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The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) has emerged out of the quantitative approach to psychiatric nosology. This approach identifies psychopathology constructs based on patterns of co-variation among signs and symptoms. The initial HiTOP model, which was published in 2017, is based on a large literature that spans decades of research. HiTOP is a living model that undergoes revision as new data become available. Here we discuss advantages and practical considerations of using this system in psychiatric practice and research. We especially highlight limitations of HiTOP and ongoing efforts to address them. We describe differences and similarities between HiTOP and existing diagnostic systems. Next, we review the types of evidence that informed development of HiTOP, including populations in which it has been studied and data on its validity. The paper also describes how HiTOP can facilitate research on genetic and environmental causes of psychopathology as well as the search for neurobiologic mechanisms and novel treatments. Furthermore, we consider implications for public health programs and prevention of mental disorders. We also review data on clinical utility and illustrate clinical application of HiTOP. Importantly, the model is based on measures and practices that are already used widely in clinical settings. HiTOP offers a way to organize and formalize these techniques. This model already can contribute to progress in psychiatry and complement traditional nosologies. Moreover, HiTOP seeks to facilitate research on linkages between phenotypes and biological processes, which may enable construction of a system that encompasses both biomarkers and precise clinical description.
A short, effective therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could decrease barriers to implementation and uptake, reduce dropout, and ameliorate distressing symptoms in military personnel and veterans. This non-inferiority RCT evaluated the efficacy of 2-week massed prolonged exposure (MPE) therapy compared to standard 10-week prolonged exposure (SPE), the current gold standard treatment, in reducing PTSD severity in both active serving and veterans in a real-world health service system.
This single-blinded multi-site non-inferiority RCT took place in 12 health clinics across Australia. The primary outcome was PTSD symptom severity measured by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) at 12 weeks. 138 military personnel and veterans with PTSD were randomised. 71 participants were allocated to SPE, with 63 allocated to MPE.
The intention-to-treat sample included 138 participants, data were analysed for 134 participants (88.1% male, M = 46 years). The difference between the mean MPE and SPE group PTSD scores from baseline to 12 weeks-post therapy was 0.94 [95% confidence interval (CI) −4.19 to +6.07]. The upper endpoint of the 95% CI was below +7, indicating MPE was non-inferior to SPE. Significant rates of loss of PTSD diagnosis were found for both groups (MPE 53.8%, SPE 54.1%). Dropout rates were 4.8% (MPE) and 16.9% (SPE).
MPE was non-inferior to SPE in significantly reducing symptoms of PTSD. Significant reductions in symptom severity, low dropout rates, and loss of diagnosis indicate MPE is a feasible, accessible, and effective treatment. Findings demonstrate novel methods to deliver gold-standard treatments for PTSD should be routinely considered.
The mental health impact of the initial years of military service is an under-researched area. This study is the first to explore mental health trajectories and associated predictors in military members across the first 3–4 years of their career to provide evidence to inform early interventions.
This prospective cohort study surveyed Australian Defence personnel (n = 5329) at four time-points across their early military career. Core outcomes were psychological distress (K10+) and posttraumatic stress symptoms [four-item PTSD Checklist (PCL-4)] with intra-individual, organizational and event-related trajectory predictors. Latent class growth analyses (LCGAs) identified subgroups within the sample that followed similar longitudinal trajectories for these outcomes, while conditional LCGAs examined the variables that influenced patterns of mental health.
Three clear trajectories emerged for psychological distress: resilient (84.0%), worsening (9.6%) and recovery (6.5%). Four trajectories emerged for post-traumatic stress, including resilient (82.5%), recovery (9.6%), worsening (5.8%) and chronic subthreshold (2.3%) trajectories. Across both outcomes, prior trauma exposure alongside modifiable factors, such as maladaptive coping styles, and increased anger and sleep difficulties were associated with the worsening and chronic subthreshold trajectories, whilst members in the resilient trajectories were more likely to be male, report increased social support from family/friends and Australian Defence Force (ADF) sources, and use adaptive coping styles.
The emergence of symptoms of mental health problems occurs early in the military lifecycle for a significant proportion of individuals. Modifiable factors associated with wellbeing identified in this study are ideal targets for intervention, and should be embedded and consolidated throughout the military career.
Yarkoni's analysis clearly articulates a number of concerns limiting the generalizability and explanatory power of psychological findings, many of which are compounded in infancy research. ManyBabies addresses these concerns via a radically collaborative, large-scale and open approach to research that is grounded in theory-building, committed to diversification, and focused on understanding sources of variation.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may develop following exposure to a potentially traumatic event. In developing our understanding of PTSD, identifying potential differences in prevalence, development, maintenance, and prognosis between sexes (Olff, 2017; Breslau, 2002) has been of great interest. Many theories and models have been developed to try to explain sex differences, and improve understanding, treatment, and recovery from this disorder. This chapter provides a snapshot of the current state of knowledge of PTSD with a special focus on the disorder in men, as well as providing insight into future directions and innovative approaches for studying and treating PTSD.
Although trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT) is the frontline treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one-third of patients are treatment non-responders. To identify neural markers of treatment response to TF-CBT when participants are reappraising aversive material.
This study assessed PTSD patients (n = 37) prior to TF-CBT during functional magnetic brain resonance imaging (fMRI) when they reappraised or watched traumatic images. Patients then underwent nine sessions of TF-CBT, and were then assessed for symptom severity on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. FMRI responses for cognitive reappraisal and emotional reactivity contrasts of traumatic images were correlated with the reduction of PTSD severity from pretreatment to post-treatment.
Symptom improvement was associated with decreased activation of the left amygdala during reappraisal, but increased activation of bilateral amygdala and hippocampus during emotional reactivity prior to treatment. Lower connectivity of the left amygdala to the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, and right insula, and that between the left hippocampus and right amygdala were also associated with symptom improvement.
These findings provide evidence that optimal treatment response to TF-CBT involves the capacity to engage emotional networks during emotional processing, and also to reduce the engagement of these networks when down-regulating emotions.
Disasters pose a documented risk to mental health, with a range of peri- and post-disaster factors (both pre-existing and disaster-precipitated) linked to adverse outcomes. Among these, increasing empirical attention is being paid to the relation between disasters and violence.
This study examined self-reported experiences of assault or violence victimisation among communities affected by high, medium, and low disaster severity following the 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Australia. The association between violence, mental health outcomes and alcohol misuse was also investigated.
Participants were 1016 adults from high-, medium- and low-affected communities, 3–4 years after an Australian bushfire disaster. Rates of reported violence were compared by areas of bushfire-affectedness. Logistic regression models were applied separately to men and women to assess the experience of violence in predicting general and fire-related post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and alcohol misuse.
Reports of experiencing violence were significantly higher among high bushfire-affected compared with low bushfire-affected regions. Analyses indicated the significant relationship between disaster-affectedness and violence was observed for women only, with rates of 1.0, 0 and 7.4% in low, medium and high bushfire-affected areas, respectively. Among women living in high bushfire-affected areas, negative change to income was associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing violence (odds ratio, 4.68). For women, post-disaster violence was associated with more severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms.
Women residing within high bushfire-affected communities experienced the highest levels of violence. These post-disaster experiences of violence are associated with post-disaster changes to income and with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among women. These findings have critical implications for the assessment of, and interventions for, women experiencing or at risk of violence post-disaster.
The mental health and social functioning of millions of forcibly displaced individuals worldwide represents a key public health priority for host governments. This is the first longitudinal study with a representative sample to examine the impact of interpersonal trust and psychological symptoms on community engagement in refugees.
Participants were 1894 resettled refugees, assessed within 6 months of receiving a permanent visa in Australia, and again 2–3 years later. Variables measured included post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression/anxiety symptoms, interpersonal trust and engagement with refugees’ own and other communities.
A multilevel path analysis was conducted, with the final model evidencing good fit (Comparative Fit Index = 0.97, Tucker–Lewis Index = 0.89, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.05, Standardized Root-Mean-Square-Residual = 0.05). Findings revealed that high levels of depression symptoms were associated with lower subsequent engagement with refugees’ own communities. In contrast, low levels of interpersonal trust were associated with lower engagement with the host community over the same timeframe.
Findings point to differential pathways to social engagement in the medium-term post-resettlement. Results indicate that depression symptoms are linked to reduced engagement with one's own community, while interpersonal trust is implicated in engagement with the broader community in the host country. These findings have potentially important implications for policy and clinical practice, suggesting that clinical and support services should target psychological symptoms and interpersonal processes when fostering positive adaptation in resettled refugees.
The mental health outcomes of military personnel deployed on peacekeeping
missions have been relatively neglected in the military mental health
To assess the mental health impacts of peacekeeping deployments.
In total, 1025 Australian peacekeepers were assessed for current and
lifetime psychiatric diagnoses, service history and exposure to
potentially traumatic events (PTEs). A matched Australian community
sample was used as a comparator. Univariate and regression analyses were
conducted to explore predictors of psychiatric diagnosis.
Peacekeepers had significantly higher 12-month prevalence of
post-traumatic stress disorder (16.8%), major depressive episode (7%),
generalised anxiety disorder (4.7%), alcohol misuse (12%), alcohol
dependence (11.3%) and suicidal ideation (10.7%) when compared with the
civilian comparator. The presence of these psychiatric disorders was most
strongly and consistently associated with exposure to PTEs.
Veteran peacekeepers had significant levels of psychiatric morbidity.
Their needs, alongside those of combat veterans, should be recognised
within military mental health initiatives.
Natural disasters by their very nature occur suddenly and have the potential to cause great harm at an individual, family, community, and societal level. They occur frequently, and with the escalation in extreme events related to climate change, the frequency, and severity of natural disasters will only increase (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2014). Globally, a growing number of people are being exposed to natural disaster; however, the vulnerability to exposure is not equally shared. Those who are socially, physically, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise disadvantaged are especially vulnerable to experiencing natural disaster.
Traumatic injuries affect millions of patients each year, and resulting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) significantly contributes to subsequent impairment.
To map the distinctive long-term trajectories of PTSD responses over 6 years by using latent growth mixture modelling.
Randomly selected injury patients (n = 1084) admitted to four hospitals around Australia were assessed in hospital, and at 3, 12, 24 and 72 months. Lifetime psychiatric history and current PTSD severity and functioning were assessed.
Five trajectories of PTSD response were noted across the 6 years: (a) chronic (4%), (b) recovery (6%), (c) worsening/recovery (8%), (d) worsening (10%) and (e) resilient (73%). A poorer trajectory was predicted by female gender, recent life stressors, presence of mild traumatic brain injury and admission to intensive care unit.
These findings demonstrate the long-term PTSD effects that can occur following traumatic injury. The different trajectories highlight that monitoring a subset of patients over time is probably a more accurate means of identifying PTSD rather than relying on factors that can be assessed during hospital admission.
The Kelvin–Helmholtz flow is a shearing instability that occurs at the interface between two fluids moving with different speeds. Here, the two fluids are each of finite depth, but are highly viscous. Consequently, their motion is caused by the horizontal speeds of the two walls above and below each fluid layer. The motion of the fluids is assumed to be governed by the Stokes approximation for slow viscous flow, and the fluid motion is thus responsible for movement of the interface between them. A linearized solution is presented, from which the decay rate and the group speed of the wave system may be obtained. The nonlinear equations are solved using a novel spectral representation for the streamfunctions in each of the two fluid layers, and the exact boundary conditions are applied at the unknown interface location. Results are presented for the wave profiles, and the behaviour of the curvature of the interface is discussed. These results are compared to the Boussinesq–Stokes approximation which is also solved by a novel spectral technique, and agreement between the results supports the numerical calculations.
The latent structure of the proposed ICD-11 post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) symptoms has not been explored.
To investigate the latent structure of the proposed ICD-11 PTSD
Confirmatory factor analyses using data from structured clinical
interviews administered to injury patients (n = 613) 6
years post-trauma. Measures of disability and psychological quality of
life (QoL) were also administered.
Although the three-factor model implied by the ICD-11 diagnostic criteria
fit the data well, a two-factor model provided equivalent, if not
superior, fit. Whereas diagnostic criteria based on this two-factor model
resulted in an increase in PTSD point prevalence (5.1%
v. 3.4%; z = 2.32,
P<0.05), they identified individuals with similar
levels of disability (P = 0.933) and QoL
(P = 0.591) to those identified by the ICD-11
Consistent with theorised reciprocal relationships between
re-experiencing and avoidance in PTSD, these findings support an
alternative diagnostic algorithm requiring at least two of any of the
four re-experiencing/avoidance symptoms and at least one of the two
Australia has deployed over 25 000 personnel to recent conflicts in the Middle East and has been involved in peacekeeping missions. Australian veterans report elevated rates of mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, affective disorders and substance use disorders. Veteran healthcare is delivered through publicly funded services, as well as through private services, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Some of the challenges involve coordination of services for veterans transitioning from Defence to Veterans' Affairs, service delivery across a large continent and stigma inhibiting service-seeking. Initiatives have been introduced in screening and delivery of evidence-based treatments. While challenges remain, Australia has come a long way towards an integrated and comprehensive approach to veteran mental healthcare.
In this paper the control of flexible-joint manipulators while explicitly avoiding actuator saturation is considered. The controllers investigated are composed of a bounded proportional control term and a Hammerstein strictly positive real angular rate control term. This control structure ensures that the total torque demanded of each actuator is bounded by a value that is less than the maximum torque that each actuator is able to provide, thereby disallowing actuator saturation. The proposed controllers are shown to render the closed-loop system asymptotically stable, even in the presence of modeling uncertainties. The performance of the controllers is demonstrated experimentally and in simulation.
There have been changes to the criteria for diagnosing post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) in DSM-5 and changes are proposed for ICD-11.
To investigate the impact of the changes to diagnostic criteria for PTSD
in DSM-5 and the proposed changes in ICD-11 using a large multisite
trauma-exposed sample and structured clinical interviews.
Randomly selected injury patients admitted to four hospitals were
assessed 72 months post trauma (n = 510). Structured
clinical interviews for PTSD and major depressive episode, as well as
self-report measures of disability and quality of life were
Current prevalence of PTSD under DSM-5 scoring was not significantly
different from DSM-IV (6.7% v. 5.9%, z
= 0.53, P = 0.59). However, the ICD-11 prevalence was
significantly lower than ICD-10 (3.3% v. 9.0%,
z =–3.8, P<0.001). The PTSD
current prevalence was significantly higher for DSM-5 than ICD-11 (6.7%
v. 3.3%, z = 2.5, P
= 0.01). Using ICD-11 tended to show lower rates of comorbidity with
depression and a slightly lower association with disability.
The diagnostic systems performed in different ways in terms of current
prevalence rates and levels of comorbidity with depression, but on other
broad key indicators they were relatively similar. There was overlap
between those with PTSD diagnosed by ICD-11 and DSM-5 but a substantial
portion met one but not the other set of criteria. This represents a
challenge for research because the phenotype that is studied may be
markedly different according to the diagnostic system used.
Alternate aluminum and arsenic precursors were investigated for InAlAs grown by organometallic vapor phase epitaxy (OMVPE). The quality of the InAlAs growths was investigated by secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to measure impurity concentrations. Trends are extracted from SIMS measurements for each precursor as a function of V/III ratio and growth temperature. Two arsenic precursors, arsine and tertiarybutylarsine (TBAs), were chosen to compare InAlAs growth quality. The impurity concentrations measured by SIMS decrease as the V/III ratio increases, for both arsine and TBAs growths. Impurities also decrease as growth temperature increases. Two aluminum precursors, trimethylaluminum (TMAl) and tritertiarybutylaluminum (TTBAl), were used to compare the effect of alumimum precursor on carbon and oxygen impurity levels. TMAl is widely studied in literature, though TTBAl is less common. This study represents the first report using the TTBAl precursor for InAlAs growth. Each aluminum source is used in conjunction with each aforementioned arsenic precursor in order to compare all possible precursor combinations. TMAl growths demonstrated decreasing impurities with increasing V/III ratio. TTBAl growths did not exhibit such a dependence, impurity concentrations remained virtually constant regardless of V/III ratio.
On March 11, 2011, Japan experienced the largest earthquake in its history. The undersea earthquake launched a tsunami that inundated much of Japan's eastern coastline and damaged nuclear power plants, precipitating multiple reactor meltdowns. We examined open-source disaster situation reports, news accounts, and disaster-monitoring websites to gather event-specific data to conduct a trauma signature analysis of the event.
The trauma signature analysis included a review of disaster situation reports; the construction of a hazard profile for the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation threats; enumeration of disaster stressors by disaster phase; identification of salient evidence-based psychological risk factors; summation of the trauma signature based on exposure to hazards, loss, and change; and review of the mental health and psychosocial support responses in relation to the analysis.
Exposure to this triple-hazard event resulted in extensive damage, significant loss of life, and massive population displacement. Many citizens were exposed to multiple hazards. The extremity of these exposures was partially mitigated by Japan's timely, expert-coordinated, and unified activation of an evidence-based mental health response.
The eastern Japan disaster was notable for its unique constellation of compounding exposures. Examination of the trauma signature of this event provided insights and guidance regarding optimal mental health and psychosocial responses. Japan orchestrated a model response that reinforced community resilience. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;0:1-14)