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Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide. Adults with mental ill-health smoke tobacco at substantially higher rates than other adults, with public health approaches effective in the population overall having less impact on those with mental ill-health. However, less is known about the tobacco smoking behaviours, attitudes and knowledge of young people with mental ill-health, despite this being the peak period of onset for both mental illness and cigarette smoking.
Young people attending a youth mental health centre (providing both primary and specialist care) in Melbourne, Australia were approached by youth peer researchers and asked to complete a survey about smoking behaviours, attitudes and knowledge. We examined smoking and associated attitudes in the sample overall, and as a function of the services accessed.
In total, 114 young people completed the survey, with 56.3% reporting lifetime cigarette smoking, 42.0% smoking in the last 12 months and 28.6% in the past week. Of current regular smokers, 75.0% acknowledged they should quit in the future; however, only 23.5% planned to do so in the next month, with 44.4% confident that they could quit. Participants lacked knowledge about interactions between tobacco smoking, mental and physical health.
Youth presenting for mental ill-health had high rates of cigarette smoking relative to population rates. Presentation at youth mental health services may represent a critical window for early intervention to reduce the lifetime impacts of cigarette smoking in mental ill-health. Interventions to support smoking cessation in this group are urgently needed.
Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) are treated with surgery followed by fractionated radiotherapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide. Patients are monitored with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, treatment-related changes frequently mimic disease progression. We reviewed a series of patients undergoing surgery for presumed first-recurrence GBM, where pathology reports were available for tissue diagnosis, in order to better understand factors associated with a diagnosis of treatment-related changes on final pathology.
Patient records at a single institution between 2005 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Pathology reports were reviewed to determine diagnosis of recurrent GBM or treatment effect. Survival analysis was performed interrogating overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Correlation with radiation treatment plans was also examined.
One-hundred-twenty-three patients were identified. One-hundred-sixteen patients (94%) underwent resection and seven underwent biopsy. Treatment-related changes were reported in 20 cases (16%). These patients had longer median OS and PFS from the time of recurrence than patients with true disease progression. However, there was no significant difference in OS from the time of initial diagnosis. Treatment effect was associated with surgery within 90 days of completing radiation. In patients receiving radiation at our institution (n = 53), larger radiation target volume and a higher maximum dose were associated with treatment effect.
Treatment effect was associated with surgery nearer to completion of radiation, a larger radiation target volume, and a higher maximum point dose. Treatment effect was associated with longer PFS and OS from the time of recurrence, but not from the time of initial diagnosis.
In 2013, the national surveillance case definition for West Nile virus (WNV) disease was revised to remove fever as a criterion for neuroinvasive disease and require at most subjective fever for non-neuroinvasive disease. The aims of this project were to determine how often afebrile WNV disease occurs and assess differences among patients with and without fever. We included cases with laboratory evidence of WNV disease reported from four states in 2014. We compared demographics, clinical symptoms and laboratory evidence for patients with and without fever and stratified the analysis by neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive presentations. Among 956 included patients, 39 (4%) had no fever; this proportion was similar among patients with and without neuroinvasive disease symptoms. For neuroinvasive and non-neuroinvasive patients, there were no differences in age, sex, or laboratory evidence between febrile and afebrile patients, but hospitalisations were more common among patients with fever (P < 0.01). The only significant difference in symptoms was for ataxia, which was more common in neuroinvasive patients without fever (P = 0.04). Only 5% of non-neuroinvasive patients did not meet the WNV case definition due to lack of fever. The evidence presented here supports the changes made to the national case definition in 2013.
Suicide is a major global health concern. Bhutanese refugees resettled in the USA are disproportionately affected by suicide, yet little research has been conducted to identify factors contributing to this vulnerability. This study aims to investigate the issue of suicide of Bhutanese refugee communities via an in-depth qualitative, social-ecological approach.
Focus groups were conducted with 83 Bhutanese refugees (adults and children), to explore the perceived causes, and risk and protective factors for suicide, at individual, family, community, and societal levels. Audio recordings were translated and transcribed, and inductive thematic analysis conducted.
Themes identified can be situated across all levels of the social-ecological model. Individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are only fully understood when considering past experiences, and stressors at other levels of an individual's social ecology. Shifting dynamics and conflict within the family are pervasive and challenging. Within the community, there is a high prevalence of suicide, yet major barriers to communicating with others about distress and suicidality. At the societal level, difficulties relating to acculturation, citizenship, employment and finances, language, and literacy are influential. Two themes cut across several levels of the ecosystem: loss; and isolation, exclusion, and loneliness.
This study extends on existing research and highlights the necessity for future intervention models of suicide to move beyond an individual focus, and consider factors at all levels of refugees’ social-ecology. Simply focusing treatment at the individual level is not sufficient. Researchers and practitioners should strive for community-driven, culturally relevant, socio-ecological approaches for prevention and treatment.
We identified a pseudo-outbreak of Mycobacterium avium in an outpatient bronchoscopy clinic following an increase in clinic procedure volume. We terminated the pseudo-outbreak by increasing the frequency of automated endoscope reprocessors (AER) filter changes from quarterly to monthly. Filter changing schedules should depend on use rather than fixed time intervals.
We compared sepsis “time zero” and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) SEP-1 pass rates among 3 abstractors in 3 hospitals. Abstractors agreed on time zero in 29 of 80 (36%) cases. Perceived pass rates ranged from 9 of 80 cases (11%) to 19 of 80 cases (23%). Variability in time zero and perceived pass rates limits the utility of SEP-1 for measuring quality.
In this period of unprecedented levels of displacement, scalable interventions are needed to address mental health concerns of forced migrants in low-resource settings. This paper describes the adaptation and piloting of a guided, multi-media, self-help intervention, Self-Help Plus (SH+), which was developed to reduce psychological distress in large groups of people affected by adversity.
Using a phased approach that included community consultations, cognitive interviewing, facilitator training, pilot implementation, and a qualitative process evaluation, we adapted SH+ for use among South Sudanese refugees in a refugee settlement in northern Uganda.
The SH+ materials, including audio-recorded sessions and an accompanying illustrated manual, were translated into Juba Arabic. Cognitive interviewing primarily resulted in adaptations to language with some minor adaptations to content. Facilitator training and supervision led to further suggested changes to delivery methods. An uncontrolled pilot study (n = 65) identified changes in the expected direction on measures of psychological distress, functional impairment, depression, wellbeing, and psychological flexibility. The process evaluation resulted in further adaptations to intervention materials and the decision to focus future effectiveness evaluations of the intervention in its current form on South Sudanese female refugees.
We found that this potentially scalable, guided self-help intervention could be adapted for and feasibly implemented among female South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda. These findings lay the groundwork for a future rigorous evaluation of SH+ in this context.
Exposure to armed conflict and forced displacement constitute significant risks for mental health. Existing evidence-based psychological interventions have limitations for scaling-up in low-resource humanitarian settings. The WHO has developed a guided self-help intervention, Self Help Plus (SH+), which is brief, implemented by non-specialists, and designed to be delivered to people with and without specific mental disorders. This paper outlines the study protocol for an evaluation of the SH+ intervention in northern Uganda, with South Sudanese refugee women.
A two-arm, single-blind cluster-randomised controlled trial will be conducted in 14 villages in Rhino Camp refugee settlement, with at least 588 women experiencing psychological distress. Villages will be randomly assigned to receive either SH+ with enhanced usual care (EUC), or EUC alone. SH+ is a five-session guided self-help intervention delivered in workshops with audio-recorded materials and accompanying pictorial guide. The primary outcome is reduction in overall psychological distress over time, with 3 months post-treatment as the primary end-point. Secondary outcomes are self-defined psychosocial concerns, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, hazardous alcohol use, feelings of anger, interethnic relations, psychological flexibility, functional impairment and subjective wellbeing. Psychological flexibility is a hypothesised mediator, and past trauma history and intervention attendance will be explored as potential moderators.
This trial will provide important information on the effectiveness of a scalable, guided self-help intervention for improving psychological health and wellbeing among people affected by adversity.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Social media presents an important means for social interaction, especially among adolescents, with Instagram being the most popular platform in this age-group. Pictures and communication about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) can frequently be found on the internet.
During 4 weeks in April 2016, n = 2826 (from n = 1154 accounts) pictures which directly depicted wounds on Instagram were investigated. Those pictures, associated comments, and user accounts were independently rated for content. Associations between characteristics of pictures and comments as well as weekly and daily trends of posting behavior were analyzed.
Most commonly, pictures depicted wounds caused by cutting on arms or legs and were rated as mild or moderate injuries. Pictures with increasing wound grades and those depicting multiple methods of NSSI generated elevated amounts of comments. While most comments were neutral or empathic with some offering help, few comments were hostile. Pictures were mainly posted in the evening hours, with a small peak in the early morning. While there was a slight peak of pictures being posted on Sundays, postings were rather evenly spread across the week.
Pictures of NSSI are frequently posted on Instagram. Social reinforcement might play a role in the posting of more severe NSSI pictures. Social media platforms need to take appropriate measures for preventing online social contagion.
Children and adolescents are a vulnerable group to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms after natural or man-made disasters. In the light of increasing numbers of refugees under the age of 18 years worldwide, there is a significant need for effective treatments. This meta-analytic review investigates specific psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents after man-made and natural disasters. In a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO, as well as hand-searching existing reviews and contacting professional associations, 36 studies were identified. Random- and mixed-effects models were applied to test for average effect sizes and moderating variables. Overall, treatments showed high effect sizes in pre–post comparisons (Hedges' g = 1.34) and medium effect sizes as compared with control conditions (Hedges' g = 0.43). Treatments investigated by at least two studies were cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), narrative exposure therapy for children (KIDNET) and classroom-based interventions, which showed similar effect sizes. However, studies were very heterogenic with regard to their outcomes. Effects were moderated by type of profession (higher level of training leading to higher effect sizes). A number of effective psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent survivors of disasters exist. CBT, EMDR, KIDNET and classroom-based interventions can be equally recommended. Although disasters require immediate reactions and improvisation, future studies with larger sample sizes and rigorous methodology are needed.
We present new empirical Colour-Colour and Effective Temperature-Colour Gaia Red Clump calibrations. The selected sample takes into account high photometric quality, good spectrometric metallicity, homogeneous effective temperatures and low interstellar extinctions. From those calibrations we developed a method to derive the absolute magnitude, temperature and extinction of the Gaia RC. We tested our colour and extinction estimates on stars with measured spectroscopic effective temperatures and Diffuse Interstellar Band (DIB) constraints. Within the Gaia Validation team these calibrations are also being used, together with asteroseismic constraints, to check the parallax zero-point with Red Clump stars.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Because of to its exceptional resolving power, Gaia should detect a few thousands gravitational lensed systems. These consist in multiple images of background quasars. The estimated number of lens phenomena in the sky, however, depends on the cosmological model considered. By taking into account the observational bias that will restrict the detection of lensed quasars, identification of these up to a given limiting magnitude will constrain the cosmological parameters.
We have investigated the known gravitationally lensed quasars present in the Gaia DR1, and found that a significant number of components of these systems have been measured and are present in the Gaia DR1 catalogue although quasi none of them have all their components detected. We additionally examined the immediate surroundings of QSOs from the large Quasar catalogue, LQAC3, and detected several configurations compatible with gravitational lensing phenomena. A more global strategy to systematically detect the potential candidates in the various releases of the Gaia catalogue is presented.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Religiosity is a protective factor against many health problems, including alcohol use disorders (AUD). Studies suggest that religiosity has greater buffering effects on mental health problems among US Blacks and Hispanics than Whites. However, whether race/ethnic differences exist in the associations of religiosity, alcohol consumption and AUD is unclear.
Using 2004–2005 NESARC data (analytic n = 21 965), we examined the relationship of public religiosity (i.e. frequency of service attendance, religious social group size), and intrinsic religiosity (i.e. importance of religious/spiritual beliefs) to frequency of alcohol use and DSM-IV AUD in non-Hispanic (NH) Blacks, Hispanics and NH Whites, and whether associations differed by self-identified race/ethnicity.
Only public religiosity was related to AUD. Frequency of religious service attendance was inversely associated with AUD (NH Whites β: −0.103, p < 0.001; NH Blacks β: −0.115, p < 0.001; Hispanics β: −0.096, p < 0.001). This association was more robust for NH Blacks as compared with NH Whites and Hispanics (interaction β: 0.025, p < 0.001). Among NH Whites, higher intrinsic religiosity was inversely associated with alcohol use frequency (β: −0.143, p < 0.001). These effects were more robust among NH Whites (interaction (β: 0.072, p < 0.033) than for NH Blacks (β: −0.080, p > 0.05) or Hispanics (β: −0.002, p > 0.05).
US adults reporting greater public religiosity were at lower risk for AUD. Public religiosity may be particularly important among NH Blacks, while intrinsic religiosity may be particularly important among NH Whites, and among Hispanics who frequently attend religious services. Findings may be explained by variation in drinking-related norms observed among these groups generally, and in the context of specific religious institutions.
Word production variability is widespread in speech, and rates of variant production correlate with many factors. Recent research suggests mental representation of both canonical word forms and distinct reduced variants, and that production and processing are sensitive to variant frequency. What factors lead to frequency-weighted variant representations? An experiment manipulated following context and word repetition for final t/d words in read, narrative English speech. Modeling the experimentally generated data statistically showed higher final-segment deletion in tokens followed by consonant-initial words, but no evidence of increased deletion with repetition, regardless of context. Deletion rates were also higher the greater a word's cumulative exposure to consonant contexts (measured from distributional statistics), but there was no effect of word frequency. Token effects are interpreted in terms of articulation processes. The type-level context effect is interpreted within exemplar and usage-based models of language to suggest that experiences with word variants in contexts register as frequency-weighted representations.
Cognitive models of adult psychosis propose that negative schematic beliefs (NSBs) mediate the established association between victimisation and psychotic symptoms. In childhood, unusual, or psychotic-like, experiences are associated with bullying (a common form of victimisation) and NSBs. This study tests the mediating role of NSBs in the relationship between bullying and distressing unusual experiences (UEDs) in childhood.
Ninety-four 8–14 year olds referred to community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services completed self-report assessments of UEDs, bullying, and NSBs about the self (NS) and others (NO).
Both NS and NO were associated with bullying (NS: r = .40, P < .001; NO: r = .33, P = .002), and with UEDs (NS: r = .51, P < .001; NO: r = .43, P < .001). Both NS and NO significantly mediated the relationship between bullying and UEDs (NS: z = 3.15, P = .002; NO: z = 2.35, P = .019).
Children's NSBs may mediate the adverse psychological impact of victimisation, and are appropriate treatment targets for young people with UEDs. Early educational intervention to reduce negative appraisals of the self and others may increase resilience to future adverse experiences and reduce later mental health risk.
In traditional transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of multi-planetary systems, the individual TTVs are first derived from transit fitting and later modelled using n-body dynamic simulations to constrain planetary masses. We show that fitting simultaneously the transit light curves with the system dynamics (photo-dynamical model) increases the precision of the TTV measurements and helps constrain the system architecture. We exemplify the advantages of applying this photo-dynamical model to a multi-planetary system found in K2 data very close to 3:2 mean motion resonance, K2-19. In this case the period of the larger TTV variations (libration period) is much longer (>1.5 years) than the duration of the K2 observations (80 days). However, our method allows to detect the short period TTVs produced by the orbital conjunctions between the planets that in turn permits to uniquely characterise the system. Therefore, our method can be used to constrain the masses of near-resonant systems even when the full libration curve is not observed.