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Swift medically led scientifically informed responses to the Covid-19 epidemic nationally have been demonstrably superior to other, non-scientific approaches. In forensic psychiatry and across all psychiatric services, urgent and clinically led responses have underlined redundancies and confusions in the governance of mental health services and a vacuum in policy makers. For the future, a greater emphasis on services for patients with schizophrenia and other severe, enduring mental disorders must aim at reducing standardised mortality ratios, managing risk of violence and improving hard outcomes such as symptomatic remission, functional recovery and forensic recovery of autonomy. This will require more use of information technology at service level and at national level where Scandinavian-style population based data linkage research must now become legally sanctioned and necessary. A national research and development centre for medical excellence in forensic psychiatry is urgently required and is complimentary to and different from quality management.
Amazon's Mechanical Turk is widely used for data collection; however, data quality may be declining due to the use of virtual private servers to fraudulently gain access to studies. Unfortunately, we know little about the scale and consequence of this fraud, and tools for social scientists to detect and prevent this fraud are underdeveloped. We first analyze 38 studies and show that this fraud is not new, but has increased recently. We then show that these fraudulent respondents provide particularly low-quality data and can weaken treatment effects. Finally, we provide two solutions: an easy-to-use application for identifying fraud in the existing datasets and a method for blocking fraudulent respondents in Qualtrics surveys.
The study report on Vanadium dioxide thin films of about 100nm thickness deposited using pulsed laser deposition on Si (100). The novel phase change reported is attributed to the post-treatment of the films via ion implantation with 25 KeV C+ ion beam at varying particle fluence (1E15, 1E16, and 1E17 /cm2). At the initial fluence, the preferred phase is retained while amorphization and recrystallization of the film is observed as the fluence increase to 1E16 ions/cm2and 1E17 ions/cm2, respectively. The phase transition of the samples is observed to occur at a temperature below 320 K while stabilization of the low phase structure is observed for the middle fluence. Further increase restores the SMT behaviour/trend that occurred at elevated temperatures.
Modern Catholic social teaching, especially as articulated by the popes, the curia, and the bishops, has said little directly and formally about systems of finance. Where these voices have spoken, they have encouraged sound practices in broad outline and criticized obviously unsound and immoral behaviors. Unfortunately, their own financial management practices have not offered good models for what might be done. Nevertheless, key concepts like the logic of gift, the idea of solidarity and the common good, and the vision of integral human development, coupled with the competence and integrity of Catholics working in systems of finance, can imagine possibilities and generate inspiring models of professional conduct. The key to making this work well is to understand and embrace the possibility of pursuing work in the system of finance as a genuine Christian vocation that in its own way genuinely addresses human needs and helps to build the Kingdom of God. In service of this, the pastors of the Church at every level can and should affirm this profession as a vocation, encourage Catholics to bring their faith to their work, avoid unnecessary criticism of business practices, and assist business professionals to see more clearly the challenges and possibilities they face.
Institutionally deprived young children often display distinctive patterns of attachment, classified as insecure/other (INS/OTH), with their adoptive parents. The associations between INS/OTH and developmental trajectories of mental health and neurodevelopmental symptoms were examined. Age 4 attachment status was determined for 97 Romanian adoptees exposed to up to 24 months of deprivation in Romanian orphanages and 49 nondeprived UK adoptees. Autism, inattention/overactivity and disinhibited-social-engagement symptoms, emotional problems, and IQ were measured at 4, 6, 11, and 15 years and in young adulthood. Romanian adoptees with over 6 months deprivation (Rom>6) were more often classified as INS/OTH than UK and Romanian adoptees with less than 6 months deprivation combined. INS/OTH was associated with cognitive impairment at age 4 years. The interaction between deprivation, attachment status, and age for autism spectrum disorder assessment was significant, with greater symptom persistence in Rom>6 INS/OTH(+) than other groups. This effect was reduced when IQ at age 4 was controlled for. Age 4 INS/OTH in Rom>6 was associated with worse autism spectrum disorder outcomes up to two decades later. Its association with cognitive impairment at age 4 is consistent with INS/OTH being an early marker of this negative developmental trajectory, rather than its cause.
There is renewed interest in the inverse association between psychiatric hospital and prison places, with reciprocal time trends shown in more than one country. We hypothesised that the numbers of admissions to psychiatric hospitals and committals to prisons in Ireland would also correlate inversely over time (i.e. dynamic measures of admission and committal rather than static, cross-sectional numbers of places).
Publicly available activity statistics for psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland were collated from 1986 to 2010.
There was a reciprocal association between psychiatric admissions and prison committals (Pearson r=−0.788, p<0.001), an increase of 91 prison committals for every 100 psychiatric hospital admissions foregone.
Penrose’s hypothesis applies to admissions to psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland over time (dynamic measures), just as it does to the numbers of places in psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland and elsewhere (static, cross-sectional measures). Although no causal connection can be definitively established yet, mentally disordered prisoners are usually known to community mental health services. Psychiatric services for prisons and the community should be linked to ensure that the needs of those currently accessing care through prisons can also be met in the community.
To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
There is limited data on the recovery of factors associated with decisional capacity in patients with psychosis.
To study the relationship between changes in mental capacity, symptoms and global functioning using structured measures during treatment for psychosis.
Fifty-six patients with psychosis were assessed for capacity to consent to treatment on admission and at 6 and 12 weeks following treatment. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool – Treatment, the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale were used to measure mental capacities, symptom severity and global functioning respectively. Treating consultants rated capacity to consent, masked to these measures.
Greater impairments on all measures were found in patients assessed as lacking capacity. These improved with treatment over 12 weeks with significant effect sizes (0.5 to 0.6). Stronger correlations between mental capacities, positive symptoms (-0.47) and global functioning (0.56) were noted in the first 6 weeks.
Impairments in capacity in acute stages of psychosis are related to symptom severity and functional impairment. They improve during treatment, particularly in the first 6 weeks.
We sought to identify and review published studies that discuss the ethical considerations, from a physician’s perspective, of managing a hunger strike in a prison setting.
A database search was conducted to identify relevant publications. We included case studies, case series, guidelines and review articles published over a 20-year period. Non-English language publications were translated.
The review found 23 papers from 12 jurisdictions published in five languages suitable for inclusion.
Key themes from included publications are identified and summarised in the context of accepted guidelines from the World Medical Association. Whilst there seems to be an overall consensus favouring autonomy over beneficence, tensions along this fine balance are magnified in jurisdictions where legislation leads to a dual loyalty conflict for the physician.
Heightened reactivity to unpredictable threat (U-threat) is a core individual difference factor underlying fear-based psychopathology. Little is known, however, about whether reactivity to U-threat is a stable marker of fear-based psychopathology or if it is malleable to treatment. The aim of the current study was to address this question by examining differences in reactivity to U-threat within patients before and after 12-weeks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Participants included patients with principal fear (n = 22) and distress/misery disorders (n = 29), and a group of healthy controls (n = 21) assessed 12-weeks apart. A well-validated threat-of-shock task was used to probe reactivity to predictable (P-) and U-threat and startle eyeblink magnitude was recorded as an index of defensive responding.
Across both assessments, individuals with fear-based disorders displayed greater startle magnitude to U-threat relative to healthy controls and distress/misery patients (who did not differ). From pre- to post-treatment, startle magnitude during U-threat decreased only within the fear patients who received CBT. Moreover, within fear patients, the magnitude of decline in startle to U-threat correlated with the magnitude of decline in fear symptoms. For the healthy controls, startle to U-threat across the two time points was highly reliable and stable.
Together, these results indicate that startle to U-threat characterizes fear disorder patients and is malleable to treatment with CBT but not SSRIs within fear patients. Startle to U-threat may therefore reflect an objective, psychophysiological indicator of fear disorder status and CBT treatment response.
This study describes findings from an assessment conducted to identify perceived knowledge gaps, information needs, and research priorities among state, territorial, and local public health preparedness directors and coordinators related to public health emergency preparedness and response (PHPR). The goal of the study was to gather information that would be useful for ensuring that future funding for research and evaluation targets areas most critical for advancing public health practice.
We implemented a mixed-methods approach to identify and prioritize PHPR research questions. A web survey was sent to all state, city, and territorial health agencies funded through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement program and a sample of local health departments (LHDs). Three focus groups of state and local practitioners and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were subsequently conducted, followed by 3 meetings of an expert panel of PHPR practitioners and CDC experts to prioritize and refine the research questions.
We identified a final list of 44 research questions that were deemed by study participants as priority topics where future research can inform PHPR programs and practice. We identified differences in perceived research priorities between PHEP awardees and LHD survey respondents; the number of research questions rated as important was greater among LHDs than among PHEP awardees (75%, n=33, compared to 24%, n=15).
The research questions identified provide insight into public health practitioners’ perceived knowledge gaps and the types of information that would be most useful for informing and advancing PHPR practice. The study also points to a higher level of information need among LHDs than among PHEP awardees. These findings are important for CDC and the PHPR research community to ensure that future research studies are responsive to practitioners’ needs and provide the information required to enhance their capacity to meet the needs of the communities and jurisdictions they serve. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:552–561)
With improvements in early survival following congenital heart surgery, it has become increasingly important to understand longer-term outcomes; however, routine collection of these data is challenging and remains very limited. We describe the development and initial results of a collaborative programme incorporating standardised longitudinal follow-up into usual care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Michigan (UM).
We included children undergoing benchmark operations of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Considerations regarding personnel, patient/parent engagement, funding, regulatory issues, and annual data collection are described, and initial follow-up rates are reported.
The present analysis included 1737 eligible patients undergoing surgery at CHOP from January 2007 to December 2014 and 887 UM patients from January 2010 to December 2014. Overall, follow-up data, of any type, were obtained from 90.8% of patients at CHOP (median follow-up 4.3 years, 92.2% survival) and 98.3% at UM (median follow-up 2.8 years, 92.7% survival), with similar rates across operations and institutions. Most patients lost to follow-up at CHOP had undergone surgery before 2010. Standardised questionnaires assessing burden of disease/quality of life were completed by 80.2% (CHOP) and 78.4% (UM) via phone follow-up. In subsequent pilot testing of an automated e-mail system, 53.4% of eligible patients completed the follow-up questionnaire through this system.
Standardised follow-up data can be obtained on the majority of children undergoing benchmark operations. Ongoing efforts to support automated electronic systems and integration with registry data may reduce resource needs, facilitate expansion across centres, and support multi-centre efforts to understand and improve long-term outcomes in this population.
Endotoxaemia has been described in cases of Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), but it is unclear if this phenomenon influences inflammatory pathology either in the periphery or central nervous system (CNS). We studied endotoxin concentrations in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense patients using the chromogenic Limulus Amoebocyte lysate assay. The relationship of endotoxin concentration to the presentation of gross signs of inflammation and the inflammatory/counter-inflammatory cytokine profile of the relevant compartments were analysed. We demonstrate that HAT patients exhibit parasitaemia-independent plasma endotoxaemia, and that this is associated with splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy. Endotoxin concentrations normalize rapidly after treatment. There was no evidence of endotoxin release in the CNS. A rapid normalization of endotoxin levels after treatment and lack of association with parasitaemia suggest that gut leakage is the main source of endotoxin in the circulation. Low CSF endotoxin concentrations and a lack of any association with neuroinflammatory markers or neurological sequelae suggest that endotoxin does not play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease in the CNS.
In 2008 it became policy that all those on the care programme approach were assessed for sexual violence/abuse. The implementation of this policy was assessed 8 years on. The findings of a survey and data request to Health and Social Care Information Centre are disappointing. We argue that this important initiative needs to be reinvigorated.
To investigate the importance of anatomical variation in acquiring skills in virtual reality cochlear implant surgery.
Eleven otolaryngology residents participated in this study. They were randomly allocated to practice cochlear implant surgery on the same specimen or on different specimens for four weeks. They were then tested on two new specimens, one standard and one challenging. Videos of their performance were de-identified and reviewed independently, by two blinded consultant otolaryngologists, using a validated assessment scale. The scores were compared between groups.
On the standard specimen, the round window preparation score was 2.7 ± 0.4 for the experimental group and 1.7 ± 0.6 for the control group (p = 0.01). On the challenging specimen, instrument handling and facial nerve preservation scores of the experimental group were 3.0 ± 0.4 and 3.5 ± 0.7 respectively, while the control group received scores of 2.1 ± 0.8 and 2.4 ± 0.9 respectively (p < 0.05).
Training on temporal bones with differing anatomies is beneficial in the development of expertise.
Many medications administered to patients with schizophrenia possess anticholinergic properties. When aggregated, pharmacological treatments may result in a considerable anticholinergic burden. The extent to which anticholinergic burden has a deleterious effect on cognition and impairs ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatments is unknown.
Seventy patients were followed for approximately 3 years. The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) was administered at baseline. Anticholinergic burden was measured with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Ability to benefit from psychosocial programmes was measured using the DUNDRUM-3 Programme Completion Scale (D-3) at baseline and follow-up. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the PANSS. Total antipsychotic dose was measured using chlorpromazine equivalents. Functioning was measured using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Mediation analysis found that the influence of anticholinergic burden on ability to participate and benefit from psychosocial programmes was completely mediated by the MCCB. For every 1-unit increase on the ACB scale, change scores for DUNDRUM-3 decreased by −0.27 points. This relationship appears specific to anticholinergic burden and not total antipsychotic dose. Moreover, mediation appears to be specific to cognition and not psychopathology. Baseline functioning also acted as mediator but only when MCCB was not controlled for.
Anticholinergic burden has a significant impact on patients’ ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatment programmes. Physicians need to be mindful of the cumulative effect that medications can have on patient cognition, functional capacity and ability to benefit from psychosocial treatments.