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This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to COVID-19 with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplemental materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
There is ongoing debate regarding the relationship between clinical symptoms and cognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). The present study aimed to explore the potential relationships between symptoms, with an emphasis on negative symptoms, and social and non-social cognition.
Hierarchical cluster analysis with k-means optimisation was conducted to characterise clinical subgroups using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms in n = 130 SSD participants. Emergent clusters were compared on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, which measures non-social cognition and emotion management as well as demographic and clinical variables. Spearman’s correlations were then used to investigate potential relationships between specific negative symptoms and emotion management and non-social cognition.
Four distinct clinical subgroups were identified: 1. high hallucinations, 2. mixed symptoms, 3. high negative symptoms, and 4. relatively asymptomatic. The high negative symptom subgroup was found to have significantly poorer emotion management than the high hallucination and relatively asymptomatic subgroups. No further differences between subgroups were observed. Correlation analyses revealed avolition-apathy and anhedonia-asociality were negatively correlated with emotion management, but not non-social cognition. Affective flattening and alogia were not associated with either emotion management or non-social cognition.
The present study identified associations between negative symptoms and emotion management within social cognition, but no domains of non-social cognition. This relationship may be specific to motivation, anhedonia and apathy, but not expressive deficits. This suggests that targeted interventions for social cognition may also result in parallel improvement in some specific negative symptoms.
We present continuous estimates of snow and firn density, layer depth and accumulation from a multi-channel, multi-offset, ground-penetrating radar traverse. Our method uses the electromagnetic velocity, estimated from waveform travel-times measured at common-midpoints between sources and receivers. Previously, common-midpoint radar experiments on ice sheets have been limited to point observations. We completed radar velocity analysis in the upper ~2 m to estimate the surface and average snow density of the Greenland Ice Sheet. We parameterized the Herron and Langway (1980) firn density and age model using the radar-derived snow density, radar-derived surface mass balance (2015–2017) and reanalysis-derived temperature data. We applied structure-oriented filtering to the radar image along constant age horizons and increased the depth at which horizons could be reliably interpreted. We reconstructed the historical instantaneous surface mass balance, which we averaged into annual and multidecadal products along a 78 km traverse for the period 1984–2017. We found good agreement between our physically constrained parameterization and a firn core collected from the dry snow accumulation zone, and gained insights into the spatial correlation of surface snow density.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Few studies have derived data-driven dietary patterns in youth in the USA. This study examined data-driven dietary patterns and their associations with BMI measures in predominantly low-income, racial/ethnic minority US youth. Data were from baseline assessments of the four Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium trials: NET-Works (534 2–4-year-olds), GROW (610 3–5-year-olds), GOALS (241 7–11-year-olds) and IMPACT (360 10–13-year-olds). Weight and height were measured. Children/adult proxies completed three 24-h dietary recalls. Dietary patterns were derived for each site from twenty-four food/beverage groups using k-means cluster analysis. Multivariable linear regression models examined associations of dietary patterns with BMI and percentage of the 95th BMI percentile. Healthy (produce and whole grains) and Unhealthy (fried food, savoury snacks and desserts) patterns were found in NET-Works and GROW. GROW additionally had a dairy- and sugar-sweetened beverage-based pattern. GOALS had a similar Healthy pattern and a pattern resembling a traditional Mexican diet. Associations between dietary patterns and BMI were only observed in IMPACT. In IMPACT, youth in the Sandwich (cold cuts, refined grains, cheese and miscellaneous) compared with Mixed (whole grains and desserts) cluster had significantly higher BMI (β = 0·99 (95 % CI 0·01, 1·97)) and percentage of the 95th BMI percentile (β = 4·17 (95 % CI 0·11, 8·24)). Healthy and Unhealthy patterns were the most common dietary patterns in COPTR youth, but diets may differ according to age, race/ethnicity or geographic location. Public health messages focused on healthy dietary substitutions may help youth mimic a dietary pattern associated with lower BMI.
This study supplements spatial panel econometrics techniques with qualitative GIS to analyse spatio-temporal changes in the distribution of integrated conservation–development projects relative to poaching activity and unauthorized resource use in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Cluster and spatial regression analyses were performed on data from ranger monitoring containing > 35,000 combined observations of illegal activities in Volcanoes National Park, against tourism revenue sharing and conservation NGO funding data for 2006–2015. Results were enriched with qualitative GIS analysis from key informant interviews. We found a statistically significant negative linear effect of overall integrated conservation–development investments on unauthorized resource use in Volcanoes National Park. However, individually, funding from Rwanda's tourism revenue sharing policy did not have an effect in contrast to the significant negative effect of conservation NGO funding. In another contrast between NGO funding and tourism revenue sharing funding, spatial analysis revealed significant gaps in revenue sharing funding relative to the hotspots of illegal activities, but these gaps were not present for NGO funding. Insight from qualitative GIS analysis suggests that incongruity in prioritization by decision makers at least partly explains the differences between the effects of revenue sharing and conservation NGO investment. Although the overall results are encouraging for integrated conservation–development projects, we recommend increased spatial alignment of project funding with clusters of illegal activities, which can make investment decision-making more data-driven and projects more effective for conservation.
The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
Prescribing metrics, cost, and surrogate markers are often used to describe the value of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs. However, process measures are only indirectly related to clinical outcomes and may not represent the total effect of an intervention. We determined the global impact of a multifaceted AMS initiative for hospitalized adults with common infections.
Single center, quasi-experimental study.
Hospitalized adults with urinary, skin, and respiratory tract infections discharged from family medicine and internal medicine wards before (January 2017–June 2017) and after (January 2018–June 2018) an AMS initiative on a family medicine ward were included. A series of AMS-focused initiatives comprised the development and dissemination of: handheld prescribing tools, AMS positive feedback cases, and academic modules. We compared the effect on an ordinal end point consisting of clinical resolution, adverse drug events, and antimicrobial optimization between the preintervention and postintervention periods.
In total, 256 subjects were included before and after an AMS intervention. Excessive durations of therapy were reduced from 40.3% to 22% (P < .001). Patients without an optimized antimicrobial course were more likely to experience clinical failure (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.17–4.72). The likelihood of a better global outcome was greater in the family medicine intervention arm (62.0%, 95% CI, 59.6–67.1) than in the preintervention family medicine arm.
Collaborative, targeted feedback with prescribing metrics, AMS cases, and education improved global outcomes for hospitalized adults on a family medicine ward.
In response to advancing clinical practice guidelines regarding concussion management, service members, like athletes, complete a baseline assessment prior to participating in high-risk activities. While several studies have established test stability in athletes, no investigation to date has examined the stability of baseline assessment scores in military cadets. The objective of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability of a baseline concussion test battery in cadets at U.S. Service Academies.
All cadets participating in the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium investigation completed a standard baseline battery that included memory, balance, symptom, and neurocognitive assessments. Annual baseline testing was completed during the first 3 years of the study. A two-way mixed-model analysis of variance (intraclass correlation coefficent (ICC)3,1) and Kappa statistics were used to assess the stability of the metrics at 1-year and 2-year time intervals.
ICC values for the 1-year test interval ranged from 0.28 to 0.67 and from 0.15 to 0.57 for the 2-year interval. Kappa values ranged from 0.16 to 0.21 for the 1-year interval and from 0.29 to 0.31 for the 2-year test interval. Across all measures, the observed effects were small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.44.
This investigation noted less than optimal reliability for the most common concussion baseline assessments. While none of the assessments met or exceeded the accepted clinical threshold, the effect sizes were relatively small suggesting an overlap in performance from year-to-year. As such, baseline assessments beyond the initial evaluation in cadets are not essential but could aid concussion diagnosis.
Commercialization of 2,4-D–tolerant crops is a major concern for sweetpotato producers because of potential 2,4-D drift that can cause severe crop injury and yield reduction. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess impacts of reduced rates of 2,4-D, glyphosate, or a combination of 2,4-D with glyphosate on sweetpotato. In one study, 2,4-D and glyphosate were applied alone and in combination at 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of anticipated field use rates (1.05 kg ha−1 for 2,4-D and 1.12 kg ha−1 for glyphosate) to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 days after transplanting [DAP]). In a separate study, all these treatments were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root development (30 DAP). Injury with 2,4-D alone or in combination with glyphosate was generally equal or greater than with glyphosate applied alone at equivalent herbicide rates, indicating that injury is attributable mostly to 2,4-D in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) with increased rate of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, neither the results of this relationship nor of the significance of herbicide rate were observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at storage root formation, with a few exceptions. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates was also a concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases, yield reduction of U.S. no.1 and marketable grades was also observed after application of 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× rates of 2,4-D alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
A major concern of sweetpotato producers is the potential negative effects from herbicide drift or sprayer contamination events when dicamba is applied to nearby dicamba-resistant crops. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess the effects of reduced rates of N,N-Bis-(3-aminopropyl)methylamine (BAPMA) or diglycloamine (DGA) salt of dicamba, glyphosate, or a combination of these individually in separate trials with glyphosate on sweetpotato. Reduced rates of 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of the 1× use rate of each dicamba formulation at 0.56 kg ha−1, glyphosate at 1.12 kg ha−1, and a combination of the two at aforementioned rates were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 d after transplanting) in one trial and storage root development (30 d after transplanting) in a separate trial. Injury with each salt of dicamba (BAPMA or DGA) applied alone or with glyphosate was generally equal to or greater than glyphosate applied alone at equivalent rates, indicating that injury is most attributable to the dicamba in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and a quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) observed with an increased herbicide rate of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, with a few exceptions, neither this relationship nor the significance of herbicide rate was observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at the storage root formation stage. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of either salt of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates would be cause for concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases yield reduction of No.1 and marketable grades was observed following 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× application rates of dicamba alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
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.
Metabolic syndrome - a significant risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality - is twice as prevalent among psychiatric patients (21-63%) as general populations (20-24%). Although there is an inherent illness-associated metabolic risk, medications do contribute. Atypicals vary in metabolic risk from high (clozapine, olanzapine), moderate (risperidone, quetiapine) to low (aripiprazole, ziprasidone) (ADA, 2004). Few studies have comprehensively measured cardiovascular risk or directly compared antipsychotics. Limited controlled data show that antipsychotic-induced metabolic abnormalities may be reversible, rationalizing the switch to a lower-risk agent (DeNayer, 2004). Non-HDL-cholesterol encompasses all atherogenic cholesterols and provides a marker of CV risk: an increase of 29ng/dL in diabetics is associated with 50% increased risk (Jiang, 2004). Non-HDL-cholesterol is independently associated with increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction and angina.
This study will provide cross-European data from 13 countries on MS rates in schizophrenia and will assess antipsychotic metabolic profiles and benefits of antipsychotic switching.
In this ongoing, 16-week, open-label, European multicentre study, 258 schizophrenia patients treated for ≥3 months with olanzapine, risperidone or quetiapine and who have MS will be randomized to switch to aripiprazole (Week 1: 5mg/day; Week 2: 10mg/day; flexible 10-30mg/day after Week 2) or continue with previous antipsychotic. the primary objective is to demonstrate superiority of aripiprazole versus atypicals on mean percentage change of fasting non-HDL-cholesterol from baseline to Week 16.
This study will provide the first direct and comprehensive comparison of metabolic risk with various atypicals in Europe and should impact the future management of schizophrenia.
Partial or non-adherence to medication is high amongst patients with schizophrenia. Rates of non-adherence of up to 72% have being reported depending on the method used and the patient population. Adherence is essential for optimal long-term patient outcomes in schizophrenia and failure to adhere to medication can have a major impact on the course of illness and treatment outcomes.
The objective of the EMEA (Europe, Middle east and Africa) ADHES survey was to collect psychiatrist's perceptions of the assessment, reasons and management of partial and non-adherence to medication.
The aim of this poster is to present psychiatrist's perceptions collected in the EMEA ADHES survey.
The survey was devised to ascertain psychiatrists’ preferred methods of assessing adherence, their perceptions of the level of adherence, reasons for non-adherence and on strategies to improve adherence.
Psychiatrists estimated that during the previous month more than half of their patients (53%) were partially or non-adherent. They estimated that as few as a third of patients who deteriorated after stopping medication was able to attribute this to their non-adherence. 76% of psychiatrists assessed adherence most frequently by asking their patient explicitly. Use of long-acting treatment was the preferred choice to address adherence problems for 62% of respondents.
This EMEA-wide survey illustrates that while respondents recognised the relevance and importance of partial and non-adherence to medication, there remains a need for more proactive management of treatment adherence of patients with schizophrenia to reduce the frequency and consequences of relapse.
Partial or non-adherence to medication is high amongst patients with schizophrenia. Many and often overlapping factors are considered to impact on treatment adherence, including: patient-related (lack of insight, psychotic, negative or cognitive symptoms), treatment-related (adverse effects, insufficient efficacy), environmental (living situation, negative attitudes of relatives/friends), and physician-related (patient-healthcare professionals relationship) factors.
The objective of the ADHES EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) survey was to collect psychiatrist's perceptions of the assessment, reasons and management of partial and non-adherence to medication.
To present psychiatrist's opinion through EMEA of potential reasons for partial or non-adherence
The ADHES survey comprised 20 questions and was conducted in 36 countries across EMEA (over 4500 psychiatrists treating patients with schizophrenia).
Across EMEA 37% of psychiatrists viewed lack of insight as the most important reason for their patients stopping medication. 23% of psychiatrists viewed patient's feeling better and thinking it unnecessary to take medication as the most important reason for their patients stopping medication. 7% or less of psychiatrists viewed undesirable side effects, insufficient efficacy, cognitive impairment or drug/alcohol abuse as the most important reasons for their patients stopping medication.
In this survey, psychiatrists estimated that patient’s lack of insight and subjective improvement could constitute the main factors explaining poor adherence. Other factors (i.e., side effects, substance abuse) were regarded as less important. Strategies aimed at raising awareness of maintaining treatment, are warranted within EMEA, with the aim of improving clinical outcomes.
Rates of non-adherence of up to 72% have being reported, in schizophrenia, depending on the method used and the patient population. Rates of approximately 59% over 1 year have been reported for individuals with a first episode. Patients who stop medication are almost five times more likely to experience relapse than adherent patients. Failure to adhere to medication can have a major impact on the course of illness and treatment outcomes.
The EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) ADHES schizophrenia survey was a survey of psychiatrists across the region, treating patients with schizophrenia, designed to canvas their perceptions of assessment, potential reasons and management for partial or non-adherence to medication amongst their patients.
To present methodology and demographics of the EMEA ADHES survey in schizophrenia.
The EMEA ADHES survey comprised 20 questions and was conducted in 36 countries across EMEA. In addition to recording the gender, age and practice setting of the respondents, questions related directly to the issue of partial-/non-adherence in patients with schizophrenia.
The survey was conducted amongst psychiatrists (including neurologists with psychiatric background in Germany) from January - March 2010. Results were obtained from 4722 respondents. Psychiatrists perceived that during the previous month more than half of their patients (53%) were partially or non-adherent across all EMEA regions
The EMEA ADHES schizophrenia survey is a large and geographically broad survey providing insight on psychiatrists’ perceptions of the assessment, causes and management of partial and non-adherence to medication.
Il est aujourd’hui clairement établi que les patients souffrant de schizophrénie présente un risque plus élevé de violence que la population générale. Différents facteurs de risque de violence ont été mis en évidence chez ces patients, tels que l’impulsivité, le trouble de personnalité antisociale, les comorbidités addictives. Néanmoins, les études ayant tenté d’identifier le risque de violence des patients schizophrènes ont abouti à des résultats variables. L’hétérogénéité des gestes de violence commis, ainsi que la variabilité des profils de ces patients contribuent certainement à la divergence de ces résultats. Par ailleurs, différents auteurs ont montré que les patients présentant un délire d’identification des personnes constituaient une sous-catégorie de patients à risque de comportements violents, devenant agressifs et violents du fait du thème de leur délire. Cependant, aucune étude n’a exploré l’association entre délire d’identification et type de geste violent. Nous nous sommes donc intéressés à l’étude des caractéristiques cliniques de patients schizophrènes ayant commis des gestes de violence, à partir d’une étude descriptive réalisée sur une population de patients schizophrènes détenus. Nous avons évalué l’intensité des symptômes grâce à la Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), la coexistence d’un trouble de personnalité antisociale et les comorbidités addictives grâce au Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Le niveau d’impulsivité et les comportements violents ont été estimés par la Baratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS) et la MacArthur Community Violence Interview. Enfin, l’existence de troubles de la familiarité, tels que ceux qui caractérisent les délires d’identification des personnes, a été systématiquement recherchée. Notre objectif est, d’une part, d’évaluer de manière systématique les troubles de familiarité des patients schizophrènes, et leur association avec les comportements violents, et d’autre part, d’objectiver l’hétérogénéité des profils des patients schizophrènes ayant commis des gestes de violence.
Partial/non-adherence to medication is common amongst patients with schizophrenia. Nurses play an important role in assessing and managing mental health problems and are often involved in helping patients manage and adhere to their medication. As such, the perception of nurses regarding the burden and potential causes of non-adherence is vital in addressing the adherence problem.
The ADHES nurses survey collected opinions of nurses across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.
To ascertain nurses' perceptions of assessment, potential causes and management of partial/non-adherence to medication in patients with schizophrenia.
The survey was conducted from January-March 2010 in 29 countries across EMEA, comprising 14 questions addressing the issue of partial/non-adherence and the use of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic medication in patients with schizophrenia.
Results were obtained from 4120 respondents. Nurses estimated high levels of partial/non-adherence (mean 54%) amongst patients with schizophrenia and 85% believed improving medication adherence would have a huge/sizable impact on patient outcomes. 93% believed that continuous medication with an LAI would have long-term benefits for patients with schizophrenia, and that many patients (mean 40%) would prefer LAI medication.
Nurses recognize the issue of partial/non-adherence to medication in patients with schizophrenia. Most nurses believe patients are well informed about LAI antipsychotics, however, approximately a third of nurses believe patients to be poorly informed. There is a need to address the problem of partial/non-adherence in clinical practice with a multidisciplinary approach to avoid suboptimal treatment outcomes in patients with schizophrenia.
Brominated flame retardants (BFR) are primarily used as flame retardant additives in insulating materials. These lipophilic compounds can bioaccumulate in animal tissues, leading to human exposure via food ingestion. Although their concentration in food is not yet regulated, several of these products are recognised as persistent organic pollutants; they are thought to act as endocrine disruptors. The present study aimed to characterise the occurrence of two families of BFRs (hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in hen eggs and broiler or pig meat in relation to their rearing environments. Epidemiological studies were carried out on 60 hen egg farms (34 without an open-air range, 26 free-range), 57 broiler farms (27 without an open-air range, 30 free-range) and 42 pig farms without an open-air range in France from 2013 to 2015. For each farm, composite samples from either 12 eggs, five broiler pectoral muscles or three pig tenderloins were obtained. Eight PBDE congeners and three HBCDD stereoisomers were quantified in product fat using gas chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry, or high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. The frequencies of PBDE detection were 28% for eggs (median concentration 0.278 ng/g fat), 72% for broiler muscle (0.392 ng/g fat) and 49% for pig muscle (0.403 ng/g fat). At least one HBCDD stereoisomer was detected in 17% of eggs (0.526 ng/g fat), 46% of broiler muscle (0.799 ng/g fat) and 36% of pig muscle (0.616 ng/g fat). Results were similar in concentration to those obtained in French surveillance surveys from 2012 to 2016. Nevertheless, the contamination of free-range eggs and broilers was found to be more frequent than that of conventional ones, suggesting that access to an open-air range could be an additional source of exposure to BFRs for animals. However, the concentration of BFRs in all products remained generally very low. No direct relationship could be established between the occurrence of BFRs in eggs and meat and the characteristics of farm buildings (age, building materials). The potential presence of BFRs in insulating materials is not likely to constitute a significant source of animal exposure as long as the animals do not have direct access to these materials.
This study originated in collaboration with Thomas Dishion because of concerns that a group format for aggressive children might dampen the effects of cognitive-behavioral intervention. Three hundred sixty aggressive preadolescent children were screened through teacher and parent ratings. Schools were randomized to receive either an individual or a group format of the child component of the same evidence-based program. The results indicate that there is variability in how group-based cognitive-behavioral intervention can affect aggressive children through a long 4-year follow-up after the end of the intervention. Aggressive children who have higher skin conductance reactivity (potentially an indicator of poorer emotion regulation) and who have a variant of the oxytocin receptor gene that may be associated with being hyperinvolved in social bonding have better outcomes in their teacher-rated externalizing behavior outcomes over time if they were seen individually rather than in groups. Analyses also indicated that higher levels of the group leaders’ clinical skills predicted reduced externalizing behavior problems. Implications for group versus individual format of cognitive-behavioral interventions for aggressive children, and for intensive training for group therapists, informed by these results, are discussed.