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Psychological attachment to political parties can bias people’s attitudes, beliefs, and group evaluations. Studies from psychology suggest that self-affirmation theory may ameliorate this problem in the domain of politics on a variety of outcome measures. We report a series of studies conducted by separate research teams that examine whether a self-affirmation intervention affects a variety of outcomes, including political or policy attitudes, factual beliefs, conspiracy beliefs, affective polarization, and evaluations of news sources. The different research teams use a variety of self-affirmation interventions, research designs, and outcomes. Despite these differences, the research teams consistently find that self-affirmation treatments have little effect. These findings suggest considerable caution is warranted for researchers who wish to apply the self-affirmation framework to studies that investigate political attitudes and beliefs. By presenting the “null results” of separate research teams, we hope to spark a discussion about whether and how the self-affirmation paradigm should be applied to political topics.
This study sought to assess the impact of simulation training in influencing trainees’ initial surgical participation as perceived by experienced surgeon trainers.
Twenty ENT surgeons assessed how much of a given procedure they would expect to allow a trainee to perform for their first time. Responses were provided for trainees who had undergone a relevant simulation course and those who had not, and scored according to the eLogbook levels of involvement in surgery. This was completed for simulated procedures with validated models, across four grades of junior doctors.
A total of 1120 judgements on the trainees’ intended level of involvement were made. The median involvement score was higher in the simulation group versus the non-simulation group (Mann–Whitney U, p = 0.0001), corresponding to a translation in surgical opportunity from a primarily assisting role to an active role.
Trainer perception of a relevant ENT simulation course appears to positively impact on the initial surgical opportunities afforded to the trainee.
Coronavirus disease 2019, a highly transmissible respiratory infection, has created a public health crisis of global magnitude. The mainstay of diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 is molecular polymerase chain reaction testing of a respiratory specimen, obtained with a viral swab. As the incidence of new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 increases exponentially, the use of viral swabs to collect nasopharyngeal specimens is anticipated to increase drastically.
This paper draws attention to a complication of viral swab testing in the nasopharynx and describes the premature engagement of a viral swab breakpoint, resulting in impaction in the nasal cavity.
This case highlights a possible design flaw of the viral swab when used to collect nasopharyngeal specimens, which then requires an aerosol-generating procedure in a high-risk patient to be performed. The paper outlines a safe technique of nasal foreign body removal in a suspected coronavirus disease 2019 patient and suggests alternative testing materials.
This article examines provincial policy influence on long-term care (LTC) professionals’ advice-seeking networks in Canada’s Maritime provinces. The effects of facility ownership, geography, and region-specific political landscapes on LTC best-practice dissemination are examined. We used sociometric statistics and network sociograms, calculated from surveys with 169 senior leaders in LTC facilities, to identify advice-seeking network structures and to select 11 follow-up interview participants. Network structures were distinguished by density, sub-group number, opinion leader, and boundary spanner distribution. Network structure was affected by ownership model in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and by regional geography in New Brunswick. Political instability within each province’s LTC system negatively affected network actors’ capabilities to enact innovation. Moreover, provincial policy variations influence advice-seeking network structures, facilitating and constraining relationship development and networking. Consequently, local policy context is essential to informing dissemination strategy design or implementation.
Introduction: A critical component for successful implementation of any innovation is an organization's readiness for change. Competence by Design (CBD) is the Royal College's major change initiative to reform the training of medical specialists in Canada. The purpose of this study was to measure readiness to implement CBD among the 2019 launch disciplines. Methods: An online survey was distributed to program directors of the 2019 CBD launch disciplines one month prior to implementation. Questions were developed based on the R = MC2 framework for organizational readiness. They addressed program motivation to implement CBD, general capacity for change, and innovation-specific capacity. Questions related to motivation and general capacity were scored using a 5-point scale of agreement. Innovation-specific capacity was measured by asking participants whether they had completed 33 key pre-implementation tasks (yes/no) in preparation for CBD. Bivariate correlations were conducted to examine the relationship between motivation, general capacity and innovation specific capacity. Results: Survey response rate was 42% (n = 79). A positive correlation was found between all three domains of readiness (motivation and general capacity, r = 0.73, p < 0.01; motivation and innovation specific capacity, r = 0.52, p < 0.01; general capacity and innovation specific capacity, r = 0.47, p < 0.01). Most respondents agreed that successful launch of CBD was a priority (74%). Fewer felt that CBD was a move in the right direction (58%) and that implementation was a manageable change (53%). While most programs indicated that their leadership (94%) and faculty and residents (87%) were supportive of change, 42% did not have experience implementing large-scale innovation and 43% indicated concerns about adequate support staff. Programs had completed an average of 72% of pre-implementation tasks. No difference was found between disciplines (p = 0.11). Activities related to curriculum mapping, competence committees and programmatic assessment had been completed by >90% of programs, while <50% of programs had engaged off-service rotations. Conclusion: Measuring readiness for change aids in the identification of factors that promote or inhibit successful implementation. These results highlight several areas where programs struggle in preparation for CBD launch. Emergency medicine training programs can use this data to target additional implementation support and ongoing faculty development initiatives.
There is strong qualitative and quantitative evidence of white matter abnormalities in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). There is also good evidence of altered connectivity in schizophrenia using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, but no study has yet addressed the diagnostic specificity of these findings or whether they are related to specific susceptibility genes.
Diffusion tensor MRI was used to assess white matter integrity in patients with bipolar I disorder (BD) (n=42), schizophrenia (n=28) and healthy controls (n=38). Clinically stable patients with one other close family member with the same diagnosis were selected. In a second study, we examined white matter associations with Neuregulin I in a sample of healthy controls. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was compared between the groups using voxel-based morphometry, automated region of interest analysis and probabilistic tractography. Results : Patients with BD and those with schizophrenia showed reduced FA in the anterior limb of the internal capsule, anterior thalamic radiation and uncinate fasciculus compared with controls. Results from the second study showed reductions in those carrying a Neuregulin 1 variant previously associated with psychotic symptoms.
Reduced white matter density and integrity is common to both schizophrenia and BD. It is likely that this shared white matter disruption is determined in part by shared genetic risk factors.
On 30 January 2020, WHO declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global public health emergency. As of 12 March 2020, 125 048 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 118 countries had been reported. On 12 March 2020, the first case in the Pacific islands was reported in French Polynesia; no other Pacific island country or territory has reported cases. The purpose of our analysis is to show how travellers may introduce COVID-19 into the Pacific islands and discuss the role robust health systems play in protecting health and reducing transmission risk. We analyse travel and Global Health Security Index data using a scoring tool to produce quantitative estimates of COVID-19 importation risk, by departing and arriving country. Our analysis indicates that, as of 12 March 2020, the highest risk air routes by which COVID-19 may be imported into the Pacific islands are from east Asian countries (specifically, China, Korea and Japan) to north Pacific airports (likely Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or, to a less extent, Palau); or from China, Japan, Singapore, the United States of America or France to south Pacific ports (likely, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia or New Caledonia). Other importation routes include from other east Asian countries to Guam, and from Australia, New Zealand and other European countries to the south Pacific. The tool provides a useful method for assessing COVID-19 importation risk and may be useful in other settings.
Equal access to health care treatment is a highly prioritized goal in most OECD countries. Timely access has become a priority too; in Denmark now with a 4-week deadline from referral to diagnosis. When mental health services become more centralized and allocation of patients to treatment further away from home become more common, it could have a negative impact on the goal of equal access.
To determine the impact of socioeconomic position (SEP) and distance to provider on outpatient mental health care utilization among incident users of antidepressants.
A nationwide, Danish, register based, follow-up study on frequencies of contacts to out-patient psychiatric services, psychologist consultations supported by public funding and therapeutic talks by general practice.
Outpatient-psychiatric services were reached more often by patients in low SEP measured by income, but their frequencies of visits were less. Contacts to psychologists were less than half for patients in low SEP and less frequent too. Mental health service by GP showed low SEP associated with low contact. No difference in use of emergency or inpatient psychiatric services was found. Distance to provider showed interaction with SEP and contact to psychologist and frequencies of contact to outpatient psychiatrists. When distance increased by 5 km, contact to psychologist fell by 11% among lowest income group and frequencies of visits to outpatient psychiatrist fell by 5%.
Lower SEP is associated with lower mental health care utilization. Increased distance to provider increases inequity in mental health service utilization.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To examine associations of tree nut snack (TNS) consumption with diet quality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in UK adults from National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) 2008–2014.
Cross-sectional analysis using data from 4-d food diaries, blood samples and physical measurements for CVD risk markers. To estimate diet quality, modified Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and modified Healthy Diet Score (HDS) were applied. Associations of TNS consumption with diet quality and markers of CVD risk were investigated using survey-adjusted multivariable linear regression adjusted for sex, age, ethnicity, socio-economic and smoking status, region of residency and total energy and alcohol intake.
UK free-living population.
4738 adults (≥19 years).
TNS consumers had higher modified MDS and HDS relative to non-consumers. TNS consumers also had lower BMI, WC, SBP and DBP and higher HDL compared to non-consumers, although a dose-related fully adjusted significant association between increasing nut intake (g per 4184 kJ/1000 kcal energy intake) and lower marker of CVD risk was only observed for SBP. TNS consumption was also associated with higher intake of total fat, mono-, n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, fibre, vitamin A, thiamin, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and iron; and lower intake of saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, total carbohydrate, starch, free sugar, sodium and chloride.
TNS consumers report better dietary quality and consumption was associated with lower CVD risk factors. Encouraging replacement of less healthy snacks with TNS should be encouraged as part of general dietary guidelines.
Approximately 18% of adults with intellectual disabilities living in the community display behaviours that challenge. Intensive support teams (ISTs) have been recommended to provide high-quality responsive care aimed at avoiding unnecessary admissions and reducing lengthy in-patient stays.
To identify and describe the geographical distribution and characteristics of ISTs, and to develop a typology of IST service models in England.
We undertook a national cross-sectional survey of 73 ISTs. A hierarchical cluster analysis was performed based on six prespecified grouping factors (mode of referrals, size of case-load, use of outcome measures, staff composition, hours of operation and setting of service). A simplified form of thematic analysis was used to explore free-text responses.
Cluster analysis identified two models of IST provision: (a) independent and (b) enhanced provision based around a community intellectual disability service. ISTs aspire to adopt person-centred care, mostly use the framework of positive behaviour support for behaviour that challenges, and report concerns about organisational and wider context issues.
This is the first study to examine the delivery of intensive support to people with intellectual disability and behaviour that challenges. A two-cluster model of ISTs was found to have statistical validity and clinical utility. The clinical heterogeneity indicates that further evaluation of these service models is needed to establish their clinical and cost-effectiveness.
How and why do predators sometimes fuel disease outbreaks but other times thwart them? Answering this could help explain spatial and temporal variation in disease and could explain why attempts to control disease by manipulating predators sometimes fail. We give eight mechanisms by which predators can suppress/spread disease in prey populations, exploring each generally and reviewing evidence from the study system that has been the focus of much of our research. This system focuses on Daphnia dentifera, a dominant herbivore in lake food webs in the Midwestern United States. D. dentifera is prey to bluegill sunfish and phantom midge larvae, as well as host to a virulent fungal pathogen. We review evidence for bluegill sunfish as ‘healthy herds’ predators that reduce disease, and for midge larvae as ‘predator spreaders’ that fuel disease outbreaks. We find that both predators can impact disease via multiple mechanisms. Bluegill feed selectively on infected hosts and also depress disease in Daphnia by reducing the density of midge larvae which spread disease. They also increase the abundance of Ceriodaphnia, which reduce disease. Midge larvae increase disease in their hosts, in part by releasing spores into the water column where they can be consumed by additional hosts.
Mexican Americans suffer from a disproportionate burden of modifiable risk factors, which may contribute to the health disparities in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The purpose of this study was to elucidate the impact of comorbid depression and diabetes on proteomic outcomes among community-dwelling Mexican American adults and elders.
Data from participants enrolled in the Health and Aging Brain among Latino Elders study was utilized. Participants were 50 or older and identified as Mexican American (N = 514). Cognition was assessed via neuropsychological test battery and diagnoses of MCI and AD adjudicated by consensus review. The sample was stratified into four groups: Depression only, Neither depression nor diabetes, Diabetes only, and Comorbid depression and diabetes. Proteomic profiles were created via support vector machine analyses.
In Mexican Americans, the proteomic profile of MCI may change based upon the presence of diabetes. The profile has a strong inflammatory component and diabetes increases metabolic markers in the profile.
Medical comorbidities may impact the proteomics of MCI and AD, which lend support for a precision medicine approach to treating this disease.
Floriculture value exceeds $5.8 billion in the United States. Environmental challenges, market trends, and diseases complicate breeding priorities. To inform breeders’ and geneticists’ research efforts, we set out to gather consumers’ preferences in the form of willingness to pay (WTP) for different rose attributes in a discrete choice experiment. The responses are modeled in WTP space, using polynomials to account for heterogeneity. Consumer preferences indicate that heat and disease tolerance were the most important aspects for subjects in the sample, followed by drought resistance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to identify breeding priorities in rosaceous plants from a consumer perspective.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Background: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are congenital structural abnormalities of the brain, and represent the most common cause of medication-resistant focal epilepsy in children and adults. Recent studies have shown that somatic mutations (i.e. mutations arising in the embryo) in mTOR pathway genes underlie some FCD cases. Specific therapies targeting the mTOR pathway are available. However, testing for somatic mTOR pathway mutations in FCD tissue is not performed on a clinical basis, and the contribution of such mutations to the pathogenesis of FCD remains unknown. Aim: To investigate the feasibility of screening for somatic mutations in resected FCD tissue and determine the proportion and spatial distribution of FCDs which are due to low-level somatic mTOR pathway mutations. Methods: We performed ultra-deep sequencing of 13 mTOR pathway genes using a custom HaloPlexHS target enrichment kit (Agilent Technologies) in 16 resected histologically-confirmed FCD specimens. Results: We identified causal variants in 62.5% (10/16) of patients at an alternate allele frequency of 0.75–33.7%. The spatial mutation frequency correlated with the FCD lesion’s size and severity. Conclusions: Screening FCD tissue using a custom panel results in a high yield, and should be considered clinically given the important potential implications regarding surgical resection, medical management and genetic counselling.