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This paper presents a novel solution for precision draping of prepreg composite fabrics onto double curved molds. Our contributions relate to system design, including hardware and software components, and to system integration. On the hardware side, design and implementation of a drape tool with up to 120 suction cups positioned individually by linear actuators are described. On the software side, design and implementation of the software architecture are presented, along with necessary algorithms within sensor technologies and mathematical modeling. The essential system’s components were verified individually, and the entire integrated system was successfully validated in the Proof-of-Concept experiments, performed on an experimental physical model of the system.
Depression is a disorder that causes disability, with a profound adverse impact on all areas of psychosocial functioning. This is particularly true for those with treatment resistant depression (TRD). However, to date, no systematic assessments of psychosocial functioning for patients with TRD have been conducted.
In the present study, we used the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (LIFE) scale to measure psychosocial functioning in 92 patients with TRD. These patients met formal criteria for TRD and were part of a clinical trial examining the efficacy of lithium augmentation of nortriptyline.
Clinicians rated this sample of patients as experiencing mild to moderate impairment in work-related activities, good to fair interpersonal relations, poor level of involvement in recreational activities, and mild impairment of ability to enjoy sexual activity. Patients and clinicians rated global social adjustment as poor.
Patients with formally defined TRD experience significant impairment in psychosocial functioning. In this sample a tendency existed for both clinicians and patients to assign more severely impaired global ratings when compared with ratings for specific functional areas.
Individual placement and support (IPS) is an evidence-based intervention where IPS consultants support people with severe mental illness in achieving competitive employment. IPS is a recovery-oriented intervention, but vast evidence regarding its ability to influence recovery-oriented outcomes challenges this position.
To investigate how an IPS-intervention influences the personal recovery process in people with severe mental illness.
A qualitative phenomenological study including interview of 12 participants in an IPS-intervention. Analysis was made using a four-step phenomenological analysis method.
IPS contributed to personal recovery in a number of ways: The IPS consultants’ ability to create an equal, acknowledging and safe relationship where participants’ needs were taking into consideration in the search and support for job or education was found valuable. In combination with employment, the role of the IPS consultant contributed to normalization and stabilisation of participants’ daily lives, changed their behaviours and beliefs about maintaining new achievements, personal goals and dreams.
Individual placement and support provides opportunities to gain personal goals and contributes to stabilisation and normalization of participants’ daily lives. This study supports the notion that the individual placement and support positively influences personal recovery in people with severe mental illness.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Cardiovascular risk prediction tools are important for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, however, which algorithms are appropriate for people with severe mental illness (SMI) is unclear.
To determine the cost-effectiveness using the net monetary benefit (NMB) approach of two bespoke SMI-specific risk algorithms compared to standard risk algorithms for primary CVD prevention in those with SMI, from an NHS perspective.
A microsimulation model was populated with 1000 individuals with SMI from The Health Improvement Network Database, aged 30–74 years without CVD. Four cardiovascular risk algorithms were assessed; (1) general population lipid, (2) general population BMI, (3) SMI-specific lipid and (4) SMI-specific BMI, compared against no algorithm. At baseline, each cardiovascular risk algorithm was applied and those high-risk (> 10%) were assumed to be prescribed statin therapy, others received usual care. Individuals entered the model in a ‘healthy’ free of CVD health state and with each year could retain their current health state, have cardiovascular events (non-fatal/fatal) or die from other causes according to transition probabilities.
The SMI-specific BMI and general population lipid algorithms had the highest NMB of the four algorithms resulting in 12 additional QALYs and a cost saving of approximately £37,000 (US$ 58,000) per 1000 patients with SMI over 10 years.
The general population lipid and SMI-specific BMI algorithms performed equally well. The ease and acceptability of use of a SMI-specific BMI algorithm (blood tests not required) makes it an attractive algorithm to implement in clinical settings.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Against the backdrop of mounting calls for the global scaling-up of mental health services – including quality care and prevention services – there is very little guidance internationally on strategies for scaling-up such services. Drawing on lessons from scale-up attempts in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and using exemplars from the front-lines in South Africa; we illustrate how health reforms towards people-centred chronic disease management provide enabling policy window opportunities for embedding mental health scale-up strategies into these reforms. Rather than going down the oft-trodden road of vertical funding for scale-up of mental health services, we suggest using the policy window that stresses global policy shifts towards strengthening of comprehensive integrated primary health care systems that are responsive to multimorbid chronic conditions. This is indeed a substantial opportunity to firmly locate mental health within these horizontal health systems strengthening funding agendas. While this approach will promote systems more enabling of scaling up of mental health services, implications for donor funders and researchers alike is the need for increased time commitments, resources and investment in local control.
Against the backdrop of mounting calls for the global scaling-up of mental health services – including quality care and prevention services – there is very little guidance internationally on strategies for scaling-up such services. Drawing on lessons from scale-up attempts in six low- and middle-income countries, and using exemplars from the front-lines in South Africa, we illustrate how health reforms towards people-centred chronic disease management provide enabling policy window opportunities for embedding mental health scale-up strategies into these reforms. Rather than going down the oft-trodden road of vertical funding for scale-up of mental health services, we suggest using the policy window that stresses global policy shifts towards strengthening of comprehensive integrated primary health care systems that are responsive to multimorbid chronic conditions. This is indeed a substantial opportunity to firmly locate mental health within these horizontal health systems strengthening funding agendas. Although this approach will promote systems more enabling of scaling-up of mental health services, implications for donor funders and researchers alike is the need for increased time commitments, resources and investment in local control.
Increased endogenous acetate production (Ra) in rodents has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and thereby promote increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), increased ghrelin secretion, hyperphagia and obesity.
To examine whether rates of acetate turnover are different in lean versus obese humans and whether increased acetate turnover promotes increased GSIS and increased ghrelin secretion in humans.
Basal acetate Ra was measured following an overnight fast in lean (BMI: 21.3 ± 1.1 Kg/m2) and obese (30.2 ± 0.9 Kg/m2, P = 0.00001) individuals. The subjects underwent two hyperglycemic (10 mmol/L) clamp studies to measure GSIS during a basal acetate infusion and during a high-dose acetate infusion increasing plasma acetate concentrations ∼5-fold.
Basal acetate Ra was 30% higher in the lean compared to the obese subjects (257 ± 27 vs. 173 ± 18 μmol/min; P = 0.025). Basal plasma insulin concentrations were 4-fold higher in the obese than the lean subjects (P = 0.008) and increased 5-fold during hyperglycemia in both groups, independent of changes in plasma acetate concentrations. Fasting plasma ghrelin concentrations were 35% lower in the obese compared to the lean subjects (P = 0.015). During the hyperglycemic clamp, plasma ghrelin decreased by 42% in the lean group (P < 0.022 vs. basal) and did not change in the obese group.
Rates of endogenous acetate turnover are ∼30% higher in the lean subjects compared to the obese subjects, and increasing plasma acetate turnover does not promote increased GSIS or ghrelin secretion in either group.
The aim of this study was to identify the risk correlates for coexisting common mental disorders (CMDs) in the chronic care population in South Africa, with the view to identifying particularly vulnerable patient populations.
The sample comprised 2549 chronic care patients enrolled in the baseline and endline rounds of a facility detection survey conducted by the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care in three large facilities in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district in the North West province of South Africa. Participants were screened for depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) and for alcohol misuse using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Data were analysed according to the number of morbidities, disorder type (physical or mental) and demographic variables. Multimorbidity was defined as the presence of two or more disorders (physical and/or mental).
Just over one-third of the sample reported two or more physical conditions. Women were more at risk of being depressed than were men, with men more at risk of alcohol misuse. Those who were employed were at lower risk of having coexisting CMDs, while being younger, HIV positive, and food deprived were all found to be associated with higher risk for having coexisting CMDs.
In the face of the large treatment gap for CMDs in South Africa, and the role that coexisting CMDs can play in exacerbating the burden of chronic physical diseases, mental health screening and treatment interventions should target HIV-positive, younger patients living in circumstances where there is household food insecurity.
There is increasing international recognition of the need to build capacity to strengthen mental health systems. This is a fundamental goal of the ‘Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries’ (Emerald) programme, which is being implemented in six low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda). This paper discusses Emerald's capacity-building approaches and outputs for three target groups in mental health system strengthening: (1) mental health service users and caregivers, (2) service planners and policy-makers, and (3) mental health researchers. When planning the capacity-building activities, the approach taken included a capabilities/skills matrix, needs assessments, a situational analysis, systematic reviews, qualitative interviews and stakeholder meetings, as well as the application of previous theory, evidence and experience. Each of the Emerald LMIC partners was found to have strengths in aspects of mental health system strengthening, which were complementary across the consortium. Furthermore, despite similarities across the countries, capacity-building interventions needed to be tailored to suit the specific needs of individual countries. The capacity-building outputs include three publicly and freely available short courses/workshops in mental health system strengthening for each of the target groups, 27 Masters-level modules (also open access), nine Emerald-linked PhD students, two MSc studentships, mentoring of post-doctoral/mid-level researchers, and ongoing collaboration and dialogue with the three groups. The approach taken by Emerald can provide a potential model for the development of capacity-building activities across the three target groups in LMICs.
Efforts to support the scale-up of integrated mental health care in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) need to focus on building human resource capacity in health system strengthening, as well as in the direct provision of mental health care. In a companion editorial, we describe a range of capacity-building activities that are being implemented by a multi-country research consortium (Emerald: Emerging mental health systems in low- and middle-income countries) for (1) service users and caregivers, (2) service planners and policy-makers and (3) researchers in six LMICs (Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda). In this paper, we focus on the methodology being used to evaluate the impact of capacity-building in these three target groups. We first review the evidence base for approaches to evaluation of capacity-building, highlighting the gaps in this area. We then describe the adaptation of best practice for the Emerald capacity-building evaluation. The resulting mixed method evaluation framework was tailored to each target group and to each country context. We identified a need to expand the evidence base on indicators of successful capacity-building across the different target groups. To address this, we developed an evaluation plan to measure the adequacy and usefulness of quantitative capacity-building indicators when compared with qualitative evaluation. We argue that evaluation needs to be an integral part of capacity-building activities and that expertise needs to be built in methods of evaluation. The Emerald evaluation provides a potential model for capacity-building evaluation across key stakeholder groups and promises to extend understanding of useful indicators of success.
Suicidal behaviour is an under-reported and hidden cause of death in most low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) due to lack of national systematic reporting for cause-specific mortality, high levels of stigma and religious or cultural sanctions. The lack of information on non-fatal suicidal behaviour (ideation, plans and attempts) in LMIC is a major barrier to design and implementation of prevention strategies. This study aims to determine the prevalence of non-fatal suicidal behaviour within community- and health facility-based populations in LMIC.
Twelve-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans and attempts were established through community samples (n = 6689) and primary care attendees (n = 6470) from districts in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, India and Nepal using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview suicidality module. Participants were also screened for depression and alcohol use disorder.
We found that one out of ten persons (10.3%) presenting at primary care facilities reported suicidal ideation within the past year, and 1 out of 45 (2.2%) reported attempting suicide in the same period. The range of suicidal ideation was 3.5–11.1% in community samples and 5.0–14.8% in health facility samples. A higher proportion of facility attendees reported suicidal ideation than community residents (10.3 and 8.1%, respectively). Adults in the South African facilities were most likely to endorse suicidal ideation (14.8%), planning (9.5%) and attempts (7.4%). Risk profiles associated with suicidal behaviour (i.e. being female, younger age, current mental disorders and lower educational and economic status) were highly consistent across countries.
The high prevalence of suicidal ideation in primary care points towards important opportunities to implement suicide risk reduction initiatives. Evidence-supported strategies including screening and treatment of depression in primary care can be implemented through the World Health Organization's mental health Global Action Programme suicide prevention and depression treatment guidelines. Suicidal ideation and behaviours in the community sample will require detection strategies to identify at risks persons not presenting to health facilities.
In low-income countries, care for people with severe mental disorders (SMDs) who manage to access treatment is usually emergency-based, intermittent or narrowly biomedical. The aim of this study was to inform development of a scalable district-level mental health care plan to meet the long-term care needs of people with SMD in rural Ethiopia.
The present study was carried out as formative work for the Programme for Improving Mental health CarE which seeks to develop, implement and evaluate a district level model of integrating mental health care into primary care. Six focus group discussions and 25 in-depth interviews were conducted with service planners, primary care providers, traditional and religious healers, mental health service users, caregivers and community representatives. Framework analysis was used, with findings mapped onto the domains of the Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions (ICCC) framework.
Three main themes were identified. (1) Focused on ‘Restoring the person's life’, including the need for interventions to address basic needs for food, shelter and livelihoods, as well as spiritual recovery and reintegration into society. All respondents considered this to be important, but service users gave particular emphasis to this aspect of care. (2) Engaging with families, addressed the essential role of families, their need for practical and emotional support, and the importance of equipping families to provide a therapeutic environment. (3) Delivering collaborative, long-term care, focused on enhancing accessibility to biomedical mental health care, utilising community-based health workers and volunteers as an untapped resource to support adherence and engagement with services, learning from experience of service models for chronic communicable diseases (HIV and tuberculosis) and integrating the role of traditional and religious healers alongside biomedical care. Biomedical approaches were more strongly endorsed by health workers, with traditional healers, religious leaders and service users more inclined to see medication as but one component of care. The salience of poverty to service planning was cross-cutting.
Stakeholders prioritised interventions to meet basic needs for survival and endorsed a multi-faceted approach to promoting recovery from SMD, including social recovery. However, sole reliance on this over-stretched community to mobilise the necessary resources may not be feasible. An adapted form of the ICCC framework appeared highly applicable to planning an acceptable, feasible and sustainable model of care.
We determined prescribing rates of neuraminidase inhibitors (NIs) for influenza in UK primary care since 2009 in relation to national prescribing guidelines. All NI prescriptions issued during the influenza seasons between October 2010 and May 2013 were extracted from The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a large UK primary-care database. We calculated NI prescribing rates per 100 000 person-weeks (pw) by age group, sex, deprivation level, influenza season and presence of chronic conditions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and used negative binomial regression models to determine the independent association between these variables and NI prescribing. NI prescribing was rare. The prescribing rate was 1·7/100 000 pw (95% CI 1·7–1·8) during influenza-active periods, and 0·1/100 000 (95% CI 0·1–0·1) during non-active periods. Prescribing rates were highest in 25- to 44-year-olds in 2010/2011 and in persons aged ⩾85 years in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. Individuals with chronic conditions had significantly higher prescribing rates than persons without (rate ratio 2·62, 95% CI 2·27–3·03). GPs are more likely to prescribe NIs to high-risk individuals and during influenza active periods, as per national guidelines. We could not assess the proportion of patients with influenza-like illness who were prescribed an NI.
There is limited evidence on the acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions to narrow the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, aims and methods of the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) collaborative research hub. AFFIRM is investigating strategies for narrowing the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa in four areas. First, it is assessing the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions by conducting randomised controlled trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. The AFFIRM Task-sharing for the Care of Severe mental disorders (TaSCS) trial in Ethiopia aims to determine the acceptability, affordability, effectiveness and sustainability of mental health care for people with severe mental disorder delivered by trained and supervised non-specialist, primary health care workers compared with an existing psychiatric nurse-led service. The AFFIRM trial in South Africa aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of a task-sharing counselling intervention for maternal depression, delivered by non-specialist community health workers, and to examine factors influencing the implementation of the intervention and future scale up. Second, AFFIRM is building individual and institutional capacity for intervention research in sub-Saharan Africa by providing fellowship and mentorship programmes for candidates in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Each year five Fellowships are awarded (one to each country) to attend the MPhil in Public Mental Health, a joint postgraduate programme at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. AFFIRM also offers short courses in intervention research, and supports PhD students attached to the trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. Third, AFFIRM is collaborating with other regional National Institute of Mental Health funded hubs in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, by designing and executing shared research projects related to task-sharing and narrowing the treatment gap. Finally, it is establishing a network of collaboration between researchers, non-governmental organisations and government agencies that facilitates the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice. This article describes the developmental process of this multi-site approach, and provides a narrative of challenges and opportunities that have arisen during the early phases. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this work is the nurturing and sustaining of partnerships between African mental health researchers, policy makers, practitioners and international collaborators.
In England, hospital admissions for severe staphylococcal boils and abscesses trebled between 1989 and 2004. We investigated this trend using routine data from primary and secondary care. We used The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a large primary-care database and national data on hospital admissions from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). Time trends in the incidence of primary-care consultations for boils and abscesses were estimated for 1995–2010. HES data were used to calculate age-standardized hospital admission rates for boils, abscesses and cellulitis. The incidence of boil or abscess was 450 [95% confidence interval (CI) 447–452] per 100 000 person-years and increased slightly over the study period (incidence rate ratio 1·005, 95% CI 1·004–1·007). The rate of repeat consultation for a boil or abscess increased from 66 (95% CI 59–73) per 100 000 person-years in 1995 to peak at 97 (95% CI 94–101) per 100 000 person-years in 2006, remaining stable thereafter. Hospital admissions for abscesses, carbuncles, furuncles and cellulitis almost doubled, from 123 admissions per 100 000 in 1998/1999 to 236 admissions per 100 000 in 2010/2011. Rising hospitalization and recurrence rates set against a background of stable community incidence suggests increased disease severity. Patients may be experiencing more severe and recurrent staphylococcal skin disease with limited treatment options.
To develop a basis for building models that can examine the impact of organic food (OF) choices on maternal and offspring health, including identification of factors associated with OF consumption and underlying dietary patterns.
Dietary intake was collected for the preceding month from an FFQ in mid-pregnancy and information on sociodemographic characteristics was collected from telephone interviews during pregnancy. From a question about OF consumption in the FFQ, including six food categories, an OF preference index was calculated. Latent variables that captured the variability in OF choices in relation to dietary intake were defined.
The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), 1996–2002.
Pregnant women from DNBC (n 60 773).
We found that frequent OF use was highly associated with age, occupational status, urbanization, smoking and vegetarianism. By principal components analysis we identified two eating patterns, a ‘Western dietary pattern’ and a ‘Prudent dietary pattern’, that explained 14·2 % of the variability in data. Frequent OF users consumed a more ‘prudent’ diet compared with non-users and had significantly higher intakes of vegetables (+67 %), fibre (+13 %) and n-3 fatty acids (+11 %) and less saturated fat (−8 %).
Frequent OF users seemed to have a healthier lifestyle than non-users. These findings highlight a major challenge in observational studies examining the impact of OF consumption on health due to potentially irremediable confounding factors.