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Clinicians are routinely subjected to intense and stressful working environments, and the current COVID-19 crisis increases their risk of psychological distress. Mindfulness has been shown to improve life satisfaction, resilience to stress, self-compassion, compassion and general well-being in healthcare workers. Based on their clinical experience, the authors present mindfulness moments for clinicians (MMFC), a selection of short, simple and accessible mindfulness practices to promote resilience and compassion among clinicians working in this pandemic. The practices can be used on the job and are accessible to both novice and experienced meditators. Most of these practices are extracted from evidence-based mindfulness programmes. Further research is indicated to assess the effectiveness of using MMFC to support clinicians in their work and to promote resilience.
Innovation Concept: Research training programs for students, especially in emergency medicine (EM), may be difficult to initiate due to lack of protected time, resources, and mentors (Chang Y, Ramnanan CJ. Academic Medicine 2015). We developed a ten-week summer program for medical students aimed at cultivating research skills through mentorship, clinical enrichment, and immersion in EM research culture through shadowing and project support. Methods: Five second year Ontario medical students were recruited to participate in the Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine (STAR-EM) program at University Health Network, Toronto, from June - Aug, 2019. Program design followed review of existing summer research programs and literature regarding challenges to EM research (McRae, Perry, Brehaut et al. CJEM 2018). The program had broad emergency physician (EP) engagement, with five EP research project mentors, and over ten EPs delivering academic sessions. Curriculum development was collaborative and iterative. All projects were approved by the hospital Research Ethics Board (REB). Curriculum, Tool or Material: Each weekly academic morning comprised small group teaching (topics including research methodology, manuscript preparation, health equity, quality improvement, and wellness), followed by EP-led group progress review of each student's project. Each student spent one half day per week in the emergency department (ED), shadowing an EP and identifying patients for recruitment for ongoing mentor-initiated ED research projects. Remaining time was spent on independent student project work. Presentation to faculty and program evaluation occurred in week 10. Scholarly output included one abstract submitted for publication per student. Program evaluation by students reflected a uniform impression that course material and mentorship were each excellent (100%, n = 5). Interest in pursuing academic EM as a career was identified by all students. Faculty researchers rated the program as very effective (80%, n = 4) or somewhat effective (20%, n = 1) in terms of enhancing productivity and scholarly output. Conclusion: The STAR-EM program provides a transferable model for other academic departments seeking to foster the development of future clinician investigators and enhance ED research culture. Program challenges included delays in REB approval for student projects and engaging recalcitrant staff to participate in research.
Oral alcohol self-administration studies limit the range of arterial blood alcohol concentrations (aBAC) due to the combination of IRB-constraints on the maximum aBAC allowed and substantial variability in idiosyncratic enteral absorption. 25 healthy young adults participated in a preliminary assessment of the influence of familial alcoholism on alcohol self-administration using CASE. CASE automates the i.v. infusion of 6% ethanol, using an individualized kinetic model to achieve identical incremental aBAC in all subjects.
In two CASE sessions, the subject was instructed to request infused “drinks” in order to emulate his/her perceptions of alcohol effects obtained at a weekend party. Conventional outcome measures all correlated closely with each other, so we evaluated the basic shape of the time course of aBAC achieved and the latency to peak aBAC (Tpk).
Tpk correlated with maximum aBAC on the 1st (p= 0.029), but not 2nd session. Further, Tpk did not correlate with mean aBAC on either day, but did correlate well with the number of drink requests on both days (p< 0.001). In 33 out of 47 experiments, subjects achieved and maintained stable plateaus of aBAC for at least 30 minutes during the self-infusion. Both latency to peak aBAC and the shape of the subject’s preferred time course of aBAC may represent informative new ways of examining styles of alcohol self-administration of alcohol using CASE. The additions may enrich studies of the influence of factors such as familial alcoholism on the vulnerability for alcohol future alcohol dependence.
Psychotic depression is widely accepted as a specific subtype of unipolar major depression. Magnetic resonance imaging studies have begun to investigate the neurobiological changes that differentiate this subtype of major depression from non-psychotic depression. Any differences may eventually be useful in aiding diagnosis. This review collates the currently available evidence, with the aim of directing future study.
A systematic search of the Medline, PubMed & Embase databases was used to identify all articles comparing structural or functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) differences between psychotic and non-psychotic depression. The results were then collated and organised according to brain region.
Decreased frontal cortex grey matter volumes and, to a lesser degree, insula cortex volumes differentiate psychotic from non-psychotic depression. fMRI studies show associations between altered activity in these two regions and cognitive impairments in patients with psychotic depression.
The volumes of putative emotional processing regions including the amygdala, hippocampus and anterior cingulate show no difference between psychotic and non-psychotic depression.
Structural and functional changes in the higher associative regions of the frontal and insula cortices differentiate between psychotic and nonpsychotic depression to a greater degree than changes in putative emotional processing regions. The numbers of studies available and the sample sizes involved are both small but future studies aimed at understanding the neurobiology of psychotic depression may benefit from a more detailed assessment of these two regions.
Why patients with psychosis use cannabis remains debated. The self-medication hypothesis has received some support but other evidence points towards an alleviation of dysphoria model. This study investigated the reasons for cannabis use in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and whether strength in their endorsement changed over time.
FEP inpatients and outpatients at the South London and Maudsley, Oxleas and Sussex NHS Trusts UK, who used cannabis, rated their motives at baseline (n = 69), 3 months (n = 29) and 12 months (n = 36). A random intercept model was used to test the change in strength of endorsement over the 12 months. Paired-sample t-tests assessed the differences in mean scores between the five subscales on the Reasons for Use Scale (enhancement, social motive, coping with unpleasant affect, conformity and acceptance and relief of positive symptoms and side effects), at each time-point.
Time had a significant effect on scores when controlling for reason; average scores on each subscale were higher at baseline than at 3 months and 12 months. At each time-point, patients endorsed ‘enhancement’ followed by ‘coping with unpleasant affect’ and ‘social motive’ more highly for their cannabis use than any other reason. ‘Conformity and acceptance’ followed closely. ‘Relief of positive symptoms and side effects’ was the least endorsed motive.
Patients endorsed their reasons for use at 3 months and 12 months less strongly than at baseline. Little support for the self-medication or alleviation of dysphoria models was found. Rather, patients rated ‘enhancement’ most highly for their cannabis use.
A systematic review and network meta-analysis were conducted to assess the relative efficacy of internal or external teat sealants given at dry-off in dairy cattle. Controlled trials were eligible if they assessed the use of internal or external teat sealants, with or without concurrent antimicrobial therapy, compared to no treatment or an alternative treatment, and measured one or more of the following outcomes: incidence of intramammary infection (IMI) at calving, IMI during the first 30 days in milk (DIM), or clinical mastitis during the first 30 DIM. Risk of bias was based on the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool with modified signaling questions. From 2280 initially identified records, 32 trials had data extracted for one or more outcomes. Network meta-analysis was conducted for IMI at calving. Use of an internal teat sealant (bismuth subnitrate) significantly reduced the risk of new IMI at calving compared to non-treated controls (RR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.25–0.72). For comparisons between antimicrobial and teat sealant groups, concerns regarding precision were seen. Synthesis of the primary research identified important challenges related to the comparability of outcomes, replication and connection of interventions, and quality of reporting of study conduct.
A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the efficacy of selective dry-cow antimicrobial therapy compared to blanket therapy (all quarters/all cows). Controlled trials were eligible if any of the following were assessed: incidence of clinical mastitis during the first 30 DIM, frequency of intramammary infection (IMI) at calving, or frequency of IMI during the first 30 DIM. From 3480 identified records, nine trials were data extracted for IMI at calving. There was an insufficient number of trials to conduct meta-analysis for the other outcomes. Risk of IMI at calving in selectively treated cows was higher than blanket therapy (RR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.13, 1.16), but substantial heterogeneity was present (I2 = 58%). Subgroup analysis showed that, for trials using internal teat sealants, there was no difference in IMI risk at calving between groups, and no heterogeneity was present. For trials not using internal teat sealants, there was an increased risk in cows assigned to a selective dry-cow therapy protocol, compared to blanket treatment, with substantial heterogeneity in this subgroup. However, the small number of trials and heterogeneity in the subgroup without internal teat sealants suggests that the relative risk between treatments may differ from the determined point estimates based on other unmeasured factors.
A systematic review and network meta-analysis were conducted to assess the relative efficacy of antimicrobial therapy given to dairy cows at dry-off. Eligible studies were controlled trials assessing the use of antimicrobials compared to no treatment or an alternative treatment, and assessed one or more of the following outcomes: incidence of intramammary infection (IMI) at calving, incidence of IMI during the first 30 days in milk (DIM), or incidence of clinical mastitis during the first 30 DIM. Databases and conference proceedings were searched for relevant articles. The potential for bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 algorithm. From 3480 initially identified records, 45 trials had data extracted for one or more outcomes. Network meta-analysis was conducted for IMI at calving. The use of cephalosporins, cloxacillin, or penicillin with aminoglycoside significantly reduced the risk of new IMI at calving compared to non-treated controls (cephalosporins, RR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.23–0.65; cloxacillin, RR = 0.55, 95% CI 0.38–0.79; penicillin with aminoglycoside, RR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.26–0.72). Synthesis revealed challenges with a comparability of outcomes, replication of interventions, definitions of outcomes, and quality of reporting. The use of reporting guidelines, replication among interventions, and standardization of outcome definitions would increase the utility of primary research in this area.
We conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis to determine the comparative efficacy of antibiotics used to control bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in beef cattle on feedlots. The information sources for the review were: MEDLINE®, MEDLINE In-Process and MEDLINE® Daily, AGRICOLA, Epub Ahead of Print, Cambridge Agricultural and Biological Index, Science Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index – Science, the Proceedings of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, World Buiatrics Conference, and the United States Food and Drug Administration Freedom of Information New Animal Drug Applications summaries. The eligible population was weaned beef cattle raised in intensive systems. The interventions of interest were injectable antibiotics used at the time the cattle arrived at the feedlot. The outcome of interest was the diagnosis of BRD within 45 days of arrival at the feedlot. The network meta-analysis included data from 46 studies and 167 study arms identified in the review. The results suggest that macrolides are the most effective antibiotics for the reduction of BRD incidence. Injectable oxytetracycline effectively controlled BRD compared with no antibiotics; however, it was less effective than macrolide treatment. Because oxytetracycline is already commonly used to prevent, control, and treat BRD in groups of feedlot cattle, the use of injectable oxytetracycline for BRD control might have advantages from an antibiotic stewardship perspective.
Vaccination against putative causal organisms is a frequently used and preferred approach to controlling bovine respiratory disease complex (BRD) because it reduces the need for antibiotic use. Because approximately 90% of feedlots use and 90% of beef cattle receive vaccines in the USA, information about their comparative efficacy would be useful for selecting a vaccine. We conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis of studies assessing the comparative efficacy of vaccines to control BRD when administered to beef cattle at or near their arrival at the feedlot. We searched MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, MEDLINE Daily Epub Ahead of Print, AGRICOLA, Cambridge Agricultural and Biological Index, Science Citation Index, and Conference Proceedings Citation Index – Science and hand-searched the conference proceedings of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and World Buiatrics Congress. We found 53 studies that reported BRD morbidity within 45 days of feedlot arrival. The largest connected network of studies, which involved 17 vaccine protocols from 14 studies, was included in the meta-analysis. Consistent with previous reviews, we found little compelling evidence that vaccines used at or near arrival at the feedlot reduce the incidence of BRD diagnosis.
One-on-one structured Montessori-based activities conducted with people with dementia can improve agitation and enhance engagement. These activities may however not always be implemented by nursing home staff. Family members may present an untapped resource for enabling these activities. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the Montessori activities implemented by family members on visitation experiences with people who have dementia.
Cluster-randomized crossover design.
General and psychogeriatric nursing homes in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Forty participants (20 residents and 20 carers) were recruited.
During visits, family members interacted with their relative either through engaging in Montessori-based activities or reading a newspaper (the control condition) for four 30-minute sessions over 2 weeks.
Residents’ predominant affect and engagement were rated for each 30-second interval using the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Affect Rating Scale and the Menorah Park Engagement Scale. The Pearlin Mastery Scale was used to rate carers satisfaction with visits. The 15-item Mutuality Scale measured the carers quality of their relationship with the resident. Carers’ mood and overall quality of life were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and Carer-QoL questionnaires, respectively.
Linear regressions within the generalized estimating equations approach assessed residents’ and carers’ outcomes. Relative to the control condition, the Montessori condition resulted in more positive engagement (b = 13.0, 95%CI 6.3–19.7, p < 0.001) and affect (b = 0.4, 95%CI 0.2–0.6, p < 0.001) for the residents and higher satisfaction with visits for carers (b = 1.7, 95%CI 0.45–3.00, p = 0.008). No correction was applied to p-values for multiple comparisons.
This study strengthens the evidence base for the use of the Montessori programs in increasing well-being in nursing home residents. The findings also provide evidence that family members are an additional valuable resource in implementing structured activities such as the Montessori program with residents.
Early in a foodborne disease outbreak investigation, illness incubation periods can help focus case interviews, case definitions, clinical and environmental evaluations and predict an aetiology. Data describing incubation periods are limited. We examined foodborne disease outbreaks from laboratory-confirmed, single aetiology, enteric bacterial and viral pathogens reported to United States foodborne disease outbreak surveillance from 1998–2013. We grouped pathogens by clinical presentation and analysed the reported median incubation period among all illnesses from the implicated pathogen for each outbreak as the outbreak incubation period. Outbreaks from preformed bacterial toxins (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens) had the shortest outbreak incubation periods (4–10 h medians), distinct from that of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (17 h median). Norovirus, salmonella and shigella had longer but similar outbreak incubation periods (32–45 h medians); campylobacter and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli had the longest among bacteria (62–87 h medians); hepatitis A had the longest overall (672 h median). Our results can help guide diagnostic and investigative strategies early in an outbreak investigation to suggest or rule out specific etiologies or, when the pathogen is known, the likely timeframe for exposure. They also point to possible differences in pathogenesis among pathogens causing broadly similar syndromes.
Introduction: The goal of palliative care (PC) is to improve quality of life for both patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. Many individuals in need of PC present to the Emergency Department (ED) with symptomatic complaints. Therefore, the ED may be a good place to connect patients with PC teams. Unfortunately, a lack of communication between patients and medical teams may result in admission to hospital even if this no longer aligns with the goals of care. The aims of this study were to identify the proportion of ED patients with unmet PC needs and to determine if access to rapid outpatient PC follow-up could reduce unnecessary admissions. Methods: University Health Network (UHN) is an urban academic centre with EDs at two sites, Toronto General Hospital (TGH) and Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). A consecutively enrolled sample of 417 patients that presented to these EDs between July 1-August 14, 2018 was taken. ED nurses and physicians were asked to complete a content validated PC screening tool on all eligible patients. Patients were eligible for screening if they (1) were >18 years of age, (2) had been designated a level 2-5 according to the Canadian Triage and Acuity Score, and (3) had been triaged to the subacute or acute areas of the department. Results: Across both sites, 45% of patients screened had a life-limiting illness and 30% had unmet PC needs. Among those with unmet PC needs, 79% had no identifiable involvement with a PC team. TWH had fewer patients with a life-limiting illness compared to TGH (31% vs 57%), but higher rates of unmet PC needs (81% vs 59%, confidence interval for the difference: 8%-34%, p = .003) and less PC involvement (6% vs 24%, confidence interval for the difference: 4%-30%, p < .01). 73% of patients at UHN with unmet PC needs were likely to be admitted to hospital. In 14% (n = 17) of these cases, admissions were felt by physicians to have potentially been avoided if rapid PC follow-up was available. Conclusion: A high percentage of patients presenting to the EDs at UHN have life-limiting illnesses with unmet PC needs. A rapid access outpatient PC clinic, available for referral from the ED, may help to both connect patients with the resources they need and avoid admission to hospital.
Heavy alcohol use is pervasive and one of our most significant global health burdens. Early theories posited that certain alcohol response phenotypes, notably low sensitivity to alcohol (‘low-level response’) imparts risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, other theories, and newer measures of subjective alcohol responses, have challenged that contention and argued that high sensitivity to some alcohol effects are equally important for AUD risk. This study presents results of a unique longitudinal study in 294 young adult non-dependent drinkers examined with alcohol and placebo testing in the laboratory at initial enrolment and repeated 5 years later, with regular follow-up intervals assessing AUD (trial registration: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00961792). Findings showed that alcohol sedation was negatively correlated with stimulation across the breath alcohol curve and at initial and re-examination testing. A higher rather than lower alcohol response phenotype was predictive of future AUD. The findings underscore a new understanding of factors increasing vulnerability to AUD.
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.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
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.