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There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
Suicide is a major public health problem, one of the leading causes of death and one of the first causes of years of life lost. It is a voluntary act that can be carried out by men and women, children and adults, rich and poor, people of every race and religion.
The aim of this text is to outline the most popular suicides and briefly discuss the representation of suicide in art. Painters such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Jackson Pollock, musicians as Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the actresses Lupe Vélez, Carole Landis, Pier Angeli, Capucine, Marylin Monroe, Lucy Gordon and the actors Heath Ledger and Freddie Prinze decided the end of their lives in different ways and at different stages.
In the literary field, we find the world renowned suicides of Socrates, Seneca and Caton. Other famous and more recent suicidal writers are Ernest Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Yukio Mishima, Alfonsina Stormi and Cesare Pavese among others.
Suicide has been represented in several plays and operas, not only people of flesh and blood kill themselves but also fictional characters. the love-death of Liu in Turandot and Tosca in the opera of the same name Are noteworthy, both were composed by Giacomo Puccini. In Hamlet, tragedy written by William Shakespeare, is Ophelia who dies drowning at the sea.
Dual diagnosis patients are characterized by low rates of adherence and treatment compliance. During last years new resources have dedicated to these patients where substance use and mental disorder are treated simultaneously.
The aim of this study is to describe sociodemographic and psychopatology features of dual diagnosis outpatient.
All subjects in the study were outpatients at dual diagnosis program at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain during 2007 to 2008. These patients were following up until December 2009. Sociodemographic data, psychiatric diagnosis and substance abuse were assessed by using EuropASI, SCID-I y SCID-II and by reviewing their medical histories.
A total of 90 patients were recruited for this study during 2007–2008 and were followed one year. 62,5% of them remain until the end of the treatment. 67,9% were men, medium age was 37 years old (± 1.4). Most of them live with their own families (57,1%) and their marital status was single (48,2%). In this sample the most prevalent psychiatric diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder (36,4%) followed by Psychotic Disorder (36,2%). The most abused substance was cocaine (33,9%) followed by cannabis (26,8%), alcohol (16,1%), heroin (17,9%). More of 60% were polydrug.
The patients who maintained inculcation with the outpatient program of dual diagnosis were men with medium level of academic level and good family and social environment.
Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
The diagnosis of depression appears recently in psychiatry history. It is in the early fifties when appeared in diagnosis summaries. Before, depression was understood as a regular symptom in the exploration, which was commonly observed under the use of other diagnosis like maniac-depressive disorder, schizophrenia, neurosis and hysteria.
Depression as diagnosis label in our daily clinical work is much more used in women than in men. There is a wide group of syndromes attached to reproductive woman life like premenstrual syndrome, puerperal psychosis and climacteric depression that finally contributes to different intensities of the depressive spectrum. Also women are the first consumers of antidepressant drugs in our culture. In men, many factors like alcoholism and cultural construction of masculinity based in inhibit emotional expression, explain that the prevalence of depression is less than in women.
In our work, we want to question why a diagnosis appears in one historical moment and why it is more applied to women than men, which are the factors involved in this process; therefore we wonder which elements of the performative discourse are shaping this diagnosis finally come real in clinical work.
To illustrate this, we will challenged the current data from a theoretic framework with different points of view as gender studies, science history and discourse philosophy.
Cocaine dependence disorder has been widely described. However, differences due to gender remain unknown.
To compare clinical gender differences in a large sample of cocaine-dependent patients.
We performed a cross-sectional, observational study in 902 patients (35.47 yo, 21.3% women) with a cocaine dependence according DSM-IV criteria, seeking treatment during 2005 to 2013. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were collected The SCID-I, SCID–II, BIS and a structured interview about cocaine-induced psychosis were performed. Simple descriptive statistics were carried out for demographic and clinical data. Bivariate analysis was made to compare the main variables by sex using SPSSvs18.0.
No differences in age of dependence onset, other clinical variables or cocaine-induced psychosis were detected. However, less cocaine used in the last month (2.12 vs 3.37g) (p < 0.009), more impulsivity (67.2 vs 63.03) (p < 0.040), and more sedative dependence (21.2% % vs 8.3%)(p< 0.00) were detected in women than in men. Affective disorders lifetime were the most prevalent (57,4%) in women. More comorbidity with anxiety disorders (p< 0.025) eating disorders (p< 0.000) and personality disorders (p< 0.039) were detected in women than in men.
Sedative dependence and anxiety disorders should be investigated in cocaine-dependent women in order to treat these conditions. Surprisingly high impulsivity level was detected and could moderate cocaine consumption. However, no difference have been found previously in studies about gender differences in cocaine-dependent patients, so this finding should be confirm in new studies.
It's known that adherence to treatment is a key factor in the treatment of addictions. The presence of comorbid substance dependence disorder and other psychiatric disorder is very high. Comorbid psychiatric disorders interfere with adherence to drug treatment and detoxification.
To analyze the percentage of patients who had a voluntary discharge to Hospital Detoxification Unit and to describe sociodemographic, clinical and diagnostic test characteristics.
Material and methods
We descriptively studied drug dependents patients admitted to our Detoxification Unit from June 2008 to August 2012. Data was gathered at admission on demographic (age), clinical (main abused drug, psychiatric comorbidities, polydrug users, binge consumption previous intake) and alcoholtest and/or urinalysis. Results from patients with and without voluntary discharge were compared.
The study sample included 469 patients (77.7% men, average age 38.3 ± 9). 10.7% of the patients had voluntary discharge. We found significant differences between voluntary discharge and the non-voluntary discharge group on younger people (37,6 vs 40,42,p < 0,05), on heroine as main drug of abuse (40% vs 13,4%, p < 0,0001) and psychiatric comorbidities (60,8% vs 39,2%,p = 0,02), being psychotic disorders (26% vs 13,6%,p < 0,02) and borderline personality disorder (56% vs 29,4%,p < 0,0001) the most significant. Also patients who had binge consumption previous intake (84% vs 56.6%,p < 0.0001) and patients with positive urinalysis(84% vs 58.2%,p < 0.0001) had more voluntary discharge. Patients with comorbid depressive disorders had non-voluntary discharge(6% vs 18.4%,p < 0.02).
Few patients had a voluntary discharge. Younger people, opiate dependence, having psychotic and borderline personality co morbidity, binge consumption previous intake and positive urinalysis might be considered as risk factors for voluntary discharge.
Cocaine induced psychosis (CIP) is common but not developed in all cases. Many risk factors have been linked with CIP. A lifetime diagnosis of ADHD has been associated with the categorical presence of CIP.
The objective of this study is to determinate the relationship between impulsivity and impulsivity-realetd disorders (BPD, BN and ADHD) and CIP.
We study the presence of psychotic symptoms using a clinical interview for psychotic symptoms in a large sample of cocaine-dependent patients. Patients suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorders were excluded. Finally we included 287 patients in the study.
A structured interview about psychotic symptoms were systematically conducted. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Axis I and Axis II disorders were used in order to identify the comorbidity. CAADID-II (Conners’ Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV) were used in order to identify ADHD comorbidity. Barrat impulsivity scale were used for evaluate impulsivity.
BIS total were 63.78. We identify a significant association between CIP and BIS cognitive subscale p < 0.003 and BIS total p < 0.021. We also identify a significant association between CIP and adult ADHD in cocaine-dependent patients p < .0.002. We fail to identify association between CIP and BPD and BN.
CIP is related with BIS cognitive subscale and BIS total scores, and with ADHD comorbidity in cocaine-dependent patients. As well these findings could be useful for a clinical approach to the risks of psychotic states in cocaine-dependent patients.
Substance-dependent patients(SDP) have more personality disorders(PD) than general population; and they present more frequent and severe levels of depression and anxiety.
To study cluster C personality disorders in SDP.
We included a clinical sample of 822(621 males) SDP according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria seeking treatment in the Outpatient Drug Clinic Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain.
The assessment process consisted of three interview sessions conducted by trained psychiatrists and psychologists using SCID I and II, BDI, STAI-R/S. Exclusion criteria were:intoxication at baseline examination, severe somatic disease at baseline examination and low language proficiency.
39.2% of the sample presented at least one PD and 9.55% presented a cluster C PD. Of them the found prevalence were Avoidant(44.9%), Dependt(11.5%), Obssessive-compulsive(37.2%), comorbidity (6.4%). The addiction prevalences that Cluster C PD patients show were: dependent of alcohol 9.4%, benzodiazepines 18.5%, opioids 6.1%, cocaine 9.7 and cannabis 12.3%.
70.5% of the PD cluster C group were men, however differences according to the cluster C PD were found, being higher the proportion of men in Obsessive-compulsive PD (85.7%) and fewer in Dependent PD patients (33.7%)(χ2 =12.19, p = .007).
Cluster C PD patients presented more depressive symptoms and showed higher scores in anxiety-trait than patient with Cluster A or B PD, being this difference statistically significant.
There is a high rate of cluster C personality disorders among addicted patients. Higher levels of anxiety depression are detected in these patients. Clinicians should be check systematically this symptoms and traits in addicted patients.
There is good evidence from epidemiological studies that the diagnosis of schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of violence.Some studies have linked the presence of positive symptoms, first psychotic episode, duration of untreated psychosis and lack of insight with violent behavior.
The primary objective was to identify factors related to violent behavior in patients diagnosed with psychotic disorder attended by our group, a multidisciplinary mobile outreach team (EMSE).
We evaluated a total of 249 patients diagnosed with psychotic disorder between 2007 and 2012. We administered the following scales: PANSS, GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning), CGI (Clinical Global Impression), GEP (Severity of psychiatric illness scale, AVAT (Instrument to assess violent behavior in mental illness) and SUMD (Scale unawareness of mental disorders). To study the correlation between the scales and the score of the AVAT instrument we used the Pearson correlation. Clinical variables were also compared between aggressive and non-aggressive patients using Chisquare and Student's.
There is a positive correlation between AVAT and PANSS-P (r = 0.544), ICG (r = 0.472), GEP (r = 0.515) and a negative correlation between AVAT and GAF (r = -0357). The correlation between AVAT and SUMD is positive (r = 0.119) but not statistically significant.
The presence of positive symptoms and clinical severity has been linked to increased aggressiveness and to predict the occurrence of violent behavior in the course of psychotic disorder. Unlike other studies, no correlation was observed with the lack of insight.
The utility of Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) and its target population has been a controversial issue and many scientific articles have been writen about it (1,2).
The aim of this study is to identify the demographic and clinical features of patients diagnosed with psychotic disorder who have been hospitalized and have not required hospitalization in psychiatric unit through a Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU).
We collected retrospectively demographic and clinical variables. These include psychiatric rating scales of severity: Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI) and Psychiatric Disease Severity (GEP); of functionality as Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF); the aggressive behaviour and violence scale (AVAT) and psychopathology with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) of a total of 136 patients between June 2007 and July 2010.
There have been found stadisticaly significative differences between patients who have been hospitalized versus patients who have not in the items of treatment adherence and security staff intervention (Table 1). There is a positive correlation between patients who required hospitalization and the clinical scales CGI, GEP, GAF, AVAT, SUMD, PANSS-P and PANSS-G (Table 2).
We can conclude that patients cared for by the Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) that require of psychiatric hospitalization have poor adherence to previous treatment. A high frequency of cases require intervention of security staff for having a higher risk of aggressiveness at the moment of hospitalization. The presence of greater psychopathology and functionality severity in patients hospitalized through the Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) is also considered.
Until now, no reliable biological markers of risk and relapse in cocaine-dependent patients have been identified. The yawn-inducing Apomorphine test has been proposed as a marker for predicting relapse during cocaine withdrawal.
Studying the Apomorphine complete Test as a predictor of relapse in intranasal cocaine dependet-patients during abstinence.
39 (35 men) cocaine addicts were recruited and included in an addiction program involving 2 weeks in-patient setting and a 23 follow-up weeks. Dependence was diagnosed according to DSM-IV-TR criteria and other axis I comorbid main diagnosis were excluded.
We performed the Apomorphine complete Test (including an Apomorphine Test plus a Placebo Test) at the beginning (day 1) and end (day 11 or 12) of a detoxification program. Patient received 0′005 mg/kg of apomorphine and 0′005 mg/kg of placebo subcutaneously each test.
The patients who relapse prematurely (before 4 weeks), yawn more 11′42 (0–31) in the Apomorphine complete Test realized the first day of the detoxification compared with patients that relapse no prematurely (after 4 weeks of follow-up), 6′83 (0–20), Z -2′14 p < 0′03. A model can establish, with a point of court of 7 yawns in the first Apomorphine complete Test that has a sensibility of 61 ′ 9% and a specificity of 70 ′ 6%.
There an increased number of yawns in relapse-patients The Apomorphine complete Test could be proposed as a biological marker of early relapse.
Pain medication misuse is commonly found in patients under headache treatment and may produce co-morbid anxiety and depressive symptomatology. Management of this issue requires a comprehensive and integrative treatment including psychotherapy. Group interventions have been scarcely studied in addictive disorders, those interventions aims to decrease drug misuse and improve related psychiatric symptoms.
To study the efficacy of group interventions base on cognitive-behavior approach in patients with pain medication misuse.
Patients with pain medication misuse were included and were evaluated with BDI, STAI, SF36 and HIT scales (basal and at the end of treatment sessions). Patients were recruited from headache outpatient unit. Twelve sessions of one hour were performed with a cognitive-behavior approach (weekly).
We present preliminary results about the efficacy of group interventions in patients with pain medication misuse. Descriptive results pre- and post- treatment were analyzed in depressive symptoms (M = 20.14, SD = 12.25; M = 14.67, SD = 19.50) and in areas of quality of life: physical functioning (M = 48.75, SD = 31.13; M = 60.50, SD = 41.68), bodily pain (M = 12, SD = 9.25; M = 42.75, SD = 34.09), general health perceptions (M = 25.75, SD = 16.96; M = 44.25, SD = 22.33), vitality (M = 33.75, SD = 13.82; M = 48, SD = 34.82).
Pain medication misuse is commonly found in chronic headache patients, consequently worst outcomes for both pathologies. Group interventions may be useful in management of pain, anxiety and other comorbidities. Furthermore, it may favor drug use decrease and even abstinence.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Legal and illegal drugs can cause psychotic symptoms, in cocaine-dependent patients the prevalence of these symptoms may reach 86% (Vorspan, 2012). It is estimated that 13–32% of cocaine-dependent patients have kinaesthetic hallucinations (Siegel, 1978; Mahoney, 2008; Roncero, 2012).
To compare the prevalence of substance-induced psychotic symptoms and compare the use of welfare/social resources and social adjustment among cocaine-dependent patients (CD) and other substances dependences (OtherD).
Two hundred and six patients seeking treatment at the Addictions and Dual Diagnosis Unit of the Vall d’Hebron. Patients were assessed by ad hoc questionnaire designed to collect demographic data and psychotic symptoms associated with consumption, a record of the care/social resources used by the patient and the scale of social adaptation (SASS). A descriptive and bivariate analysis of the data was performed.
CD were 47.1% vs. 52.9% OtherD (66.1% alcohol, 17.4% cannabis, 8.3% opioid, 8.3% benzodiazepines/other drugs). Of cocaine dependent-patients, 65.6% present psychotic symptoms vs. 32.1% for the OtherD. Different exhibiting psychotic symptoms are: self-referential (69.7% vs. 30.7%), delusions of persecution (43.4% vs. 12.2%), hallucinations (49.4% vs. 14.3%), auditory hallucinations (43.5% vs. 11.4%), visual hallucinations (30.4% vs. 5.7%) and kinaesthetic hallucinations (7.2% vs. 2.9%).
Cocaine-dependent patients significantly use more health care resources in reference addiction unit (76.3% vs. 62.4%, P:.035) and infectious diseases (22.7% vs. 5.5%, P:.000) and justice-related (50.5% vs. 26 resources 0.6%; P:1.001) and less resources and mental health (25.8% vs. 43.1%; P:.013).
Regarding social adaptation, no differences were found in the SASS. Kinaesthetic hallucinations do not appear to be related to a greater use of resources and in social adaptation.
References not available.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The classical authors associate the insanity with delusions, without delusions there was not insanity. This axiom has changed nowadays, and it's also accepted that insanity can exist without delusions.
We aim to know and describe which factors are involved in the development of the delusion. Use these conclusions to drive the patient to the comprehension and acceptance of the reality.
(a) Unravel the mechanism of delusion, (b) seek the causes, (c) find out an explanation about the origin and development of the delusional thematic.
Clinical biographic review, carried on in 2 steps: (a) review the delusions store in the Hermanas Hospitalarias Spanish hospitals (17 centres), (b) choose one of them, (c) use the inductive method for analyzing the details and for making conclusions in order to be apply in the delusional process.
(a) Understand the internal dynamic of delusion and how the delusion becomes the main axis of the patient life. (b) The patient finds on the delusion a life motive, which did not exist before.
Paraphrasing Dr.Castilla del Pino, “the delusion is a necessary mistake”. From the emotional point of view, it can be said “the delusion is a cry of a captured heart”.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Psychiatric patients tend to have severe metabolic alterations of multifactorial causes, lifestyle, diet, drug use and psychopharmacological treatment, especially antipsychotic drugs which act as risk factors for cardiovascular disease, strokes, infections and complications of diseases basal negatively influencing its evolution and prognosis.
Rating the profile lipid and the prevalence of obesity in patients registered as disorder mental severe in treatment with antipsychotics.
A descriptive study was performed taking as variables to take into account levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, weight and size.
Of the 28 patients included in the study 7 refused to perform the corresponding measurements. Of the 21 remaining, 3 showed values higher than 150 mg/dl triglycerides and cholesterol figures higher than 200 mg/dl. Other 3 patients presented hypercholesterolemia without alteration of triglycerides and 2 hypertriglyceridemia without elevation of the cholesterol. Concerning the IMC, found that 7 patients presented overweight (BMI > 25 and < 30) and 5 patients obesity (BMI > 30). Of the 8 patients with lipid disorders, 2 had prescribed treatment with risperidone (oral or injectable) more quetiapine, 2 oral risperidone as monotherapy, risperidone1 more amisulpride, 1 quetiapine more aripiprazole, quetiapine 1 in monotherapyand 1 injection invega more oxcarbamacepina.
We found lipid alterations in a 38.1% of patients and a BMI greater than 25 in a 57.14% of 21 patients who agreed to the study. The most prescribed antipsychoticamong these patients were risperidone (5 patients) followed closely by quetiapine (4 patients).
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
This study investigated subjective memory complaints in older adults and the roles of setting, response bias, and personality.
Cognitively normal older adults from two settings completed questionnaires measuring memory complaints, response bias, and personality.
(A) Neuroimaging study with community-based recruitment and (B) academic memory clinic.
Cognitively normal older adults who (A) volunteer for research (N = 92) or (B) self-referred to a memory clinic (N = 20).
Neuropsychological evaluation and adjudication of normal cognitive status were done by the neuroimaging study or memory clinic. This study administered self-reports of subjective memory complaints, response bias, five-factor personality, and depressive symptoms. Primary group differences were examined with secondary sensitivity analyses to control for sex, age, and education differences.
There was no significant difference in over-reporting response bias between study settings. Under-reporting response bias was higher in volunteers. Cognitive complaints were associated with response bias for two cognitive complaint measures. Neuroticism was positively associated with over-reporting in evaluation-seekers and negatively associated with under-reporting in volunteers. The relationship was reversed for Extraversion. Under-reporting bias was positively correlated with Agreeableness and Conscientiousness in volunteers.
Evaluation-seekers do not show bias toward over-reporting symptoms compared to volunteers. Under-reporting response bias may be important to consider when screening for memory impairment in non-help-seeking settings. The Memory Functioning Questionnaire was less sensitive to reporting biases. Over-reporting may be a facet of higher Neuroticism. Findings help elucidate psychological influences on self-perceived cognitive decline and help seeking in aging and may inform different strategies for assessment by setting.
Between 2001 and 2017, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh conducted training and research in Belize built around an annual two-week field course, part of the Edinburgh M.Sc. programme in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, focused on tropical plant identification, botanical-collecting and tropical fieldwork skills. This long-term collaboration in one country has led to additional benefits, most notably capacity building, acquisition of new country records, completion of M.Sc. thesis projects and publication of the findings in journal articles, and continued cooperation. Detailed summaries are provided for the specimens collected by students during the field course or return visits to Belize for M.Sc. thesis projects. Additionally, 15 species not recorded in the national checklist for Belize are reported. The information in this paper highlights the benefits of collaborations between institutions and countries for periods greater than the typical funding cycles of three to five years.
The Pediatric Heart Network Normal Echocardiogram Database Study had unanticipated challenges. We sought to describe these challenges and lessons learned to improve the design of future studies.
Challenges were divided into three categories: enrolment, echocardiographic imaging, and protocol violations. Memoranda, Core Lab reports, and adjudication logs were reviewed. A centre-level questionnaire provided information regarding local processes for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used, and chi-square tests determined differences in imaging quality.
For the 19 participating centres, challenges with enrolment included variations in Institutional Review Board definitions of “retrospective” eligibility, overestimation of non-White participants, centre categorisation of Hispanic participants that differed from National Institutes of Health definitions, and exclusion of potential participants due to missing demographic data. Institutional Review Board amendments resolved many of these challenges. There was an unanticipated burden imposed on centres due to high numbers of echocardiograms that were reviewed but failed to meet submission criteria. Additionally, image transfer software malfunctions delayed Core Lab image review and feedback. Between the early and late study periods, the proportion of unacceptable echocardiograms submitted to the Core Lab decreased (14 versus 7%, p < 0.01). Most protocol violations were from eligibility violations and inadvertent protected health information disclosure (overall 2.5%). Adjudication committee reviews led to protocol changes.
Numerous challenges encountered during the Normal Echocardiogram Database Study prolonged study enrolment. The retrospective design and flaws in image transfer software were key impediments to study completion and should be considered when designing future studies collecting echocardiographic images as a primary outcome.