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Advanced imaging techniques are enhancing research capacity focussed on the developmental origins of adult health and disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, and consequently increasing awareness of future health risks across various subareas of DOHaD research themes. Understanding how these advanced imaging techniques in animal models and human population studies can be both additively and synergistically used alongside traditional techniques in DOHaD-focussed laboratories is therefore of great interest. Global experts in advanced imaging techniques congregated at the advanced imaging workshop at the 2019 DOHaD World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. This review summarizes the presentations of new imaging modalities and novel applications to DOHaD research and discussions had by DOHaD researchers that are currently utilizing advanced imaging techniques including MRI, hyperpolarized MRI, ultrasound, and synchrotron-based techniques to aid their DOHaD research focus.
Evidence-based treatment for panic disorder consists of disorder-specific cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) protocols. However, most measures of CBT competence are generic and there is a clear need for disorder-specific assessment measures.
To fill this gap, we evaluated the psychometric properties of the Cognitive Therapy Competence Scale (CTCP) for panic disorder.
CBT trainees (n = 60) submitted audio recordings of CBT for panic disorder that were scored on a generic competence measure, the Cognitive Therapy Scale – Revised (CTS-R), and the CTCP by markers with experience in CBT practice and evaluation. Trainees also provided pre- to post-treatment clinical outcomes on disorder-specific patient report measures for cases corresponding to their therapy recordings.
The CTCP exhibited strong internal consistency (α = .79–.91) and inter-rater reliability (ICC = .70–.88). The measure demonstrated convergent validity with the CTS-R (r = .40–.54), although investigation into competence classification indicated that the CTCP may be more sensitive at detecting competence for panic disorder-specific CBT skills. Notably, the CTCP demonstrated the first indication of a relationship between therapist competence and clinical outcome for panic disorder (r = .29–.35); no relationship was found for the CTS-R.
These findings provide initial support for the reliability and validity of the CTCP for assessing therapist competence in CBT for panic disorder and support the use of anxiety disorder-specific competence measures. Further investigation into the psychometric properties of the measure in other therapist cohorts and its relationship with clinical outcomes is recommended.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
This chapter covers the process of performing hysteroscopy, paying close attention to optimising patient comfort and maximising the effectiveness of the procedure. Tips are provided for successfully inserting the device and visualising the entire uterine cavity. The possible settings for performing a hysteroscopic investigation are outlined, with suggestions as to which setting may suit an individual patient. Oral anticoagulants have changed in recent years and the effect they may have on patients attending hysteroscopy clinics is discussed, with advice about how to avoid and manage excessive vaginal bleeding.
Prospectively acquired Canadian cerebrospinal fluid samples were used to assess the performance characteristics of three ante-mortem tests commonly used to support diagnoses of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. The utility of the end-point quaking-induced conversion assay as a test for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease diagnoses was compared to that of immunoassays designed to detect increased amounts of the surrogate markers 14-3-3γ and hTau. The positive predictive values of the end-point quaking-induced conversion, 14-3-3γ, and hTau tests conducted at the Prion Diseases Section of the Public Health Agency of Canada were 96%, 68%, and 66%, respectively.
A common clinical indication for duodenal biopsy is the exclusion of coeliac disease / gluten sensitive enteropathy. However, a variety of inflammatory and infectious disorders may affect the duodenum, some of which are associated with subtle endoscopic findings. The indications for duodenal biopsy are often the same as the broader indications for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and include chronic dyspepsia, unexplained anaemia, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and diarrhoea
Endoscopic findings associated with inflammatory duodenal biopsies range from normal-appearing duodenal mucosa to mild hyperaemia and congestion of the duodenal bulb to erosions, severe congestion, mucosal haemorrhage, mucosal contact bleeding, and luminal narrowing.
Coronavirus disease 2019 personal protective equipment has been reported to affect communication in healthcare settings. This study sought to identify those challenges experimentally.
Bamford–Kowal–Bench speech discrimination in noise performance of healthcare workers was tested under simulated background noise conditions from a variety of hospital environments. Candidates were assessed for ability to interpret speech with and without personal protective equipment, with both normal speech and raised voice.
There was a significant difference in speech discrimination scores between normal and personal protective equipment wearing subjects in operating theatre simulated background noise levels (70 dB).
Wearing personal protective equipment can impact communication in healthcare environments. Efforts should be made to remind staff about this burden and to seek alternative communication paradigms, particularly in operating theatre environments.
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.
Introduction: CAEP recently developed the acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) [AAFF] Best Practices Checklist to promote optimal care and guidance on cardioversion and rapid discharge of patients with AAFF. We sought to assess the impact of implementing the Checklist into large Canadian EDs. Methods: We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial in 11 large Canadian ED sites in five provinces, over 14 months. All hospitals started in the control period (usual care), and then crossed over to the intervention period in random sequence, one hospital per month. We enrolled consecutive, stable patients presenting with AAFF, where symptoms required ED management. Our intervention was informed by qualitative stakeholder interviews to identify perceived barriers and enablers for rapid discharge of AAFF patients. The many interventions included local champions, presentation of the Checklist to physicians in group sessions, an online training module, a smartphone app, and targeted audit and feedback. The primary outcome was length of stay in ED in minutes from time of arrival to time of disposition, and this was analyzed at the individual patient-level using linear mixed effects regression accounting for the stepped-wedge design. We estimated a sample size of 800 patients. Results: We enrolled 844 patients with none lost to follow-up. Those in the control (N = 316) and intervention periods (N = 528) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (61.2 vs 64.2 yrs), duration of AAFF (8.1 vs 7.7 hrs), AF (88.6% vs 82.9%), AFL (11.4% vs 17.1%), and mean initial heart rate (119.6 vs 119.9 bpm). Median lengths of stay for the control and intervention periods respectively were 413.0 vs. 354.0 minutes (P < 0.001). Comparing control to intervention, there was an increase in: use of antiarrhythmic drugs (37.4% vs 47.4%; P < 0.01), electrical cardioversion (45.1% vs 56.8%; P < 0.01), and discharge in sinus rhythm (75.3% vs. 86.7%; P < 0.001). There was a decrease in ED consultations to cardiology and medicine (49.7% vs 41.1%; P < 0.01), but a small but insignificant increase in anticoagulant prescriptions (39.6% vs 46.5%; P = 0.21). Conclusion: This multicenter implementation of the CAEP Best Practices Checklist led to a significant decrease in ED length of stay along with more ED cardioversions, fewer ED consultations, and more discharges in sinus rhythm. Widespread and rigorous adoption of the CAEP Checklist should lead to improved care of AAFF patients in all Canadian EDs.
Introduction: The Brain Injury Guidelines (BIG) stratifies complicated mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients into 3 groups to guide hospitalization, neurosurgical consultation and repeat head-CT. BIG-1 patients could be managed safely without neurosurgical consultation or transfer. Systematic transfer to neurotrauma centers provide few benefits to this subgroup leading to overtriage. Similarly, unnecessary clinical and radiological follow-ups utilize significant health-care resources. Objective: to validate the safety and efficacy of the BIG for complicated mTBIs. Methods: We performed a multicenter historical cohort study in 3 level-1 trauma centers in Quebec. Patients ≥16 years old assessed in the Emergency Department (ED) with complicated mTBI between 2014 and 2017 were included. Patients with penetrating trauma, cerebral aneurysm or tumor were excluded. Clinical, demographic and radiological data, BIG variables, TBI-related death and neurosurgical intervention were collected using a standardized form. A second reviewer assessed all ambiguous files. Descriptive statistics, over- and under-triage were calculated. Results: A total of 342 patients’ records were assessed. Mean age was 63 ± 20,7 and 236 (69 %) were male. Thirty-five patients were classified under BIG-1 (10.2%), 110 under BIG-2 (32.2%) and 197 under BIG-3 (57.6%). Twenty-six patients (7%) required neurosurgical intervention, all were BIG-3. 90% of TBI-related deaths occurred in BIG-3 and none were classified BIG-1. Among the 192 transfers (51%), 14 were classified under BIG-1 (7.3%) and should not have been transferred according to the guidelines and 50 under BIG-2 (26%). In addition, 40% of BIG-1 received a repeat head computed tomography, although not indicated. Similarly, 7 % of all patients had a neurosurgical consult even if not required. Projected implementation of BIG would lead to 47% of overtriage and 0.3% of undertriage. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the Brain Injury Guidelines could safely identify patients with negative outcomes and could lead to a safe and effective management of complicated mTBI. Applying these guidelines to our cohort could have resulted in significantly fewer repeat head CTs, neurosurgical consults and transfers to level 1 neurotrauma centers.
Introduction: An important challenge physicians face when treating acute heart failure (AHF) patients in the emergency department (ED) is deciding whether to admit or discharge, with or without early follow-up. The overall goal of our project was to improve care for AHF patients seen in the ED while avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions. The specific goal was to introduce hospital rapid referral clinics to ensure AHF patients were seen within 7 days of ED discharge. Methods: This prospective before-after study was conducted at two campuses of a large tertiary care hospital, including the EDs and specialty outpatient clinics. We enrolled AHF patients ≥50 years who presented to the ED with shortness of breath (<7 days). The 12-month before (control) period was separated from the 12-month after (intervention) period by a 3-month implementation period. Implementation included creation of rapid access AHF clinics staffed by cardiology and internal medicine, and development of referral procedures. There was extensive in-servicing of all ED staff. The primary outcome measure was hospital admission at the index visit or within 30 days. Secondary outcomes included mortality and actual access to rapid follow-up. We used segmented autoregression analysis of the monthly proportions to determine whether there was a change in admissions coinciding with the introduction of the intervention and estimated a sample size of 700 patients. Results: The patients in the before period (N = 355) and the after period (N = 374) were similar for age (77.8 vs. 78.1 years), arrival by ambulance (48.7% vs 51.1%), comorbidities, current medications, and need for non-invasive ventilation (10.4% vs. 6.7%). Comparing the before to the after periods, we observed a decrease in hospital admissions on index visit (from 57.7% to 42.0%; P <0.01), as well as all admissions within 30 days (from 65.1% to 53.5% (P < 0.01). The autoregression analysis, however, demonstrated a pre-existing trend to fewer admissions and could not attribute this to the intervention (P = 0.91). Attendance at a specialty clinic, amongst those discharged increased from 17.8% to 42.1% (P < 0.01) and the median days to clinic decreased from 13 to 6 days (P < 0.01). 30-day mortality did not change (4.5% vs. 4.0%; P = 0.76). Conclusion: Implementation of rapid-access dedicated AHF clinics led to considerably increased access to specialist care, much reduced follow-up times, and possible reduction in hospital admissions. Widespread use of this approach can improve AHF care in Canada.
The uncertainty surrounding high intakes of folic acid and associations with cognitive decline in older adults with low vitamin B12 status has been an obstacle to mandatory folic acid fortification for many years. We estimated the prevalence of combinations of low/normal/high vitamin B12 and folate status and compared associations with global cognitive function using two approaches, of individuals in a population-based study of those aged ≥50 years in the Republic of Ireland. Cross-sectional data from 3781 men and women from Wave 1 of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing were analysed. Global cognitive function was assessed by the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Prevalence estimates for combinations of vitamin B12 (plasma vitamin B12 < or ≥258 pmol/l) and folate (plasma folate ≤ or >45·3 nmol/l) concentrations were generated. Negative binomial regression models were used to investigate the associations of vitamin B12 and folate status with global cognitive function. Of the participants, 1·5 % (n 51) had low vitamin B12 (<258 pmol/l) and high folate (>45·3 nmol/l) status. Global cognitive performance was not significantly reduced in these individuals when compared with those with normal status for both B-vitamins (n 2433). Those with normal vitamin B12/high folate status (7·6 %) had better cognitive performance (MMSE: incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0·82, 95 % CI 0·68, 0·99; P = 0·043, MoCA: IRR 0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99; P = 0·025). We demonstrated that high folate status was not associated with lower cognitive scores in older adults with low vitamin B12 status. These findings provide important safety information that could guide fortification policy recommendations in Europe.
The Irish Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001 brings Irish health legislation into line with the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights.It replaced the older 1945 Act.The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of the MHA 2001 on involuntary admissions to a private psychiatric hospital before and after its implementation.
All involuntary patients admitted to the hospital over a 3 year period for 2 years before and 1 year after the act was introduced were included.A retrospective case note review was undertaken.Data collected included number of days as an involuntary patient and discharge diagnosis.Data was analysed using SPSSv14.
A total of 204 patients files were examined. 94 and 70 patients were admitted in the 2 years before the introduction of the MHA, this fell to 40 admissions in the year after the MHA.The mean number of days that patients were involuntarily admitted for 2 years before the Act was 68.6, this fell to 24.9 days in the year after the act, p value < .001.The percentage of involuntary patients with a diagnosis of dementia fell and the percentage of admissions with schizophrenia and BPAD increased.
There was a considerable reduction in the number of involuntary admissions and average length of stay after the introduction of the 2001 MHA.More bed numbers may be needed for acute adult admissions and less for long stay admissions.Patients human rights have been improved by the new act which is a positive consequence.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with impaired psychosocial behaviours. Little is known about deficits in neurocognitive functions like decision-making possibly related both to these behaviours and to the nature of the disorder.
To determine whether decision-making impairments exist in manic (M), depressed (D) and euthymic (E) bipolar patients (BP) and to determine whether illness and course-of-illness characteristics can predict participants’ performance
A power analysis was conducted. A total of 315 subjects, including 45 M and 32 D inpatients and 90 E outpatients with BD I, medicated, and 150 Healthy Controls (HC), age, IQ and gender-matched, were included. Decision-making ability and sensitivity to punishment frequency were assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT).
On the IGT, MBP (p< 0.001), DBP (p< 0.01) and EBP (p< 0.05) selected significantly more cards from the risky decks than HC with no significant differences between BP groups. Unlike HC, MBP (p< 0.001), DBP (p< 0.05) and EBP (p< 0.05) showed little capacity to learn from incurred losses with no significant differences between BP groups, but, like HC, BP preferred decks that yielded infrequent penalties over those decks that yielded frequent penalties. In a multivariate analysis, decision-making impairment in the BP was significantly (p=0.001) predicted by low level of education, high total number of admissions and family history of BD.
BP clearly show defects in decision-making predicted by course-of-illness illness characteristics. Impaired decision-making might be a trait-related neurocognitive deficit in BD and partly explain impaired psychosocial behaviours of BP.
Although genetic and environmental factors operating before or around the time of birth have been demonstrated to be relevant to the aetiology of the major psychoses, a seasonal variation in the rates of admission of such patients has long been recognised. Few studies have compared first and readmissions. This study examined for seasonal variation of admission in the major psychoses, and compared diagnostic categories by admission status. Patients admitted to Irish psychiatric inpatient facilities between 1989 and 1994 with an ICD-9/10 diagnosis of schizophrenia or affective disorder were identified from the National Psychiatric Inpatient Reporting System (NPIRS). The data were analysed using a hierarchical log linear model, the chi-square test, a Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) type statistic, and the method of Walter and Elwood. The hierarchical log linear model demonstrated significant interactions between the month of admission and admission order (change in scaled deviance 28.77, df = 11, P < 0.003). Both first admissions with mania, and readmissions with bipolar affective disorder exhibited significant seasonality. In contrast, only first admissions with schizophrenia showed significant seasonal effects. Although first admissions with mania and readmissions with bipolar disorder both show seasonality, seasonal influences appear to be more relevant to onset of schizophrenia than subsequent relapse.
Having a diagnosis of schizophrenia is a risk factor for involuntary admission to psychiatric inpatient care, but we have a limited understanding of why some patients and not others require involuntary admission. We aimed to identify the predictors of involuntary admission in first episode schizophrenia. We used validated instruments to assess clinical and socio-demographic variables in all patients (n = 78) with first episode schizophrenia from a defined geographical area admitted to a Dublin psychiatric hospital over a 4-year period. Involuntary patients (n = 17) could not be distinguished from voluntary patients (n = 61) on the basis of age, gender, living status, marital status, drug abuse or duration of untreated psychosis. Neither positive nor negative symptoms were useful predictors of admission status. Lack of insight was a strong predictor of involuntary status.