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As a result of the coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Australia adopted emergency measures on 22 March 2020. This study reports the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on appetite and overeating in Australian adults during the first month of emergency measures.
This study reports analysis of data from the population-based, self-completed survey. The main outcome measure was an item from the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 asking: ‘Over the past 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by poor appetite or overeating?’. Data on sociodemographic factors, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown were also collected. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine associations with poor appetite or overeating.
An anonymous online survey available from 3 April to 2 May 2020.
A total of 13 829 Australian residents aged 18 years or over.
The weighted prevalence of being bothered by poor appetite or overeating in the past 2 weeks was 53·6 %, with 11·6 % (95 % CI 10·6, 12·6) of the cohort reporting poor appetite or overeating nearly every day. High levels of anxiety, concern about contracting COVID-19, being in lockdown with children and reporting a severe impact of the lockdown were associated with increased odds of poor appetite or overeating.
Given the widespread prevalence of being bothered by poor appetite or overeating, universal public health interventions to address emotion-focused or situational eating during periods of lockdown may be appropriate.
A growing body of research suggests that childhood adversities are associated with later psychosis, broadly defined. However, there remain several gaps and unanswered questions. Most studies are of low-level psychotic experiences and findings cannot necessarily be extrapolated to psychotic disorders. Further, few studies have examined the effects of more fine-grained dimensions of adversity such as type, timing and severity.
Using detailed data from the Childhood Adversity and Psychosis (CAPsy) study, we sought to address these gaps and examine in detail associations between a range of childhood adversities and psychotic disorder.
CAPsy is population-based first-episode psychosis case–control study in the UK. In a sample of 374 cases and 301 controls, we collected extensive data on childhood adversities, in particular household discord, various forms of abuse and bullying, and putative confounders, including family history of psychotic disorder, using validated, semi-structured instruments.
We found strong evidence that all forms of childhood adversity were associated with around a two- to fourfold increased odds of psychotic disorder and that exposure to multiple adversities was associated with a linear increase in odds. We further found that severe forms of adversity, i.e. involving threat, hostility and violence, were most strongly associated with increased odds of disorder. More tentatively, we found that some adversities (e.g. bullying, sexual abuse) were more strongly associated with psychotic disorder if first occurrence was in adolescence.
Our findings extend previous research on childhood adversity and suggest a degree of specificity for severe adversities involving threat, hostility and violence.
Subjective cognitive difficulties are common in mental illness and have a negative impact on role functioning. Little is understood about subjective cognition and the longitudinal relationship with depression and anxiety symptoms in young people.
To examine the relationship between changes in levels of depression and anxiety and changes in subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months in help-seeking youth.
This was a cohort study of 656 youth aged 12–25 years attending Australian headspace primary mental health services. Subjective changes in cognitive functioning (rated as better, same, worse) reported after 3 months of treatment was assessed using the Neuropsychological Symptom Self-Report. Multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of baseline levels of and changes in depression (nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire; PHQ9) and anxiety symptoms (seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder scale; GAD7) on changes in subjective cognitive function at follow-up while controlling for covariates.
With a one-point reduction in PHQ9 at follow-up, there was an estimated 11–18% increase in ratings of better subjective cognitive functioning at follow-up, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A one-point increase in PHQ9 from baseline to follow-up was associated with 7–14% increase in ratings of worse subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A similar attenuated pattern of findings was observed for the GAD7.
A clear association exists between subjective cognitive functioning outcomes and changes in self-reported severity of affective symptoms in young people over the first 3 months of treatment. Understanding the timing and mechanisms of these associations is needed to tailor treatment.
In recent years, there has been increased use of dicamba due to the introduction of dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean in the United States. Therefore, there is a potential increase in off-target movement of dicamba and injury to sensitive crops. Flue-cured tobacco is extremely sensitive to auxin herbicides, particularly dicamba. In addition to yield loss, residue from drift or equipment contamination can have severe repercussions for the marketability of the crop. Studies were conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 in North Carolina to evaluate spray-tank cleanout efficiency of dicamba using various cleaning procedures. No difference in dicamba recovery was observed regardless of dicamba formulation and cleaning agent. Dicamba residue decreased with the number of rinses. There was no difference in dicamba residue recovered from the third rinse compared with residue from the tank after being refilled for subsequent tank use. Recovery ranged from 2% to 19% of the original concentration rate among the three rinses. Field studies were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate flue-cured tobacco response to reduced rates of dicamba ranging, from 1/5 to 1/10,000 of a labeled rate. Injury and yield reductions varied by environment and application timing. When exposed to 1/500 of a labeled rate at 7 and 11 wk after transplanting, tobacco injury ranged from 39% to 53% and 10% to 16% 24 days after application, respectively. The maximum yield reduction was 62%, with a 55% reduction in value when exposed to 112 g ha−1 of dicamba. Correlations showed significant relationships between crop injury assessment and yield and value reductions, with Pearson values ranging from 0.24 to 0.63. These data can provide guidance to growers and stakeholders and emphasize the need for diligent stewardship when using dicamba technology.
The association between childhood adversity (CA) and psychosis has been extensively investigated in recent years. An increasing body of research has also focused on the mediating or moderating role of biological and psychological mechanisms, as well as other risk factors that might account for the link between CA and psychosis. We conducted a systematic search of the PsychINFO, Embase, Ovid, and Web of Science databases for original articles investigating the role of genetic vulnerabilities, environmental factors, psychological and psychopathological mechanisms in the association between CA and psychosis up to August 2019. We included studies with individuals at different stages of the psychosis continuum, from subclinical psychotic experiences to diagnosed disorders. From the 28 944 records identified, a total of 121 studies were included in this review. Only 26% of the studies identified met the criteria for methodological robustness. Overall, the current evidence suggests that CA may be associated with psychosis largely independently of genetic vulnerabilities. More consistent and robust evidence supports interaction between early and recent adversities, as well as the mediating role of attachment and mood symptoms, which is suggestive of an affective pathway between CA and psychosis across the continuum from subclinical experiences to diagnosable disorder. This review highlighted numerous methodological issues with the existing literature, including selection bias, heterogeneity of measurement instruments utilised, and lack of control for potential confounders. Future research should address these limitations to more accurately estimate mediation and moderation effects on the CA-psychosis association to inform the development of preventive interventions.
Currently, there are seven herbicides labeled for U.S. tobacco production; however, additional modes of action are greatly needed in order to reduce the risk of herbicide resistance. Field experiments were conducted at five locations during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons to evaluate flue-cured tobacco tolerance to S-metolachlor applied pretransplanting incorporated (PTI) and pretransplanting (PRETR) at 1.07 (1×) and 2.14 (2×) kg ai ha−1. Severe injury was observed 6 wk after transplanting at the Whiteville environment in 2017 when S-metolachlor was applied PTI. End-of-season plant heights from PTI treatments at Whiteville were likewise reduced by 9% to 29% compared with nontreated controls, although cured leaf yield and value were reduced only when S-metolachlor was applied PTI at the 2× rate. Severe growth reduction was also observed at the Kinston location in 2018 where S-metolachlor was applied at the 2× rate. End-of-season plant heights were reduced 11% (PTI, 2×) and 20% (PRETR, 2×) compared with nontreated control plants. Cured leaf yield was reduced in Kinston when S-metolachlor was applied PRETR at the 2× rate; however, treatments did not impact cured leaf quality or value. Visual injury and reductions in stalk height, yield, quality, and value were not observed at the other three locations. Ultimately, it appears that injury potential from S-metolachlor is promoted by coarse soil texture and high early-season precipitation close to transplanting, both of which were documented at the Whiteville and Kinston locations. To reduce plant injury and the negative impacts to leaf yield and value, application rates lower than 1.07 kg ha−1 may be required in these scenarios.
Twenty-four new optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and radiocarbon ages from sediment cores in nine lakes associated with the Shipshewana and Sturgis moraines in northern Indiana and southern Michigan estimate when recession of the Saginaw Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet was underway in the southern Great Lakes region, USA. Average OSL ages of 23.4 ± 2.2 ka for the Shipshewana Moraine and 19.7 ± 2.2 ka for the Sturgis Moraine are considered minimum limiting deglacial ages for these recessional moraines. The much younger radiocarbon ages are consistent with other regional radiocarbon ages from lakes, and record climate amelioration around ~16.5 cal ka BP. Early recession of the interlobate Saginaw Lobe was well underway by 23.4 ± 2.2 ka, when the adjacent Lake Michigan and Huron-Erie lobes were a few hundred kilometers farther south and near their maximum southerly limits. The results provide the first time constraints when sediment from the Lake Michigan and Huron-Erie lobes began filling the accommodation space left by the Saginaw Lobe. The difference between the oldest radiocarbon and OSL age is 7400 yr for the Shipshewana Moraine and 3400 yr for the Sturgis Moraine.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often associated with a wide array of psychiatric symptoms, although few studies systematically address their specific association with ED determinants.
Objectives and aims
To explore the relationship between ED (as assessed by SIEDY Structured Interview) and different psychopathological symptoms (as assessed by the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire).
A consecutive series of 1,388 male patients with ED was studied.
Psychiatric symptoms resulted differentially associated with SIEDY domains. Depressive and phobic anxiety symptoms were associated with the relational domain, somatization with the organic one, while free-floating anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and phobic symptoms were significantly related with higher intrapsychic SIEDYscores. In addition, relevant depressive symptomatology was associated with hypogonadism, the presence of low frequency of intercourse, hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), and conflictual relationships within the couple and the family. Patients with high free-floating anxiety symptoms were younger, and complained of an unsatisfactory work and a conflictual relationship within family. Conversely, subjects with higher phobic anxious symptoms displayed a more robust relational functioning. Similar results were observed in subjects with obsessive-compulsive symptoms, who also reported a lower prevalence of HSD. Finally, subjects with somatization symptoms showed the worst erectile function.
The main value of this study is that it alters various clinicians’ belief that many psychiatric symptoms can be found among ED patients. Systematic testing of patients with ED, through psychiatric questionnaires, is recommended to detect even slight or moderate psychopathological distresses, which specifically associate and exacerbate sexual disturbances.
Masturbation is a common, but often neglected, male sexual behavior. Objectives and aims: To investigate the psychobiological correlates of self-reported masturbation in the last 3 months.
A consecutive series of 2,786 heterosexual male patients consulting an outpatient clinic for erectile dysfunction (ED) was studied. Several hormonal, biochemical and instrumental parameters were investigated. Patients were interviewed, prior to the beginning of any treatment, with Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY) and ANDROTEST structured interviews. They also completed the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire.
Among the patients studied, 1,781 (61.9%) reported they had masturbated at least once per month in the preceding 3 months. The frequency of masturbation was inversely related to age (r = -0.329; P < 0.0001) and directly associated with education level (adj r = 0.052, P < 0.05 after adjustment for age). A feeling of guilt during masturbation was reported by 274 (15.4%) patients. After adjusting for age, masturbation was positively associated with testosterone levels, stressful conditions, and both unstable and long-lasting couple relationship. Urogenital problems also increased the chance of masturbation. Reported guiltiness during autoeroticism was associated with psychological disturbances, low prolactin, low testosterone, and increased relational problems.
This study indicates that masturbation is a relatively frequent behavior in male subjects with ED. Inquiring about this sexual behavior is an important issue for understanding overall patients’ sexual attitudes and behavior.
The relationship between testosterone (T) and psychopathology in subjects with sexual dysfunction has not been completely clarified.
Objectives and aims
To evaluate the association between T levels and different psychopathological symptoms and traits in men seeking treatment for sexual dysfunction.
A consecutive series of 2,042 heterosexual male patients consulting an outpatient clinic for sexual dysfunction was retrospectively studied. Several hormonal, biochemical, and instrumental parameters were investigated, including testis volume and penile blood flow. Patients were interviewed, prior to the beginning of any treatment, with the previously validated Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY), and ANDROTEST (a structured interview for the screening of hypogonadism in patients with sexual dysfunction). They also completed the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ) a brief self-reported questionnaire for the screening of the symptoms of mental disorders in non psychiatric setting.
T levels showed a negative correlation with depressive and anxiety symptoms. Conversely, histrionic/hysterical traits were strongly and positively associated with elevated T. Men with histrionic/hysterical traits had higher androgenization, as suggested by higher total and free T, higher testis volume and a lower ANDROTEST score. They were also characterized by better self-reported sexual functioning and penile blood flow.
In men consulting for sexual dysfunction, histrionic/hysterical traits are associated with higher androgenization and better sexual functioning. Hysteria, previously considered as a typically feminine psychopathological trait, should now be considered as an index of better masculine sexual well-being.
This study investigated the relationship between severe childhood abuse and cognitive functions in first-episode psychosis patients and geographically-matched controls. Reports of any abuse were associated with lower scores in the executive function domain in the control group. However, in contrast with our hypothesis, no relationships were found amongst cases.
Adequate pathways to care are a prerequisite for early detection and intervention in First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Two systematic reviews examined the influence of ethnicity, social and clinical factors on psychosis care pathways. Accessibility to health services differs for under 18s, yet differences in care pathways between age groups and the impact of family factors have not been investigated.
To investigate the influence of family factors in help-seeking pathways for adolescents with FEP.
Naturalistic crossectional study of 1351 FEP (14-35 years) referred to Early Intervention Psychosis teams (London, UK; 2003-2009). Care pathways included accounts on who initiated help-seeking process, initial contact points (GP, emergency services, education, social services, police and court/prison), and family factors (social support, living arrangements and family load of mental illness).
For the majority of adolescents (n=118) and adults (n=1232), first and second contact points were GP (30% vs 42%) and emergency services (18% vs 23%). However, these two services accounted for less than half of the adolescents’ sample. Adolescents made higher use of education (p<0.001). Family factors, such as good social support (p=0.036), living with carers (p<0.001) and family load of mental illness (p=0.018), were associated with family taking a leading role in problem recognition.
Adolescents with psychosis differ from adults in their contact points when seeking help. Problem recognition is a complex process which involves identifying and legitimizing mental health concerns. Parental awareness and perception of problems revealed as a key step in seeking help for adolescents.
Cannabis use has demonstrated an association with earlier onset of psychosis. Investigation of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in association with cannabis use in adults with first-episode psychosis (FEP) has resulted in inconsistent findings. The clinical profile of cannabis users amongst adolescents with FEP remain widely understudied.
To investigate the frequency of cannabis use, and its association with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in adolescent-versus adult-onset FEP.
Naturalistic cross-sectional study of 1363 FEP cases aged 14-35 (136 with adolescent-onset psychosis) referred to Early Intervention Services for psychosis in London (UK) (2003-2009). Sociodemographic and clinical data (age of psychosis onset, symptom domains, substance misuse, insight, violence, global functioning, and duration of untreated psychosis [DUP]) were collected at entry to EIS.
Cannabis users were more likely to be male (78.2%), White (43.0%) and unemployed (72.0%). No significant difference was found in cannabis abuse/dependence frequencies between adolescents (28.4%) and adults (24.7%). Cannabis abuse/dependence was associated with an earlier onset of psychosis by 2 years (p<0.001), greater manic and positive symptoms (p<0.001), increased violence (p=0.011), and poorer functioning (p=0.013) and insight (p=0.003). For adolescents, cannabis abuse/dependence was associated with greater positive symptoms, poorer functioning and longer DUP.
Cannabis use shapes the clinical presentation of FEP individuals. Similar frequencies of cannabis use between age groups suggest that substance misuse services should be provided to all, aiming to reducing consumption. Greater vigilance amongst clinicians would enable earlier detection of psychosis in substance misusing adolescents, to reduce DUP and minimise associated poor outcomes.
Breast-feeding initiation and continuation rates in the UK and Ireland are low relative to many European countries. As a core outcome of the prospective Cork Nutrition and Development Maternal-Infant Cohort (COMBINE) study (Cork, Ireland), we aimed to describe infant milk feeding practices in detail and examine the prevalence and impact of combination feeding of breast milk and infant formula on breast-feeding duration. COMBINE recruited 456 nulliparous mothers (2015–2017) for maternal–infant follow-up via interview at hospital discharge (median 3 (interquartile range (IQR) 2, 4) d (n 453)), 1 (n 418), 2 (n 392), 4 (n 366), 6 (n 362) and 9 (n 345) months of age. Median maternal age was 32 (IQR 29, 34) years, 97 % of mothers were of white ethnicity, 79 % were Irish-born and 75 % were college-educated. Overall, 75 % breastfed to any extent at discharge and 44 % breastfed solely. At 1, 2, 4, 6 and 9 months, respectively, 40, 36, 33, 24 and 19 % breastfed solely. Combination feeding of breast milk and infant formula was common at discharge (31 %) and 1 month (20 %). Reasons for combination feeding at 1 month included perceived/actual hunger (30 %), healthcare professional advice (31 %) and breast-feeding difficulties (13 %). Of mothers who breastfed to any extent at discharge, 45 % stopped within 4 months. Mothers who combination fed were more likely to cease breast-feeding than those who breastfed solely (relative risk 2·3 by 1 month and 12·0 by 2 months). These granular data provide valuable insight to early milk feeding practices and indicate that supporting early breast-feeding without formula use may be key to the successful continuation of breast-feeding.
UK healthcare policy has highlighted a shift in mental health services from hospital to community, stressing the importance of training for professions not traditionally associated with healthcare. Recommendations have been made to introduce training for the police force designed with experts. Similarly, the value of further training for ambulance clinicians in assessing mental health, capacity, and understanding legislation has been highlighted.
To investigate the effect of simulation training on the confidence, knowledge, and human factors skills of police and ambulance service personnel in working with people experiencing mental health conditions.
On completion of data collection from 14 training courses, approximately 90 police and 90 ambulance personnel (n = 180) will have completed the human factors skills for healthcare instrument, confidence and knowledge self-report measures, and post-course qualitative evaluation forms. A version of the hfshi for non-clinical professions will hopefully be validated following data collection. Results will also be compared by profession.
Analyses have not been fully completed, although preliminary statistical analyses demonstrate promising findings, with increases post-course for human factors skills, confidence and knowledge. Furthermore, qualitative feedback initially illustrates valuable learning outcomes and interesting findings from comparisons by professions.
Mental health simulation training appears to have a promising impact on the confidence, knowledge, and human factors skills of police and ambulance personnel for working with people experiencing mental health conditions.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The high prevalence of maternal deficiency and the low vitamin D content of breastmilk places newborns and infants at particular risk of vitamin D deficiency. In response to an increase in the incidence of nutritional rickets, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland published an interim infant vitamin D supplementation policy in 2007, which was implemented by the Health Service Executive in Ireland in May 2010. This recommends that all infants be given a 5μg exclusive vitamin D3 supplement daily from birth to 12 months. As adherence is not monitored nationally and the policy has not been evaluated, the aim of this study was to conduct a detailed evaluation of supplementation practices across two maternal-infant cohort studies. Data from the prospective BASELINE (recruited 2008–2011) and COMBINE (recruited 2015–2017) birth cohorts, based in Cork, Ireland, were used to examine supplementation practices. After supplementation policy implementation, BASELINE collected vitamin D supplement use data (n = 1528) at 2, 6 and 12 months. In COMBINE, 7 study visits from birth to 12 months allowed continuous collection of detailed longitudinal supplementation data in 364 participants. Use of supplemental vitamin D was higher in COMBINE than BASELINE at 2 (93 vs. 49%), 6 (89 vs. 64%) and 12 (72 vs. 44%) months (all P < 0.001). In COMBINE, 92% initiated vitamin D supplementation at birth and the median supplementation duration was 51 (40, 52) weeks, although there was a wide range (3–52 weeks). 94% of COMBINE parents used a vitamin D3 only supplement and 88% used the recommended 5μg dose. Half (51%) always supplemented daily; a further 33% supplemented at least 3–6 times/week. Full policy adherence was defined as the provision of a 5μg vitamin D3 supplement daily from birth; 64% adhered fully to 2 months and 52% did so to 6 months. By 12 months, 30% had adhered fully to the policy and a further 16% gave 5μg frequently for the full 12 months. This data indicates a high level of awareness of the supplementation policy amongst new mothers, with substantially higher rates of supplementation in our current cohort compared with BASELINE. While most parents gave an exclusive 5μg vitamin D3 supplement, frequency and duration were the key barriers to full policy adherence. Given the lack of a maternal vitamin D supplementation policy in Ireland and high prevalence of low vitamin D status at birth, supplementation of infants with vitamin D remains a vital public health policy.