To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
A longstanding issue in the field of nutrition is the potential inaccuracy of methods traditionally used for dietary assessment (i.e. food diaries and food frequency questionnaires). It is possible to overcome the limitations and biases of these techniques by combining them with analytical measurements in human biofluids. Metabolomic technologies are gaining popularity as nutritional tools due to their capacity to measure metabolic responses to external stimuli, such as the ingestion of certain foods. This project performed both LC-MS and 1H-NMR metabolomic profiling on serum samples collected as part of the NICOLA study (Northern Irish Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging) in order to discover novel dietary biomarkers. A dietary validation cohort (NIDAS) was incorporated within NICOLA, involving 45 males and 50 females, aged 50 years and over. Participants provided detailed dietary data (4-day food diary) and blood samples at two time-points, six months apart. Serum samples were processed on two analytical platforms. 1H-NMR spectra were acquired using a Bruker 600 MHz Ascent coupled to a TCI cryoprobe and processed using Bayesil (University of Alberta, Canada). A Waters TQ-S coupled with an Acquity I-class UPLC was used in combination with a targeted commercially available kit (AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit, Biocrates). Mass spectra obtained were processed with MetIDQ and verified using MassLynx (v4.1). Data were tested for normality, and metabolite concentrations were correlated with recorded dietary intake of each food type using SPSS. Additional tests (PCA, PLS-DA, ROC Curves) were performed on MetaboAnalyst 4.0 (University of Alberta, Canada). More than 50 statistically significant (P < 0.05) food-metabolite correlations were detected, 15 of which remained significant after eliminating potential confounding from sex, age and BMI. The strongest correlations were between fruit consumption and acetic acid, and between dairy consumption and certain glycerophospholipids (e.g. LysoPC aa C20:3). Stratifying the cohort by gender yielded further correlations, including PC ae C38:2 (dairy; males), PC aa C34:4 (dairy; females), PC aa C36:4 (dairy; females) and trans-4-Hydroxyproline (meat; males). A number of potential blood-based food biomarkers were detected, many of which are gender-specific, and some are corroborated by previously published studies. However, further validation work is required. For example, biological plausibility needs to be established, and the findings need to be reproduced in other cohorts to demonstrate their applicability in larger and more diverse populations. These results contribute greatly to the ongoing efforts to discover and validate reliable nutritional biomarkers as an objective and unbiased measurement of food intake.
New δ13Ccarb and microfacies data from Hereford–Worcestershire and the West Midlands allow for a detailed examination of variations in the Homerian carbon isotope excursion (Silurian) and depositional environment within the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation of the Midland Platform (Avalonia), UK. These comparisons have been aided by a detailed sequence-stratigraphic and bentonite correlation framework. Microfacies analysis has identified regional differences in relative sea-level change and indicates an overall shallowing of the carbonate platform interior from Hereford–Worcestershire to the West Midlands. Based upon the maximum δ13Ccarb values for the lower and upper peaks of the Homerian carbon isotope excursion (CIE), the shallower depositional setting of the West Midlands is associated with values that are 0.7 ‰ and 0.8 ‰ higher than in Hereford–Worcestershire. At the scale of parasequences the effect of depositional environment upon δ13Ccarb values can also be observed, with a conspicuous offset in the position of the trough in δ13Ccarb values between the peaks of the Homerian CIE. This offset can be accounted for by differences in relative sea-level change and carbonate production rates. While such differences complicate the use of CIEs as a means of high-resolution correlation, and caution against correlations based purely upon the isotopic signature, it is clear that a careful analysis of the depositional environment can account for such differences and thereby improve the use of carbon isotopic curves as a means of correlation.
Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.
The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.
Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Significance of results
The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.
Guidelines for palliative and spiritual care emphasize the importance of screening patients for spiritual suffering. The aim of this review was to synthesize the research evidence of the accuracy of measures used to screen adults for spiritual suffering.
A systematic review of the literature. We searched five scientific databases to identify relevant articles. Two independent reviewers screened, extracted data, and assessed study methodological quality.
We identified five articles that yielded information on 24 spiritual screening measures. Among all identified measures, the two-item Meaning/Joy & Self-Described Struggle has the highest sensitivity (82–87%), and the revised Rush protocol had the highest specificity (81–90%). The methodological quality of all included studies was low.
Significance of Results
While most of the identified spiritual screening measures are brief (comprised 1 to 12 items), few had sufficient accuracy to effectively screen patients for spiritual suffering. We advise clinicians to use their critical appraisal skills and clinical judgment when selecting and using any of the identified measures to screen for spiritual suffering.
In Arabidopsis, seed germination is a biphasic process involving rupture of the seed coat followed by emergence of the radicle through the micropylar endosperm. Embryo expansion results in seed coat rupture and removal of seed coat imposed dormancy with DELLA proteins blocking embryo expansion in the absence of gibberellins. Exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) treatment does not block seed coat rupture but does block radicle emergence. We used this limited effect of exogenous ABA to further investigate the mechanism by which it blocks the onset of germination marked by seed coat rupture. We show that physical nicking of the seed coat results in exogenous ABA treatment blocking both seed coat and endosperm rupture and this block requires the transcription factors ABI3 and ABI5, but not ABI4. Furthermore, we show that the repression of expression of several EXPANSIN genes (EXPA1, EXPA2, EXPA3, EXPA9 and EXPA20) by exogenous ABA requires ABI5. We conclude that ABI5 plays an important role in the ABA-mediated repression of germination through prevention of seed coat rupture and propose that this involves EXPANSIN related control of cell wall loosening.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Gut microbes have a substantial influence on systemic immune function and allergic sensitisation. Manipulation of the gut microbiome through prebiotics may provide a potential strategy to influence the immunopathology of asthma. This study investigated the effects of prebiotic Bimuno-galactooligosaccharide (B-GOS) supplementation on hyperpnoea-induced bronchoconstriction (HIB), a surrogate for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, and airway inflammation. A total of ten adults with asthma and HIB and eight controls without asthma were randomised to receive 5·5 g/d of either B-GOS or placebo for 3 weeks separated by a 2-week washout period. The peak fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) following eucapnic voluntary hyperpnoea (EVH) defined HIB severity. Markers of airway inflammation were measured at baseline and after EVH. Pulmonary function remained unchanged in the control group. In the HIB group, the peak post-EVH fall in FEV1 at day 0 (−880 (sd 480) ml) was unchanged after placebo, but was attenuated by 40 % (−940 (sd 460) v. −570 (sd 310) ml, P=0·004) after B-GOS. In the HIB group, B-GOS reduced baseline chemokine CC ligand 17 (399 (sd 140) v. 323 (sd 144) pg/ml, P=0·005) and TNF-α (2·68 (sd 0·98) v. 2·18 (sd 0·59) pg/ml, P=0·040) and abolished the EVH-induced 29 % increase in TNF-α. Baseline C-reactive protein was reduced following B-GOS in HIB (2·46 (sd 1·14) v. 1·44 (sd 0·41) mg/l, P=0·015) and control (2·16 (sd 1·02) v. 1·47 (sd 0·33) mg/l, P=0·050) groups. Chemokine CC ligand 11 and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide remained unchanged. B-GOS supplementation attenuated airway hyper-responsiveness with concomitant reductions in markers of airway inflammation associated with HIB.
To identify the behavioral determinants—both barriers and enablers—that may impact physician hand hygiene compliance.
A qualitative study involving semistructured key informant interviews with staff physicians and residents.
An urban, 1,100-bed multisite tertiary care Canadian hospital.
A total of 42 staff physicians and residents in internal medicine and surgery.
Semistructured interviews were conducted using an interview guide that was based on the theoretical domains framework (TDF), a behavior change framework comprised of 14 theoretical domains that explain health-related behavior change. Interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic content analysis involving a systematic 3-step approach: coding, generation of specific beliefs, and identification of relevant TDF domains.
Similar determinants were reported by staff physicians and residents and between medicine and surgery. A total of 53 specific beliefs from 9 theoretical domains were identified as relevant to physician hand hygiene compliance. The 9 relevant domains were knowledge; skills; beliefs about capabilities; beliefs about consequences; goals; memory, attention, and decision processes; environmental context and resources; social professional role and identity; and social influences.
We identified several key determinants that physicians believe influence whether and when they practice hand hygiene at work. These beliefs identify potential individual, team, and organization targets for behavior change interventions to improve physician hand hygiene compliance.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1511–1520
Direct social contact interventions are known to reduce mental health stigma. Filmed social contact may be equally effective and have practical and cost advantages.
To compare the effectiveness of a DVD, a live intervention and a lecture control, in reducing stigma, testing the hypotheses that: (a) DVD and live interventions will be equally effective; and (b) the interventions with social contact (DVD/live) will be more effective than the lecture. Cost-effectiveness, process and acceptability are also assessed.
Student nurses were randomised to: (a) watch a DVD of service users/informal carers talking about their experiences, (b) watch a similar live presentation, or (c) attend a lecture. Primary outcomes were changes in attitudes (using the Mental Illness: Clinicians Attitudes Scale, MICA), emotional reactions (using the Emotional Reactions to Mental Illness Scale, ERMIS), intended proximity (using the Reported and Intended Behaviour Scale, RIBS), and knowledge (using the Social Contact Intended Learning Outcomes, SCILO), immediately after the intervention and at 4-month follow-up.
For the 216 participants, there were no differences between the DVD and live groups on MICA, ERMIS or RIBS scores. The DVD group had higher SCILO (knowledge) scores. The combined social contact group (DVD/live) had better MICA and RIBS scores than the lecture group, the latter difference maintained at 4 months. The DVD was the most cost-effective of the interventions, and the live session the most popular.
Our hypotheses were confirmed. This study supports the wider use of filmed social contact interventions to reduce stigma about mental illness.
The formal commissioning of the IRWG occurred at the 1991 Buenos Aires General Assembly, following a Joint Commission meeting at the IAU GA in Baltimore in 1988 that identified the problems with ground-based infrared photometry. The meeting justification, papers, and conclusions, can be found in Milone (1989). In summary, the challenges involved how to explain the failure to achieve the milli-magnitude precision expected of infrared photometry and an apparent 3% limit on system transformability. The proposed solution was to redefine the broadband Johnson system, the passbands of which had proven so unsatisfactory that over time effectively different systems proliferated, although bearing the same “JHKLMNQ” designations; the new system needed to be better positioned and centered in the spectral windows of the Earth's atmosphere, and the variable water vapour content of the atmosphere needed to be measured in real time to better correct for atmospheric extinction.
Agents of opportunity (AO) in academic medical centers (AMC) are defined as unregulated or lightly regulated substances used for medical research or patient care that can be used as “dual purpose” substances by terrorists to inflict damage upon populations. Most of these agents are used routinely throughout AMC either during research or for general clinical practice. To date, the lack of careful regulations for AOs creates uncertain security conditions and increased malicious potential. Using a consensus-based approach, we collected information and opinions from staff working in an AMC and 4 AMC-affiliated hospitals concerning identification of AO, AO attributes, and AMC risk and preparedness, focusing on AO security and dissemination mechanisms and likely hospital response. The goal was to develop a risk profile and framework for AO in the institution. Agents of opportunity in 4 classes were identified and an AO profile was developed, comprising 16 attributes denoting information critical to preparedness for AO misuse. Agents of opportunity found in AMC present a unique and vital gap in public health preparedness. Findings of this project may provide a foundation for a discussion and consensus efforts to determine a nationally accepted risk profile framework for AO. This foundation may further lead to the implementation of appropriate regulatory policies to improve public health preparedness. Agents of opportunity modeling of dissemination properties should be developed to better predict AO risk.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:318-325)
Background: Agents of opportunity (AO) are potentially harmful biological, chemical, radiological, and pharmaceutical substances commonly used for health care delivery and research. AOs are present in all academic medical centers (AMC), creating vulnerability in the health care sector; AO attributes and dissemination methods likely predict risk; and AMCs are inadequately secured against a purposeful AO dissemination, with limited budgets and competing priorities. We explored health care workers' perceptions of AMC security and the impact of those perceptions on AO risk.
Methods: Qualitative methods (survey, interviews, and workshops) were used to collect opinions from staff working in a medical school and 4 AMC-affiliated hospitals concerning AOs and the risk to hospital infrastructure associated with their uncontrolled presence. Secondary to this goal, staff perception concerning security, or opinions about security behaviors of others, were extracted, analyzed, and grouped into themes.
Results: We provide a framework for depicting the interaction of staff behavior and access control engineering, including the tendency of staff to “defeat” inconvenient access controls. In addition, 8 security themes emerged: staff security behavior is a significant source of AO risk; the wide range of opinions about “open” front-door policies among AMC staff illustrates a disparity of perceptions about the need for security; interviewees expressed profound skepticism concerning the effectiveness of front-door access controls; an AO risk assessment requires reconsideration of the security levels historically assigned to areas such as the loading dock and central distribution sites, where many AOs are delivered and may remain unattended for substantial periods of time; researchers' view of AMC security is influenced by the ongoing debate within the scientific community about the wisdom of engaging in bioterrorism research; there was no agreement about which areas of the AMC should be subject to stronger access controls; security personnel play dual roles of security and customer service, creating the negative perception that neither role is done well; and budget was described as an important factor in explaining the state of security controls.
Conclusions: We determined that AMCs seeking to reduce AO risk should assess their institutionally unique AO risks, understand staff security perceptions, and install access controls that are responsive to the staff's tendency to defeat them. The development of AO attribute fact sheets is desirable for AO risk assessment; new funding and administrative or legislative tools to improve AMC security are required; and security practices and methods that are convenient and effective should be engineered.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:291-299)
Objectives: The objective of this study is to profile the health technology assessments (HTAs) produced in Canada and other selected countries and assess their potential to inform policy making about health systems in jurisdictions other than the ones for which they were produced, and to develop and pilot test prototypes for packaging and assessing the relevance of HTAs for health system managers and policy makers.
Methods: We compiled an inventory of all HTAs that were produced by nine HTA agencies between September 2003 and August 2006; coded the title and abstract of each HTA according to the technologies assessed, methods used, and whether or not context-specific actionable messages were provided; developed a prototype for a structured, decision-relevant HTA summary and for a relevance-assessment form; and pilot-tested the prototypes using semistructured telephone interviews with a purposive sample of Canadian healthcare managers and policy makers.
Results: Our review of the 223 HTAs identified that: (i) 44 HTAs addressed health system arrangements (20 percent); (ii) 205 incorporated a systematic review (92 percent), whereas only 12 incorporated a sociopolitical assessment using explicit methods (5 percent); and (iii) 50 contained context-specific actionable messages (22 percent). Our interviews identified significant support for both the general idea of an HTA summary and the prototype's specific elements, but mixed views about using peer assessments of relevance.
Conclusions: Those involved in supporting the use of HTAs in policy making about health systems may wish to produce structured decision-relevant summaries for their systematic review-containing HTAs to increase the prospects for their HTAs being used outside the jurisdiction for which they were produced.
The broad-scale effects of salmon farming on benthic and epibenthic macrofaunal
communities of four Scottish sea lochs (Kishorn, Duich, Hourn and Nevis) with different
aquaculture loadings were investigated based on the first benthic surveys to be undertaken
in these lochs. Significant variation in the benthic communities was identified between
lochs, mainly related to differences in the abundance of echinoderms and polychaetes (the
dominant components of the benthic communities). Variance partitioning using partial
redundancy analysis suggested that approximately 9.6% of this variation could be related
to aquaculture activity in the lochs (as expressed through “production” and previously
modelled “impact” levels), as compared to 20.6% attributable to measured environmental
factors. Epibenthic communities were dominated by echinoderms and arthropods and there was
no significant between-loch variation in epibenthic community composition. No significant
differences were apparent in the benthic or epibenthic community assemblages between
samples taken within 2000 m of a fish farm and those taken beyond this distance. In
general, our results support previous studies suggesting a spatially limited impact of
salmon culture installations on the benthos, although impacts on the aquatic food web on a
wide spatial scale cannot be ruled out and the link between benthic community variation
and aquaculture variables identified through variance partitioning requires further
The formal origin of the IRWG occured at the Buenos Aires General Assembly, following a Joint Commission meeting at the IAU GA in Baltimore in 1988 that identified the problems with ground-based infrared photometry. The situation is summarized in Milone (1989). In short, the challenges involved how to explain the failure to achieve the milli-magnitude precision expected of infrared photometry and an apparent 3% limit on system transformability. The proposed solution was to redefine the broadband Johnson system, the passbands of which had proven so unsatisfactory that over time effectively different systems proliferated, although bearing the same JHKLMNQ designations; the new system needed to be better positioned and centered in the atmospheric windows of the Earth's atmosphere, and the variable water vapour content of the atmosphere needed to be measured in real time to better correct for atmospheric extinction.
In this paper we study the notion of a convex subordination chain in several complex variables. We obtain certain necessary and sufficient conditions for a mapping to be a convex subordination chain, and we give various examples of convex subordination chains on the Euclidean unit ball in
. We also obtain a sufficient condition for injectivity of
is a convex subordination chain over