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Psychotic disorders develop gradually along a continuum of severity. Understanding factors associated with psychosis development, such as sleep, could aid in identification of individuals at elevated risk. This study aimed to assess (1) the dynamic relationship between psychotic experiences (PEs) and sleep quality and quantity, and (2) whether this relationship differed between different clinical stages along the psychosis continuum.
We used daily diary data (90 days) of individuals (N = 96) at early stages (i.e. before a first diagnosis of psychosis) along the psychosis continuum. Multilevel models were constructed with sleep quality and sleep quantity as predictors of PEs and vice versa. Post-hoc, we constructed a multilevel model with both sleep quality and quantity as predictors of PEs. In addition, we tested whether associations differed between clinical stages.
Within persons, poorer sleep predicted next day PEs (B = −0.02, p = 0.01), but not vice versa. Between persons, shorter sleep over the 90-day period predicted more PEs (B = −0.04, p = 0.002). Experiencing more PEs over 90-days predicted poorer (B = −0.02, p = 0.02) and shorter (B = −1.06, p = 0.008) sleep. We did not find any significant moderation effects for clinical stage.
We found a bidirectional relationship between sleep and PEs with daily fluctuations in sleep predicting next day PEs and general patterns of more PEs predicting poorer and shorter sleep. Our results highlight the importance of assessing sleep as a risk marker in the early clinical stages for psychosis.
Surveillance data shows a geographical overlap between the early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the past Q fever epidemic (2007–2010) in the Netherlands. We investigated the relationship between past Q fever and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in 2020/2021, using a retrospective matched cohort study.
In January 2021, former Q fever patients received a questionnaire on demographics, SARS-CoV-2 test results and related hospital/intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. SARS-CoV-2 incidence with 95% confidence intervals (CI) in former Q fever patients and standardised incidence ratios (SIR) to compare to the age-standardised SARS-CoV-2 incidence in the general regional population were calculated.
Among 890 former Q fever patients (response rate: 68%), 66 had a PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of these, nine (14%) were hospitalised and two (3%) were admitted to ICU. From February to June 2020 the SARS-CoV-2 incidence was 1573/100 000 (95% CI 749–2397) in former Q fever patients and 695/100 000 in the general population (SIR 2.26; 95% CI 1.24–3.80). The incidence was not significantly higher from September 2020 to February 2021.
We found no sufficient evidence for a difference in SARS-CoV-2 incidence or an increased severity in former Q fever patients vs. the general population during the period with widespread SARS-CoV-2 testing availability (September 2020–February 2021). This indicates that former Q fever patients do not have a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with distress experienced by physicians during their first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) triage decisions.
An online survey was administered to physicians licensed in New York State.
Of the 164 physicians studied, 20.7% experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. The mean distress score was not significantly different between physicians who received just-in-time training and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.7 vs 6.2 ± 2.8; P = 0.550) and between physicians who received clinical guidelines and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.9 vs 6.2 ± 2.7; P = 0.820). Substantially increased odds of severe distress were found in physicians who reported that their first COVID-19 triage decisions were inconsistent with their core values (adjusted odds ratio, 6.33; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-19.76) and who reported having insufficient skills and expertise (adjusted odds ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-9.87).
Approximately 1 in 5 physicians in New York experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Physicians with insufficient skills and expertise, and core values misaligned to triage decisions are at heightened risk of experiencing severe distress. Just-in-time training and clinical guidelines do not appear to alleviate distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.
Impulsivity is a central symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and its neural basis may be instantiated in a frontoparietal network involved in response inhibition. However, research has yet to determine whether neural activation differences in BPD associated with response inhibition are attributed to attentional saliency, which is subserved by a partially overlapping network of brain regions.
Patients with BPD (n = 45) and 29 healthy controls (HCs; n = 29) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing a novel go/no-go task with infrequent odd-ball trials to control for attentional saliency. Contrasts reflecting a combination of response inhibition and attentional saliency (no-go > go), saliency processing alone (oddball > go), and response inhibition controlling for attentional saliency (no-go > oddball) were compared between BPD and HC.
Compared to HC, BPD showed less activation in the combined no-go > go contrast in the right posterior inferior and middle-frontal gyri, and less activation for oddball > go in left-hemispheric inferior frontal junction, frontal pole, superior parietal lobe, and supramarginal gyri. Crucially, BPD and HC showed no activation differences for the no-go > oddball contrast. In BPD, higher vlPFC activation for no-go > go was correlated with greater self-rated BPD symptoms, whereas lower vlPFC activation for oddball > go was associated with greater self-rated attentional impulsivity.
Patients with BPD show frontoparietal disruptions related to the combination of response inhibition and attentional saliency or saliency alone, but no specific response inhibition neural activation difference when attentional saliency is controlled. The findings suggest a neural dysfunction in BPD underlying attention to salient or infrequent stimuli, which is supported by a negative correlation with self-rated impulsiveness.
Operators are mindful of the balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio when performing balloon aortic valvuloplasty. The method of measurement of the aortic valve annulus has not been standardised.
Methods and results:
Patients who underwent aortic valvuloplasty at two paediatric centres between 2007 and 2014 were included. The valve annulus measured by echocardiography and angiography was used to calculate the balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio and measurements were compared. The primary endpoint was an increase in aortic insufficiency by ≥2 degrees. Ninety-eight patients with a median age at valvuloplasty of 2.1 months (Interquartile range (IQR): 0.2–105.5) were included. The angiographic-based annulus was 8.2 mm (IQR: 6.8–16.0), which was greater than echocardiogram-based annulus of 7.5 mm (IQR: 6.1–14.8) (p < 0.001). This corresponded to a significantly lower angiographic balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio of 0.9 (IQR: 0.9–1.0), compared to an echocardiographic ratio of 1.1 (IQR: 1.0–1.1) (p < 0.001). The degree of discrepancy in measured diameter increased with smaller valve diameters (p = 0.041) and in neonates (p = 0.044). There was significant disagreement between angiographic and echocardiographic balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio measures regarding “High” ratio of >1.2, with angiographic ratio flagging only 2/12 (16.7%) of patients flagged by echocardiographic ratio as “High” (p = 0.012). Patients who had an increase in the degree of aortic insufficiency post valvuloplasty, only 3 (5.5%) had angiographic ratio > 1.1, while 21 (38%) had echocardiographic ratio >1.1 (p < 0.001). Patients with resultant ≥ moderate insufficiency more often had an echocardiographic ratio of >1.1 than angiographic ratio of >1.1 There was no association between increase in balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio and gradient reduction.
Angiographic measurement is associated with a greater measured aortic valve annulus and the development of aortic insufficiency. Operators should use caution when relying solely on angiographic measurement when performing balloon aortic valvuloplasty.
Introduction: Compared to other areas in Alberta Health Services (AHS), internal data show that emergency departments (EDs) and urgent care centres (UCCs) experience a high rate of workforce violence. As such, reducing violence in AHS EDs and UCCs is a key priority. This project explored staff's lived experience with patient violence with the goal of better understanding its impact, and what strategies and resources could be put in place. Methods: To obtain a representative sample, we recruited staff from EDs and a UCC (n = 6) situated in urban and rural settings across Alberta. As the interviews had the potential to be upsetting, we conducted in-person interviews in a private space. Interviews were conducted with over 60 staff members including RNs, LPNs, unit clerks, physicians, and protective services. Data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously and iteratively until saturation was reached. The analysis involved data reduction, category development, and synthesis. Key phrases and statements were first highlighted. Preliminary labels were then assigned to the data and data was then organized into meaningful clusters. Finally, we identified common themes of participants’ lived experience. Triangulation of sources, independent and team analysis, and frequent debriefing sessions were used to enhance the trustworthiness of the data. Results: Participants frequently noted the worry they carry with them when coming into work, but also said there was a high threshold of acceptance dominating ED culture. A recurring feature of this experience was the limited resources (e.g., no peace officers, scope of security staff) available to staff to respond when patients behave violently or are threatening. Education like non-violent crisis intervention training, although helpful, was insufficient to make staff feel safe. Participants voiced the need for more protective services, the addition of physical barriers like locking doors and glass partitions, more investment in addictions and mental health services (e.g., increased access to psychiatrists or addictions counsellors), and a greater shared understanding of AHS’ zero tolerance policy. Conclusion: ED and UCC staff describe being regularly exposed to violence from patients and visitors. Many of these incidents go unreported and unresolved, leaving the workforce feeling worried and unsupported. Beyond education, the ED and UCC workforce need additional resources to support them in feeling safe coming to work.
Introduction: Emergency Departments (EDs) are at high risk of workforce-directed violence (WDV). To address ED violence in Alberta Health Services (AHS), we conducted key informant interviews to identify successful strategies that could be adopted in AHS EDs. Methods: The project team identified potential participants through their ED network; additional contacts were identified through snowball sampling. We emailed 197 individuals from Alberta (123), Canada (46), and abroad (28). The interview guide was developed and reviewed in partnership with ED managers and Workplace Health and Safety. We conducted semi-structured phone interviews with 26 representatives from urban and rural EDs or similar settings from Canada, the United States, and Australia. This interview process received an ARECCI score of 2. Two researchers conducted a content analysis of the interview notes; rural and urban sites were analyzed separately. We extracted strategies, their impact, and implementation barriers and facilitators. Strategies identified were categorized into emergent themes. We aggregated similar strategies and highlighted key or unique findings. Results: Interview results showed that there is no single solution to address ED violence. Sites with effective violence prevention strategies used a comprehensive approach where multiple strategies were used to address the issue. For example, through a violence prevention working group, one site implemented weekly violence simulations, a peer mentorship support team, security rounding, and more. This multifaceted approach had positive results: a decrease in code whites, staff feeling more supported, and the site no longer being on union “concerned” lists. Another promising strategy included addressing the culture of violence by increasing reporting, clarifying policies (i.e., zero tolerance), and establishing flagging or alert systems for visitors with violent histories. Physician involvement and support was highly valued in responding to violence (e.g., support when refusing care, on the code white response team, flagging). Conclusion: Overall, one strategy is not enough to successfully address WDV in EDs. Strategies need to be comprehensive and context specific, especially when considering urban and rural sites with different resources available. We note that few strategies were formally evaluated, and recommend that future work focus on developing comprehensive metrics to evaluate the strategies and define success.
Background: Since January 1, 2016 2358 people have died from opioid poisoning in Alberta. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is the recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and this treatment can be initiated in emergency departments and urgent care centres (EDs). Aim Statement: This project aims to spread a quality improvement intervention to all 107 adult EDs in Alberta by March 31, 2020. The intervention supports clinicians to initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals and provide rapid referrals to OUD treatment clinics. Measures & Design: Local ED teams were identified (administrators, clinical nurse educators, physicians and, where available, pharmacists and social workers). Local teams were supported by a provincial project team (project manager, consultant, and five physician leads) through a multi-faceted implementation process using provincial order sets, clinician education products, and patient-facing information. We used administrative ED and pharmacy data to track the number of visits where bup/nal was given in ED, and whether discharged patients continued to fill any opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescription 30 days after their index ED visit. OUD clinics reported the number of referrals received from EDs and the number attending their first appointment. Patient safety event reports were tracked to identify any unintended negative impacts. Evaluation/Results: We report data from May 15, 2018 (program start) to September 31, 2019. Forty-nine EDs (46% of 107) implemented the program and 22 (45% of 49) reported evaluation data. There were 5385 opioid-related visits to reporting ED sites after program adoption. Bup/nal was given during 832 ED visits (663 unique patients): 7 visits in the 1st quarter the program operated, 55 in the 2nd, 74 in the 3rd, 143 in the 4th, 294 in the 5th, and 255 in the 6th. Among 505 unique discharged patients with 30 day follow up data available 319 (63%) continued to fill any OAT prescription after receiving bup/nal in ED. 16 (70%) of 23 community clinics provided data. EDs referred patients to these clinics 440 times, and 236 referrals (54%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Available data may under-report program impact. 5 patient safety events have been reported, with no harm or minimal harm to the patient. Discussion/Impact: Results demonstrate effective spread and uptake of a standardized provincial ED based early medical intervention program for patients who live with OUD.
Background: Traditionally, radiologists have routinely recommended oral contrast agents (such as Telebrix®) for patients undergoing a computed tomography of the abdomen/pelvis (CTAP), but recent evidence has shown limited diagnostic benefits for most emergency department (ED) patients. Additionally, the use of oral contrast has numerous drawbacks, including patient nausea/vomiting, risk of aspiration and delays to CTAP completion and increased ED length of stay (LOS). Aim Statement: The aim was to safely reduce the number of ED patients receiving oral contrast prior to undergoing CTAP and thereby reduce ED length of stay. Measures & Design: An evidence-based ED protocol was developed in collaboration with radiology. PDSA cycle #1 was implementation at a pilot site to identify potential barriers. Challenges identified included the need to change the electronic order sets to reflect the new protocol, improved communication with frontline providers and addition of an online BMI calculator. PDSA cycle #2 was widespread implementation across all 4 ED's in the Calgary zone. The protocol was incorporated into all relevant electronic ED order sets to act as a physician prompt. Using administrative data, we extracted and analyzed data using descriptive and inferential statistics for the outcomes and balancing measures from a period of 12 months pre- and 12 months post-intervention. Evaluation/Results: A total of 14,868 and 17,995 CTAP exams were included in the pre and post periods, respectively. There was a reduction in usage of oral contrast from 71% to 30% (P < 0.0001) in the pre- and post-study period, respectively. This corresponded to a reduction in average time of CT requisition to CT report completed from 3.30 hours to 2.31 hours (-0.99 hrs, P = 0.001) and a reduction in average ED LOS from 11.01 hours to 9.92 hours (-1.08 hrs, P < 0.0001). The protocol resulted in a reduction of 19,434.6 patient hrs in the ED. Run charts demonstrate change was sustained over time. Our protocol did not demonstrate an increase in rates of repeat CTAP (P = 0.563) at 30 days, nor an increase in patient re-admission within 7 days (P = 0.295). Discussion/Impact: Successful implementation of an ED and radiology developed protocol significantly reduced the use of oral contrast in patients requiring enhanced CTAP as part of their diagnostic work up and, thereby, reduced overall ED LOS without increasing the need for repeat examinations within 30 days or re-admission within 7 days.
Cannabis has been reported to produce acute psychiatric reactions, among these panic anxiety and derealization, which are self-limited. We report on three patients who experienced an initial panic attack during cannabis intake. Anxiety attacks reoccurred after the cessation of intake. Two of these patients had a current depressive disorder, one of them had a single Grand Mal seizure before the onset. We suggest that cannabis may trigger the emergence of recurrent panic attacks and uncover latent panic disorders in vulnerable persons.
Studies examining OC phenomena in schizophrenic and schizoaffective disorders have shown a prevalence of such phenomena in 1 to 60% of schizophrenic or schizoaffective patients. In this prospective study, about 10% of 150 male patients suffering from acute psychotic disorders (fulfilling DSM-IV criteria for Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder) were found to have OC symptoms. These symptoms showed no correlation to the type and severity of psychosis. As only 19% of the patients with obsessions and compulsions during acute psychosis showed an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder prior to their psychotic episodes, it may be concluded that there is no clear linkage between intrapsychotic OC phenomena and premorbid anancastic personality traits.
Suicide remains the leading cause of premature death in patients with psychotic disorders. The lifetime suicide risk for schizophrenia is approximately 10%.
This study aims to compare the suicide risk over the past decade following recent onset psychosis to findings from the eighties and nineties in the same catchment area and to identify predictors of suicide in the context of the Psychosis Recent Onset Groningen – Survey (PROGR-S).
A medical file search was carried out to determine the current status of all patients admitted between 2000 and 2009. The suicide rate was compared with a study executed in 1973-1988 in the same catchment area. Predictors of suicide were investigated using Cox regression.
The status of 424 of the 614 patients was known in July 2014. Suicide occurred in 2.4% of the patients with psychotic disorders (n=10; mean follow-up 5.6 years); 6 out of 10 suicides took place within two years. Within two decades, the suicide rate dropped from 11% (follow-up 15 years, 8.5% after 5 years) to 2.4%. The Standardized Mortality Rate (SMR) of suicides compared with the general population was 41.6. A higher age was the only significant predictor for suicide. Neuroticism, living situation, disorganized and negative symptoms, and passive coping style showed a trend for significance. A significant reduction in the suicide rate was found for people with psychosis over the past decades.
A considerable drop in suicide rate was found. Given the high SMR, suicide research should have the highest priority.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) of the frontal cortex has been shown to improve negative symptoms in schizophrenia in a number of small studies, although inconsistent results have also been reported. Neuroimaging has shown bilateral hypofrontality in schizophrenia, and rTMS may improve brain activation. We therefore aimed to investigate whether 10 Hz stimulation of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during 3 weeks would yield substantial treatment effects and would improvement of frontal activation.
This study concerned a multicenter double-blind randomized controlled trial in 32 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. All had moderate to severe negative symptoms (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) negative subscale ≥ 15). Patients were randomized to a 3-week course of active or sham rTMS. Primary outcome was severity of negative symptoms as measured with the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) and the PANSS negative symptom score. Twenty-four patients participated in the pre- and posttreatment fMRI measurement. Analyses concerned changes in brain activation as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during the Tower of London (ToL) task from pre-treatment to post-treatment.
Brain activation increased more in the active group in the right DLPFC and the right medial frontal gyrus as compared to the sham group. Different activation change was also found in the left posterior cingulate, with decreased activation in the active and increased activation in the sham group. The changes in brain activation were accompanied by a significant improvement of negative symptoms in the treatment group (p=0.04).
Our findings suggest that treatment with rTMS over the DLPFC may potentially increase task-related activation in frontal areas and improve negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.
In this paper, we outline the policy implications of mobile health research conducted at the international level. We describe the manner in which such research may have an international dimension and argue that it is not likely to be excluded from conventionally applicable international regulatory tools. We suggest that closer policy attention is needed for this rapidly proliferating approach to health research.
Pathological gambling is a behavioural addiction with negative economic, social, and psychological consequences. Identification of contributing genes and pathways may improve understanding of aetiology and facilitate therapy and prevention. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study of pathological gambling. Our aims were to identify pathways involved in pathological gambling, and examine whether there is a genetic overlap between pathological gambling and alcohol dependence.
Four hundred and forty-five individuals with a diagnosis of pathological gambling according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were recruited in Germany, and 986 controls were drawn from a German general population sample. A genome-wide association study of pathological gambling comprising single marker, gene-based, and pathway analyses, was performed. Polygenic risk scores were generated using data from a German genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence.
No genome-wide significant association with pathological gambling was found for single markers or genes. Pathways for Huntington's disease (P-value = 6.63 × 10−3); 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase signalling (P-value = 9.57 × 10−3); and apoptosis (P-value = 1.75 × 10−2) were significant. Polygenic risk score analysis of the alcohol dependence dataset yielded a one-sided nominal significant P-value in subjects with pathological gambling, irrespective of comorbid alcohol dependence status.
The present results accord with previous quantitative formal genetic studies which showed genetic overlap between non-substance- and substance-related addictions. Furthermore, pathway analysis suggests shared pathology between Huntington's disease and pathological gambling. This finding is consistent with previous imaging studies.