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Pairwise comparison is basically used to prioritize alternatives and select a solution in product development. Decision errors can happen when the amount of processing information increases. This research proposes an assisted decision tool to prioritize alternatives by using the pairwise comparison technique and a Quicksort algorithm. This software was evaluated in the product development workshop that aims to select the component to further develop in the new product generation. This tool provides high-reliability results, reduces procedure time and is a user-friendly interactive interface.
Whether the public stigma associated with mental illness negatively affects an individual, largely depends on whether the person has been labelled ‘mentally ill’. For labelled individuals concealing mental illness is a common strategy to cope with mental illness stigma, despite secrecy's potential negative consequences. In addition, initial evidence points to a link between stigma and suicidality, but quantitative data from community samples are lacking.
Based on previous literature about mental illness stigma and suicidality, as well as about the potential influence of labelling processes and secrecy, a theory-driven model linking perceived mental illness stigma and suicidal ideation by a mediation of secrecy and hopelessness was established. This model was tested separately among labelled and unlabelled persons using data derived from a Swiss cross-sectional population-based study. A large community sample of people with elevated psychiatric symptoms was examined by interviews and self-report, collecting information on perceived stigma, secrecy, hopelessness and suicidal ideation. Participants who had ever used mental health services were considered as labelled ‘mentally ill’. A descriptive analysis, stratified logistic regression models and a path analysis testing a three-path mediation effect were conducted.
While no significant differences between labelled and unlabelled participants were observed regarding perceived stigma and secrecy, labelled individuals reported significantly higher frequencies of suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness. More perceived stigma was associated with suicidal ideation among labelled, but not among unlabelled individuals. In the path analysis, this link was mediated by increased secrecy and hopelessness.
Results from this study indicate that among persons labelled ‘mentally ill’, mental illness stigma is a contributor to suicidal ideation. One explanation for this association is the relation perceived stigma has with secrecy, which introduces negative emotional consequences. If our findings are replicated, they would suggest that programmes empowering people in treatment for mental illness to cope with anticipated and experienced discrimination as well as interventions to reduce public stigma within society could improve suicide prevention.
Thirteen intact cynipine galls (Cynipidae) are identified from the significant late Pleistocene locality of Rancho La Brea, mostly within the range of approximately 30,000 to 48,000 14C yr BP. Late Cenozoic cynipids have a poor fossil record; it is thus of great interest that the provisional dates for this fossil gall collection establish that these insects and their hosts were an important part of the late Pleistocene ecosystem in and around Rancho La Brea. Cynipine host specificity both verifies, as well as augments, the proportionally low record of plants recovered at Rancho La Brea in comparison to records of mammals, birds, and other fauna. Because galler and hosts represent extant species, their climate and habitat restrictions offer a good basis for making paleoecological inferences. In particular, they imply that many of the diverse habitats found in California today, or, at least plant associations with similar environmental restrictions, some presently a distance from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, existed in the vicinity of this locality during the late Pleistocene. This material also includes previously undescribed species, several of which are morphologically similar to extant comparative material that exhibits a “jumping” behavior, previously believed to be unique to Neuroterus saltatorius Edwards.
Stabilized Au NPs were directly deposited on nanostructured ZnO and ZrO2 by a simple one-step strategy based on sacrificial anode electrolysis. The annealed nanocomposites are proposed as active layers in resistive gas sensors for low-cost processes. Results on the performance of gas sensors based on pristine and Au-doped MOx nanostructured thin films, used for the detection of NO2 gas, were reported at an operating temperature of 300°C, evaluating the effects of the MOx chemical composition and morphology, and the Au-doping.
We report the investigation of ZnO thin films delta-doped with lithium and phosphorus introduced simultaneously. The films were deposited from high purity ceramic targets of ZnO and Li3PO4 on c-plane sapphire substrates by RF magnetron sputtering. An undoped ZnO film with a low background electron concentration was used as the buffer layer on the sapphire substrate. The doped films were prepared by carrying simultaneous sputtering from the ZnO and Li3PO4 ceramic targets. For uniform doped films, the simultaneous deposition from the ZnO and Li3PO4 was uninterrupted. For the delta-doped films on the other hand, deposition from the ZnO target was uninterrupted while that from the Li3PO4 was interrupted periodically using a shutter. Post-deposition annealing was carried using a rapid thermal processor in O2 at 900 oC for 3 min. Results obtained from photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements at 12 K revealed acceptor-related luminescence peaks at 3.35 eV, possibly due to the transition from exciton bound to a neutral acceptor. The x-ray diffraction 2θ-scans showed a single peak at about 34.4o. Hall effect measurements revealed p-type conductivities with an average Hall concentrations of 3.8 x 1013 cm-3 in uniform doped samples and 1.5 x 1016 cm-3 in delta doped samples. However, in some cases the Hall coefficients had both positive and negative values, making the determination of the carrier type inconclusive. The fluctuation in the carrier type could be due to the lateral inhomogeneity in the hole concentration caused by signal noise impacting the small Hall voltages in the measurements.
Epilepsy is a common medical condition for which physicians perform driver fitness assessments. The Canadian Medical association (CMA) and the Canadian Council of Motor transportation administrators (CCMTA) publish documents to guide Canadian physicians’ driver fitness assessments.
We aimed to measure the consistency of driver fitness counseling among epileptologists in Canada, and to determine whether inconsistencies between national guidelines are associated with greater variability in counseling instructions.
We surveyed 35 epileptologists in Canada (response rate 71%) using a questionnaire that explored physicians’ philosophies about driver fitness assessments and counseling practices of seizure patients in common clinical scenarios. Of the nine scenarios, CCMTA and CMA recommendations were concordant for only two. Cumulative agreement for all scenarios was calculated using Kappa statistic. Agreement for concordant (two) vs. discordant (seven) scenarios were split at the median and analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed rank sum test.
Overall the agreement between respondents for the clinical scenarios was not acceptable (Kappa=0.28). For the two scenarios where CMa and CCMta guidelines were concordant, specialists had high levels of agreement with recommendations (89% each). A majority of specialists disagreed with CMa recommendations in three of seven discordant scenarios. The lack of consistency in respondents’ agreement attained statistical significance (p<0.001).
Canadian epileptologists have variable counseling practices about driving, and this may be attributable to inconsistencies between CMa and CCMta medical fitness guidelines. This study highlights the need to harmonize driving recommendations in order to prevent physician and patient confusion about driving fitness in Canada.
Seasonal as well as weekly cycles in suicide have been described, replicated and poorly understood for a long time. In Western countries, suicides are typically least frequent on weekends and most frequent on Mondays and Tuesdays. To improve understanding of this phenomenon a strategy is required which focuses on anomalous findings beyond the regular patterns. Here, we focused on instances where the weekly suicide patterns disappear or are interrupted.
We used data from Swiss and Austrian mortality statistics for the periods 1969–2010 and 1970–2010, respectively. First, the data were cross-tabulated by days of the week and the available socio-demographic information (sex, age, religious affiliation and region). Second, time series of cumulated daily frequencies of suicide were analysed by seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models which included intervention effects accounting for Easter and Pentecost (Whit) holidays.
First, the cross tabulations showed that weekly cycles may be smoothed above all in young persons and smoothed in drowning, jumping and car gas exhaustion suicides. Second, the ARIMA analyses displayed occasional preventive effects for holidays Saturdays and Sundays, and more systematic effects for holiday Mondays. There were no after effects on Tuesdays following holiday Mondays.
In general, the weekend dip and the Monday backlog effect in suicide show striking similarities to the Advent season effect and are interpretable within the same template. The turning points between low and high frequencies possibly provide promising frames for the timing of prevention activities.
As in all fields of surgery, the current trend in neurosurgery is towards less-invasive procedures and the shorter hospital stays that result from them. Therefore, stereotactic techniques are an indispensable tool for the modern neurosurgeon and have been dramatically improved by the recent revolution in digital image guidance technology. These techniques provide a relatively straightforward, accurate, and safe method to approach intracranial targets that are defined by either anatomical or functional characteristics. Anatomically defined targets include brain tumors and abscesses, as well as other structural lesions. Targeting for anatomical disorders relies entirely on patient-specific anatomy derived from radiographs (e.g., ventriculography, rarely used today) or tomograms (e.g., CT, MRI) for localization. In addition, functional imaging modalities (e.g., fMRI), metabolic imaging modalities (e.g., positron emission tomography (PET)), and MR spectroscopy can be utilized in conjunction with other imaging modalities to help with target planning and visualization. Functionally defined structures include the various nuclei of the basal ganglia and thalamus that are targeted for pain and movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia), as well as other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Targeting for functional disorders typically combines computerized imaging with intraoperative electrophysiological mapping for localization, although anatomical techniques can be used alone as well.
To examine stigma- and knowledge-related barriers to help-seeking among members of the general population.
In a representative survey of young to middle-aged Swiss adults (n = 8875), shame about a potential own mental illness, perceived knowledge about and satisfaction with one's mental health, psychiatric symptoms and attitudes towards help-seeking were assessed.
A latent profile analysis of all participants yielded two groups with different attitudes towards help-seeking. Relative to the majority, a one-in-four subgroup endorsed more negative attitudes towards seeking professional help, including psychiatric medication, and was characterized by more shame, less perceived knowledge, higher satisfaction with their mental health, younger age, male gender and lower education. Among participants with high symptom levels (n = 855), a third subgroup was reluctant to seek help in their private environment and characterized by high symptoms as well as low satisfaction with their mental health.
Shame as an emotional proxy of self-stigma as well as poor subjective mental health literacy may be independent barriers to help-seeking. Interventions to increase mental health service use could focus on both variables and on those individuals with more negative views about professional help, in the general public as well as among people with a current mental illness.
Accurate food and nutrient intake assessment is essential for investigating diet–disease relationships. In the present study, food and nutrient intake assessment among European adolescents using 24 h recalls (mean of two recalls) and a FFQ (separately and the combination of both) were evaluated using concentration biomarkers. Biomarkers included were vitamin C, β-carotene, DHA+EPA, vitamin B12 (cobalamin and holo-transcobalamin) and folate (erythrocyte folate and plasma folate). For the evaluation of the food intake assessment 390 adolescents were included, while 697 were included for the nutrient intake assessment evaluation. Spearman rank and Pearson correlations, and validity coefficients, which are correlations between intake estimated and habitual true intake, were calculated. Correlations were higher between frequency of food consumption (from the FFQ) and concentration biomarkers than between mean food intake (from the recalls) and concentration biomarkers, especially for DHA+EPA (r 0·35 v. r 0·27). Most correlations were higher among girls than boys. For boys, the highest validity coefficients were found for frequency of fruit consumption (0·88) and for DHA+EPA biomarker (0·71). In girls, the highest validity coefficients were found for fruit consumption frequency (0·76), vegetable consumption frequency (0·74), mean fruit intake (0·90) and DHA+EPA biomarker (0·69). After exclusion of underreporters, correlations slightly improved. Correlations between usual food intakes, adjusted for food consumption frequency, and concentration biomarkers were higher than correlations between mean food intakes and concentration biomarkers. In conclusion, two non-consecutive 24 h recalls in combination with a FFQ seem to be appropriate to rank subjects according to their usual food intake.
Neutron radiography is a powerful tool for the investigation of the hydrogen uptake of zirconium alloys. It is fast, fully quantitative, non-destructive and provides a spatial resolution of 30 μm. The non-destructive character of neutron radiography provides the possibility of in-situ investigations. The paper describes the calibration of the method and delivers results of ex-situ measurements of the hydrogen concentration distribution after steam oxidation, as well as in-situ experiments of hydrogen diffusion in β-Zr and in-situ investigations of the hydrogen uptake during steam oxidation.
The Velasco orbicular granitoid is a small (65 × 15 m), irregularly-shaped body that crops out within the Huaco granite, central Sierra de Velasco, NW Argentina. It consists of ellipsoid-shaped orbicules of 3 to 15 cm length immersed in an aplitic to pegmatitic matrix. The orbicules are formed by a core made up of a K-feldspar megacryst, partially to totally replaced by plagioclase, an inner shell of radial and equant plagioclase crystals, a layer of tangentially oriented biotite laths, and an outer shell of plumose plagioclase crystals, containing diffuse rings of tangentially oriented biotite. The orbicular granitoid formed in situ in a pocket of evolved and volatile-rich melt segregated from the surrounding partially crystallized Huaco granite, possibly via a filter pressing mechanism. The segregated melt entrained relatively few K-feldspar megacrysts into the pocket, leaving behind a concentration of megacrysts around the pocket. High water concentration caused effective superheating of the melt and destruction of nuclei, with only the large megacrysts surviving as solids. Sudden water-pressure loss and exsolution of the volatile phase, perhaps related to a volcanic eruption or fracturing of the surrounding granite, caused rapid undercooling of the melt. The orbicules grew in the undercooled melt by heterogeneous nucleation on the megacrysts, which acted as nucleation seeds, and crystallization of reversely zoned radial plagioclase and sporadic crystallization of tangential biotite rings according to fluctuations in its saturation. Orbicular growth gave way to crystallization of the equiaxial inter-orbicular matrix in two stages, when sufficient polymerization of the melt was attained. The time scale of formation of the orbicular granitoid was fast, possibly a matter of a few weeks or months.
A point source outbreak of haemorrhagic colitis due to Escherichia coli O 157. H7 producing verocytotoxin (VT), took place following a christening party in Birmingham in June 1987. Twenty-six people were affected, six were admitted to hospital and one developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome: there were no deaths. VT + E. coli O 157. H7 was isolated from 13 (57%) of 23 faecal specimens from affected people and from 3 (9%) of 33 specimens from asymptomatic people. Free VT was detected in the faeces of one further asymptomatic person. Illness was associated with eating turkey-roll sandwiches (P < 0·001) suggesting that cold meats might be an important source of infection.
Using DNA probes specific for the genes encoding Vero cytotoxins 1 and 2 in hybridization experiments on faecal samples. Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) of serogroup 0 157 were detected in 21 of 63 cases of haemorrhagic colitis, 9 of 31 cases of non-bloody diarrhoea and 14 of 68 cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Compared with these results sorbitol-MacConkey agar in conjunction with a specific 0 157 antiserum gave a sensitivity of 62% in haemorrhagic colitis, 56% in non-bloody diarrhoea and 57% in haemolytic uraemic syndrome.The specificity of this method was 100% in all three groups. This demonstrates that sorbitol-MacConkey agar is a useful screening method for the detection of VTEC of serogroup O 157 when used in conjunction with a specific homologous antiserum. However, this method does not detect VTEC belonging to other serogroups and such strains were found, particularly in cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome.
Recent research has suggested that autistic social impairment (ASI) is continuously distributed in nature and that subtle autistic-like social impairments aggregate in the family members of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs). This study examined the longitudinal course of quantitatively characterized ASI in 3- to 18-year-old boys with and without PDD. We obtained assessments of 95 epidemiologically ascertained male–male twin pairs and a clinical sample of 95 affected children using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), at two time points, spaced 1–5 years apart. Longitudinal course was examined as a function of age, familial loading for PDD, and autistic severity at baseline. Interindividual variation in SRS scores was highly preserved over time, with test–retest correlation of 0.90 for the entire sample. SRS scores exhibited modest general improvement over the study period; individual trajectories varied as a function of severity at baseline and were highly familial. Quantitative measurements of ASI reflect heritable traitlike characteristics. Such measurements can serve as reliable indices of phenotypic severity for genetic and neurobiologic studies, and have potential utility for ascertaining incremental response to intervention.