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Excessive and persistent fear of clusters of holes, also known as trypophobia, has been suggested to reflect cortical hyperexcitability and may be associated with mental health risks. No study, however, has yet examined these associations in representative epidemiological samples.
To examine the prevalence of trypophobia in a population-representative youth sample, its association with mental health and functioning, and its interaction with external stress.
A total of 2065 young people were consecutively recruited from a household-based epidemiological youth mental health study in Hong Kong. Trypophobia, symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress, and exposure to personal stressors were assessed. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationships between trypophobia and mental health. Potential additive and interaction effects of trypophobia and high stress exposure on mental health were also tested.
The prevalence of trypophobia was 17.6%. Trypophobia was significantly associated with severe symptoms of anxiety (odds ratio (OR) = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.32–2.53), depression (OR = 1.78, 95% CI = 1.24–2.56) and stress (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.11–2.53), even when accounting for sociodemographic factors, personal and family psychiatric history, resilience and stress exposure. Dose–response relationships were observed, and trypophobia significantly potentiated the effects of stress exposure on symptom outcomes, particularly for depressive symptoms. Those with trypophobia also showed significantly poorer functioning across domains and poorer health-related quality of life.
Screening for trypophobia in young people may facilitate early risk detection and intervention, particularly among those with recent stress exposure. Nevertheless, the generally small effect sizes suggest that other factors have more prominent roles in determining recent mental health outcomes in population-based samples; these should be explored in future work.
Young people are most vulnerable to suicidal behaviours but least likely to seek help. A more elaborate study of the intrinsic and extrinsic correlates of suicidal ideation and behaviours particularly amid ongoing population-level stressors and the identification of less stigmatising markers in representative youth populations is essential.
Participants (n = 2540, aged 15–25) were consecutively recruited from an ongoing large-scale household-based epidemiological youth mental health study in Hong Kong between September 2019 and 2021. Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt were assessed, alongside suicide-related rumination, hopelessness and neuroticism, personal and population-level stressors, family functioning, cognitive ability, lifetime non-suicidal self-harm, 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD), and alcohol use.
The 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, ideation-only (no plan or attempt), plan, and attempt was 20.0, 15.4, 4.6, and 1.3%, respectively. Importantly, multivariable logistic regression findings revealed that suicide-related rumination was the only factor associated with all four suicidal outcomes (all p < 0.01). Among those with suicidal ideation (two-stage approach), intrinsic factors, including suicide-related rumination, poorer cognitive ability, and 12-month MDE, were specifically associated with suicide plan, while extrinsic factors, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stressors, poorer family functioning, and personal life stressors, as well as non-suicidal self-harm, were specifically associated with suicide attempt.
Suicide-related rumination, population-level COVID-19 stressors, and poorer family functioning may be important less-stigmatising markers for youth suicidal risks. The respective roles played by not only intrinsic but also extrinsic factors in suicide plan and attempt using a two-stage approach should be considered in future preventative intervention work.
There is increasing demand for the implementation of effects-based monitoring and surveillance (EBMS) approaches in the Great Lakes Basin to complement traditional chemical monitoring. Herein, we describe an ongoing multiagency effort to develop and implement EBMS tools, particularly with regard to monitoring potentially toxic chemicals and assessing Areas of Concern (AOCs), as envisioned by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Our strategy includes use of both targeted and open-ended/discovery techniques, as appropriate to the amount of information available, to guide a priori end point and/or assay selection. Specifically, a combination of in vivo and in vitro tools is employed by using both wild and caged fish (in vivo), and a variety of receptor- and cell-based assays (in vitro). We employ a work flow that progressively emphasizes in vitro tools for long-term or high-intensity monitoring because of their greater practicality (e.g., lower cost, labor) and relying on in vivo assays for initial surveillance and verification. Our strategy takes advantage of the strengths of a diversity of tools, balancing the depth, breadth, and specificity of information they provide against their costs, transferability, and practicality. Finally, a series of illustrative scenarios is examined that align EBMS options with management goals to illustrate the adaptability and scaling of EBMS approaches and how they can be used in management decisions.
Background: This study examined the use of low doses of antipsychotic medications (300 mg/day CPZeq or less) in older Asian patients with schizophrenia and its demographic and clinical correlates.
Methods: Information on hospitalized patients with schizophrenia, aged 55 years or older, was extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns (REAP) study (2001–2009). Data on 1,452 patients in eight Asian countries and territories including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, India, and Malaysia were analyzed. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and antipsychotic prescriptions were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure.
Results: The prescription frequency for low doses of antipsychotic medications was 40.9% in the pooled sample. Multiple logistic regression analysis of the whole sample showed that patients on low doses of antipsychotic medications were more likely to be female, have an older age, a shorter length of illness, and less positive symptoms. Of patients in the six countries and territories that participated in all the surveys between 2001 and 2009, those in Japan were less likely to receive low doses of antipsychotics.
Conclusion: Low doses of antipsychotic medications were only applied in less than half of older Asian patients with schizophrenia.