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The main purpose of the present work was to study neurocognitive performance of adolescents at risk for emotional difficulties. The sample included a total of 1,509 adolescents from stratified random cluster sampling. Derived from this sample, a group of high-risk (n = 92) and a comparison group (n = 92) were selected based on the short version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) for comparison on the University of Pennsylvania computerized neuropsychological test battery for children (PENN). A Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was performed taking the scores on the PENN as dependent variables and the two groups derived from the scores of the PANAS (at risk vs. comparison) as a fixed factor. Adolescents at high risk of presenting affectivity problems showed statistically significant differences in several different neurocognitive domains, in accuracy, λ = .820, F(9, 160,000) = 3.913, p < .01, partial η² = .180; speed, λ = .502, F(5, 88,000)= 17.493, p < .01, partial η² = .498; and efficiency, λ = .485, F(4, 89,000) = 23.599, p <.01, partial η² = .515. The high risk group showed lower neurocognitive performance than the comparison group. In addition, a positive statistically significant correlation was found between all the neurocognitive competences (p < .05). Results found in this study reveal that neurocognitive impairments can be shown in adolescents at psychometric high risk for emotional problems before transition to more severe psychological problems.
Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) offer brief, intensive home treatment for people experiencing mental health crisis. CRT implementation is highly variable; positive trial outcomes have not been reproduced in scaled-up CRT care.
To evaluate a 1-year programme to improve CRTs’ model fidelity in a non-masked, cluster-randomised trial (part of the Crisis team Optimisation and RElapse prevention (CORE) research programme, trial registration number: ISRCTN47185233).
Fifteen CRTs in England received an intervention, informed by the US Implementing Evidence-Based Practice project, involving support from a CRT facilitator, online implementation resources and regular team fidelity reviews. Ten control CRTs received no additional support. The primary outcome was patient satisfaction, measured by the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8), completed by 15 patients per team at CRT discharge (n = 375). Secondary outcomes: CRT model fidelity, continuity of care, staff well-being, in-patient admissions and bed use and CRT readmissions were also evaluated.
All CRTs were retained in the trial. Median follow-up CSQ-8 score was 28 in each group: the adjusted average in the intervention group was higher than in the control group by 0.97 (95% CI −1.02 to 2.97) but this was not significant (P = 0.34). There were fewer in-patient admissions, lower in-patient bed use and better staff psychological health in intervention teams. Model fidelity rose in most intervention teams and was significantly higher than in control teams at follow-up. There were no significant effects for other outcomes.
The CRT service improvement programme did not achieve its primary aim of improving patient satisfaction. It showed some promise in improving CRT model fidelity and reducing acute in-patient admissions.
The association of music with madness is very longstanding. But is it more than myth, and if so what is the nature of this relationship? We tested the hypotheses that musicians possess greater schizotypy and symptoms of bipolar disorder. A total of 102 musicians were found to have greater positive and negative schizotypal traits when compared to matched norms on the shortened Oxford–Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences. Based on the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, 10.8% of musicians also met criteria for lifetime bipolar disorder. Rock musicians appeared to have greater symptoms than those performing in other musical genres.
Renaming disorders to change public beliefs and attitudes remains
controversial. This study compared the potentially destigmatising effects of
renaming schizophrenia with the effects of renaming bipolar disorder by
comparing the label ‘schizophrenia’ to ‘integration disorder’, and ‘bipolar
disorder’ to ‘manic depression’, in 1621 lay participants. ‘Bipolar
disorder’ was associated with less fear and social distance than ‘manic
depression’. ‘Integration disorder’ was associated with increased
endorsement of a biopsychosocial cause and reduced attributions of
dangerousness but also increased social distance, highlighting the complex
effects renaming has on stigma.
Background: Studies of both clinical and non-clinical voice hearers suggest that distress is rather inconsistently associated with the perceived relationship between voice and hearer. It is also not clear if their beliefs about voices are relevant. Aims: This study investigated the links between attachment anxiety/avoidance, interpersonal aspects of the voice relationship, and distress whilst considering the impact of beliefs about voices and paranoia. Method: Forty-four voice-hearing participants completed a number of self-report measures tapping attachment, interpersonal processes in the voice relationship, beliefs about voices, paranoia, distress and depression. Results: Attachment avoidance was related to voice intrusiveness, hearer distance and distress. Attachment anxiety was related to voice intrusiveness, hearer dependence and distress. A series of simple mediation analyses were conducted that suggest that the relationship between attachment and voice related distress may be mediated by interpersonal dynamics in the voice-hearer relationship, beliefs about voices and paranoia. Conclusions: Beliefs about voices, the hearer's relationship with their voices, and the distress voices sometimes engender appear to be meaningfully related to their attachment style. This may be important to consider in therapeutic work.
Background: Casenote studies have characterized late onset schizophrenia (LOS) and related psychoses as somewhat different symptomatically from patients with an early onset schizophrenia (EOS). This study examined a range of phenomenological aspects of delusions and hallucinations as well as traditional symptom measures in both groups.
Methods: 34 LOS and 235 EOS completed the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales, and the Beck Depression and Anxiety inventories. Subgroups experiencing delusions were compared matching for chronological age and gender, and also when matched for chronicity and gender.
Results: Delusions were very common at over 80% in both groups. LOS participants with delusions exhibited greater suspiciousness/paranoia, greater belief-conviction, and reduced insight when compared with the EOS group. These findings remained when matching for chronicity of illness, but disappeared when matching for chronological age. Hallucinations were surprisingly rarer in LOS (35%) than EOS (57%), with half the LOS group reporting whispers rather than clearly audible sounds. In general, anxiety, depression, and distress were as marked in LOS and EOS.
Conclusions: Similarities between EOS and LOS far outweighed the differences across a range of symptoms and measures. Greater delusional conviction, paranoia, and poorer insight in LOS were associated with the later age of onset rather than relating to chronicity of illness. As belief-conviction in LOS was not associated with increased grandiosity, disorientation, or unusualness of thought content, as it was in EOS, delusional conviction may be determined somewhat differently later in life.
Coping Through Football aims to improve well-being and reduce social isolation for younger people with severe mental illness in a deprived area of North East London. Interviews were conducted with 12 service users, 5 referrers and 2 coaches to obtain their views of the project's implications for health and well-being, quality of life and social/community relationships. A qualitative approach was used to derive themes from interview transcripts using some of the tools of grounded theory.
Themes included: identifying with past self; service with a difference: opening up the social world; safety; empowerment; and feeling good. Coping Through Football was seen by stakeholders as leading to increased well-being and social opportunities within a safe and understanding environment.
For many service users the football project played a key role in their recovery of personal and social roles. Social and community-based mental health projects benefit greatly from active community collaboration, in this case a professional football club and several non-statutory sport/leisure bodies.
Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors (DMS's) posses a strong potential to make use of the spin of carriers in spintronic devices. Experimental results and theoretical calculations predict that GaN:Mn is a potential semiconductor material for spintronic device applications. The dependence of the room temperature ferromagnetic properties of GaN:Mn/GaN:Mg double heterostructures (DHS) on the Fermi level position in the crystal is demonstrated. Several GaN:Mn/GaN:Mg DHS are grown by metal organic chemical vapor deposition on sapphire. It is shown that initially paramagnetic films can be rendered ferromagnetic by facilitating carrier transfer through the GaN:Mn/GaN:Mg interface. Additionally, it is demonstrated that ferromagnetism depends on the thickness of the GaN:Mn and GaN:Mg layers. The carrier transfer process essentially changes the Fermi level position in the crystal. By choosing the right thicknesses for GaN:Mn and GaN:Mg an optimum DHS that exhibits room temperature ferromagnetism is grown. An identical structure, with the exception of insertion of an AlGaN barrier in order to obstruct the carrier transfer at the interface, results in paramagnetic films for AlGaN barriers thicker than 25nm. These results are explained based on the change in the occupancy of the 3d-Mn impurity band, and indicate that carrier mediation is the possible mechanism for the ferromagnetism observed in the MOCVD grown GaN:Mn material system. This is the first evidence that this material system responds to electronic perturbations, hence ferromagnetism observed is not due to secondary phases or spin glass behavior.
We report on the growth and characterization of dilute magnetic semiconductor GaMnN showing ferromagnetism behavior above room temperature. GaMnN films were grown by MOCVD using (EtCp2)Mn as the precursor for in-situ Mn doping. Structural characterization of the GaMnN films was achieved by XRD, SIMS and TEM measurements. XRD and TEM confirmed that the films were single crystal solid solutions without the presence of secondary phases. SIMS analysis verified that Mn was incorporated homogeneously throughout the GaMnN layer which was ∼0.7μm thick. Ferromagnetic behavior for these films was observed along the c-direction (out of plane orientation) in a Mn concentration range of 0.025–2%. The saturation magnetization ranged from 0.18–1.05 emu/cc for different growth conditions. Curie temperatures of the GaMnN films were determined to be from 270 to above 400K depending on the Mn concentration. This dependence of Curie temperature on concentration of Mn in GaMnN indicates that the grown films are random solid solutions. SQUID measurements ruled out the possibility of spin-glass and superparamagnetism in these MOCVD grown GaMnN films. The grown films were electrically semi-insulating; however PL measurements showed that the films were still optically active after Mn doping. This study showed that the growth of III-Nitride films doped with Mn requires a small window of growth conditions that depend on growth temperature and (EtCp)2Mn flux to achieve ferromagnetism above room temperature, and the magnetic response of the film depends on the Fermi level position. We suggest that ferromagnetism occurs when the Fermi level lies within the Mn energy level which is 1.4 eV above the GaN valence band.
The magnetic properties of GaMnN, grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, depend on the addition of dopants; where undoped materials are ferromagnetic, and n -type (Si-doped) and p -type (Mg-doped) films are either ferromagnetic or paramagnetic depending on dopant concentration. The ferromagnetism of this material system seems correlated to Fermi level position, and is observed only when the Fermi level is within or close to the Mn energy band. This allows ferromagnetism-mediating carriers to be present in the Mn energy band. The current results exclude precipitates or clusters as the origin of room temperature ferromagnetism in GaMnN.
This study investigated the relation between sensory visual problems and the severity of visuospatial difficulties in a large group of young children with Williams' syndrome (WS). A questionnaire describing visual and associated problems was completed by the families of 108 children with WS and detailed follow-up assessments were conducted, including visual, spatial, motor, visuocognitive, and linguistic tests of 73 of these children (mean age 7 years 3 months; 40 males, 73 females). Children with WS showed a much higher incidence of common paediatric sensory vision problems (strabismus, visual acuity loss, amblyopia, reduced stereopsis) than normally developing children. It was found that delays with respect to age normative values increased with age on all tests. No significant correlation was found between the presence of a visual deficit and the severity of the visuospatial problems, suggesting that the difficulties children with WS have in understanding spatial arrangements are not simply a result of their earlier sensory visual problems. Results confirm the dissociation between visuospatial and language abilities in children with WS, and support the neurobiological model of a split between ventral and dorsal stream processing of visual information with a generalized deficit in dorsal stream processing in young children with WS.