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Complex challenges may arise when patients present to emergency services with an advance decision to refuse life-saving treatment following suicidal behaviour.
To investigate the use of advance decisions to refuse treatment in the context of suicidal behaviour from the perspective of clinicians and people with lived experience of self-harm and/or psychiatric services.
Forty-one participants aged 18 or over from hospital services (emergency departments, liaison psychiatry and ambulance services) and groups of individuals with experience of psychiatric services and/or self-harm were recruited to six focus groups in a multisite study in England. Data were collected in 2016 using a structured topic guide and included a fictional vignette. They were analysed using thematic framework analysis.
Advance decisions to refuse treatment for suicidal behaviour were contentious across groups. Three main themes emerged from the data: (a) they may enhance patient autonomy and aid clarity in acute emergencies, but also create legal and ethical uncertainty over treatment following self-harm; (b) they are anxiety provoking for clinicians; and (c) in practice, there are challenges in validation (for example, validating the patient’s mental capacity at the time of writing), time constraints and significant legal/ethical complexities.
The potential for patients to refuse life-saving treatment following suicidal behaviour in a legal document was challenging and anxiety provoking for participants. Clinicians should act with caution given the potential for recovery and fluctuations in suicidal ideation. Currently, advance decisions to refuse treatment have questionable use in the context of suicidal behaviour given the challenges in validation. Discussion and further patient research are needed in this area.
Declaration of interest
D.G., K.H. and N.K. are members of the Department of Health's (England) National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. N.K. chaired the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline development group for the longer-term management of self-harm and the NICE Topic Expert Group (which developed the quality standards for self-harm services). He is currently chair of the updated NICE guideline for Depression. K.H. and D.G. are NIHR Senior Investigators. K.H. is also supported by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and N.K. by the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Maternal pre-pregnancy weight has been related with young singletons’ cognitive and behavioral development, but it is not clear if it has an effect on temperament. We used a twin cohort to evaluate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and infants’ temperament. The mothers of 834 twins answered questions regarding their pre-pregnancy BMI and their 0- to 18-month-old children’s temperament using the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire. Three temperamental dimensions were examined: activity level, distress to limitation and duration of orienting. The relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and each temperamental component was investigated by means of multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analysis. We found no clear evidence of an association of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI with twins’ temperament. The development of temperament is influenced by a large number of factors, probably different from those influencing children’s emotional and behavioral development.
This study evaluated in a rigorous 18-month randomized controlled trial the efficacy of an enhanced vocational intervention for helping individuals with a recent first schizophrenia episode to return to and remain in competitive work or regular schooling.
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) was adapted to meet the goals of individuals whose goals might involve either employment or schooling. IPS was combined with a Workplace Fundamentals Module (WFM) for an enhanced, outpatient, vocational intervention. Random assignment to the enhanced integrated rehabilitation program (N = 46) was contrasted with equally intensive clinical treatment at UCLA, including social skills training groups, and conventional vocational rehabilitation by state agencies (N = 23). All patients were provided case management and psychiatric services by the same clinical team and received oral atypical antipsychotic medication.
The IPS–WFM combination led to 83% of patients participating in competitive employment or school in the first 6 months of intensive treatment, compared with 41% in the comparison group (p < 0.005). During the subsequent year, IPS–WFM continued to yield higher rates of schooling/employment (92% v. 60%, p < 0.03). Cumulative number of weeks of schooling and/or employment was also substantially greater with the IPS–WFM intervention (45 v. 26 weeks, p < 0.004).
The results clearly support the efficacy of an enhanced intervention focused on recovery of participation in normative work and school settings in the initial phase of schizophrenia, suggesting potential for prevention of disability.
Problem behaviors are of increasing public health concern. Twin studies have revealed substantial genetic and environmental influences on children's behavior, and examining birth-weight difference could allow the identification of the specific contribution of multiple non-shared prenatal environmental factors. The Twins and Multiple Births Association Heritability Study, a UK, volunteer-based study, recruited mothers of twins aged 18 months to 5 years; 960 twins (480 pairs) were included in the analysis. Twins’ mothers answered questions relative to their pregnancy and their twins’ characteristics, and completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) 1½–5. The association between the absolute birth-weight difference and each CBCL scale's score difference was analyzed by means of multiple linear regressions. Expected mean CBCL score differences were calculated. In monozygotic (MZ) twins, statistically and clinically significant associations were found between intrapair birth-weight difference and difference in total problems, internalizing problems, and emotional reactiveness. No significant results were observed neither in dizygotic (DZ) twins when analyzed as a separate group nor in MZ and DZ twins combined. The results of the present study suggest that with increasing the absolute birth-weight difference, the intrapair difference in total problems, internalizing behaviors and emotionality increases, with smaller twins being at major risk for later behavior problems. Moreover, these results suggest a causal association between birth weight and behavior development.
Children acquiring sociolinguistic knowledge in transnational migration settings must learn to evaluate multiple languages and dialects in a fluid, multifaceted social landscape. This study examines the sociolinguistic development of local and expatriate children in Singapore and investigates the extent to which they share sociolinguistic knowledge and norms. One hundred fourteen children ages five to nineteen completed a region identification task and an occupation judgment task, focusing on their perception of four regional English varieties: Australian English, Northern-China-accented English, Filipino English, and Singapore English. While all groups performed well on the region identification task, expatriate children outperformed locals within the youngest age group. Singaporean and expatriate children attending local schools showed greater familiarity with local norms than international school students in their occupation ratings. Participants mapped speakers to occupations by general prestige level, suggesting that children rely on indirect knowledge of social status rather than direct experience with speakers in their development of sociolinguistic evaluation. (Children's sociolinguistic development, transnational migration, language attitudes)*
The polycentric nature of Neolithic developments in the Middle East has prompted several discussions related to the processes driving regional diversification in the emergence of agglomerate societies. Archaeologists have recognized how diverse social, environmental, and material landscapes shaped various communities, resulting in a heterogenous Neolithic world. In this paper, we use portable x-ray fluorescence analysis to determine the use of different chert resources at the site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey, and question how their consumption affected, and was affected by, different social and material practices enacted within the community. We adopt a network perspective to examine the range of behaviours that consumed particular resources, and trace how alterations in these networks impacted the social fabric of Çatalhöyük. Ultimately, we conclude that different investments involved in the consumption of each resource either promoted or restricted their use through time. A more complete picture of Neolithic life, we suggest, takes note of the varied relationships that communities developed with nearby social and environmental landscapes, including nuances in the ways in which resources were incorporated into different facets of each community.
Recent chemical abundance measurements of damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs) revealed a large intrinsic scatter in their metallicities. We discuss a semi-analytic model that was specifically designed to study this scatter by tracing the chemical evolution of the interstellar matter in small regions of the Universe with different mean density, from over- to underdense regions. It is shown that different histories of structure formation in these regions are reflected in the chemical properties of the proto-galaxies. We also address deuterium abundance measurements, which constitute a complementary probe of the star formation and infall histories.
Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study of the effects of regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method: We collected MRI structural scans in 14 first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. We found a reduction in total gray matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hippocampal gray matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the implementation of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. (JINS, 2015, 21, 868–879)
The pandemic of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) was primarily due to clonal spread of blaKPC producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. Thus, thoroughly studied CRE cohorts have consisted mostly of K. pneumoniae.
To conduct an extensive epidemiologic analysis of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacter spp. (CREn) from 2 endemic and geographically distinct centers.
CREn were investigated at an Israeli center (Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, January 2007 to July 2012) and at a US center (Detroit Medical Center, September 2008 to September 2009). blaKPC genes were queried by polymerase chain reaction. Repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were used to determine genetic relatedness.
In this analysis, 68 unique patients with CREn were enrolled. Sixteen isolates (24%) were from wounds, and 33 (48%) represented colonization only. All isolates exhibited a positive Modified Hodge Test, but only 93% (27 of 29) contained blaKPC. Forty-three isolates (63%) were from elderly adults, and 5 (7.4%) were from neonates. Twenty-seven patients died in hospital (40.3% of infected patients). Enterobacter strains consisted of 4 separate clones from Assaf Harofeh Medical Center and of 4 distinct clones from Detroit Medical Center.
In this study conducted at 2 distinct CRE endemic regions, there were unique epidemiologic features to CREn: (i) polyclonality, (ii) neonates accounting for more than 7% of cohort, and (iii) high rate of colonization (almost one-half of all cases represented colonization). Since false-positive Modified Hodge Tests in Enterobacter spp. are common, close monitoring of carbapenem resistance mechanisms (particularly carbapenemase production) among Enterobacter spp. is important.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1283–1291
To develop an automated method for ventilator-associated condition (VAC) surveillance and to compare its accuracy and efficiency with manual VAC surveillance
The intensive care units (ICUs) of 4 hospitals
This study was conducted at Detroit Medical Center, a tertiary care center in metropolitan Detroit. A total of 128 ICU beds in 4 acute care hospitals were included during the study period from August to October 2013. The automated VAC algorithm was implemented and utilized for 1 month by all study hospitals. Simultaneous manual VAC surveillance was conducted by 2 infection preventionists and 1 infection control fellow who were blinded to each another’s findings and to the automated VAC algorithm results. The VACs identified by the 2 surveillance processes were compared.
During the study period, 110 patients from all the included hospitals were mechanically ventilated and were evaluated for VAC for a total of 992 mechanical ventilation days. The automated VAC algorithm identified 39 VACs with sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 100%. In comparison, the combined efforts of the IPs and the infection control fellow detected 58.9% of VACs, with 59% sensitivity, 99% specificity, 91% PPV, and 92% NPV. Moreover, the automated VAC algorithm was extremely efficient, requiring only 1 minute to detect VACs over a 1-month period, compared to 60.7 minutes using manual surveillance.
The automated VAC algorithm is efficient and accurate and is ready to be used routinely for VAC surveillance. Furthermore, its implementation can optimize the sensitivity and specificity of VAC identification.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):999–1003
The objective of this study was to describe the neuropsychological profiles of the three variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA). Based on a comprehensive speech and language evaluation, 91 subjects were classified as logopenic (lvPPA=51), semantic (svPPA=13), or agrammatic (agPPA=27). All subjects completed a separate neuropsychological evaluation assessing verbal and visual memory, processing speed, executive function, and visuospatial function. The groups did not differ on demographic variables or on measures of disease duration or aphasia severity. There were group differences on aspects of learning and memory, as well as aspects of executive and visuospatial functions, primarily with the lvPPA group performing lower than the agPPA and svPPA groups. The agPPA group showed subtle deficits consistent with frontal lobe impairment, whereas neurocognitive weaknesses in the svPPA group were restricted to temporal lobe functions. The pattern of neurocognitive dysfunction in lvPPA suggests disease involvement of frontal lobe functions in addition to temporoparietal functions. These neurocognitive findings emphasize the value of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation of individuals who present with primary language disturbance, given the pattern of cognitive deficits may provide additive information for differentiating these clinical syndromes. (JINS, 2015, 21, 429–435)