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Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Palliative care for nursing home residents with advanced dementia is often sub-optimal due to poor communication and limited care planning. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, registered nurses (RNs) from 10 nursing homes were trained and funded to work as Palliative Care Planning Coordinators (PCPCs) to organize family case conferences and mentor staff. This qualitative sub-study aimed to explore PCPC and health professional perceptions of the benefits of facilitated case conferencing and identify factors influencing implementation.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the RNs in the PCPC role, other members of nursing home staff, and physicians who participated in case conferences. Analysis was conducted by two researchers using a thematic framework approach.
Interviews were conducted with 11 PCPCs, 18 other nurses, eight allied health workers, and three physicians. Perceived benefits of facilitated case conferencing included better communication between staff and families, greater multi-disciplinary involvement in case conferences and care planning, and improved staff attitudes and capabilities for dementia palliative care. Key factors influencing implementation included: staffing levels and time; support from management, staff and physicians; and positive family feedback.
The facilitated approach explored in this study addressed known barriers to case conferencing. However, current business models in the sector make it difficult for case conferencing to receive the required levels of nursing qualification, training, and time. A collaborative nursing home culture and ongoing relationships with health professionals are also prerequisites for success. Further studies should document resident and family perceptions to harness consumer advocacy.
Mass casualty triage is the process of prioritizing multiple victims when resources are not sufficient to treat everyone immediately. No national guideline for mass casualty triage exists in the United States. The lack of a national guideline has resulted in variability in triage processes, tags, and nomenclature. This variability has the potential to inject confusion and miscommunication into the disaster incident, particularly when multiple jurisdictions are involved. The Model Uniform Core Criteria for Mass Casualty Triage were developed to be a national guideline for mass casualty triage to ensure interoperability and standardization when responding to a mass casualty incident. The Core Criteria consist of 4 categories: general considerations, global sorting, lifesaving interventions, and individual assessment of triage category. The criteria within each of these categories were developed by a workgroup of experts representing national stakeholder organizations who used the best available science and, when necessary, consensus opinion. This article describes how the Model Uniform Core Criteria for Mass Casualty Triage were developed.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:129-137)
The effect of negative campaigning on voter turnout has been a major focus of research in recent years. The general finding from this large literature is that negative campaigning does not depress voter turnout overall; however, it may still be that certain portions of the electorate are differentially mobilized or demobilized by negativity. In particular, scholars have neglected to examine whether men and women react differently to campaign attacks. This article begins by showing that evidence drawn from a variety of relevant fields outside of political science point toward the general expectation that men will be mobilized by negativity to a greater degree than women. Associated hypotheses are then tested using data from both real campaigns and experiments. In each analysis, the evidence supports the hypothesis that a “negativity gap” exists. Specifically, men are disproportionately mobilized by the most negative campaign messages as compared to women. Partisanship is also found to interact significantly with gender and message tone to affect the likelihood of voting. These results highlight the importance of studying subgroup differences when establishing the effects of campaign tone on the public.
The seventh annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from February 5 to 7, 2010, with 224 attendees onsite. The theme for the meeting was “Advancing Excellence in Teaching Political Science.” Using the working-group model, the TLC track format encourages in-depth discussion and debate on research dealing with the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Atypical antipsychotics have less neurological side-effects than the older drugs but are only available as oral preparations. This may limit their use in forensic patients. We sent a postal questionnaire to all consultant psychiatrists working in forensic settings in the UK to determine their views.
The response rate was 60%. Respondents tended to overestimate the benefits and underestimate the side-effects of the atypical antipsychotics. The majority often prescribed atypical antipsychotics and depots together. Psychoeducation and serum level monitoring were used to optimise/monitor compliance by 50%.
Using atypical antipsychotics as monotherapy is problematic in forensic settings. The extent of polypharmacy means that patients may experience the side-effects of both typical and atypical antipsychotics. More could be done to facilitate and monitor compliance.
More treatment for substance misuse should be provided within prisons.
To examine differences between prisoners on remand with substance misuse problems and other prisoners on remand.
Random selection and interview of unconvicted male prisoners (n=750, a 9.4% sample), plus examination of the prison medical record.
Of the sample of 750, 253 subjects (33.7%) reported either drug- or alcohol-related health problems or dependency. Compared with other prisoners on remand, they reported more childhood adversity, conduct disorder, self-harm, past psychiatric treatment and current mood disorder, and had fewer qualifications, were more likely to be unemployed and have more housing difficulties.
One-third of unconvicted men in prison report substance-related problems, and these are a marker for vulnerability within a disadvantaged population. Health care providers should involve this group in treatment and rehabilitation, both inside prison and following release.
This paper reports a retrospective case note study of all patients with learning disability and challenging behaviour admitted to Kneesworth House Hospital between 1986 and 1991 (n=70), describing their demographic and clinical characteristics. The subjects had high levels of psychiatric morbidity, in addition to learning disability. Patients whose stay was relatively short, or who were discharged to community placements, were not able to be differentiated on clinical grounds, suggesting that the provision of local facilities determined the length of the admission. There is a need for more regional and sub-regional services for this group with multiple long-term problems.