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Ego defense mechanisms, defined by Freud as unconscious resources used by the ego to reduce conflict between the id and superego, are a reflection of how an individual deals with conflict and stress. Vaillants’ proposed Hierarchy of Defenses states that mature defenses are associated with better adaptive functioning and health, as opposed to immature defense which are correlated negatively with measures of adaptive adult functioning.
This study assesses the prevalence of various ego defense mechanisms employed by medical students of Karachi, which is a group with higher stress levels than the general population.
A questionnaire based cross-sectional study was conducted on 682 students from five major medical colleges of Karachi in November 2006. Ego defense mechanisms were assessed using the Defense Style Questionnaire(DSQ-40) individually and as grouped under Mature, Immature, and Neurotic factors.
Neurotic defenses had a higher mean score(5.62) than Mature(5.60) and Immature(4.78) mechanisms. Immature mechanisms were more commonly employed by males whereas females employed more Neurotic mechanisms than males. Neurotic and Immature defenses were significantly more prevalent in first and second year students. Mature mechanisms were significantly higher in students enrolled in Government colleges than Private institutions (p< 0.05).
Neurotic mechanisms are more commonly encountered than Mature or Immature mechanisms among medical students of Karachi, and this could reflect greater stress levels than the general population. Employment of these mechanisms was associated with female gender, enrollment in a private medical college, and students enrolled in the first 2 years of medical school.
Mood and anxiety disorders are common in youth and are associated with reduced quality of life and high costs. Access to effective treatment is limited due to long waitlists, high costs and perceived social stigma. Given the high prevalence and treatment barriers, there is a need for brief, inexpensive and effective interventions.
Psychoeducational interventions are inexpensive, easily administered and more accessible than conventional interventions. There is some evidence that these are effective in treating or preventing mental disorders.
To compare knowledge acquired by participants via email or live psychoeducation groups, to measure symptom change and to compare effectiveness of each modality.
Psychoeducation (live or via email) in multifamily groups will be offered. Forty participants in each group will be enrolled. There will be six 40-minute sessions. Primary outcome measures are: change in parental knowledge about the child's disorder and level of expressed emotion in the parent-child relationship. Measures are Understanding of Mood Disorders Questionnaire and Expressed Emotion Adjective Checklist. To measure changes in symptoms the Children's Depression Inventory and Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children will be used. Questionnaires will be administered before, after and at 4 months.
Data entered in Excel format. ANOVA used to compare effectiveness of group versus email psychoeducation. Both methods equally effective in delivering psychoeducation.
Ontario has long waitlists for youth with mood and anxiety disorders. Psychoeducation is effective in increasing understanding of illness, improving symptoms and problem-solving skills of the family. Multifamily group versus email psychoeducation will facilitate access.
Multiculturalism has become a powerful force in Canada in recent years. Approximately 25% of physicians are International Medical Graduates (IMGs). In psychiatry, cultural variations affect the symptomatic manifestations of mental illness. Psychiatric trainees need to develop cultural competence since cultural knowledge is an important determinant of treatment outcome.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada in its Framework for Mental Health Strategy included addressing issues of race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, gender, creed, sexual orientation, class/socioeconomic status, age and disability. The Royal College Objectives for Psychiatry state ‘the resident must be able to address issues of gender, sexual orientation, age, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, and ethics in a professional manner.’
To teach residents components of cultural competency; to measure change in attitudes before and after the module; and to increase awareness of link of cultural competency to professionalism and communicator role.
The Queen's University Department of Psychiatry designed an innovative Cultural Competency Module for its residents. Queen's staff from Human Rights Office, International Center and Dept. of Psychiatry provided: a) a full day workshop on cultural self-awareness; b) modules on Sexual and Gender Diversity and c) Race/Ethnicity. Each section included didactics, case vignettes, small group discussions, and role plays of culturally sensitive interviews. Gain in knowledge and attitude change was measured by pre and post questionnaires. Residents also participated in an online version of the Intercultural Developmental Inventory to find out their group score.
Residents had shift in attitudes/knowledge of cultural competency after the module.
Psychotherapy is one of the most widely investigated and practiced forms of treatment used in the treatment of different mental health problems. However, there are some barriers in delivering this treatment, including long waiting lists, therapist shortage and lack of access to therapists in remote areas. Therefore, using alternative methods to overcome these barriers seems necessary.
The division of psychiatry at Queen's university provides different psychotherapy groups for individuals suffering from different kinds of mental health problem. We gave the participants the opportunity to choose online psychotherapy through an online clinic or the live group sessions. All the patients were assessed by different questionnaires for evaluation of the efficacy of the treatment. The online clinic was designed to facilitate the communication between patients and clinicians and the material was delivered in PowerPoint format through the online platform. All user activities were logged for security purposes.
Statistical analysis showed that this method of delivering psychotherapy significantly reduced patients’ symptoms and also decreased the number of people on the waiting list and increased the amount of compliance in patient's taking part in psychotherapy and number of people who were able to receive psychotherapy.
Despite the proven short and long-term efficacy of psychotherapy, there are some barriers in delivering this treatment. It is an unequivocal public health needs to overcome these barriers through alternative methods of therapy. With Internet use ever rising, developing an online clinic could be a new way in delivering different kinds of psychotherapy.
The aim of this work was to study the acceptability of plans prepared for prostate patients treated by volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) with the vision to evaluate the quality of plans and test pre-treatment quality assurance (QA).
VMAT plans of 35 patients, planned on the Eclipse Treatment Planning System (Aria 15), were included in the study. Plan acceptability was checked using statistical analysis, which includes homogeneity index, radical and median homogeneity index, coverage and uniformity index. Dose–volume histograms (DVH) of the plans were also studied to check prescribed dose (PD), Dmax, Dmin, D5 and D95. Portal dosimetry was also done by gamma analysis using 3%/3 mm criterion. SD and mean SD error were also calculated and analysed.
Statistical analysis showed a mean HI of 1·054, coverage 0·959, UI 1·055, mDHI 0·962 and rDHI 0·866. SD of HI, coverage, UI, mDHI and rDHI was 0·019, 0·019, 0·014, 0·013 and 0·030, respectively. From the DVHs, mean of D5, D95, Dmin and Dmax was calculated at 6,252·9, 5,757·4, 6,413·3 and 5,657·7 cGy, respectively, with a prescribed dose of 6,000 cGy. According to gamma analysis, area gamma < 1 was 99·12% with a tolerance limit of 95%, maximum gamma was 1·466 with a tolerance limit of 3·5, average gamma was 0·388 with a tolerance limit of 0·5, area gamma > 1·2 was 0·242% with a tolerance limit of 0·5%, maximum dose difference was 0·6 with a tolerance limit of 1·0 and average dose difference was 0·029 with a tolerance limit of 0·2.
All three computations showed the results to be within acceptable limits. VMAT possesses a unique feature of delivering the whole treatment with only two rotations of the gantry. VMAT has an improved efficiency of delivery for equivalent dosimetric quality.
Drought stress negatively affects the cotton production all over the world. The negative impact of drought varies for different species due to some morphological and root attributes that help some species to better stand under drought. But the extent of disturbance varies for different cotton species. To find out such variation, two cotton species (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium arboreum) were studied under normal and drought conditions for 2 years. Two genotypes for each species were included, i.e. PC-1 and COMILLA (G. arboreum) and IUB-13 and IUB-65 (G. hirsutum). The experiment was laid out under a completely randomized design following factorial arrangement. Genotype × treatment × year interaction of cotton genotypes was studied for different root, morphological, physiological and fibre-related traits. Traits such as above ground dry biomass, above ground fresh biomass, chlorophyll contents, leaf area, seed cotton yield, sympodial branches/plant, fibre strength and ginning out-turn were higher in G. hirsutum genotypes as compared to G. arboreum genotypes. However less reduction under drought in all above mentioned traits was recorded for G. arboreum, than G. hirsutum. Furthermore, root traits; primary root length, lateral root numbers, root fresh weight and root dry weight were enriched under drought condition in G. arboreum genotypes than in G. hirsutum genotypes, which is a clear manifestation of higher drought tolerance ability in G. arboreum genotypes transferrable to G. hirsutum genotypes through interspecific crossing or other means.
The main objective of this study is to assure the quality of cervical cancer treatment plans using an electronic portal imaging device (EPID) in RapidArc techniques.
Materials and Methods:
Fifteen cases of cervical cancer patients undergoing RapidArc technique were selected to evaluate the quality assurance (QA) of their treatment. The computed tomography (CT) of each patient was obtained with 3-mm-slice thickness and transferred to the Eclipse treatment planning system. The prescribed dose (PD) of 50·4 Gy with 1·8 Gy per fraction to planning target volume (PTV) was used for each patient. The aim of treatment planning was to achieve 95% of PD to cover 97%, and dose to the PTV should not receive 105% of the PD. All RapidArc plans were created using the AAA algorithm and treated on Varian DHX using 6 MV photon beam, with two full arcs. Gamma analysis was used to evaluate the quality of the treatment plans with accepting criteria of 95% at 3%/3 mm.
In this study, maximum and average gamma values were 2·53 ± 0·409 and 0·195 ± 0·059 showing very small deviation and indicating the smaller difference between both predicted and portal doses. Gamma Area changes from > 0·8 to > 1·2. SD increased to 5·4% and mean standard error increased to 4·67%.
On the basis of these outcomes, we can summarise that the EPID is a useful tool for QA in standardising and evaluating RapidArc treatment plans of cervical cancer in routine clinical practice.
The main objective of this research work is to compare the dosimertic effect on lower and upper oesophagus cancer treatment using 3D conformal radiotherapy as well as to evaluate the doses administered to the organs at risk.
Materials and methods
In this study, a cohort of 30 oesophageal cancer patients between the ages of 45 and 67 years registered during March 2017 to February 2018 was considered. These patients were treated through 3D conformal radiotherapy using four-field technique. Beam energy of 15 MV from Varian DHX linear accelerator was used. The given 30 patients were divided into two groups. The 1st group of 15 patients with upper oesophagus cancer was prescribed 5000 cGy doses, and the 2nd group of remaining 15 patients with lower oesophagus cancer was prescribed 4500 cGy. Computed tomography scans of every patient were obtained and then transmitted to Eclipse TPS for generating treatment plans. All radiotherapy plans were evaluated through various dosimetric indices. Statistical analysis software SPSS was utilised to get the values of means standard error and standard deviation of these indices for the treatment plan evaluation.
Uniformity index (UI) calculated for first group of patients showed difference of 7·4% from ideal value. A difference of 7% between ideal and calculated UI value was observed in 2nd group of patients. The values of other dosimetric indices like coverage, homogeneity, moderate dose homogeneity index (mDHI) and radical dose homogeneity index (rDHI) were found in limits specified by the Radiation Therapy and Oncology Group. The maximum difference of 6% was observed between the coverage mean values of 1st and 2nd group treatment plans.
For oesophageal cancer, 3D conformal radiotherapy using four-field treatment plans shows homogeneous distribution of dose around the target and limits the dose to organ at risk.
This study reported the justification and selection of acceptable γ criteria with respect to low (6 MV) and high (15 MV) photon beams for intensity-modulated radiation therapy quality assurance (IMRT QA) using the Gafchromic external beam therapy 3 (EBT3) film.
Materials and methods
Five-field step-and-shoot IMRT was used to treat 16 brain IMRT patients using the dual-energy DHX-S linear accelerator (Varian Medical System, Palo Alto, CA, USA). Dose comparisons between computed values of the treatment planning system (TPS) and Gafchromic EBT3 film were evaluated based on γ analysis using the Film QA Pro software. The dose distribution was analysed with gamma area histograms (GAHs) generated using different γ criteria (3%/2 mm, 3%/3 mm and 5%/3 mm) for the 6 and 15 MV photon beams, to optimise the best distance-to-agreement (DTA) criteria with respect to the beam energy.
From the comparison between the dose distributions acquired from the TPS and EBT3 film, a DTA criterion of 3%/2 mm showed less dose differences (DDs) with passing rates up to 93% for the 6 MV photon beams, while for the 15 MV a relaxed DTA criterion of 5%/3 mm was consistent with the DD acceptability criteria with a 95% passing rate.
Our results suggested that high-energy photon beams required relaxed DTA criteria for the brain IMRT QA, while low-energy photon beams showed better results even with tight DTA criteria.
This work reports our study to commission a radiochromic film dosimetry system using the timely EBT3 film. We carried out dosimetric evaluations on different characteristics of photon beams (e.g., flatness, symmetry and penumbra) in radiation dose delivery.
Materials and Methods
A Varian linear accelerator producing 6 and 15 MV photon beams with 120 multi-leaf collimator was used in this study. PTW ionisation chamber was used to measure the beam characteristics such as symmetry, flatness and penumbra and these measurements were used to commission the radiochormic EBT3 film dosimetry system. The results of irradiated films were analysed using the radiochromic film QA Pro software 2016.
The measured film doses were analysed at two different colour channels (green and red) using two scanning geometries (i.e., upper or lower side of film facing the scanner light source) at two dose levels (10 and 40 Gy). The difference between the ionisation chamber and film results was found insignificant and within the acceptable range as per the World Health Organisation standard.
Results of the comparison between the ionisation chamber and film measurements show that our radiochormic EBT3 film dosimetry system is reliable and cost-effective in the output measurement of a linear accelerator. Our measurements confirm that our EBT3 film dosimetry agreed well with the ionisation chamber, and can be used as a re-validation tool for linear accelerator quality control.
Apis mellifera jemenitica, the only indigenous honey bee race of Saudi Arabia, is well adapted to the harsh local environmental conditions. A large-scale field survey was conducted to screen major Saudi Arabian beekeeping locations for infection by Paenibacillus larvae. Paenibacillus larvae is one of the major bacterial pathogens of honey bee broods and is the causative agent of American foulbrood disease. Larvae from samples suspected of infection were collected from different apiaries and homogenized in phosphate-buffered saline. Bacteria were isolated on MYPGP agar medium. Two bacterial isolates, ksuPL3 and ksuPL5 (16S rRNA GenBank accession numbers, KR780760 and KR780761, respectively), were subjected to molecular identification using P. larvae-specific primers. A BLAST sequence analysis revealed that the two isolates were P. larvae with more than 98% sequence identity. This detection of P. larvae in the indigenous honey bee is the first recorded incidence of this pathogen in Saudi Arabia. This study emphasizes the need for the relevant authorities to take immediate steps towards treating and limiting the spread of this disease throughout the country.
Prehospital airway management (AM) is the first priority in the care of emergency and trauma victims as it has shown to improve survival in these patients.
The aim of this study was to assess training and knowledge of ambulance staff and availability of AM equipment in ambulances of Karachi, Pakistan.
This cross-sectional study was conducted from June through September 2014. Interviews were conducted with management of six ambulance service providers and 165 ambulance staff. Data from the management included availability of AM equipment in the ambulances, number and designation of staff sent for emergency calls, and AM training of staff. Ambulance staff were assessed for their awareness, knowledge, and training pertaining to AM.
All the ambulance services (A through F) had basic equipment for AM but lacked qualified and trained staff. All services had solo drivers (98.3%) for emergency calls; however, Ambulance Service A also had doctors and paramedics. Only 35.7% (59/165) of ambulance staff had awareness regarding AM, out of which 77.9% (46/59) belonged to Ambulance Service A. Of these 59 staff, 81.4% received some form of AM training. Staff with AM awareness, when assessed for knowledge pertaining to AM steps and AM equipment, had a mean score of 4.7/5 and 8.4/12, respectively.
Even though ambulances are equipped with basic equipment, due to lack of trained staff, these ambulances only serve the mere purpose of transportation. There is a need to train ambulance staff and increase ambulance to staff ratio to improve prehospital AM and patient survival.
IsmailS, ZiaN, SamadK, NaeemR, AhmadH, RazaA, BaqirM, KhanUR. Prehospital Airway Management in Emergency and Trauma Patients: A Cross-sectional Study of Ambulance Service Providers and Staff in a Low- and Middle-income Country. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(6):606–612.
The effect of argon concentration (10%–40%) on the surface properties of molybdenum is studied in nitrogen-argon mixture using 100 Hz pulsed dc glow discharge. The analysis is carried out by using X-ray diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Vickers microhardness tester to investigate surface properties of the nitrided samples. XRD results exhibit the formation of molybdenum nitrides. Crystallite size analysis and SEM morphology confirm the growth of nanostructured molybdenum nitride layers. Moreover, significant increase in surface hardness (by a factor of about two times) is found when the sample is treated for 30% argon in nitrogen-argon mixed plasma.
We determined the prevalence of microsporidia Enterocytozoon (Ent.) bieneusi and Encephalitozoon (E.) intestinalis infection in patients with chronic diarrhoea and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 330 stool samples were examined from 171 (52%) patients with chronic diarrhoea, 18 (5%) with HCC while 141 (43%) were controls. Stool microscopy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with species-specific primers for Ent. bieneusi and E. intestinalis and sequencing were carried out. Microsporidia were found by trichrome staining in 11/330 (3%) and E. intestinalis by PCR in 13/330 (4%) while Ent. bieneusi was not detected. PCR for E. intestinalis was positive in 8/171 (5%) stool samples from patients with chronic diarrhoea, 2/141 (1·4%) samples from healthy controls and in 3/18 (17%) samples from patients with HCC. In the chronic diarrhoea group, E. intestinalis was positive in 4/171 (2·3%) (P=0·69) stool samples compared to 2/18 (11%) (P=0·06) in the HCC group and 2/141 (1·4%) from healthy controls. E. intestinalis infection was significantly associated with chronic diarrhoea and HCC in these patients who were negative for HIV. Stool examination with trichrome or species-specific PCR for microsporidia may help establish the cause of chronic diarrhoea.
Triple therapy is commonly used for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. We determined risk factors associated with its failure in compliant patients focusing on H. pylori density, virulence marker and 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) point mutations associated with clarithromycin resistance. H. pylori infection was diagnosed by 14C urea breath test (14C UBT) and rapid urease test or histology. Triple therapy with esomeprazole 20 mg b.i.d., amoxicillin 1 g b.i.d. and clarithromycin 500 mg b.i.d. was prescribed for 10 days. 14C UBT was repeated 4 weeks after treatment. In total, 111 patients [69 (62%) males] with a mean age of 46±16 years were enrolled. The mean age of treatment failure was 39±14 years compared to 48±16 years with eradication (P=0·002). Treatment failure was associated with younger mean age, point mutations in the 23S rRNA gene of H. pylori and vacA s1a and m1 when associated with cagA negativity.
In this article we present the protocol of the Birmingham Registry for Twin Heritability Studies (BiRTHS), which aims to establish a long-term prospective twin registry with twins identified from the antenatal period and subjected to detailed follow-up. We plan to investigate the concordance in anthropo-metrics and early childhood phenotypes between 66 monozygotic and 154 dizygotic twin pairs in the first 2 years of recruitment. In this project we plan to determine the relative contributions of heritability and environment to fetal growth, birth size, growth in infancy and development up to 2 years of age in an ethnically mixed population. Twins will be assessed with the Griffitth's Mental Development Scales, which will enable us to obtain detailed information on development. As maternal depression may have an effect on the twins' neurodevelopment, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale will be used at various stages during pregnancy and after delivery to assess maternal depressive symptoms. The increasing prevalence of obesity in both adults and children has raised concerns about the effect of maternal obesity in pregnancy on fetal growth. The prospective study design gives us the opportunity to obtain data on maternal nutrition (reflected by body mass index) and ante- and postnatal growth and development of twins.
To determine the incidence, clinical characteristics, and risk factors associated with the first culture-proven episode of sepsis among neonates in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Level-II NICU in the United Kingdom.
Neonates with their first culture-proven sepsis between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000.
Demographic data were obtained from the NICU database and chart review. Sepsis was considered early (EOS; < 72 hours old) or late (LOS; > 72 hours old). Data were also collected on potential risk factors.
Among 14,767 live births, 1,612 (11%) neonates were admitted to the NICU during the study period. Nine hundred eight were screened for sepsis. One hundred twenty-four had at least one positive culture (overall sepsis rate of 8.4 per 1,000 live births [1%] or 77 per 1,000 NICU admissions). Twenty-four neonates had EOS and 100 had LOS. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) and group B Streptococcus were the most frequent organisms causing EOS, whereas CoNS and Escherichia coli most frequently caused LOS. Birth before 30 weeks' gestation and birth weight less than 1,500 g were risk factors for sepsis. Resuscitation at birth was the leading risk factor for EOS and respiratory support prior to sepsis, presence of a central or peripheral catheter, and total parenteral nutrition were leading risk factors for LOS.
A strong inverse relationship existed between gestational age of 30 weeks or younger and birth weight of 1,500 g or less and LOS. Resuscitation and indwelling intravenous catheters were also risk factors.