To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
To reduce both inappropriate testing for and diagnosis of healthcare-onset (HO) Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs).
We performed a retrospective analysis of C. difficile testing from hospitalized children before (October 2017–October 2018) and after (November 2018–October 2020) implementing restrictive computerized provider order entry (CPOE).
Study sites included hospital A (a ∼250-bed freestanding children’s hospital) and hospital B (a ∼100-bed children’s hospital within a larger hospital) that are part of the same multicampus institution.
In October 2018, we implemented CPOE. No testing was allowed for infants aged ≤12 months, approval of the infectious disease team was required to test children aged 13–23 months, and pathology residents’ approval was required to test all patients aged ≥24 months with recent laxative, stool softener, or enema use. Interrupted time series analysis and Mann-Whitney U test were used for analysis.
An interrupted time series analysis revealed that from October 2017 to October 2020, the numbers of tests ordered and samples sent significantly decreased in all age groups (P < .05). The monthly median number of HO-CDI cases significantly decreased after implementation of the restrictive CPOE in children aged 13–23 months (P < .001) and all ages combined (P = .003).
Restrictive CPOE for CDI in pediatrics was successfully implemented and sustained. Diagnostic stewardship for CDI is likely cost-saving and could decrease misdiagnosis, unnecessary antibiotic therapy, and overestimation of HO-CDI rates.
Research has shown a strong relationship between hallucinations and suicidal behaviour in general population samples. Whether hallucinations also index suicidal behaviour risk in groups at elevated risk of suicidal behaviour, namely in individuals with a sexual assault history, remains to be seen.
We assessed whether hallucinations were markers of risk for suicidal behaviour among individuals with a sexual assault history.
Using the cross-sectional 2007 (N = 7403) and 2014 (N = 7546) Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys, we assessed for an interaction between sexual assault and hallucinations in terms of the odds of suicide attempt, as well as directly comparing the prevalence of suicide attempt in individuals with a sexual assault history with v. without hallucinations.
Individuals with a sexual assault history had increased odds of hallucinations and suicide attempt compared to individuals without a sexual assault history in both samples. There was a significant interaction between sexual assault and hallucinations in terms of the odds of suicide attempt. In total, 14–19% of individuals with a sexual assault history who did not report hallucinations had one or more suicide attempt. This increased to 33–52% of individuals with a sexual assault history who did report hallucinations (2007, aOR = 2.85, 1.71–4.75; 2014, aOR = 4.52, 2.78–7.35).
Hallucinations are a risk marker for suicide attempt even among individuals with an elevated risk of suicidal behaviour, specifically individuals with a sexual assault history. This finding highlights the clinical significance of hallucinations with regard to suicidal behaviour risk, even among high-risk populations.
Anthropology is defined as “the study of humans”, while psychiatric anthropology is a subfield of cultural anthropology which uses qualitative methodologies to explore the experience of mental illness. In a field that is often dominated by quantitative research, an anthropological approach allows us to understand experiences surrounding illness and the cultural context of mental illness. The articles presented in this issue of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine explore individual and group perspectives within a variety of cultural and historical contexts. This compilation of articles unearths fascinating insights into the lived experiences of distinct and vulnerable groups, including young people, migrants and members of the travelling community. Harnessing these insights can help us to tailor our services to the needs of societal populations, as well as improving therapeutic relationships with the ultimate goal of better treatment outcomes.
Psychotic experiences (PEs) are relatively common in childhood and adolescence and are associated with increased risk of functional issues and psychiatric illness in young adulthood, and PEs that recur are associated with increased risk of poorer psychiatric and functional outcomes. Childhood adversity is a well-established risk factor for PEs. The aim of this study was to investigate (1) the relationship between childhood adversity and recurring PEs in adolescence and (2) candidate mediators of that relationship.
We used data from Cohort ‘98 of the Growing Up in Ireland study (n = 6039) at three time points (ages 9, 13 and 17) to investigate the relationship between childhood adversity (parent-reported at age 9), recurring PEs (measured using a subset of the Adolescent Psychotic-like Symptoms Screener at ages 13 and 17). The mediating roles of parent–child relationship, internalising and externalising difficulties, self-concept, physical activity, dietary quality, perceived neighbourhood safety and friendship quantity were investigated using the KHB path decomposition method.
Childhood adversity was associated with an increased risk of recurring PEs with a population attributable fraction of 23%. Internalising difficulties and self-concept explained 13% of the relationship between childhood adversity and PEs suggesting a partial mediation. A significant direct effect remained between childhood adversity and recurring PEs.
The established relationship between childhood adversity and PEs may be mainly driven by the relationship between childhood adversity and recurring PEs. Internalising difficulties and self-concept together mediate part of the relationship between childhood adversity and recurring PEs.
To compare Lithium prescribing practices in a Psychiatry of Old Age (POA) Service in the North-West ofIreland among adults aged 65 years and over with best practice guidelines.
Review of the literature informed development of audit standards for Lithium prescribing. These included National Institute for Clinical Excellent (NICE) 2014 guidelines, The British National Formulary(2019) and Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines (2018). Data was collected retrospectively, using an audit-specific data collection tool, from clinical files of POA team caseload, aged 65 years or more and prescribed Lithium over the past year.
At the time of audit in February 2020, 18 patients were prescribed lithium, 67% female, average age 74.6 years. Of those prescribed Lithium; 50% (n=9) had depression, 44% (n=8) had bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) and 6% (n=1) schizoaffective disorder.
78% (n= 14) of patients met the NICE standard of 3-monthly lithium level. Lithium levels were checkedon average 4.5 times in past year, average lithium level was 0.61mmol/L across the group and 39% (n=7) had lithium level within recommended therapeutic range (0.6-0.8mmol/L).
83% of patients (n=15) met the NICE standards of 3 monthly renal tests. Taking into consideration mostrecent blood test results, 100% (n=18) had abnormal renal function.
Half (n=9) were initiated on lithium by POA service and of these, 56% (n=5) had documented renal impairment prior to initiation. Of patients on long term lithium at time of referral (n=9), almost half (n=4) had a documented history of lithium toxicity.
The results of this audit highlight room for improvement in lithium monitoring of older adults attending POA service. Furthermore, all patients prescribed lithium had impaired renal function. This is an important finding given the associations between those admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and co- morbid kidney disease and increased risk of inpatient death.
Our findings highlight the need for three monthly renal function monitoring in elderly prescribed lithiumgiven the additive adverse effects of increasing age and lithium on the kidney. Close working with specialised renal services to provide timely advice on renal management for those with renal impairment prescribed lithium is important to minimise adverse patient outcomes.
Lithium has a narrow therapeutic index with a risk of toxicity and potential to increase morbidity and mortality, particularly in the elderly with co-morbid illness and polypharmacy. Lithium therapy and monitoring of lithium levels require precision and several guidelines have been issued including recommendations for strict control of lithium levels in the elderly population.
We evaluated the effect of implementation of a multifaceted management programme on the compliance with international practice standards for lithium monitoring in patients under the care of Psychiatry of Old Age (POA), Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services in the North West of Ireland.
Results from a prior audit performed in February 2020 involving a cohort of 18 patients prescribed lithium under the care of POA were analysed and compared to accepted standards. The guideline used as the benchmark for compliance was the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the use and monitoring of lithium therapy, as published in 2014. Several deficits were found and therefore a designated Lithium Management Programme was established. A subsequent audit, performed using a simplified audit tool incorporating the NICE guidelines, delivered results which were directly compared to the initial findings and analysed to evaluate the effect of the implemented management programme.
PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF THE ONGOING STUDY:
In comparison with findings from 2020, there had been a significant improvement in most facets of lithium management and compliance to practice standards. Of particular note was the improvement of biochemical monitoring, side effect screening, polypharmacy surveillance, patient education and interdisciplinary communication.
The launch of a dedicated Lithium Management Programme with specific features aimed at identifying and addressing poor compliance with monitoring guidelines has led to improved adherence to accepted international practice standards. Our model provides a dynamic, multi-layered system which paves the way for better patient outcomes, timely access to care and furthering education for patients and staff members.
In view of the increasing complexity of both cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and patients in the current era, practice guidelines, by necessity, have become increasingly specific. This document is an expert consensus statement that has been developed to update and further delineate indications and management of CIEDs in pediatric patients, defined as ≤21 years of age, and is intended to focus primarily on the indications for CIEDs in the setting of specific disease categories. The document also highlights variations between previously published adult and pediatric CIED recommendations and provides rationale for underlying important differences. The document addresses some of the deterrents to CIED access in low- and middle-income countries and strategies to circumvent them. The document sections were divided up and drafted by the writing committee members according to their expertise. The recommendations represent the consensus opinion of the entire writing committee, graded by class of recommendation and level of evidence. Several questions addressed in this document either do not lend themselves to clinical trials or are rare disease entities, and in these instances recommendations are based on consensus expert opinion. Furthermore, specific recommendations, even when supported by substantial data, do not replace the need for clinical judgment and patient-specific decision-making. The recommendations were opened for public comment to Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) members and underwent external review by the scientific and clinical document committee of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the science advisory and coordinating committee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC). The document received endorsement by all the collaborators and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), the Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS), and the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS). This document is expected to provide support for clinicians and patients to allow for appropriate CIED use, appropriate CIED management, and appropriate CIED follow-up in pediatric patients.
Community studies have found a relatively high prevalence of hallucinations, which are associated with a range of (psychotic and non-psychotic) mental disorders, as well as with suicidal ideation and behaviour. The literature on hallucinations in the general population has largely focused on adolescents and young adults.
We aimed to explore the prevalence and psychopathologic significance of hallucinations across the adult lifespan.
Using the 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2014 cross-sectional Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey series (N = 33 637), we calculated the prevalence of past-year hallucinations in the general population ages 16 to ≥90 years. We used logistic regression to examine the relationship between hallucinations and a range of mental disorders, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
The prevalence of past-year hallucinations varied across the adult lifespan, from a high of 7% in individuals aged 16–19 years, to a low of 3% in individuals aged ≥70 years. In all age groups, hallucinations were associated with increased risk for mental disorders, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, but there was also evidence of significant age-related variation. In particular, hallucinations in older adults were less likely to be associated with a cooccurring mental disorder, suicidal ideation or suicide attempt compared with early adulthood and middle age.
Our findings highlight important life-course developmental features of hallucinations from early adulthood to old age.
Hallucinations and delusions that occur in the absence of a psychotic disorder are common in children and adolescents. Longitudinal phenomenological studies exploring these experiences are notably lacking. The objective of the current paper was to explore the phenomenology and characteristics of hallucinations and delusions from early adolescence to early adulthood.
Participants were 17 young people aged 18–21 years from the general population, all of whom had a history of childhood hallucinations and/or delusions. Longitudinal data on the phenomenological characteristics and attributions of reported hallucinatory and delusional phenomena spanning nine years were explored using content analysis.
Hallucinatory and delusional phenomena were transient for two-thirds of the sample. The remaining one-third reported reoccurring hallucinatory and delusional phenomena into early adulthood. In those, two typologies were identified: (1) Paranormal typology and (2) Pathological typology. The former was characterised by hallucinatory and delusional phenomena that were exclusively grounded in subcultural paranormal or spiritual belief systems and not a source of distress. The latter was characterised by delusion-like beliefs that were enmeshed with individuals’ mood states and a source of distress. The perceived source, the subcultural context and how young people appraised and integrated their experiences differentiated the Paranormal and Pathological typologies.
Not all hallucinatory and delusion-like experiences are psychotic-like in nature. To reliably differentiate between pathological and non-pathological hallucinations and delusions, assessments need to explore factors including the phenomenology of individuals’ experiences, how people make sense and appraise them, and the subcultural contexts within which they are experienced.
Assessment of risks of illnesses has been an important part of medicine for decades. We now have hundreds of ‘risk calculators’ for illnesses, including brain disorders, and these calculators are continually improving as more diverse measures are collected on larger samples.
We first replicated an existing psychosis risk calculator and then used our own sample to develop a similar calculator for use in recruiting ‘psychosis risk’ enriched community samples. We assessed 632 participants age 8–21 (52% female; 48% Black) from a community sample with longitudinal data on neurocognitive, clinical, medical, and environmental variables. We used this information to predict psychosis spectrum (PS) status in the future. We selected variables based on lasso, random forest, and statistical inference relief; and predicted future PS using ridge regression, random forest, and support vector machines.
Cross-validated prediction diagnostics were obtained by building and testing models in randomly selected sub-samples of the data, resulting in a distribution of the diagnostics; we report the mean. The strongest predictors of later PS status were the Children's Global Assessment Scale; delusions of predicting the future or having one's thoughts/actions controlled; and the percent married in one's neighborhood. Random forest followed by ridge regression was most accurate, with a cross-validated area under the curve (AUC) of 0.67. Adjustment of the model including only six variables reached an AUC of 0.70.
Results support the potential application of risk calculators for screening and identification of at-risk community youth in prospective investigations of developmental trajectories of the PS.
On-call and crisis psychiatry is a very challenging aspect of psychiatric training. This study aimed to describe the experiences of psychiatric trainees on-call in hospitals, emergency departments and psychiatric units in Ireland.
In total, 193 psychiatric trainees in Ireland were emailed a survey in 2017. The survey included questions regarding the duties expected of the trainee, frequency of on-call obligations, un-rostered hours worked, level of senior support, assessment facilities available and doctors’ satisfaction with the on-call experience.
Overall, 68 trainees responded to the survey. In total, 35% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with their experience of on-call and crisis psychiatry, 46% reported that they were not provided with training in risk assessment and 21% of respondents stated that there was not a suitable room available to perform their assessments.
This survey has raised important issues facing those on the frontline of psychiatric services in Ireland. Of particular concern are resource issues faced by trainees and the need for further training and support related to risk assessment when on-call. Remedying these issues may lead to a decreased rate of dropout as well as a safer and better environment for patients and doctors alike.
The mental health of third-level students is of major societal concern with the gap between the demand for services and supports offered at crisis level. In Ireland, similar to elsewhere, colleges have responded to this need in vastly differing ways, with student counselling services available to all institutions, and student health departments and sessional psychiatry in some of the larger institutions, with none operating as a single multidisciplinary service. There is an increasing recognition for a more systematised approach, with the establishment of International Networks, Charters and Frameworks. These advocate for a whole institutional approach to student mental health, in addition to the development of an integrated system of supports with effective pathways to appropriate care. This paper, by members of the Youth and Student Special Interest Group of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland, contextualises student mental health currently and describes future directions for this emerging field. It is a call to action to develop a structure that supports the needs of students with mental health problems across the full range of the spectrum from mild to severe.
There is a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy. However, the impact of surgical treatment of refractory epilepsy on psychopathology remains under investigation. We aimed to examine the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life at 1-year post-surgery in a population of patients with epilepsy refractory to medication.
This study initially assessed 48 patients with refractory epilepsy using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory 89 (QOLIE-89) on admission to an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) as part of their pre-surgical assessment. These patients were again assessed using the SCID-I, QOLIE-89 and HADS at 1-year follow-up post-surgery.
There was a significant reduction in psychopathology, particularly psychosis, following surgery at 1-year follow-up (p < 0.021). There were no new cases of de novo psychosis and surgery was also associated with a significant improvement in the quality of life scores (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates the impact of epilepsy surgery on psychopathology and quality of life in a patient population with refractory surgery. The presence of a psychiatric illness should not be a barrier to access surgical treatment.
Youth mental health is a rapidly developing field with a focus on prevention, early identification, treatment innovation and service development. In this perspective piece, we discuss the effects of COVID-19 on young people’s mental health. The psychosocial effects of COVID-19 disproportionately affect young people. Both immediate and longer-term factors through which young people are affected include social isolation, changes to the delivery of therapeutic services and almost complete loss of all structured occupations (school, work and training) within this population group. Longer-term mechanisms include the effects of the predicted recession on young people’s mental health. Opportunities within this crisis exist for service providers to scale up telehealth and digital services that may benefit service provision for young people’s mental health in the future.
Abnormal body mass index (BMI) has been associated with development of psychopathology. This association in children is well documented, for both overweight and underweight children. However, the association between change in BMI and the development of psychopathology has been less investigated.
To investigate the association between change in BMI between childhood and adolescence and psychopathology in adolescence.
Data from the Growing Up in Ireland cohort were used. We investigated the ’98 cohort (also known as the child cohort) at age 9/13. BMI, defined using internationally recognised definitions as underweight, healthy or overweight, was used as the exposure, and abnormal Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire scores were used as the outcome. Logistic regression was undertaken for the analysis. All analyses were adjusted for confounders.
A change to overweight from healthy BMI was significantly associated with increased risk of psychopathology (adjusted OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.19–2.32). Both change from underweight to healthy (adjusted OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.03–0.43) or from overweight to healthy (adjusted OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.79–0.8) was associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing psychopathology.
As a child’s BMI returns to within the healthy range, their risk of adolescent psychopathology is reduced. Interventions to restore healthy BMI, in both underweight and overweight, children may reduce their risk of adolescent psychopathology.
Often referred to as psychotic experiences, unusual perceptual experiences, thoughts and beliefs (UPTBs) are not uncommon in youth populations. Phenomenological studies of these experiences are lacking. This study aimed to (1) describe the phenomenological characteristics of UPTBs in a sample of young adolescents and (2) explore how young people made sense of those experiences.
Participants were 53 young people aged 11–13 years from a population-based study of mental health. All met criteria for UPTBs following clinical interviews as part of the study. Documentary data on UPTBs in the form of transcribed notes, recorded during clinical interviews, were analysed using content analysis. Data on UPTBs were coded, organised into categorical themes and quantified using descriptive statistics. Qualitative themes on how participants made sense of their experiences were identified.
Participants reported UPTBs across four domains: auditory verbal, auditory non-verbal, non-auditory perceptual experiences and unusual thoughts and beliefs. UPTBs were phenomenologically rich and diverse. Young people sought to make sense of their experiences in multiple ways: normalising them, externalising them by attributing them to paranormal entities and distancing them from psychiatric explanations. Uncertainty about the source of UPTBs was identified as a superordinate theme.
Findings from this study offer new insights into the phenomenological qualities and characteristics of UPTBs in young adolescents. They also reveal that early adolescents may not make sense of their experiences within a psychiatric framework. These findings highlight the need to develop a more phenomenologically sensitive and nuanced approach to studying UPTBs in young people.
In 1928, Noel Morss was shown “irrigation ditches” along Pleasant Creek on the Dixie National Forest near Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, by a local guide who contended they were ancient. We relocated the site and mapped the route of an unusual mountain irrigation canal. We conducted excavations and employed OSL and AMS 14C showing historic irrigation, and an earlier event between AD 1460 and 1636. Geomorphic evidence indicates that the canal existed prior to this time, but we cannot date its original construction. The canal is 7.2 km long, originating at 2,450 m asl and terminating at 2,170 m asl. Less than half of the system was hand constructed. We cannot ascribe the prehistoric use-event to an archaeological culture, language, or ethnic group, but the 100+ sites nearby are largely Fremont in cultural affiliation. We also report the results of experimental modeling of the capital and maintenance costs of the system, which holds implications for irrigation north of the Colorado River and farming during the Little Ice Age. The age of the prehistoric canal is consistent with a fragmentary abandonment of farming and continuity between ancient and modern tribes in Utah.
Individuals who report psychotic-type experiences are at increased risk of future clinical psychotic disorder. They constitute a ‘at-high risk’ group for studying the trajectory to schizophrenia and related illnesses. Psychotic disorders are a significant risk factor for suicide, especially young people. Previous research has used screening instruments to identify this high risk group but few studies have followed up by an in-depth clinical interview to assess the relationship between psychotic symptoms and suicidality or other psychopathology.
As part of a community study, a 50-minute self -reported screening questionnaire which included one item designed to assess psychotic symptoms (auditory hallucinations) was administered to 900 adolescents aged 14 years in community schools, in Cork, Ireland. The following question (“Have you ever heard voices or sounds that no one else can hear?”) was used as it has been shown previously to have best predictive power (Kelleher., 2009). Other screening questions assessed suicidality and other psychopathology. Detailed clinical interviews by experienced child and adolescent psychiatrists were subsequently carried out with some of these adolescents who endorsed a positive answer to screening questions.
We plan to calculate the sensitivity and specificity and positive predictive value for the specific screening symptom on auditory hallucinations and its relationship to psychopathology as verified on clinical interview.
Our results will be of value to those engaged in treating children and adolescents with psychiatric disorder and will inform on the clinical significance of a positive answer to a screening question on auditory hallucinations in adolescence.