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Psychiatric disorders are associated with increased risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke, but it is not known whether the associations or the role of sociodemographic factors have changed over time.
To investigate the association between psychiatric disorders and IHD and stroke, by time period and sociodemographic factors.
We used Scottish population-based records from 1991 to 2015 to create retrospective cohorts with a hospital record for psychiatric disorders of interest (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression) or no record of hospital admission for mental illness. We estimated incidence and relative risks of IHD and stroke in people with versus without psychiatric disorders by calendar year, age, gender and area-based deprivation level.
In all cohorts, incidence of IHD (645 393 events) and stroke (276 073 events) decreased over time, but relative risks decreased for depression only. In 2015, at the mean age at event onset, relative risks were 2- to 2.5-fold higher in people with versus without a psychiatric disorder. Age at incidence of outcome differed by cohort, gender and socioeconomic status. Relative but not absolute risks were generally higher in women than men. Increasing deprivation conveys a greater absolute risk of IHD for people with bipolar disorder or depression.
Despite declines in absolute rates of IHD and stroke, relative risks remain high in those with versus without psychiatric disorders. Cardiovascular disease monitoring and prevention approaches may need to be tailored by psychiatric disorder and cardiovascular outcome, and be targeted, for example, by age and deprivation level.
Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.
The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.
Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Significance of results
The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.
Introduction: Children diagnosed with medulloblastoma (MB) who are refractory to upfront therapy or experience recurrence have very poor prognoses. Although phase I and phase II trials exist, these treatments bear significant treatment-related morbidity and mortality. Methods: A retrospective review of children diagnosed with a recurrence of MB from 2002 to 2015 at McMaster University was undertaken. Results: Recurrent disease in 10 patients involved leptomeningeal dissemination, with 3 experiencing local recurrence. In three recurrent patients the disease significantly progressed, and the children were palliated. The remaining 10 children underwent some form of salvage therapy, including surgical re-resection, radiation, and chemotherapy, either in isolation or in varying combinations. Of the 13 children experiencing treatment-refractory or recurrent disease, 4 are currently alive with a median follow-up of 38.5 months (75.5 months). Of the eight patients with molecular subgrouping data, none of the Wnt MB experienced recurrence. Conclusion: Recurrent MB carried a poor prognosis with a 5-year overall survival (OS) of 18.2% despite the administration of salvage therapy. The upfront therapy received, available treatment, and tolerability of the proposed salvage therapy resulted in significant heterogeneity in the treatment of our recurrent cohort.
Treatment for hoarding disorder is typically performed by mental health professionals, potentially limiting access to care in underserved areas.
We aimed to conduct a non-inferiority trial of group peer-facilitated therapy (G-PFT) and group psychologist-led cognitive–behavioural therapy (G-CBT).
We randomised 323 adults with hording disorder 15 weeks of G-PFT or 16 weeks of G-CBT and assessed at baseline, post-treatment and longitudinally (≥3 months post-treatment: mean 14.4 months, range 3–25). Predictors of treatment response were examined.
G-PFT (effect size 1.20) was as effective as G-CBT (effect size 1.21; between-group difference 1.82 points, t = −1.71, d.f. = 245, P = 0.04). More homework completion and ongoing help from family and friends resulted in lower severity scores at longitudinal follow-up (t = 2.79, d.f. = 175, P = 0.006; t = 2.89, d.f. = 175, P = 0.004).
Peer-led groups were as effective as psychologist-led groups, providing a novel treatment avenue for individuals without access to mental health professionals.
Declaration of interest
C.A.M. has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and travel reimbursement and speakers’ honoraria from the Tourette Association of America (TAA), as well as honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. K.D. receives research support from the NIH and honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. R.S.M. receives research support from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Aging, the Hillblom Foundation, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (research grant) and the Alzheimer's Association. R.S.M. has also received travel support from the National Institute of Mental Health for Workshop participation. J.Y.T. receives research support from the NIH, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the California Tobacco Related Research Program, and honoraria and travel reimbursement from the NIH for serving as an NIH Study Section reviewer. All other authors report no conflicts of interest.
Background: Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) improves quality of life and survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and respiratory symptoms. Little is known about the patterns of NIV use over time and the impact of NIV on end-of-life decision-making in ALS. Objective: This study assessed the pattern of NIV use over the course of the disease and the timing of end-of-life discussions in people living with ALS. Method: A retrospective single-center cohort study was performed at London Health Sciences Centre. Daily NIV duration of use was evaluated at 3-month intervals. The timing of diagnosis, NIV initiation, discussions relating to do-not-attempt-resuscitation (DNAR) and death were examined. Results: In total, 48 patients were included in the analysis. Duration of NIV use increased over time, and tolerance to NIV was observed to be better than expected in patients with bulbar-onset ALS. There was a high degree of variability in the timing of end-of-life discussions in patients with ALS (356±451 days from diagnosis). In this cohort, there was a strong association between the timing of discussions regarding code status and establishment of a DNAR order (r2=0.93). Conclusion: This retrospective cohort study suggests that the use of NIV in ALS increases over time and that there remains a great deal of variability in the timing of end-of-life discussions in people living with ALS. Future prospective studies exploring the use NIV over the disease trajectory and how NIV affects end-of-life decision-making in people with ALS are needed.
Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic parasite of global importance, infects all endothermic vertebrates, with extensive health implications. The prevalence of this parasite is seldom monitored in wildlife. Here, a semi-aquatic species, the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) was used as a model to assess the potential effect of climate, land cover and biotic factors on T. gondii seroprevalence in British wildlife. The Sabin–Feldman cytoplasm-modifying dye test identified T. gondii antibodies in 25·5% of blood samples from otters found dead, mainly as road kill, in England and Wales, between 2004 and 2010. Otters in the east of England were more likely to be infected with T. gondii than those in western regions. Land cover and temperature are key determinants of T. gondii infection risk, with more infection in arable areas and lower infection where temperatures are higher. The probability of T. gondii infection increased with host age, reflecting cumulative exposure with time, but there was no association between T. gondii seroprevalence and cause of host death.
This study aims to compare conventional simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) planning technique with a hybrid SIB intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technique with varying open tangent to IMRT field dose ratios. Furthermore, we investigated which of the dose ratios proves the most favourable as a class solution across a sample.
In total, 15 patients with conventional SIB treatment plans were re-planned with hybrid SIB IMRT technique using three differing open field:IMRT dose ratios, that is, 80:20, 70:30 and 60:40. Plans were compared using dosimetric comparison of organs at risk (OARs) and homogeneity and conformity indexes across target structures.
All hybrid plans reduced dose maximums and showed a reduction of high doses to both lungs but increased lower doses, that is, V5, with similar results discovered for the heart. Contralateral breast dose was shown to decrease V5 and V1 measures by hybrid arms, whereas increasing the V2. Left anterior descending artery dose and non-irradiated structures were reduced by all hybrid arms. The homogeneity and conformity increased across all hybrid arms. Qualitative assessment of all plans also favoured hybrid plans.
Hybrid plans produced superior dose conformity, homogeneity, reduced dose maximums and showed an improvement in most OAR parameters. The 70:30 hybrid technique exhibited greater benefits as a class solution to the sample than conventional plans due to superior dose conformity and homogeneity to target volumes.
The co-occurring development of internalizing and externalizing problems were examined in an inception cohort of 392 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 3 who were assessed on four occasions. Results indicated that internalizing and externalizing problems were stable over time and highly comorbid. Joint trajectory analysis suggested that 13% of the sample followed a dual high-risk trajectory. High risk was not found to be associated with intellectual ability or autism spectrum disorder symptom severity but was linked to lower income and gender: more girls than boys were found in the high/stable internalizing problems trajectory. The results suggest that 1 in 4 preschoolers followed a trajectory of internalizing or externalizing problems (or a combination of the two) that could be characterized as clinically elevated.
North American studies show bipolar disorder is associated with elevated
rates of problem gambling; however, little is known about rates in the
different presentations of bipolar illness.
To determine the prevalence and distribution of problem gambling in
people with bipolar disorder in the UK.
The Problem Gambling Severity Index was used to measure gambling problems
in 635 participants with bipolar disorder.
Moderate to severe gambling problems were four times higher in people
with bipolar disorder than in the general population, and were associated
with type 2 disorder (OR = 1.74, P = 0.036), history of
suicidal ideation or attempt (OR = 3.44, P = 0.02) and
rapid cycling (OR = 2.63, P = 0.008).
Approximately 1 in 10 patients with bipolar disorder may be at moderate
to severe risk of problem gambling, possibly associated with suicidal
behaviour and a rapid cycling course. Elevated rates of gambling problems
in type 2 disorder highlight the probable significance of modest but
unstable mood disturbance in the development and maintenance of such
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) places a high burden on the US healthcare system. Recurrent CDI (RCDI) occurs frequently. Recently proposed guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) include fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a therapeutic option for RCDI. The purpose of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of FMT compared with vancomycin for the treatment of RCDI in adults, specifically following guidelines proposed by the ACG and AGA.
We constructed a decision-analytic computer simulation using inputs from the published literature to compare the standard approach using tapered vancomycin to FMT for RCDI from the third-party payer perspective. Our effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Because simulated patients were followed for 90 days, discounting was not necessary. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
Base-case analysis showed that FMT was less costly ($1,669 vs $3,788) and more effective (0.242 QALYs vs 0.235 QALYs) than vancomycin for RCDI. One-way sensitivity analyses showed that FMT was the dominant strategy (both less expensive and more effective) if cure rates for FMT and vancomycin were ≥70% and <91%, respectively, and if the cost of FMT was <$3,206. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis, varying all parameters simultaneously, showed that FMT was the dominant strategy over 10, 000 second-order Monte Carlo simulations.
Our results suggest that FMT may be a cost-saving intervention in managing RCDI. Implementation of FMT for RCDI may help decrease the economic burden to the healthcare system.
Recently, Fickenscher et al.  have shown that, in a core-multi-shell structure where a GaAs quantum well is embedded into an AlGaAs shell wrapped around a  oriented GaAs nanowire, the electron and hole ground states are strongly confined to the corners of the hexagonally symmetric quantum well. Thus this confinement defines quantum wires which run along the length of the nanowires along its corners. Here we review single nanowire photoluminescence measurements which show the significant confinement energy of the excitons. For well widths larger than 5 nm, optical transitions between electron and hole excited states can be seen in excitation spectra, while for widths less than 5 nm only the ground state optical transitions are observed. For well widths smaller than 5 nm, high resolution spatially resolved photoluminescence measurements show directly the appearance of localized states. Single nanowire spectra from the 4 nm QWT sample display ultranarrow emission lines on the high energy side of the luminescence band. Spatially-resolved PL images show that these quantum dots are localized randomly along the length of the wire.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
Children in out-of-home care (OOHC) experience a number of adverse educational outcomes, including lower attainment and fewer years of schooling; and they are less likely than their peers to remain in education and training after 16 years of age. Children in OOHC are being left behind in educational settings. This is worrying as education can provide the gateway to future life opportunities and a way for them to escape the adverse circumstances which brought them into care. Agencies supporting children in OOHC aim to ameliorate these negative outcomes. The barriers to good educational outcomes for children in OOHC are well documented and include systemic factors over which a support agency has little control. In order to monitor the effectiveness of an agency in supporting children in OOHC, it is essential to monitor the elements of service provision that are influenced by agency inputs rather than systemic or institutional factors. This article will outline potential ways in which agencies can effectively monitor their impact on children's lives.
Background. Traditional instruments that measure self-esteem may not relate directly to the schema construct as outlined in recent cognitive models. The Brief Core Schema Scales (BCSS) aim to provide a theoretically coherent self-report assessment of schemata concerning self and others in psychosis. The scales assess four dimensions of self and other evaluation: negative-self, positive-self, negative-other, positive-other.
Method. We analysed the psychometric properties of the BCSS using a sample of 754 students recruited by email and 252 people with psychosis recruited as part of a trial of cognitive therapy. We report the internal consistency, stability and the factor structure of the scale, and the association of the BCSS with measures of self-esteem and with symptoms of paranoia and grandiosity.
Results. The BCSS have good psychometric properties and have more independence from mood than the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Schedule. People with chronic psychosis reported extreme negative evaluations of both self and others on these scales, but their levels of self-esteem and positive evaluations of self and others were similar to the student sample.
Conclusions. Extreme negative evaluations of self and others appear to be characteristic of the appraisals of people with chronic psychosis, and are associated with symptoms of grandiosity and paranoia in the non-clinical population. The BCSS may provide a more useful measure of schemata about self and others than traditional measures of self-esteem.
Xinjiang: China's Muslim Far Northwest is, as the preface notes, primarily a work of synthesis. The author gathers together an impressive amount of documentary data from a range of sources, including domestic Chinese and world news media, Han Chinese scholarship, and, to a lesser extent, reports by Uighur émigré organizations. These data are employed to illustrate patterns of separatist opposition and state reaction in Xinjiang, particularly since the 1990 Baren riots, identified as the ‘turning point’ in regional state-minority relations. In this, the book might be characterized as the extension of Dillon's earlier paper “Xinjiang: ethnicity, separatism and control in Chinese Central Asia’ (1995).
Part one, an introduction to Xinjiang, is the section that most closely approaches the stated goal of providing an updated ‘survey of breadth and depth’ in the style of Owen Lattimore's celebrated Pivot of Asia (1950). In it, the author sketches a broad outline of Xinjiang's geography, history, ethnic make-up, and economy. As he forewarns, the result of his attempt to cover such a wealth of topics may disappoint the specialist. It nonetheless provides a timely snapshot of a rapidly developing society and political economy in a region of growing strategic importance; this is likely to be of interest to non-specialists from a wide range of disciplines.