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Health anxiety is an under-recognised but a frequent cause of distress. It is particularly common in general hospitals.
We carried out an 8-year follow-up of medical out-patients with health anxiety (hypochondriasis) enrolled in a randomised-controlled trial in five general hospitals in London, Middlesex and Nottinghamshire. Randomisation was to a mean of six sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy adapted for health anxiety (CBT-HA) or to standard care in the clinics. The primary outcome was a change in score on the Short Health Anxiety Inventory, with generalised anxiety and depression as secondary outcomes. Of 444 patients aged 16–75 years seen in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology and respiratory medicine clinics, 306 (68.9%) were followed-up 8 years after randomisation, including 36 who had died. The study is registered with controlled-trials.com, ISRCTN14565822.
There was a significant difference in the HAI score in favour of CBT-HA over standard care after 8 years [1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25–3.40, p = 0.023], between group differences in generalised anxiety were less (0.54, 95% CI −0.29 to 1.36), p = 0.20, ns), but those for depression were greater at 8 years (1.22, 95% CI 0.42–2.01, p < 0.003) in CBT-HA than in standard care, most in standard care satisfying the criteria for clinical depression. Those seen by nurse therapists and in cardiology and gastrointestinal clinics achieved the greatest gains with CBT-HA, with greater improvement in both symptoms and social function.
CBT-HA is a highly long-term effective treatment for pathological health anxiety with long-term benefits. Standard care for health anxiety in medical clinics promotes depression. Nurse therapists are effective practitioners.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) occur in 8 of 1000 live-born children, making them common birth defects in the adolescent population. CHDs may have single gene, chromosomal, or multifactorial causes. Despite evidence that patients with CHD want information on heritability and genetics, no studies have investigated the interest or knowledge base in the adolescent population. This information is necessary as patients in adolescence take greater ownership of their health care and discuss reproductive risks with their physicians. The objectives of this survey-based study were to determine adolescents’ recall of their own heart condition, to assess patient and parent perception of the genetic contribution to the adolescent’s CHD, and to obtain information about the preferred method(s) for education. The results show that adolescent patients had good recall of their type of CHD. Less than half of adolescents and parents believed their CHD had a genetic basis or was heritable; however, adolescents with a positive family history of CHD were more likely to believe that their condition was genetic (p = 0.0005). The majority of patients were interested in receiving additional genetics education and preferred education in-person and in consultation with both parents and a physician. The adolescents who felt most competent to have discussions with their doctors regarding potential causes of their heart defect previously had a school science course which covered topics in genetics. These results provide insight into adolescents’ perceptions and understanding about their CHD and genetic risk and may inform the creation and provision of additional genetic education.
Background: SMA1 is a neurodegenerative disease caused by bi-allelic survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) deletion/mutation. In the phase 1 study, SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of symptomatic SMA1 patients. We report preliminary data of STR1VE, a pivotal study (NCT03306277) evaluating efficacy and safety of a one-time intravenous AVXS-101 infusion. Methods: STR1VE is a phase 3, multicenter, open-label, single-arm study in SMA1 patients aged <6 months (bi-allelic SMN1 loss, 2xSMN2). Primary outcomes: independent sitting for ≥30 seconds (18 months) and survival (14 months). Secondary outcomes: ability to thrive and ventilatory support (18 months). Exploratory outcomes: CHOP-INTEND and Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development scores. Results: Enrollment is complete with 22 patients dosed. Mean age at symptom onset, genetic diagnosis, and enrollment was 1.9 (0–4.0), 2.1 (0.5–4.0), and 3.7 (0.5–5.9) months. At baseline, no patient required ventilatory/nutritional support, and all exclusively fed by mouth. Mean baseline CHOP-INTEND score was 32.6 (17.0–52.0), which increased 6.9 (-4.0–16.0, n=20), 10.4 (2.0–18.0, n=12), and 11.6 (-3.0–23.0, n=9) points at 1, 2, and 3 months; updates provided at congress. Conclusions: Preliminary data from STR1VE show rapid motor function improvements in SMA1 patients, paralleling phase 1 findings.
Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of spirituality in mental health contexts, a ‘religiosity gap’ exists in the difference in the value placed on spirituality and religion by professionals compared with service users. This may be due to a lack of understanding about the complex ways people connect with spirituality within contemporary society and mental health contexts, and can result in people's spiritual needs being neglected, dismissed or pathologised within clinical practice. The aim of this qualitative systematic review is to characterise the experiences of spirituality among adults with mental health difficulties in published qualitative research.
An electronic search of seven databases was conducted along with forward and backward citation searching, expert consultation and hand-searching of journals. Thirty-eight studies were included from 4944 reviewed papers. The review protocol was pre-registered (PROSPERO:CRD42017080566).
A thematic synthesis identified six key themes: Meaning-making (sub-themes: Multiple explanations; Developmental journey; Destiny v. autonomy), Identity, Service-provision, Talk about it, Interaction with symptoms (sub-themes: Interactive meaning-making; Spiritual disruption) and Coping (sub-themes: Spiritual practices; Spiritual relationship; Spiritual struggles; Preventing suicide), giving the acronym MISTIC.
This qualitative systematic review provides evidence of the significant role spirituality plays in the lives of many people who experience mental health difficulties. It indicates the importance of mental health professionals being aware of and prepared to support the spiritual dimension of people using services. The production of a theory-based framework can inform efforts by health providers to understand and address people's spiritual needs as part of an integrated holistic approach towards care.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
Edamame [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] differs from grain-type soybean in several aspects, one being that edamame seeds are 65% to 100% larger than grain-type soybean seed. Crop seed size has implications for weed management in grain-type soybean; however, the extent to which this observation holds true for edamame is unknown. Because weed interference continues to be a barrier to domestic edamame production, the objective was to quantify the effect of edamame seed size on the crop’s ability to tolerate weed interference (CT) and the crop’s ability to suppress weeds (WSA). Five edamame cultivars plus one grain-type cultivar were each sorted to create “small” and “large” seed size classes. Seed lots were included in a split–split plot design, whereby an additional experimental factor was presence or absence of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.). Crop and weed emergence and growth were monitored through 8 wk after emergence (WAE). Crop plants from large seed had higher tolerance to A. theophrasti than plants from small seed, as evidenced by crop height, area, and biomass. Edamame seed size had little effect on WSA; however, crop cultivars differentially reduced A. theophrasti leaf area and biomass at 4 and 8 WAE. While both seed size and edamame cultivar influence early-season crop competitive ability, the magnitude of these factors on CT and WSA underscores the importance of considering them not as stand-alone tactics but rather as useful additions to a more comprehensive integrated weed management system.
Psychosocial and health-related risk factors for depressive symptoms are known. It is unclear if these are associated with depressive symptom patterns over time. We identified trajectories of depressive symptoms and their risk factors among midlife women followed over 15 years.
Participants were 3300 multiracial/ethnic women enrolled in a multisite longitudinal menopause and aging study, Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Biological, psychosocial, and depressive symptom data were collected approximately annually. Group-based trajectory modeling identified women with similar longitudinal patterns of depressive symptoms. Trajectory groups were compared on time-invariant and varying characteristics using multivariable multinomial analyses and pairwise comparisons.
Five symptom trajectories were compared (50% very low; 29% low; 5% increasing; 11% decreasing; 5% high). Relative to whites, blacks were less likely to be in the increasing trajectory and more likely to be in the decreasing symptom trajectory and Hispanics were more likely to have a high symptom trajectory than an increasing trajectory. Psychosocial/health factors varied between groups. A rise in sleep problems was associated with higher odds of having an increasing trajectory and a rise in social support was associated with lower odds. Women with low role functioning for 50% or more visits had three times the odds of being in the increasing symptom group.
Changes in psychosocial and health characteristics were related to changing depressive symptom trajectories. Health care providers need to evaluate women's sleep quality, social support, life events, and role functioning repeatedly during midlife to monitor changes in these and depressive symptoms.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
To assess produce availability, quality and price in a large sample of food stores in low-income neighbourhoods in California.
Cross-sectional statewide survey.
Between 2011 and 2015, local health departments assessed store type, WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)/SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participation, produce availability, quality and price of selected items in stores in low-income neighbourhoods. Secondary data provided reference chain supermarket produce prices matched by county and month. t Tests and ANOVA examined differences by store type; regression models examined factors associated with price.
Large grocery stores (n 231), small markets (n 621) and convenience stores (n 622) in 225 neighbourhoods.
Produce in most large groceries was rated high quality (97 % of fruits, 98 % of vegetables), but not in convenience stores (25 % fruits, 14 % vegetables). Small markets and convenience stores participating in WIC and/or SNAP had better produce availability, variety and quality than non-participating stores. Produce prices across store types were, on average, higher than reference prices from matched chain supermarkets (27 % higher in large groceries, 37 % higher in small markets, 102 % higher in convenience stores). Price was significantly inversely associated with produce variety, adjusting for quality, store type, and SNAP and WIC participation.
The study finds that fresh produce is more expensive in low-income neighbourhoods and that convenience stores offer more expensive, poorer-quality produce than other stores. Variety is associated with price and most limited in convenience stores, suggesting more work is needed to determine how convenience stores can provide low-income consumers with access to affordable, high-quality produce. WIC and SNAP can contribute to the solution.
The potential role of fall-seeded cover crops for weed management in edamame [soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is unknown. Field experiments were conducted over three edamame growing seasons to (1) determine the extent to which cover crop–residue management systems influence edamame emergence while selectively suppressing weed density and biomass, and (2) determine whether cultivars differed in emergence in cover crop–residue management systems. Cover crop treatments included a winter-killed oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.), two canola (Brassica napus L.) treatments (early-killed and late-killed), two cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) treatments (early-killed and late-killed), and a bare-soil control. Two spring timings of a cover crop burndown application created the early-killed and late-killed treatments for canola and cereal rye. Twelve soybean cultivars were tested, including 11 edamame cultivars differing in seed size and a grain-type soybean control. Spring residue biomass in cover crop treatments ranged from 438 kg ha−1 for winter-killed radish to 9,003 kg ha−1 for late-killed cereal rye. Cultivars responded similarly to cover crop treatments, and with the exception of late-killed cereal rye, cover crop treatments resulted in similar crop emergence as the bare-soil control. While all cover crop treatments reduced weed biomass 6 wk after planting compared with the bare soil, winter-killed radish and both canola treatments increased weed density. Early-killed cereal rye has potential for weed management in edamame, as evidenced by the fact that the treatment did not interfere with planting or crop establishment, yet reduced weed density 20% and suppressed early-season weed growth 85%.
Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.
Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.
Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22–1.18).
Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.