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Poor physical health in severe mental illness (SMI) remains a major issue for clinical practice.
To use electronic health records of routinely collected clinical data to determine levels of screening for cardiometabolic disease and adverse health outcomes in a large sample (n = 7718) of patients with SMI, predominantly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
We linked data from the Glasgow Psychosis Clinical Information System (PsyCIS) to morbidity records, routine blood results and prescribing data.
There was no record of routine blood monitoring during the preceding 2 years for 16.9% of the cohort. However, monitoring was poorer for male patients, younger patients aged 16–44, those with schizophrenia, and for tests of cholesterol, triglyceride and glycosylated haemoglobin. We estimated that 8.0% of participants had diabetes and that lipids levels, and use of lipid-lowering medication, was generally high.
Electronic record linkage identified poor health screening and adverse health outcomes in this vulnerable patient group. This approach can inform the design of future interventions and health policy.
The effectiveness of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is correlated with drying time, which depends on the volume applied. Evidence suggests that there is considerable variation in the amount of ABHR used by healthcare providers.
We sought to identify the volume of ABHR preferred for use by nurses.
A prospective observation study was performed in 8 units at a tertiary-care hospital. Nurses were provided pocket-sized ABHR bottles with caps to record each bottle opening. Nurses were instructed to use the volume of ABHR they felt was best. The average ABHR volume used per hand hygiene event was calculated using cap data and changes in bottle mass.
In total, 53 nurses participated and 140 nurse shifts were analyzed. The average ABHR dose was 1.09 mL. This value was greater for non-ICU nurses (1.18 mL) than ICU nurses (0.96 mL), but this difference was not significant. We detected no significant association between hand surface area and preferred average dose volume. The ABHR dose volume was 0.006 mL less per use as the number of applications per shift increased (P = .007).
The average dose of ABHR used was similar to the dose provided by the hospital’s automated dispensers, which deliver 1.1 mL per dose. The volume of ABHR dose was inversely correlated with the number of applications of ABHR per shift and was not correlated with hand size. Further research to understand differences and drivers of ABHR volume preferences and whether automated ABHR dosing may create a risk for people with larger hands is warranted.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
Pain and depression are common in the population and co-morbid with each other. Both are predictive of one another and are also associated with cognitive function; people who are in greater pain and more depressed respectively perform less well on tests of cognitive function. It has been argued that pain might cause deterioration in cognitive function, whereas better cognitive function earlier in life might be a protective factor against the emergence of disease. When looking at the dynamic relationship between these in chronic diseases, studying samples that already have advanced disease progression often confounds this relationship.
Using data from waves 1 to 3 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) (n = 516), we examined the interplay between pain, cognitive function and depression in a subsample of respondents reporting a diagnosis of arthritis at wave 2 of the ELSA using cross-lagged panel models.
The models showed that pain, cognitive function and depression at wave 1, prior to diagnosis, predict pain at wave 2, and that pain at wave 1 predicts depression at wave 2. Pain and depression at wave 2 predict cognitive function at wave 3.
The results indicate that better cognitive function might be protective against the emergence of pain prior to an arthritis diagnosis, but cognitive function is subsequently impaired by pain and depression. Furthermore, higher depression predicts lower cognitive function, but not vice versa. This is discussed in the context of the emerging importance of inflammation in depression.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Self-Practice/Self-Reflection (SP/SR) has been proposed both as an adjunct to therapy training programmes, and also as a means for therapist development among experienced therapists. Research suggests it develops aspects of knowledge and skill that may not be addressed through other training methods. With increasing interest in SP/SR, a growing evidence base regarding both participant benefits and potential risks from SP/SR, and the development of SP/SR programmes across a range of therapeutic modalities, we argue it is timely to identify a set of principles that can guide the design, adaptation and implementation of SP/SR programmes. At this stage, there is little empirical evidence to guide trainers wishing to implement SP/SR in different contexts. Accordingly, these principles have been derived from reflection on developing, testing and implementing SP/SR programmes as well as on other training and supervisory experience. The first set of principles detailed in Section 1 draw on various theories of learning and development and frame the processes involved, the next principles speak to the content of SP/SR programmes, and the final principles address structure. Within Section 2, the principles are then considered for their practical implications. In Section 3, the sharing of what are initially private self-reflections is then considered together with some implications for SP/SR programmes, especially when there is assessment involved. We argue that SP/SR will continue to progress with well-designed standard programmes, careful implementation, thoughtful adaptation, ongoing innovation, and especially more evaluation.
Key learning aims
(1)To understand the principles for designing, adapting and implementing SP/SR programmes that are drawn from theory and from the authors’ experience of developing and implementing SP/SR programmes over the last 20 years.
(2)To understand the possible factors that guide the processes, content and structure of SP/SR programmes.
(3)To understand how best to maximize effective engagement and learning (and limit harm) when planning or implementing an SP/SR programme.
Affective disorders are associated with poorer cognition in older adults; however, whether this association can already be observed in mid-life remains unclear.
To investigate the effects of affective symptoms over a period of 30 years on mid-life cognitive function. First, we explored whether timing (sensitive period) or persistence (accumulation) of affective symptoms predicted cognitive function. Second, we tested how different longitudinal trajectories of affective symptoms were associated with cognitive function.
The study used data from the National Child Development Study. Memory, verbal fluency, information processing speed and accuracy were measured at age 50. Affective symptoms were measured at ages 23, 33, 42 and 50 and used to derive longitudinal trajectories. A structured modelling approach compared a set of nested models in order to test accumulation versus sensitive period hypotheses. Linear regressions and structural equation modelling were used to test for longitudinal associations of affective symptoms with cognitive function.
Accumulation of affective symptoms was found to be the best fit for the data, with persistent affective symptoms being associated with poorer immediate memory (b = −0.07, s.e. = 0.03, P = 0.01), delayed memory (b = −0.13, s.e. = 0.04, P < 0.001) and information processing accuracy (b = 0.18, s.e. = 0.08, P = 0.03), but not with information processing speed (b = 3.15, s.e. = 1.89, P = 0.10). Longitudinal trajectories of repeated affective symptoms were associated with poorer memory, verbal fluency and information processing accuracy.
Persistent affective symptoms can affect cognitive function in mid-life. Effective management of affective disorders to prevent recurrence may reduce risk of poor cognitive outcomes and promote healthy cognitive ageing.
This paper examines individual differences in constraints on linguistic variation in light of Labov's (2007) proposal that adult change (diffusion) disrupts systems of constraints and Tamminga, MacKenzie, and Embick's (2016) typology of constraints. It is shown that, in pooling data from multiple speakers, some of the complexity in structured community variation may be overlooked. Data on rhoticity from speakers of Bristol English are compared to 34 previous studies of rhoticity in varieties of English around the world. Constraints found to be consistent across varieties are also found to be consistent across speakers of Bristol English, whereas those that differ between varieties also differ between individuals, implying that only those which differ are truly part of the grammar, and that these are indeed disrupted by diffusion.
Bentonite clay is often included as a buffer, backfill and/or sealing material in designs for deep geological repositories for radioactive wastes. It is expected that bentonite materials may undergo some mineralogical alteration as they interact with in situ groundwaters over long timescales on the order of thousands to millions of years. Long-term modelling of these materials is therefore important in order to demonstrate confidence that the engineered designs will continue to perform as required over their intended lifetimes (required assessment timescales can be up to 1 million years). The key geochemical processes that must be considered in such modelling are mineral dissolution and precipitation and cation exchange. These processes are expected to occur simultaneously and so modelling of their coupled effects and their rates (kinetics) is necessary. Illustrative reactive-transport models of the geochemical alteration of montmorillonite (the primary mineral in bentonite exhibiting cation exchange) are presented which demonstrate that one possible approach to fully coupling cation exchange and clay mineral dissolution kinetics, referred to here as the ‘all-component coupling’ approach, may lead to unrealistic behaviour due to feedback that may occur in the formulation. This feedback can be avoided if a ‘common-component’ conceptual model for the dissolution of exchanger end members is adopted, where only the saturation of the exchanger ‘structural unit’ is considered when evaluating the potential for dissolution of the mineral. Such considerations have been proposed historically in stability analyses for montmorillonite, but have not been explored widely in the modelling literature.
Suicidal behaviour is common in acute psychiatric wards resulting in distress, and burden for patients, carers and society. Although psychological therapies for suicidal behaviour are effective in out-patient settings, there is little research on their effectiveness for in-patients who are suicidal.
Our primary objective was to determine whether cognitive–behavioural suicide prevention therapy (CBSP) was feasible and acceptable, compared with treatment as usual (TAU) for in-patients who are suicidal. Secondary aims were to assess the impact of CBSP on suicidal thinking, behaviours, functioning, quality of life, service use, cost-effectiveness and psychological factors associated with suicide.
A single-blind pilot randomised controlled trial comparing TAU to TAU plus CBSP in in-patients in acute psychiatric wards who are suicidal (the Inpatient Suicide Intervention and Therapy Evaluation (INSITE) trial, trial registration: ISRCTN17890126). The intervention consisted of TAU plus up to 20 CBSP sessions, over 6 months continuing in the community following discharge. Participants were assessed at baseline and at 6 weeks and 6 months post-baseline.
A total of 51 individuals were randomised (27 to TAU, 24 to TAU plus CBSP) of whom 37 were followed up at 6 months (19 in TAU, 18 in TAU plus CBSP). Engagement, attendance, safety and user feedback indicated that the addition of CBSP to TAU for in-patients who are acutely suicidal was feasible and acceptable while on in-patient wards and following discharge. Economic analysis suggests the intervention could be cost-effective.
Psychological therapy can be delivered safely to patients who are suicidal although modifications are required for this setting. Findings indicate a larger, definitive trial should be conducted.
Declaration of interest
The trial was hosted by Greater Manchester Mental health NHS Trust (formerly, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust). The authors are affiliated to the University of Manchester, Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation trust and the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre. Y.A. is a trustee for a North-West England branch of the charity Mind.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
The phenomenon of buying-shopping disorder (BSD) was described over 100 years ago. Definitions of BSD refer to extreme preoccupation with shopping and buying, to impulses to purchase that are experienced as irresistible, and to recurrent maladaptive buying excesses that lead to distress and impairments. Efforts to stop BSD episodes are unsuccessful, despite the awareness of repeated break-downs in self-regulation, experiences of post-purchase guilt and regret, comorbid psychiatric disorders, reduced quality of life, familial discord, work impairment, financial problems, and other negative consequences. A recent meta-analysis indicated an estimated point prevalence of BSD of 5%. In this narrative review, the authors offer a perspective to consider BSD as a mental health condition and to classify this disorder as a behavioral addiction, based on both research data and on long-standing clinical experience.
Renaissance scholars such as W. S. Howell, T. W. Baldwin, W. G. Crane, and Walter J. Ong have observed in general terms the influence of Rudolph Agricola's dialectic upon northern humanist thought; so far, however, no one has investigated that influence in detail. It is my purpose in this paper to initiate such an examination by describing how Agricola's place-theory made its way into the treatments of invention in the three major English logics of the early Renaissance, those of Thomas Wilson, John Seton, and Peter Carter. Although my account is for the most part restricted to the subject of invention (in bulk at least a lesser part of dialectic than judgment) and deals only with English logicians, the popularity of Agricola's views on dialectical invention may, I think, be taken as symptomatic of a more pervasive influence emanating from Heidelberg, an influence extending to dialectical judgment as well as invention and affecting continental as well as English scholars.