involved. We wished to examine the experiences of nursing staff and the impact of the Act on clinical nursing practice since its implementation.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted by questionnaire. It contained questions examining training in and attitudes to the Act, and any resultant changes in nursing practise.
A total of 317 questionnaires were returned. Of the nurses, 92% reported having received training in the Act, and 56% of nursing staff believed that their workload had increased as a result of the change in legislation. Of those who made a comment, 76.5% were negative, with increased paper work, lack of clarity and an excessive focus on legalities being the most common difficulties reported.
Nursing staff have shown mixed attitudes to the Mental Health Act 2001, but many of the difficulties encountered are similar to those experienced by other professionals.
Different dietary fat and energy subtypes have an impact on both the metabolic health and the intestinal microbiota population of the host. The present study assessed the impact of dietary fat quality, with a focus on dietary fatty acid compositions of varying saturation, on the metabolic health status and the intestinal microbiota composition of the host. C57BL/6J mice (n 9–10 mice per group) were fed high-fat (HF) diets containing either (1) palm oil, (2) olive oil, (3) safflower oil or (4) flaxseed/fish oil for 16 weeks and compared with mice fed low-fat (LF) diets supplemented with either high maize starch or high sucrose. Tissue fatty acid compositions were assessed by GLC, and the impact of the diet on host intestinal microbiota populations was investigated using high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing. Compositional sequencing analysis revealed that dietary palm oil supplementation resulted in significantly lower populations of Bacteroidetes at the phylum level compared with dietary olive oil supplementation (P< 0·05). Dietary supplementation with olive oil was associated with an increase in the population of the family Bacteroidaceae compared with dietary supplementation of palm oil, flaxseed/fish oil and high sucrose (P< 0·05). Ingestion of the HF-flaxseed/fish oil diet for 16 weeks led to significantly increased tissue concentrations of EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and DHA compared with ingestion of all the other diets (P< 0·05); furthermore, the diet significantly increased the intestinal population of Bifidobacterium at the genus level compared with the LF-high-maize starch diet (P< 0·05). These data indicate that both the quantity and quality of fat have an impact on host physiology with further downstream alterations to the intestinal microbiota population, with a HF diet supplemented with flaxseed/fish oil positively shaping the host microbial ecosystem.
Transfer of sufficient immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the neonatal calf via colostrum is vital to provide the calf with immunological protection and resistance against disease. The objective of the present study was to determine the factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight in Irish dairy cows. Fresh colostrum samples were collected from 704 dairy cows of varying breed and parity from four Irish research farms between January and December 2011; colostral weight was recorded and the IgG concentration was determined using an ELISA method. The mean IgG concentration in the colostrum was 112 g/l (s.d. = 51 g/l) and ranged from 13 to 256 g/l. In total, 96% of the samples in this study contained >50 g/l IgG, which is considered to be indicative of high-quality colostrum. Mean colostral weight was 6.7 kg (s.d. = 3.6 kg) with a range of 0.1 to 24 kg. Factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight were determined using a fixed effects multiple regression model. Parity, time interval from calving to next milking, month of calving, colostral weight and herd were all independently associated with IgG concentration. IgG concentration decreased (P < 0.01) by 1.7 (s.e. = 0.6) g/l per kg increase in the colostral weight. Older parity cows, cows that had a shorter time interval from calving to milking, and cows that calved earlier in spring or in the autumn produced colostrum with higher IgG concentration. Parity (P < 0.001), time interval from calving to milking (P < 0.01), weight of the calf at birth (P < 0.05), colostral IgG concentration (P < 0.01) and herd were all independently associated with colostral weight at the first milking. Younger parity cows, cows milked earlier post-calving, and cows with lighter calves produced less colostrum. In general, colostrum quality of cows in this study was higher than in many previous studies; possible reasons include use of a relatively low-yielding cow type that produces low weight of colostrum, short calving to colostrum collection interval and grass-based nutritional management. The results of this study indicate that colostral IgG concentration can be maximised by reducing the time interval between calving and collection of colostrum.
The effect, if any, of recent economic problems on mental health in the Republic of Ireland is not fully clear. Rates of suicide increased slightly between 2006 and 2011, and there was a notable increase in 2011 itself. Rates of psychiatric admission continued to fall, however, in line with national mental health policy. Use of sedative and tranquilliser medications (but not antidepressants) increased, although use in the Republic of Ireland remains substantially lower than in Northern Ireland. Mean self-rated happiness in Ireland declined steadily and significantly between 2005 and 2012. In 2009, as economic problems deepened, satisfaction with income replaced satisfaction with health as the strongest correlate of happiness in Ireland. By 2011/12, however, none of the traditional correlates of happiness retained an independent association with happiness. Overall, these trends suggest that suicide prevention strategies will be increasingly important for Ireland in future years. Active labour-market programmes to address unemployment may also play an important role in suicide prevention. Rates of mental illness and medication usage in the community merit further study. The solution to declining happiness levels may elude purposive description but this trend is likely to reverse as Ireland's economic prospects improve.
Antenatal corticosteroids are used to augment fetal lung maturity in human pregnancy. Dexamethasone (DEX) is also used to treat congenital adrenal hyperplasia of the fetus in early pregnancy. We previously reported effects of synthetic corticosteroids given to sheep in early or late gestation on pregnancy length and fetal cortisol levels and glucocorticoids alter plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) concentrations in late pregnancy and reduce fetal weight. The effects of administering DEX in early pregnancy on fetal organ weights and betamethasone (BET) given in late gestation on weights of fetal brain regions or organ development have not been reported. We hypothesized that BET or DEX administration at either stage of pregnancy would have deleterious effects on fetal development and associated hormones. In early pregnancy, DEX was administered as four injections at 12-hourly intervals over 48 h commencing at 40–42 days of gestation (dG). There was no consistent effect on fetal weight, or individual fetal organ weights, except in females at 7 months postnatal age. When BET was administered at 104, 111 and 118 dG, the previously reported reduction in total fetal weight was associated with significant reductions in weights of fetal brain, cerebellum, heart, kidney and liver. Fetal plasma insulin, leptin and triiodothyronine were also reduced at different times in fetal and postnatal life. We conclude that at the amounts given, the sheep fetus is sensitive to maternal administration of synthetic glucocorticoid in late gestation, with effects on growth and metabolic hormones that may persist into postnatal life.
Happiness has been associated with a number of individual and societal factors, but much of the individual-to-individual variation in happiness remains unexplained. The purpose of this paper is to examine a broad range of social and psychological correlates of self-rated happiness in Europe.
We used data from the European Social Survey to determine levels of happiness in individuals (n = 30,816) from 17 European countries and to identify associations between happiness and age, gender, family relationships, satisfaction with income, employment status, community trust, satisfaction with health, satisfaction with democracy, religious belief and country of residence.
Self-rated happiness varies significantly between European countries, with individuals in Denmark reporting the highest levels of happiness and individuals in Bulgaria reporting the lowest levels. On multi-variable analysis, happiness is positively correlated with younger age, satisfaction with household income, being employed, high community trust and religious belief. Overall, these factors account for 22.5% of the individual-to-individual variation in happiness in Europe.
For the individual, this study highlights possible associations between happiness and the individual's attitudes towards various aspects of their personal, household and societal circumstances. For social policy-makers, this study suggests the potential usefulness of civic measures to increase community trust and social capital. Further studies of the inter-relationships between individual and community-level variables would assist in further explaining the variance in happiness between individuals and countries.
A study to determine the seroprevalence of Dirofilaria immitis was carried out in feral cats in Grenada. Of the 137 feral cats tested for circulating antibodies (IgG; lateral-flow immunoassay) and circulating antigens (Ag; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), 8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.5–12.5%) were antibody positive and 5.1% (95% CI 1.4–8.8%) were antigen positive. No significant difference between cats aged>1 to 4 years and cats less than 1 year of age was found (P>0.05, χ2). There was also no significant difference (P>0.05, χ2) between male and female cats. Dirofilaria immitis prevalence is relatively high in the feral cat population of Grenada. Evidence of D. immitis infection in feral cats coupled with the endemic nature of heartworm disease in dogs in Grenada leads us to suggest the introduction of heartworm prophylaxis in cats. To the authors' knowledge, this serological evidence of heartworm infection in feral cats in Grenada is the first report from the Caribbean region.
Healthcare-associated infections are likely to be caused by drug-resistant and possibly mixed organisms and to be treated with inappropriate antibiotics. Because prompt appropriate treatment is associated with better outcomes, we studied the epidemiology of healthcare-associated complicated skin and skin-structure infections (cSSSIs).
Persons hospitalized with cSSSI and a positive culture result.
We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study from April 2006 through December 2007. We differentiated healthcare-associated from community-acquired cSSSIs by at least 1 of the following risk factors: (1) recent hospitalization, (2) recent antibiotics, (3) hemodialysis, and (4) transfer from a nursing home. Inappropriate treatment was defined as no antimicrobial therapy with activity against the offending pathogen(s) within 24 hours after collection of a culture specimen. Mixed infections were those caused by both a gram-positive and a gram-negative organism.
Among 717 hospitalized patients with cSSSI, 527 (73.5%) had healthcare-associated cSSSI. Gram-negative organisms were more common (relative risk, 1.24 [95% confidence interval, 1.14–1.35) and inappropriate treatment trended toward being more common (odds ratio, 1.29 [95% confidence interval, 0.85–1.95]) in healthcare-associated cSSSI than in community-acquired cSSSI. Mixed cSSSIs occurred in 10.6% of patients with healthcare-associated cSSSI and 6.3% of those with community-acquired cSSSI (P = .082) and were more likely to be treated inappropriately than to be nonmixed infections (odds ratio, 2.42 [95% confidence interval, 1.43–4.10]). Both median length of hospital stay (6.2 vs 2.9 days; P < .001) and mortality rate (6.6% vs 1.1%; P = .003) were significantly higher for healthcare-associated cSSSI than community-acquired cSSSI.
Healthcare-associated cSSSIs are common and are likely to be caused by gram-negative organisms. Mixed infections carry a <2-fold greater risk of inappropriate treatment. Healthcare-associated cSSSIs are associated with increased mortality and prolonged length of hospital stay, compared with community-acquired cSSSIs.