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Depressive symptoms are common in bereaved caregivers; however, there have been few prospective studies using a structured interview. This study investigated the prevalence and preloss predictors of major depressive disorder (MDD) in bereaved caregivers of patients in a palliative care unit.
This prospective cohort study collected caregiver sociodemographic and psychological data before the death of a palliative care unit patient, including MDD, care-burden, coping style, and hopeful attitude. Postloss MDD was assessed 6 and 13 months after death, and a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify its predictors.
Of 305 caregivers contacted, 92 participated in this study. The prevalence of preloss MDD was 21.8%; the prevalences of postloss MDD were 34.8% and 24.7% at 6 and 13 months, respectively. Preloss MDD predicted postloss MDD at 6 months (odds ratio [OR] = 5.38, 95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.29, 22.43); preloss nonhopeful attitude and unemployment status of caregivers predicted postloss MDD at 13 months (OR = 8.77, CI95% = 1.87, 41.13 and OR = 7.10, CI95% = 1.28, 39.36, respectively).
Significance of results
Approximately 35% of caregivers suffered from MDD at 6 months postloss, but the prevalence of MDD decreased to about 25% at 13 months. Preloss MDD significantly predicted postloss MDD at 6 months, whereas hopeful attitude and unemployment at baseline were significantly associated with postloss MDD at 13 months.
Although late-life anxiety occurs frequently and is associated with higher morbidity, few longitudinal studies have been concerned with the evaluation thereof. We investigated the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of anxiety and related factors over a two-year period in community-dwelling Korean elderly individuals.
A total of 1,204 Korean elderly individuals were evaluated at baseline, and 909 were followed up two years later. The community version of the Geriatric Mental State Schedule was used to estimate anxiety at both baseline and follow-up interviews. We defined “prevalence” as the rate of anxiety symptoms (for both anxiety cases and sub-threshold anxiety) at baseline; “incidence” as the rate of anxiety symptoms at follow-up in those without baseline anxiety symptoms; and “persistence” as the rate of anxiety symptoms at follow-up in those with baseline anxiety symptoms. Associations between various covariates and anxiety status were examined using multivariate logistic regression models.
The prevalence, incidence, and persistence of anxiety symptoms were 38.1%, 29.3%, and 41.1%, respectively. Prevalent anxiety symptoms were associated independently with female, rented housing, more stressful life event and medical illness, physical inactivity, depression, insomnia, and lower cognitive function. Incident anxiety symptoms were predicted by older age, female gender, depression, and insomnia; persistent anxiety symptoms were predicted by older age, more medical illness, and baseline depression.
Since depression was associated with prevalent, incident, and persistent anxiety symptoms, effective detection and management thereof is important in older adults to reduce anxiety. Furthermore, preventive collaborative care should be considered, particularly for older, female, insomniac patients.
To determine the influence of caregiver personality and other factors on the burden of family caregivers of terminally ill cancer patients.
We investigated a wide range of factors related to the patient–family caregiver dyad in a palliative care setting using a cross-sectional design. Caregiver burden was assessed using the seven-item short version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI–7). Caregiver personality was assessed using the 10-item short version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI–10), which measures the following five personality dimensions: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Patient- and caregiver-related sociodemographic and psychological factors were included in the analysis because of their potential association with caregiver burden. Clinical patient data were obtained from medical charts or by using other measures. Multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to identify the independent factors associated with caregiver burden.
We analyzed 227 patient–family caregiver dyads. The multivariate analysis revealed that caregiver extroversion was protective against caregiver burden, whereas depressive symptoms in caregivers were related to increased burden. Neuroticism was positively correlated with caregiver burden, but this relationship was nonsignificant following adjustment for depressive symptoms. Patient-related factors were not significantly associated with caregiver burden.
Significance of Results:
Evaluating caregiver personality traits could facilitate identification of individuals at greater risk of high burden. Furthermore, depression screening and treatment programs for caregivers in palliative care settings are required to decrease caregiver burden.
Cognitive impairments are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Despite its clinical importance, the development of dementia is still difficult to predict. In this study, we investigated the possible associations between non-motor symptoms and the risk of developing dementia within a 2-year observation period in PD.
A total of 80 patients with PD participated in this study. Nonmotor symptoms (the Nonmotor Symptoms Questionnaire), PD status (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale), depression (Geriatric d Depression Scale or Montgomery-Asberg Depression Scale), stereopsis and severity of nonmotor symptoms (Non-motor symptoms scale) were assessed. Global cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination) were evaluated at baseline and 2 years later.
Presence of depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia, abnormal stereopsis, non-smoking and postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype were associated with a significantly more rapid decline of Mini-Mental State Examination. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that depression (odds ratio=13.895), abnormal stereopsis (odds ratio=10.729), vivid dreaming (odds ratio=4.16), REM sleep behavior disorders (odds ratio=5.353) and hyposmia (odds ratio=4.911) were significant independent predictors of dementia risk within 2 years. Postural instability/ gait disturbance phenotype and age >62 years were also independent predictors of dementia risk (odd ratio=38.333, odds ratio=10.625).
We suggest that depression, vivid dreaming, REM sleep behavior disorders, hyposmia and abnormal stereopsis are closely associated with cognitive decline, and that presence of these nonmotor symptoms predict the subsequent development of Parkinson’s disease dementia.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of suicidal ideation (SI), and to investigate the psychosocial factors associated with these.
A total of 1,204 community dwelling elderly adults aged 65 years or older were evaluated at baseline, 909 (75%) of whom were followed two years later. The presence of SI was identified using the questions from the community version of the Geriatric Mental State (GMS) diagnostic schedule (GMS B3) at both baseline and follow-up interviews. Baseline measures included demographic status, years of education, rural/urban residence, accommodation, past and current occupation, monthly income, marital status, stressful life events, social support deficits, number of physical illnesses, severity of pain, physical activity, disability, depressive symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, cognitive function, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Baseline SI prevalence, follow-up incidence (SI rate at follow-up of 805 elderly subjects who did not have SI at baseline), and persistence (SI rate at follow-up of 104 elderly subjects who had SI at baseline) were 11.5%, 9.6%, and 36.5%, respectively. Baseline SI was independently associated with no current employment, lower monthly income, stressful life events, more severe pain, presence of disability, depressive symptoms, and smoking. Incident SI was independently predicted by baseline unmarried status, social support deficit, severe pain, presence of depressive symptoms, and smoking. Persistent SI was independently predicted by baseline stressful life events and depressive symptoms.
Depressive symptoms were independently associated with prevalent, incident, and persistent SI, but other predictors varied according to incidence and persistence outcomes.
A direct synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on substrates by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is one of highly probable routes to reach their application to field emission displays. Several stringent requirements are prerequisite for this purpose, including low temperature growth below 600°C to engage glass substrates and large area deposition for practical use. This study carried out synthesis of CNTs by thermal CVD on glass substrates at temperatures as low as 500~550°C. CNTs were grown by thermal decomposition of CO and H2 gases at an atmospheric pressure for different thickness of Invar (an Fe-Ni-Co alloy ) catalytic layers. The growth of CNTs was strongly correlated with preparation of catalytic layers. The diameters and heights of as-grown CNTs increased as the catalytic layers became thicker from 2nm to 30nm. Measurements of the field emission properties of CNTs showed that the threshold electric fields were lowered with increasing thickness of catalytic layers. A uniform electron emission was observed over a large area of 150 × 150mm2, with high emission currents and high brightness.
We report the realization of the p-type conductivity and the enhancement of the photoluminescence (PL) intensity in undoped ZnO films treated with high-energy (1 MeV) electron-beam irradiation (HEEBI), suggesting that the HEEBI process is compatible with a low-temperature requirement for the fabrication of transparent thin film transistors with good efficiency on a plastic substrate. The p-type conductivity of the films was revealed by the Hall, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and PL measurements after being electron-irradiated in air at room temperature. The major acceptor-like defects were determined to be oxygen interstitial and zinc vacancy. A model was proposed in terms of O as well as Zn diffusion to explain the observed results. It was also observed that HEEBI treatment has little influence on the optical transmittance of ZnO films, whereas HEEBI treatment shifts the optical band gap toward the lower energy region from 3.29 to 3.28 eV.
The role of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in
depression is not clear.
To investigate cross-sectional and prospective associations between
folate, B12 and homocysteine levels and late-life
A total of 732 Korean people aged 65 years or over were evaluated at
baseline. Of the 631 persons who were not depressed, 521 (83%) were
followed over a period of 2–3 years and incident depression was
ascertained with the Geriatric Mental State schedule. Serum folate, serum
vitamin B12 and plasma homocysteine levels were assayed at
both baseline and follow-up.
Lower levels of folate and vitamin B12 and higher homocysteine
levels at baseline were associated with a higher risk of incident
depression at follow-up. Incident depression was associated with a
decline in vitamin B12 and an increase in homocysteine levels
over the follow-up period.
Lower folate, lower vitamin B12 and raised homocysteine levels
may be risk factors for late-life depression.
Causal relationships between vascular factors and late-life depression are controversial.
To investigate prospective associations between risk factors for vascular disease and incidence of late-life depression.
Of 661 community participants aged 65 years or over, without depression at baseline, 521 (79%) were re-evaluated 2 years later. At baseline and follow-up, a diagnostic interview for depression was carried out and information on vascular status, disability and cognitive function was gathered.
Pre-existing heart disease, incident stroke and lower baseline high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level were significantly associated with incidence of late-life depression, independently of disability and cognitive function.
These results provide some support for a vascular aetiology of late-life depression. However, important risk factors for cerebrovascular disease such as hypertension and diabetes were not implicated, and the associations with lipid levels might still be explained by affective states earlier in life.
To evaluate risk factors and treatment outcomes of bloodstream infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP).
Retrospective case-control study. Stored blood isolates of K. pneumoniae were tested for ESBL production by NCCLS guidelines, double-disk synergy test, or both.
A 1,500-bed, tertiary-care university hospital and referral center.
Sixty case-patients with bacteremia due to ESBL-KP were compared with 60 matched control-patients with non-ESBL-KP.
There were no significant differences in age, gender, APACHE II score, or underlying diseases between the groups. Independent risk factors for infections caused by ESBL-KP were urinary catheterization, invasive procedure within the previous 72 hours, and an increasing number of antibiotics administered within the previous 30 days. Complete response rate, evaluated 72 hours after initial antimicrobial therapy, was higher among control-patients (13.3% vs 36.7%; P = .003). Treatment failure rate was higher among case-patients (35.0% vs 15%; P = .011). Overall 30-day mortality rate was 30% for case-patients and 28.3% for control-patients (P = .841). Case-patients who received imipenem or ciprofloxacin as a definitive antibiotic had 10.5% mortality. The mortality rate for initially ineffective therapy was no higher than that for initially effective therapy (9.1% vs 11.1%; P = 1.000), but statistical power was low for evaluating mortality in the absence of septic shock.
For K. pneumoniae bacteremia, patients with ESBL-KP had a higher initial treatment failure rate but did not have higher mortality if antimicrobial therapy was appropriately adjusted in this study with limited statistical power.
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