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An in-house self-held respiration monitoring device (SHRMD) was developed for providing deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) radiotherapy. The use of SHRMD is evaluated in terms of reproducibility, stability and heart dose reduction.
Methods and materials:
Sixteen patients receiving radiotherapy of left breast cancer were planned for treatment with both a free breathing (FB) scan and a DIBH scan. Both FB and DIBH plans were generated for comparison of the heart, left anterior descending (LAD) artery and lung dose. All patients received their treatments with DIBH using SHRMD. Megavoltage cine images were acquired during treatments for evaluating the reproducibility and stability of treatment position using SHRMD.
Compared with FB plans, the maximum dose to the heart by DIBH technique with SHRMD was reduced by 29·9 ± 15·6%; and the maximum dose of the LAD artery was reduced by 41·6 ± 18·3%. The inter-fractional overall mean error was 0·01 cm and the intra-fractional overall mean error was 0·04 cm.
This study demonstrated the potential benefits of using the SHRMD for DIBH to reduce the heart and LAD dose. The patients were able to perform stable and reproducible DIBHs.
Little is known about long-term employment outcomes for patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum (FES) disorders who received early intervention services.
We compared the 10-year employment trajectory of patients with FES who received early intervention services with those who received standard care. Factors differentiating the employment trajectories were explored.
Patients with FES (N = 145) who received early intervention services in Hong Kong between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002 were matched with those who entered standard care 1 year previously. We used hierarchical clustering analysis to explore the 10-year employment clusters for both groups. We used the mixed model test to compare cluster memberships and piecewise regression analysis to compare the employment trajectories of the two groups.
There were significantly more patients who received the early intervention service in the good employment cluster (early intervention: N = 98 [67.6%]; standard care: N = 76 [52.4%]; P = 0.009). In the poor employment cluster, there was a significant difference in the longitudinal pattern between early intervention and standard care for years 1–5 (P < 0.0001). The number of relapses during the first 3 years, months of full-time employment during the first year and years of education were significant in differentiating the clusters of the early intervention group.
Results suggest there was an overall long-term benefit of early intervention services on employment. However, the benefit was not sustained for all patients. Personalisation of the duration of the early intervention service with a focus on relapse prevention and early vocational reintegration should be considered for service enhancement.
Declaration of interests
No relevant conflicts of interests reported by C.L.M.H., Y.N.S., P.S., H.H.P. and K.K.Y. S.K.W.C., W.C.C. and E.H.M.L. report that they are members of the working group of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. E.Y.H.C. is the convener of the working group of the EASY programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and has been observed in both familial (FHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) samples. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of research directly contrasting cognitive profiles in these two high-risk states and first-episode schizophrenia. This study aimed to compare cognitive functions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (FES), their unaffected siblings (FHR), CHR individuals and healthy controls.
A standardized battery of cognitive assessments was administered to 69 FES patients, 71 help-seeking CHR individuals without family history of psychotic disorder, 50 FHR participants and 68 controls. FES and CHR participants were recruited from territory-wide early intervention service for psychosis in Hong Kong. CHR status was ascertained using Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State.
Among four groups, FES patients displayed the largest global cognitive impairment and had medium-to-large deficits across all cognitive tests relative to controls. CHR and FHR participants significantly underperformed in most cognitive tests than controls. Among various cognitive tests, digit symbol coding demonstrated the greatest magnitude of impairment in FES and CHR groups compared with controls. No significant difference between two high-risk groups was observed in global cognition and all individual cognitive tests except digit symbol coding which showed greater deficits in CHR than in FHR participants.
Clinical and familial risk groups experienced largely comparable cognitive impairment that was intermediate between FES and controls. Digit symbol coding may have the greatest discriminant capacity in distinguishing FES and CHR from healthy controls, and between two high-risk samples.
Aberrant right subclavian artery is the most common congenital aortic arch anomaly. There are a few reports concerning the clinical manifestations and follow-up of this CHD detected by echocardiographic screening.
A total of 1737 full-term neonates, with a male-to-female ratio of 900:837, received echocardiographic screening. Neonates with or without isolated aberrant right subclavian artery were studied during infancy.
Among the 1737 cases, a total of 15 (0.86%) female-predominant neonates, with a male-to-female ratio of 6:9, had isolated aberrant right subclavian artery. They were compared with 20 age- and gender-matched normal neonates. There were no significant differences in maternal age, gestational age, or para gravity between the two groups, except for birth size (birth length- and weight-for-age percentiles, p = 0.006 and 0.045, respectively), which was smaller in the aberrant right subclavian artery group. Although there were no significant differences in developmental history, gastrointestinal, or respiratory symptoms, neonates with aberrant right subclavian artery had a higher incidence of mild developmental delay and feeding difficulty than normal infants (21 versus 0%, p = 0.061; 36 versus 20%, p = 0.264, respectively). The growth rates of body length and weight during infancy were not significantly different between the two groups.
Echocardiography can be applied as a first-line investigation in the diagnostic work-up for aberrant right subclavian artery. Neonates with aberrant right subclavian artery had a smaller size at birth, although growth rates were not significantly different from those of normal infants. This study does not support an active surgical policy for asymptomatic infants with isolated aberrant right subclavian artery. A larger study and longer follow-up of affected infants is recommended.
In this paper, we introduce a lower extremity exoskeleton CUHK-EXO that is developed to help paraplegic patients, who have lost the motor and sensory functions of their lower limbs to perform basic daily life motions. Since the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit (STS) motion is the first step for paraplegic patients toward walking, analysis of the exoskeleton's applicability to the STS motion assistance is performed. First, the human-exoskeleton system (HES) is modeled as a five-link model during the STS motion, and the center of pressure (COP) on the ground and center of gravity of the whole system are calculated. Then, a description of the CUHK-EXO hardware design is presented, including the mechatronics design and actuator selection. The COP position is an important factor indicating system balance and wearer's comfort. Based on the COP position, a trajectory online modification algorithm (TOMA) is proposed for CUHK-EXO to counteract disturbances, stabilize system balance, and improve the wearer's comfort in the STS motion. The results of STS motion tests conducted with a paraplegic patient demonstrate that CUHK-EXO can provide a normal reference pattern and proper assistive torque to support the patient's STS motion. In addition, a pilot study is conducted with a healthy subject to verify the effectiveness of the proposed TOMA under external disturbances before future clinical trials. The testing results verify that CUHK-EXO can counteract disturbances, and help the wearer perform the STS motion safely and comfortably.
In 2015 and 2016, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) Social Media (SoMe) Team collaborated with established medical websites to promote CJEM articles using podcasts and infographics while tracking dissemination and readership.
CJEM publications in the “Original Research” and “State of the Art” sections were selected by the SoMe Team for podcast and infographic promotion based on their perceived interest to emergency physicians. A control group was composed retrospectively of articles from the 2015 and 2016 issues with the highest Altmetric score that received standard Facebook and Twitter promotions. Studies on SoMe topics were excluded. Dissemination was quantified by January 1, 2017 Altmetric scores. Readership was measured by abstract and full-text views over a 3-month period. The number needed to view (NNV) was calculated by dividing abstract views by full-text views.
Twenty-nine of 88 articles that met inclusion were included in the podcast (6), infographic (11), and control (12) groups. Descriptive statistics (mean, 95% confidence interval) were calculated for podcast (Altmetric: 61, 42-80; Abstract: 1795, 1135-2455; Full-text: 431, 0-1031), infographic (Altmetric: 31.5, 19-43; Abstract: 590, 361-819; Full-text: 65, 33-98), and control (Altmetric: 12, 8-15; Abstract: 257, 159-354; Full-Text: 73, 38-109) articles. The NNV was 4.2 for podcast, 9.0 for infographic, and 3.5 for control articles.
Limitations included selection bias, the influence of SoMe promotion on the Altmetric scores, and a lack of generalizability to other journals.
Collaboration with established SoMe websites using podcasts and infographics was associated with increased Altmetric scores and abstract views but not full-text article views.
Evidence indicates that the positive effects of 2-year early intervention services for psychosis are not maintained after service withdrawal. Optimal duration of early intervention in sustaining initial improved outcomes remains to be determined.
To examine the sustainability of the positive effects of an extended, 3-year, early intervention programme for patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) after transition to standard care.
A total of 160 patients, who had received a 2-year early intervention programme for FEP, were enrolled to a 12-month randomised-controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01202357) comparing a 1-year extension of the early intervention (3-year specialised treatment) with step-down care (2-year specialised treatment). Participants were followed up and reassessed 2 and 3 years after inclusion to the trial.
There were no significant differences between the treatment groups in outcomes on functioning, symptom severity and service use during the post-trial follow-up period.
The therapeutic benefits achieved by the extended, 3-year early intervention were not sustainable after termination of the specialised service.
Sudden unexpected cardiac deaths in approximately 20% of young athletes are due to acquired or congenital coronary artery abnormalities. Kawasaki disease is the leading cause for acquired coronary artery abnormalities, which can cause late coronary artery sequelae including aneurysms, stenosis, and thrombosis, leading to myocardial ischaemia and ventricular fibrillation. Patients with anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery can develop adequate collateral circulation from the right coronary artery in the newborn period, which remains asymptomatic only to manifest in adulthood with myocardial ischaemia, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden death. Anomalous origin of coronary artery from the opposite sinus occurs in 0.7% of the young general population aged between 11 and 15 years. If the anomalous coronary artery courses between the pulmonary artery and the aorta, sudden cardiac death may occur during or shortly after vigorous exercise, especially in patients where the anomalous left coronary artery originates from the right sinus of Valsalva. Symptomatic patients with evidence of ischaemia should have surgical correction. No treatment is needed for asymptomatic patients with an anomalous right coronary artery from the left sinus of Valsalva. At present, there is no consensus regarding how to manage asymptomatic patients with anomalous left coronary artery from the right sinus of Valsalva and interarterial course. Myocardial bridging is commonly observed in cardiac catheterisation and it rarely causes exercise-induced coronary syndrome or cardiac death. In symptomatic patients, refractory or β-blocker treatment and surgical un-bridging may be considered.
Anxiety disorders are prevalent yet under-recognized in late life. We examined the prevalence of anxiety disorders in a representative sample of community dwelling older adults in Hong Kong.
Data on 1,158 non-demented respondents aged 60–75 years were extracted from the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity survey (HKMMS). Anxiety was assessed with the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R).
One hundred and thirty-seven respondents (11.9%, 95% CI = 10–13.7%) had common mental disorders with a CIS-R score of 12 or above. 8% (95% CI = 6.5–9.6%) had anxiety, 2.2% (95% CI = 1.3–3%) had an anxiety disorder comorbid with depressive disorder, and 1.7% (95% CI = 1–2.5%) had depression. Anxious individuals were more likely to be females (χ2 = 25.3, p < 0.001), had higher chronic physical burden (t = −9.3, p < 0.001), lower SF-12 physical functioning score (t = 9.2, p < 0.001), and poorer delayed recall (t = 2.3, p = 0.022). The risk of anxiety was higher for females (OR 2.8, 95% C.I. 1.7–4.6, p < 0.001) and those with physical illnesses (OR 1.4, 95% C.I. 1.3–1.6, p < 0.001). The risk of anxiety disorders increased in those with disorders of cardiovascular (OR 1.9, 95% C.I. 1.2–2.9, p = 0.003), musculoskeletal (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.5–2.7, p < 0.001), and genitourinary system (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.3–3.2, p = 0.002).
The prevalence of anxiety disorders in Hong Kong older population was 8%. Female gender and those with poor physical health were at a greater risk of developing anxiety disorders. Our findings also suggested potential risk for early sign of memory impairment in cognitively healthy individuals with anxiety disorders.
Research suggests that an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
(MBCT) course may be effective for generalised anxiety disorder
To compare changes in anxiety levels among participants with GAD randomly
assigned to MBCT, cognitive–behavioural therapy-based psychoeducation and
In total, 182 participants with GAD were recruited (trial registration
number: CUHK_CCT00267) and assigned to the three groups and followed for
5 months after baseline assessment with the two intervention groups
followed for an additional 6 months. Primary outcomes were anxiety and
Linear mixed models demonstrated significant group × time interaction
(F(4,148) = 5.10, P = 0.001) effects
for decreased anxiety for both the intervention groups relative to usual
care. Significant group × time interaction effects were observed for
worry and depressive symptoms and mental health-related quality of life
for the psychoeducation group only.
These results suggest that both of the interventions appear to be
superior to usual care for the reduction of anxiety symptoms.
Objective: To evaluate the measurement structure of the Taiwanese Version of the Job Satisfaction of Persons with Disabilities Scale (JSPDS). Design: A quantitative descriptive research design using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Participants: One hundred and thirty-two gainfully employed individuals from Taiwan with poliomyelitis participated in this study. Results: EFA result indicated a three-factor structure accounting for 54.1 per cent of the total variance. The internal consistency reliability coefficients for the integrated work environment, job quality, and alienation factors were 0.91, 0.77, and 0.59, respectively. Only the integrated work environment and job quality factors showed positive correlations with life satisfaction. People with higher educational attainment also reported higher levels of job satisfaction than people with lower educational attainment. Conclusion: The three-factor measurement structure of the JSPDS appears to be parsimonious, psychologically meaningful, and interpretable, and can be used to improve the comprehensiveness of vocational rehabilitation outcome evaluation.
Objectives: 1) Assess which electrodiagnostic studies Canadian clinicians use to aid in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). 2) Assess whether Canadian clinicians follow the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine/American Academy of Neurology/American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Practice Parameter for Electrodiagnostic Studies in CTS. 3) Assess how Canadian clinicians manage CTS once a diagnosis has been established. Methods: In this prospective observational study, an electronic survey was sent to all members of the Canadian Neuromuscular Group (CNMG) and the Canadian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (CAPM&R) Neuromuscular Special Interest Group. Questions addressed which electrodiagnostic tests were being routinely used for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Management recommendations for CTS was also explored. Results: Of the 70 individuals who completed the survey, fourteen different nerve conduction study techniques were reported. Overall, 36/70 (51%) of participants followed the AANEM/AAN/AAPM&R Practice Parameter. The standard followed by the fewest of our respondents with 64% compliance (45/70) was the use of a standard distance of 13 to 14 cm with respect to the median sensory nerve conduction study. Regarding management, 99% would recommend splinting in the case of mild CTS. In moderate CTS, splinting was recommended by 91% of clinicians and 68% would also consider referral for surgery. In severe CTS, most recommended surgery (93%). Conclusions: There is considerable variability in terms of which electrodiagnostic tests Canadian clinicians perform for CTS. Canadian clinicians are encouraged to adhere to the AANEM/AAN/AAPM&R Practice Parameter for Electrodiagnostic Studies in CTS.
Numerous early intervention services targeting young people with
psychosis have been established, based on the premise that reducing
treatment delay and providing intensive treatment in the initial phase of
psychosis can improve long-term outcome.
To establish the effect of extending a specialised early intervention
treatment for first-episode psychosis by 1 year.
A randomised, single-blind controlled trial (NCT01202357) compared a
1-year extension of specialised early intervention with step-down care in
patients who had all received a 2-year intensive early intervention
programme for first-episode psychosis.
Patients receiving an additional year of specialised intervention had
better outcomes in functioning, negative and depressive symptoms and
treatment default rate than those managed by step-down psychiatric
Extending the period of specialised early intervention is clinically
desirable but may not be feasible in lower-income countries.
Using an interdisciplinary model of financial planning, we investigated the factors contributing to perceived adequacy of retirement savings among Hong Kong workers by replicating a previous study of American and Dutch workers. The model was also tested for age differences in the way in which the variables operated within the model. These questions were examined using data from a phone survey conducted with 999 Hong Kong workers in 2012. We examined three psychological factors (future time orientation, goal clarity and financial knowledge), three social support variables (early learning from parents, spousal support and friend support) and three institutional factors (quality of employer pensions, trust in banks and fund managers, and trust in the government), as well as retirement savings planning activity and perceived retirement savings adequacy. Path analyses were used to test the model for the whole sample and separately for younger (N=437) and older (N=562) workers. Although a few age differences were found in the path analyses, the model was found to be useful in explaining the factors contributing to retirement savings planning and practices. Finally, we discuss how our findings differ from those of prior studies, and we assess their theoretical and practical implications.
Cladding failure of fuel rods caused by hydride-induced embrittlement is a reliability concern for spent nuclear fuel after extended burnup. Uncertainties in the cladding temperature, cladding stress, oxide layer thickness, and the critical stress value for hydride reorientation preclude an assessment of the cladding failure risk. A set of micromechanical models for treating oxide cracking, blister cracking, delayed hydride cracking, and cladding fracture was developed and incorporated in a computer model. Results obtained from the model calculations indicate that at temperatures below a critical temperature of 318.5 °C [605.3 °F], the time to failure by delayed hydride cracking in Zr-2.5%Nb decreased with increasing cladding temperature. The overall goal of this project is to develop a probabilistic-micromechanical methodology for assessing the probability of hydride-induced failure in Zircaloy cladding and thereby establish performance criteria.
Hierarchical ZnO/Si nanoheterostructure was prepared by growing oriented ZnO nanowire bundles onto the top of nanoporous silicon pillar array (NSPA) via a self-catalytic thermal evaporation and vapor-phase transport method. Samples were carefully characterized using field emission scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and luminescence spectroscopy. One ultraviolet, one blue-green, and two red emission bands were observed in ZnO/NSPA, and the emission mechanism is discussed by developing a model-based energy band diagram. The origins of the ultraviolet and blue-green photoluminescence (PL) bands were attributed to the emission from the band edge transition and surface states of oxygen vacancies of ZnO, while two red PL bands originated from NSPA and could be well explained by the quantum confinement-luminescence center model. The realization of such all solid and wide wavelength nanodevice might be both meaningful for developing new concept lighting devices and potentially extended to fabricate hierarchical Si-based nanoheterostructures in fabricating other optoelectronic nanodevices.
Dental remineralization may be achieved by mediating the interactions between tooth surfaces with free ions and biomimetic peptides. We recently developed octuplet repeats of aspartate-serine-serine (DSS-8) peptide, which occurs in high abundance in naturally occurring proteins that are critical for tooth remineralization. In this paper, we evaluated the possible role of DSS-8 in enamel remineralization. Human enamel specimens were demineralized, exposed briefly to DSS-8 solution, and then exposed to concentrated ionic solutions that favor remineralization. Enamel nano-mechanical behaviors, hardness and elastic modulus, at various stages of treatment were determined by nanoindentation. The phase, microstructure and morphology of the resultant surfaces were characterized using the grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD), variable pressure scanning electron microscopy (VPSEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), respectively. Nanoindentation results show that the DSS-8 remineralization effectively improves the mechanical and elastic properties for demineralized enamel.