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Recent political changes in Myanmar provide opportunities to expand mental health (MH) services. Given Myanmar's unique situation, we felt a need to assemble and interpret available local information on MH in Myanmar to inform service design, rather than simply drawing lessons from other countries. We reviewed academic and gray literature on the experience of MH problems in Myanmar and the suitability, availability, and effectiveness of MH and psychosocial programming.
We searched: (1) Google Scholar; (2) PubMed; (3) PsychInfo; (4) English-language Myanmar journals and databases; (5) the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Network resources website; (6) websites and (7) local contacts of organizations identified during 2010 and 2013 mapping exercise of MHPSS providers; (8) the Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU) website; (9) University libraries in Yangon and Mandalay; and (10) identified local MH professionals.
Qualitative data suggest that MH conditions resulting from stress are similar to those experienced elsewhere. Fourteen intervention evaluations were identified: three on community-level interventions, three on adult religion-based practice (meditation), four adult psychotherapeutic interventions, and four child-focused interventions. Support for the acceptability and effectiveness of interventions is mostly anecdotal. With the exception of two rigorous, randomized control trials, most evaluations had serious methodologic limitations.
Few evaluations of psychotherapeutic or psychosocial programs for people from Myanmar have been published in the black or gray literature. Incorporating rigorous evaluations into existing and future programs is imperative for expanding the evidence base for psychotherapeutic and psychosocial programs in this context.
This paper reports on: (1) an evaluation of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) developed for comorbid presentations of depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, and/or externalizing symptoms among children in three Somali refugee camps on the Ethiopian/Somali border, and (2) an evaluation of implementation factors from the perspective of staff, lay providers, and families who engaged in the intervention.
This project was conducted in three refugee camps and utilized locally validated mental health instruments for internalizing, externalizing, and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. Participants were recruited from either a validity study or from referrals from social workers within International Rescue Committee Programs. Lay providers delivered CETA to youth (CETA-Youth) and families, and symptoms were re-assessed post-treatment. Providers and families responded to a semi-structured interview to assess implementation factors.
Children who participated in the CETA-Youth open trial reported significant decreases in symptoms of internalizing (d = 1.37), externalizing (d = 0.85), and posttraumatic stress (d = 1.71), and improvements in well-being (d = 0.75). Caregivers also reported significant decreases in child symptoms. Qualitative results were positive toward the acceptability and appropriateness of treatment, and its feasibility.
This project is the first to examine a common elements approach (CETA: defined as flexible delivery of elements, order, and dosing) with children and caregivers in a low-resource setting with delivery by lay providers. CETA-Youth may offer an effective treatment that is easier to implement and scale-up versus multiple focal interventions. A fullscale randomized clinical trial is warranted.
After the diagnosis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is increased relative to the general population. We aimed to determine whether the incidence of psychiatric disorders is increased in the 5 years before the diagnosis of IMID as compared with the general population.
Using population-based administrative health data from the Canadian province of Manitoba, we identified all persons with incident IBD, MS and RA between 1989 and 2012, and cohorts from the general population matched 5 : 1 on year of birth, sex and region to each disease cohort. We identified members of these groups with at least 5 years of residency before and after the IMID diagnosis date. We applied validated algorithms for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and any psychiatric disorder to determine the annual incidence of these conditions in the 5-year periods before and after the diagnosis year.
We identified 12 141 incident cases of IMID (3766 IBD, 2190 MS, 6350 RA) and 65 424 matched individuals. As early as 5 years before diagnosis, the incidence of depression [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.54; 95% CI 1.30–1.84) and anxiety disorders (IRR 1.30; 95% CI 1.12–1.51) were elevated in the IMID cohort as compared with the matched cohort. Similar results were obtained for each of the IBD, MS and RA cohorts. The incidence of bipolar disorder was elevated beginning 3 years before IMID diagnosis (IRR 1.63; 95% CI 1.10–2.40).
The incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is elevated in the IMID population as compared with a matched population as early as 5 years before diagnosis. Future studies should elucidate whether this reflects shared risk factors for psychiatric disorders and IMID, a shared final common inflammatory pathway or other aetiology.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an urgent global health problem. Root causes for VAWG include the individual- and family-level factors of alcohol abuse, mental health problems, violence exposure, and related adverse experiences. Few studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have assessed the effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing VAWG. This randomized controlled trial, part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls consortium, examines the effectiveness of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) for reducing VAWG and comorbid alcohol abuse among families in Zambia.
Study participants are families consisting of three persons: an adult woman, her male husband or partner, and one of her children aged 8–17 (if available). Eligibility criteria include experience of moderate-to-severe intimate partner violence by the woman and hazardous alcohol use by her male partner. Family units are randomized to receive CETA or treatment as usual. The primary outcome is VAWG as measured by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, assessed along with secondary outcomes at 24 months post-baseline. Interim assessments are also conducted at 4–5 months (following CETA completion) and 12 months post-baseline.
This ongoing trial is one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa to evaluate the use of an evidence-based common elements approach for reducing VAWG by targeting a range of individual- and family-level factors, including alcohol abuse. Results of this trial will inform policy on what interventions work to prevent VAWG in LMIC with local perspectives on scale up and wider implementation.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Recent studies point to overlap between neuropsychiatric disorders in symptomatology and genetic aetiology.
To systematically investigate genomics overlap between childhood and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
Analysis of whole-genome blood gene expression and genetic risk scores of 318 individuals. Participants included individuals affected with adult ADHD (n = 93), childhood ADHD (n = 17), MDD (n = 63), ASD (n = 51), childhood dual diagnosis of ADHD–ASD (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 78).
Weighted gene co-expression analysis results reveal disorder-specific signatures for childhood ADHD and MDD, and also highlight two immune-related gene co-expression modules correlating inversely with MDD and adult ADHD disease status. We find no significant relationship between polygenic risk scores and gene expression signatures.
Our results reveal disorder overlap and specificity at the genetic and gene expression level. They suggest new pathways contributing to distinct pathophysiology in psychiatric disorders and shed light on potential shared genomic risk factors.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
The Critically Endangered Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi has a very small total population size (< 190 individuals) and faces multiple threats. Over eight weeks in 2012 at the Mount Hartman Estate, we investigated the dove’s habitat selection, established a mongoose index of occupancy and recorded dove use of water sources to help determine key research and conservation needs. Of 12 habitat variables measured, greater levels of canopy cover were the best predictor of dove presence. Tracking tunnels indicated that introduced small Indian mongooses Herpestes auropunctatus, widely known for negatively impacting Caribbean bird populations, have a high level of occupancy in dove habitat, providing baseline mongoose data. Trail cameras revealed that Grenada Doves make good use of water from man-made wells and mongooses scent-mark tunnels. We urge fuller habitat selection studies and water-provision experiments to validate this evidence; strong and immediate control of mongooses and other potential predators, particularly at the nest; and a census backed by a banding programme to establish a monitoring baseline to guide conservation actions.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is associated with intellectual disability, but the risk pathways are poorly understood.
The Tuberous Sclerosis 2000 Study is a prospective longitudinal study of the natural history of TSC. One hundred and twenty-five UK children age 0–16 years with TSC and born between January 2001 and December 2006 were studied. Intelligence was assessed using standardized measures at ≥2 years of age. The age of onset of epilepsy, the type of seizure disorder, the frequency and duration of seizures, as well as the response to treatment was assessed at interview and by review of medical records. The severity of epilepsy in the early years was estimated using the E-Chess score. Genetic studies identified the mutations and the number of cortical tubers was determined from brain scans.
TSC2 mutations were associated with significantly higher cortical tuber count than TSC1 mutations. The extent of brain involvement, as indexed by cortical tuber count, was associated with an earlier age of onset and severity of epilepsy. In turn, the severity of epilepsy was strongly associated with the degree of intellectual impairment. Structural equation modelling supported a causal pathway from genetic abnormality to cortical tuber count to epilepsy severity to intellectual outcome. Infantile spasms and status epilepticus were important contributors to seizure severity.
The findings support the proposition that severe, early onset epilepsy may impair intellectual development in TSC and highlight the potential importance of early, prompt and effective treatment or prevention of epilepsy in tuberous sclerosis.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The association between physical disorders and suicide remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between physical disorders and suicide after accounting for the effects of mental disorders.
Individuals who died by suicide (n = 2100) between 1996 and 2009 were matched 3:1 by balancing score to general population controls (n = 6300). Multivariate conditional logistic regression compared the two groups across physician-diagnosed physical disorders [asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease], adjusting for mental disorders and co-morbidity. Secondary analyses examined the risk of suicide according to time since first diagnosis of each physical disorder (1–90, 91–364, ⩾ 365 days). Similar analyses also compared individuals with suicide attempts (n = 8641) to matched controls (n = 25 923).
Cancer was associated with increased risk of suicide [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.91, p < 0.05] even after adjusting for all mental disorders. The risk of suicide with cancer was particularly high in the first 90 days after initial diagnosis (AOR 4.10, 95% CI 1.71–9.82, p < 0.01) and decreased to non-significance after 1 year. Women with respiratory diseases had elevated risk of suicide whereas men did not. COPD, hypertension and diabetes were each associated with increased odds of suicide attempts in adjusted models (AORs ranged from 1.20 to 1.73).
People diagnosed with cancer are at increased risk of suicide, especially in the 3 months following initial diagnosis. Increased support and psychiatric involvement should be considered for the first year after cancer diagnosis.
Although communicable diseases have hitherto played a small part in illness associated with Olympic Games, an outbreak of infection in a national team, Games venue or visiting spectators has the potential to disrupt a global sporting event and distract from the international celebration of athletic excellence. Preparation for hosting the Olympic Games includes implementation of early warning systems for detecting emerging infection problems. Ensuring capability for rapid microbiological diagnoses to inform situational risk assessments underpins the ability to dispel rumours. These are a prelude to control measures to minimize impact of any outbreak of infectious disease at a time of intense public scrutiny. Complex multidisciplinary teamwork combined with laboratory technical innovation and efficient information flows underlie the Health Protection Agency's preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These will deliver durable legacies for clinical and public health microbiology, outbreak investigation and control in the coming years.
Although it has been posited that exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increases vulnerability to deployment stress, previous literature in this area has demonstrated conflicting results. Using a cross-sectional population-based sample of active military personnel, the present study examined the relationship between ACEs, deployment related stressors and mood and anxiety disorders.
Data were analyzed from the 2002 Canadian Community Health Survey – Canadian Forces Supplement (CCHS-CFS; n = 8340, age 18–54 years, response rate 81%). The following ACEs were self-reported retrospectively: childhood physical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, economic deprivation, exposure to domestic violence, parental divorce/separation, parental substance abuse problems, hospitalization as a child, and apprehension by a child protection service. DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders [major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks/disorder and social phobia] were assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Even after adjusting for the effects of deployment-related traumatic exposures (DRTEs), exposure to ACEs was significantly associated with past-year mood or anxiety disorder among men [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.34, 99% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.73, p < 0.01] and women [aOR 1.37, 99% CI 1.00–1.89, p = 0.01]. Participants exposed to both ACEs and DRTEs had the highest prevalence of past-year mood or anxiety disorder in comparison to those who were exposed to either ACEs alone, DRTEs alone, or no exposure.
ACEs are associated with several mood and anxiety disorders among active military personnel. Intervention strategies to prevent mental health problems should consider the utility of targeting soldiers with exposure to ACEs.
A most probable number (MPN) method capable of estimating as few as ten campylobacters per 100 ml of water is described. The method gave results close to those obtained by the viable count method of Miles, Misra & Irwin (1938) with graded suspensions of Campylobacter jejuni. The method was used to test raw water samples: counts were obtained ranging from 10 to 230 campylobacters per 100 ml for 11 of 49 coastal and estuary water samples, and from 10 to 36 campylobacters per 100 ml for 7 of 44 river samples. Campylobacters were isolated from an additional 24 of the ‘negative’ samples by testing 200 ml volumes by glass microfibre filtration and enrichment culture methods. The MPN method should prove to be a useful epidemiological tool particularly suited to the enumeration of campylobacters in particulate fluids.
The distinction between normality and psychopathology has long been subject to debate. DSM-III and DSM-IV provided a definition of mental disorder to help clinicians address this distinction. As part of the process of developing DSM-V, researchers have reviewed the concept of mental disorder and emphasized the need for additional work in this area. Here we review the DSM-IV definition of mental disorder and propose some changes. The approach taken here arguably takes a middle course through some of the relevant conceptual debates. We agree with the view that no definition perfectly specifies precise boundaries for the concept of mental/psychiatric disorder, but in line with a view that the nomenclature can improve over time, we aim here for a more scientifically valid and more clinically useful definition.
We describe a community outbreak of campylobacter enteritis associated with the consumption of untreated milk, apparently contaminated by two cows with campylobacter mastitis. The outbreak occurred in two phases. Strains of Campylobacter jejuni of the Penner serogroup complex 4, 13, 16, 50 and Preston biotype code 6100 were isolated from patients in both episodes and from the faeces of the cattle, milk filters, bulk milk and retail milk. Milk samples from two of 40 milking cows were found to contain C. jejuni, and the wheys from these two cows had high titres of antibody to C. jejuni detected by ELISA techniques.
Campylobacters isolated from human, animal and environmental sources during the investigation of a milk-borne outbreak, an incident involving goats' milk and an outbreak associated with puppies were serotyped using the Penner and Lior schemes and biotyped using the Preston scheme. Application of these three methods to the incident strains demonstrated that heterogenicity amongst similar strains exists. This study has confirmed the need to use at least two typing methods when investigating epidemiologically-related strains and we suggest that a combination of a serotyping scheme and an extended biotyping scheme is the most useful.
A new scheme for phagetyping campylobacters has been evaluated using strains isolated from five outbreaks. The phagetyping results have been compared with the results of Penner serotyping, Lior serotyping and Preston biotyping. Phagetyping recognized the causative strains in all of the incidents and also differentiated these strains from animal and environmental strains isolated during these investigations. In some outbreaks phagetyping proved to be more discriminatory than serotyping or biotyping, e.g. strains of Penner serotype 2, and serogroup 4, 13, 16, 50 were subdivided by this method. Phagetyping is to be recommended for typing strains from outbreaks and although the results indicate that it may be used alone we advocate that it should be used in conjunction with one of the established typing methods.