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This study reports on the changes in stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms of subscribers after 3 months using Text4Hope, a supportive text messaging program designed to provide support during the pandemic.
Standardized self-report measures were used to evaluate perceived stress (measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 [PSS-10]), anxiety (measured with the General Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 [GAD-7]), and depressive symptoms (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]), at baseline and 3rd month (n = 373).
After 3 months of using Text4Hope, subscribers’ self-reports revealed significant (p< 0.001) mean score reductions compared with baseline on: the GAD-7 by 22.7%, PHQ-9 by 10.3%, and PSS-10 scores by 5.7%. Reductions in inferred prevalence rates for moderate to high symptoms were also observed, with anxiety demonstrating the largest reduction (15.7%).
Observed Text4Hope-related reductions in psychological distress during COVID-19 indicate that Text4Hope is an effective, convenient, and accessible means of implementing a population-level psychological intervention.
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 12 independent loci significantly associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Polygenic risk scores (PRS), derived from the GWAS, can be used to assess genetic overlap between ADHD and other traits. Using ADHD samples from several international sites, we derived PRS for ADHD from the recent GWAS to test whether genetic variants that contribute to ADHD also influence two cognitive functions that show strong association with ADHD: attention regulation and response inhibition, captured by reaction time variability (RTV) and commission errors (CE).
The discovery GWAS included 19 099 ADHD cases and 34 194 control participants. The combined target sample included 845 people with ADHD (age: 8–40 years). RTV and CE were available from reaction time and response inhibition tasks. ADHD PRS were calculated from the GWAS using a leave-one-study-out approach. Regression analyses were run to investigate whether ADHD PRS were associated with CE and RTV. Results across sites were combined via random effect meta-analyses.
When combining the studies in meta-analyses, results were significant for RTV (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.088, p = 0.02) but not for CE (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.013, p = 0.732). No significant association was found between ADHD PRS and RTV or CE in any sample individually (p > 0.10).
We detected a significant association between PRS for ADHD and RTV (but not CE) in individuals with ADHD, suggesting that common genetic risk variants for ADHD influence attention regulation.
To assess the overall burden and outcomes of acute respiratory infections in paediatric inpatients with congenital heart disease (CHD).
This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of non-neonates <1 year with CHD in the Kid’s Inpatient Database from 2012. We compared demographics, clinical characteristics, cost, length of stay, and mortality rate for those with and without respiratory infections. We also compared those with respiratory infections who had critical CHD versus non-critical CHD. Multi-variable regression analyses were done to look for associations between respiratory infections and mortality, length of stay, and cost.
Of the 28,696 infants with CHD in our sample, 26% had respiratory infections. Respiratory infection-associated hospitalisations accounted for $440 million in costs (32%) for all CHD patients. After adjusting for confounders including severity, mortality was higher for those with respiratory infections (OR 1.5, p = 0.003), estimated mean length of stay was longer (14.7 versus 12.2 days, p < 0.001), and estimated mean costs were higher ($53,760 versus $46,526, p < 0.001). Compared to infants with respiratory infections and non-critical CHD, infants with respiratory infections and critical CHD had higher mortality (4.5 versus 2.3%, p < 0.001), longer mean length of stay (20.1 versus 15.5 days, p < 0.001), and higher mean costs ($94,284 versus $52,585, p < 0.001).
Acute respiratory infections are a significant burden on infant inpatients with CHD and are associated with higher mortality, costs, and longer length of stay; particularly in those with critical CHD. Future interventions should focus on reducing the burden of respiratory infections in this population.
Negative interactions with humans resulting from livestock predation is a major factor influencing the decline of African lion Panthera leo populations across Africa. Here we investigate lion depredation within two Maasai communities in southern Kenya where people and lions coexist in the absence of any formal protected areas. We explore the factors that increase the frequency and severity of lion attacks on pastoralists and their livestock and assess the effectiveness of livestock guarding to reduce damage. Finally, we examine in which circumstances lion depredation triggers retaliation by people. Over a period of 26 months, lions attacked livestock 29 times, resulting in 41 livestock deaths and 19 injuries. There were also two attacks on people. Lions preferred cattle over the more numerous sheep and goats. Attacks on livestock occurred mostly during the dry season and were not affected by changes in prey density or variation in pastoral settlement that brought livestock into closer proximity with lions. Livestock were guarded during 48.2% of lion attacks. Active guarding at pasture disrupted the majority of lion attacks, resulting in lower mortality rates. Passive guarding in corrals at night also disrupted attacks but did not lead to lower livestock mortality.
To analyse nutritional and packaging characteristics of toddler-specific foods and milks in the Australian retail food environment to identify how such products fit within the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and the NOVA classification.
Cross-sectional retail audit of toddler foods and milks. On-pack product attributes were recorded. Products were categorised as (1) food or milk; (2) snack food or meal and (3) snacks sub-categorised depending on main ingredients. Products were classified as a discretionary or core food as per the ADG and level of processing according to NOVA classification.
Supermarkets and pharmacies in Australia.
A total of 154 foods and thirty-two milks were identified. Eighty percentage of foods were snacks, and 60 % of foods were classified as core foods, while 85 % were ultraprocessed (UP). Per 100 g, discretionary foods provided significantly more energy, protein, total and saturated fat, carbohydrate, total sugar and Na (P < 0·001) than core foods. Total sugars were significantly higher (P < 0·001) and Na significantly lower (P < 0·001) in minimally processed foods than in UP foods. All toddler milks (n 32) were found to have higher energy, carbohydrate and total sugar levels than full-fat cow’s milk per 100 ml. Claims and messages were present on 99 % of foods and all milks.
The majority of toddler foods available in Australia are UP snack foods and do not align with the ADG. Toddler milks, despite being UP, do align with the ADG. A strengthened regulatory approach may address this issue.
Childhood exposure to interpersonal violence (IPV) may be linked to distinct manifestations of mental illness, yet the nature of this change remains poorly understood. Network analysis can provide unique insights by contrasting the interrelatedness of symptoms underlying psychopathology across exposed and non-exposed youth, with potential clinical implications for a treatment-resistant population. We anticipated marked differences in symptom associations among IPV-exposed youth, particularly in terms of ‘hub’ symptoms holding outsized influence over the network, as well as formation and influence of communities of highly interconnected symptoms.
Participants from a population-representative sample of youth (n = 4433; ages 11–18 years) completed a comprehensive structured clinical interview assessing mental health symptoms, diagnostic status, and history of violence exposure. Network analytic methods were used to model the pattern of associations between symptoms, quantify differences across diagnosed youth with (IPV+) and without (IPV–) IPV exposure, and identify transdiagnostic ‘bridge’ symptoms linking multiple disorders.
Symptoms organized into six ‘disorder’ communities (e.g. Intrusive Thoughts/Sensations, Depression, Anxiety), that exhibited considerably greater interconnectivity in IPV+ youth. Five symptoms emerged in IPV+ youth as highly trafficked ‘bridges’ between symptom communities (11 in IPV– youth).
IPV exposure may alter mutually reinforcing symptom co-occurrence in youth, thus contributing to greater psychiatric comorbidity and treatment resistance. The presence of a condensed and unique set of bridge symptoms suggests trauma-enriched nodes which could be therapeutically targeted to improve outcomes in violence-exposed youth.
The seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibody was evaluated among employees of a Veterans Affairs healthcare system to assess potential risk factors for transmission and infection.
All employees were invited to participate in a questionnaire and serological survey to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as part of a facility-wide quality improvement and infection prevention initiative regardless of clinical or nonclinical duties. The initiative was conducted from June 8 to July 8, 2020.
Of the 2,900 employees, 51% participated in the study, revealing a positive SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 4.9% (72 of 1,476; 95% CI, 3.8%–6.1%). There were no statistically significant differences in the presence of antibody based on gender, age, frontline worker status, job title, performance of aerosol-generating procedures, or exposure to known patients with coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the hospital. Employees who reported exposure to a known COVID-19 case outside work had a significantly higher seroprevalence at 14.8% (23 of 155) compared to those who did not 3.7% (48 of 1,296; OR, 4.53; 95% CI, 2.67–7.68; P < .0001). Notably, 29% of seropositive employees reported no history of symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among employees was not significantly different among those who provided direct patient care and those who did not, suggesting that facility-wide infection control measures were effective. Employees who reported direct personal contact with COVID-19–positive persons outside work were more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Employee exposure to SARS-CoV-2 outside work may introduce infection into hospitals.
Educators and school psychologists are seeking ways to eliminate race and gender disparities in their school discipline. This chapter offers the Framework for Increasing Equity in School Discipline to guide their efforts in reforming discipline policy and practices. The principles are comprehensive, with an emphasis on both prevention and intervention. They identify the characteristics of classrooms and schools that need to be strengthened to prevent disciplinary interactions. With regard to intervention, they call for student and adult development of social and behavioral skills, equitable access to adult support, and a problem-solving approach to conflict that integrates family and student voice. Together, the principles show promise for reducing the use of exclusionary discipline and the punitive treatment of marginalized students.
The pharmacotherapy of epilepsy is a complex process guided by evidence-based research and clinical experience. Some patients achieve seizure freedom upon treatment with the first anti-seizure medication (ASM) prescribed, whereas others may be treated with two or three medications before one (or a combination) is found that reduces seizure frequency and/or severity with minimal side effects. Many patients demonstrate a partial response to treatment, leading to reduced seizure frequency and/or severity, but do not become completely seizure free. It is often stated that ~30% of epilepsy patients have seizures that cannot be controlled pharmacologically, and these patients are defined as having medication-resistant epilepsy (MRE). The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) published the following definition of MRE: ‘drug resistant epilepsy may be defined as failure of adequate trials of two tolerated and appropriately chosen and used ASM schedules (whether as monotherapies or in combination) to achieve sustained seizure freedom’. Treatment success or sustained seizure freedom is defined as one year without seizures or three times the inter-seizure interval (whichever is longer). The ILAE definition provides a useful standard from which to work, and MRE can be clinically identified in patients that fail to achieve seizure freedom after multiple ASM trials. However, the ILAE definition of successful treatment does not account for partial response to pharmacotherapy. Indeed, many partial responders have improved quality of life, even if they are not seizure-free for one year or more.
Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis, a food-borne illness caused by the coccidian parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis have increased in the USA in recent years, with approximately 2300 laboratory-confirmed cases reported in 2018. Genotyping tools are needed to inform epidemiological investigations, yet genotyping Cyclospora has proven challenging due to its sexual reproductive cycle which produces complex infections characterized by high genetic heterogeneity. We used targeted amplicon deep sequencing and a recently described ensemble-based distance statistic that accommodates heterogeneous (mixed) genotypes and specimens with partial genotyping data, to genotype and cluster 648 C. cayetanensis samples submitted to CDC in 2018. The performance of the ensemble was assessed by comparing ensemble-identified genetic clusters to analogous clusters identified independently based on common food exposures. Using these epidemiologic clusters as a gold standard, the ensemble facilitated genetic clustering with 93.8% sensitivity and 99.7% specificity. Hence, we anticipate that this procedure will greatly complement epidemiologic investigations of cyclosporiasis.
The Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI) is a screening test of global cognitive function used in research and clinical settings. However, the CASI was developed using face validity and has not been investigated via empirical tests such as factor analyses. Thus, we aimed to develop and test a parsimonious conceptualization of the CASI rooted in cognitive aging literature reflective of crystallized and fluid abilities.
Secondary data analysis implementing confirmatory factor analyses where we tested the proposed two-factor solution, an alternate one-factor solution, and conducted a χ2 difference test to determine which model had a significantly better fit.
Data came from 3,491 men from the Kuakini Honolulu-Asia Aging Study.
The Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument.
Findings demonstrated that both models fit the data; however, the two-factor model had a significantly better fit than the one-factor model. Criterion validity tests indicated that participant age was negatively associated with both factors and that education was positively associated with both factors. Further tests demonstrated that fluid abilities were significantly and negatively associated with a later-life dementia diagnosis.
We encourage investigators to use the two-factor model of the CASI as it could shed light on underlying cognitive processes, which may be more informative than using a global measure of cognition.
We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
Emerging research suggests that maternal immune activation (MIA) may be associated with an increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental and mental health outcomes in offspring. Using data from the Raine Study, we investigated whether MIA during pregnancy was associated with increased behavioral and emotional problems in offspring longitudinally across development.
Mothers (Generation 1; N = 1905) were classified into the following categories: AAAE (Asthma/Allergy/Atopy/Eczema; N = 1267); infection (during pregnancy; N = 1082); no AAAE or infection (N = 301). The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was administered for offspring at ages 5, 8, 10, 14, and 17. Generalized estimating equations were used to investigate the effect of maternal immune status on CBCL scores.
AAAE conditions were associated with significant increases in CBCL Total (β 2.49; CI 1.98–3.00), Externalizing (β 1.54; CI 1.05–2.03), and Internalizing (β 2.28; CI 1.80–2.76) scores. Infection conditions were also associated with increased Total (β 1.27; CI 0.77–1.78), Externalizing (β 1.18; CI 0.70–1.66), and Internalizing (β 0.76; CI 0.28–1.24) scores. Exposure to more than one AAAE and/or infection condition was associated with a greater elevation in CBCL scores than single exposures in males and females. Females showed greater increases on the Internalizing scale from MIA, while males showed similar increases on both Internalizing and Externalizing scales.
MIA was associated with increased behavioral and emotional problems in offspring throughout childhood and adolescence. This highlights the need to understand the relationship between MIA, fetal development, and long-term outcomes, with the potential to advance early identification and intervention strategies.