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There is growing concern about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on psychiatric teaching and psychiatric professionalism as a whole. As a consequence, several national and international medical and psychiatric associations have issued guidelines to regulate the interactions between physicians and industry.
The EFPT-PRIRS study aims to provide the lacking data on the extent and nature of these interactions among psychiatric trainees across Europe.
Study objectives were determined by the EFPT research group (EFPT-RG), after discussion with national and international experts. A survey was then devised compiling previously published questionnaires extending them by questions with specific relevance to psychiatric trainees. The resulting questionnaire was piloted amongst members of the EFPT-RG, modified accordingly and subsequently distributed to the national study coordinators. All 24 EFPT member countries were invited to participate in the study and data collection is currently ongoing.
Preliminary analysis reveals the vast differences in industry - trainee relationships across European countries as well as major differences in personal attitudes towards these interactions.
EFPT-PRIRS will potentially have an impact on the regulation of the interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatric trainees.
A continuum perspective to understand persecutory delusions suggests that non-clinical persecutory ideations are at the mild end on the same spectrum of persecutory delusions. Based on clinical studies, reasoning biases such as 'jumping to conclusions' (JTC) style, attributional biases (AB), and Theory of Mind (ToM) deficit have been suggested as cognitive risk factors of persecutory delusions, with most robust evidence for JTC. Consistent with the continuum perspective, it is of interest whether these reasoning biases are risk factors of persecutory ideations in the non-clinical population as well.
To examine the association between JTC, AB, ToM deficit, and persecutory ideations in non-clinical populations.
To test the following hypotheses:
1. JTC, AB, and ToM deficit will be found in individuals with non-clinical persecutory ideations.
2. Among the three biases, JTC will be more strongly associated with the severity of persecutory ideations in the non-clinical population.
Twenty studies from 2001 to 2013 analyzing the relationship between reasoning biases and severity of persecutory ideations in non-clinical populations were systematically reviewed.
JTC, AB and ToM deficit were found in individuals with non-clinical persecutory thinking but at reduced levels of severity as compared to the clinical populations. A consistent association between JTC and non-clinical persecutory thinking was found across studies. However, studies of AB and ToM deficit yielded conflicting findings.
Current findings confirm the role of JTC in the pathogenesis of persecutory delusions, and support the development of early interventions targeting data-gathering for individuals at risk of developing persecutory delusions.
Jumping to conclusions (JTC) is a reasoning bias where individuals make hasty decisions based on insufficient data. It is commonly observed among patients with delusions and is a risk factor for developing delusions. Several task paradigms have been developed to test JTC, but their convergence in measuring JTC remains unexplored.
This is a pilot test to examine the consistencies between three JTC tasks with a student sample. The relationships between JTC and cognitive abilities were also explored.
Forty-six university students completed the Beads Task, Fish Task and Box Task, as well as assessment of memory, intellectual functioning, executive function, impulsivity and need for closure.
There was a moderate correlation between the beads task and fish task on various measures of JTC (draws to decision [DTD], r=.50, p<.01; confidence, r=.47, p<.01; dichotomous JTC bias, ×2=16.14, p<.001). There was a mild correlation between DTD on the fish task and box task (r=.30, p<.05). General intelligence was associated with DTD and JTC bias (but not confidence) on the beads and fish tasks. Confidence in decision was associated with a higher level of impulsivity and a lower level of set-shifting ability.
Despite differences in materials and design of the three probability-based tasks, results of JTC measured by the beads task and box task were individually consistent with the fish task, and were not correlated between the two. The data-gathering process and the confidence in decision are associated with different cognitive abilities. Further study including a clinical sample is needed.
Experiences of depression and anxiety are common among patients with persecutory delusions. It has been theorized that emotional disturbances affect the formation and appraisal of persecutory delusions directly and possibly via increasing the sense of aberrant salience.
Using a time-lagged analysis of experience sampling data, this study modelled the role of momentary levels of negative emotions and aberrant salience in maintaining persecutory delusions in patients with active delusions.
Clinically acute participants with at least a mild level of persecutory delusions were assessed using experience sampling method (ESM; 7 entries per day for 14 days) and clinical rating scales. ESM data of participants who completed at least 30 ESM entries were analysed by using multilevel regression modelling.
The final sample consisted of 14 participants, with a total of 1161 momentary observations. Time-lagged analysis revealed that both negative emotions (B = 0.125, P = .009) and aberrant salience (B = 0.267, P< .001) predicted an increase in persecutory delusions in the next moment. Conversely, persecutory delusions did not predict change in negative emotions or change in aberrant salience in the next moment (ps> .05). Negative emotions also predicted an increase in aberrant salience in the next moment (B = 0.087, P = .009).
Our results supported the hypothesis that both negative emotions and aberrant salience exacerbate persecutory delusions, rather than being merely the sequelae of the symptoms. Our results suggested both direct and indirect (via aberrant salience) pathways from negative emotions to persecutory delusions.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from cancerous tumor cells in exhaled human breath allows for early diagnosis of various types of cancers. 3D graphene with a large surface area is considered a suitable material for creating novel sensitive VOCs sensors. In this study, 3D graphene and 3D graphene oxide were synthesized from graphene oxide suspension, hydroquinone and formaldehyde by employing polymerization and reduction. The capability of VOC gas sensing was evaluated by measuring the electrical current response in flowing N2 gas over a range of concentrations of acetone or 1-butanol at room temperature. It was observed that the device current correlated well with the VOC concentration. The adsorption of acetone decreased the current, but the adsorption of 1-butanol increased the current during sensing. 3D graphene oxide device was more sensitive than 3D graphene device because of the high concentration of oxygen-containing functional groups on the surface. These results indicated that 3D graphene and 3D graphene oxide may be the suitable materials for VOCs sensing devices.
Observations have been suggested that star clusters could form from the rapid collapse and violent relaxation of substructured distributions. We investigate the collapse of fractal stellar distributions in no, weak, and very strong tidal fields. We find that the rapid collapse of substructure into spherical clusters happens quickly with no or a weak tidal field, but very strong tidal fields prevent a cluster forming. However, we also find that dense Plummer spheres are also rapidly destroyed in strong tidal fields. We suggest that this is why the low-mass star clusters cannot survive near the galactic centre which has strong tidal field.
Despite evidence on the short-term benefits of early intervention (EI) service for psychosis, long-term outcome studies are limited by inconsistent results. This study examined the 10-year outcomes of patients with first-episode psychosis who received 2-year territory-wide EI service compared to those who received standard care (SC) in Hong Kong using an historical control design.
Consecutive patients who received the EI service between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002, and with diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, were identified and matched with patients who received SC first presented to the public psychiatric service from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001. In total, 148 matched pairs of patients were identified. Cross-sectional information on symptomatology and functioning was obtained through semi-structured interview; longitudinal information on hospitalization, functioning, suicide attempts, mortality and relapse over 10 years was obtained from clinical database. There were 70.3% (N = 104) of SC and 74.3% (N = 110) of EI patients interviewed.
Results suggested that EI patients had reduced suicide rate (χ2(1) = 4.35, p = 0.037), fewer number [odds ratio (OR) 1.56, χ2 = 15.64, p < 0.0001] and shorter duration of hospitalization (OR 1.29, χ2 = 4.06, p = 0.04), longer employment periods (OR −0.28, χ2 = 14.64, p < 0.0001) and fewer suicide attempts (χ2 = 11.47, df = 1, p = 0.001) over 10 years. At 10 years, no difference was found in psychotic symptoms, symptomatic remission and functional recovery.
The short-term benefits of the EI service on number of hospitalizations and employment was sustained after service termination, but the differences narrowed down. This suggests the need to evaluate the optimal duration of the EI service.
Hemodynamics is a complex problem with several distinct characteristics; fluid is non-Newtonian, flow is pulsatile in nature, flow is three-dimensional due to cholesterol/plague built up, and blood vessel wall is elastic. In order to simulate this type of flows accurately, any proposed numerical scheme has to be able to replicate these characteristics correctly, efficiently, as well as individually and collectively. Since the equations of the finite difference lattice Boltzmann method (FDLBM) are hyperbolic, and can be solved using Cartesian grids locally, explicitly and efficiently on parallel computers, a program of study to develop a viable FDLBM numerical scheme that can mimic these characteristics individually in any model blood flow problem was initiated. The present objective is to first develop a steady FDLBM with an immersed boundary (IB) method to model blood flow in stenoic artery over a range of Reynolds numbers. The resulting equations in the FDLBM/IB numerical scheme can still be solved using Cartesian grids; thus, changing complex artery geometry can be treated without resorting to grid generation. The FDLBM/IB numerical scheme is validated against known data and is then used to study Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flow through constricted tubes. The investigation aims to gain insight into the constricted flow behavior and the non-Newtonian fluid effect on this behavior.
One viable approach to the study of haemodynamics is to numerically model this flow behavior in normal and stenosed arteries. The blood is either treated as Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluid and the flow is assumed to be pulsating, while the arteries can be modeled by constricted tubes with rigid or elastic wall. Such a task involves formulation and development of a numerical method that could at least handle pulsating flow of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid through tubes with and without constrictions where the boundary is assumed to be inelastic or elastic. As a first attempt, the present paper explores and develops a time-accurate finite difference lattice Boltzmann method (FDLBM) equipped with an immersed boundary (IB) scheme to simulate pulsating flow in constricted tube with rigid walls at different Reynolds numbers. The unsteady flow simulations using a time-accurate FDLBM/IB numerical scheme is validated against theoretical solutions and other known numerical data. In the process, the performance of the time-accurate FDLBM/IB for a model blood flow problem and the ease with which the no-slip boundary condition can be correctly implemented is successfully demonstrated.
The Night Sky Monitoring Network is a project that aims to study the extent, distribution, and properties of the light pollution condition in the populous metropolis of Hong Kong. Continuous measurements of the Night Sky Brightness (NSB) at strategically chosen locations that cover a wide range of population density and land usage were made, with over 2.5 million NSB readings collected in 18 months up to June 2012. Results from the project are presented, with focus on the contrast between the urban and rural night sky profiles, and light pollution contributions from artificial lightings. This project is supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund of the Hong Kong SAR government (ECF 10/2009, ECF 1/2007).
We have studied the effect of pentacene purity and evaporation rate on low-voltage organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) prepared solely by dry fabrication techniques. The maximum field-effect mobility of 0.07 cm2/Vs was achieved for the highest pentacene evaporation rate of 0.32 Å/s and four-time purified pentacene. Four-time purified pentacene also led to the lowest threshold voltage of -1.1 V and inverse subthreshold slope of ∼100 mV/decade. In addition, pentacene surface was imaged using atomic force microscopy, and the transistor channel and contact resistances for various pentacene evaporation rates were extracted and compared to field-effect mobilities.
Transparent conductive oxide less flexible dye-sensitized solar cells (TCO-less DSC) with flat and cylinder shapes are reported. The cell consists of a plastic cover, a flexible titania/dye sheet back contacted with a metal mesh sheet, a gel electrolyte sheet, and Pt layer on a Ti sheet. How to increase the efficiency were discussed. We concluded that making a titania/dye layer on a metal mesh sheet thinner and using a thinner electrolyte layer were effective for increasing the efficiency. A flat TCO-less DSC with 6.1 % efficiency and a cylindrical TCO-less DSC with 5.1 % efficiency are reported.
In this paper we study the density of states in n-type N,N’-ditridecylperylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic diimide organic semiconductor using two different methods. The first one is based on the temperature dependence of the channel conductance in field-effect transistors. The second one is based on the subgap optical absorption coefficient measured using the Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy technique. Both techniques allow estimating the distribution of localized states in the band gap of the semiconductor.
The complex admittance of the Si+/SiO2/Pentacene/Au (metal/oxide/pentacene) thin film junctions is investigated under ambient conditions. The results are compared with the ones obtained for the corresponding Si+/SiO2/Au junctions (i.e. a small part of the surface left free from pentacene) which constitutes the “reference” of our samples. This allows us to extract the “organic” part of the dielectric response from the whole spectrum. Our data clearly show that the admittance is decomposed in three main contributions. At low frequencies, a contribution attributed to proton diffusion through the oxide is seen. This diffusion is shown to be anomalous and is believed to be also at the origin of the bias stress effect observed in organic field effect transistors. At higher frequencies, two dipolar contributions are evidenced, attributed to defects located one at the organic/oxide interface or within the organic, and the other in the bulk of the oxide. These two dipolar responses show different dynamic properties that manifest themselves in the admittance in the form of a Debye contribution for the defects located in the oxide, and of a Cole-Cole contribution for the defects related to the organic.
This study aimed to analyse demographic profiles and pre-injection stroboscopic findings for patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis, to investigate possible predictive factors for voice outcomes of injection laryngoplasty.
Materials and methods:
Fifty-nine unilateral vocal fold paralysis patients underwent vocal fold augmentation, using transcutaneous Artecoll (polymethyl methacrylate microspheres plus bovine collagen) injection into the paralysed vocal fold via the cricothyroid space. Three months later, patients were divided into improved (n = 44) and unimproved (n = 15) groups, using the perceptual grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale, and their clinical characteristics and pre-operative stroboscopic findings compared.
The improved group were significantly younger than the unimproved group (p = 0.000). The size of the posterior gap on phonation was closely associated with the outcome of injection laryngoplasty (p = 0.015).
Younger patients with a smaller posterior glottic gap on phonation can be expected to have a more favourable outcome following injection laryngoplasty for correction of glottic insufficiency due to unilateral vocal fold paralysis.
The present study assessed the relationship between breakfast frequency and measures of obesity in Hong Kong Chinese children aged 9–18 years. A total of 11 570 children (50 % boys) underwent anthropometric measurements and completed a simple self-administered dietary behaviour questionnaire. Their parents completed a questionnaire providing demographic information. Breakfast frequency was assessed by a single question, ‘How many days over the past week did you have breakfast?’ Children were categorised into three groups: skippers (ate breakfast 0–2 times/week); semi-skippers (ate breakfast 3–4 times/week); non-skippers (ate breakfast 5–7 times/week), to assess all associated characteristics. Of the 3644 primary and 7926 secondary school students, 8 % (8·7 % of boys and 6·9 % of girls) and 14 % (14 % of boys and 15 % of girls), respectively, were breakfast skippers. The prevalence of obesity among breakfast skippers, semi-skippers and non-skippers was, respectively, 9·8, 10·6 and 3·8 % (P < 0·001) for primary school students and 3·9, 3·1 and 2·4 % (P < 0·001) for secondary school students. The 12 % of Hong Kong children aged 9–18 years who skipped breakfast had higher BMI, BMI z-scores and percentage of body fat (PBF) than their counterparts. The dose effects of breakfast frequency (unstandardised regression coefficient, P < 0·001) on BMI and PBF were, respectively, − 0·125 kg/m2 and − 0·219 % for boys and − 0·165 kg/m2 and − 0·353 % for girls, adjusting for physical activity per additional breakfast meal per week. Further study is recommended to elucidate whether regular breakfast consumption may have a role in the prevention of childhood obesity.