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Birds in flight are prone to collide with various transparent or reflective structures. While bird–window collision has been recognised as a critical conservation issue, collision with other transparent structures has been less understood. Noise barriers made of transparent materials are considered critical hazards for birds; however, little is known about the bird mortality they cause. We conducted the first nationwide-scale estimates of bird-collision mortality caused by transparent noise barriers (TNBs) along roads in the Republic of Korea. The total length of existing roadside transparent noise barriers was estimated at 1,416 km nationwide (as of 2018), and it had been increasing exponentially. Based on carcass surveys at 25 sites, daily mortality at the observed barriers was 0.335 ± 1.132 birds/km on average, and no difference in observed mortality was detected between both sides of a single barrier and between road types (i.e. local roads and motorways). Finally, we estimated that approximately 186,000 birds (95% confidence interval: 162,465–204,812 birds) are killed annually by collisions with roadside TNBs. As privately installed barriers were not considered in this study, the actual mortality is likely be higher than our estimates. Thus, collision with TNBs could become an emerging threat to avian conservation, especially in developing and urbanising regions around the world. As such structures are not formally recognised as conservation issues of importance, more systematic surveys aided by citizen science, both for the status of TNBs and bird-collision mortality, are needed in addition to management and mitigation policies.
This article examines three Japan–South Korea postwar compensation cases: the comfort women issue, the Sakhalin Island forced labor issue, and Korean atomic bomb survivor issue. These compensation movements produced vastly different results, even though the basic policy directions for compensation provision in all three cases were similar. Japan's approach toward the comfort women problem has been a complete failure, while its treatment of the Sakhalin forced labor issue and the atomic bomb issues has been more successful. This article's explanation of the different outcomes focuses on the character and geographical base of the civic groups leading these compensation movements. In South Korea, women's rights activists spearheaded the comfort women compensation movement and related victim-relief activities. The Korean non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that assisted the comfort women treated this problem not only as a women's rights issue, but also as a nationalist issue. In contrast, the Red Cross, a politically neutral international organization, promoted the Sakhalin forced labor and atomic bomb issues. In short, the different receptions accorded to those championing the comfort women issue and those promoting the Sakhalin forced labor and atomic bomb issues depended on the principal agent of each compensation process. This article aims to provide some implications for successfully implementing postwar compensation policies. It suggests that, if successful postwar compensation policy depends on successful perpetrator–victim reconciliation, establishing solidarity between perpetrator and victim countries’ civic groups is important. This can only be facilitated through the depoliticized and transparent operation of leading NGOs both inside and outside the redressal-seeking nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a major threat to mental health and is associated with an increased risk of suicide. An understanding of suicidal behaviours during the pandemic is necessary for establishing policies to prevent suicides in such social conditions.
We aimed to investigate vulnerable individuals and the characteristics of changes in suicidal behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with suicide attempts who visited the emergency department from February 2019 to January 2021. We analysed the demographic and clinical characteristics, risk factors and rescue factors of patients, and compared the findings between the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods.
In total, 519 patients were included. During the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods, 303 and 270 patients visited the emergency department after a suicide attempt, respectively. The proportion of suicide attempts by women (60.1% v. 69.3%, P = 0.035) and patients with a previous psychiatric illness (63.4% v. 72.9%, P = 0.006) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, patients’ rescue scores during the pandemic were lower than those during the pre-pandemic period (12 (interquartile range: 11–13) v. 13 (interquartile range: 12–14), P < 0.001).
Women and people with previous psychiatric illnesses were more vulnerable to suicide attempts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suicide prevention policies, such as continuous monitoring and staying in touch with vulnerable individuals, are necessary to cope with suicide risk.
The risk factors of environmental contamination by SARS-CoV-2 are largely unknown. We analyzed 1,320 environmental samples obtained from COVID-19 patients over 1 year. The risk factors for contamination of COVID-19 patients’ surrounding environment were higher viral load in the respiratory tract and shorter duration from symptom onset to sample collection.
Prognostic heterogeneity in early psychosis patients yields significant difficulties in determining the degree and duration of early intervention; this heterogeneity highlights the need for prognostic biomarkers. Although mismatch negativity (MMN) has been widely studied across early phases of psychotic disorders, its potential as a common prognostic biomarker in early periods, such as clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis and first-episode psychosis (FEP), has not been fully studied.
A total of 104 FEP patients, 102 CHR individuals, and 107 healthy controls (HCs) participated in baseline MMN recording. Clinical outcomes were assessed; 17 FEP patients were treatment resistant, 73 FEP patients were nonresistant, 56 CHR individuals were nonremitters (15 transitioned to a psychotic disorder), and 22 CHR subjects were remitters. Baseline MMN amplitudes were compared across clinical outcome groups and tested for utility prognostic biomarkers using binary logistic regression.
MMN amplitudes were greatest in HCs, intermediate in CHR subjects, and smallest in FEP patients. In the clinical outcome groups, MMN amplitudes were reduced from the baseline in both FEP and CHR patients with poor prognostic trajectories. Reduced baseline MMN amplitudes were a significant predictor of later treatment resistance in FEP patients [Exp(β) = 2.100, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.104–3.993, p = 0.024] and nonremission in CHR individuals [Exp(β) = 1.898, 95% CI 1.065–3.374, p = 0.030].
These findings suggest that MMN could be used as a common prognostic biomarker across early psychosis periods, which will aid clinical decisions for early intervention.
Functional impairment in daily activity is a cornerstone in distinguishing the clinical progression of dementia. Multiple indicators based on neuroimaging and neuropsychological instruments are used to assess the levels of impairment and disease severity; however, it remains unclear how multivariate patterns of predictors uniquely predict the functional ability and how the relative importance of various predictors differs.
In this study, 881 older adults with subjective cognitive complaints, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia with Alzheimer’s type completed brain structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neuropsychological assessment, and a survey of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). We utilized the partial least square (PLS) method to identify latent components that are predictive of IADL.
The result showed distinct brain components (gray matter density of cerebellar, medial temporal, subcortical, limbic, and default network regions) and cognitive–behavioral components (general cognitive abilities, processing speed, and executive function, episodic memory, and neuropsychiatric symptoms) were predictive of IADL. Subsequent path analysis showed that the effect of brain structural components on IADL was largely mediated by cognitive and behavioral components. When comparing hierarchical regression models, the brain structural measures minimally added the explanatory power of cognitive and behavioral measures on IADL.
Our finding suggests that cerebellar structure and orbitofrontal cortex, alongside with medial temporal lobe, play an important role in the maintenance of functional status in older adults with or without dementia. Moreover, the significance of brain structural volume affects real-life functional activities via disruptions in multiple cognitive and behavioral functions.
Across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) world, social investment policies are expanding, which Hemerijck (2015) describes as a ‘quiet paradigm revolution’. Nordic countries are widely considered the pioneers in social investment policies – with Sweden having already embarked on progressive policies during the post-war era and thus presenting the longest track record of remarkable social investments (Morel et al, 2012). Much attention has been paid to Sweden's ambitious, active labour market policies, which are aimed at upskilling workers, and the country's employment-oriented family policies (most notably childcare provisions, but also parental leave schemes helping with work–family reconciliation), which promote mothers’ participation in the labour market. In addition to its extensive childcare provisions, the country's comprehensive education and healthcare systems have earned Sweden recognition as a ‘social service state’ (Huber and Stephens, 2001).
While Nordic countries remain the frontrunners, with the greatest financial commitment to social investment policies (Kuitto, 2016), we observe that latecomers from not only Continental Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world, but also East Asia, have made considerable efforts to catch up with the Northern European pioneers. The rise of social investments, especially the expansion of employment-oriented family policy (Lewis et al, 2008; Ferragina and Seeleib-Kaiser, 2015), presents an important dimension of the recent transformation of advanced welfare capitalism, which, despite the prominence of retrenchment, cannot be reduced to welfare state regress. For instance, Germany, which has a long legacy of promoting traditional families, made considerable efforts to expand its childcare provisions (including childcare for those under three years of age), in addition to introducing an earnings-related parental leave scheme that largely resembles the Swedish leave policy. The United Kingdom has also seen a remarkable rise of early childhood education and care, where the government had previously rejected any responsibility for the family because it was considered a ‘private matter’ into which the state had no right to intervene. Childcare policies are also prominently featured in East Asia, even though Japan and South Korea, with their strong Confucian legacies, have had a rather long history of traditional approaches to family that strongly resemble the historical Continental European experience rooted in Catholicism.
Providing original observations, this seminal text analyses the emergence of social investment policies in both Europe and East Asia. Experts explore the roads and barriers towards effective social investment policies, derive practical social policy implications and highlight important lessons for future social policymaking.
Over the past two decades, early detection and early intervention in psychosis have become essential goals of psychiatry. However, clinical impressions are insufficient for predicting psychosis outcomes in clinical high-risk (CHR) individuals; a more rigorous and objective model is needed. This study aims to develop and internally validate a model for predicting the transition to psychosis within 10 years.
Two hundred and eight help-seeking individuals who fulfilled the CHR criteria were enrolled from the prospective, naturalistic cohort program for CHR at the Seoul Youth Clinic (SYC). The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO)-penalized Cox regression was used to develop a predictive model for a psychotic transition. We performed k-means clustering and survival analysis to stratify the risk of psychosis.
The predictive model, which includes clinical and cognitive variables, identified the following six baseline variables as important predictors: 1-year percentage decrease in the Global Assessment of Functioning score, IQ, California Verbal Learning Test score, Strange Stories test score, and scores in two domains of the Social Functioning Scale. The predictive model showed a cross-validated Harrell's C-index of 0.78 and identified three subclusters with significantly different risk levels.
Overall, our predictive model showed a predictive ability and could facilitate a personalized therapeutic approach to different risks in high-risk individuals.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
The efficiency of halide perovskite solar cells has progressed rapidly through a series of major breakthroughs. Currently, a certified efficiency of 25.2% has been achieved for a solar cell using a polycrystalline thin film. This is the result of having reached 75% of the Shockley–Queisser limit for single-junction solar cells. However, for further improvements, new breakthrough technologies are required. This article reviews the impact of previous breakthrough technologies on the efficiency of halide perovskite solar cells, based on certified efficiencies. We clarify the current status of halide perovskite solar cells and introduce photon recycling as the next technological innovation for higher efficiencies. Photon recycling keeps the photon concentration inside the light-harvesting layer high, and consequently, leads to open-circuit voltages close to the theoretical value. Although photon recycling has not yet been implemented in real halide perovskite solar cells, three key technologies for implementing it are examined.
Obsession and delusion are theoretically distinct from each other in terms of reality testing. Despite such phenomenological distinction, no extant studies have examined the identification of common and distinct neural correlates of obsession and delusion by employing biologically grounded methods. Here, we investigated dimensional effects of obsession and delusion spanning across the traditional diagnostic boundaries reflected upon the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) using connectome-wide association studies (CWAS).
Our study sample comprised of 96 patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder, 75 patients with schizophrenia, and 65 healthy controls. A connectome-wide analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between obsession and delusion severity and RFSC using multivariate distance-based matrix regression.
Obsession was associated with the supplementary motor area, precentral gyrus, and superior parietal lobule, while delusion was associated with the precuneus. Follow-up seed-based RSFC and modularity analyses revealed that obsession was related to aberrant inter-network connectivity strength. Additional inter-network analyses demonstrated the association between obsession severity and inter-network connectivity between the frontoparietal control network and the dorsal attention network.
Our CWAS study based on the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) provides novel evidence for the circuit-level functional dysconnectivity associated with obsession and delusion severity across diagnostic boundaries. Further refinement and accumulation of biomarkers from studies embedded within the RDoC framework would provide useful information in treating individuals who have some obsession or delusion symptoms but cannot be identified by the category of clinical symptoms alone.