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There is limited evidence of the safety and impact of task-shared care for people with severe mental illnesses (SMI; psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder) in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and impact of a district-level plan for task-shared mental health care on 6 and 12-month clinical and social outcomes of people with SMI in rural southern Ethiopia.
In the Programme for Improving Mental health carE, we conducted an intervention cohort study. Trained primary healthcare (PHC) workers assessed community referrals, diagnosed SMI and initiated treatment, with independent research diagnostic assessments by psychiatric nurses. Primary outcomes were symptom severity and disability. Secondary outcomes included discrimination and restraint.
Almost all (94.5%) PHC worker diagnoses of SMI were verified by psychiatric nurses. All prescribing was within recommended dose limits. A total of 245 (81.7%) people with SMI were re-assessed at 12 months. Minimally adequate treatment was received by 29.8%. All clinical and social outcomes improved significantly. The impact on disability (standardised mean difference 0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.35–0.65) was greater than impact on symptom severity (standardised mean difference 0.28; 95% CI 0.13–0.44). Being restrained in the previous 12 months reduced from 25.3 to 10.6%, and discrimination scores reduced significantly.
An integrated district level mental health care plan employing task-sharing safely addressed the large treatment gap for people with SMI in a rural, low-income country setting. Randomised controlled trials of differing models of task-shared care for people with SMI are warranted.
Introduction: September 2017 saw the launch of the British Columbia (BC) Emergency Medicine Network (EM Network), an innovative clinical network established to improve emergency care across the province. The intent of the EM Network is to support the delivery of evidence-informed, patient-centered care in all 108 Emergency Departments and Diagnostic & Treatment Centres in BC. After one year, the Network undertook a formative evaluation to guide its growth. Our objective is to describe the evaluation approach and early findings. Methods: The EM Network was evaluated on three levels: member demographics, online engagement and member perceptions of value and progress. For member demographics and online engagement, data were captured from member registration information on the Network's website, Google Analytics and Twitter Analytics. Membership feedback was sought through an online survey using a social network analysis tool, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships), and semi-structured individual interviews. This framework was developed based on literature recommendations in collaboration with Network members, including patient representatives. Results: There are currently 622 EM Network members from an eligible denominator of approximately 1400 physicians (44%). Seventy-three percent of the Emergency Departments and Diagnostic and Treatment Centres in BC currently have Network members, and since launch, the EM Network website has been accessed by 11,154 unique IP addresses. Online discussion forum use is low but growing, and Twitter following is high. There are currently 550 Twitter followers and an average of 27 ‘mentions’ of the Network by Twitter users per month. Member feedback through the survey and individual interviews indicates that the Network is respected and credible, but many remain unaware of its purpose and offerings. Conclusion: Our findings underscore that early evaluation is useful to identify development needs, and for the Network this includes increasing awareness and online dialogue. However, our results must be interpreted cautiously in such a young Network, and thus, we intend to re-evaluate regularly. Specific action recommendations from this baseline evaluation include: increasing face-to-face visits of targeted communities; maintaining or accelerating communication strategies to increase engagement; and providing new techniques that encourage member contributions in order to grow and improve content.
A computerized systetn, consisting of a fluorescence x-ray source (Philips), an Si (Li) detector (Ortec), and a mini Computer (Xerox) is currentiy in operation at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Experimentel Pathology Section, for the analysis of trace elements in biological specimens. The elements of interest are Fe, Cu, and Zn for possible significance in the detection and study of cancer. The detection system is being used for comparatively routine analysis of these elements, which are present in blood serum in the ppM range. With appropriate sample preparation techniques, using 1 ml of serum, the limit of detectability for these elements is estimated to be 100 ppB (1 in 107). Further refinement is possible, and research in this direction continues.
The treatment gap between the number of people with mental disorders and the number treated represents a major public health challenge. We examine this gap by socio-economic status (SES; indicated by family income and respondent education) and service sector in a cross-national analysis of community epidemiological survey data.
Data come from 16 753 respondents with 12-month DSM-IV disorders from community surveys in 25 countries in the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance disorders and treatment of these disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Only 13.7% of 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI cases in lower-middle-income countries, 22.0% in upper-middle-income countries, and 36.8% in high-income countries received treatment. Highest-SES respondents were somewhat more likely to receive treatment, but this was true mostly for specialty mental health treatment, where the association was positive with education (highest treatment among respondents with the highest education and a weak association of education with treatment among other respondents) but non-monotonic with income (somewhat lower treatment rates among middle-income respondents and equivalent among those with high and low incomes).
The modest, but nonetheless stronger, an association of education than income with treatment raises questions about a financial barriers interpretation of the inverse association of SES with treatment, although future within-country analyses that consider contextual factors might document other important specifications. While beyond the scope of this report, such an expanded analysis could have important implications for designing interventions aimed at increasing mental disorder treatment among socio-economically disadvantaged people.
There remains a large disparity in the quantity, quality and impact of mental health research carried out in sub-Saharan Africa, relative to both the burden and the amount of research carried out in other regions. We lack evidence on the capacity-building activities that are effective in achieving desired aims and appropriate methodologies for evaluating success.
AFFIRM was an NIMH-funded hub project including a capacity-building program with three components open to participants across six countries: (a) fellowships for an M.Phil. program; (b) funding for Ph.D. students conducting research nested within AFFIRM trials; (c) short courses in specialist research skills. We present findings on progression and outputs from the M.Phil. and Ph.D. programs, self-perceived impact of short courses, qualitative data on student experience, and reflections on experiences and lessons learnt from AFFIRM consortium members.
AFFIRM delivered funded research training opportunities to 25 mental health professionals, 90 researchers and five Ph.D. students across 6 countries over a period of 5 years. A number of challenges were identified and suggestions for improving the capacity-building activities explored.
Having protected time for research is a barrier to carrying out research activities for busy clinicians. Funders could support sustainability of capacity-building initiatives through funds for travel and study leave. Adoption of a train-the-trainers model for specialist skills training and strategies for improving the rigor of evaluation of capacity-building activities should be considered.
Approximately 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where rates of poverty are high. Evidence suggests a relationship between economic variables and suicidal behaviour. To plan effective suicide prevention interventions in LMICs we need to understand the relationship between poverty and suicidal behaviour and how contextual factors may mediate this relationship. We conducted a systematic mapping of the English literature on poverty and suicidal behaviour in LMICs, to provide an overview of what is known about this topic, highlight gaps in literature, and consider the implications of current knowledge for research and policy. Eleven databases were searched using a combination of key words for suicidal ideation and behaviours, poverty and LMICs to identify articles published in English between January 2004 and April 2014. Narrative analysis was performed for the 84 studies meeting inclusion criteria. Most English studies in this area come from South Asia and Middle, East and North Africa, with a relative dearth of studies from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the available evidence comes from upper middle-income countries; only 6% of studies come from low-income countries. Most studies focused on poverty measures such as unemployment and economic status, while neglecting dimensions such as debt, relative and absolute poverty, and support from welfare systems. Most studies are conducted within a risk-factor paradigm and employ descriptive statistics thus providing little insight into the nature of the relationship. More robust evidence is needed in this area, with theory-driven studies focussing on a wider range of poverty dimensions, and employing more sophisticated statistical methods.
The SUSIM (Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor) on board the UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) has measured the solar UV output from 120 nm to 400 nm on a daily basis since October 1991. A reference channel records a solar spectrum semi-annually only to reduce the instrument degradation of this channel and to provide long-term stability marks. Four deuterium lamps are used at monthly, semi-annual and annual intervals to provide long term calibration of the instrument. A preliminary analysis of the long term stability of SUSIM-UARS indicates that the precision of the instrument should be better than a few percent. The repeatability of two scans is better than 0.2%. A simplified SUSIM instrument is flying on NASA’s ATLAS Spacelab missions anually to provide calibration points for the SUSIM-UARS.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space mission to detect the early moments of an explosion from Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), thus enhancing our understanding of the GRB mechanism. It consists of the UFFO Burst & Trigger telescope (UBAT) for the recognition of GRB positions using hard X-ray from GRBs. It also contains the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) for the fast detection of UV-optical photons from GRBs. It is designed to begin the UV-optical observations in less than a few seconds after the trigger. The UBAT is based on a coded-mask X-ray camera with a wide field of view (FOV) and is composed of the coded mask, a hopper and a detector module. The SMT has a fast rotatable mirror which allows a fast UV-optical detection after the trigger. The telescope is a modified Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter, and an image intensifier readout by CCD. The UFFO pathfinder is scheduled to launch into orbit on 2012 June by the Lomonosov spacecraft. It is a scaled-down version of UFFO in order to make the first systematic study of early UV/optical light curves, including the rise phase of GRBs. We expect UBAT to trigger ~44 GRBs/yr and expect SMT to detect ~10 GRBs/yr.
In this study we report on the results of the investigation of lead iodide material properties. The effectiveness of a zone refining purification method on the material purity is determined by ICP-MS and ICP-OES and correlated to the electrical and physical material properties. We show that this zone refining method is very efficient in removing impurities from lead iodide, and we also determine the segregation coefficient for some of these impurities. Triple axis x-ray diffraction (TAD) analysis has been used to determine the crystalline perfection of the lead iodide after applying various cutting, etching and fabrication methods. The soft lead iodide crystal was found to be damaged when cleaved by a razor blade, but by using a diamond wheel saw, followed by etching, the crystallinity of the material was much improved, as observed by TAD. Low temperature photoluminescence also indicates an improvement in the material properties of the purified lead iodide. Electrical properties of lead iodide such as carrier mobility, were calculated based on carrier - phonon scattering. The results for the electrical properties were in good agreement with the experimental data.
Osteochondrosis is a growth disorder in the cartilage of young animals and is characterised by lesions found in the cartilage and bone. This study identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with six osteochondrosis lesion traits in the elbow joint of finishing pigs. The traits were: thickening of the cartilage, lesion in the subchondral bone, irregular cartilage surface, fissure under the cartilage, an irregular sagittal central groove and depression of the proximal edge of the radius. The study comprised 7172 finishing pigs from crossing 12 Duroc boars with 600 crossbred Landrace × Large White sows and included 462 single nucleotide polymorphism markers. The results showed 18 QTLs exceeding the 5% genome-wide threshold. The QTLs associated with lesions in the medial part of the condylus humeri (assumed to be the four main osteochondrosis traits) were, in most cases, at common locations, whereas the QTLs associated with depression of the proximal edge of the radius in general were on the same chromosomes but at separate locations. The detected QTLs explain a large part of the genetic variation, which is promising for incorporating osteochondrosis into a breeding programme using marker-assisted selection.
To describe the diversity in dietary patterns existing across centres/regions participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Design and setting:
Single 24-hour dietary recall measurements were obtained by means of standardised face-to-face interviews using the EPIC-SOFT software. These have been used to present a graphic multi-dimensional comparison of the adjusted mean consumption of 22 food groups.
In total, 35 955 men and women, aged 35–74 years, participating in the EPIC nested calibration study.
Although wide differences were observed across centres, the countries participating in EPIC are characterised by specific dietary patterns. Overall, Italy and Greece have a dietary pattern characterised by plant foods (except potatoes) and a lower consumption of animal and processed foods, compared with the other EPIC countries. France and particularly Spain have more heterogeneous dietary patterns, with a relatively high consumption of both plant foods and animal products. Apart from characteristics specific to vegetarian groups, the UK ‘health-conscious’ group shares with the UK general population a relatively high consumption of tea, sauces, cakes, soft drinks (women), margarine and butter. In contrast, the diet in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK general population is relatively high in potatoes and animal, processed and sweetened/refined foods, with proportions varying across countries/centres. In these countries, consumption of vegetables and fruit is similar to, or below, the overall EPIC means, and is low for legumes and vegetable oils. Overall, dietary patterns were similar for men and women, although there were large gender differences for certain food groups.
There are considerable differences in food group consumption and dietary patterns among the EPIC study populations. This large heterogeneity should be an advantage when investigating the relationship between diet and cancer and formulating new aetiological hypotheses related to dietary patterns and disease.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), which covers a large cohort of half a million men and women from 23 European centres in 10 Western European countries, was designed to study the relationship between diet and the risk of chronic diseases, particularly cancer. Information on usual individual dietary intake was assessed using different validated dietary assessment methods across participating countries. In order to adjust for possible systematic over- or underestimation in dietary intake measurements and correct for attenuation bias in relative risk estimates, a calibration approach was developed. This approach involved an additional dietary assessment common across study populations to re-express individual dietary intakes according to the same reference scale. A single 24-hour diet recall was therefore collected, as the EPIC reference calibration method, from a stratified random sample of 36 900 subjects from the entire EPIC cohort, using a software program (EPIC-SOFT) specifically designed to standardise the dietary measurements across study populations. This paper describes the design and populations of the calibration sub-studies set up in the EPIC centres. In addition, to assess whether the calibration sub-samples were representative of the entire group of EPIC cohorts, a series of subjects’ characteristics known possibly to influence dietary intakes was compared in both population groups. This was the first time that calibration sub-studies had been set up in a large multi-centre European study. These studies showed that, despite certain inherent methodological and logistic constraints, a study design such as this one works relatively well in practice. The average response in the calibration study was 78.3% and ranged from 46.5% to 92.5%. The calibration population differed slightly from the overall cohort but the differences were small for most characteristics and centres. The overall results suggest that, after adjustment for age, dietary intakes estimated from calibration samples can reasonably be interpreted as representative of the main cohorts in most of the EPIC centres.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is an ongoing multi-centre prospective cohort study designed to investigate the relationship between nutrition and cancer, with the potential for studying other diseases as well. The study currently includes 519 978 participants (366 521 women and 153 457 men, mostly aged 35–70 years) in 23 centres located in 10 European countries, to be followed for cancer incidence and cause-specific mortality for several decades. At enrolment, which took place between 1992 and 2000 at each of the different centres, information was collected through a non-dietary questionnaire on lifestyle variables and through a dietary questionnaire addressing usual diet. Anthropometric measurements were performed and blood samples taken, from which plasma, serum, red cells and buffy coat fractions were separated and aliquoted for long-term storage, mostly in liquid nitrogen. To calibrate dietary measurements, a standardised, computer-assisted 24-hour dietary recall was implemented at each centre on stratified random samples of the participants, for a total of 36 900 subjects. EPIC represents the largest single resource available today world-wide for prospective investigations on the aetiology of cancers (and other diseases) that can integrate questionnaire data on lifestyle and diet, biomarkers of diet and of endogenous metabolism (e.g. hormones and growth factors) and genetic polymorphisms. First results of case–control studies nested within the cohort are expected early in 2003. The present paper provides a description of the EPIC study, with the aim of simplifying reference to it in future papers reporting substantive or methodological studies carried out in the EPIC cohort.
To describe and compare the consumption of total fish (marine foods) and the fish sub-groups – white fish, fatty fish, very fatty fish, fish products and crustacea, in participants from the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
Cross-sectional analysis of dietary intake using a computerised standardised 24-hour recall interview. Crude means, means and standard errors adjusted by age, season and day of the week were calculated, stratified by centre and gender.
Twenty-seven redefined centres in the 10 European countries participating in the EPIC study.
In total, 35 955 subjects (13 031 men and 22 924 women), aged 35–74 years, selected from the main EPIC cohort.
A six- to sevenfold variation in total fish consumption exists in women and men, between the lowest consumption in Germany and the highest in Spain. Overall, white fish represented 49% and 45% of the intake of total fish in women and men, respectively, with the greatest consumption in centres in Spain and Greece and the least in the German and Dutch centres. Consumption of fatty fish reflected that of total fish. However, the greatest intake of very fatty fish was in the coastal areas of northern Europe (Denmark, Sweden and Norway) and in Germany. Consumption of fish products was greater in northern than in southern Europe, with white fish products predominating in centres in France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands and Norway. Intake of roe and roe products was low. The highest consumption of crustacea was found in the French, Spanish and Italian centres. The number of fish types consumed was greater in southern than in northern Europe. The greatest variability in consumption by day of the week was found in the countries with the lowest fish intake.
Throughout Europe, substantial geographic variation exists in total fish intake, fish sub-groups and the number of types consumed. Day-to-day variability in consumption is also high.
To describe and compare the consumption of dairy products in cohorts included in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Data from single 24-hour dietary recall interviews collected through a highly standardised computer-based program (EPIC-SOFT) in 27 redefined centres in 10 European countries between 1995 and 2000. From a total random sample of 36 900, 22 924 women and 13 031 men were selected after exclusion of subjects under 35 and over 74 years of age.
A high total consumption of dairy products was reported in most of the centres in Spain and in the UK cohort sampled from the general population, as well as in the Dutch, Swedish and Danish centres. A somewhat low consumption was reported in the Greek centre and in some of the Italian centres (Ragusa and Turin). In all centres and for both sexes, milk constituted the dairy sub-group with the largest proportion (in grams) of total dairy consumption, followed by yoghurt and other fermented milk products, and cheese. Still, there was a wide range in the contributions of the different dairy sub-groups between centres. The Spanish and Nordic centres generally reported a high consumption of milk, the Swedish and Dutch centres reported a high consumption of yoghurt and other fermented milk products, whereas the highest consumption of cheese was reported in the French centres.
The results demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative disparities in dairy product consumption among the EPIC centres. This offers a sound starting point for analyses of associations between dairy intake and chronic diseases such as cancer.
Recent reports indicate that oats have a relatively low glycaemic effect in comparison with other carbohydrate food, and that their consumption leads to a reduction in plasma-cholesterol levels in man. These properties may be due to a soluble non-starch polysaccharide in oats. The present study was undertaken to explore the physiological properties of this material. Three groups of male Wistar rats were meal-fed on a control diet free of soluble dietary fibre for 10 d before being given a 10 g meal of either the control diet, a diet containing oat gum (β-glucan), or finely ground rolled oats. The contents of the stomach, small intestine and caecum were later recovered and the weight, water content and viscosity were measured. The small intestinal contents from oat-gum-fed or oat-fed rats had a higher wet: dry weight ratio than that of the controls, and a higher viscosity. In in vitro studies the rate of uptake of d-galactose by jejunal rings was reduced in the presence of oat gum. The estimated Michaelis-Menten constant for the carrier-mediated component in the presence of oat gum was higher than that for controls, but the maximum transport rates were similar. Cholesterol uptake by everted jejunal sacs was progressively inhibited by increasing concentrations of oat gum in the mucosal medium. It is concluded that increased viscosity of the contents of the small intestine may contribute to the low glycaemic index and hypocholesterolaemic effects of oats in man. Oats appear to be amongst the few palatable sources of viscous dietary fibre in the conventional Western diet.