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Training schemes in psychiatry are developed and evaluated by national education policy makers in the majority of European countries. However, the requirements that a training program in psychiatry should meet are also defined on the European level in a form of recommendations by the Board of Psychiatry - European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS).
Recently, the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) which represent trainees from more then 30 European countries, reported data pertaining to the structure of training programs and to the evaluation of training programs in 30 European countries. Whereas in the majority of European countries the structure of training programs and methods of assessment of trainees' competencies are partially compatible with one another and with the existing recommendations at the European level, the quality assurance of training programs varies significantly among countries. Regular evaluations of training programs and mentors, however, contribute to the proper implementation of training programs and help that the theoretical training principles are followed through in practice. As quality assurance of training schemes is an important mechanism how to improve the delivery of training programs, it should gain more focus by responsible authorities who structure the psychiatric training on the national and international European level.
Evidence from previous small trials has suggested the effectiveness of early social communication interventions for autism.
The Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT) investigated the efficacy of such an intervention in the largest psychosocial autism trial to date.
To provide a stringent test of a pre-school communication intervention for autism.
152 children with core autism aged 2 years - 4 years 11 months in a 3 site 2 arm single (assessor) blinded randomised controlled trial of the parent-mediated communication-focused intervention added to treatment as usual (TAU) against TAU alone. Primary outcome; severity of autism symptoms (modified social communication algorithm from Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, ADOS-G). Secondary outcomes; blinded measures of parent-child interaction, child language, and adaptation in school.
At 13 month endpoint the treatment resulted in strong improvement in parental synchronous response to child (adjusted between-group effect size 1.22 (95% CI 0.85, 1.59) and child initiations with parent (ES 0.41 (0.08, 0.74) but small effect on autism symptomatology (ADOS-G, ES -0.24 (95% CI -0.59, 0.11) ns). Parents (not blind to allocation) reported strong treatment effects on child language and social adaptation but effects on blinded research assessed language and school adaptation were small.
Addition of the PACT intervention showed clear benefit in improving parent-child dyadic social communication but no substantive benefit over TAU in modifying objectively rated autism symptoms. This attenuation on generalisation from ‘proximal’ intervention effects to wider symptom change in other contexts remains a significant challenge for autism treatment and measurement methodology.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug and its use is associated with several adverse mental and physical health effects and negative social outcomes. Cannabis has the lowest initiation age of any drug, and earlier use increases risk of adverse effects and later use of hard drugs. Attitudes and perceived risk towards drugs are regarded as strong influences in determining cannabis use.
To investigate the attitudes of Irish adolescents towards the risks associated with cannabis use. To evaluate their awareness of its associations with adverse health and social outcomes.
This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study using a structured, anonymous questionnaire. The study was undertaken in nine public and private secondary schools in Cork City and suburbs. Students aged 15–18 were included.
39.3% of students (n = 199) reported previous cannabis use. There were significantly lower levels of perceived risk of cannabis among those who had used it compared with those who had not for all categories of social, mental and physical health risks (p < 0.01). There was a notable lack of awareness of a potential increased risk of schizophrenia with cannabis use. Frequent cannabis users were significantly less likely to report an association with anxiety, paranoia and schizophrenia. The great majority of teenagers (n = 382; 75.8%) believe that they are not given enough information about cannabis.
Teenage cannabis users perceive low risk associated with its use. Students are uncertain of its mental and other effects, and feel uninformed about its use.
The influence of pharmaceutical industry (PI) on clinical practice and research in psychiatry has been considered a serious problem. Strict rules and guidelines were developed to regulate the interactions between doctors and PI. However, there is an ongoing debate whether these were thoroughly implemented in practice and internalized by physicians. The objective of our study was to assess the attitudes and behaviors of trainees in psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry toward PI across Europe. Methodologically, a validated questionnaire with additional items was administered to1444 trainees in 20 European countries. The minimum response rate was set at 60%. We found a high variation across countries in number of interactions between trainees and PI representatives; Portugal and Turkey had the highest number of interactions. The majority (59.76%) agreed that interactions with PI representatives have an impact on physicians’ prescribing behavior; whereas only 29.26% and 19.79% agreed interactions with PI representatives and gifts from PI have impact on their own prescribing behavior, respectively. Most of the gifts were considered appropriate by the majority, except tickets to vacation spot and social dinner at a restaurant. Of the sample, 70.76% think they have not been given sufficient training regarding how to interact with PI representatives. Only less than 20% indicated they have guidelines at institutional or national level. In conclusion, there is substantial interaction between trainees and PI across countries. The majority feel inadequately trained regarding professional interaction with PI, and believes they are immune to the influence of PI.
Interactions between the pharmaceutical industry (PI) and psychiatrists have been under scrutiny recently, though there is little empirical evidence on the nature of the relationship and its intensity at psychiatry trainee level. We therefore studied the level of PI interactions and the underlying beliefs and attitudes in a large sample of European psychiatric trainees.
One thousand four hundred and forty-four psychiatric trainees in 20 European countries were assessed cross-sectionally, with a 62-item questionnaire.
The total number of PI interactions in the preceding two months varied between countries, with least interactions in The Netherlands (M (Mean) = 0.92, SD = 1.44, range = 0–12) and most in Portugal (M = 19.06, SD = 17.44, range = 0–100). Trainees were more likely to believe that PI interactions have no impact on their own prescribing behaviour than that of other physicians (M = 3.30, SD = 1.26 vs. M = 2.39, SD = 1.06 on a 5-point Likert scale: 1 “completely disagree” to 5 “completely agree”). Assigning an educational role to the pharmaceutical industry was associated with more interactions and higher gift value (IRR (incidence rate ratio) = 1.21, 95%CI = 1.12–1.30 and OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.02–1.37).
There are frequent interactions between European psychiatric trainees and the PI, with significant variation between countries. We identified several factors affecting this interaction, including attribution of an educational role to the PI. Creating alternative educational opportunities and specific training dedicated to PI interactions may therefore help to reduce the impact of the PI on psychiatric training.
Postgraduate medical trainees experience high rates of burnout, but evidence regarding psychiatric trainees is missing. We aim to determine burnout rates among psychiatric trainees, and identify individual, educational and work-related factors associated with severe burnout.
In an online survey psychiatric trainees from 22 countries were asked to complete the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI-GS) and provide information on individual, educational and work-related parameters. Linear mixed models were used to predict the MBI-GS scores, and a generalized linear mixed model to predict severe burnout.
This is the largest study on burnout and training conditions among psychiatric trainees to date. Complete data were obtained from 1980 out of 7625 approached trainees (26%; range 17.8–65.6%). Participants were 31.9 (SD 5.3) years old with 2.8 (SD 1.9) years of training. Severe burnout was found in 726 (36.7%) trainees. The risk was higher for trainees who were younger (P < 0.001), without children (P = 0.010), and had not opted for psychiatry as a first career choice (P = 0.043). After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, years in training and country differences in burnout, severe burnout remained associated with long working hours (P < 0.001), lack of supervision (P < 0.001), and not having regular time to rest (P = 0.001). Main findings were replicated in a sensitivity analysis with countries with response rate above 50%.
Besides previously described risk factors such as working hours and younger age, this is the first evidence of negative influence of lack of supervision and not opting for psychiatry as a first career choice on trainees’ burnout.
Recently, smartphone applications (apps) have been used as smoking cessation aids. Interactive apps appear to more effective than non-interactive apps. SmokeBeat, a smartphone app used in conjunction with a smartwatch, aims to detect smoking events, interact with the user as they occur and potentially stop smoking events before they occur in the future.
The purpose of this feasibility study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of SmokeBeat in detecting smoking events.
The feasibility of using the app as a smoking cessation aid was tested over a 2-week period by daily, dependent smokers. SmokeBeat's cigarette detection rate was measured in laboratory sessions both before and after the 2-week period. Fisher's exact test was used to compare detection rates from each session.
The detection rate was 22.5% during session 1 and 41.7% during session 2. Once technological issues were controlled for (i.e., signal loss between smartphone and smartwatch), SmokeBeat's detection rate improved over the 2-week period, resulting in a 100% detection rate.
Apps which can detect smoking events in real time present an opportunity for a proactive and interactive smoking cessation aid – a potentially useful tool for individuals attempting to quit smoking.
Utilising routine surveillance data, this study presents a method for generating a baseline comparison that can be used in future foodborne outbreak investigations following a case–case methodology. Salmonella and Campylobacter cases (2012–2015) from Maricopa County, AZ were compared to determine differences in risk factors, symptoms and demographics. For foods and other risk factors, adjusted odds ratios were developed using Campylobacter as the reference. Comparisons were also made for three major Salmonella subtypes, Typhimurium, Enteritidis and Poona as compared with Campylobacter. Salmonella cases were younger, while Campylobacter cases were more Hispanic and female. Campylobacter cases reported consuming peppers, sprouts, poultry, queso fresco, eggs and raw nuts more and reported contact with animal products, birds, visiting a farm or dairy, owning a pet, a sick pet, swimming in a river, lake or pond, or handling multiple raw meats more. Salmonella cases reported visiting a petting zoo and contact with a reptile more. There were significant variations by Salmonella subtype in both foods and exposures. We recommend departments conduct this analysis to generate a baseline comparison and a running average of relevant odds ratios allowing staff to focus on trace-back of contaminated food items earlier in the outbreak investigation process.
Bovine herpes virus 1 (BHV-1) manifests as a latent viral infection putatively affecting bovines. Understanding its effect on cattle herds is critical to maintaining sustainable beef and dairy production systems, as well as aiding in the development of herd health policies. The primary objective of the current study was, therefore, to use a whole-farm bio-economic model to evaluate the effect of herd seroprevalence to BHV-1 on the productive and economic performance of a spring calving beef cow herd. As part of a wider epidemiological study of herd pathogen status, a total of 4240 cows from 134 spring calving beef cow herds across the Republic of Ireland were blood sampled to measure the seroprevalence to BHV-1. Using data from a national breeding database, productive and reproductive performance indicators were used to parameterize a single year, static and deterministic whole-farm bio-economic model. A spring-calving, pasture-based suckler beef cow production system with an emphasis on calf-to-weanling production was simulated. The impact of BHV-1 seropositivity on whole-farm technical and economic performance was relatively small, with a marginal drop in the net margin of 4% relative to a baseline seronegative herd. Subsequent risk factors for increased pathogenicity were considered such as total herd size, percentage of intra-herd movements and vaccination status for BHV-1. In contrast to all others, scenarios representing herds that were either small in size or those which indicated an active vaccination policy for BHV-1 had no reduction in net margin against the baseline as a result of seropositivity to BHV-1.
No existing models of alcohol prevention concurrently adopt universal and selective approaches. This study aims to evaluate the first combined universal and selective approach to alcohol prevention.
A total of 26 Australian schools with 2190 students (mean age: 13.3 years) were randomized to receive: universal prevention (Climate Schools); selective prevention (Preventure); combined prevention (Climate Schools and Preventure; CAP); or health education as usual (control). Primary outcomes were alcohol use, binge drinking and alcohol-related harms at 6, 12 and 24 months.
Climate, Preventure and CAP students demonstrated significantly lower growth in their likelihood to drink and binge drink, relative to controls over 24 months. Preventure students displayed significantly lower growth in their likelihood to experience alcohol harms, relative to controls. While adolescents in both the CAP and Climate groups demonstrated slower growth in drinking compared with adolescents in the control group over the 2-year study period, CAP adolescents demonstrated faster growth in drinking compared with Climate adolescents.
Findings support universal, selective and combined approaches to alcohol prevention. Particularly novel are the findings of no advantage of the combined approach over universal or selective prevention alone.
Dr David Livingstone died on May 1st 1873. He was 60 years old and had spent much of the previous 30 years walking across large stretches of Southern Africa, exploring the terrain he hoped could provide new environments in which Europeans and Africans could cohabit on equal terms and bring prosperity to a part of the world he saw ravaged by the slave trade. Just days before he died, he wrote in his journal about the permanent stream of blood that he was emitting related to haemorrhoids and the acute intestinal pain that had left him incapable of walking. What actually killed Livingstone is unknown, yet the years spent exploring sub-Saharan Africa undoubtedly exposed him to a gamut of parasitic and other infectious diseases. Some of these we can be certain of. He wrote prolifically and described his encounters with malaria, relapsing fevers, parasitic helminths and more. His graphic writing allows us to explore his own encounters with tropical diseases and how European visitors to Africa considered them at this time. This paper outlines Livingstone's life and his contributions to understanding parasitic diseases.
Pathogenic animal trypanosomes affecting livestock have represented a major constraint to agricultural development in Africa for centuries, and their negative economic impact is increasing in South America and Asia. Chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis represent the main means of control. However, research into new trypanocides has remained inadequate for decades, leading to a situation where the few compounds available are losing efficacy due to the emergence of drug-resistant parasites. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current options available for the treatment and prophylaxis of the animal trypanosomiases, with a special focus on the problem of resistance. The key issues surrounding the main economically important animal trypanosome species and the diseases they cause are also presented. As new investment becomes available to develop improved tools to control the animal trypanosomiases, we stress that efforts should be directed towards a better understanding of the biology of the relevant parasite species and strains, to identify new drug targets and interrogate resistance mechanisms.
Most empirical studies into the covariance structure of psychopathology have been confined to adults. This work is not developmentally informed as the meaning, age-of-onset, persistence and expression of disorders differ across the lifespan. This study investigates the underlying structure of adolescent psychopathology and associations between the psychopathological dimensions and sex and personality risk profiles for substance misuse and mental health problems.
This study analyzed data from 2175 adolescents aged 13.3 years. Five dimensional models were tested using confirmatory factor analysis and the external validity was examined using a multiple-indicators multiple-causes model.
A modified bifactor model, with three correlated specific factors (internalizing, externalizing, thought disorder) and one general psychopathology factor, provided the best fit to the data. Females reported higher mean levels of internalizing, and males reported higher mean levels of externalizing. No significant sex differences emerged in liability to thought disorder or general psychopathology. Liability to internalizing, externalizing, thought disorder and general psychopathology was characterized by a number of differences in personality profiles.
This study is the first to identify a bifactor model including a specific thought disorder factor. The findings highlight the utility of transdiagnostic treatment approaches and the importance of restructuring psychopathology in an empirically based manner.
Background: Unexplained significant variation may suggest a quality care problem in a health care system. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of variance in spine surgery Saskatchewan and determine possible causes. Methods: Provincial billing records for new spine surgery consultations from May 2011 through October 2012 were correlated with subsequent lumbar surgery. Two tertiary centers (TC1 and TC2) were compared with reference to the Health Region of origin of the patient. Wait times for surgery and utilization of spine pathway clinics was analyzed. Results: TC1 had significantly higher rates of spine fusion and lumbar spine surgery. The percentage of new referrals that went to surgery was 14.0% in TC1 and 11.8% in TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Population-based calculation of the rate of new referrals was 1581/482387 = 0.33% for TC1 vs. 970/601739 = 0.16% for TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Utilization of the spine pathway clinic was lower and wait times for surgery were longer in TC1. Conclusions: Causes of regional variation are unknown and likely multifactorial. In Saskatchewan, the most striking variance was that the rate of primary care referrals for lower back conditions in regions served by TC1 was double that for TC2. This could potentially be reduced through more regionally consistent utilization of the spine pathway.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Due to an increased need for new antimalarial chemotherapies that show potency against Plasmodium falciparum, researchers are targeting new processes within the parasite in an effort to circumvent or delay the onset of drug resistance. One such promising area for antimalarial drug development has been the parasite mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). Efforts have been focused on targeting key processes along the parasite ETC specifically the dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD) enzyme, the cytochrome bc1 enzyme and the NADH type II oxidoreductase (PfNDH2) pathway. This review summarizes the most recent efforts in antimalarial drug development reported in the literature and describes the evolution of these compounds.