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This study of loneliness across adult lifespan examined its associations with sociodemographics, mental health (positive and negative psychological states and traits), subjective cognitive complaints, and physical functioning.
Analysis of cross-sectional data
340 community-dwelling adults in San Diego, California, mean age 62 (SD = 18) years, range 27–101 years, who participated in three community-based studies.
Loneliness measures included UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 (UCLA-3), 4-item Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Social Isolation Scale, and a single-item measure from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) scale. Other measures included the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) and Medical Outcomes Survey- Short form 36.
Seventy-six percent of subjects had moderate-high levels of loneliness on UCLA-3, using standardized cut-points. Loneliness was correlated with worse mental health and inversely with positive psychological states/traits. Even moderate severity of loneliness was associated with worse mental and physical functioning. Loneliness severity and age had a complex relationship, with increased loneliness in the late-20s, mid-50s, and late-80s. There were no sex differences in loneliness prevalence, severity, and age relationships. The best-fit multiple regression model accounted for 45% of the variance in UCLA-3 scores, and three factors emerged with small-medium effect sizes: wisdom, living alone and mental well-being.
The alarmingly high prevalence of loneliness and its association with worse health-related measures underscore major challenges for society. The non-linear age-loneliness severity relationship deserves further study. The strong negative association of wisdom with loneliness highlights the potentially critical role of wisdom as a target for psychosocial/behavioral interventions to reduce loneliness. Building a wiser society may help us develop a more connected, less lonely, and happier society.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
Polymer-containing solutions used across research and industry are commonly exposed to mechanically harsh fluid processes, for example shear and extensional forces during flow through porous media or rapid microdispensing of biopharmaceutical molecules. These forces are strong enough to break the covalent bonds in the polymer backbone. As this scission phenomenon can change the functional and fluid-flow properties as well as introduce reactive radicals into the solution, it must be understood and controlled. Experiments and models to date have only provided partial or qualitative insights into this behaviour. Here we build a link between the molecular-scale degradation models and the macroscale laminar flow of dilute solutions in any given geometry. A free-draining bead–rod model is used to investigate rupture events at the molecular scale. It is shown by uniaxial extension simulations of an ensemble of chains that scission can be conveniently described at the macroscopic scale as a first-order reaction whose rate is a function of the conformation tensor of the macromolecules and the velocity gradient of the flow. This approach is implemented in the finite volume code OpenFOAM by elaborating an appropriate constitutive equation for the conformation tensor. The macroscopic model is run and analysed for ultra-dilute solutions of poly(methyl methacrylate) in ethyl acetate and polyethylene oxide in water, using the geometry of an abrupt contraction flow and neglecting any viscoelastic effect. This multiscale approach bridges the gap between phenomenological observations of mechanically induced chemical degradation in large-scale applications and the rich field of molecular-scale models of macromolecules under flow.
Advancements in image-based technologies and body composition research over the past decade has led to increased understanding of the importance of muscle abnormalities, such as low muscle mass (sarcopenia), and more recently low muscle attenuation (MA), as important prognostic indicators of unfavourable outcomes in patients with cancer. Muscle abnormalities can be highly prevalent in patients with cancer (ranging between 10 and 90 %), depending on the cohort under investigation and diagnostic criteria used. Importantly, both low muscle mass and low MA have been associated with poorer tolerance to chemotherapy, increased risk of post-operative infectious and non-infectious complications, increased length of hospital stay and poorer survival in patients with cancer. Studies have shown that systemic antineoplastic treatment can exacerbate losses in muscle mass and MA, with reported loss of skeletal muscle between 3 and 5 % per 100 d, which are increased exponentially with progressive disease and proximity to death. At present, no effective medical intervention to improve muscle mass and MA exists. Most research to date has focused on treating muscle depletion as part of the cachexia syndrome using nutritional, exercise and pharmacological interventions; however, these single-agent therapies have not provided promising results. Rehabilitation care to modify body composition, either increasing muscle mass and/or MA should be conducted, and its respective impact on oncology outcomes explored. Although the optimal timing and treatment strategy for preventing or delaying the development of muscle abnormalities are yet to be determined, multimodal interventions initiated early in the disease trajectory appear to hold the most promise.
The Mental Health Act 2001 has introduced significant changes to the process of admission to hospital for individuals affected by mental health disorders. This study aimed to determine whether a newly designed smartphone application could result in an improvement in service users’ knowledge of their rights compared with the paper booklet.
This was a randomized study conducted in an outpatient and day-hospital in North Dublin. Participants were randomized to receive the information booklet as either a smartphone application or in the paper form. A questionnaire which was scored from 0 to 10 was devised and was completed at baseline and at 1-week follow-up.
A total of 42 individuals completed the baseline and follow-up questionnaire and of these, 53.7% were female and the mean age was 38.2 years (s.d.±13.5). A total of 34.1% had a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder, 29.3% had a depressive disorder and 22% had bipolar-affective disorder. The mean score before the intervention in the total group was 3.5 (s.d.±2.2) and this increased to 5.8 (s.d.±2.2) at follow-up. Participants randomized to the smartphone application improving by a mean of 2.5 (s.d.±2.5), while those randomized to the booklet improving by a mean of 2.3 (s.d.±2.6), which was not statistically significant.
Both forms of the information booklet showed improvement in service users’ knowledge of their legal rights. It is possible that each individual will have preference for either a paper form or a smartphone form and this study suggests that both forms should be offered to each individual service user.
Covering three centuries of unprecedented demographic and economic changes, this textbook is an authoritative and comprehensive view of the shaping of Irish society, at home and abroad, from the famine of 1740 to the present day. The first major work on the history of modern Ireland to adopt a social history perspective, it focuses on the experiences and agency of Irish men, women and children, Catholics and Protestants, and in the North, South and the diaspora. An international team of leading scholars survey key changes in population, the economy, occupations, property ownership, class and migration, and also consider the interaction of the individual and the state through welfare, education, crime and policing. Drawing on a wide range of disciplinary approaches and consistently setting Irish developments in a wider European and global context, this is an invaluable resource for courses on modern Irish history and Irish studies.