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National guidance cautions against low-intensity interventions for people with personality disorder, but evidence from trials is lacking.
To test the feasibility of conducting a randomised trial of a low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder.
Single-blind, feasibility trial (trial registration: ISRCTN14994755). We recruited people aged 18 or over with a clinical diagnosis of personality disorder from mental health services, excluding those with a coexisting organic or psychotic mental disorder. We randomly allocated participants via a remote system on a 1:1 ratio to six to ten sessions of Structured Psychological Support (SPS) or to treatment as usual. We assessed social functioning, mental health, health-related quality of life, satisfaction with care and resource use and costs at baseline and 24 weeks after randomisation.
A total of 63 participants were randomly assigned to either SPS (n = 33) or treatment as usual (n = 30). Twenty-nine (88%) of those in the active arm of the trial received one or more session (median 7). Among 46 (73%) who were followed up at 24 weeks, social dysfunction was lower (−6.3, 95% CI −12.0 to −0.6, P = 0.03) and satisfaction with care was higher (6.5, 95% CI 2.5 to 10.4; P = 0.002) in those allocated to SPS. Statistically significant differences were not found in other outcomes. The cost of the intervention was low and total costs over 24 weeks were similar in both groups.
SPS may provide an effective low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder and should be tested in fully powered clinical trials.
Macroprudential policy is perhaps the most important new development in central bank policymaking circles since the global financial crisis, and reliance on such policies has continued to spread. The crisis, which showed the limits of conventional monetary policy as a tool to deal with financial stability, forced a wide-ranging rethink of economic policies, their interactions and their repercussions. It has led to new forms of intervention, of regulation and of supervisory practice. Macroprudential regulation is now one of the most important topics in modern macroeconomics, because it concerns measures put in place to reduce the risks and costs of the instability caused by financial crises. Written by senior figures from the worlds of academia and banking, this volume combines theoretical approaches with hard evidence of the policy's achievements in many countries. It is the first in-depth analysis of macroprudential instruments for policymakers, banks and economists.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
We present an update of the ‘key points’ from the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) report that was published by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 2009. We summarise subsequent advances in knowledge concerning how the climates of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean have changed in the past, how they might change in the future, and examine the associated impacts on the marine and terrestrial biota. We also incorporate relevant material presented by SCAR to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and make use of emerging results that will form part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites that globally contaminate an estimated 25 % of cereal crops and thus exposure is frequent in many populations. Aflatoxins, fumonisins and deoxynivalenol are amongst those mycotoxins of particular concern from a human health perspective. A number of risks to health are suggested including cancer, growth faltering, immune suppression and neural tube defects; though only the demonstrated role for aflatoxin in the aetiology of liver cancer is widely recognised. The heterogeneous distribution of mycotoxins in food restricts the usefulness of food sampling and intake estimates; instead biomarkers provide better tools for informing epidemiological investigations. Validated exposure biomarkers for aflatoxin (urinary aflatoxin M1, aflatoxin–N7-guaunine, serum aflatoxin–albumin) were established almost 20 years ago and were critical in confirming aflatoxins as potent liver carcinogens. Validation has included demonstration of assay robustness, intake v. biomarker level, and stability of stored samples. More recently, aflatoxin exposure biomarkers are revealing concerns of growth faltering and immune suppression; importantly, they are being used to assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies. For fumonisins and deoxynivalenol these steps of development and validation have significantly advanced in recent years. Such biomarkers should better inform epidemiological studies and thus improve our understanding of their potential risk to human health.
Competition law in South Africa is primarily based on the Competition Act No 89 of 1998 (‘the Competition Act’), which came fully into force on 1 September 2009 after it had been amended by the Competition Amendment Act No 35 of 1999. It was thereafter amended on two further occasions.
The latest development to impact on competition law in South Africa is the Competition Amendment Act No 1 of 2009 (‘the Competition Amendment Act’). The Competition Amendment Act has introduced amendments relating to the concurrent jurisdiction of the Competition Commission and industry-specific regulators.
The Competition Act is complemented by subsidiary legislation in the form of regulations relating to the functions of the competition institutions. These regulations are in the form of Rules for the Conduct of Proceedings in the Competition Commission and Rules for the Conduct of Proceedings in the Competition Tribunal (which were published in Government Gazette No 22025 of 2 February 2001), and the Determination of Merger Thresholds and Method of Calculation (which was published in Government Gazette No 31957 of 6 March 2009).
The Competition Act gives specific instructions on how it is to be interpreted. Section 1(2) states that the Competition Act must be interpreted: