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Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Little is known about long-term employment outcomes for patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum (FES) disorders who received early intervention services.
We compared the 10-year employment trajectory of patients with FES who received early intervention services with those who received standard care. Factors differentiating the employment trajectories were explored.
Patients with FES (N = 145) who received early intervention services in Hong Kong between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002 were matched with those who entered standard care 1 year previously. We used hierarchical clustering analysis to explore the 10-year employment clusters for both groups. We used the mixed model test to compare cluster memberships and piecewise regression analysis to compare the employment trajectories of the two groups.
There were significantly more patients who received the early intervention service in the good employment cluster (early intervention: N = 98 [67.6%]; standard care: N = 76 [52.4%]; P = 0.009). In the poor employment cluster, there was a significant difference in the longitudinal pattern between early intervention and standard care for years 1–5 (P < 0.0001). The number of relapses during the first 3 years, months of full-time employment during the first year and years of education were significant in differentiating the clusters of the early intervention group.
Results suggest there was an overall long-term benefit of early intervention services on employment. However, the benefit was not sustained for all patients. Personalisation of the duration of the early intervention service with a focus on relapse prevention and early vocational reintegration should be considered for service enhancement.
Declaration of interests
No relevant conflicts of interests reported by C.L.M.H., Y.N.S., P.S., H.H.P. and K.K.Y. S.K.W.C., W.C.C. and E.H.M.L. report that they are members of the working group of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. E.Y.H.C. is the convener of the working group of the EASY programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Residents of Hong Kong have undergone a dietary transition from a traditional Chinese diet that is high in seafood to a more Western diet. This may have affected the nutritional composition of breast milk of Hong Kong mothers. The present study aims to investigate the relationship between the dietary pattern and the fatty acid profile of the breast milk of lactating women in Hong Kong. Seventy-three volunteering healthy Hong Kong lactating mothers participated in the study. Their dietary intakes were assessed by using a 3-d dietary record and FFQ. The mean n-3 fatty acid levels were approximately 0·4 % (EPA) and 0·9 % (DHA) of total fatty acids in the breast milk of lactating mothers who had exclusively breastfed their infants aged 2–6 months. Maternal dietary intakes of n-3 fatty acids were positively associated with their levels in the breast milk. The levels of maternal intakes of freshwater and saltwater fish, especially the consumption of salmon, croaker and mandarin, were significantly correlated with the content of DHA in breast milk. The present study is among the very few in the literature to determine the fatty acid profile of breast milk in Hong Kong populations and verify certain dietary factors that influence this profile. High levels of n-3 PUFA, especially DHA, were observed in the breast milk of Hong Kong lactating women. The findings may serve as a dietary reference for lactating mothers to optimise the fatty acid profile of their breast milk.
Individuals with bipolar disorder respond to affective symptoms with a range of coping behaviours, which may further maintain the symptoms.
To examine moment-to-moment dynamics between affective states and coping behaviours, and to evaluate the role of cognitive appraisals of internal states as moderators.
Forty-six individuals with bipolar disorder completed a clinical interview and an experience sampling assessment over 6 days. Time-lagged analyses were conducted by multilevel regression modelling.
A total of 1807 momentary entries were analysed. Negative affect predicted an increase in rumination at the subsequent time point (β = 0.21, s.e. = 0.08, P = 0.009, 95% CI 0.05–0.36), and vice versa (β = 0.03, s.e. = 0.01, P = 0.009, 95% CI 0.01–0.05). Positive affect predicted an increase in adaptive coping (β = 0.26, s.e. = 0.11, P = 0.018, 95% CI 0.04–0.47), and vice versa (β = 0.02, s.e. = 0.01, P = 0.019, 95% CI 0.00–0.03). Positive affect also predicted a decrease in rumination (β = −0.15, s.e. = 0.06, P = 0.014, 95% CI −0.26 to −0.03), and vice versa (β = −0.03, s.e. = 0.01, P = 0.016, 95% CI −0.06 to −0.01). Extreme cognitive appraisals predicted stronger associations between affective states and coping behaviours.
Feedback loops between affective states and coping behaviours were revealed in the daily life of individuals with bipolar disorder, which were moderated by extreme cognitive appraisals.
Introduction: Many drugs, including cannabis and alcohol, cause impairment and contribute to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). Policy makers require knowledge of the prevalence of drug use in crash-involved drivers, and types of drugs used in order to develop effective prevention programs. This issue is particularly relevant with the recent legalization of cannabis. We aim to study the prevalence of alcohol, cannabis, sedating medications, and other drugs in injured drivers from 4 Canadian Provinces. Methods: This prospective cohort study obtained excess clinical blood samples from consecutive injured drivers who attended a participating Canadian trauma centre following a MVC. Blood samples were analyzed using a broad spectrum toxicology screen capable of detecting cannabinoids, cocaine, amphetamines (including their major analogues), and opioids as well as psychotropic pharmaceuticals (including antihistamines, benzodiazepines, other hypnotics, and sedating antidepressants). Alcohol and cannabinoids were quantified. Health records were reviewed to extract demographic, medical, and MVC information using a standardized data collection tool. Results: This study has been collecting data in 4 trauma centres in British Columbia (BC) since 2011 and was launched in 2 trauma centres in Alberta (AB), 1 in Saskatchewan (SK), and 2 in Ontario (ON) in 2018. In preliminary results from BC (n = 2412), 8% of injured drivers tested positive for THC and 13% for alcohol. Preliminary results from other provinces (n = 301) suggest a regional variation in prevalence of drivers testing positive for THC (10% - 27%), alcohol (17% - 29%), and other drugs. By May 2018, an estimated 4500 cases from BC, 600 from AB, 150 from SK, and 650 from ON will have been analyzed. We will report the prevalence of positive tests for alcohol, THC, other recreational drugs, and sedating medications, pre and post cannabis legalization. The number of cases with alcohol and/or THC levels above Canadian per se limits will also be reported. Results will be reported according to province, driver sex, age, single vs. multi vehicle crashes, and requirement for hospital admission. Conclusion: This will be among the largest international datasets on drug use by injured drivers. Our findings will provide patterns of drug and alcohol impairment in 4 Canadian provinces pre and post cannabis legalization. The significance of these findings and implication for impaired driving policy and prevention programs in Canada will be discussed.
Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
The present study evaluates the use of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), a type of exploratory factor analysis designed to reduce the dimensionality of large categorical data sets, in identifying behaviours associated with measures of overweight/obesity in Vanuatu, a rapidly modernizing Pacific Island country.
Starting with seventy-three true/false questions regarding a variety of behaviours, MCA identified twelve most significantly associated with modernization status and transformed the aggregate binary responses of participants to these twelve questions into a linear scale. Using this scale, individuals were separated into three modernization groups (tertiles) among which measures of body fat were compared and OR for overweight/obesity were computed.
Ni-Vanuatu adults (n 810) aged 20–85 years.
Among individuals in the tertile characterized by positive responses to most of or all the twelve modernization questions, weight and measures of body fat and the likelihood that measures of body fat were above the US 75th percentile were significantly greater compared with individuals in the tertiles characterized by mostly or partly negative responses.
The study indicates that MCA can be used to identify individuals or groups at risk for overweight/obesity, based on answers to simply-put questions. MCA therefore may be useful in areas where obtaining detailed information about modernization status is constrained by time, money or manpower.
The economic, political, strategic and cultural dynamism in Southeast Asia has gained added relevance in recent years with the spectacular rise of giant economies in East and South Asia. This has drawn greater attention to the region and to the enhanced role it now plays in international relations and global economics.
The sustained effort made by Southeast Asian nations since 1967 towards a peaceful and gradual integration of their economies has had indubitable success, and perhaps as a consequence of this, most of these countries are undergoing deep political and social changes domestically and are constructing innovative solutions to meet new international challenges. Big Power tensions continue to be played out in the neighbourhood despite the tradition of neutrality exercised by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The Trends in Southeast Asia series acts as a platform for serious analyses by selected authors who are experts in their fields. It is aimed at encouraging policymakers and scholars to contemplate the diversity and dynamism of this exciting region.
Like the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) was known for having its bastion in Johor, with the state containing the highest number of parliamentary seats contested and won by the party. Two features of the MCA stand out: (1) its relative resilience in that its near elimination in other states since 2008 did not occur in Johor until the recent 14th General Elections, and (2) that most MCA presidents had some connections to Johor, either as having been born in Johor, contested in a Johor constituency, been chairman of the Johor state liaison committee, or a combination of three. Although historical institutional linkages such as the New Villages and the Chinese guilds and associations (CGAs) gave the MCA a strong footing in Johor initially, changing political and socioeconomic circumstances gradually eroded the part's support among the Johorean Chinese. As it began to lose appeal as an individual party, the MCA Johor had to depend on a strategy of mixed voter pooling so that the significant loss of support from the Chinese could be compensated for by the Malay electorate that was until recently highly supportive of the Barisan Nasional (BN). The strategic dependence of the MCA on the UMNO was rendered void when the latter was defeated in the state. As it stands, the revival of the part's standing both within Johor and nationally is far from certain.
• Like the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) was known for having its bastion in Johor, with the state containing the highest number of parliamentary seats contested and won by the party.
• Two features of the MCA stand out: (1) its relative resilience in that its near elimination in other states since 2008 did not occur in Johor until the recent 14th General Elections, and (2) that most MCA presidents had some connections to Johor, either as having been born in Johor, contested in a Johor constituency, been chairman of the Johor state liaison committee, or a combination of three.
• Although historical institutional linkages such as the New Villages and the Chinese guilds and associations (CGAs) gave the MCA a strong footing in Johor initially, changing political and socioeconomic circumstances gradually eroded the party's support among the Johorean Chinese.
• As it began to lose appeal as an individual party, the MCA Johor had to depend on a strategy of mixed voter pooling so that the significant loss of support from the Chinese could be compensated for by the Malay electorate that was until recently highly supportive of the Barisan Nasional (BN).
• The strategic dependence of the MCA on the UMNO was rendered void when the latter was defeated in the state. As it stands, the revival of the party's standing both within Johor and nationally is far from certain.
Until the shocking results in the 14th General Elections (GE-14) in 2018 that saw the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) being defeated by the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH) in parliament and in most states, Johor was always regarded as BN's electoral bastion. Johor has the highest number of parliamentary seats contested and historically won by the two largest BN parties, the ethnic Malay-Muslim-based United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and its Chinese partner, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). With a mixed racial make-up (60 per cent Bumiputera, 33 per cent Chinese, and 7 per cent Indian), clear urban–rural divides, an influential royal house, and a growing and relatively industrialized economy (Hutchinson 2018, p. 2; van Grunsven and Hutchinson 2016), Johor is often deemed to be the bell-wether of BN's support, or rather, its “jewel in the political crown”.
UMNO's strength in and dependence on Johor as its point of origin, a forging ground for leaders, and base of support has been convincingly documented (Hutchinson 2015b; 2018; Funston 1980). Yet, the same cannot be said for the MCA. The party's relative resilience in Johor, albeit amidst a notable decline from 2008 to 2018, remains unexplored. Its resilience can be seen from the fact that Johor MCA managed to hold onto most of its seats in the 2008 elections despite BN as a whole suffering massive losses nationwide. The importance of Johor can also be intimated from the fact that most MCA presidents are in some way connected to Johor — some for the fact that they are Johor-born (Neo Yee Pan, Chua Soi Lek); some for standing for office in the state (Lee San Choon and Ling Liong Sik); and almost all, with the exception of Tan Siew Sin, Tan Koon Swan, and Liow Tiong Lai, for having at some point of time been appointed Chairman of the MCA Johor State Liaison Committee.
This paper examines the MCA's electoral performance in Johor in relation to its history, Malaysia's national politics in general, the state's changing socioeconomic landscape, and most importantly, the unique ethnic-pooling formula that ultimately worked in the MCA's favour.
Although relapse in psychosis is common, a small proportion of patients will not relapse in the long term. We examined the proportion and predictors of patients who never relapsed in the 10 years following complete resolution of positive symptoms from their first psychotic episode.
Patients who previously enrolled in a 12-month randomized controlled trial on medication discontinuation and relapse following first-episode psychosis (FEP) were followed up after 10 years. Relapse of positive symptoms was operationalized as a change from a Clinical Global Impression scale positive score of <3 for at least 3 consecutive months to a score of ⩾3 (mild or more severe). Baseline predictors included basic demographics, premorbid functioning, symptoms, functioning, and neurocognitive functioning.
Out of 178 first-episode patients, 37 (21%) never relapsed during the 10-year period. Univariate predictors (p ⩽ 0.1) of patients who never relapsed included a duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) ⩽30 days, diagnosed with non-schizophrenia spectrum disorders, having less severe negative symptoms, and performing better in logical memory immediate recall and verbal fluency tests. A multivariate logistic regression analysis further suggested that the absence of any relapsing episodes was significantly related to better short-term verbal memory, shorter DUP, and non-schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
Treatment delay and neurocognitive function are potentially modifiable predictors of good long-term prognosis in FEP. These predictors are informative as they can be incorporated into an optimum risk prediction model in the future, which would help with clinical decision making regarding maintenance treatment in FEP.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and has been observed in both familial (FHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) samples. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of research directly contrasting cognitive profiles in these two high-risk states and first-episode schizophrenia. This study aimed to compare cognitive functions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (FES), their unaffected siblings (FHR), CHR individuals and healthy controls.
A standardized battery of cognitive assessments was administered to 69 FES patients, 71 help-seeking CHR individuals without family history of psychotic disorder, 50 FHR participants and 68 controls. FES and CHR participants were recruited from territory-wide early intervention service for psychosis in Hong Kong. CHR status was ascertained using Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State.
Among four groups, FES patients displayed the largest global cognitive impairment and had medium-to-large deficits across all cognitive tests relative to controls. CHR and FHR participants significantly underperformed in most cognitive tests than controls. Among various cognitive tests, digit symbol coding demonstrated the greatest magnitude of impairment in FES and CHR groups compared with controls. No significant difference between two high-risk groups was observed in global cognition and all individual cognitive tests except digit symbol coding which showed greater deficits in CHR than in FHR participants.
Clinical and familial risk groups experienced largely comparable cognitive impairment that was intermediate between FES and controls. Digit symbol coding may have the greatest discriminant capacity in distinguishing FES and CHR from healthy controls, and between two high-risk samples.
We evaluated the utility of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) surveillance by varying 2 parameters: admission versus weekly surveillance and perirectal swabbing versus stool sampling.
Prospective, patient-level surveillance program of incident VRE colonization.
Liver transplant surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of a tertiary-care referral medical center with a high prevalence of VRE.
All patients admitted to the SICU from June to August 2015.
We conducted a point-prevalence estimate followed by admission and weekly surveillance by perirectal swabbing and/or stool sampling. Incident colonization was defined as a negative screen followed by positive surveillance. VRE was detected by culture on Remel Spectra VRE chromogenic agar. Microbiologically-confirmed VRE bloodstream infections (BSIs) were tracked for 2 months. Statistical analyses were calculated using the McNemar test, the Fisher exact test, the t test, and the χ2 test.
In total, 91 patients underwent VRE surveillance testing. The point prevalence of VRE colonization was 60.9%; VRE prevalence on admission was 30.1%. Weekly surveillance identified an additional 7 of 28 patients (25.0%) with incident colonization. VRE BSIs were more common in VRE-colonized patients than in noncolonized patients (8 of 43 vs 2 of 48; P=.028). In a direct comparison, perirectal swabs were more sensitive than stool samples in detecting VRE (64 of 67 vs 56 of 67; P=.023). Compliance with perirectal swabbing was 89% (201 of 226) compared to 56% (127 of 226) for stool collection (P≤0.001).
We recommend weekly VRE surveillance over admission-only screening in high-burden units such as liver transplant SICUs. Perirectal swabs had greater collection compliance and sensitivity than stool samples, making them the preferred methodology. Further work may have implications for antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.