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Over the past 15 years, there has been substantial growth in web-based psychological interventions. We summarize evidence regarding the efficacy of web-based self-directed psychological interventions on depressive, anxiety and distress symptoms in people living with a chronic health condition.
We searched Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE databases and Cochrane Database from 1990 to 1 May 2019. English language papers of randomized controlled trials (usual care or waitlist control) of web-based psychological interventions with a primary or secondary aim to reduce anxiety, depression or distress in adults with a chronic health condition were eligible. Results were assessed using narrative synthases and random-effects meta-analyses.
In total 70 eligible studies across 17 health conditions [most commonly: cancer (k = 20), chronic pain (k = 9), arthritis (k = 6) and multiple sclerosis (k = 5), diabetes (k = 4), fibromyalgia (k = 4)] were identified. Interventions were based on CBT principles in 46 (66%) studies and 42 (60%) included a facilitator. When combining all chronic health conditions, web-based interventions were more efficacious than control conditions in reducing symptoms of depression g = 0.30 (95% CI 0.22–0.39), anxiety g = 0.19 (95% CI 0.12–0.27), and distress g = 0.36 (95% CI 0.23–0.49).
Evidence regarding effectiveness for specific chronic health conditions was inconsistent. While self-guided online psychological interventions may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress in people with chronic health conditions in general, it is unclear if these interventions are effective for specific health conditions. More high-quality evidence is needed before definite conclusions can be made.
Even in cases with complexity, simple techniques can be useful to target a specific symptom. Intrusive mental images are highly disruptive, drive emotion, and contribute to maintaining psychopathology. Cognitive science suggests that we might target intrusive images using competing tasks.
We describe an imagery competing task technique within cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a patient with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The intervention – including Tetris computer game-play – was used (1) to target a specific image within one therapy session, and (2) to manage multiple images in daily life.
A single case (AB) design was used. (1) To target a specific image, the patient brought the image to mind and, after mental rotation instructions and game-play practice, played Tetris for 10 minutes. Outcomes, pre- and post-technique, were: vividness/distress ratings when the image was brought to mind; reported intrusion frequency over a week. (2) To manage multiple images, the patient used the intervention after an intrusive image occurred. Outcomes were weekly measures of: (a) imagery characteristics; (b) symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression and mania.
(1) For the target image, there were reductions in vividness (80% to 40%), distress (70% to 0%), and intrusion frequency (daily to twice/week). (2) For multiple images, there were reductions from baseline to follow-up in (a) imagery vividness (38%), realness (66%) and compellingness (23%), and (b) PTSD symptoms (Impact of Events Scale-Revised score 26.33 to 4.83).
This low-intensity intervention aiming to directly target intrusive mental imagery may offer an additional, complementary tool in CBT.
Social capital research has measured the concept in two distinct ways: through direct reporting by participants in cross-national surveys and the presence of associative organisations. Both strategies raise difficulties: the former restricts comparability and assumes group stability; the latter relies on literal translation and uses direct questioning. We problematise these approaches and argue that the ratio of ‘check-points’ where individuals are asked to demonstrate adherence to rules, and ‘trust-points’ where such proofs are not required, can better measure social capital. Moreover, the unevenness of social capital between groups is perceptible by ‘fast-lanes’ that differentially treat individuals based on identity. Evidence from a field survey and observational evidence in South Africa is presented.
Migration of mental health professionals is an important phenomenon influencing mental health services of host and donor countries. Data on medical migration in Europe is very limited, particularly in the field of young doctors and psychiatry. To research this hot topic, the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) conducted the EFPT Brain Drain Survey.
To identify the impact of previous short-term mobility on international migration and to understand characteristics, patterns and reasons of migration.
In this cross-sectional European multicentre study, data were collected from 2281 psychiatric trainees across 33 countries. All participants answered to the EFPT Brain Drain Survey reporting their attitudes and experiences on migration.
Two-thirds of the trainees had not had a short-mobility experience in their lifetime, but those that went abroad were satisfied with their experiences, reporting that these influenced their attitude towards migration positively. However, the majority of the trainees had not had a migratory experience of more than 1 year. Flows showed that Switzerland and United Kingdom have the greatest number of immigrant trainees, whereas Germany and Greece have the greatest number of trainees leaving. ‘'Pull factors'’ were mostly academic and personal reasons, whereas ‘'push factors'’ were mainly: academic and financial reasons. Trainees that wanted to leave the country were significantly more dissatisfied with their income.
The majority of the trainees has considered leaving the country they currently lived in, but a lower percentage has taken steps towards migration.
Young women with personality disorders (PD) are common in psychiatric inpatient care. The clinical impression is that there is a considerably increased incidence the last decade.
Objectives and aim
To show changes in frequency and extent of inpatient care for PD, and the relation to suicide.
All admissions for inpatient care given a primary diagnosis of PD in compulsory or voluntary care years 1990 to 2010 were extracted from the National Patient Register. Subsequently, data from the Cause of Death Register were extracted and linked for the same time period.
There were more than 60,000 admissions for PD in Sweden 1990–2010. During the last ten years there was a doubling of the number of yearly admissions for young women in the ages 18 to 24 years, and inpatient care hospitalization for PD are currently six times more common for women than for men in this age group. The same is true for compulsory care. Every fifth woman in this age group who had committed suicide had been treated for PD within the last five year period prior to the suicide.
The incidence of inpatient care in young women with PD did show a sharp rise during the last decade. There was a corresponding increase in suicide with a diagnosis of PD. Guidelines for treatment and care exist but more knowledge and action plans directed both to health care and the society are urgently needed.
Effective preventive strategies could reduce disability and the long term social and health complications associated with depression, but options are limited. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) is a novel, simple, and safe intervention that corrects the attentional and interpretive biases associated with depression.
To determine if CBM decreases the one-year onset of major depression in adults at risk.
This randomised controlled trial will recruit adults with subsyndromal depression living in Australia (parallel design, 1:1 allocation ratio). The intervention will be delivered via the internet over 52 weeks. The primary outcome of interest is the onset of a major depression according to DSM-IV-TR criteria. Secondary outcomes of interest include change in the severity of depressive (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9) and changes in attention and interpretive biases. Outcomes will be collected 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after randomisation.
Preliminary data on a subsample of 20 participants showed that the mean±SE PHQ-9 score of controls was 7.5±0.9 at study entry and 7.1±1.5 at week 6 (paired t-test=0.29, p=0.779), whereas the mean±SE score of active CBM participants was 7.4±1.0 and 4.4±1.1, respectively (paired t=6.00, p<0.001). The mean PHQ-9 difference between control and active CBM participants over 6 weeks was 2.6±1.5 points (t=1.79, p=0.090). One of 11 controls (9.1%) and 0/9 active CBM participants showed evidence of clinically significant depressive symptoms at week 6 (i.e., PHQ-9≥15).
By March 2015, 6-months preliminary data will be available on 165 participants.
There is a shortage of psychiatrists worldwide. Within Europe, psychiatric trainees can move between countries, which increases the problem in some countries and alleviates it in others. However, little is known about the reasons psychiatric trainees move to another country.
Survey of psychiatric trainees in 33 European countries, exploring how frequently psychiatric trainees have migrated or want to migrate, their reasons to stay and leave the country, and the countries where they come from and where they move to. A 61-item self-report questionnaire was developed, covering questions about their demographics, experiences of short-term mobility (from 3 months up to 1 year), experiences of long-term migration (of more than 1 year) and their attitudes towards migration.
A total of 2281 psychiatric trainees in Europe participated in the survey, of which 72.0% have ‘ever’ considered to move to a different country in their future, 53.5% were considering it ‘now’, at the time of the survey, and 13.3% had already moved country. For these immigrant trainees, academic was the main reason they gave to move from their country of origin. For all trainees, the overall main reason for which they would leave was financial (34.4%), especially in those with lower (<500€) incomes (58.1%), whereas in those with higher (>2500€) incomes, personal reasons were paramount (44.5%).
A high number of psychiatric trainees considered moving to another country, and their motivation largely reflects the substantial salary differences. These findings suggest tackling financial conditions and academic opportunities.
Migration of medical professionals has a global impact on healthcare and services, including on mental health. Exploring the reasons for migration and why psychiatric trainees consider to migrate to certain countries is therefore crucial to understand the decision-making process related to migration of psychiatric trainees as well as of future specialists.
The aims of this Brain Drain Survey, was to research which countries most trainees in Europe migrate to (host countries) and for which reasons trainees choose to migrate to these countries (“pull factors”).
In a multicenter, cross-sectional study, data was collected in 33 countries. As part of the survey, all participants responded to a questionnaire exploring trainees’ experiences and attitudes towards migration.
Our results showed that Sweden, Switzerland and the UK were all significant net hosts. The percentage of immigrants varied between these countries. One of the main contributors as a “pull” factor was unsurprisingly, salary. It is notable that all three-host countries were within the highest wage brackets within our survey.
Psychiatric trainees tend to migrate to countries with higher income.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Recent investigations now suggest that cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may underpin part of the disease’s neurovascular component. However, our understanding of the relationship between the magnitude of CVR, the speed of cerebrovascular response, and the progression of AD is still limited. This is especially true in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is recognized as an intermediate stage between normal aging and dementia. The purpose of this study was to investigate AD and MCI patients by mapping repeatable and accurate measures of cerebrovascular function, namely the magnitude and speed of cerebrovascular response (τ) to a vasoactive stimulus in key predilection sites for vascular dysfunction in AD.
Thirty-three subjects (age range: 52–83 years, 20 males) were prospectively recruited. CVR and τ were assessed using blood oxygen level-dependent MRI during a standardized carbon dioxide stimulus. Temporal and parietal cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were generated from anatomical images using the FreeSurfer image analysis suite.
Of 33 subjects recruited, 3 individuals were excluded, leaving 30 subjects for analysis, consisting of 6 individuals with early AD, 11 individuals with MCI, and 13 older healthy controls (HCs). τ was found to be significantly higher in the AD group compared to the HC group in both the temporal (p = 0.03) and parietal cortex (p = 0.01) following a one-way ANCOVA correcting for age and microangiopathy scoring and a Bonferroni post-hoc correction.
The study findings suggest that AD is associated with a slowing of the cerebrovascular response in the temporal and parietal cortices.
The aim of the Avera Twin Register (ATR) is to establish a prospective longitudinal repository of twins, multiples, siblings and family members’ biological samples to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease. Also, it is our intention to contribute to international genome-wide association study (GWAS) twin consortia when appropriate sample size is achieved within the ATR. The ATR is young compared with existing registers and continues to collect a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data and health information. Data and biological specimens were originally collected via face-to-face appointments or the postal department and consisted of paper-informed consents and questionnaires. Enrollment of the ATR began on May 18, 2016 and is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a rural and frontier area in the Central United States with a regional population of approximately 880,000. The original target area for the ATR was South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska. The ATR has found a need to expand that area based on twin and multiple siblings who live in various areas surrounding these states. A description of the state of the ATR today and its transition to online data collection and informed consent will be presented. The ATR collects longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, plus complex traits and diseases. All twins and multiples participating in the ATR are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array and receive zygosity results.
Introduction: Simulation has assumed an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High quality simulation-based research (SBR) is required to ensure the effective and efficient use of this tool. This study sought to establish national SBR priorities and describe the barriers and facilitators of SBR in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada. Methods: Simulation leads (SLs) from all fourteen Canadian Departments or Divisions of EM associated with an adult FRCP-EM training program were invited to participate in three surveys and a final consensus meeting. The first survey documented active EM SBR projects. Rounds two and three established and ranked priorities for SBR and identified the perceived barriers and facilitators to SBR at each site. Surveys were completed by SLs at each participating institution, and priority research themes were reviewed by senior faculty for broad input and review. Results: Twenty SLs representing all 14 invited institutions participated in all three rounds of the study. 60 active SBR projects were identified, an average of 4.3 per institution (range 0-17). 49 priorities for SBR in Canada were defined and summarized into seven priority research themes. An additional theme was identified by the senior reviewing faculty. 41 barriers and 34 facilitators of SBR were identified and grouped by theme. Fourteen SLs representing 12 institutions attended the consensus meeting and vetted the final list of eight priority research themes for SBR in Canada: simulation in CBME, simulation for interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology. Conclusion: Conclusion: This study has summarized the current SBR activity in EM in Canada, as well as its perceived barriers and facilitators. We also provide a consensus on priority research themes in SBR in EM from the perspective of Canadian simulation leaders. This group of SLs has formed a national simulation-based research group which aims to address these identified priorities with multicenter collaborative studies.
We investigate the impact of misinformation about the contact structure on the ability to predict disease outbreaks. We base our study on 31 empirical temporal networks and tune the frequencies in errors in the node identities or time stamps of contacts. We find that for both these spreading scenarios, the maximal misprediction of both the outbreak size and time to extinction follows an stretched exponential convergence as a function of the error frequency. We furthermore determine the temporal-network structural factors influencing the parameters of this convergence.
Parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis are rare but very severe post-operative complications following an elective tonsillectomy. Parapharyngeal abscess as a complication to tonsilectomy is very seldom described in the literature and no cases in the paediatric population have been described.
This paper presents, to our knowledge, the first case of life-threatening parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis following elective adenotonsillectomy in an otherwise healthy, fully vaccinated 10-year-old girl.
Diagnosing parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis can be challenging, but should be suspected and ruled out in cases of post-operative odynophagia, fever, and/or neck swelling and thoracic pain. Diagnosis is made based on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography findings. Prompt broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical drainage should be initiated. Other severe complications such as meningitis should also be considered.
This paper examines retirement saving policy for independent – or contingent – workers, a growing segment of the workforce. Because few of these workers are covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans, they often do not benefit from payroll deduction, employer matching contributions, automatic enrollment, and other provisions that encourage retirement saving. Better use of fintech, judicious changes to tax policy, and expanded Automatic IRAs would help independent workers save for retirement. In addition, we propose the creation of retirement saving accounts that attach to the worker as a supplement to, and possible replacement for, the current system of employer-sponsored accounts.
A wide variety of methods are available to assess dietary intake, each one with different strengths and weaknesses. Researchers face multiple challenges when diet and nutrition need to be accurately assessed, particularly in the selection of the most appropriate dietary assessment method for their study. The goal of the current collaborative work is to present a collection of available resources for dietary assessment implementation.
As a follow-up to the 9th International Conference on Diet and Physical Activity Methods held in 2015, developers of dietary assessment toolkits agreed to collaborate in the preparation of the present paper, which provides an overview of each toolkit. The toolkits presented include: the Diet, Anthropometry and Physical Activity Measurement Toolkit (DAPA; UK); the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Dietary Assessment Primer (USA); the Nutritools website (UK); the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN) method selector (Australia); and the Danone Dietary Assessment Toolkit (DanoneDAT; France). An at-a-glance summary of features and comparison of the toolkits is provided.
The present review contains general background on dietary assessment, along with a summary of each of the included toolkits, a feature comparison table and direct links to each toolkit, all of which are freely available online.
This overview of dietary assessment toolkits provides comprehensive information to aid users in the selection and implementation of the most appropriate dietary assessment method, or combination of methods, with the goal of collecting the highest-quality dietary data possible.
Swan Point in central Alaska contains the oldest recognized human occupation in Alaska (Cultural Zone 4b [CZ4b]), dating to circa 14,000 cal BP. This component consists of a microblade and burin industry with clear technological ties to the Siberian Upper Paleolithic Diuktai Culture. Through the systematic use of the Yubetsu method for the production of microblades, Swan Point is technologically more similar to Siberian microblade sites than to later-age (Denali complex) microblade sites in Alaska. The Yubetsu method is the hallmark of the Diuktai Culture, and in Alaska, Swan Point CZ4b is the only component with systematic production of microblades using the Yubetsu method. Other late Pleistocene and Holocene microblade sites in Alaska have an industry based on Campus-style, conical, or tabular microblade cores. Analysis of the collection furthers our understanding of how CZ4b relates to previous Siberian Diuktai-related assemblages and to later Alaskan Denali-related sites. We interpret the CZ4b component as representing a brief single event that has major cultural and technological implications for the early colonization process of North America.
The association between lifestyle and survival after colorectal cancer has received limited attention. The female sex hormone, oestrogen, has been associated with lower colorectal cancer risk and mortality after colorectal cancer. Phyto-oestrogens are plant compounds with structure similar to oestrogen, and the main sources in Western populations are plant lignans. We investigated the association between the main lignan metabolite, enterolactone and survival after colorectal cancer among participants in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Prediagnosis plasma samples and lifestyle data, and clinical data from time of diagnosis from 416 women and 537 men diagnosed with colorectal cancer were used. Enterolactone was measured in plasma using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method. Participants were followed from date of diagnosis until death or end of follow-up. During this time, 210 women and 325 men died (170 women and 215 men died due to colorectal cancer). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI. Enterolactone concentrations were associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality among women (HRper doubling: 0·88, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·97, P=0·0123). For men, on the contrary, enterolactone concentrations were associated with higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality (HRper doubling: 1·10, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·21, P=0·0379). The use of antibiotics affects enterolactone production, and the associations between higher enterolactone and lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality were more pronounced among women who did not use antibiotics (analysis on a subset). Our results suggest that enterolactone is associated with lower risk of mortality among women, but the opposite association was found among men.
Taphonomic factors may significantly alter faunal assemblages at varying scales. An exceptional record of late Holocene (<4000 yr old) mammal faunas establishes a firm baseline to investigate the effects of scale on taphonomy. Our sample contains 73 sites within four contiguous states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, USA) that transect a strong modern and late Holocene environmental gradient, the prairie–forest ecotone. We performed detrended correspondence (DCA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses. Both DCA and NMDS analyses of the data sets produced virtually the same results, and both failed to reveal the known ecological gradient within each state. However, both DCA and NMDS analyses of the unfiltered multistate data set across the entire gradient clearly reflect an environmental, rather than taphonomic, signal. DCA tended to provide better separation of some clusters than did NMDS in most of the analyses. We conclude that a robust mammal data set collected across a strong environmental gradient will document species turnover without the removal of taphonomic factors. In other words, taphonomy exhibits varying scale-dependent effects.