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Poultry production is an important way of enhancing the livelihoods of rural populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As poultry production in LMICs remains dominated by backyard systems with low inputs and low outputs, considerable yield gaps exist. Intensification can increase poultry productivity, production and income. This process is relatively recent in LMICs compared to high-income countries. The management practices and the constraints faced by smallholders trying to scale-up their production, in the early stages of intensification, are poorly understood and described. We thus investigated the features of the small-scale commercial chicken sector in a rural area distant from major production centres. We surveyed 111 commercial chicken farms in Kenya in 2016. We targeted farms that sell the majority of their production, owning at least 50 chickens, partly or wholly confined and provided with feeds. We developed a typology of semi-intensive farms. Farms were found mainly to raise dual-purpose chickens of local and improved breeds, in association with crops and were not specialized in any single product or market. We identified four types of semi-intensive farms that were characterized based on two groups of variables related to intensification and accessibility: (i) remote, small-scale old farms, with small flocks, growing a lot of their own feed; (ii) medium-scale, old farms with a larger flock and well located in relation to markets and (iii) large-scale recently established farms, with large flocks, (iii-a) well located and buying chicks from third-party providers and (iii-b) remotely located and hatching their own chicks. The semi-intensive farms we surveyed were highly heterogeneous in terms of size, age, accessibility, management, opportunities and challenges. Farm location affects market access and influences the opportunities available to farmers, resulting in further diversity in farm profiles. The future of these semi-intensive farms could be compromised by several factors, including the competition with large-scale intensive farmers and with importations. Our study suggests that intensification trajectories in rural areas of LMICs are potentially complex, diverse and non-linear. A better understanding of intensification trajectories should, however, be based on longitudinal data. This could, in turn, help designing interventions to support small-scale farmers.
The question of how to engage with stakeholders in situations of value conflict to create value that includes a plurality of conflicting stakeholder value perspectives represents one of the crucial current challenges of stakeholder engagement as well as of value creation stakeholder theory. To address this challenge, we conceptualize a discursive sharing process between affected stakeholders that is oriented toward discursive justification involving multiple procedural steps. This sharing process provides procedural guidance for firms and stakeholders to create pluralistic stakeholder value through the discursive accommodation of diverging stakeholder value perspectives. The outcomes of such a discursive value-sharing process range from stakeholder value dissensus to low (agreement to disagree) and increasing levels of stakeholder value congruence (value compromise) to stakeholder value consensus (shared values). Hence, this article contributes to the emerging literature on integrative stakeholder engagement by conceptualizing a procedural framework that is neither overly oriented towards dissensus nor consensus.
To complete missing information on the influence of spiritual and religious advisors as informal providers for mental health problems in Europe.
Recourse to religious practice or belief when coping with mental health problems was evaluated using data from the ESEMED survey. This was a stratified, multistage, clustered-area probability sample survey of mental health carried out in six European countries which included 8796 subjects. Between countries differences in sociodemographic characteristics, religious affiliation, and prevalence of mental disorders and management of mental disorders were evaluated.
Religion appears to play a limited role in coping with mental health problems in Europe. Only 7.9% of individuals seeking help for such problems turned to a religious advisor. This proportion differed between countries from 13% in Italy, 12.5% in Germany, 10.5% in the Netherlands, 5.8% in France, 4.7% in Belgium to 4% in Spain. In addition, seeking help exclusively from religion was reported by only 1.3% of subjects. Practicing religion at least once a week and considering religion as important in daily life were predictors of using religion versus conventional health care only. Use of religion was not influenced by gender and age. Non-Christian respondents and individuals with alcohol disorders were more likely to use religion. In Spain, the use of religion is much lower than average.
Unlike the situation in the United States, organised religion does not provide alternative informal mental health care in Europe. At best, it could be considered as an adjunct to conventional care.
Compassion and self-compassion can be protective factors against mental health difficulties, in particular depression. The cultivation of the compassionate self, associated with a range of practices such as slow and deeper breathing, compassionate voice tones and facial expressions, and compassionate focusing, is central to compassion focused therapy (Gilbert, 2010). However, no study has examined the processes of change that mediate the impact of compassionate self-cultivation practices on depressive symptoms.
The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of a brief compassionate self training (CST) intervention on depressive symptoms, and explore the psychological processes that mediate the change at post intervention.
Using a longitudinal design, participants (general population and college students) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Compassionate self training (n = 56) and wait-list control (n = 37). Participants in the CST condition were instructed to practice CST exercises for 15 minutes everyday or in moments of stress during two weeks. Self-report measures of depression, self-criticism, shame and compassion, were completed at pre and post in both conditions.
Results showed that, at post-intervention, participants in the CST condition decreased depression, self-criticism and shame, and increased self-compassion and openness to receive compassion from others. Mediation analyses revealed that changes in depression from pre to post intervention were mediated by decreases in self-criticism and shame, and increases in self-compassion and openness to the compassion from others.
These findings support the efficacy of compassionate self training components on lessening depressive symptoms and promoting mental health.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A classic example of microbiome function is its role in nutrient assimilation in both plants and animals, but other less obvious roles are becoming more apparent, particularly in terms of driving infectious and non-infectious disease outcomes and influencing host behaviour. However, numerous biotic and abiotic factors influence the composition of these communities, and host microbiomes can be susceptible to environmental change. How microbial communities will be altered by, and mitigate, the rapid environmental change we can expect in the next few decades remain to be seen. That said, given the enormous range of functional diversity conferred by microbes, there is currently something of a revolution in microbial bioengineering and biotechnology in order to address real-world problems including human and wildlife disease and crop and biofuel production. All of these concepts are explored in further detail throughout the book.
The Asian elephant Elephas maximus is at risk of extinction as a result of anthropogenic pressures, and remaining populations are often small and fragmented remnants, occupying a fraction of the species' former range. Once widely distributed across China, only a maximum of 245 elephants are estimated to survive across seven small populations. We assessed the Asian elephant population in Nangunhe National Nature Reserve in Lincang Prefecture, China, using camera traps during May–July 2017, to estimate the population size and structure of this genetically important population. Although detection probability was low (0.31), we estimated a total population size of c. 20 individuals, and an effective density of 0.39 elephants per km2. Social structure indicated a strong sex ratio bias towards females, with only one adult male detected within the population. Most of the elephants associated as one herd but three adult females remained separate from the herd throughout the trapping period. These results highlight the fragility of remnant elephant populations such as Nangunhe and we suggest options such as a managed metapopulation approach for their continued survival in China and more widely.
Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools used to develop continuous predictions of species occurrence. ‘Integrated SDMs’ (ISDMs) are an elaboration of this approach with potential advantages that allow for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only data and site-occupancy data from planned surveys. These models also account for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modelling framework that separately estimates the species–environment response and detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. Despite this potential importance, ISDMs remain largely untested under a variety of scenarios. We performed an exploration of key modelling decisions and assumptions on an ISDM using the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) as a test species. We found that site area had the strongest effect on the magnitude of population estimates and underlying intensity surface and was driven by estimates of model intercepts. Selecting a site area that accounted for the individual movements of the species within an average home range led to population estimates that coincided with expert estimates. ISDMs that do not account for the individual movements of species will likely lead to less accurate estimates of species intensity (number of individuals per unit area) and thus overall population estimates. This bias could be severe and highly detrimental to conservation actions if uninformed ISDMs are used to estimate global populations of threatened and data-deficient species, particularly those that lack natural history and movement information. However, the ISDM was consistently the most accurate model compared to other approaches, which demonstrates the importance of this new modelling framework and the ability to combine opportunistic data with systematic survey data. Thus, we recommend researchers use ISDMs with conservative movement information when estimating population sizes of rare and data-deficient species. ISDMs could be improved by using a similar parameterization to spatial capture–recapture models that explicitly incorporate animal movement as a model parameter, which would further remove the need for spatial subsampling prior to implementation.
The partition of the total genetic variance into its additive and non-additive components can differ from trait to trait, and between purebred and crossbred populations. A quantification of these genetic variance components will determine the extent to which it would be of interest to account for dominance in genomic evaluations or to establish mate allocation strategies along different populations and traits. This study aims at assessing the contribution of the additive and dominance genomic variances to the phenotype expression of several purebred Piétrain and crossbred (Piétrain × Large White) pig performances. A total of 636 purebred and 720 crossbred male piglets were phenotyped for 22 traits that can be classified into six groups of traits: growth rate and feed efficiency, carcass composition, meat quality, behaviour, boar taint and puberty. Additive and dominance variances estimated in univariate genotypic models, including additive and dominance genotypic effects, and a genomic inbreeding covariate allowed to retrieve the additive and dominance single nucleotide polymorphism variances for purebred and crossbred performances. These estimated variances were used, together with the allelic frequencies of the parental populations, to obtain additive and dominance variances in terms of genetic breeding values and dominance deviations. Estimates of the Piétrain and Large White allelic contributions to the crossbred variance were of about the same magnitude in all the traits. Estimates of additive genetic variances were similar regardless of the inclusion of dominance. Some traits showed relevant amount of dominance genetic variance with respect to phenotypic variance in both populations (i.e. growth rate 8%, feed conversion ratio 9% to 12%, backfat thickness 14% to 12%, purebreds-crossbreds). Other traits showed higher amount in crossbreds (i.e. ham cut 8% to 13%, loin 7% to 16%, pH semimembranosus 13% to 18%, pH longissimus dorsi 9% to 14%, androstenone 5% to 13% and estradiol 6% to 11%, purebreds-crossbreds). It was not encountered a clear common pattern of dominance expression between groups of analysed traits and between populations. These estimates give initial hints regarding which traits could benefit from accounting for dominance for example to improve genomic estimated breeding value accuracy in genetic evaluations or to boost the total genetic value of progeny by means of assortative mating.
Objectives: Research has shown that analyzing intrusion errors generated on verbal learning and memory measures is helpful for distinguishing between the memory disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurological disorders, including Huntington’s disease (HD). Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that certain clinical populations may be prone to exhibit different types of intrusion errors. Methods: We examined the prevalence of two new California Verbal Learning Test-3 (CVLT-3) intrusion subtypes – across-trial novel intrusions and across/within trial repeated intrusions – in individuals with AD or HD. We hypothesized that the encoding/storage impairment associated with medial-temporal involvement in AD would result in a greater number of novel intrusions on the delayed recall trials of the CVLT-3, whereas the executive dysfunction associated with subcortical-frontal involvement in HD would result in a greater number of repeated intrusions across trials. Results: The AD group generated significantly more across-trial novel intrusions than across/within trial repeated intrusions on the delayed cued-recall trials, whereas the HD group showed the opposite pattern on the delayed free-recall trials. Conclusions: These new intrusion subtypes, combined with traditional memory analyses (e.g., recall versus recognition performance), promise to enhance our ability to distinguish between the memory disorders associated with primarily medial-temporal versus subcortical-frontal involvement.
Surgery for CHD has been slow to develop in parts of the former Soviet Union. The impact of an 8-year surgical assistance programme between an emerging centre and a multi-disciplinary international team that comprised healthcare professionals from developed cardiac programmes is analysed and presented.
Material and methods
The international paediatric assistance programme included five main components – intermittent clinical visits to the site annually, medical education, biomedical engineering support, nurse empowerment, and team-based practice development. Data were analysed from visiting teams and local databases before and since commencement of assistance in 2007 (era A: 2000–2007; era B: 2008–2015). The following variables were compared between periods: annual case volume, operative mortality, case complexity based on Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS-1), and RACHS-adjusted standardised mortality ratio.
A total of 154 RACHS-classifiable operations were performed during era A, with a mean annual case volume by local surgeons of 19.3 at 95% confidence interval 14.3–24.2, with an operative mortality of 4.6% and a standardised mortality ratio of 2.1. In era B, surgical volume increased to a mean of 103.1 annual cases (95% confidence interval 69.1–137.2, p<0.0001). There was a non-significant (p=0.84) increase in operative mortality (5.7%), but a decrease in standardised mortality ratio (1.2) owing to an increase in case complexity. In era B, the proportion of local surgeon-led surgeries during visits from the international team increased from 0% (0/27) in 2008 to 98% (58/59) in the final year of analysis.
The model of assistance described in this report led to improved adjusted mortality, increased case volume, complexity, and independent operating skills.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
In product design engineering (PDE), ideation involves the generation of technical behaviours and physical structures to address specific functional requirements. This differs from generic creative ideation tasks, which emphasise functional and technical considerations less. To advance knowledge about the neural basis of PDE ideation, we present the first fMRI study on professional product design engineers practising in industry. We aimed to explore brain activation during ideation, and compare activation in open-ended and constrained tasks. Imagery manipulation tasks were contrasted with ideation tasks in a sample of 29 PDE professionals. The key findings were: (1) PDE ideation is associated with greater activity in left cingulate gyrus; (2) there were no significant differences between open-ended and constrained tasks; and (3) a preliminary association with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus was also observed. The results are consistent with existing fMRI work on generic creative ideation, suggesting that PDE ideation may share a number of similarities at the neural level. Future work includes: functional connectivity analysis of open-ended and constrained ideation to further investigate potential differences; investigating the effects of aspects of design expertise/training on processing; and the use of novelty measures directly linked to the designer’s internal processing in fMRI analysis.
Objectives: The third edition of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-3) includes a new index termed List A versus Novel/Unrelated recognition discriminability (RD) on the Yes/No Recognition trial. Whereas the Total RD index incorporates false positive (FP) errors associated with all distractors (including List B and semantically related items), the new List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index incorporates only FP errors associated with novel, semantically unrelated distractors. Thus, in minimizing levels of source and semantic interference, the List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index may yield purer assessments of yes/no recognition memory independent of vulnerability to source memory difficulties or semantic confusion, both of which are often seen in individuals with primarily frontal-system dysfunction (e.g., early Huntington’s disease [HD]). Methods: We compared the performance of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and HD in mild and moderate stages of dementia on CVLT-3 indices of Total RD and List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD. Results: Although AD and HD subgroups exhibited deficits on both RD indices relative to healthy comparison groups, those with HD generally outperformed those with AD, and group differences were more robust on List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD than on Total RD. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the clinical utility of the new CVLT-3 List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index, which (a) maximally assesses yes/no recognition memory independent of source and semantic interference; and (b) provides a greater differentiation between individuals whose memory disorder is primarily at the encoding/storage level (e.g., as in AD) versus at the retrieval level (e.g., as in early HD). (JINS, 2018, 24, 833–841)
JC virus is the etiological agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a white matter demyelinating disease that mostly affects immunocompromised patients. JC virus can also infect neurons and meningeal cells and cause encephalitis, meningitis and granule cell neuronopathy. We report a patient with JC virus granule cell neuronopathy, without concomitant progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, presenting as inaugural acquired immune deficiency syndrome-related illness. This patient’s human immunodeficiency virus infection remained undiagnosed for several months after neurological symptoms onset. We review JC virus pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, treatment and prognosis, and emphasize the importance of considering human immunodeficiency virus infection and related opportunistic infections in the differential diagnosis of new-onset isolated cerebellar disease.
The importance of parasites as a selective force in host evolution is a topic of current interest. However, short-term ecological studies of host–parasite systems, on which such studies are usually based, provide only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We report here on four surveys, carried out over a period of 12 years, of helminths of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus), the numerically dominant rodents inhabiting dry montane wadis in the Sinai Peninsula. With host age (age-dependent effects on prevalence and abundance were prominent) and sex (female bias in abundance in helminth diversity and in several taxa including Cestoda) taken into consideration, we focus on the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. We show that site of capture is the major determinant of prevalence and abundance of species (and higher taxa) contributing to helminth community structure, the only exceptions being Streptopharaus spp. and Dentostomella kuntzi. We provide evidence that most (notably the Spiruroidea, Protospirura muricola, Mastophorus muris and Gongylonema aegypti, but with exceptions among the Oxyuroidae, e.g. Syphacia minuta), show elements of temporal-site stability, with a rank order of measures among sites remaining similar over successive surveys. Hence, there are some elements of predictability in these systems.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
The impact of a deep-water plunging breaker on a finite height two-dimensional structure with a vertical front face is studied experimentally. The structure is located at a fixed horizontal position relative to a wave maker and the structure’s bottom surface is located at a range of vertical positions close to the undisturbed water surface. Measurements of the water surface profile history and the pressure distribution on the front surface of the structure are performed. As the vertical position,
axis is positive up and
is the mean water level), of the structure’s bottom surface is varied from one experimental run to another, the water surface evolution during impact can be categorized into three classes of behaviour. In class I, with
in a range of values near
is the nominal wavelength of the breaker, the behaviour of the water surface is similar to the flip-through phenomena first described in studies with shallow water and a structure mounted on the sea bed. In the present work, it is found that the water surface between the front face of the structure and the wave crest is well fitted by arcs of circles with a decreasing radius and downward moving centre as the impact proceeds. A spatially and temporally localized high-pressure region was found on the impact surface of the structure and existing theory is used to explore the physics of this phenomenon. In class II, with
in a range of values near the mean water level, the bottom of the structure exits and re-enters the water phase at least once during the impact process. These air–water transitions generate large-amplitude ripple packets that propagate to the wave crest and modify its behaviour significantly. At
, all sensors submerged during the impact record a nearly in-phase high-frequency pressure oscillation indicating possible air entrainment. In class III, with
in a range of values near
, the bottom of the structure remains in air before the main crest hits the bottom corner of the structure. The subsequent free surface behaviour is strongly influenced by the instantaneous momentum of the local flow just before impact and the highest wall pressures of all experimental conditions are found.
Self-criticism is a ubiquitous feature of psychopathology and can be
combatted by increasing levels of self-compassion. However, some patients
are resistant to self-compassion.
To investigate whether the effects of self-identification with virtual
bodies within immersive virtual reality could be exploited to increase
self-compassion in patients with depression.
We developed an 8-minute scenario in which 15 patients practised
delivering compassion in one virtual body and then experienced receiving
it from themselves in another virtual body.
In an open trial, three repetitions of this scenario led to significant
reductions in depression severity and self-criticism, as well as to a
significant increase in self-compassion, from baseline to 4-week
follow-up. Four patients showed clinically significant improvement.
The results indicate that interventions using immersive virtual reality
may have considerable clinical potential and that further development of
these methods preparatory to a controlled trial is now warranted.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia presentation to the emergency department (ED) and frequently results in admission to the hospital. Although rarely life-threatening and not usually an emergent condition, AF places a large burden on our health-care system. The objective of this study was to describe the practices of ED physicians in the management of AF in a large urban Canadian city.
From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010, patients with a primary diagnosis of AF were identified across 10 EDs in Toronto, Canada (N=2,609). Fifty patients were selected at random from each hospital for a detailed chart review (n=500).
Two hundred thirty-two patients (46%) received rate control, and 129 (26%) received rhythm control with the remainder (28%) receiving neither therapy. Sixty-seven percent of patients were discharged home. Most patients (79%) were symptomatic on arrival; however, only a minority of these (31%) received rhythm control. Factors that were associated with rhythm control included younger age, duration of palpitations ≤ 48 hours, a lower CHADS2 score, and the absence of left ventricular dysfunction.
Our data suggest a wide range of practice amongst ED physicians treating patients presenting to the ED with a primary diagnosis of AF. A randomized trial is needed to better understand the optimal management strategy in this patient population and setting.