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Given the range and reach of psychosocial support (PSS) interventions in humanitarian settings, within the continuum of mental health and psychosocial support services, evaluation of their impact is critical. Understanding stakeholders' perspectives on which PSS interventions of unknown effectiveness warrant rigorous evaluation is essential to identify research priorities. This project aimed to facilitate a process with stakeholders to reach consensus on PSS interventions that are of high priority for further research based on existing evidence and stakeholders' opinions.
Interviews with 109 stakeholders working on PSS programming in humanitarian settings served as the foundation for two in-person regional meetings and four webinars. Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was used to develop a priority PSS program list. The top five priorities from each meeting were combined for a final online survey distributed globally.
Seventy participants across six meetings contributed to the prioritization process. Eighty-seven individuals completed the final online survey. ‘Community based PSS’ was the top-ranked research priority, followed by PSS integrated into basic services, providing PSS to caregivers to improve child wellbeing, PSS-focused gender-based violence programming, and classroom-based PSS interventions.
NGT and online surveys were effective methods to engage stakeholders in a priority setting exercise to development a research agenda. Information from this stage of the project will be combined with findings from a concurrent systematic review to form the base of a second phase of work, which will include the development and implementation of a research strategy to strengthen the evidence base for those prioritized interventions.
Online self-reported 24-h dietary recall systems promise increased feasibility of dietary assessment. Comparison against interviewer-led recalls established their convergent validity; however, reliability and criterion-validity information is lacking. The validity of energy intakes (EI) reported using Intake24, an online 24-h recall system, was assessed against concurrent measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly labelled water in ninety-eight UK adults (40–65 years). Accuracy and precision of EI were assessed using correlation and Bland–Altman analysis. Test–retest reliability of energy and nutrient intakes was assessed using data from three further UK studies where participants (11–88 years) completed Intake24 at least four times; reliability was assessed using intra-class correlations (ICC). Compared with TEE, participants under-reported EI by 25 % (95 % limits of agreement −73 % to +68 %) in the first recall, 22 % (−61 % to +41 %) for average of first two, and 25 % (−60 % to +28 %) for first three recalls. Correlations between EI and TEE were 0·31 (first), 0·47 (first two) and 0·39 (first three recalls), respectively. ICC for a single recall was 0·35 for EI and ranged from 0·31 for Fe to 0·43 for non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Considering pairs of recalls (first two v. third and fourth recalls), ICC was 0·52 for EI and ranged from 0·37 for fat to 0·63 for NMES. EI reported with Intake24 was moderately correlated with objectively measured TEE and underestimated on average to the same extent as seen with interviewer-led 24-h recalls and estimated weight food diaries. Online 24-h recall systems may offer low-cost, low-burden alternatives for collecting dietary information.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
This study evaluated tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukins 10 and 12, and interferon-γ levels, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 17c and 86 expression in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Twenty-four patients with unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, and 24 individuals with normal hearing and no history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (who were attending the clinic for other problems), were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and clusters of differentiation 11c and 86 were isolated and analysed. Plasma and supernatant levels of tumour necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, and interleukins 10 and 12 were measured.
There were no significant differences with respect to age and gender. Monocyte population, mean tumour necrosis factor-α level and cluster of differentiation 86 expression were significantly increased in the study group compared to the control group. However, interferon-γ and interleukin 12 levels were significantly decreased. The difference in mean interleukin 10 level was not significant.
Increases in tumour necrosis factor-α level and monocyte population might play critical roles in sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This warrants detailed investigation and further studies on the role of dendritic cells in sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
To examine score validity and reliability of a child version of the twenty-one-item Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (CTFEQ-R21) in a sample of Canadian children and adolescents and its relationship with BMI Z-score and food/taste preferences.
Children (n 158), sixty-three boys (mean age 11·5 (sd 1·6) years) and ninety-five girls (11·9 (sd 1·9) years).
Exploratory factor analysis revealed that the CTFEQ-R21 was best represented by four factors with item 17 removed (CFFEQ-R20), representing Cognitive Restraint (CR), Cognitive Uncontrolled Eating (UE 1), External Uncontrolled Eating (UE 2) and Emotional Eating (EE), accounting for 41·2 % of the total common variance with good scale reliability. ANOVA revealed that younger children reported higher UE 1 and CR scores than older children, and boys who reported high UE 1 scores had significantly higher BMI Z-scores. Children with high UE 1 scores reported a greater preference for high-protein and -fat foods, and high-fat savoury (HFSA) and high-fat sweet (HFSW) foods. Higher preference for high-protein, -fat and -carbohydrate foods, and HFSA, HFSW and low-fat savoury foods was found in children with high UE 2 scores.
The study suggests that the CFFEQ-R20 can be used to measure eating behaviour traits and associations with BMI Z-score and food/taste preferences in Canadian children and adolescents. Future research is needed to examine the validity of the questionnaire in larger samples and other geographical locations, as well as the inclusion of extraneous variables such as parental eating or socio-economic status.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
A cluster of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns was detected in October 2015. Interviews initially identified nut butters, kale, kombucha, chia seeds and nutrition bars as common exposures. Epidemiologic, environmental and traceback investigations were conducted. Thirteen ill people infected with the outbreak strain were identified in 10 states with illness onset during 18 July–22 November 2015. Eight of 10 (80%) ill people reported eating Brand A raw sprouted nut butters. Brand A conducted a voluntary recall. Raw sprouted nut butters are a novel outbreak vehicle, though contaminated raw nuts, nut butters and sprouted seeds have all caused outbreaks previously. Firms producing raw sprouted products, including nut butters, should consider a kill step to reduce the risk of contamination. People at greater risk for foodborne illness may wish to consider avoiding raw products containing raw sprouted ingredients.
Through a longitudinal field experience and interviews with rural and urban clinic workers in Honduras, the following data were collated regarding the challenges to prehospital Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in this country. In Honduras, both private and public organizations provide prehospital emergency care for citizens and face both financial and resource constraints. These constraints manifest in operational concerns such as challenges of integration of EMS systems with each other, differences in medical direction oversight, and barriers to public access. Despite the availability of public health care services, authorities and locals alike do not recommend using the public systems due to lack of needed resources and time of emergency response.
Private volunteer EMS organizations are scattered throughout the country and each operates as their own separate system. There is no single dispatch center available, nor is there a guarantee that calling for EMS will result in the patient’s desired response. In this report, the challenges are discussed with possible solutions presented.
BastHE, JenkinsJL. Challenges to Prehospital Care in Honduras. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(6):637–639.
We consider a polling system with two queues, exhaustive service, no switchover times, and exponential service times with rate µ in each queue. The waiting cost depends on the position of the queue relative to the server: it costs a customer c per time unit to wait in the busy queue (where the server is) and d per time unit in the idle queue (where there is no server). Customers arrive according to a Poisson process with rate λ. We study the control problem of how arrivals should be routed to the two queues in order to minimize the expected waiting costs and characterize individually and socially optimal routeing policies under three scenarios of available information at decision epochs: no, partial, and complete information. In the complete information case, we develop a new iterative algorithm to determine individually optimal policies (which are symmetric Nash equilibria), and show that such policies can be described by a switching curve. We use Markov decision processes to compute the socially optimal policies. We observe numerically that the socially optimal policy is well approximated by a linear switching curve. We prove that the control policy described by this linear switching curve is indeed optimal for the fluid version of the two-queue polling system.
Planning mental health carer services requires information about the number of carers, their characteristics, service use and unmet support needs. Available Australian estimates vary widely due to different definitions of mental illness and the types of carers included. This study aimed to provide a detailed profile of Australian mental health carers using a nationally representative household survey.
The number of mental health carers, characteristics of carers and their care recipients, caring hours and tasks provided, service use and unmet service needs were derived from the national 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. Co-resident carers of adults with a mental illness were compared with those caring for people with physical health and other cognitive/behavioural conditions (e.g., autism, intellectual disability, dementia) on measures of service use, service needs and aspects of their caring role.
In 2012, there were 225 421 co-resident carers of adults with mental illness in Australia, representing 1.0% of the population, and an estimated further 103 813 mental health carers not living with their care recipient. The majority of co-resident carers supported one person with mental illness, usually their partner or adult child. Mental health carers were more likely than physical health carers to provide emotional support (68.1% v. 19.7% of carers) and less likely to assist with practical tasks (64.1% v. 86.6%) and activities of daily living (31.9% v. 48.9%). Of co-resident mental health carers, 22.5% or 50 828 people were confirmed primary carers – the person providing the most support to their care recipient. Many primary mental health carers (37.8%) provided more than 40 h of care per week. Only 23.8% of primary mental health carers received government income support for carers and only 34.4% received formal service assistance in their caring role, while 49.0% wanted more support. Significantly more primary mental health than primary physical health carers were dissatisfied with received services (20.0% v. 3.2%), and 35.0% did not know what services were available to them.
Results reveal a sizable number of mental health carers with unmet needs in the Australian community, particularly with respect to financial assistance and respite care, and that these carers are poorly informed about available supports. The prominence of emotional support and their greater dissatisfaction with services indicate a need to better tailor carer services. If implemented carefully, recent Australian reforms including the Carer Gateway and National Disability Insurance Scheme hold promise for improving mental health carer supports.
Identifying factors that influence the functional outcome is an important goal in schizophrenia research. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a unique genetic model with high risk (20–25%) for schizophrenia. This study aimed to identify potentially targetable domains of neurocognitive functioning associated with functional outcome in adults with 22q11DS.
We used comprehensive neurocognitive test data available for 99 adults with 22q11DS (n = 43 with schizophrenia) and principal component analysis to derive four domains of neurocognition (Verbal Memory, Visual and Logical Memory, Motor Performance, and Executive Performance). We then investigated the association of these neurocognitive domains with adaptive functioning using Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales data and a linear regression model that accounted for the effects of schizophrenia status and overall intellectual level.
The regression model explained 46.8% of the variance in functional outcome (p < 0.0001). Executive Performance was significantly associated with functional outcome (p = 0.048). Age and schizophrenia were also significant factors. The effects of Executive Performance on functioning did not significantly differ between those with and without psychotic illness.
The findings provide the impetus for further studies to examine the potential of directed (early) interventions targeting Executive Performance to improve long-term adaptive functional outcome in individuals with, or at high risk for, schizophrenia. Moreover, the neurocognitive test profiles may benefit caregivers and clinicians by providing insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of individuals with 22q11DS, with and without psychotic illness.
Sepsis is defined as the dysregulated host response to an infection resulting in life-threatening organ dysfunction. The metabolic demand from inefficiencies in anaerobic metabolism, mitochondrial and cellular dysfunction, increased cellular turnover, and free-radical damage result in the increased focus of micronutrients in sepsis as they play a pivotal role in these processes. In the present review, we will evaluate the potential role of micronutrients in sepsis, specifically, thiamine, l-carnitine, vitamin C, Se and vitamin D. Each micronutrient will be reviewed in a similar fashion, discussing its major role in normal physiology, suspected role in sepsis, use as a biomarker, discussion of the major basic science and human studies, and conclusion statement. Based on the current available data, we conclude that thiamine may be considered in all septic patients at risk for thiamine deficiency and l-carnitine and vitamin C to those in septic shock. Clinical trials are currently underway which may provide greater insight into the role of micronutrients in sepsis and validate standard utilisation.
Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPI) of dementia are important determinants of caregiver burden, while caregiver coping styles and competences can relieve burden. Caregivers differ in coping with the demands made on them and in experienced burden. What changes in caregivers explain recovery from burden, and which caregiver characteristics predict recovery from burden over time, and does treatment make a difference?
This study into recovery from burden was a secondary analysis of data collected in a formerly conducted randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the integrated reactivation and rehabilitation (IRR) programme in a psychiatric-skilled nursing home, compared to usual care (UC; i.e. day care, assisted living arrangements, and nursing home wards). For this secondary analysis, longitudinal data on persons with dementia and caregivers were used from baseline (T1), end of treatment (T2), and at nine months (T3).
Caregivers with an improved sense of competence (SCS) who care for persons with dementia with a decreased severity of NPI have the highest chance of recovering from burden (CSI). Caregivers with a tendency to feel involved with others and sympathize with others (affiliation, ICL-R) have a slightly lower probability of improvement with respect to their sense of competence in the short term. The number of improved caregivers was higher in IRR than UC.
Recovery depends on both an improved sense of competence and a decreased severity of NPI. Combined interventions that address both NPI and focus on enhancing caregiver's sense of competence have added value when it comes to decreasing caregiver burden.
Brain tumor behavior is driven by aberrations in the genome and epigenome. Many of these changes, such as IDH mutations in diffuse low-grade glioma (DLGG), are common amongst the same class of tumour and can be incorporated into the diagnostic criteria. However, any given tumor may have other, less common genomic aberrations that are essential for its biological behavior and may inform on underlying aberrant cellular pathways, and potential therapeutic agents. Precision oncology is a genomics-based approach which profiles these alterations to better manage cancer patients and has established itself within the practice of oncology and is slowly making its way into neuro-oncology. The BC Cancer’s Personalized OncoGenomics (POG) program has profiled 16 adult tumours originating from the central nervous system using whole genome and transcriptome analysis (WGTA), for the first time, within a meaningful clinical timeframe/setting. As expected, primary genomic drivers were consistent with their respective diagnoses, though secondary drivers were found to be unique to each tumour. Although these analyses did not result in altered clinical management for these patients, primarily due to availability of drug or clinical trials, they highlight the heterogeneity of secondary drivers in cancers and provide clinicians with meaningful biological information. Lastly, the data generated by POG has highlighted the frequency and complexity of novel driver fusions which are predicted to behave similarly to canonical driver events in their respective tumours. The information available to clinicians through POG has provided paramount knowledge into the biology of each unique tumour.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.