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Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
A new species of chionelasmatid sessile vent barnacle, Eochionelasmus coreana sp. nov., is described and illustrated on the basis of specimens collected from the Solitaire hydrothermal vent field in the Central Indian Ridge of the Indian Ocean. This new species is morphologically very similar to E. ohtai, the type species of the genus Eochionelasmus. However, it differs from E. ohtai in its distribution, the status of the notch on the maxillule, and the positions of rl1 and cl1 on whorls of the imbricating plates. In addition, a molecular phylogenetic tree indicated that the chionelasmatid Eochionelasmus was closely related to the waikalasmatid Waikalasma with high supporting values rather than the other chionelasmatid Chionelasmus. The new species is not only the first record of a sessile vent barnacle from outside of the Pacific Ocean, but is also the first sessile barnacle from the Indian Ocean.
Research consistently emphasizes the importance of religious institutions for influencing political action among Asian Americans. The social capital literature offers two theoretical explanations for why churches increase political activity: bridging capital between different groups and bonding capital among similar groups. The latter argues that individuals who attend racially homogeneous churches are more participatory. This paper expands on these accounts by examining another aspect of bonding. That is, how does similarity in political views among church members affect Asian Americans' political participation? Results from the 2016 Collaborative Multi-Racial Post-Election Survey show that Asian Americans who attend politically homogeneous churches are more likely to vote and participate in conventional activities. The effects of racial homogeneity are limited once taking political homogeneity into consideration. These findings provide evidence that political homophily within religious organizations may facilitate the bonding of social capital between racial/ethnic minorities, and this homophily is indeed salient to democratic participation.
While involving patients in health technology assessment (HTA) has become increasingly common and important around the world, little is known about the optimal methods of evaluating patients’ involvement (PI) in HTA. This scoping review was undertaken to provide an overview of currently available methods for the evaluation of PI, specifically the impact of PI on HTA recommendations.
A literature search was conducted using nine databases as well as a grey literature search of the websites of 26 organizations related to the conduct, practice or research of HTA to identify articles, reports and abstracts related to the evaluation of PI impact in HTA.
We identified 1,248 unique citations, six of which met our eligibility criteria. These six records (five articles, and one report) were all published after 2012. Four assessed the impact of patient experience submissions on final HTA recommendations; one evaluated the impact of direct involvement on HTA committees, and one assessed impact of multiple forms of involvement. Methods of evaluation included quantitative analyses of reimbursement decisions, qualitative interviews with those directly involved in an assessment, surveys of patient groups and committee members, and the review of HTA reports.
Quantitative evaluation of PI based on associations with funding decisions may not be feasible or fully capture the relevant impact of PI in the assessment of health technologies. Rather, a combination of both qualitative and quantitative strategies may allow for the most comprehensive assessment of the impact of PI on HTA recommendations when possible.
Innovation Concept: EM Sim Cases is an innovative, open-access website that was created in 2015 to publish medical simulation resources including standardized, peer-reviewed simulation cases. Herein we describe our interim analysis. Methods: We performed a massive online needs assessment using a methodology previously described by Chan et. al. to determine how we can shape EM Sim Cases to meet the needs of learners and educators who use it. We engaged with simulation experts from the Emergency Medicine Simulation Education Research Collaborative to design a Google Forms survey using best practices in survey design. We distributed the survey to our target community of practice via Twitter, email, and a blog post published on emsimcases.com. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: We received 81 responses from simulation educators representing 8 medical specialties and 13 countries. Most survey respondents identified themselves as staff physicians (n = 44) and specialized in emergency medicine (n = 39). They had 0-21+ years of experience. 37% of respondents (n = 30) stated that material from EM Sim Cases makes up 25% or more of their simulation curriculum. Several respondents noted that using this content made them feel more confident and more current. Respondents praised EM Sim Cases for a well-organized case format, the proper level of detail, consistency between case designs, and the wide variety of cases. Suggested improvements included an opportunity to directly comment on cases and more cases in pediatric, rural, and advanced airway management situations. Suggestions were made to improve the navigability of the website. Respondents wanted to see additional blog content on debriefing strategies and self-made task/skill trainers. Conclusion: EM Sim Cases is a novel, free open-access simulation resource. Using a massive online needs assessment we were able to determine future directions including case topics, website reorganization, and educational material. We were also able to capture how impactful a resource like this can be to clinical and educational practice outside of the simulation setting.
Introduction: In 2018, Canadian postgraduate specialist Emergency Medicine (EM) programs began implementing a competency-based medical education (CBME) assessment system. To support improvement of this assessment program, we sought to evaluate its short-term educational outcomes nationally and within individual programs. Methods: Program-level data from the 2018 resident cohort were amalgamated and analyzed. The number of Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) assessments (overall and for each EPA) and the timing of resident promotion through program stages was compared between programs and to the guidelines provided by the national EM specialty committee. Total EPA observations from each program were correlated with the number of EM and pediatric EM rotations. Results: Data from 15 of 17 (88.2%) EM programs containing 9,842 EPA observations from 68 of the 77 (88.3%) Canadian EM specialist residents in the 2018 cohort were analyzed. The average number of EPAs observed per resident in each program varied from 92.5 to 229.6 and correlated strongly with the number of blocks spent on EM and pediatric EM (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Relative to the guidelines outlined by the specialty committee, residents were promoted later than expected and with fewer EPA observations than suggested. Conclusion: We present a new approach to the amalgamation of national and program-level assessment data. There was demonstrable variation in both EPA-based assessment numbers and promotion timelines between programs and with national guidelines. This evaluation data will inform the revision of local programs and national guidelines and serve as a starting point for further reaching outcome evaluation. This process could be replicated by other national assessment programs.
Innovation Concept: In the era of the current opioid crisis, addiction medicine is becoming a core competency of patient care. Despite the prevalence of addiction-related presentations, there is a paucity of formal education on the topic in emergency medicine; with time and lack of qualified staff cited as barriers to implementation. We aimed to correct this gap in education through the curriculum design of an addictions elective that can be easily implemented by Emergency Medicine Program Directors across Canada. Methods: Learning objectives were developed based on expert consensus and the list of entrustable professional activities (EPAs) mandated by the Royal College. A local needs assessment was conducted to identify existing addictions curriculum and identify opportunities for improvement. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: A one-month block addictions selective was developed specifically for emergency medicine residents. Elements of this curriculum included a suggested schedule, a list of supplemental resources, and an evaluation tool to track EPAs. A pre and post survey was created for distribution to all participants to track knowledge acquisition and to collect feedback on the education intervention. In the 2019-2020 academic year, 4 residents participated in this selective and multiple have expressed interest for the future. Conclusion: In Ontario alone, the rate of opioid-related deaths has quadrupled and has escalated to a rate of 2 deaths every day. Alcohol and other substance use is commonly a chief concern, catalyst, or comorbidity for patient presentations in the emergency department. Our selective curriculum seeks to address a gap for emergency medicine residents. Ongoing program evaluation will take place to continue to optimize this learning experience.
Introduction: Time-to-treatment plays a pivotal role in survival from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Every minute delay in defibrillation results in a 7-10% reduction in survival. This is particularly problematic in rural and remote regions, where bystander and EMS response is often prolonged and automated external defibrillators (AED) are often not available. Our objective was to examine the feasibility of a novel AED drone delivery method for rural and remote SCA. A secondary objective was to compare times between AED drone delivery and ambulance response to various mock SCA resuscitations. Methods: We conducted 6 simulations in two different rural communities in southern Ontario. During phase 1 (4 simulations) a “mock” call was placed to 911 and a single AED drone and an ambulance were simultaneously dispatched from the same location to a pre-determined destination. Once on scene, trained first responders retrieved the AED from the drone and initiated resuscitative efforts on a manikin. The second phase (2 scenarios) were done in a similar manner save for the drone being dispatched from a regionally optimized location for drone response. Results: Phase 1: The distance from dispatch location to scene varied from 6.6 km to 8.8 km. Mean (SD) response time from 911 call to scene arrival was 11.2 (+/- 1.0) minutes for EMS compared to 8.1 (+/- 0.1) for AED drone delivery. In all four simulations, the AED drone arrived before EMS, ranging from 2.1 to 4.4 minutes faster. The mean time for trained responders to retrieve the AED and apply it to the manikin was 35 (+/- 5) sec. No difficulties were encountered in drone activation by dispatch, drone lift off, landing or removal of the AED from the drone by responders. Phase 2: The ambulance response distance was 20km compared to 9km for the drone. Drones were faster to arrival at the scene by 7 minutes and 8 minutes with AED application 6 and 7 minutes prior to ambulance respectively. Conclusion: This implementation study suggests AED drone delivery is feasible with improvements in response time during a simulated SCA scenario. These results suggest the potential for AED drone delivery to decrease time to first defibrillation in rural and remote communities. Further research is required to determine the appropriate distance for drone delivery of an AED in an integrated EMS system as well as optimal strategies to simplify bystander application of a drone delivered AED.
Background: Emergency physicians (EPs) can choose from several evidence-based pathways to diagnose pulmonary embolism (PE), however literature suggests that EPs frequently use computer tomography (CT) scanning as a stand-alone test for PE. This is a program of research to improve adherence to evidence-based PE diagnosis in the emergency department (ED). Aim Statement: To create a novel approach to PE diagnosis in the ED based on a framework explaining EP diagnostic PE behaviour and barriers to using evidence-based PE testing. Measures & Design: We conducted two types of qualitative interviews: 1). EPs in 5 Canadian cities watched videos of 2 simulated cases and then explained how they would test the patient. 2). Semi-structured EP interviews using the theoretical domains framework (TDF). The results of our analyses informed the construction of an explanatory framework for common EP diagnostic PE behaviours. Barriers to evidence-based behaviour were classified into domains. A Canadian EP expert group reviewed these results along with the existing evidence on ED PE diagnostic implementation. We developed a new approach to diagnosis of PE in the ED which addresses each of our domains. Evaluation/Results: We conducted 71 interviews. We identified 4 domains, each addressed in our pathway. ‘PE in a mythical and deadly beast’ PE kills and can masquerade so EPs look for PE in places where it does not exist and are rewarded for ‘over-testing’. Response: Creating a departmental conversation about missing PE, talking about the facts, busting the myths. EP feedback on PE testing including positive rate. ‘The end goal is CTPE’ PE creates anxiety for EPs and ordering a CTPE hands over responsibility to the radiologist. Response: A departmental protocol for PE testing which starts with D-dimer for every patient. Shifting focus to ruling out PE with D-dimer. Protocol is automated once initiated by EP. ‘PERC eases anxiety’ PERC is documented when it is negative and allows EP to stop. Response: EPs can choose to use and document PERC. ‘No-one has been fighting for the Wells score’ Poor understanding of purpose and function. Often at odds to Gestalt. Response: Protocol does not use Wells score. Discussion/Impact: We have developed a new diagnostic PE pathway which addresses current barriers to evidence-based practice which we will evaluate further.
Studies have shown that mental health problems during pregnancy have adverse effects on fetal growth. The impact of depressive and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy on the fetus have not yet been examined in Singapore.
To examine the association between mental health problems during the second trimester of pregnancy on the quality of the pregnancy, reflected by birth weight and birth length of the newborn.
This study aims to understand the importance of mental health during pregnancy on the development of the child in an Asian population.
Preliminary data of a prospective cohort study of pregnant women (GUSTO), were followed from pregnancy onwards. At 26 weeks of the pregnancy, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were administered. Data on birth parameters were collected from medical records.
Linear regression analyses of preliminary data show negative correlations between depressive symptoms measured with EPDS (n = 1025, P = 0.54), BDI (n = 1012, P = 0.001), and anxiety symptoms measured with STAI (n = 1023, P = 0.002) and birth length (corrected for gestational age and gender). No associations were found for birth weight.
There is an association between depressive and anxiety symptoms reported at the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy and birth length, but not birth weight, of the newborn. As it is known that fetal length increases mainly in the second trimester, it suggests that stress of the mother influences the development of the fetus during this trimester.
To describe the infection control preparedness measures undertaken for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus) in the first 42 days after announcement of a cluster of pneumonia in China, on December 31, 2019 (day 1) in Hong Kong.
A bundled approach of active and enhanced laboratory surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and contact tracing for healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure in the hospitals was implemented. Epidemiological characteristics of confirmed cases, environmental samples, and air samples were collected and analyzed.
From day 1 to day 42, 42 of 1,275 patients (3.3%) fulfilling active (n = 29) and enhanced laboratory surveillance (n = 13) were confirmed to have the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The number of locally acquired case significantly increased from 1 of 13 confirmed cases (7.7%, day 22 to day 32) to 27 of 29 confirmed cases (93.1%, day 33 to day 42; P < .001). Among them, 28 patients (66.6%) came from 8 family clusters. Of 413 HCWs caring for these confirmed cases, 11 (2.7%) had unprotected exposure requiring quarantine for 14 days. None of these was infected, and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was not observed. Environmental surveillance was performed in the room of a patient with viral load of 3.3 × 106 copies/mL (pooled nasopharyngeal and throat swabs) and 5.9 × 106 copies/mL (saliva), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 1 of 13 environmental samples (7.7%) but not in 8 air samples collected at a distance of 10 cm from the patient’s chin with or without wearing a surgical mask.
Appropriate hospital infection control measures was able to prevent nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The national implementation of competency-based medical education (CBME) has prompted an increased interest in identifying and tracking clinical and educational outcomes for emergency medicine training programs. For the 2019 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium, we developed recommendations for measuring outcomes in emergency medicine training in the context of CBME to assist educational leaders and systems designers in program evaluation.
We conducted a three-phase study to generate educational and clinical outcomes for emergency medicine (EM) education in Canada. First, we elicited expert and community perspectives on the best educational and clinical outcomes through a structured consultation process using a targeted online survey. We then qualitatively analyzed these responses to generate a list of suggested outcomes. Last, we presented these outcomes to a diverse assembly of educators, trainees, and clinicians at the CAEP Academic Symposium for feedback and endorsement through a voting process.
Academic Symposium attendees endorsed the measurement and linkage of CBME educational and clinical outcomes. Twenty-five outcomes (15 educational, 10 clinical) were derived from the qualitative analysis of the survey results and the most important short- and long-term outcomes (both educational and clinical) were identified. These outcomes can be used to help measure the impact of CBME on the practice of Emergency Medicine in Canada to ensure that it meets both trainee and patient needs.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
− Agency is one of five core analytical problems in the Earth System Governance (ESG) Project’s research framework, which offers a unique approach to the study of environmental governance. − Agency in Earth System Governance draws lessons from ESG–Agency research through a systematic review of 322 peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2008 and 2016 and contained in the ESG–Agency Harvesting Database.− ESG–Agency research draws on diverse disciplinary perspectives with distinct clusters of scholars rooted in the fields of global environmental politics, policy studies, and socio-ecological systems. − Collectively, the chapters in Agency in Earth System Governance provide an accessible synthesis of some of the field’s major questions and debates and a state-of-the-art understanding of how diverse actors engage with and exercise authority in environmental governance.
− The role of the state as an agent of earth system governance has become more complex, contingent, and interdependent. − Although participatory and collaborative processes have contributed to more effective, equitable, and legitimate environmental governance outcomes in some instances, analyses of these processes should be situated within a broader governance perspective, which recasts questions of policy change around questions of power and justice. −The complexity and normative aspects of agency in earth system governance requires new forms of policy evaluation that account for social impacts and the ability of governance systems to adapt. − Many of the core analytical concepts in ESG–Agency scholarship, such as agency, power, authority, and accountability, remain under-theorized. In addition, some types of actors, including women, labor, non-human agents, those who work against earth system governance, and many voices from the Global South, remain largely hidden. − ESG–Agency scholars need to develop research projects and collaborations in understudied regions while also recruiting and supporting scholars in those regions to engage with this research agenda.
We undertook a quality improvement project to address challenges with pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) line maintenance in a setting of low-baseline central-line infection rates. We observed a subsequent reduction in Staphylococcal PAC line infections and a trend toward a reduction in overall PAC infection rates over 1 year.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Despite its long coastline, relatively little is known about mainland China’s intertidal communities compared to Europe and the United States, although more is known from Taiwan and Hong Kong. In general, northern areas are dominated by temperate species, with tropical species in the south and subtropical areas supporting a diversity of species from both regions. Studies of intertidal systems are in their infancy, developing since the 1930s and particularly after the 1960s with a primary focus on taxonomy and distribution patterns. While species lists and distributions have been available for mainland China since the 1930s, and more recently Taiwan and Hong Kong, many of these are outdated and recent approaches reveal many cryptic species complexes. Basic information of spatial and temporal patterns is available, but is focussed on few locations, while larger-scale or temporally replicated studies are rare, with Hong Kong being an exception. As a result, we know a lot about a few small areas, and have often used this to generalise much larger areas. This bias is even more true for studies investigating intertidal processes. Clearly, this is an under-studied region and, given the unprecedented anthropogenic pressures it faces, we may already be documenting a highly degraded intertidal system.