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Caregivers of patients with cancer are at significant risk for existential distress. Such distress negatively impacts caregivers’ quality of life and capacity to serve in their role as healthcare proxies, and ultimately, contributes to poor bereavement outcomes. Our team developed Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Caregivers (MCP-C), the first targeted psychosocial intervention that directly addresses existential distress in caregivers.
Nine caregivers of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) enrolled in a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of MCP-C, and completed in-depth interviews about their experience in the therapy. One focus group with three MCP-C interventionists was also completed.
Four key themes emerged from interviews: (1) MCP-C validated caregivers’ experience of caregiving; (2) MCP-C helped participants reframe their “caregiving identity” as a facet of their larger self-identity, by placing caregiving in the context of their life's journey; (3) MCP-C enabled caregivers to find ways to assert their agency through caregiving; and (4) the structure and sequence of sessions made MCP-C accessible and feasible. Feedback from interventionists highlighted several potential manual changes and overall ways in which MCP-C can help facilitate caregivers’ openness to discussing death and engaging in advanced care planning discussions with the patient.
Significance of results
The overarching goal of MCP-C is to allow caregivers to concurrently experience meaning and suffering; the intervention does not seek to deny the reality of challenges endured by caregivers, but instead to foster a connection to meaning and purpose alongside their suffering. Through in-depth interviews with caregivers and a focus group with MCP interventionists, we have refined and improved our MCP-C manual so that it can most effectively assist caregivers in experiencing meaning and purpose, despite inevitable suffering.
The purpose of this article was to determine the impact of employing a telephone clinic for follow-up of patients with stable lateral skull-base tumours.
An analysis of 1515 patients in the national lateral skull-base service was performed, and 148 patients enrolled in the telephone clinic to date were identified. The length of time that patients waited for results of their follow-up scans and the travel distance saved by patients not having to attend the hospital for their results was determined.
The mean time from scan to receiving results was 30.5 ± 32 days, 14 days sooner than in the face-to-face group (p = 0.0016). The average round-trip distance travelled by patients to the hospital for results of their scans was 256 ± 131 km.
The telephone clinic led to a significant reduction in time until patients received their scan results and helped reduce travel distance and clinic numbers in traditional face-to-face clinics.
The Late Triassic fauna of the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (LSF) from the Elgin area, Scotland, has been pivotal in expanding our understanding of Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. Frustratingly, due to their odd preservation, interpretations of the Elgin Triassic specimens have relied on destructive moulding techniques, which only provide incomplete, and potentially distorted, information. Here, we show that micro-computed tomography (μCT) could revitalise the study of this important assemblage. We describe a long-neglected specimen that was originally identified as a pseudosuchian archosaur, Ornithosuchus woodwardi. μCT scans revealed dozens of bones belonging to at least two taxa: a small-bodied pseudosuchian and a specimen of the procolophonid Leptopleuron lacertinum. The pseudosuchian skeleton possesses a combination of characters that are unique to the clade Erpetosuchidae. As a basis for investigating the phylogenetic relationships of this new specimen, we reviewed the anatomy, taxonomy and systematics of other erpetosuchid specimens from the LSF (all previously referred to Erpetosuchus). Unfortunately, due to the differing representation of the skeleton in the available Erpetosuchus specimens, we cannot determine whether the erpetosuchid specimen we describe here belongs to Erpetosuchus granti (to which we show it is closely related) or if it represents a distinct new taxon. Nevertheless, our results shed light on rarely preserved details of erpetosuchid anatomy. Finally, the unanticipated new information extracted from both previously studied and neglected specimens suggests that fossil remains may be much more widely distributed in the Elgin quarries than previously recognised, and that the richness of the LSF might have been underestimated.
Recent technological advances have led to a novel class of microfluidic devices which can be rapidly fabricated by printing a fluid onto a solid substrate with flows generated passively via surface tension. The nonlinear dependence between flow and the heights of the conduits, however, prevent straightforward calculation of the resulting dynamics. In this paper we use matched asymptotic expansions to predict how flow through these devices can be tuned by changing their geometry. We begin with the simple ‘dumbbell’ configuration in which two fluid drops with different sizes are connected by a long, thin and narrow conduit. We calculate the time scale required for one drop to drain into the other and how this depends both on the geometry of the pinned contact line and volume of fluid deposited into the drops. Our model therefore provides the mechanistic basis to design conduits with a particular fluid flux and/or shear stress, which are often key experimental constraints. Our asymptotic predictions are shown to be in excellent agreement with numerical simulations even for moderate aspect ratios (the ratio of conduit width to length). Next, we show how our results for the simple dumbbell configuration can be extended to predict the flow through networks of conduits with multiple drops and nodes, and hence may assist in their design and implementation. This new mathematical framework has the potential to increase the use of surface tension driven microfluidics across a wide range of disciplines as it allows alternate designs to be rapidly assessed.
Results of a co-morbid insomnia and depression study of eszopiclone and fluoxetine demonstrated that co-therapy produced greater improvements in sleep and depression than fluoxetine monotherapy. To determine if changes in the HAMD17 were due to sleep, individual HAMD17 items were evaluated.
Patients met DSM-IV criteria for MDD and insomnia, with screening HAMD17 >14. All patients received fluoxetine QAM for 10 weeks, and randomly received double-blind eszopiclone 3mg or placebo QHS for 8 weeks, followed by a single-blind placebo 2-week run-out. HAMD17 was completed at Weeks 4, 8, and 10. Individual items were compared with ANCOVA using an LOCF approach.
Mean baseline HAMD17 scores were 22 for each group. At Week 4, differences were noted between treatment groups in the total score, and the individual items of insight, the three insomnia items (p<0.02 vs monotherapy), with a trend for guilt (p=0.07). At Week 8, significant differences between groups were noted in total score (p=0.0005), in the clinician-administered Bech subscale (p<0.001), in the three insomnia items (p<0.001), guilt, work/activities, and anxiety psychic (p<0.05). At Week 10, the total score, guilt, the three insomnia items, work/activities, retardation, agitation, anxiety psychic, general somatic symptoms, and hypochondriasis demonstrated significant improvements (p<0.05 vs monotherapy) despite discontinuation of eszopiclone.
Eszopiclone/fluoxetine co-therapy resulted in significant improvements in the insomnia items of the HAMD17. In addition, several items related to core depressive symptoms were also improved with co-therapy compared with monotherapy.
The aim of the study was to assess the experiences of discrimination as reported by people with mental health problems and to explore the impact of hospitalisation.
306 people with mental health problems provided sociodemographic data and data on discrimination using the discrimination and stigma scale version 12 (DISC-12) with the domains negative experienced discrimination, anticipated discrimination, overcoming stigma and discrimination, and positive experienced discrimination. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the impact of hospitalisation on discrimination, controlled for age, gender, education, employment, diagnosis and having been prescribed medication.
Hospitalisation had a major impact on negative discrimination: People were more likely to be treated unfairly in making or keeping friends, in marriage or divorce, by people in their neighbourhood, in social life, by mental health staff and in terms of privacy, if they had been hospitalised. They were also more likely to be avoided or shunned by people who knew about the mental health problem. People with a history of hospitalisation also reported more anticipated discrimination: They had stopped themselves more often from having a close personal relationship and concealed their mental health problem from others more often than those without a history of hospitalisation. However, people who had been hospitalised also experienced more positive discrimination in terms of being treated more positively in getting welfare benefits or disability pensions and in housing.
Findings suggest that treatment in hospital contributed to a higher extent to experienced discrimination than treatment in the community.
We sought to explore whether obstetric complications (OCs) are more likely to occur in the presence of familial/genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia or whether they themselves represent an independent environmental risk factor for schizophrenia.
The presence of OCs was assessed through maternal interview on 216 subjects, comprising 36 patients with schizophrenia from multiply affected families, 38 of their unaffected siblings, 31 schizophrenic patients with no family history of psychosis, 51 of their unaffected siblings and 60 normal comparison subjects. We examined the familiality of OCs and whether OCs were commoner in the patient and sibling groups than in the control group.
OCs tended to cluster within families, especially in multiply affected families. Patients with schizophrenia, especially those from multiply affected families, had a significantly higher rate of OCs compared to normal comparison subjects, but there was no evidence for an elevated rate of OCs in unaffected siblings.
Our data provides little evidence for a link between OCs and genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. If high rates of OCs are related to schizophrenia genes, this relationship is weak and will only be detected by very large sample sizes.
Little is known about who would benefit from Internet-based personalised nutrition (PN) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of participants who achieved greatest improvements (i.e. benefit) in diet, adiposity and biomarkers following an Internet-based PN intervention. Adults (n 1607) from seven European countries were recruited into a 6-month, randomised controlled trial (Food4Me) and randomised to receive conventional dietary advice (control) or PN advice. Information on dietary intake, adiposity, physical activity (PA), blood biomarkers and participant characteristics was collected at baseline and month 6. Benefit from the intervention was defined as ≥5 % change in the primary outcome (Healthy Eating Index) and secondary outcomes (waist circumference and BMI, PA, sedentary time and plasma concentrations of cholesterol, carotenoids and omega-3 index) at month 6. For our primary outcome, benefit from the intervention was greater in older participants, women and participants with lower HEI scores at baseline. Benefit was greater for individuals reporting greater self-efficacy for ‘sticking to healthful foods’ and who ‘felt weird if [they] didn’t eat healthily’. Participants benefited more if they reported wanting to improve their health and well-being. The characteristics of individuals benefiting did not differ by other demographic, health-related, anthropometric or genotypic characteristics. Findings were similar for secondary outcomes. These findings have implications for the design of more effective future PN intervention studies and for tailored nutritional advice in public health and clinical settings.
The widespread use of herbicides in cropping systems has led to the evolution of resistance in major weeds. The resultant loss of herbicide efficacy is compounded by a lack of new herbicide sites of action, driving demand for alternative weed control technologies. While there are many alternative methods for control, identifying the most appropriate method to pursue for commercial development has been hampered by the inability to compare techniques in a fair and equitable manner. Given that all currently available and alternative weed control methods share an intrinsic energy consumption, the aim of this review was to compare methods based on energy consumption. Energy consumption was compared for chemical, mechanical, and thermal weed control technologies when applied as broadcast (whole-field) and site-specific treatments. Tillage systems, such as flex-tine harrow (4.2 to 5.5 MJ ha−1), sweep cultivator (13 to 14 MJ ha−1), and rotary hoe (12 to 17 MJ ha−1) consumed the least energy of broadcast weed control treatments. Thermal-based approaches, including flaming (1,008 to 4,334 MJ ha−1) and infrared (2,000 to 3,887 MJ ha−1), are more appropriate for use in conservation cropping systems; however, their energy requirements are 100- to 1,000-fold greater than those of tillage treatments. The site-specific application of weed control treatments to control 2-leaf-stage broadleaf weeds at a density of 5 plants m−2 reduced energy consumption of herbicidal, thermal, and mechanical treatments by 97%, 99%, and 97%, respectively. Significantly, this site-specific approach resulted in similar energy requirements for current and alternative technologies (e.g., electrocution [15 to 19 MJ ha−1], laser pyrolysis [15 to 249 MJ ha−1], hoeing [17 MJ ha−1], and herbicides [15 MJ ha−1]). Using similar energy sources, a standardized energy comparison provides an opportunity for estimation of weed control costs, suggesting site-specific weed management is critical in the economically realistic implementation of alternative technologies.
The intensely active 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season provided an opportunity to examine how climate drivers, including warming oceans and rising seas, exacerbated tropical cyclone hazards. The season also highlighted the unique vulnerabilities of populations residing on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to the catastrophic potential of these storms. During 2017, 22 of the 29 Caribbean SIDS were affected by at least one named storm, and multiple SIDS experienced extreme damage. This paper aims to review the multiplicity of storm impacts on Caribbean SIDS throughout the 2017 season, to explicate the influences of climate drivers on storm formation and intensity, to explore the propensity of SIDS to sustain severe damage and prolonged disruption of essential services, to document the spectrum of public health consequences, and to delineate the daunting hurdles that challenged emergency response and recovery operations for island-based, disaster-affected populations. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:5–17)
Individuals who were born very preterm have higher rates of psychiatric diagnoses compared with term-born controls; however, it remains unclear whether they also display increased sub-clinical psychiatric symptomatology. Hence, our objective was to utilize a dimensional approach to assess psychiatric symptomatology in adult life following very preterm birth.
We studied 152 adults who were born very preterm (before 33 weeks’ gestation; gestational range 24–32 weeks) and 96 term-born controls. Participants’ clinical profile was examined using the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS), a measure of sub-clinical symptomatology that yields seven subscales including general psychopathology, positive, negative, cognitive, behavioural, motor and emotional symptoms, in addition to a total psychopathology score. Intellectual abilities were examined using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence.
Between-group differences on the CAARMS showed elevated symptomatology in very preterm participants compared with controls in positive, negative, cognitive and behavioural symptoms. Total psychopathology scores were significantly correlated with IQ in the very preterm group only. In order to examine the characteristics of participants’ clinical profile, a principal component analysis was conducted. This revealed two components, one reflecting a non-specific psychopathology dimension, and the other indicating a variance in symptomatology along a positive-to-negative symptom axis. K-means (k = 4) were used to further separate the study sample into clusters. Very preterm adults were more likely to belong to a high non-specific psychopathology cluster compared with controls.
Conclusion and Relevance
Very preterm individuals demonstrated elevated psychopathology compared with full-term controls. Their psychiatric risk was characterized by a non-specific clinical profile and was associated with lower IQ.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
HESS J1614–518 and HESS J1616–508 are two tera-electron volt γ-ray sources that are not firmly associated with any known counterparts at other wavelengths. We investigate the distribution of interstellar medium towards the tera-electron volt γ-ray sources using results from a 7-mm-wavelength Mopra study, the Mopra Southern Galactic Plane CO Survey, the Millimetre Astronomer’s Legacy Team-45 GHz survey and [C i] data from the HEAT telescope. Data in the CO(1–0) transition lines reveal diffuse gas overlapping the two tera-electron volt sources at several velocities along the line of sight, while observations in the CS(1–0) transition line reveal several interesting dense gas features. To account for the diffuse atomic gas, archival H i data was taken from the Southern Galactic Plane Survey. The observations reveal gas components with masses ~103 to 105 M⊙ and with densities ~102 to 103 cm−3 overlapping the two tera-electron volt sources. Several origin scenarios potentially associated with the tera-electron volt γ-ray sources are discussed in light of the distribution of the local interstellar medium. We find no strong convincing evidence linking any counterpart with HESS J1614–518 or HESS J1616–508.