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The use of transdiagnostic mental health treatments in low resource settings has been proposed as a possible aid in scaling up mental health services. Modular, multi-problem transdiagnostic treatments can be used to treat a range of mental health problems and are designed to handle comorbidity. Two randomized controlled trials have been completed on one treatment – the Common Elements Treatment Approach, or CETA – delivered by lay counsellors in Iraq and Thailand. This paper utilizes data from two clinical trials to explore the delivery of CETA by lay providers, examining fidelity and flexibility of element use. Data were collected at every therapy session. Clients completed a short symptom assessment and providers described the clinical elements delivered during sessions. Analyses included descriptive statistics of delivery including selection and sequencing of treatment elements, and the variance in element dose, clustering at the counsellor level, using multi-level models. Results indicate that lay providers in low resource settings (with supervision) demonstrated fidelity to the recommended CETA elements, order and dose, and occasionally added in elements and flexed dosage based on client presentation (i.e. flexibility). This modular approach did not result in significantly longer treatment duration. Our analysis suggests that lay providers were able to learn decision-making processes of CETA based on client presentation and adjust treatment as needed with supervision. As modular multi-problem transdiagnostic treatments continue to be explored in low resource settings, research should continue to focus on ‘unpacking’ lay counsellor delivery of these interventions, decision-making processes, and the level of supervision required.
After the diagnosis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is increased relative to the general population. We aimed to determine whether the incidence of psychiatric disorders is increased in the 5 years before the diagnosis of IMID as compared with the general population.
Using population-based administrative health data from the Canadian province of Manitoba, we identified all persons with incident IBD, MS and RA between 1989 and 2012, and cohorts from the general population matched 5 : 1 on year of birth, sex and region to each disease cohort. We identified members of these groups with at least 5 years of residency before and after the IMID diagnosis date. We applied validated algorithms for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and any psychiatric disorder to determine the annual incidence of these conditions in the 5-year periods before and after the diagnosis year.
We identified 12 141 incident cases of IMID (3766 IBD, 2190 MS, 6350 RA) and 65 424 matched individuals. As early as 5 years before diagnosis, the incidence of depression [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.54; 95% CI 1.30–1.84) and anxiety disorders (IRR 1.30; 95% CI 1.12–1.51) were elevated in the IMID cohort as compared with the matched cohort. Similar results were obtained for each of the IBD, MS and RA cohorts. The incidence of bipolar disorder was elevated beginning 3 years before IMID diagnosis (IRR 1.63; 95% CI 1.10–2.40).
The incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is elevated in the IMID population as compared with a matched population as early as 5 years before diagnosis. Future studies should elucidate whether this reflects shared risk factors for psychiatric disorders and IMID, a shared final common inflammatory pathway or other aetiology.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
Determining when and how the first galaxies reionised the intergalactic medium promises to shed light on both the nature of the first objects and the cosmic history of baryons. Towards this goal, quasar absorption lines play a unique role by probing the properties of diffuse gas on galactic and intergalactic scales. In this review, we examine the multiple ways in which absorption lines trace the connection between galaxies and the intergalactic medium near the reionisation epoch. We first describe how the Ly α forest is used to determine the intensity of the ionising ultraviolet background and the global ionising emissivity budget. Critically, these measurements reflect the escaping ionising radiation from all galaxies, including those too faint to detect directly. We then discuss insights from metal absorption lines into reionisation-era galaxies and their surroundings. Current observations suggest a buildup of metals in the circumgalactic environments of galaxies over z ~ 6 to 5, although changes in ionisation will also affect the evolution of metal line properties. A substantial fraction of metal absorbers at these redshifts may trace relatively low-mass galaxies. Finally, we review constraints from the Ly α forest and quasar near zones on the timing of reionisation. Along with other probes of the high-redshift Universe, absorption line data are consistent with a relatively late end to reionisation (5.5 ≲ z ≲ 7); however, the constraints are still fairly week. Significant progress is expected to come through improved analysis techniques, increases in the number of known high-redshift quasars from optical and infrared sky surveys, large gains in sensitivity from next-generation observing facilities, and synergies with other probes of the reionisation era.
The Critically Endangered Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi has a very small total population size (< 190 individuals) and faces multiple threats. Over eight weeks in 2012 at the Mount Hartman Estate, we investigated the dove’s habitat selection, established a mongoose index of occupancy and recorded dove use of water sources to help determine key research and conservation needs. Of 12 habitat variables measured, greater levels of canopy cover were the best predictor of dove presence. Tracking tunnels indicated that introduced small Indian mongooses Herpestes auropunctatus, widely known for negatively impacting Caribbean bird populations, have a high level of occupancy in dove habitat, providing baseline mongoose data. Trail cameras revealed that Grenada Doves make good use of water from man-made wells and mongooses scent-mark tunnels. We urge fuller habitat selection studies and water-provision experiments to validate this evidence; strong and immediate control of mongooses and other potential predators, particularly at the nest; and a census backed by a banding programme to establish a monitoring baseline to guide conservation actions.
Little is known about the factors influencing the stability of obsessive–compulsive behaviour (OCB) from childhood to adolescence. The current study aimed to investigate: (1) the stability of paediatric OCB over a 12-year period; (2) the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence stability; and (3) the extent to which these influences are stable or dynamic across development.
The sample included 14 743 twins from a population-based study. Parental ratings of severity of OCB were collected at ages 4, 7, 9 and 16 years.
OCB was found to be moderately stable over time. The genetic influence on OCB at each age was moderate, with significant effects also of non-shared environment. Genetic factors exerted a substantial influence on OCB persistence, explaining 59–80% of the stability over time. The results indicated genetic continuity, whereby genetic influences at each age continue to affect the expression of OCB at subsequent ages. However, we also found evidence for genetic attenuation in that genetic influences at one age decline in their influence over time, and genetic innovation whereby new genes ‘come on line’ at each age. Non-shared environment influenced stability of OCB to a lesser extent and effects were largely unique to each age and displayed negligible influences on OCB at later time points.
OCB appears to be moderately stable across development, and stability is largely driven by genetic factors. However, the genetic effects are not entirely constant, but rather the genetic influence on OCB appears to be a developmentally dynamic process.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The association between physical disorders and suicide remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between physical disorders and suicide after accounting for the effects of mental disorders.
Individuals who died by suicide (n = 2100) between 1996 and 2009 were matched 3:1 by balancing score to general population controls (n = 6300). Multivariate conditional logistic regression compared the two groups across physician-diagnosed physical disorders [asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease], adjusting for mental disorders and co-morbidity. Secondary analyses examined the risk of suicide according to time since first diagnosis of each physical disorder (1–90, 91–364, ⩾ 365 days). Similar analyses also compared individuals with suicide attempts (n = 8641) to matched controls (n = 25 923).
Cancer was associated with increased risk of suicide [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.91, p < 0.05] even after adjusting for all mental disorders. The risk of suicide with cancer was particularly high in the first 90 days after initial diagnosis (AOR 4.10, 95% CI 1.71–9.82, p < 0.01) and decreased to non-significance after 1 year. Women with respiratory diseases had elevated risk of suicide whereas men did not. COPD, hypertension and diabetes were each associated with increased odds of suicide attempts in adjusted models (AORs ranged from 1.20 to 1.73).
People diagnosed with cancer are at increased risk of suicide, especially in the 3 months following initial diagnosis. Increased support and psychiatric involvement should be considered for the first year after cancer diagnosis.
During 2007–2010, 13 545 confirmed human verocytotoxin (VT)-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) infections were reported in the European Union, including 777 haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) cases. Clinical manifestations were reported for 53% of cases, 64% of which presented with diarrhoea alone and 10% with HUS. Isolates from 85% of cases were not fully serotyped and could not be classified on the basis of the Karmali seropathotype concept. There is no single or combination of phenotypic or genetic marker(s) that fully define ‘pathogenic’ VTEC. Isolates which contain the vtx2 (verocytotoxin 2) gene in combination with the eae (intimin-encoding) gene or aaiC (secreted protein of enteroaggregative E. coli) and aggR (plasmid-encoded regulator) genes have been associated with a higher risk of more severe illness. A molecular approach targeting genes encoding VT and other virulence determinants is thus proposed to allow an assessment of the potential severity of disease that may be associated with a given VTEC isolate.
The present multi-centre randomised weight-loss trial evaluated the efficacy of a low-intensity 12-week online behavioural modification programme, with or without a fortified diet beverage using a 2 × 2 factorial design. A total of 572 participants were randomised to: (1) an online basic lifestyle information (OBLI) intervention, consisting of one online informational class about tips for weight management; (2) an online behavioural weight management (OBWM) intervention, entailing 12 weekly online classes focused on weight-loss behaviour modification; (3) an OBLI intervention plus a fortified diet cola beverage (BEV) containing green tea extract (total catechin 167 mg), soluble fibre dextrin (10 g) and caffeine (100 mg) (OBLI+BEV); (4) OBWM+BEV. Assessments included height, weight, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived body composition, and waist circumference (WC). Attrition was 15·7 %. Intention-to-treat (ITT) models demonstrated a main effect for type of Internet programme, with those assigned to the OBWM condition losing significantly more weight (F= 7·174; P= 0·008) and fat mass (F= 4·491; P= 0·035) than those assigned to the OBLI condition. However, there was no significant main effect for the OBWM condition on body fat percentage (F= 2·906; P= 0·089) or WC (F= 3·351; P= 0·068), and no significant main effect for beverage use or significant interactions between factors in ITT models. A 12-week, low-intensity behaviourally based online programme produced a greater weight loss than a basic information website. The addition of a fortified diet beverage had no additional impact.
A most probable number (MPN) method capable of estimating as few as ten campylobacters per 100 ml of water is described. The method gave results close to those obtained by the viable count method of Miles, Misra & Irwin (1938) with graded suspensions of Campylobacter jejuni. The method was used to test raw water samples: counts were obtained ranging from 10 to 230 campylobacters per 100 ml for 11 of 49 coastal and estuary water samples, and from 10 to 36 campylobacters per 100 ml for 7 of 44 river samples. Campylobacters were isolated from an additional 24 of the ‘negative’ samples by testing 200 ml volumes by glass microfibre filtration and enrichment culture methods. The MPN method should prove to be a useful epidemiological tool particularly suited to the enumeration of campylobacters in particulate fluids.
A total of 969 isolates of Campylobacter jejuni originating in the Preston, Lancashire postcode district over a 3-year period were characterized using multi-locus sequence typing. Recently developed statistical methods and a genetic model were used to investigate temporal, spatial, spatio-temporal and genetic variation in human C. jejuni infections. The analysis of the data showed statistically significant seasonal variation, spatial clustering, small-scale spatio-temporal clustering and spatio-temporal interaction in the overall pattern of incidence, and spatial segregation in cases classified according to their most likely species-of-origin.
The distinction between normality and psychopathology has long been subject to debate. DSM-III and DSM-IV provided a definition of mental disorder to help clinicians address this distinction. As part of the process of developing DSM-V, researchers have reviewed the concept of mental disorder and emphasized the need for additional work in this area. Here we review the DSM-IV definition of mental disorder and propose some changes. The approach taken here arguably takes a middle course through some of the relevant conceptual debates. We agree with the view that no definition perfectly specifies precise boundaries for the concept of mental/psychiatric disorder, but in line with a view that the nomenclature can improve over time, we aim here for a more scientifically valid and more clinically useful definition.
We describe a community outbreak of campylobacter enteritis associated with the consumption of untreated milk, apparently contaminated by two cows with campylobacter mastitis. The outbreak occurred in two phases. Strains of Campylobacter jejuni of the Penner serogroup complex 4, 13, 16, 50 and Preston biotype code 6100 were isolated from patients in both episodes and from the faeces of the cattle, milk filters, bulk milk and retail milk. Milk samples from two of 40 milking cows were found to contain C. jejuni, and the wheys from these two cows had high titres of antibody to C. jejuni detected by ELISA techniques.
Campylobacters isolated from human, animal and environmental sources during the investigation of a milk-borne outbreak, an incident involving goats' milk and an outbreak associated with puppies were serotyped using the Penner and Lior schemes and biotyped using the Preston scheme. Application of these three methods to the incident strains demonstrated that heterogenicity amongst similar strains exists. This study has confirmed the need to use at least two typing methods when investigating epidemiologically-related strains and we suggest that a combination of a serotyping scheme and an extended biotyping scheme is the most useful.
Campylobacters were sought in swabs taken from work surfaces, sinks and floors of four kitchens–i.e. hospital, university, cook-freeze and commercial, processing frozen or fresh chickens. Each kitchen was visited on four occasions. In the large commercial kitchen environmental contamination was found on each visit, whereas campylobacters were isolated on six of the twelve visits to the other kitchens. The hands of operatives were contaminated with campylobacters on only two of the 45 swabs taken during processing. Cleaning with detergent and hot water (or steam) and drying appears to be sufficient to remove the organism from the environment.
Evidence of carriage of campylobacters by the birds was obtained on all 16 visits. In the three kitchens where only frozen birds were used the organism was isolated from 30% and 9·8% of swabs taken from the internal and external surfaces respectively, while 41 % of giblets and 22·2% of thawed juices yielded campylobacters. The external surface of 30 (88%) of 34 fresh birds grew campylobacters.
A simple impression-plate technique has been used to investigate the survival of four thermophilic campylobacter strains applied to fingertips. Campylobacters suspended in 0·1% peptone water and dried on the fingertips survived for different periods of time ranging from < 1 to ≧ 4 min. However, campylobacters suspended in chicken liquor or blood survived for much longer periods. The most resilient organism was Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11392 which, when suspended in 50% horse blood, survived for an hour. Suspensions containing 106–107 organisms prepared in 50% blood and dried on to fingertips were removed by thorough hand washing with either soap and water or water alone followed by drying on paper towels, but persisted on wet hands. The organisms were also eliminated by wiping the hands with a tissue saturated with 70% isopropyl alcohol for 15 sec.