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Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient/caregiver (P/C) expectations is critical during emergency department (ED) encounters. However, there is limited research examining the use of communication tools of P/C expectations to improve communication in the ED. The objective of this study was to examine satisfaction with a patient expectations questionnaire, known as the PrEPP tool, and its impact on communication and management of patients in the ED. Methods: The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction.The PrEPP tool collected P/C expectations over 3 phases of the study. In phase1, the PrEPP tool was distributed to all P/Cs (CTAS score of 2 to 5) in four EDs in Nova Scotia. In phase 2 the PrEPP tool was refined to a 5-item questionnaire. In phase 3 the PrEPP tool was re-implemented over a six-month period. Follow-up surveys were distributed to P/Cs via email (phase 1, 3) and HCPs on iPads in the ED (phase 3) to determine the impact of the tool on communication and management of patients. Entries were compiled on a REDCap database and descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses related to satisfaction. Results: In Phase 1, 11418 PrEPP tools and 147 surveys (29% response rate) were collected from January-June 2016. The majority of P/Cs found the PrEPP questionnaire easy to complete (95.9%) and felt HCPs met their expectations (87.1%). In Phase 3, 951 P/C (31.1% response rate) and 128 HCP surveys were collected. Of P/C respondents 45.9% felt PrEPP helped to communicate expectations, while 49.7% said that they would like to use it on future ED visits. The majority of P/C respondents (75.4%) indicated their expectations were met during their visit to the ED. Of those whose expectations were not met, 69% felt their expectations were not discussed. The majority of HCP respondents (90.4%) indicated they used the PrEPP tool at least sometimes. Also, 78.4% said it influenced patient communication and 42% indicated the tool influenced management of patients at least sometimes. Conclusion: Obtaining expectations early in the patient encounter may provide opportunities for improved communication in the ED. P/Cs found the PrEPP tool easy to use to communicate their expectations and HCPs felt it influenced communication and management of patients in the ED. Further qualitative thematic analysis is needed to explore how the PrEPP tool impacted ED visits.
Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient expectations is critical to a positive encounter in the Emergency Department (ED). However, there is limited research examining Patient/Caregiver (P/C ) expectations in the ED and what factors lead to P/C presentation. This study aims to address this gap by answering the following questions: 1) What are common P/C reported factors affecting ED presentation? 2) What are common P/C expectations of an ED visit? 3) How do P/C expectations vary based on ED site or factors affecting presentation in the ED? Methods: The Preparing Emergency Patients and Providers (PrEPP) tool was designed to collect P/C expectations, worries, perceived causes of symptoms, and factors affecting presentation from a convenience sample of patient visits to the emergency department (ED). The PrEPP tool was provided to all P/Cs with CTAS 2-5 when they registered at one of 4 EDs in the Halifax area from January to June 2016. Completed tools were collected in a REDCap database where qualitative data was coded into categories (i.e. presenting illness, injury). Descriptive and chi-squared statistical analyses were performed. Results: In total, 11,418 PrEPP tools were collected; representing 12% of the total ED visits to the 4 ED sites during the study period. The main factors affecting ED presentation were: self-referral 68%, family/friends 20%, telehealth 8%, unable to see their GP 7%, GP referral 6%, or walk-in-clinic 5%. P/Cs main causes of worry were: presenting illness 19%, injury 15%, or pain 14%. The main expectations for the ED visit were to get a: physician's opinion 73%, x-ray 40%, or blood test 20%. Most P/Cs indicated they did not expect medication during (63%), or after (66%), their ED visit. There were significant differences in P/C expectations between adult and pediatric EDs (χ2 = 720.949, df = 14, P = 0.000) and those P/Cs unable or able to access primary care prior to ED presentation (χ2 = 38.980, df = 1, P = 0.000). The rate of expecting a physician's opinion at the pediatric ED was higher than the adult ED (77.6% vs 70.9%), while lower for expecting CT/MRIs (4.6% vs 11.4%). P/Cs who were unable to access primary care prior to ED presentation expected services which were available at primary care at a higher rate than those who accessed primary care (58.5% vs 36.7%). Conclusion: Our findings identify some of the factors that influence P/C's decision to present to the ED and their expectations of the ED visit.
It has recently been shown that the abundance of cold neutral gas may follow a similar evolution as the star formation history. This is physically motivated, since stars form out of this component of the neutral gas and if the case, would resolve the long-standing issue that there is a clear disparity between the total abundance of neutral gas and star-forming activity over the history of the Universe. Radio-band 21-cm absorption traces the cold gas and comparison with the Lyman-α absorption, which traces all of the gas, provides a measure of the cold gas fraction, or the spin temperature, Tspin. The recent study has shown that the spin temperature (degenerate with the ratio of the absorber/emitter extent) appears to be anti-correlated with the star formation density, ψ*, with 1/Tspin undergoing a similar steep evolution as ψ* over redshifts of 0 ≲ z ≲ 3, whereas the total neutral hydrogen exhibits little evolution. Above z ∼ 3, where ψ* shows a steep decline with redshift, there are insufficient 21-cm data to determine whether 1/Tspin continues to follow ψ*. Knowing this is paramount in ascertaining whether the cold neutral gas does trace the star formation over the Universe’s history. We explore the feasibility of resolving this with 21-cm observations of the largest contemporary sample of reliable damped Lyman-α absorption systems and conclude that, while today’s largest radio interferometers can reach the required sensitivity at z ≲ 3.5, the Square Kilometre Array is required to probe higher redshifts.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Introduction: The World Health Organization recommends emergency care training for laypeople in low-resource settings, but the effects of these programs on patient outcomes and community health have not been systematically reviewed. Our objective was to identify the individual and community health effects of educating laypeople to deliver emergency care in low-resource settings. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to address this question: in low-resource populations (P), does emergency care education for laypeople (I) confer any measurable effect on patient morbidity and mortality, or community capacity and resilience for emergency health conditions (O), in comparison with no training or other education(C)? We searched 12 electronic databases and grey literature for quantitative studies. We conducted duplicate and independent title and abstract screening, methodological and outcomes extraction, and study quality assessment using the Effective Public Health Practice Tool. We developed a narrative summary of findings. (PROSPERO: CRD42014009685) Results: We reviewed 16,017 abstracts and 372 full-text papers. 38 met inclusion criteria. Most topically relevant papers were excluded because they assessed educational outcomes. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training (6 papers) improved cardiac arrest survival and enhanced capacity to respond to cardiac arrest in rural Norway, Denmark and commercial aircraft operations. A public education campaign in remote Denmark improved absolute cardiac arrest survival by 5.4% (95%CI 2-12). Lay trauma training (12 papers) reduced absolute injury mortality and improved community capacity in Iraq, Cambodia, Iran and Indigenous New Zealand communities. A trauma care program in Iraq and Cambodia reduced absolute mortality by 25% (95%CI 17.2-33). Education for mothers on paediatric fevers in Ethiopia was associated with 40% relative reductions in under-5 mortality (95%CI 29.2-50.6). Similar training improved access to care for paediatric malnutrition, malaria, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal disease in Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, and India (13 papers). Overdose education and naloxone distribution was associated with reductions in opioid overdose deaths (3 papers), including in Massachusetts where high-uptake communities for overdose education had significantly lower overdose fatality rates than no-uptake communities (rate ratio 0.54, 95%CI 0.39-0.76). Community education improved measures of access to emergency care for remote Indigenous populations in Canada, Alaska and Nepal (3 papers) and adolescent mental health capacity in Australia (1 paper). Studies were of low or medium quality. Conclusion: In addition to established interventions for injury and cardiac arrest, emergency care training can improve community capacity in underserviced populations, and save lives in opioid overdose, paediatric infectious disease and malnutrition.
Introduction: Optimal discharge communication between healthcare providers and parents who present to the emergency department (ED) with their children is not well understood. Current research regarding discharge communication is equivocal and predominantly focused on evaluating different delivery formats or strategies with little attention given to communication behaviours or the context in which the communication occurs. The objective of this study was to characterize the process and structure of discharge communication in a pediatric ED context. Methods: Real-time video observation and follow-up surveys were used in two academic pediatric EDs in Canada. Parents who presented with their child to the ED with one of six illness presentations, a Canadian Triage Acuity Score of 3-5 were eligible to participate. All ED physicians, learners, and staff members were also eligible. Provider-parent communication was analyzed using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) to code each utterance. Parent health literacy and anxiety were measured upon admission to the ED. Parent recall of important discharge information and satisfaction with communication was assessed within 72 hours of discharge. Results: A total of 107 ED patient visits were video recorded and a total of 70,000 utterances were coded across six illness presentations: abdominal pain (n=23), asthma (n=7), bronchiolitis (n=4), diarrhea/vomiting (n=20), fever (n=27), and minor head injury (n=26). The average length of stay for participants was 3 hours, with an average of three provider interactions per visit. Interactions ranged in time from less than one minute up to 29 minutes, with an average of six minutes per interaction. The majority of visits were first episodes for the presenting illness (63.2%). Physician utterances coded most commonly involved giving medical information (22.9%), whereas nurses most commonly gave orientation instructions (20.9%). Learners were most likely to employ active listening techniques (14.2%). Communication that provided post-discharge instructions for parents comprised 8.5% of all utterances. Overall, providers infrequently assessed parental understanding of information (2.0%). Only 26% of parents recalled receiving important discharge information deemed relevant to their childs disposition. Yet, parent satisfaction with the amount of information communicated during the ED visit was generally high (89.6% agreed or strongly agreed). Conclusion: This is the first study of ED discharge communication to be conducted in a pediatric setting using video observation methods. Provider-parent communication was predominantly characterized by giving medical information, with little time devoted to preparing families to care for their child at home. Greater assessment of parent comprehension of discharge communication is needed to ensure that parents understand important instructions and know when to seek further care.
Introduction: TREKK is a national knowledge mobilization network of clinicians, researchers and parents aimed at improving emergency care for children by increasing collaborations between general and pediatric emergency departments (ED). This study aimed to determine patterns of knowledge sharing within the network and identify connections, barriers and opportunities to obtaining pediatric information and training. Methods: Social network analysis (SNA) uses network theory to understand patterns of interaction. Two SNAs were conducted in 2014 and 2015 using an online network survey distributed to 37 general EDs. Data was analyzed using UCI Net and Netdraw to identify connections, knowledge sharing and knowledge brokers within the network. Building on these results, we then conducted 22 semi-structured follow-up interviews (2016) with healthcare professionals (HCPs) at General EDs across Canada, purposefully sampled to include individuals from connected and disconnected sites, as identified in the SNA. Interviews were analyzed by 2 reviewers using content and thematic analysis. Results: SNA data was analyzed for 135 participants across the network. Results from 2014 showed that the network was divided along provincial lines, with most individuals connecting with colleagues within their own institution. Results from 2015 showed more inter-site interconnectivity and a reduction in isolated sites over time from 17 to 3. Interview participants included physicians (59%) and nurses (41%) from 18 general EDs in urban (68%) and rural/remote (32%) Canada. HCPs sought information both formally and informally, by using guidelines, talking to colleagues, and attending pediatric related training sessions. Network structure and processes were felt to increase connections, support practice change, and promote standards of care. Participants identified personal, organizational and system-level barriers to information and skill acquisition, including resources and personal costs, geography, dissemination, and time. Providing easy access to information at the point of care was promoted through enhancing content visibility and by embedding resources into local systems. There remains a need to share successful methods of local dissemination and implementation across the network, and to leverage local professional champions such as clinical nurse liaisons. Conclusion: This study highlights the power of a network to increase connections between HCPs working in general and pediatric EDs. Findings reinforce the critical role of ongoing network evaluation to improve the design and delivery of knowledge mobilization initiatives.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
A series of ice cores from sites with different snow-accumulation rates across Law Dome, East Antarctica, was investigated for methanesulphonic acid (MSA) movement. the precipitation at these sites (up to 35 km apart) is influenced by the same air masses, the principal difference being the accumulation rate. At the low-accumulation-rate W20k site (0.17m ice equivalent), MSAwas completely relocated from the summer to winter layer. Moderate movement was observed at the intermediate-accumulation-rate site (0.7m ice equivalent), Dome Summit South (DSS), while there was no evidence of movement at the high-accumulation-rate DE08 site (1.4m ice equivalent). the main DSS record of MSA covered the epoch AD 1727–2000 and was used to investigate temporal post-depositional changes. Co-deposition of MSA and sea-salt ions was observed in the surface layers, outside of the main summer MSA peak,which complicates interpretation of these peaks as evidence of movement in deeper layers. A seasonal study of the 273 year DSS record revealed MSA migration predominantly from summer into autumn (in the up-core direction), but this migration was suppressed during the Tambora (1815) and unknown (1809) volcanic eruption period, and enhanced during an epoch (1770–1800) with high summer nitrate levels. A complex interaction between the gradients in nss-sulphate, nitrate and sea salts (which are influenced by accumulation rate) is believed to control the rate and extent of movement of MSA.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
Explosive volcanic eruptions can inject large quantities of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere. the aerosols that result from oxidation of the sulphur dioxide can produce significant cooling of the troposphere by reflecting or absorbing solar radiation. It is possible to obtain an estimate of the relative stratospheric sulphur aerosol concentration produced by different volcanoes by comparing sulphuric acid fluxes determined by analysis of polar ice cores. Here,we use a non-sea-salt sulphate time series derived from three well-dated Law Dome ice cores to investigate sulphuric acid flux ratios for major eruptions over the period AD 1301–1995. We use additional data from other cores to investigate systematic spatial variability in the ratios. Only for the Kuwae eruption (Law Dome ice date AD 1459.5) was the H2SO4 flux larger than that deposited by Tambora (Law Dome ice date AD 1816.7).
Introduction: Understanding factors that influence laboratory test ordering in emergency departments (EDs) can help to improve current laboratory test ordering practices. The aim of this study is to compare patterns and influences in laboratory test ordering between emergency physicians and nurses at two ED sites, Halifax Infirmary (HI) and Dartmouth General (DG). Methods: A mixed-methods approach involving administrative data and telephone interviews was employed. Data from 211,279 patients at HI and DG EDs were analyzed. Chi-square analysis and binary logistic regression were used to determine significant factors influencing whether a test was ordered, as well as significant factors predicting likelihood of a nurse or a physician ordering a test. All significant associations had a p-value of <0.0001. Interviews were conducted (n=25) with doctors and nurses in order to explore areas of potential influence in a clinician’s decision-making process, and discuss what makes decision making difficult or inconsistent in the ED. These interviews were analyzed according to the Theoretical Domains Framework. The interviews were coded by two individuals using a consensus methodology in order to ensure accuracy of coding. Results: Overall, laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered at DG than at HI (OR=1.52, 95% CI: [1.48, 1.55]). Laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered by nurses at DG than at HI (OR=1.58, 95% CI: [1.54, 1.62]). Laboratory tests were more likely to be ordered if the ED was not busy, if the patient was over 65, had a high acuity, had a long stay in the ED, required consults, or was admitted to hospital. Doctors were more likely to order a laboratory test in patients over 65, requiring consults or hospital admission, whereas nurses were more likely to order laboratory tests in patients with high acuity or long stays in the ED. Data from the interviews suggested differing influences on decision making between nurses and doctors, especially in the areas of social influence and knowledge. Conclusion: Currently, there is limited research that investigates behaviour of both emergency physicians and nurses. By determining barriers that are most amenable to behaviour change in emergency physicians and nurses, findings from this work may be used to update practice guidelines, ensuring more consistency and efficiency in laboratory test ordering in the ED.
Introduction: Effective communication to develop a shared understanding of patient expectations is critical in establishing a positive medical encounter in the emergency department (ED). However, there is limited research examining patient/caregiver expectations in the ED, and their impact on the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours during and after an ED visit. The objective of this study is to examine patient/caregiver expectations and satisfaction with care in the ED using a patient expectation questionnaire and a follow up survey. Methods: As a part of a larger 3-phase study on patient/caregiver expectations in adult and pediatric EDs, a 7-item, paper-based questionnaire was distributed to all patients and/or caregivers who presented to one of four EDs in Nova Scotia with a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score of 2 to 5. A follow-up survey was distributed to all willing participants via email to determine their satisfaction with care received in ED. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses. Results: Phase 1 was conducted from January to September 2016. In total, 24,788 expectation questionnaires were distributed to ED patients/caregivers, 11,571 were collected (47% response rate), and 509 patients were contacted for a follow-up survey. Preliminary analysis of 4,533 questionnaires shows the majority of patients (67.1%) made the decision by themselves to present to the ED, while others were advised by a family/friend (22%). Respondents were most worried about an injury (17.8%) followed by illness (15.6%) and expected to talk to a physician (69.9%) and receive an x-ray (39.3%). The majority of physicians (53.3%) reported the expectation tool helped in caring for the patient and 87.5% felt they met patient expectations. There were 147 patient/caregiver responses to a follow-up survey (29% response rate) and 87.1% of responders reported that ED clinicians met their expectations. Conclusion: Patient/caregivers have a variety of concerns, questions, and expectations when presenting to the ED. Obtaining expectations early in the patient encounter may provide opportunities for improved communication between clinicians and patients while enhancing satisfaction with care received. Further analysis is needed to determine the impact of the expectation questionnaire on productivity in the ED.
The chemical abundances in damped Lyman-α systems (DLAs) show more than 2 orders of magnitude variation at a given epoch, possibly because DLAs arise in a wide variety of host galaxies. This could significantly bias estimates of chemical evolution. We explore the possibility that DLAs in which H2 absorption is detected may trace cosmological chemical evolution more reliably since they may comprise a narrower set of physical conditions. The 9 known H2 absorption systems support this hypothesis: metallicity exhibits a faster, more well-defined evolution with redshift than in the general DLA population. The dust-depletion factor and, particularly, H2 molecular fraction also show rapid increases with decreasing redshift. We comment on possible observational selection effects which may bias this evolution. Larger samples of H2-bearing DLAs are clearly required and may constrain evolution of the UV background and DLA galaxy host type with redshift.
Millimetre-band scans of the frequency space towards optically dim quasars is potentially a highly efficient method for detecting new high red-shift molecular absorption systems. Here we describe scans towards 7 quasars over wide bandwidths (up to 23 GHz) with sensitivity limits sufficient to detect the 4 redshifted absorbers already known. With wider frequency bands, highly efficient searches of large numbers of possibly obscured objects will yield many new molecular absorbers.
The utility of biological control for weed management in agroecosystems will
increase with a greater understanding of the relationships between common
weed and granivore species. Giant foxtail is an introduced, summer annual
grass weed that is common throughout the United States and problematic in
numerous crops. Harpalus pensylvanicus (DeGeer)
(Coleoptera: Carabidae) is a common, native, omnivorous carabid beetle with
a range that overlaps giant foxtail. In 2004 and 2005, H.
pensylvanicus was captured from farm fields in Centre County,
PA, and subjected to laboratory feeding trials to test the preference of
giant foxtail and other species on predation by H.
pensylvanicus. Weed species seed preference experiments that
included “Choice” and “No Choice” treatments were conducted using giant
foxtail, common lambsquarters, and velvetleaf. When given a choice amongst
the three weed species, H. pensylvanicus preferred giant
foxtail and common lambsquarters seeds equally compared to velvetleaf seeds.
When given the choice, H. pensylvanicus preferred newly
dispersed giant foxtail seeds over field-aged seeds. Phenology of giant
foxtail seed shed relative to H. pensylvanicus activity
density was also quantified in field experiments in 2005 and 2006. Giant
foxtail seed rain was determined by collecting shed seeds from August
through October using pan traps. Activity density of H.
pensylvanicus was monitored for 72-h periods using pitfall traps
from June to October. Peak activity density of H.
pensylvanicus occurred at the onset of giant foxtail seed shed
in both years; however, giant foxtail seed shed peaked approximately 30 to
50 d after H. pensylvanicus activity density. Future
research should focus on management practices that enhance and support
H. pensylvanicus populations later in the growing season
to maximize suppression of giant foxtail and other weeds that shed palatable
seeds later in the season.
Smoking is highly prevalent in people diagnosed with schizophrenia, but the reason for this co-morbidity is currently unclear. One possible explanation is that a common abnormality underpins the development of psychosis and independently enhances the incentive motivational properties of drugs and their associated cues. This study aimed to investigate whether incentive salience attribution towards smoking cues, as assessed by attentional bias, is heightened in schizophrenia and associated with delusions and hallucinations.
Twenty-two smokers diagnosed with schizophrenia and 23 control smokers were assessed for smoking-related attentional bias using a modified Stroop task. Craving, nicotine dependence, smoking behaviour and positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia were also recorded.
Both groups showed similar craving scores and smoking behaviour according to self-report and expired carbon monoxide (CO), although the patient group had higher nicotine dependence scores. Attentional bias, as evidenced by significant interference from smoking-related words on the modified Stroop task, was similar in both groups and correlated with CO levels. Attentional bias was positively related to severity of delusions but not hallucinations or other symptoms in the schizophrenia group.
This study supports the hypothesis that the development of delusions and the incentive motivational aspects of smoking may share a common biological substrate. These findings may offer some explanation for the elevated rates of smoking and other drug use in people with psychotic illness.