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In the last three decades, early intervention for psychosis (EIP) services have been established worldwide and have resulted in superior symptomatic and functional outcomes for people affected by psychotic disorders. These improved outcomes are a result of reducing delays to treatment and the provision of specialised, holistic interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to the delivery of these services, such as undetected cases or long delays to treatment. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase the mental health needs of communities, including the incidence of psychotic disorders. In this perspective piece, we provide suggestions as to how EIP services can adapt within this environment, such as utilising novel technologies. Finally, we argue that despite the economic consequences of the pandemic, the funding for mental health services, including EI services, should be increased in line with the need for these services during and beyond the pandemic.
GAD and disturbed sleep are prevalent, debilitating, and frequently comorbid problems for which successful treatment remains limited. The adoption of regular exercise can promote sleep but whether it does so for GAD patients is unknown.
To quantify the magnitude of the effect of six weeks of either twice weekly resistance (RET) or aerobic exercise training (AET) on self-reported sleep among GAD patients
Thirty sedentary women, aged 18-37 years, with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of GAD were randomized to RET, AET, or wait list (WL). RET involved two weekly sessions of lower-body weightlifting. AET involved two weekly sessions of leg cycling matched to RET on exercise time, work performed and weekly load progression. Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary daily for seven days at baseline and week six. Sleep outcomes included total sleep time (TST), bedtime, time in bed (TIB), sleep onset latency (SOL), wakefulness after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency, calculated as TST divided by TIB and expressed as a percentage. Hedges’ d effect sizes and associated 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated for each exercise condition compared to WL. Twenty participants provided complete data and were included in analyses.
RET decreased weekend TST (d=-1.23; 95%CI:-2.27, −0.18), TIB (d=-2.01; 95%CI:-3.29, −0.72), and SOL (d=-2.05; 95%CI:-3.34, −0.76), and increased weekend sleep efficiency (d=1.32; 95%CI:0.16, 2.47). AET reduced weekend SOL (d=-1.87, 95%CI:-3.17, −0.56) and TIB (d=-1.45, 95%CI:-2.68, −0.23).
Preliminary findings suggest that short-term exercise training improves self-reported sleep parameters among GAD patients.
Psychoeducation for service users has been shown in several recent meta-analyses to improve adherence with treatment, decrease rehospitalization rates and improve various measures of quality of life. The 8-week EOLAS Programme for service users with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is unique in being designed, co-facilitated and evaluated collaboratively by both clinician and peer representatives. EOLAS forms part of the service plan of the national Health Service in Ireland.
Aims and objectives
To evaluate the impact of the EOLAS programme on participants’ perceived knowledge, confidence, advocacy, recovery attitudes and hope.
Anonymised questionnaires were administered to participants before and after completion of the EOLAS Programme.
All survey participants were invited to attend for interview to examine qualitatively their experience of the programme. Interviews were recorded and subjected to thematic analysis.
Significant improvements (P < 0.05) were identified across each of the 5 domains examined (i.e. perceived knowledge, confidence, advocacy, recovery attitudes, hope). Expressed satisfaction with the programme was high (95%).
At interview, participants (n = 12) particularly valued:
– the opportunity to ask questions of the psychiatrist e.g. about medication;
– improving self-care skills e.g. monitoring early warning signs of relapse;
– co-facilitation by a peer, which provided extra credibility and inspired hope;
– sharing experiences with peers.
The EOLAS programme succeeds in meeting the needs of the participants across the target domains. This success depends on the unique collaboration between clinicians and peer experts on which EOLAS is based.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Excavations of pre-pottery levels at Gua Talimbue and Gua Sambagowala in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, have yielded nearly 4kg of baked-clay fragments, half of which exhibit intentional patterning. The fragments appear to derive from clay hearths. Here, the authors link the patterning on Early Holocene (c. 9900–8800 cal BP) fragments with the intention to enhance the appearance of the hearths’ rims. During the Mid/Late Holocene (c. 4500–2000 cal BP), patterning shifts to the interior surfaces. The effort and specialised skills required to impress patterns on these hearths is, to date, unique in the archaeology of pre-Neolithic Island Southeast Asia.
The study aimed to assess the clinical feasibility of employing an automatic match during cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging using prostatic calcifications within the 95% isodose set as the region of interest.
Materials and methods:
CBCT images were analysed on the 5th fraction in 34 patients evaluating the difference between standard manual soft tissue anatomy matching versus auto calcification matching. An assessment of the clinical feasibility of using prostatic calcifications during matching alongside considering the effect a more automated matching process has been conducted on interobserver variability.
The standard deviation values of the difference between the soft tissue match (baseline) versus automatic calcification matches fluctuated around 1 mm in all three axes for all of the matches carried out. The interobserver variability observed between the two radiographers was 0·055, 0·065 and 0·045 cm in the vertical, longitudinal and lateral axes, respectively.
The clarity of the calcifications on the CBCT images might explain the low interobserver variability displayed by the two matching radiographers. A calcification provides a clear starting point for image matching before commencing a check of volumetric coverage, if the matching process begins in the same place, it can allow for a standardisation of matching technique between radiographers.
Human donor milk (DM) is Holder pasteurised (62·5°C, 30 min) to ensure its microbiological safety for infant consumption. In low-resource settings, flash heating is used to pasteurise milk. Although there is considerable interest in non-thermal alternatives (high hydrostatic pressure processing (HHP) and UVC irradiation) for pasteurisation, their effect on the fatty acid composition is not well understood. Of particular interest is the effect of pasteurisation on the generation of oxylipins. DM from eight mothers containing bacteria >5 × 107 colony-forming units/l was used. In a paired design, each pool of milk underwent four pasteurisation techniques: Holder; flash heating; UVC (250 nm, 25 min) and HHP (500 MPa, 8 min). Fatty acids were quantified by GC-flame ionisation detection and oxylipins derived from arachidonic acid; 18-carbon PUFA (α-linolenic acid, linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid) and EPA/DHA were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem MS in aliquots of raw and processed milk. There were no significant changes to the composition of fatty acids following all pasteurisation techniques compared with raw milk. The n-6:n-3 ratio remained constant ranging from 6·4 to 6·6. Several arachidonic acid-derived oxylipins were highest post-UVC and elevated post-HHP compared with raw milk. Several oxylipins derived from 18-carbon PUFA (linoleic and α-linolenic acids) were elevated in UVC-treated milk. EPA/DHA-derived oxylipins were on average, unaffected by pasteurisation. Although some PUFA-derived oxylipins were increased following UVC and HHP, no method affected the fatty acid composition of human DM. Further research is needed to determine if varying levels of oxylipins in human DM as a result of processing can potentially mediate cellular signalling; proliferation and apoptosis, especially important for preterm infant development.
Evidence is mixed on e-cigarette's effectiveness as a tobacco cessation aid. Research suggests that e-cigarette users face greater barriers to quitting tobacco.
To examine the association between e-cigarette use and tobacco cessation outcomes among quitline callers.
We examined 2,204 callers who enrolled and completed 7-month follow-up surveys between April 2014 and January 2017. We examined the association between any e-cigarette use and tobacco cessation. We also evaluated these relationships by e-cigarette use patterns between enrollment and 7-month follow-up: sustained, adopted, discontinued, and non-use. We used multivariable logistic regression to control for caller characteristics, tobacco history, and program utilization.
Overall, 18% of callers reported using e-cigarettes at enrollment, follow-up, or both. Compared to non-users, e-cigarette users were more likely to be younger, non-Hispanic, and report a mental health condition. The adjusted odds of tobacco cessation were not statistically different for callers who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not (adjusted odds ratios = 1.02, 95% confidence interval 0.79–1.32). Results were similar when examining cessation by patterns of e-cigarette use.
E-cigarette use was not associated with tobacco cessation. This suggests that e-cigarette use may neither facilitate nor deter tobacco cessation among quitline callers. Future research should continue exploring how e-cigarette use affects quitting.
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.
To date, Ireland has been a leading light in the provision of youth mental health services. However, cognisant of the efforts of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in youth mental health, there is much to be done. Barriers into care as well as discontinuity of care across the spectrum of services remain key challenges. This editorial provides guidance for the next stage of development in youth mental care and support that will require significant national engagement and resource investment.
Early detection of karyotype abnormalities, including aneuploidy, could aid producers in identifying animals which, for example, would not be suitable candidate parents. Genome-wide genetic marker data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are now being routinely generated on animals. The objective of the present study was to describe the statistics that could be generated from the allele intensity values from such SNP data to diagnose karyotype abnormalities; of particular interest was whether detection of aneuploidy was possible with both commonly used genotyping platforms in agricultural species, namely the Applied BiosystemsTM AxiomTM and the Illumina platform. The hypothesis was tested using a case study of a set of dizygotic X-chromosome monosomy 53,X sheep twins. Genome-wide SNP data were available from the Illumina platform (11 082 autosomal and 191 X-chromosome SNPs) on 1848 male and 8954 female sheep and available from the AxiomTM platform (11 128 autosomal and 68 X-chromosome SNPs) on 383 female sheep. Genotype allele intensity values, either as their original raw values or transformed to logarithm intensity ratio (LRR), were used to accurately diagnose two dizygotic (i.e. fraternal) twin 53,X sheep, both of which received their single X chromosome from their sire. This is the first reported case of 53,X dizygotic twins in any species. Relative to the X-chromosome SNP genotype mean allele intensity values of normal females, the mean allele intensity value of SNP genotypes on the X chromosome of the two females monosomic for the X chromosome was 7.45 to 12.4 standard deviations less, and were easily detectable using either the AxiomTM or Illumina genotype platform; the next lowest mean allele intensity value of a female was 4.71 or 3.3 standard deviations less than the population mean depending on the platform used. Both 53,X females could also be detected based on the genotype LRR although this was more easily detectable when comparing the mean LRR of the X chromosome of each female to the mean LRR of their respective autosomes. On autopsy, the ovaries of the two sheep were small for their age and evidence of prior ovulation was not appreciated. In both sheep, the density of primordial follicles in the ovarian cortex was lower than normally found in ovine ovaries and primary follicle development was not observed. Mammary gland development was very limited. Results substantiate previous studies in other species that aneuploidy can be readily detected using SNP genotype allele intensity values generally already available, and the approach proposed in the present study was agnostic to genotype platform.
Suicidal behaviour is the end result of the complex relation between many factors which are biological, psychological and environmental in nature. Network analysis is a novel method that may help us better understand the complex association between different factors.
To examine the relationship between suicidal symptoms as assessed by the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation and future suicidal behaviour in patients admitted to hospital following a suicide attempt, using network analysis.
Secondary analysis was conducted on previously collected data from a sample of 366 patients who were admitted to a Scottish hospital following a suicide attempt. Network models were estimated to visualise and test the association between baseline symptom network structure and suicidal behaviour at 15-month follow-up.
Network analysis showed that the desire for an active attempt was found to be the most central, strongly related suicide symptom. Of the 19 suicide symptoms that were assessed at baseline, 10 symptoms were directly related to repeat suicidal behaviour. When comparing baseline network structure of repeaters (n=94) with the network of non-repeaters (n=272), no significant differences were found.
Network analysis can help us better understand suicidal behaviour by visualising the complex relation between relevant symptoms and by indicating which symptoms are most central within the network. These insights have theoretical implications as well as informing the assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviour.
The early and effective detection of neurocognitive disorders poses a key diagnostic challenge. We examined performance on common cognitive bedside tests according to differing delirium syndromal status and clinical (motor) subtypes in hospitalized elderly medical inpatients.
A battery of nine bedside cognitive tests was performed on elderly medical inpatients with DSM-IV delirium, subsyndromal delirium (SSD), and no delirium (ND). Patients with delirium were compared according to clinical (motor) subtypes.
A total of 198 patients (mean age 79.14 ± 8.26) were assessed with full syndromal delirium (FSD: n = 110), SSD (n = 45), and ND (n = 43). Delirium status was not associated with differences in terms of gender distribution, age, or overall medication use. Dementia burden increased with greater delirium status. Overall, the ability to meaningfully engage with the tests varied from 59% for the Vigilance B test to 85% for Spatial Span Forward test and was lowest in patients with FSD, where engagement ranged from 32% for the Vigilance B test to 77% for the Spatial Span Forwards test. The ND group was distinguished from SSD group for the Months of the year backwards, Vigilance B, global VSP, Clock Drawing test, and Interlocking Pentagons test. The SSD group was distinguished from the FSD group by Vigilance A, Spatial Span Forward, and Spatial Span Backwards. Regarding differences among motor subtypes in terms of percentage engagement and performance, the No subtype group had higher ratings across all tests. Delirious patients with no subtype had significantly lower scores on the DRS-R98 than for the other three subtype categories.
Simple bedside tests of attention, vigilance, and visuospatial ability are useful in distinguishing neurocognitive disorders, including SSD from other presentations.
The Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP) is a high time resolution, full-Stokes imaging polarimeter which utilises a Fresnel rhomb prism as a beam-splitter and quarter wave retarder. The ability to perform optical photometry and polarimetry at high frame rates enables more detailed studies of a multitude of compact objects including; optical pulsars, magnetars and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). We present a brief discussion of the instruments’ current capabilities and hardware design. GASP is currently configured with two Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (EMCCDs), which offer sub-millisecond frame readout speeds over a defined region of interest on the sensor. We will report results from an observational campaign at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in December, 2015. During this campaign GASP was used to study the Crab Pulsar, V404 Cygni and polarisation standards. As a subset of our analysis we have identified a significant contribution from the Interstellar Medium (ISM) and the interaction of a varying polarised source with the ISM, the subsequent conversion of linearly polarised light to circular, and its dependence on the angle of the source emission electric field orientation. Further to the presentation of results we will discuss future observational work, which is planned for September 2017 and subsequent improvements to increase the temporal resolution of the detectors.
Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to alien invasions. Regular, standardized, targeted monitoring of coastal areas helps to detect the arrival of non-native species early, identify sites most vulnerable to invasion, and assess potential for further spread. This study quantified the spread and changes in distribution of non-native oyster, Crassostrea gigas, populations around the coast of Ireland. In total 37 sites were surveyed, in areas which either currently or previously harboured cultivated C. gigas, for the presence and abundance of ‘wild’ C. gigas. Wild populations were identified at 20 sites and at four additional sites C. gigas was observed as recently discarded from aquaculture activity. Five of the invaded sites were identified as being highly suitable for a population expansion based on their current population status. Importantly, we also identified individuals of C. gigas and native European oysters, Ostrea edulis, co-occurring within the same shore at five sites. This is the first record to our knowledge of such co-occurrence within Europe. This evidence of co-existing oyster species raises concerns regarding the potential impact of C. gigas on recovering O. edulis populations. In Ireland, however, C. gigas does not typically spread extensively from introduction points, and although self-containing populations exist, they are currently sustained at a much lower density than those observed in other regions such as the Wadden Sea or French Atlantic coasts. We suggest, therefore, that to protect native oyster populations, C. gigas should be eradicated where co-occurring with O. edulis and recommend continuous monitoring of invaded sites.
Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent used primarily in the management of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Previous studies have demonstrated clozapine’s superior efficacy over other antipsychotic medications in treating this population of patients. The aim of this study was to assess if the number of hospital admissions and days spent in hospital reduced with the initiation of clozapine, compared with when the same sample of patients were prescribed other antipsychotics prior to clozapine initiation.
A mirror-image study design was adopted. In this case the intervention under study was the initiation of clozapine. Information was collected retrospectively from the charts of patients attending the University Hospital Galway clozapine clinic. The number of admissions and number of hospital days were collected for each patient over the 3 years before and after clozapine initiation. Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test was used to test for statistical significance.
The total sample size comprised of 62 patients, of which the majority were male (74.2%) and had a diagnosis of schizophrenia (82.3%). The mean dose of clozapine was 417 mg, and mean age of the sample was 38 years. Mean number of hospital admissions reduced from 2.8 to 0.8 (p<0.0001) following initiation of clozapine. Mean number of days spent in hospital reduced from 116.4 to 17.1 (p<0.0001).
After initiation of clozapine treatment, patients experience a substantial reduction in number of hospital admissions and number of days spent in hospital when compared with a similar period prior to clozapine initiation.
Introduction: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) may require clarification of their goals of care (GOC) to ensure they receive treatments aligned with their values. However, these discussions can be difficult to conduct for multiple reasons, including lack of time in a busy ED, competing priorities and a limited relationship with the patient. Few studies have examined the perceived challenges faced by Emergency Physicians in conducting GOC discussions. This study sought to contextualize and discern the barriers and facilitators to having these conversations as reported by Emergency physicians. Methods: An interdisciplinary team of Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care and Internal Medicine providers developed an online survey comprised of multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of GOC discussions: training; communication; environment; and personal beliefs. Invitations and scheduled reminders were sent to 275 ED physicians at six academic sites in a Canadian urban centre, including 49 EM residents. Results: 105 (46%) staff physicians and 23 (47%) residents responded with similar representation from all sites. Differences were reported in the frequency of GOC discussions: 59% of staff physicians conduct several per month whereas 65% of residents conduct less than one per month. Most agreed that GOC discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they feel comfortable (96%), and are adequately trained (73%) to have them; however, 66% reported difficulty initiating GOC discussions. 73% believed that admitting services should conduct GOC discussions, yet acuity was noted in the comments as a major determinant with initiating GOC discussions by ED physicians. Main barriers identified were lack of time, chaotic environment, lack of advanced directives and the inability to reach substitute decision makers. 54% of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour Palliative Care consults would facilitate GOC discussions in the ED. Conclusion: Emergency physicians are prepared to conduct goals of care discussions, but often believe they should instead be conducted by the patient’s admitting service. Multiple perceived barriers to goals of care discussion in the ED were identified, and a majority of respondents felt that the availability of Palliative Care in the ED may facilitate these discussions.