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Bipolar disorder is a chronic and severe mental health disorder. Early stratification of individuals into subgroups based on age at onset (AAO) has the potential to inform diagnosis and early intervention. Yet, the psychosocial predictors associated with AAO are unknown.
We aim to identify psychosocial factors associated with bipolar disorder AAO.
Using data from the Bipolar Disorder Research Network UK, we employed least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression to identify psychosocial factors associated with bipolar disorder AAO. Twenty-eight factors were entered into our model, with AAO as our outcome measure.
We included 1022 participants with bipolar disorder (μ = 23.0, s.d. ± 9.86) in our model. Six variables predicted an earlier AAO: childhood abuse (β = −0.2855), regular cannabis use in the year before onset (β = −0.2765), death of a close family friend or relative in the 6 months before onset (β = −0.2435), family history of suicide (β = −0.1385), schizotypal personality traits (β = −0.1055) and irritable temperament (β = −0.0685). Five predicted a later AAO: the average number of alcohol units consumed per week in the year before onset (β = 0.1385); birth of a child in the 6 months before onset (β = 0.2755); death of parent, partner, child or sibling in the 6 months before onset (β = 0.3125); seeking work without success for 1 month or more in the 6 months before onset (β = 0.3505) and a major financial crisis in the 6 months before onset (β = 0.4575).
The identified predictor variables have the potential to help stratify high-risk individuals into likely AAO groups, to inform treatment provision and early intervention.
Psychiatric mother and baby units (MBUs) are recommended for severe perinatal mental illness, but effectiveness compared with other forms of acute care remains unknown.
We hypothesised that women admitted to MBUs would be less likely to be readmitted to acute care in the 12 months following discharge, compared with women admitted to non-MBU acute care (generic psychiatric wards or crisis resolution teams (CRTs)).
Quasi-experimental cohort study of women accessing acute psychiatric care up to 1 year postpartum in 42 healthcare organisations across England and Wales. Primary outcome was readmission within 12 months post-discharge. Propensity scores were used to account for systematic differences between MBU and non-MBU participants. Secondary outcomes included assessment of cost-effectiveness, experience of services, unmet needs, perceived bonding, observed mother–infant interaction quality and safeguarding outcome.
Of 279 women, 108 (39%) received MBU care, 62 (22%) generic ward care and 109 (39%) CRT care only. The MBU group (n = 105) had similar readmission rates to the non-MBU group (n = 158) (aOR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.86–1.04, P = 0.29; an absolute difference of −5%, 95% CI −14 to 4%). Service satisfaction was significantly higher among women accessing MBUs compared with non-MBUs; no significant differences were observed for any other secondary outcomes.
We found no significant differences in rates of readmission, but MBU advantage might have been masked by residual confounders; readmission will also depend on quality of care after discharge and type of illness. Future studies should attempt to identify the effective ingredients of specialist perinatal in-patient and community care to improve outcomes.
There is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected mental health, but most studies have been conducted in the general population.
To identify factors associated with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness.
Participants (N = 2869, 78% women, ages 18–94 years) from a UK cohort (the National Centre for Mental Health) with a history of mental illness completed a cross-sectional online survey in June to August 2020. Mental health assessments were the GAD-7 (anxiety), PHQ-9 (depression) and WHO-5 (well-being) questionnaires, and a self-report question on whether their mental health had changed during the pandemic. Regressions examined associations between mental health outcomes and hypothesised risk factors. Secondary analyses examined associations between specific mental health diagnoses and mental health.
A total of 60% of participants reported that mental health had worsened during the pandemic. Younger age, difficulty accessing mental health services, low income, income affected by COVID-19, worry about COVID-19, reduced sleep and increased alcohol/drug use were associated with increased depression and anxiety symptoms and reduced well-being. Feeling socially supported by friends/family/services was associated with better mental health and well-being. Participants with a history of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorder were more likely to report that mental health had worsened during the pandemic than individuals without a history of these diagnoses.
We identified factors associated with worse mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness, in addition to specific groups potentially at elevated risk of poor mental health during the pandemic.
There are many structural problems facing the UK at present, from a weakened National Health Service to deeply ingrained inequality. These challenges extend through society to clinical practice and have an impact on current mental health research, which was in a perilous state even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. In this editorial, a group of psychiatric researchers who currently sit on the Academic Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and represent the breadth of research in mental health from across the UK discuss the challenges faced in academic mental health research. They reflect on the need for additional investment in the specialty and ask whether this is a turning point for the future of mental health research.
It is estimated that a third of people in the United Kingdom with signs of dementia are living without a formal diagnosis. In Wales, the proportion is nearly half. Some explanations for the gap between prevalence of dementia and number of diagnoses include living with a long-term partner/spouse and systemic barriers to diagnosis. This study recruited participants from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies-Wales (CFAS-Wales) cohort, randomly selected from people aged over 65 living in two areas of Wales, who met study criteria for a diagnosis of dementia and did not have a record of a formal diagnosis in general practice records. We aimed to understand more about the contexts and circumstances of people who live with and cope with cognitive difficulties without having a formal diagnosis of dementia. We conducted qualitative interviews with six participants and their spouses, and additionally with four family members of three invited people who were unable to take part. Themes were generated using thematic analysis. We present the argument that there is an adaptive response to low service levels and a complex interaction between the expectations of levels of service, perceptions of the legitimacy of cognitive problems and the right to make demands on services. This paper concludes that more could be done to address barriers to diagnosis and treatment services for those living with symptoms of dementia, but that the value placed on diagnosis by some individuals might be lower than anticipated by government policy.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
The pharmacological management of women with bipolar disorder in the perinatal period is challenging. This population has a high recurrence rate, but some medications can be a concern in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Little is known about prescribing practices in perinatal services, and the impact of medication on recurrence rates.
The aims of this study are: 1) to describe the use of medication in women with bipolar disorder in the perinatal period and 2) to evaluate the impact of medication on the rate of postpartum recurrence.
Clinical data were collected from pregnant women with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the nine participating centres in the UK and who were not experiencing an episode of illness entering the postpartum period. Using a proforma, data were collected for the period between conception and three months postpartum: sociodemographic, reproductive, the severity of illness, medication and recurrence.
Data were analysed for association using χ2 tests and logistic regression.
In this sample of 167 women, 91 (55%) were taking medication at delivery: 62 (37%) antipsychotics, 41 (25%) antidepressants, and 25 (15%) mood stabilisers. In 12 cases medication was reduced before delivery. Of those who were taking medication at delivery six decreased of stopped after delivery and one increased the dose. 42% of women in this sample experienced a recurrence, with 30% of the sample experiencing a manic/psychotic episode. There was no significant association between taking medication and recurrence χ 2(1) = 0.07, p = 0.79. There continued to be no association in a multivariable analysis when adjusted for parity, severity (previous admissions, age at first treatment, bipolar subtype), type of medication during pregnancy and immediate postpartum changes aOR 0.33 95%CI [0.03; 3.40], p = 0.35.
A high number of women with bipolar disorder are taking medication before delivery and in the majority, antipsychotics are prescribed. The postnatal recurrence rate in both medicated and unmedicated women is high. These results are in line with existing literature. Further work is needed in larger samples to provide clinical guidance for women and their clinicians.
Managing risk is central to clinical care, yet most research focuses on patient perception, as opposed to how risk is enacted within the clinical setting by healthcare professionals.
To explore how surgical risk is perceived, encountered, and managed by congenital cardiac surgeons.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 congenital cardiac surgeons representing every unit across England and Wales. All interviews were transcribed verbatim, with analysis based on the constant comparative approach.
Three themes were identified, reflecting the interactions between personal, institutional, and political context in which risk is encountered and managed. First, “communicating risk” highlights the complexity and variability in methods employed by surgeons to balance legal/moral obligations with parental need and expectations. Universally, surgeons described the need for flexibility in their approach in order to meet the needs of individual patients. Second, “scrutiny and accountability” captures the spectrum of opinion arising from the binary nature of the outcomes collated and the way in which they are perceived to be interpreted. Third, “nature of the job” highlights the personal and professional implications of conveying and managing risk and the impact of recent policy changes on the way this is enacted.
Variations in approaches to communicating risk demonstrate a lack of consensus, compounded by insufficient evidence to determine or monitor a “best-care” approach. With current surgical outcomes suggesting little room for increasing survival rates, future care needs should shift to the “soft skills” in order to continue to drive improvements in parental and patient experience.
Impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours are associated with a variety of mental disorders. Latent phenotyping indicates the expression of impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours is predominantly governed by a transdiagnostic ‘disinhibition’ phenotype. In a cohort of 117 individuals, recruited as part of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN), we examined how brain functional connectome and network properties relate to disinhibition. Reduced functional connectivity within a subnetwork of frontal (especially right inferior frontal gyrus), occipital and parietal regions was linked to disinhibition. Findings provide insights into neurobiological pathways underlying the emergence of impulsive and compulsive disorders.
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is prevalent among adolescents and research is needed to clarify the mechanisms which contribute to the behavior. Here, the authors relate behavioral neurocognitive measures of impulsivity and compulsivity to repetitive and sporadic NSSI in a community sample of adolescents.
Computerized laboratory tasks (Affective Go/No-Go, Cambridge Gambling Task, and Probabilistic Reversal Task) were used to evaluate cognitive performance. Participants were adolescents aged 15 to 17 with (n = 50) and without (n = 190) NSSI history, sampled from the ROOTS project which recruited adolescents from secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, UK. NSSI was categorized as sporadic (1-3 instances per year) or repetitive (4 or more instances per year). Analyses were carried out in a series of linear and negative binomial regressions, controlling for age, gender, intelligence, and recent depressive symptoms.
Adolescents with lifetime NSSI, and repetitive NSSI specifically, made significantly more perseverative errors on the Probabilistic Reversal Task and exhibited significantly lower quality of decision making on the Cambridge Gambling Task compared to no-NSSI controls. Those with sporadic NSSI did not significantly differ from no-NSSI controls on task performance. NSSI was not associated with behavioral measures of impulsivity.
Repetitive NSSI is associated with increased behavioral compulsivity and disadvantageous decision making, but not with behavioral impulsivity. Future research should continue to investigate how neurocognitive phenotypes contribute to the onset and maintenance of NSSI, and determine whether compulsivity and addictive features of NSSI are potential targets for treatment.
Public reporting of clinical performance is increasingly used in many countries to improve quality and enhance accountability of the health system. The assumption is that greater transparency will stimulate improvements by clinicians in response to peer pressure, patient choice or competition. The international diffusion of public reporting might suggest greater similarity between health systems. Alternatively, national and local contexts (including health system imperatives, professional power and organisational culture) might continue to shape its form and impact, implying continued divergence. The paper considers public reporting in the USA and England through the lens of Scott's ‘pillars’ institutional framework. The USA was arguably the first country to adopt public reporting systematically in the late 1980s. England is a more recent adopter; it is now being widely adopted through the National Health Service (NHS). Drawing on qualitative data from California and England, this paper compares the behavioural and policy responses to public reporting by health system stakeholders at micro, meso and macro levels and through the intersection of ideas, interests, institutions and individuals through. The interplay between the regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive pillars helps explain the observed patterns of on-going divergence.
Individuals with schizophrenia are at higher risk of physical illnesses, which are a major contributor to their 20-year reduced life expectancy. It is currently unknown what causes the increased risk of physical illness in schizophrenia.
To link genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia to anonymised National Health Service (NHS) records. To assess (a) rates of physical illness in those with schizophrenia, and (b) whether physical illness in schizophrenia is associated with genetic liability.
We linked genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia participants, n = 896) to anonymised NHS records held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank. Physical illnesses were defined from the General Practice Database and Patient Episode Database for Wales. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was indexed by (a) rare copy number variants (CNVs), and (b) polygenic risk scores.
Individuals with schizophrenia in SAIL had increased rates of epilepsy (standardised rate ratio (SRR) = 5.34), intellectual disability (SRR = 3.11), type 2 diabetes (SRR = 2.45), congenital disorders (SRR = 1.77), ischaemic heart disease (SRR = 1.57) and smoking (SRR = 1.44) in comparison with the general SAIL population. In those with schizophrenia, carrier status for schizophrenia-associated CNVs and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated CNVs was associated with height (P = 0.015–0.017), with carriers being 7.5–7.7 cm shorter than non-carriers. We did not find evidence that the increased rates of poor physical health outcomes in schizophrenia were associated with genetic liability for the disorder.
This study demonstrates the value of and potential for linking genetic data from clinically ascertained research studies to anonymised health records. The increased risk for physical illness in schizophrenia is not caused by genetic liability for the disorder.
Rare's 1997 game GoldenEye 007 redefined the first-person shooter genre not only through its mission-based gameplay, improved enemy AI, and architecturally believable level designs, but also how it combined these features to create an internally consistent, believable Bond experience. When the game was remade in 2010, new developers Eurocom had to negotiate intellectual property restrictions and new genre developments to create a game that was both faithful to the beloved original and successful on its own terms. We explore the relationship between these games via the rubrics of adaptive fidelity (how faithfully each game operates as an adaptation of the GoldenEye film) and fictional coherence (how well their own components collaboratively encourage role-play as the character of Bond).
Keywords: first-person shooter; adaptation; GoldenEye 007; role-play; transmedia; James Bond
In 1995, Nintendo approached videogame development company Rare, Ltd. about designing a game based on the then in-production James Bond film GoldenEye (UK/USA: Martin Campbell, 1995) as a platform-exclusive title for their Nintendo 64 console. While the resulting game, GoldenEye 007 (1997), first appeared to be a routine production, comparable to releasing action figures or other merchandise to accompany a movie release, it would ultimately become a surprise critical and commercial success and a landmark both of film-to-videogame adaptation and of the emerging first-person shooter genre. While its multiplayer mode created the biggest stir, its single-player levels are remembered today not only for their innovative mission objectives, enemy behavior, and level design, but for the way these features worked to create an internally consistent, believable Bond experience.
In 2010, another videogame adaptation of GoldenEye appeared, this time developed by Eurocom for the Nintendo Wii. The motivations behind this re-adaptation have very little to do with any lingering popularity for the then fifteen-year old Pierce Brosnan vehicle—instead, it had been the enduring, nostalgia-enriched reputation of the original game that prompted the return of this particular storyline from the Bond canon. A curious double-adaptation, the 2010 game serves as a case study in the adaptation and mutation of intellectual property, as well as the development of the first-person shooter genre, particularly as a medium for storytelling.
The principles of the modern foundational economy and its role in renewing citizenship and informing public policy are explored for the first time in this instructive collection. Challenging mainstream social and economic thinking, it shows how foundational economy experiments at different scales can foster radical social innovation through collective, rather than private, consumption. An interdisciplinary group of respected European academics provide case studies of initiatives and interventions around policy cornerstones including housing, food supply and water and waste management. They build a judicious evidence base of the growing relevance of foundational economic thinking and its potential to provide a new political and social outlook on civil society and social justice.
The act of doing policy to or imposing policies on citizens is the cardinal sin of policy practice. As the chapters in this volume have illustrated, to avoid this sin the last half century has witnessed a great experiment that has celebrated and promoted neoliberal principles with the ideas of individual freedom and the sovereign consumer citizen at their core, the great deception being that consumer-citizens are free to choose, don't have policies imposed on them and are free from the stifling confines of bureaucratic states. As the chapters have shown, this is by and large a failed experiment but, despite the economic crisis, the laboratory is still open for business. As processes of financialization have invaded increasing aspects of daily life, the evidence from this volume clearly demonstrates that the effect has been to constrain the autonomy of individuals and weaken the ties of community and solidarity. The loss of collective voice has not been counterbalanced by a stronger individual choice. Moreover, the idea of citizenship has been distorted and used against citizens as large corporations have been able to enjoy the rights of citizenship while evading their duties.
In this concluding chapter we focus on the relationship between the foundational economy and new emerging forms of citizenship. Our starting point is the argument that foundational thinking is necessarily underpinned by the fostering of a new and universalistic model of citizenship, a model that views citizenship as more than a status that brings with it a bundle of rights that one possesses qua citizen, but as something that is also a dynamic part of daily life (Barbera et al, 2018). As a number of the contributors to this volume suggest, this perspective moves beyond citizenship as a collection of rights and responsibilities to emphasize the active and social nature of citizenship where people continually work on, engage with, dispute and argue over their rights and duties. Of course, this is easier said than done, and there is a danger of underestimating the depth of the structural and economic crisis and its effects on the capacities of individual citizens. Moreover, this perspective risks converging with the idea of ‘caring liberalism’ (Jessop et al, 2013: 111) and concentrating on the goal of individual ‘activation’ in terms of self-entrepreneurship and human capital as the main, if not the only, horizon for people's wellbeing.