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Depression is an important, potentially modifiable dementia risk factor. However, it is not known whether effective treatment of depression through psychological therapies is associated with reduced dementia incidence. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between reduction in depressive symptoms following psychological therapy and the subsequent incidence of dementia.
National psychological therapy data were linked with hospital records of dementia diagnosis for 119808 people aged 65+. Participants received a course of psychological therapy treatment in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services between 2012 and 2019. Cox proportional hazards models were run to test associations between improvement in depression following psychological therapy and incidence of dementia diagnosis up to eight years later.
Improvements in depression following treatment were associated with reduced rates of dementia diagnosis up to 8 years later (HR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.83–0.94), after adjustment for key covariates. Strongest effects were observed for vascular dementia (HR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.77–0.97) compared with Alzheimer's disease (HR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.83–1.00).
Reliable improvement in depression across psychological therapy was associated with reduced incidence of future dementia. Results are consistent with at least two possibilities. Firstly, psychological interventions to improve symptoms of depression may have the potential to contribute to dementia risk reduction efforts. Secondly, psychological therapies may be less effective in people with underlying dementia pathology or they may be more likely to drop out of therapy (reverse causality). Tackling the under-representation of older people in psychological therapies and optimizing therapy outcomes is an important goal for future research.
Problem Management Plus (PM+) is a psychological intervention that seeks to address common mental disorders among individuals exposed to adversity. Thus far, the potential for delivering PM+ by mobile phones has not been evaluated.
To adapt PM+ for telephone delivery (ten weekly sessions of about 45 min each) and preliminarily evaluate its acceptability and feasibility with young people living with HIV (YLWH) in coastal Kenya.
This was a mixed-method formative research. Qualitative data collection included consultations with stakeholders, conducting key informant interviews with HIV care providers and focus group discussions with potential end-users, i.e. YLWH. Moreover, brief exit interviews with recipients of the adapted PM+ were conducted. Quantitative acceptability and feasibility indicators and outcome measures were tracked/assessed during PM+ preliminary implementation involving 70 YLWH.
From the qualitative inquiries, the adapted PM+ emerged as contextually appropriate, acceptable and feasible for mobile phone delivery, despite some concerns around missing nonverbal cues and poor network connectivity. High recruitment (85%) and fair programme retention (69%) were observed. Intervention sessions over the telephone lasted 46 min on average (range 42–55 min). Preliminary feasibility data indicated that the adapted PM+ has the potential of reducing common mental disorders among YLWH from the Kenyan coast.
PM+ is acceptable and can feasibly be delivered via mobile phone to YLWH in coastal Kenya. This study sets the stage for a future fully powered, randomised controlled trial assessing the efficacy of the adapted PM+ in this or a similar setting.
Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a positive psychological consequence of trauma. The aims of this study were to investigate whether combat injury was associated with deployment-related PTG in a cohort of UK military personnel who were deployed to Afghanistan, and whether post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and pain mediate this relationship.
521 physically injured (n = 138 amputation; n = 383 non-amputation injury) and 514 frequency-matched uninjured personnel completed questionnaires including the deployment-related Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (DPTGI). DPTGI scores were categorised into tertiles of: no/low (score 0–20), moderate (score 21–34) or a large (35–63) degree of deployment-related PTG. Analysis was completed using generalised structural equation modelling.
A large degree of PTG was reported by 28.0% (n = 140) of the uninjured group, 36.9% (n = 196) of the overall injured group, 45.4% (n = 62) of amputee and 34.1% (n = 134) of the non-amputee injured subgroups. Combat injury had a direct effect on reporting a large degree of PTG [Relative risk ratio (RRR) 1.59 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–2.17)] compared to sustaining no injury. Amputation injuries also had a significant direct effect [RRR 2.18 (95% CI 1.24–3.75)], but non-amputation injuries did not [RRR 1.35 (95% CI 0.92–1.93)]. PTSD, depression and pain partially mediate this relationship, though mediation differed depending on the injury subtype. PTSD had a curvilinear relationship with PTG, whilst depression had a negative association and pain had a positive association.
Combat injury, in particular injury resulting in traumatic amputation, is associated with reporting a large degree of PTG.
Within growing marketisation of publicly funded services, the internet has provided new opportunities for marketing, delivery, and coordination of those services. Using web scraping and hyperlink network analysis techniques, this paper examines the ways in which organisations operating in Australia’s evolving National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) system inter-connect online. Social media plays the most important role in the online network. Government agencies also play a central role, with many disability service organisations linking their web users to them. Government agency websites do not hyperlink to disability service providers, suggesting that governments do not see their role as assisting access to such services. Advocacy and peak disability organisations are important in online connections between the websites of government and service organisations. Innovative uses of the internet for online brokerage of disability services are evident. The implications of these findings for service delivery are discussed.
Optimizing research on the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) involves implementing initiatives maximizing the use of the available cohort study data; achieving sufficient statistical power to support subgroup analysis; and using participant data presenting adequate follow-up and exposure heterogeneity. It also involves being able to undertake comparison, cross-validation, or replication across data sets. To answer these requirements, cohort study data need to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), and more particularly, it often needs to be harmonized. Harmonization is required to achieve or improve comparability of the putatively equivalent measures collected by different studies on different individuals. Although the characteristics of the research initiatives generating and using harmonized data vary extensively, all are confronted by similar issues. Having to collate, understand, process, host, and co-analyze data from individual cohort studies is particularly challenging. The scientific success and timely management of projects can be facilitated by an ensemble of factors. The current document provides an overview of the ‘life course’ of research projects requiring harmonization of existing data and highlights key elements to be considered from the inception to the end of the project.
Pachyophiidae fossils are among the most complete known for snakes, and include the earliest snakes with fully developed hindlimbs. Pachyophiids have been historically seen as suitable morphological intermediates between lizards and extant snakes, supporting the hypothesis that snakes originated in a marine setting from a macrophagous common ancestor with mosasaurian lizards. Pachyophiids have been subject to conflicting interpretations of their anatomy, fuelling renewed debate on snake origins and early diversification. We revisit pachyophiid cranial anatomy, providing additional evidence from new preparations, high resolution CT scans, and Synchrotron images. We address challenges posed by fossil (in)completeness to the study and interpretation of these specimens, and reassess phylogenetic affinities. We critically reassess morphological evidence supporting the Marine Hypothesis, concluding that (i) snakes are not especially closely related to mosasaurians, and (ii) pachyophiids are relatively deeply nested within the snake crown, so that they are of greater importance for understanding early crown-snake evolutionary history than they are for understanding snake origins.
Hospitalizations among skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents in Detroit increased in mid-March 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Outbreak response teams were deployed from local healthcare systems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Detroit Health Department (DHD) to understand the infection prevention and control (IPC) gaps in SNFs that may have accelerated the outbreak.
We conducted 2 point-prevalence surveys (PPS-1 and PPS-2) at 13 Detroit SNFs from April 8 to May 8, 2020. The DHD and partners conducted facility-wide severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of all residents and staff and collected information regarding resident cohorting, staff cohorting, and personnel protective equipment (PPE) utilized during that time.
Resident cohorting had been implemented in 7 of 13 (58.3%) SNFs prior to point-prevalence survey 1 (PPS-1), and other facilities initiated cohorting after obtaining PPS-1 results. Cohorting protocols of healthcare practitioners and environmental service staff were not established in 4 (31%) of 13 facilities, and in 3 facilities (23.1%) the ancillary staff were not assigned to cohorts. Also, 2 SNFs (15%) had an observation unit prior to PPS-1, 2 (15%) had an observation unit after PPS-1, 4 (31%) could not establish an observation unit due to inadequate space, and 5 (38.4%) created an observation unit after PPS-2.
On-site consultations identified gaps in IPC knowledge and cohorting that may have contributed to ongoing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among SNF residents despite aggressive testing measures. Infection preventionists (IPs) are critical in guiding ongoing IPC practices in SNFs to reduce spread of COVID-19 through response and prevention.
We examined the possible sex and age differences in the proportion of experienced Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms in unaware (previously) infected adults, and their uninfected counterparts, estimated by serostatus prior to vaccination, at the end of 2020 (Wuhan strain). A cross-sectional community-based study using a convenience sample of 10 001 adult inhabitants of a southern Dutch province, heavily affected by COVID-19, was conducted. Participants donated a blood sample to indicate past infection by serostatus (positive/negative). Experienced symptoms were assessed by questionnaire, before the availability of the serological test result. Only participants without confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included (n = 9715, age range 18–90 years). The seroprevalence was comparable between men (17.3%) and women (18.0%), and participants aged 18–60 years (17.3%) and aged 60 years and older (18.6%). We showed sex and age differences in the proportion experienced symptoms by serostatus in a large cohort of both unaware (untested) seropositive compared with seronegative reference participants. Irritability only differed by serostatus in men (independent of age), while stomach ache, nausea and dizziness only differed by serostatus in women aged 60 years and older. Besides, the proportion of experiencing pain when breathing and headache differed by serostatus in men aged 18–60 years only. Our study highlights the importance of taking possible sex and age differences into account with respect to acute and long-term COVID-19 outcomes. Identifying symptom profiles for sex and age subgroups can contribute to timely identification of infection, gaining importance once governments currently move away from mass testing again.
The invasive annual grass downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) is a critical threat to the semiarid shrublands that characterize western North America. More abundant fine fuel after invasion typically increases fire frequency in plant communities adapted to relatively infrequent burning, reducing the likelihood of native plant persistence. Currently, imazapic is most often used to manage B. tectorum, but reinvasion from the seedbank after treatment is common. Indaziflam is a newer herbicide recently labeled for use in rangelands grazed by livestock, and many research trials have demonstrated its ability to deplete invasive annual grass seedbanks. We evaluated the effectiveness of indaziflam and imazapic for reducing B. tectorum density and cover over a period of approximately 5 yr (57 mo after treatment [MAT]) at two invaded sagebrush-grassland sites near Pinedale, WY. Treatments included three different indaziflam rates (51, 73, and 102 g ai ha−1) and one imazapic rate (123 g ai ha−1), and these treatments were reapplied to half of each plot at 45 MAT to evaluate the effects of two sequential applications. We also measured perennial grass cover, because positive perennial grass responses were observed after release from B. tectorum competition in other studies, and perennial grasses may provide resistance to B. tectorum reinvasion. Intermediate and high indaziflam rates (73 and 102 g ha−1, respectively) reduced B. tectorum cover and density at 45 MAT, and perennial grass cover responded positively to some treatments, mostly early in the study (≤33 MAT). Imazapic reduced B. tectorum initially, but did not affect density or cover at either site beyond 21 MAT. Reapplication did not substantially improve B. tectorum control at 57 MAT in plots treated with intermediate and high indaziflam rates, suggesting that long-term control with a single indaziflam treatment may be possible in some cases.