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In line with previous findings, in a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT), we found that home treatment (HT) for acute mental health care can reduce (substitute) hospital use among severely ill patients in crises. This study examined whether the findings of the RCT generalize to HT services provided under routine care conditions.
We compared patients who received HT during the RCT study phase with patients who received the same HT service after it had become part of routine mental health services in the same catchment area. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as well as service use (HT and hospital bed days) were compared between the RCT and the subsequent routine care study period.
Compared to patients who received HT during the RCT, routine care HT patients were more often living with others, less often admitted compulsorily, more often diagnosed with anxiety and stress-related disorders (ICD-10 F4) and less often diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (F2). When compared to patients who were exclusively treated on hospital wards, involvement of the HT team in patients’ care was associated with a clear-cut reduction of hospital bed days both during the RCT and under routine care conditions. However, unlike during the RCT study period, involvement of HT was associated with longer overall treatment episodes (inpatient + HT days) under routine care conditions.
HT seems to reduce the use of hospital bed days even under routine care conditions but is at risk of producing longer overall acute treatment episodes.
To test in first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients whether early treatment improvement accurately predicts subsequent treatment outcome and to develop a valid definition for early improvement.
188 first episode schizophrenia inpatients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at admission and biweekly until discharge within a randomized, double-blind trial. 93 patients were treated with risperidone, 95 with haloperidol. Response was defined as a 40% improvement in PANSS total score from admission to discharge, remission according to the recently proposed consensus criteria and early improvement as an improvement in the PANSS total subscore after the second week. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to evaluate predictive validity of early improvement and to find the most reasonable cutoff definition according to specificity and sensitivity. A confidence interval for the optimum cutoff was furthermore estimated.
ROC analyses revealed reasonable predictability for response (AUC=0.707) and remission (AUC=0.692) concerning early improvement as a predictor for response/remission. No significant differences were found between the two treatment groups. Early improvement defined as a 46% PANSS total score reduction for response and a PANSS total score reduction of 50% for remission obtained the best results in terms of sensitivity and specificity.
We were able to confirm that early improvement is a valid predictor of subsequent treatment response and remission. FES patients should at least improve up to 30% in the PANSS total score at week 2 to achieve treatment response and remission.
Studies of schizophrenia with functional MRI showed hyper- and hypoactivations in various brain regions including the prefrontal cortex. Functional abnormalities have also been reported in first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients. The aim of this study was to examine working memory related brain functions in healthy subjects, schizophrenic patients and unaffected relatives and to determine the influence of psychopathology on these processes.
A parametric n-back working memory task and functional MRI were used to examine 61 schizophrenic patients on antipsychotic medication, 11 nonpsychotic relatives of schizophrenic patients and a comparison group of 61 healthy subjects. The task difficulty was incrementally increased using a parametric task (0-back, 1-back, 2-back, and 3-back) to examine the relationship between working memory load, performance, and brain activity.
The results indicated that during the attention task (0-back) behavioral responses of patients and healthy subjects hardly differed but BOLD responses were considerably enhanced in schizophrenic patients. With increasing task difficulty differences between groups in BOLD responses diminished whereas behavioral deficits of patients increased. The examination of attention-independent working memory-functions (2- vs. 0-back) produced hypoactivations in patients, especially in frontal, temporal and subcortical brain regions. Behavioral performance and neural responses of unaffected relatives of schizophrenic patients were intermediate between schizophrenic patients and controls indicating slight brain dysfunctions. In addition, compensatory strategies were demonstrated.
These findings suggest that the genetic risk for schizophrenia is accompanied by neural inefficiency which is associated with cognitive deficits, especially in difficult tasks.
Purpose of this study was to assess subjective well-being in schizophrenia inpatients and to find variables predictive for response and remission of subjective well-being.
The subjective well-being under neuroleptic treatment scale (SWN-K) was used in 232 schizophrenia patients within a naturalistic multicenter trial. Early response was defined as a SWN-K total score improvement of 20% and by at least 10 points within the first 2 treatment weeks, response as an improvement in SWN-K total score of at least 20% and by at least 10 points from admission to discharge and remission in subjective well-being as a total score of more or equal to 80 points at discharge. Logistic regression and CART analyses were used to determine valid predictors of subjective well-being outcome.
Twenty-nine percent of the patients were detected to be SWN-K early responders, 40% fulfilled criteria for response in subjective well-being and 66% fulfilled criteria for remission concerning subjective well-being. Among the investigated predictors, SWN-K early improvement and the educational status were significantly associated with SWN-K response. The SWN-K total score at baseline showed a significant negative predictive value for response. Baseline SWN-K total score, PANSS global subscore, and side effects as well as the educational status were found to be significantly predictive for remission.
Depressive symptoms should be radically treated and side effects closely monitored to improve the patient's subjective well-being. The important influence of subjective well-being on overall treatment outcome could be underlined.
To examine the predictive validity of early improvement in a naturalistic sample of inpatients and to identify the criterion that best defines early improvement.
Two hundred and forty-seven inpatients who fulfilled ICD-10 criteria for schizophrenia were assessed with the Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at admission and at biweekly intervals until discharge from hospital. Remission was defined according to the recently proposed consensus criteria, response as a reduction of at least 40% in the PANNS total score from admission to discharge.
Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses showed that early improvement (reduction of the PANSS total score within the first 2 weeks of treatment) predicts remission (AUC = 0.659) and response (AUC = 0.737) at discharge. A 20% reduction in the PANSS total score within the first 2 weeks was the most accurate cut-off for the prediction of remission (total accuracy: 65%; sensitivity: 53%; specificity: 76%), and a 30% reduction the most accurate cut-off for the prediction of response (total accuracy: 76%; sensitivity: 47%; specificity: 90%).
The findings of clinical drug trials that early improvement is a predictor of subsequent treatment response were replicated in a naturalistic sample. Further studies should examine whether patients without early improvement benefit from an early change of antipsychotic medication.
Schizoaffective disorder is a common diagnosis in mental health services. The present article aims to provide an overview of diagnostic reliability, symptomatology, outcome, neurobiology and treatment of schizoaffective disorder.
Literature was identified by searches in “Medline” and “Cochrane Library”.
The diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder has a low reliability. There are marked differences between the current diagnostic systems. With respect to psychopathological symptoms, no clear boundaries were found between schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and affective disorders. Common neurobiological factors were found across the traditional diagnostic categories. Schizoaffective disorder according to ICD-10 criteria, but not to DSM-IV criteria, shows a more favorable outcome than schizophrenia. With regard to treatment, only a small and heterogeneous database exists.
Due to the low reliability and questionable validity there is a substantial need for revision and unification of the current diagnostic concepts of schizoaffective disorder. If future diagnostic systems return to Kraepelin's dichotomous classification of non-organic psychosis or adopt a dimensional diagnostic approach, schizoaffective disorder will disappear from the psychiatric nomenclature. A nosological model with multiple diagnostic entities, however, would be compatible with retaining the diagnostic category of schizoaffective disorder.
In the context of the development of DSM-V and ICD-11 it appears to be useful to get further data on the validity of the diagnostic differentiation between schizophrenic and affective disorders. This study investigated the relevance of the main diagnostic groups schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis and affective disorder in the context of different diagnostic systems (ICD-9, ICD-10, DSM –IV), assessing their time stability, long-term courses, types and functional outcome.
A total of 323 first hospitalized inpatients of the Psychiatric Department of the University Munich were recruited at index time. The full follow-up evaluation including standardized assessment procedures could be performed in 197 patients.
The re-diagnosis of the patients’ disorders shows that with the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 or DSM-IV, the group of affective disorders increased numerically while the diagnostic groups of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders decreased in size. The structured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID) analysis showed that altogether ICD-10 and DSM-IV had a relatively high diagnostic stability. Of the patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis of schizophrenia, 57% had a chronic course; 61% of the patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia. Patients with affective disorders, according either to ICD-10 or DSM-IV, had in more than 90% of the cases an episodic-remitting course. In terms of prediction of long-term outcome regarding the differentiation between chronic and non-chronic course, the ICD-10 diagnoses did give a slightly better predictive result than a dimensional approach based on the key psychopathological syndrome scores.
The differentiation between schizophrenic and affective disorders seems meaningful especially under predictive aspects. A dimensional syndromatological description does not exceed the predictive power of the investigated main diagnostic categories, but might increase the clinically relevant information.
The increasing evidence that bipolar and unipolar affective disorders have different biological etiologies and courses of illness has been associated with an intensifying interest in specific treatment regimens for both disorders during the last decade. In this context, the question arose whether antidepressants exert similar efficacy in the acute treatment of bipolar compared to unipolar depression. Although the clinical impression does not indicate substantial differences in the efficacy of antidepressants between these groups of patients, empirical databases concerning this topic are rare. The present study compared the efficacy of antidepressants in 50 unipolar and 50 bipolar depressed inpatients (ICD-9 criteria) under naturalistic treatment conditions. Both groups of patients were mahed for age, gender and duration of illness. Clinical assessments of status at the time of admission and at discharge were used to rate response to antidepressant treatment. Analyses of the data revealed that both groups of patients needed the same time for treatment response and did not show any significant differences in ouome measures at discharge. These findings do not concur with the hypothesis formulated by some experts in the field of affective disorders that antidepressants are less effective in the acute treatment of bipolar depressed patients compared to unipolar depressed patients.
Psychiatric services providing care for patients and their families confronted with a first psychotic episode need to be sensitive towards patients’ and families’ preferences. Ten patients, ten family members and ten professional caregivers composed a list of 42 preferences in the treatment for a first psychotic episode. In total 99 patients, 100 family members and 263 professional caregivers evaluated these preferences, thus producing an order of priorities. There appears to be considerable agreement among the groups of respondents regarding their top ten priorities, especially concerning information on diagnosis and medication. However, we found important differences between groups of respondents. The results suggest that in psychiatric services great attention should be given to psycho-education and early outpatient intervention.
Psychiatric concomitant diseases are common with alcohol and tobacco dependent patients. Few studies have compared comorbidities between alcohol dependent smokers and non-smokers.
The aim of this study is to examine the pattern of psychiatric comorbidity among alcohol dependent smokers in an inpatient alcohol therapy unit.
Material and method
After successfully completing withdrawal therapy, subjects between the ages of 18–65 years who meet the ICD 10 criteria for alcohol dependence and no criteria for other drug use disorder except smoking, and who were participating in an inpatient treatment program for alcohol dependence at Anton Proksch Institut were included.
This is a preliminary analysis of the survey. In total 81 patients could be examined. 53.1% of the interviewed subjects were female and 46.9% male. The explored samples age ranged from 21–66 years.
74.1% of the questioned subjects were smokers, 60% of these patients smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day.
Preliminary analysis shows that smoking alcohol dependent patients present a higher comorbidity rate than non-smokers but above all they show a tendency to increased anxiety disorders. Within the population of smokers 48.3% suffer from an anxiety disorder, 48.3% from depression and dysthymia, 12.1% from manic and hypomanic disorder and 5.2% from psychosis. These differences are not clinically significant. This can be explained by the small number of the sample and by the group allocation.
Alcohol addicted patients exhibit heightened psychiatric comorbidity. Smoking alcohol dependents are more frequently affected and have a disposition to psychiatric disorders.
Aim was to examine depressive symptoms in acutely ill schizophrenia patients on a single symptom basis and to evaluate their relationship with positive, negative and general psychopathological symptoms.
Two hundred and seventy-eight patients suffering from a schizophrenia spectrum disorder were analysed within a naturalistic study by the German Research Network on Schizophrenia. Using the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) depressive symptoms were examined and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was applied to assess positive, negative and general symptoms. Correlation and factor analyses were calculated to detect the underlying structure and relationship of the patient’s symptoms.
The most prevalent depressive symptoms identified were depressed mood (80%), observed depression (62%) and hopelessness (54%). Thirty-nine percent of the patients suffered from depressive symptoms when applying the recommended cut-off of a CDSS total score of > 6 points at admission. Negligible correlations were found between depressive and positive symptoms as well as most PANSS negative and global symptoms despite items on depression, guilt and social withdrawal. The factor analysis revealed that the factor loading with the PANSS negative items accounted for most of the data variance followed by a factor with positive symptoms and three depression-associated factors.
The naturalistic study design does not allow a sufficient control of study results for the effect of different pharmacological treatments possibly influencing the appearance of depressive symptoms.
Results suggest that depressive symptoms measured with the CDSS are a discrete symptom domain with only partial overlap with positive or negative symptoms.
The aim of the study was to investigate the development of the psychiatric emergency situation in the city of Ulm, Germany, over a decade ranging from 2004- 2013.
All reports regarding medical emergencies in the city of Ulm (110,000 inhabitants) from 2004 to 2013 were examined. Psychiatric emergencies were identified and worked off retrospectively with respect of demographic variables, diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, general medical treatment and time trends.
Data were available of 933 psychiatric emergency care episodes. 40% of episodes concerned male patients (60% female). Average age was 45.3 years. Diagnoses were made on a syndromal level on the basis of a classification by Hippius (Hippius H: Psychiatrie. Springer, Berlin, 1979). The most frequent syndromal diagnoses were 'state of psychomotor excitement', 'suicidal syndrome', 'syndrome of addictive behaviour' and 'acute intoxication'. These syndromal diagnoses occurred with increasing frequency later in the day. Medication interventions comprised mostly midazolame followed by haloperidol, diazepam and lorazepam.
The results of our study are roughly in line with those described in the literature based on studies dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. Emergency medicine is an multidisciplinary subject, in which psychiatric disorders account for a substantial proportion of episodes of care.
The organic personality disorder (OPD) is a multi-faceted group of dia-gnoses in the boarder area of psychiatry and neurology. In the current teaching books OPD is treated rather cursorily. Evidence-based guidelines have not been published. However, OPD is a frequently observed phenomenon both in psychiatry and neurology.
In the present study an overview is given over historic conceptual principles of OPD. Furthermore, we searched MEDLINE for relevant studies regarding psycho-pathology of OPD. Twelve studies were included in the final analysis. Findings regarding etiology, symptomatology and treatment are summarized.
Psychopathology was not specific to type of etiology. Three major groups of symptomatology were identified (enechy-type, apathy and depression-type, impulsiveness and affective lability-type). There are no evidence-based treatement recommendations for OPD, a small number of case reports suggest a possible therapeutic effect of carbamazepine and trazodone.
With regard to psychopathology the traditional classification of Kurt Schneider was affirmed. A multiaxial diagnostic process can integrate a symptomatological and etiological perspective on OPD. Pharmacotherapy should focus on specific syndromes, e.g. hostility. There is a need for further research with the objective of preparing a clinical guideline.
This paper reports the first successful synthesis and the structural characterization of nanocrystalline and stacking-disordered β-cristobalite AlPO4 that is chemically stabilized down to room temperature and free of crystalline impurity phases. Several batches of the title compound were synthesized and thoroughly characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping in SEM, solid-state 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (31P-NMR) spectroscopy including the TRAPDOR method, differential thermal analysis (DTA), gas-sorption methods, optical emission spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and ion chromatography. Parameters that are critical for the synthesis were identified and optimized. The synthesis procedure yields reproducible results and is well documented. A high-quality XRD pattern of the title compound is presented, which was collected with monochromatic copper radiation at room temperature in a wide 2θ range of 5°–100°.
Farm equipment, including sensors and mobile machinery, create increasing amounts of data, and data can also be gained from third-party services. In order to be able to fully take advantage of this a farmer needs to be able to gather, store, process, and share the data as needed. In this work we describe a prototype for open environment that can gather, combine, store, select, and share data from arbitrary sources and with external partners, as well as use the data in decision making and provide it as input for various services. The environment is built using the Service Oriented Architecture paradigm and is therefore not tied to any specific operating system or software framework. We have tested the environment on the farm scale in Finland. The system was found suitable to improve the work in all tested tasks.
We study the geometric and topological properties of strange non-chaotic attractors created in non-smooth saddle-node bifurcations of quasiperiodically forced interval maps. By interpreting the attractors as limit objects of the iterates of a continuous curve and controlling the geometry of the latter, we determine their Hausdorff and box-counting dimension and show that these take distinct values. Moreover, the same approach allows us to describe the topological structure of the attractors and to prove their minimality.
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection can cause serious diseases and complications in the HIV-positive population. Due to successful vaccination programmes measles, mumps and congenital rubella syndrome has become neglected in Germany. However, recent outbreaks of measles have occurred from import-associated cases. In this cross-sectional study the serostatus for MMR and VZV in 2013 HIV-positive adults from three different university outpatient clinics in Bonn (n = 544), Cologne (n = 995) and Munich (n = 474) was analysed. Sera were tested for MMR- and VZV-specific immunglobulin G antibodies using commercial immunoassays. Seronegativity was found in 3% for measles, 26% for mumps, 11% for rubella and 2% for VZV. Regarding MMR, 35% of patients lacked seropositivity against at least one infectious agent. In multivariable analysis younger age was strongly associated with seronegativity against all four viruses, measles, mumps, rubella (P < 0·001, P < 0·001 and P = 0·001, respectively) and VZV (P = 0·001). In conclusion, there is high need for MMR and VZV vaccination in people living with HIV in Germany born in 1970 or later. Thus, systematic MMR and VZV antibody screening and vaccination should be implemented in the HIV-positive population to prevent serious disease and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of life in patients with vascular chronic Q fever at time of diagnosis and during follow-up. Based upon the SF-36 questionnaire, the mean physical and mental health of each patient were assessed at 3-month intervals for up to 18 months. A total of 26 patients were included in the study. At time of diagnosis, the mean physical health and mental health score was 50·6 [95% confidence interval (CI) 46·7–54·4] and 44·6 (95% CI 41·6–47·5), respectively. During treatment, the mean physical health score declined significantly by 1·7 points each 3 months (P < 0·001) to 40·8 (95% CI 34·4–45·1). The mean mental health score significantly and steadily increased towards 51·2 (95% CI 46·9–54·3) during follow-up (P = 0·026). A total of 23% of patients were cured after 18 months of follow-up. In conclusion, quality of life at time of diagnosis for patients with vascular chronic Q fever is lower compared to a similar group of patients, matched for age and gender, with an aortic abdominal aneurysmal disease, and physical health decreases further after starting treatment. Considering the low percentage of cure, the current treatment of vascular chronic Q fever patients may require a separate strategy from that of endocarditis in order to increase survival.
The assessment of driving-relevant cognitive functions in older drivers is a difficult challenge as there is no clear-cut dividing line between normal cognition and impaired cognition and not all cognitive functions are equally important for driving.
To support decision makers, the Bern Cognitive Screening Test (BCST) for older drivers was designed. It is a computer-assisted test battery assessing visuo-spatial attention, executive functions, eye–hand coordination, distance judgment, and speed regulation. Here we compare the performance in BCST with the performance in paper and pencil cognitive screening tests and the performance in the driving simulator testing of 41 safe drivers (without crash history) and 14 unsafe drivers (with crash history).
Safe drivers performed better than unsafe drivers in BCST (Mann–Whitney U test: U = 125.5; p = 0.001) and in the driving simulator (Student's t-test: t(44) = –2.64, p = 0.006). No clear group differences were found in paper and pencil screening tests (p > 0.05; ns). BCST was best at identifying older unsafe drivers (sensitivity 86%; specificity 61%) and was also better tolerated than the driving simulator test with fewer dropouts.
BCST is more accurate than paper and pencil screening tests, and better tolerated than driving simulator testing when assessing driving-relevant cognition in older drivers.