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This study evaluated in a rigorous 18-month randomized controlled trial the efficacy of an enhanced vocational intervention for helping individuals with a recent first schizophrenia episode to return to and remain in competitive work or regular schooling.
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) was adapted to meet the goals of individuals whose goals might involve either employment or schooling. IPS was combined with a Workplace Fundamentals Module (WFM) for an enhanced, outpatient, vocational intervention. Random assignment to the enhanced integrated rehabilitation program (N = 46) was contrasted with equally intensive clinical treatment at UCLA, including social skills training groups, and conventional vocational rehabilitation by state agencies (N = 23). All patients were provided case management and psychiatric services by the same clinical team and received oral atypical antipsychotic medication.
The IPS–WFM combination led to 83% of patients participating in competitive employment or school in the first 6 months of intensive treatment, compared with 41% in the comparison group (p < 0.005). During the subsequent year, IPS–WFM continued to yield higher rates of schooling/employment (92% v. 60%, p < 0.03). Cumulative number of weeks of schooling and/or employment was also substantially greater with the IPS–WFM intervention (45 v. 26 weeks, p < 0.004).
The results clearly support the efficacy of an enhanced intervention focused on recovery of participation in normative work and school settings in the initial phase of schizophrenia, suggesting potential for prevention of disability.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
In beef cattle, feeding behaviour and activity are associated with feed efficiency and methane (CH4) emissions. This study aimed to understand the underlying traits responsible for the contribution of cattle behaviour to individual differences in feed efficiency, performance and CH4 emissions. A total of 84 steers (530±114 kg BW) of two different breeds (crossbreed Charolais and Luing) were used. The experiment was a 2×2×3 factorial design with breed, basal diets (concentrate v. mixed) and dietary treatments (no additive, calcium nitrate or rapeseed cake) as the main factors. The individual dry matter intake (DMI; kg) was recorded daily and the BW was measured weekly over a 56-day period. Ultrasound fat depth was measured on day 56. Based on the previous data, the indexes average daily gain, food conversion and residual feed intake (RFI) were calculated. The frequency of meals, the duration per visit and the time spent feeding per day were taken as feeding behaviour measures. Daily activity was measured using the number of steps, the number of standing bouts and the time standing per day. Agonistic interactions (including the number of contacts, aggressive interactions, and displacements per day) between steers at the feeders were assessed as indicators of dominance. Temperament was assessed using the crush score test (which measures restlessness when restrained) and the flight speed on release from restraint. Statistical analysis was performed using multivariate regression models. Steers that spent more time eating showed better feed efficiency (P=0.039), which can be due to greater secretion of saliva. Feeding time was longer with the mixed diet (P<0.001), Luings (P=0.009) and dominant steers (P=0.032). Higher activity (more steps) in the pen was associated with poorer RFI, possibly because of higher energy expenditure for muscle activity. Frequent meals contributed to a reduction in CH4 emissions per kg DMI. The meal frequency was higher with a mixed diet (P<0.001) and increased in more temperamental (P=0.003) and dominant (P=0.017) steers. In addition, feed intake was lower (P=0.032) in more temperamental steers. This study reveals that efficiency increases with a longer feeding time and CH4 emissions decrease with more frequent meals. As dominant steers eat more frequently and for longer, a reduction in competition at the feeder would improve both feed efficiency and CH4 emissions. Feed efficiency can also be improved through a reduction in activity. Selection for calmer cattle would reduce activity and increase feed intake, which may improve feed efficiency and promote growth, respectively.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: Student Run Simulation Team (SRST) is an extracurricular medical student group that provided peers with opportunities to learn and teach principles of acute care medicine in a simulated environment. Early exposure to simulation has been identified as a way for medical students to engage in self-directed education. SRST operated through a peer-led model. Senior medical students designed and delivered didactic sessions, simulation scenarios, and debriefed the scenarios to emphasise targeted objectives. Methods: Informal interviews conducted by the SRST as part of a needs analysis identified barriers to an effective transition from pre-clerkship to clerkship. Specifically, principles of team dynamics including effective communication and role clarification in emergency situations were identified as areas where students lacked confidence. The curriculum focused on leadership and an effective team approach to common acute presentations. SRST members acquired simulation skills under the guidance of a simulation team at the University of Calgary. In the inaugural year, 8 second year students developed and delivered the curriculum to 16 first year students. Quality improvement surveys and participant feedback contributed to ongoing program review and refinement. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: Didactic lectures and task-trainer based skills sessions were created to assist the medical students in developing a foundational approach to a patient presenting to the emergency department. Three distinct simulations of increasing complexity were designed for students to build on their skills. SRST members worked with simulation consultants during 4 custom designed training sessions to develop simulation skills (design and debriefing). The distinguishing aspect of SRST is an emphasis on the non-technical skills of teamwork, leadership, and communication, rather than knowledge acquisition alone. The structure also included a succession plan for continued peer-led education where the student participants will form the next year’s team and will receive similar simulation education. Conclusion: SRST is the first student-run simulation initiative to be established in a Canadian medical school. This near-peer team allowed for early practice of non-technical skills in emergency settings. SRST facilitated opportunities for simulation education for both the junior students as participants, and the senior medical students as educators. This is an ongoing initiative, with plans to continue program development in future years.
This paper presents the results of a detailed experimental investigation into the effectiveness of sinusoidal leading edge serrations on aerofoils for the reduction of the noise generated by the interaction with turbulent flow. A detailed parametric study is performed to investigate the sensitivity of the noise reductions to the serration amplitude and wavelength. The study is primarily performed on flat plates in an idealized turbulent flow, which we demonstrate captures the same behaviour as when identical serrations are introduced onto three-dimensional aerofoils. The influence on the noise reduction of the turbulence integral length scale is also studied. An optimum serration wavelength is identified whereby maximum noise reductions are obtained, corresponding to when the transverse integral length scale is approximately one-fourth the serration wavelength. This paper proves that, at the optimum serration wavelength, adjacent valley sources are excited incoherently. One of the most important findings of this paper is that, at the optimum serration wavelength, the sound power radiation from the serrated aerofoil varies inversely proportional to the Strouhal number
are frequency, serration amplitude and flow speed, respectively. A simple model is proposed to explain this behaviour. Noise reductions are observed to generally increase with increasing frequency until the frequency at which aerofoil self-noise dominates the interaction noise. Leading edge serrations are also shown to reduce aerofoil self-noise. The mechanism for this phenomenon is explored through particle image velocimetry measurements. Finally, the lift and drag of the serrated aerofoil are obtained through direct measurement and compared against the straight edge baseline aerofoil. It is shown that aerodynamic performance is not substantially degraded by the introduction of the leading edge serrations on the aerofoil.
Objectives: Treatments for childhood brain tumors (BT) confer substantial risks to neurological development and contribute to neuropsychological deficits in young adulthood. Evidence suggests that individuals who experience more significant neurological insult may lack insight into their neurocognitive limitations. The present study compared survivor, mother, and performance-based estimates of executive functioning (EF), and their associations with treatment intensity history in a subsample of young adult survivors of childhood BTs. Methods: Thirty-four survivors (52.9% female), aged 18 to 30 years (M=23.5; SD=3.4), 16.1 years post-diagnosis (SD=5.9), were administered self-report and performance-based EF measures. Mothers also rated survivor EF skills. Survivors were classified by treatment intensity history into Minimal, Average/Moderate, or Intensive/Most-Intensive groups. Discrepancies among survivor, mother, and performance-based EF estimates were compared. Results: Survivor-reported and performance-based measures were not correlated, although significant associations were found between mother-reported and performance measures. Survivors in the Intensive/Most-Intensive treatment group evidenced the greatest score discrepancies, reporting less executive dysfunction relative to mother-reported F(2,31)=7.81, p<.01, and performance-based measures F(14,50)=2.54, p<.05. Conversely, survivors in the Minimal treatment group reported greater EF difficulties relative to mothers t(8)=2.82, p<.05, but not performance-based estimates (ps>.05). Conclusions: There may be a lack of agreement among survivor, mother, and performance-based estimates of EF skills in young adult survivors of childhood BT, and these discrepancies may be associated with treatment intensity history. Neuropsychologists should use a multi-method, multi-reporter approach to assessment of EF in this population. Providers also should be aware of these discrepancies as they may be a barrier to intervention efforts. (JINS, 2016, 22, 900–910)
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Livestock production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so will play a significant role in the mitigation effort. Recent literature highlights different strategies to mitigate GHG emissions in the livestock sector. Animal welfare is a criterion of sustainability and any strategy designed to reduce the carbon footprint of livestock production should consider animal welfare amongst other sustainability metrics. We discuss and tabulate the likely relationships and trade-offs between the GHG mitigation potential of mitigation strategies and their welfare consequences, focusing on ruminant species and on cattle in particular. The major livestock GHG mitigation strategies were classified according to their mitigation approach as reducing total emissions (inhibiting methane production in the rumen), or reducing emissions intensity (Ei; reducing CH4 per output unit without directly targeting methanogenesis). Strategies classified as antimethanogenic included chemical inhibitors, electron acceptors (i.e. nitrates), ionophores (i.e. Monensin) and dietary lipids. Increasing diet digestibility, intensive housing, improving health and welfare, increasing reproductive efficiency and breeding for higher productivity were categorized as strategies that reduce Ei. Strategies that increase productivity are very promising ways to reduce the livestock carbon footprint, though in intensive systems this is likely to be achieved at the cost of welfare. Other strategies can effectively reduce GHG emissions whilst simultaneously improving animal welfare (e.g. feed supplementation or improving health). These win–win strategies should be strongly supported as they address both environmental and ethical sustainability. In order to identify the most cost-effective measures for improving environmental sustainability of livestock production, the consequences of current and future strategies for animal welfare must be scrutinized and contrasted against their effectiveness in mitigating climate change.
Blazar OJ 287 is one of the best observed extragalactic objects. It's historical light curve goes back to 1890′s. Based on the historical behaviour Sillanpää et al. (1988) showed that OJ 287 displays large periodic outbursts, with a period of 11.7 years. We have monitored OJ 287 intensively for two years, during the OJ-94 project. This project was created for monitoring OJ 287 during its predicted new outburst in 1994. In the data archive we have over 7000 observations on OJ 287, in the radio, infrared and optical bands. This data archive contains the best ever obtained light curves for any extragalactic object. The optical light curve shows continuous variability down to time scales of tens of minutes. The variability observed in OJ 287 can be broken down to (at least) four different categories:
The Llanherne telescope is a meridian transit instrument with an instantaneous bandwidth of two octaves in the range 35 to 150 MHz, and was constructed primarily for studying the low frequency properties of pulsars. The antenna is a 78 × 156 metre filled aperture phased array comprising 4096 wire dipole elements arranged in a 64 × 64 matrix. Uniform illumination of the elements produces a single pencil beam response which is scanned electronically along the meridian from Declination -90° to +30°. The beamwidth at 100 MHz is 1 degree in right ascension and two degrees sec(Dec.) in declination and varies proportionally with wavelength, giving a transit time of 4 sec(Dec) × 100/f(MHz) minutes between half power points.
To limit tail biting incidence, most pig producers in Europe tail dock their piglets. This is despite EU Council Directive 2008/120/EC banning routine tail docking and allowing it only as a last resort. The paper aims to understand what it takes to fulfil the intentions of the Directive by examining economic results of four management and housing scenarios, and by discussing their consequences for animal welfare in the light of legal and ethical considerations. The four scenarios compared are: ‘Standard Docked’, a conventional housing scenario with tail docking meeting the recommendations for Danish production (0.7 m2/pig); ‘Standard Undocked’, which is the same as ‘Standard Docked’ but with no tail docking, ‘Efficient Undocked’ and ‘Enhanced Undocked’, which have increased solid floor area (0.9 and 1.0 m2/pig, respectively) provision of loose manipulable materials (100 and 200 g/straw per pig per day) and no tail docking. A decision tree model based on data from Danish and Finnish pig production suggests that Standard Docked provides the highest economic gross margin with the least tail biting. Given our assumptions, Enhanced Undocked is the least economic, although Efficient Undocked is better economically and both result in a lower incidence of tail biting than Standard Undocked but higher than Standard Docked. For a pig, being bitten is worse for welfare (repeated pain, risk of infections) than being docked, but to compare welfare consequences at a farm level means considering the number of affected pigs. Because of the high levels of biting in Standard Undocked, it has on average inferior welfare to Standard Docked, whereas the comparison of Standard Docked and Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked is more difficult. In Enhanced (or Efficient) Undocked, more pigs than in Standard Docked suffer from being tail bitten, whereas all the pigs avoid the acute pain of docking endured by the pigs in Standard Docked. We illustrate and discuss this ethical balance using numbers derived from the above-mentioned data. We discuss our results in the light of the EU Directive and its adoption and enforcement by Member States. Widespread use of tail docking seems to be accepted, mainly because the alternative steps that producers are required to take before resorting to it are not specified in detail. By tail docking, producers are acting in their own best interests. We suggest that for the practice of tail docking to be terminated in a way that benefits animal welfare, changes in the way pigs are housed and managed may first be required.
It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for depression. However, dropout rates in web-based interventions are typically high, especially in self-guided web-based interventions. Rigorous empirical evidence regarding factors influencing dropout in self-guided web-based interventions is lacking due to small study sample sizes. In this paper we examined predictors of dropout in an individual patient data meta-analysis to gain a better understanding of who may benefit from these interventions.
A comprehensive literature search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy for adults with depression from 2006 to January 2013 was conducted. Next, we approached authors to collect the primary data of the selected studies. Predictors of dropout, such as socio-demographic, clinical, and intervention characteristics were examined.
Data from 2705 participants across ten RCTs of self-guided web-based interventions for depression were analysed. The multivariate analysis indicated that male gender [relative risk (RR) 1.08], lower educational level (primary education, RR 1.26) and co-morbid anxiety symptoms (RR 1.18) significantly increased the risk of dropping out, while for every additional 4 years of age, the risk of dropping out significantly decreased (RR 0.94).
Dropout can be predicted by several variables and is not randomly distributed. This knowledge may inform tailoring of online self-help interventions to prevent dropout in identified groups at risk.
Study of illness characteristics and symptoms in a young population with psychosis can assist for understanding of their needs, and can inform service planning strategies. The aims of the current study were to describe illness characteristics and symptoms of a first episode psychosis (FEP) sample aged 25 years and under, and compare with a sample aged over 25 years.
Interviews were conducted for 437 individuals aged 16–65 years presenting with suspected psychosis between 2005 and 2012 in a defined catchment area (population of 390 000) using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV to determine the presence of a psychosis diagnosis. Individuals with confirmed psychosis were assessed using standardised instruments to determine illness characteristics at first presentation.
Among the 25 years, and under FEP sample, 23.9% had their first onset of symptoms (prodromal or psychotic) before 18 years of age. After controlling for confounders, the sample aged 25 years and under had a significantly shorter log transformed duration of untreated psychosis (p=0.002), more negative symptoms (p=0.045) and greater frequency of comorbid cannabis abuse diagnosis (p=0.027).
Symptom onset in a youth FEP sample frequently occurs before age 18 years. Certain illness characteristics differed across the age categories, such as greater negative symptoms and cannabis abuse in the youth sample. Overall, the findings support the provision of adequate strategies for management of negative symptom deficits and substance abuse across all ages in FEP.