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The influence of pharmaceutical industry (PI) on clinical practice and research in psychiatry has been considered a serious problem. Strict rules and guidelines were developed to regulate the interactions between doctors and PI. However, there is an ongoing debate whether these were thoroughly implemented in practice and internalized by physicians. The objective of our study was to assess the attitudes and behaviors of trainees in psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry toward PI across Europe. Methodologically, a validated questionnaire with additional items was administered to1444 trainees in 20 European countries. The minimum response rate was set at 60%. We found a high variation across countries in number of interactions between trainees and PI representatives; Portugal and Turkey had the highest number of interactions. The majority (59.76%) agreed that interactions with PI representatives have an impact on physicians’ prescribing behavior; whereas only 29.26% and 19.79% agreed interactions with PI representatives and gifts from PI have impact on their own prescribing behavior, respectively. Most of the gifts were considered appropriate by the majority, except tickets to vacation spot and social dinner at a restaurant. Of the sample, 70.76% think they have not been given sufficient training regarding how to interact with PI representatives. Only less than 20% indicated they have guidelines at institutional or national level. In conclusion, there is substantial interaction between trainees and PI across countries. The majority feel inadequately trained regarding professional interaction with PI, and believes they are immune to the influence of PI.
Interactions between the pharmaceutical industry (PI) and psychiatrists have been under scrutiny recently, though there is little empirical evidence on the nature of the relationship and its intensity at psychiatry trainee level. We therefore studied the level of PI interactions and the underlying beliefs and attitudes in a large sample of European psychiatric trainees.
One thousand four hundred and forty-four psychiatric trainees in 20 European countries were assessed cross-sectionally, with a 62-item questionnaire.
The total number of PI interactions in the preceding two months varied between countries, with least interactions in The Netherlands (M (Mean) = 0.92, SD = 1.44, range = 0–12) and most in Portugal (M = 19.06, SD = 17.44, range = 0–100). Trainees were more likely to believe that PI interactions have no impact on their own prescribing behaviour than that of other physicians (M = 3.30, SD = 1.26 vs. M = 2.39, SD = 1.06 on a 5-point Likert scale: 1 “completely disagree” to 5 “completely agree”). Assigning an educational role to the pharmaceutical industry was associated with more interactions and higher gift value (IRR (incidence rate ratio) = 1.21, 95%CI = 1.12–1.30 and OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.02–1.37).
There are frequent interactions between European psychiatric trainees and the PI, with significant variation between countries. We identified several factors affecting this interaction, including attribution of an educational role to the PI. Creating alternative educational opportunities and specific training dedicated to PI interactions may therefore help to reduce the impact of the PI on psychiatric training.
Postgraduate medical trainees experience high rates of burnout, but evidence regarding psychiatric trainees is missing. We aim to determine burnout rates among psychiatric trainees, and identify individual, educational and work-related factors associated with severe burnout.
In an online survey psychiatric trainees from 22 countries were asked to complete the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-GS) and provide information on individual, educational and work-related parameters. Linear mixed models were used to predict the MBI-GS scores, and a generalized linear mixed model to predict severe burnout.
This is the largest study on burnout and training conditions among psychiatric trainees to date. Complete data were obtained from 1980 out of 7625 approached trainees (26%; range 17.8–65.6%). Participants were 31.9 (SD 5.3) years old with 2.8 (SD 1.9) years of training. Severe burnout was found in 726 (36.7%) trainees. The risk was higher for trainees who were younger (P < 0.001), without children (P = 0.010), and had not opted for psychiatry as a first career choice (P = 0.043). After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, years in training and country differences in burnout, severe burnout remained associated with long working hours (P < 0.001), lack of supervision (P < 0.001), and not having regular time to rest (P = 0.001). Main findings were replicated in a sensitivity analysis with countries with response rate above 50%.
Besides previously described risk factors such as working hours and younger age, this is the first evidence of negative influence of lack of supervision and not opting for psychiatry as a first career choice on trainees’ burnout.
Lieder and Griffiths rightly urge that computational cognitive models be constrained by resource usage, but they should go further. The brain's primary function is to regulate resource usage. As a consequence, resource usage should not simply select among algorithmic models of “aspects of cognition.” Rather, “aspects of cognition” should be understood as existing in the service of resource management.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects ~7% of reproductive age women. Although its etiology is unknown, in animals, excess prenatal testosterone (T) exposure induces PCOS-like phenotypes. While measuring fetal T in humans is infeasible, demonstrating in utero androgen exposure using a reliable newborn biomarker, anogenital distance (AGD), would provide evidence for a fetal origin of PCOS and potentially identify girls at risk. Using data from a pregnancy cohort (The Infant Development and Environment Study), we tested the novel hypothesis that infant girls born to women with PCOS have longer AGD, suggesting higher fetal T exposure, than girls born to women without PCOS. During pregnancy, women reported whether they ever had a PCOS diagnosis. After birth, infant girls underwent two AGD measurements: anofourchette distance (AGD-AF) and anoclitoral distance (AGD-AC). We fit adjusted linear regression models to examine the association between maternal PCOS and girls’ AGD. In total, 300 mother–daughter dyads had complete data and 23 mothers reported PCOS. AGD was longer in the daughters of women with a PCOS diagnosis compared with daughters of women with no diagnosis (AGD-AF: β=1.21, P=0.05; AGD-AC: β=1.05, P=0.18). Results were stronger in analyses limited to term births (AGD-AF: β=1.65, P=0.02; AGD-AC: β=1.43, P=0.09). Our study is the first to examine AGD in offspring of women with PCOS. Our results are consistent with findings that women with PCOS have longer AGD and suggest that during PCOS pregnancies, daughters may experience elevated T exposure. Identifying the underlying causes of PCOS may facilitate early identification and intervention for those at risk.
As we enter the era of gravitational wave astronomy, we are beginning to collect observations which will enable us to explore aspects of astrophysics of massive stellar binaries which were previously beyond reach. In this paper we describe COMPAS (Compact Object Mergers: Population Astrophysics and Statistics), a new platform to allow us to deepen our understanding of isolated binary evolution and the formation of gravitational-wave sources. We describe the computational challenges associated with their exploration, and present preliminary results on overcoming them using Gaussian process regression as a simulation emulation technique.
Hendra virus (HeV) was first described in 1994 in an outbreak of acute and highly lethal disease in horses and humans in Australia. Equine cases continue to be diagnosed periodically, yet the predisposing factors for infection remain unclear. We undertook an analysis of equine submissions tested for HeV by the Queensland government veterinary reference laboratory over a 20-year period to identify and investigate any patterns. We found a marked increase in testing from July 2008, primarily reflecting a broadening of the HeV clinical case definition. Peaks in submissions for testing, and visitations to the Government HeV website, were associated with reported equine incidents. Significantly differing between-year HeV detection rates in north and south Queensland suggest a fundamental difference in risk exposure between the two regions. The statistical association between HeV detection and stockhorse type may suggest that husbandry is a more important risk determinant than breed per se. The detection of HeV in horses with neither neurological nor respiratory signs poses a risk management challenge for attending veterinarians and laboratory staff, reinforcing animal health authority recommendations that appropriate risk management strategies be employed for all sick horses, and by anyone handling sick horses or associated biological samples.
X-ray absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD) have been used to study the solid-phase speciation of Zn in urban road dust sediments (RDS) in Manchester, UK. X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) analysis using linear combination modelling suggest that the soluble species Zn(NO3)2·6H2O and ZnCl2 represent 70—83%, and Zn-sorbed goethite 17—30%, of the Zn species present. The presence of goethite is not corroborated by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) modelled first shell scattering Zn—O distances of 2.01—2.03 Å, but this may be due to distortion of the Zn octahedra on the goethite surface, or the existence of Zn-sorbed species with other metal hydrous oxides, as inferred by the EXAFS-modelled second shell Fe and Al scatterers. Analysis by EXAFS also suggests that metallic Zn-Cu-Sn-Pb and Zn-silicate phases are present in the RDS, and this is corroborated by SEM and XRD. Other phases suggested by EXAFS include ZnO, franklinite, Zn-sorbed birnessite and zinc formate. Differences between the XANES and other results suggest that model compounds such as Zn-bearing phyllosilicates and metallic Zn phases may have been missing from the XANES fitting. Long-term low-level exposure to the RDS Zn phases identified may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases.
An outbreak of infections due to multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria took place over a period of approximately 18 months in a renal unit. Strains of Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Citrobacter spp. and Pseudomonas spp. were involved, and a variety of antibiotic resistances was encountered. Closely related plasmids encoding resistance to aztreonam, ceftazidime and piperacillin, possibly derived from an archetypal plasmid of 105 kb were found in the majority of isolates examined. After limiting the use of aztreonam the incidence of new patient isolates of multiple-resistant organisms was greatly reduced. This study demonstrated how molecular studies can contribute to the control of an outbreak situation in a hospital unit by providing an impetus to reduce the use of specific antibiotics.
The Macarthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) have been used widely to document early communicative development. The paper reports on a large community sample of 1,447 children recruited from low, middle and high socioeconomic (SES) areas across metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Regression analyses were conducted to determine the extent to which communicative behaviours reported at 0 ; 8 and 1 ; 0 predicted vocabulary development at 1 ; 0 and 2 ; 0. In support of previous findings with smaller, often less representative samples, gesture and object use at 1 ; 0 were better predictors of 2 ; 0 vocabulary than were gesture and object use at 0 ; 8. At 1 ; 0, children from the lower SES groups were reported to understand more words than children from the higher SES groups, but there were no SES differences for words produced at 1 ; 0 or 2 ; 0. The findings add to our understanding of the variability in the development of early communicative behaviours.
In this article we present the protocol of the Birmingham Registry for Twin Heritability Studies (BiRTHS), which aims to establish a long-term prospective twin registry with twins identified from the antenatal period and subjected to detailed follow-up. We plan to investigate the concordance in anthropo-metrics and early childhood phenotypes between 66 monozygotic and 154 dizygotic twin pairs in the first 2 years of recruitment. In this project we plan to determine the relative contributions of heritability and environment to fetal growth, birth size, growth in infancy and development up to 2 years of age in an ethnically mixed population. Twins will be assessed with the Griffitth's Mental Development Scales, which will enable us to obtain detailed information on development. As maternal depression may have an effect on the twins' neurodevelopment, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale will be used at various stages during pregnancy and after delivery to assess maternal depressive symptoms. The increasing prevalence of obesity in both adults and children has raised concerns about the effect of maternal obesity in pregnancy on fetal growth. The prospective study design gives us the opportunity to obtain data on maternal nutrition (reflected by body mass index) and ante- and postnatal growth and development of twins.