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Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) crowding is an international health system issue that is worsening. Further, ED crowding and “hallway medicine” has been identified as one of the most significant healthcare challenges currently facing Canadians. One contributor is preventable transfers from long-term care facilities (LTCFs) to Emergency Departments (EDs). In Canada, there were 63,752 LTCF patient transfers to the ED in 2014, with 24% (15,202) of them due to potentially preventable conditions. Each preventable transfer exposes patients to transport and hospital-related complications, and costs the healthcare system thousands of dollars. There have been many proposed and studied interventions aimed at alleviating the issue, but few attempts to assess and evaluate different interventions across institutions in a systematic manner. Methods: A scoping review of the literature using three electronic databases was conducted. A scoping review methodology was used due to the range of interventions and the heterogeneity in study design and outcome. Inclusion criteria included: studies on interventions designed to reduce transfers from LTCFs, studies that reported key outcomes such as number of ED transfers, and studies with a control or comparison group. Articles were screened by two independent reviewers (Cohen's k = 0.68), and study quality was assessed using the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute quality assessment tools. Results: Findings were organized into five intervention types (telemedicine, outreach teams, interdisciplinary teams, integrated approaches, and other), and both a tabular and narrative synthesis was completed. Eleven studies had a good quality assessment rating, 13 studies had a fair rating, and two studies had a poor rating. Twenty out of the 26 studies reported statistically significant reductions in ED transfer rate, ranging from 10-70%. Interdisciplinary healthcare teams staffed within LTCFs were the most effective interventions. Conclusion: There are several promising interventions that have successfully reduced the number of preventable transfers from LTCFs to EDs, in a variety of health system settings. Further analysis of the relative resource requirements of each intervention, and practices that can enable successful implementation are needed to inform healthcare policy and administrative decision making. Widespread implementation of these interventions has the potential to considerably reduce ED crowding.
To investigate demographic, clinical and neuropsychological aspects of self-harm in schizophrenia and identify which are independently predictive of and therefore the most relevant to clinical intervention.
Subjects and methods:
Eighty-seven patients with schizophrenia were interviewed regarding substance misuse, depression, hopelessness, negative/positive symptoms and illness insight. Neuropsychological assessment included premorbid IQ, continuous performance test, cognitive-motor and trait impulsivity. A prospective three-month review of medical records was also undertaken.
Fifty-nine patients (68%) reported past self-harm (including attempted suicide). Those with past self-harm, compared to those without, were significantly more likely to report depression, hopelessness, impulsivity, a family history of self-harm, polysubstance abuse and had higher premorbid IQ. Logistic regression revealed that depression, higher premorbid IQ and polysubstance abuse were independently linked to self-harm. Five participants attempted self-harm during the 3-month prospective follow-up period. These all had a history of past self-harm and were significantly more likely to have been depressed at the initial interview than those who did not go on to self-harm.
Discussion and conclusions:
Independent predictors of self-harm in schizophrenia are premorbid IQ and polysubstance abuse. In addition, depression was both independently associated with past self-harm and predictive of self-harm in the follow-up period.
Limited research has examined the early neuropsychological and neurobiological changes associated with comorbid affective disorders and alcohol dependence.
Objectives & Aims
To investigate the cognitive and volumetric changes in individuals diagnosed with affective disorders with or without comorbid alcohol dependence.
Young adults (n = 21) who were undergoing medically-managed inpatient alcohol detoxification with comorbid affective disorders were neuropsychologically assessed 4-weeks following hospital discharge, and additionally underwent MRI brain scans during admission and 4-weeks following discharge. An affective disorders-only group (n = 21) with an equal distribution of anxiety and mood disorders was recruited through a youth mental health clinic.
Compared to affective disorders only (M = 31.8 ± 4.4 years old), individuals with affective disorders and alcohol dependence (M = 33.9 ± 6.3 years old; M = 21.1 ± 9.2 standard drinks/day) exhibited worse sustained attention and visual memory functioning. There was a highly significant association between drinking levels since detoxification and total brain volume change, such that resumption of heavy drinking attenuated brain volume gains associated with short-term abstinence (r = -0.87, p < 0.001).
In young adults with affective disorders, comorbid alcohol dependence is associated with more pronounced cognitive dysfunction, suggesting that these deficits are most relevant for cognitive remediation interventions. Crucially, abstinence or reduced drinking was associated with brain volume gains, whereas resumption of heavy drinking was associated with brain volume reductions, suggesting that medically-managed alcohol detoxification may, at least, partially reverse the neurobiological changes associated with prolonged alcohol dependence in young adults.
This study investigates the effects of employees' perceived values-congruence within an organisation affect employees' beliefs about organisational change. Specifically, we investigated the effects employees' perceived values-congruence with their organisation, supervisor and colleagues had on beliefs about an organisational change implementation and tested whether these relationships were mediated by employees' felt trust and perceptions of the quality of their organisations' communication, as suggested by the literature. Data from 251 respondents who had undergone an organisational change within the last 6 months were analysed. Support was found for the influence all three types of perceived values-congruence (i.e. congruence with their organisation, supervisor and colleagues) had on change-related beliefs and strong support was found for the mediation role played by trust and the quality of communication.
The Internet is commonly used in modern society; however, Internet use may become a problematic behaviour. There is an increasing need for research on problematic Internet use (PIU) and its’ associated risk factors.
This study aims to explore the prevalence and health correlates of problematic Internet use among South Korean adults.
We recruited the participants aged between 18 and 84 years old among the online panel of an online research service. The sample size of the survey was 500. Of these 500 participants, 51.4% (n = 257) were men and 48.6% (n = 243) were women. A participant was classified as a problematic Internet use (PIU) if his/her total score of Young's Internet Addiction Scale (YIA) was above 50. Stress Response Index (SRI), Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence, lifetime average caffeine consumption, and sociodemographic query form were used in the collection of data. The t test and chi-square test were used for data analysis.
One hundred ninety-seven (39.4%) of the participants was classified into the PIU group. There was no difference of gender and education between PIU and normal users. However, PIU group was younger (mean 39.5 years) than normal users (mean 45.8 years). PIU group was more likely to have high levels of perceived stress, nicotine dependence, and drink more often caffeinated beverages (P < 0.05).
These data indicate that problematic Internet use is associated with perceived stress level, nicotine and caffeine use in South Korean Internet users. More research is needed to better understand the relationship between Internet use and mental health issues.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is characterized by unusual shifts in mood and energy and affects 1 to 3% of the general population. Lithium (Li) can prevent patients from depression and mania, as well as reduce the risk of suicide. Unfortunately, a high rate of patients do not respond positively to Li treatment. In line with various studies, Li treatment is also associated with potentially severe adverse reactions, including renal dysfunctions. Specifically, it has been reported that Li may induce reduction of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in long-term treated BD patients.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the contribution of genetic variants in Li-induced reduction of the estimated GFR (eGFR) in bipolar patients, under long term Li therapy.
We screened the literature to identify genes previously shown to be associated with kidney function or Li mechanism of action and genotyped tag SNPs covering these genes.
The sample comprised 70 Sardinian bipolar patients genotyped for 46 SNPs, located in 33 genes, with Invader assay and Sanger sequencing.
Our results showed that a SNP (rs378448) located in Acid Sensing Ion Channel Neurona-1 (ACCN1) gene, significantly interacted with years of Li treatment in reducing eGFR (F = 4.166, P = 0.046).
Our preliminary findings suggest that ACCN1 (ASIC2) gene could be involved in modulating the susceptibility of BD patients to develop renal dysfunctions induced by chronic Li treatment.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Pear psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Psyllidae: Cacopsylla spp.) belong to the most serious pests of pear (Pyrus spp.). They damage pear trees by excessive removal of phloem sap, by soiling the fruits with honeydew which, in turn, provides a substrate for sooty mould, and by transmission of Candidatus Phytoplasma spp., the causal agents of the pear decline disease. The morphological similarity, the presence of seasonal dimorphism that affects adult colour, size and wing morphology and uncritical use of species names, led to much confusion in the taxonomy of pear psyllids. As a result, pear psyllids have been frequently misidentified. Many of the entries attributed to Cacopsylla pyricola and other species in the GenBank are misidentifications which led to additional, unnecessary confusion. Here we analysed DNA barcodes of 11 pear psyllid species from eastern Asia, Europe and Iran using four mitochondrial gene fragments (COI 658 bp, COI 403 bp, COI-tRNAleu-COII 580 bp and 16S rDNA 452 bp). The efficiency of identification was notably high and considerable barcoding gaps were observed in all markers. Our results confirm the synonymies of the seasonal forms of Cacopsylla jukyungi ( = C. cinereosignata, winter form) and C. maculatili ( = C. qiuzili, summer form) previously suggested based on morphology. Some previous misidentifications (C. chinensis from China, Japan and Korea = misidentification of C. jukyungi; C. pyricola and C. pyrisuga from East Asia = misidentification of C. jukyungi and C. burckhardti, respectively; C. pyricola from Iran = misidentification of C. bidens, C. pyri and Cacopsylla sp.) are also corrected. There is no evidence for the presence of European pear psyllid species in East Asia.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) consist of highly preserved stress proteins that are expressed in response to stress. Two studies were carried out to investigate whether HSP genes in hair follicles from beef calves can be suggested as indicators of heat stress (HS). In study 1, hair follicles were harvested from three male Hanwoo calves (aged 172.2 ± 7.20 days) on six dates over the period of 10 April to 9 August 2017. These days provided varying temperature–humidity indices (THIs). In study 2, 16 Hanwoo male calves (aged 169.6 ± 4.60 days, with a BW of 136.9 ± 6.23 kg) were maintained (4 calves per experiment) in environmentally controlled chambers. A completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement involving two periods (thermoneutral: TN; HS) and four THI treatment groups (threshold: THI = 68 to 70; mild: THI = 74 to 76; moderate THI = 81 to 83; severe: THI = 88 to 90). The calves in the different group were subjected to ambient temperature (22°C) for 7 days (TN) and subsequently to the temperature and humidity corresponding to the target THI level for 21 days (HS). Every three days (at 1400 h) during both the TN and HS periods, the heart rate (HR) and rectal temperature (RT) of each individual were measured, and hair follicles were subsequently collected from the tails of each individual. In study 1, the high variation (P < 0.0001) in THI indicated that the external environment influenced the HS to different extents. The expression levels of the HSP70 and HSP90 genes at the high-THI level were higher (P = 0.0120, P = 0.0002) than those at the low-THI level. In study 2, no differences in the THI (P = 0.2638), HR (P = 0.2181) or RT (P = 0.3846) were found among the groups during the TN period, whereas differences in these indices (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively) were observed during the HS period. The expression levels of the HSP70 (P = 0.0010, moderate; P = 0.0065, severe) and HSP90 (P = 0.0040, severe) genes were increased after rapid exposure to heat-stress conditions (moderate and severe levels). We conclude that HSP gene expression in hair follicles provides precise and accurate data for evaluating HS and can be considered a novel indicator of HS in Hanwoo calves maintained in both external and climatic chambers.
Transient energy supply remains one of the key challenges limiting the development of transient implantable medical devices for monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases within a predetermined time frame. A key feature of such devices is their controllable degradation during service life. An on-board transient energy supply with predictable performance over time is required to drive transient electronics. In this article, we present recent advances in the development of materials for biodegradable energy-storage devices (batteries and supercapacitors) and biodegradable energy-harvesting systems (enzymatic biofuel cells and triboelectric nanogenerators). Future perspectives, challenges, and opportunities related to energy materials for transient power sources will also be summarized.
Enterococcus causes clinically significant bloodstream infections (BSIs). In centers with a higher prevalence of vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) colonization, a common clinical question is whether empiric treatment directed against VRE should be initiated in the setting of a suspected enterococcal BSI. Unfortunately, VRE treatment options are limited, and relatively expensive, and subject patients to the risk of adverse reactions. We hypothesized that the results of VRE colonization screening could predict vancomycin resistance in enterococcal BSI.
We reviewed 370 consecutive cases of enterococcal BSI over a 7-year period at 2 tertiary-care hospitals to determine whether vancomycin-resistant BSIs could be predicted based on known colonization status (ie, patients with swabs performed within 30 days, more remotely, or never tested). We calculated sensitivity and specificity, and we plotted negative predictives values (NPVs) and positive predictive values (PPVs) as a function of prevalence.
A negative screening swab within 30 days of infection yielded NPVs of 90% and 95% in settings where <27.0% and 15.0% of enterococcal BSI are resistant to vancomycin, respectively. In patients with known VRE colonization, the PPV for VRE in enterococcal BSI was >50% at any prevalence exceeding 25%.
The results of a negative VRE screening test result performed within 30 days can help eliminate unnecessary empiric therapy in patients with suspected enterococcal BSI. Conversely, patients with positive VRE screening swabs require careful consideration of empiric VRE-directed therapy when enterococcal BSI appears likely.
This study aimed to determine the knowledge of first year health sciences students at a South African university regarding hearing loss and symptoms attributable to personal listening devices and their practices concerning the use of personal listening devices.
This was a cross-sectional study carried out using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire.
Of 336 students, 269 (80.1 per cent) completed the questionnaire. While most participants could identify symptoms that could be caused by extensive use of personal listening devices, almost 30 per cent did not know that it could cause permanent hearing loss. Personal listening devices were used by 90.7 per cent of participants, with 77.8 per cent having used them for more than five years. Use was at a high volume in 14.9 per cent of participants and for more than 2 hours per day in 52.7 per cent.
The findings indicate the need for an educational programme to inform students as to safe listening practices when using personal listening devices.
The Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR) comprises multiple longitudinal, community-representative investigations of twin and adoptive families that focus on psychological adjustment, personality, cognitive ability and brain function, with a special emphasis on substance use and related psychopathology. The MCTFR includes the Minnesota Twin Registry (MTR), a cohort of twins who have completed assessments in middle and older adulthood; the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS) of twins assessed from childhood and adolescence into middle adulthood; the Enrichment Study (ES) of twins oversampled for high risk for substance-use disorders assessed from childhood into young adulthood; the Adolescent Brain (AdBrain) study, a neuroimaging study of adolescent twins; and the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS), a study of adoptive and nonadoptive families assessed from adolescence into young adulthood. Here we provide a brief overview of key features of these established studies and describe new MCTFR investigations that follow up and expand upon existing studies or recruit and assess new samples, including the MTR Study of Relationships, Personality, and Health (MTR-RPH); the Colorado-Minnesota (COMN) Marijuana Study; the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study; the Colorado Online Twins (CoTwins) study and the Children of Twins (CoT) study.
In the history of paleoanthropology, generations of scholars have interpreted and imagined the role of women in shaping the evolution of humanity. Much of this literature about prehistoric women centers on the biologic differences between males and females, which in turn necessitated different evolutionary subsistence and reproductive strategies. When specialization in economic or subsistence production is differentiated by sex, it is typically referred to as a sexual division of labor. The idea that early humans divided their labor by sex is so influential that many believe the human lineage itself could be defined by the singular division between men hunting and women gathering.
Blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea Gmelin) rapidly moult their flight feathers in Antarctic waters in February–April, immediately following the breeding season, yet the behaviour of moulting birds at sea has not been described. We observed large numbers of moulting blue petrels off West Antarctica from 67–71°S and 78–119°W in mid-February 2017. Most of these birds probably breed at the Diego Ramirez archipelago, southwest of Cape Horn, which is the closest colony to this area. Moulting petrels often sit on the water in dense flocks, just outside the marginal ice zone, at sea temperatures of -0.7 to 0.9°C. Wing moult is intense, with 7–8 inner primaries (62–75% of primary length and 55–69% of primary mass), their corresponding primary coverts and all greater secondary coverts being grown at the same time. Moulting petrels need a reliable food source during this energetically demanding period, so the waters off West Antarctica are probably crucial for the Diego Ramirez population, which makes up more than half of the world's blue petrels.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
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.