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The Scaling-up Health-Arts Programme: Implementation and Effectiveness Research (SHAPER) project is the world's largest hybrid study on the impact of the arts on mental health embedded into a national healthcare system. This programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, aims to study the impact and the scalability of the arts as an intervention for mental health. The programme will be delivered by a team of clinicians, research scientists, charities, artists, patients and healthcare professionals in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and the community, spanning academia, the NHS and the charity sector. SHAPER consists of three studies – Melodies for Mums, Dance for Parkinson's, and Stroke Odysseys – which will recruit over 800 participants, deliver the interventions and draw conclusions on their clinical impact, implementation effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. We hope that this work will inspire organisations and commissioners in the NHS and around the world to expand the remit of social prescribing to include evidence-based arts interventions.
Treatment resistance causes significant burden in psychosis. Clozapine is the only evidence-based pharmacologic intervention available for people with treatment-resistant schizophrenia; current guidelines recommend commencement after two unsuccessful trials of standard antipsychotics.
This paper aims to explore the prevalence of treatment resistance and pathways to commencement of clozapine in UK early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services.
Data were taken from the National Evaluation of the Development and Impact of Early Intervention Services study (N = 1027) and included demographics, medication history and psychosis symptoms measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Prescribing patterns and pathways to clozapine were examined. We adopted a strict criterion for treatment resistance, defined as persistent elevated positive symptoms (a PANSS positive score ≥16, equating to at least two items of at least moderate severity), across three time points.
A total of 143 (18.1%) participants met the definition of treatment resistance of having continuous positive symptoms over 12 months, despite treatment in EIP services. Sixty-one (7.7%) participants were treatment resistant and eligible for clozapine, having had two trials of standard antipsychotics; however, only 25 (2.4%) were prescribed clozapine over the 12-month study period. Treatment-resistant participants were more likely to be prescribed additional antipsychotic medication and polypharmacy, instead of clozapine.
Prevalent treatment resistance was observed in UK EIP services, but prescription of polypharmacy was much more common than clozapine. Significant delays in the commencement of clozapine may reflect a missed opportunity to promote recovery in this critical period.
The study aimed to investigate the relationship between physical activity, gross motor skills and adiposity in South African children of pre-school age.
High-income urban, and low-income urban and rural settings in South Africa.
Children (3–6 years old, n 268) were recruited from urban high-income (n 46), urban low-income (n 91) and rural low-income (n 122) settings. Height and weight were measured to calculate the main outcome variables: BMI and BMI-for-age Z-score (BAZ). Height-for-age and weight-for-age Z-scores were also calculated. Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometers were used to objectively measure physical activity; the Test of Gross Motor Development (Version 2) was used to assess gross motor skills.
More children were overweight/obese and had a higher BAZ from urban low-income settings compared with urban high-income settings and rural low-income settings. Being less physically active was associated with thinness, but not overweight/obesity. Time spent in physical activity at moderate and vigorous intensities was positively associated with BMI and BAZ. Gross motor proficiency was not associated with adiposity in this sample.
The findings of this research highlight the need for obesity prevention particularly in urban low-income settings, as well as the need to take into consideration the complexity of the relationship between adiposity, physical activity and gross motor skills in South African pre-school children.
Large, ‘complex’ pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherer communities thrived in southern China and northern Vietnam, contemporaneous with the expansion of farming. Research at Con Co Ngua in Vietnam suggests that such hunter-gatherer populations shared characteristics with early farming communities: high disease loads, pottery, complex mortuary practices and access to stable sources of carbohydrates and protein. The substantive difference was in the use of domesticated plants and animals—effectively representing alternative responses to optimal climatic conditions. The work here suggests that the supposed correlation between farming and a decline in health may need to be reassessed.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
Freshwater mussels are declining rapidly worldwide. Propagation has the potential to restore numbers of these remarkable organisms, preventing extinction of rare species and maintaining the many benefits that they bring to aquatic ecosystems. Written by practitioners with firsthand experience of propagation programs, this practical book is a thorough guide to the subject, taking readers through the process from start to finish. The latest propagation and culture techniques are explored as readers follow freshwater mussels through their amazing and complex life cycle. Topics covered include the basics of building a culture facility, collecting and maintaining brood stock, collecting host species, infesting host species with larval mussels, collecting and culturing juvenile mussels, releasing juveniles to the wild, and post-release monitoring. This will be valuable reading for any biologist interested in the conservation of freshwater mussel populations.