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Our aim was to develop a brief cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) protocol to augment treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD). This protocol focused specifically upon fear of positive evaluation (FPE). To our knowledge, this is the first protocol that has been designed to systematically target FPE.
To test the feasibility of a brief (two-session) CBT protocol for FPE and report proof-of-principle data in the form of effect sizes.
Seven patients with a principal diagnosis of SAD were recruited to participate. Following a pre-treatment assessment, patients were randomized to either (a) an immediate CBT condition (n = 3), or (b) a comparable wait-list (WL) period (2 weeks; n = 4). Two WL patients also completed the CBT protocol following the WL period (delayed CBT condition). Patients completed follow-up assessments 1 week after completing the protocol.
A total of five patients completed the brief, FPE-specific CBT protocol (two of the seven patients were wait-listed only and did not complete delayed CBT). All five patients completed the protocol and provided 1-week follow-up data. CBT patients demonstrated large reductions in FPE-related concerns as well as overall social anxiety symptoms, whereas WL patients demonstrated an increase in FPE-related concerns.
Our brief FPE-specific CBT protocol is feasible to use and was associated with large FPE-specific and social anxiety symptom reductions. To our knowledge, this is the first treatment report that has focused on systematic treatment of FPE in patients with SAD. Our protocol warrants further controlled evaluation.
While neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are highly heritable, several environmental risk factors have also been suggested. However, the role of familial confounding is unclear. To shed more light on this, we reviewed the evidence from twin and sibling studies. A systematic review was performed on case control and cohort studies including a twin or sibling within-pair comparison of neurodevelopmental outcomes, with environmental exposures until the sixth birthday. From 7,315 screened abstracts, 140 eligible articles were identified. After adjustment for familial confounding advanced paternal age, low birth weight, birth defects, and perinatal hypoxia and respiratory stress were associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and low birth weight, gestational age and family income were associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), categorically and dimensionally. Several previously suspected factors, including pregnancy-related factors, were deemed due to familial confounding. Most studies were conducted in North America and Scandinavia, pointing to a global research bias. Moreover, most studies focused on ASD and ADHD. This genetically informed review showed evidence for a range of environmental factors of potential casual significance in NDDs, but also points to a critical need of more genetically informed studies of good quality in the quest of the environmental causes of NDDs.
Many psychiatric disorders show gender differences in prevalence. Recent studies suggest that female patients diagnosed with anxiety and depression carry more genetic risks related to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with affected males.
In this register-based study, we aimed to test whether female patients who received clinical diagnoses of anxiety, depressive, bipolar and eating disorders are at higher familial risk for ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, compared with diagnosed male patients.
We analysed data from a record-linkage of several Swedish national registers, including 151 025 sibling pairs from 103 941 unique index individuals diagnosed with anxiety, depressive, bipolar or eating disorders, as well as data from 646 948 cousin pairs. We compared the likelihood of having a relative diagnosed with ADHD/neurodevelopmental disorders in index males and females.
Female patients with anxiety disorders were more likely than affected males to have a brother with ADHD (odd ratio (OR) = 1.13, 95% CI 1.05–1.22). Results for broader neurodevelopmental disorders were similar and were driven by ADHD diagnoses. Follow-up analyses revealed similar point estimates for several categories of anxiety disorders, with the strongest effect observed for agoraphobia (OR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.12–2.39). No significant associations were found in individuals with depressive, bipolar or eating disorders, or in cousins.
These results provide modest support for the possibility that familial/genetic risks for ADHD may show gender-specific phenotypic expression. Alternatively, there could be gender-specific biases in diagnoses of anxiety and ADHD. These factors could play a small role in the observed gender differences in prevalence of ADHD and anxiety.
Atypical and melancholic subtypes of depression based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV are important concepts, especially for biological psychiatry. The aim of this study was to determine whether the symptoms used for the diagnoses of atypical and melancholic depression can distinguish these subtypes during pregnancy.
A modified version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV (SCID interview) was used that allowed assessment of all DSM IV symptoms of melancholic and atypical depression with depressed and non depressed women in pregnancy. A Swiss cohort of 449 women was interviewed. Four diagnostic groups were compared: women with melancholic, atypical, or non specified depression, and those without depression.
Seventeen per cent of the cohort met SCID criteria for a depressive episode of depression at least once in pregnancy, with melancholic depression 2.4%, atypical depression 4.4%, and non specified depression 10.2%. Many of the symptoms used to distinguish atypical and melancholic depression did not discriminate between these groups during pregnancy. However some, such as mood reactivity, distinct quality of mood and sleep pattern, did discriminate.
Differential diagnosis between melancholic and atypical depression in pregnancy needs to be based on pregnancy specific definitions. The possible therapeutic consequences and the neurobiological basis for these findings warrant further research.
This study investigated the diurnal output of saliva cortisol and saliva amylase in women with symptoms of depression postnatally.
Twenty one depressed and 30 non depressed women at 7.5 weeks postpartum, and 21 non perinatal controls, collected saliva at waking, 30 minutes, and three and twelve hours post waking.
Women who were not depressed postnatally showed a pattern of cortisol secretion over the day similar to non perinatal controls. There was a significant difference in diurnal pattern between postnatally depressed and postnatally non depressed women, due to a difference in the first two time points (waking and +30 mins): compared to the other two groups who each had a significant increase in cortisol levels from waking to +30 minutes, the depressed women had significantly higher cortisol levels at waking and no increase at +30 minutes. Analyses of amylase are underway and will be presented.
The lack of a morning rise in the depressed women is similar to that reported for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome and may reflect a response, in vulnerable women, to the marked cortisol withdrawal that occurs after delivery. Alternatively it could be a trait marker for women at risk of developing postnatal depression.
The physiological changes in peripartum may affect symptoms of depression and impact diagnostic judgments in the peripartum. The sharp fall in cortisol and CRH after childbirth suggests that the HPA axis characteristics of postpartum depression are different from melancholic depression, the latter being characterized by high cortisol levels.
A modified version of the SCID was used to assess symptoms of depression and melancholic and atypical subtypes in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Secondly, we investigated the diurnal output of saliva cortisol in women with and without symptoms of depression at 7.5 weeks postpartum, and non perinatal controls.
The antenatal symptom pattern (n = 892 women) was different from the postnatal. The sensitivity of the symptoms ranged from 0.7% to 51.6%, and specificity from 61.3% to 99.1%. The best discriminating symptoms were motor retardation/agitation and concentration antenatally, and motor retardation/agitation, concentration and fatigue postnatally. In a subgroup of this sample (n = 449) 17% of the cohort met SCID criteria for a depression at least once in pregnancy: melancholic depression (2.4%), atypical depression (4.4%), and non specified depression (10.2%). Mood reactivity, distinct quality of mood and sleep pattern discriminated between the two groups. There was no increase in cortisol over the day, however a significant difference in diurnal pattern of cortisol between postnatally depressed and non-depressed women.
These findings suggest that perinatal depression has different associated symptoms from depression at other times. The cortisol pattern in the postnatally depressed women is similar to that reported for PTSD and atypical depression.
The updated common rule, for human subjects research, requires that consents “begin with a ‘concise and focused’ presentation of the key information that will most likely help someone make a decision about whether to participate in a study” (Menikoff, Kaneshiro, Pritchard. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2017; 376(7): 613–615.). We utilized a community-engaged technology development approach to inform feature options within the REDCap software platform centered around collection and storage of electronic consent (eConsent) to address issues of transparency, clinical trial efficiency, and regulatory compliance for informed consent (Harris, et al. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 2009; 42(2): 377–381.). eConsent may also improve recruitment and retention in clinical research studies by addressing: (1) barriers for accessing rural populations by facilitating remote consent and (2) cultural and literacy barriers by including optional explanatory material (e.g., defining terms by hovering over them with the cursor) or the choice of displaying different videos/images based on participant’s race, ethnicity, or educational level (Phillippi, et al. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2018; 47(4): 529–534.).
We developed and pilot tested our eConsent framework to provide a personalized consent experience whereby users are guided through a consent document that utilizes avatars, contextual glossary information supplements, and videos, to facilitate communication of information.
The eConsent framework includes a portfolio of eight features, reviewed by community stakeholders, and tested at two academic medical centers.
Early adoption and utilization of this eConsent framework have demonstrated acceptability. Next steps will emphasize testing efficacy of features to improve participant engagement with the consent process.
There is widespread concern among scholars, court actors, and policy makers that the number of pro se litigants is increasing. However, we have little empirical evidence of the scope of pro se litigation, especially in the federal court system. Using data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on all civil case filings since 1999, we investigate the prevalence and rate of pro se litigation in federal district courts. We find no evidence of a dramatic rise in pro se litigation, but we document substantial variation in rates of pro se litigation by type of case and circuit of filing. The results have implications for our understanding of self-representation and for the development of policies addressing access to civil justice.
Accumulating evidence suggests that many psychiatric disorders etiologically represent the extreme end of dimensionally distributed features rather than distinct entities. The extent to which this applies to eating disorders (EDs) is unknown.
We investigated if there is similar etiology in (a) the continuous distribution of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2), (b) the extremes of EDI-2 score, and (c) registered ED diagnoses, in 1481 female twin pairs at age 18 years (born 1992–1999). EDI-2 scores were self-reported at age 18. ED diagnoses were identified through the Swedish National Patient Register, parent-reported treatment and/or self-reported purging behavior of a frequency and duration consistent with DSM-IV criteria. We differentiated between anorexia nervosa (AN) and other EDs.
The heritability of the EDI-2 score was 0.65 (95% CI 0.61–0.68). The group heritabilities in DeFries–Fulker extremes analyses were consistent over different percentile-based extreme groups [0.59 (95% CI 0.37–0.81) to 0.65 (95% CI 0.55–0.75)]. Similarly, the heritabilities in liability threshold models were consistent over different levels of severity. In joint categorical-continuous models, the twin-based genetic correlation was 0.52 (95% CI 0.39–0.65) between EDI-2 score and diagnoses of other EDs, and 0.26 (95% CI 0.08–0.42) between EDI-2 score and diagnoses of AN. The non-shared environmental correlations were 0.52 (95% CI 0.32–0.70) and 0.60 (95% CI 0.38–0.79), respectively.
Our findings suggest that some EDs can partly be conceptualized as the extreme manifestation of continuously distributed ED features. AN, however, might be more distinctly genetically demarcated from ED features in the general population than other EDs.
Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.
The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.
Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Significance of results
The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.
Performing an extended Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (eFAST) exam is common practice in the initial assessment of trauma patients. The objective of this study was to systematically review the published literature on diagnostic accuracy of all components of the eFAST exam.
We searched Medline and Embase from inception through October 2018, for diagnostic studies examining the sensitivity and specificity of the eFAST exam. After removal of duplicates, 767 records remained for screening, of which 119 underwent full text review. Meta-DiSc™ software was used to create pooled sensitivities and specificities for included studies. Study quality was assessed using the Quality in Prognostic Studies (QUADAS-2) tool.
Seventy-five studies representing 24,350 patients satisfied our selection criteria. Studies were published between 1989 and 2017. Pooled sensitivities and specificities were calculated for the detection of pneumothorax (69% and 99% respectively), pericardial effusion (91% and 94% respectively), and intra-abdominal free fluid (74% and 98% respectively). Sub-group analysis was completed for detection of intra-abdominal free fluid in hypotensive (sensitivity 74% and specificity 95%), adult normotensive (sensitivity 76% and specificity 98%) and pediatric patients (sensitivity 71% and specificity 95%).
Our systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that e-FAST is a useful bedside tool for ruling in pneumothorax, pericardial effusion, and intra-abdominal free fluid in the trauma setting. Its usefulness as a rule-out tool is not supported by these results.
Objectives: Research on developmental outcomes of preterm birth has traditionally focused on adverse effects. This study investigated the prevalence and correlates of resilience in 146 extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight (EPT/ELBW) children (gestational age <28 weeks and/or birth weight <1000 g) attending kindergarten and 111 term-born normal birth weight (NBW) controls. Methods: Adaptive competence (i.e., “resilience” in the EPT/ELBW group) was defined by scores within grade expectations on achievement tests and the absence of clinically elevated parent ratings of child behavior problems. The “adaptive” children who met these criteria were compared to the “maladaptive” children who did not on child and family characteristics. Additional analyses were conducted to assess the conjoint effects of group (ELBW vs. NBW) and family factors on adaptive competence. Results: A substantial minority of the EPT/ELBW group (45%) were competent compared to a majority of NBW controls (73%), odds ratio (95% confidence interval)=0.26 (0.15, 0.45), p<.001. Adaptive competence was associated with higher cognitive skills, more favorable ratings of behavior and learning not used to define adaptive competence, and more advantaged family environments in both groups, as well as with a lower rate of earlier neurodevelopmental impairment in the EPT/ELBW group. Higher socioeconomic status and more favorable proximal home environments were associated with competence independent of group, and group differences in competence persisted across the next two school years. Conclusions: The findings document resilience in kindergarten children with extreme prematurity and highlight the role of environmental factors as potential influences on outcome. (JINS, 2019, 25, 362–374)
The Japanese Murrelet Synthliboramphus wumizusume is a rare, globally ‘Vulnerable’ seabird, endemic to Japan and South Korea. However, little is known of its at-sea distribution, habitat or threats. We conducted several years of at-sea surveys around Japan to model Japanese Murrelet density in relation to habitat parameters, and make spatial predictions to assess the adequacy of the current Japanese marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) network for the species. During a five-year period, 3,485 km of at-sea surveys recorded 3,161 Japanese Murrelets around four breeding locations. Maximum murrelet group size was 90 individuals with a mean group size of 2.9 ± 4.2 individuals. Models of Japanese Murrelet at-sea density around the two largest breeding locations predicted that almost all murrelets occur within 30 km of the breeding colony and most within 10 km. Murrelets were predicted closer to the colony in May than in April and closer to the colony at a neritic colony than at an offshore island colony. Additionally, murrelets breeding on an offshore island colony also commuted to mainland neritic habitat for foraging. The marine habitat used by Japanese Murrelets differed between each of the four surveyed colonies, however oceanographic variables offered little explanatory power in models. Models with colony, month and year generated four foraging radii (9–39 km wide) containing murrelet densities of > 0.5 birds/km2. Using these radii the Japanese marine IBA network was found to capture between 95% and 25% of Japanese Murrelet at-sea habitat while breeding and appears appropriately configured to protect near-colony murrelet distributions. Given the range of marine habitats that breeding murrelets inhabit, our simple models offer an applicable method for predicting to unsampled colonies and generating ecologically-informed seaward extension radii. However, data on colony populations and further at-sea surveys are necessary to refine models and improve predictions.
Using a measure of political risk, relative to the United States, that captures unexpected political conditions, we show that political risk is priced in the cross section of currency momentum and contains information beyond other risk factors. Our results are robust after controlling for transaction costs, reversals, and alternative limits to arbitrage. The global political environment affects the profitability of the momentum strategy in the foreign exchange market; investors following such strategies are compensated for the exposure to the global political risk of those currencies they hold, that is, the past winners, and exploit the lower returns of loser portfolios. The risk compensation is mainly justified by the different exposures of foreign currencies in the momentum portfolio to U.S. political shocks, which is the main component of global political risk.
Traits of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are strongly associated in children and adolescents, largely due to genetic factors. Less is known about the phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults.
We studied 6866 individuals aged 20–28 years from the Swedish Study of Young Adult Twins. Inattention (IA) and hyperactivity/impulsivity (HI) were assessed using the WHO Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1. Repetitive and restricted behaviours (RRB) and social interaction and communication (SIC) were assessed using the Autism-Tics, ADHD, and other Comorbidities inventory. We used structural equation modelling to decompose covariance between these ADHD and ASD trait dimensions into genetic and shared/non-shared environmental components.
At the phenotypic level, IA was similarly correlated with RRB (r = 0.33; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.31–0.36) and with SIC (r = 0.32; 95% CI 0.29–0.34), whereas HI was more strongly associated with RRB (r = 0.38; 95% CI 0.35–0.40) than with SIC (r = 0.24; 95% CI 0.21–0.26). Genetic and non-shared environmental effects accounted for similar proportions of the phenotypic correlations, whereas shared environmental effects were of minimal importance. The highest genetic correlation was between HI and RRB (r = 0.56; 95% 0.46–0.65), and the lowest was between HI and SIC (r = 0.33; 95% CI 0.23–0.43).
We found evidence for dimension-specific phenotypic and aetiological overlap between ADHD and ASD traits in adults. Future studies investigating mechanisms underlying comorbidity between ADHD and ASD may benefit from exploring several symptom-dimensions, rather than considering only broad diagnostic categories.
We examined whether intensive home treatment (IHTT) was beneficial for acute schizophrenia, using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale as a measure of severity and change, between 2011–2015. Demographic and clinical details were collected.
309 cases were referred to IHTT, comprising 245 separate individuals. This represented all severe acute psychotic episodes in Edinburgh during the study period. Three quarters of individuals had an improvement in CGI following IHTT and were safely managed at home. Thirty-nine per cent of all people received three or more regular medications. Comorbid drug and alcohol misuse was also frequently seen.
IHTT can be beneficial to those suffering an acute episode of psychosis and has been shown to improve overall clinical outcome based on the CGI. Medication polypharmacy, as well as drug and alcohol use, are commonly seen in this population.
Declaration of interest
M.T. worked in IHTT at the time of the study, and has received fees and/or hospitality from Janssen, Lundbeck and Otsuka in the past 3 years.
Within the growing field of publications on El Sistema and Sistema-inspired programmes around the world, a marked divide can be observed between the findings of critical academic studies and commissioned evaluations. Using evaluations of El Sistema in Venezuela and Aotearoa New Zealand as our principal case studies, we argue that this gulf can be explained at least partly by methodological problems in the way that some evaluations are carried out. We conclude that many Sistema evaluations display an alignment with advocacy rather than explorative research, and that the foundation for El Sistema's claims of social transformation is thus weak.
Genetic influences play a significant role in risk for psychiatric disorders, prompting numerous endeavors to further understand their underlying genetic architecture. In this paper, we summarize and review evidence from traditional twin studies and more recent genome-wide molecular genetic analyses regarding two important issues that have proven particularly informative for psychiatric genetic research. First, emerging results are beginning to suggest that genetic risk factors for some (but not all) clinically diagnosed psychiatric disorders or extreme manifestations of psychiatric traits in the population share genetic risks with quantitative variation in milder traits of the same disorder throughout the general population. Second, there is now evidence for substantial sharing of genetic risks across different psychiatric disorders. This extends to the level of characteristic traits throughout the population, with which some clinical disorders also share genetic risks. In this review, we summarize and evaluate the evidence for these two issues, for a range of psychiatric disorders. We then critically appraise putative interpretations regarding the potential meaning of genetic correlation across psychiatric phenotypes. We highlight several new methods and studies which are already using these insights into the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders to gain additional understanding regarding the underlying biology of these disorders. We conclude by outlining opportunities for future research in this area.