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As the pathophysiology of COVID-19 emerges, this paper describes dysphagia as a sequela of the disease, including its diagnosis and management, hypothesised causes, symptomatology in relation to viral progression, and concurrent variables such as intubation, tracheostomy and delirium, at a tertiary UK hospital.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 208 out of 736 patients (28.9 per cent) admitted to our institution with SARS-CoV-2 were referred for swallow assessment. Of the 208 patients, 102 were admitted to the intensive treatment unit for mechanical ventilation support, of which 82 were tracheostomised. The majority of patients regained near normal swallow function prior to discharge, regardless of intubation duration or tracheostomy status.
Dysphagia is prevalent in patients admitted either to the intensive treatment unit or the ward with COVID-19 related respiratory issues. This paper describes the crucial role of intensive swallow rehabilitation to manage dysphagia associated with this disease, including therapeutic respiratory weaning for those with a tracheostomy.
To test the functional implications of impaired white matter (WM) connectivity among patients with schizophrenia and their relatives, we examined the heritability of fractional anisotropy (FA) measured on diffusion tensor imaging data acquired in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and its association with cognitive performance in a unique sample of 175 multigenerational non-psychotic relatives of 23 multiplex schizophrenia families and 240 unrelated controls (total = 438).
We examined polygenic inheritance (h2r) of FA in 24 WM tracts bilaterally, and also pleiotropy to test whether heritability of FA in multiple WM tracts is secondary to genetic correlation among tracts using the Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines. Partial correlation tests examined the correlation of FA with performance on eight cognitive domains on the Penn Computerized Neurocognitive Battery, controlling for age, sex, site and mother's education, followed by multiple comparison corrections.
Significant total additive genetic heritability of FA was observed in all three-categories of WM tracts (association, commissural and projection fibers), in total 33/48 tracts. There were significant genetic correlations in 40% of tracts. Diagnostic group main effects were observed only in tracts with significantly heritable FA. Correlation of FA with neurocognitive impairments was observed mainly in heritable tracts.
Our data show significant heritability of all three-types of tracts among relatives of schizophrenia. Significant heritability of FA of multiple tracts was not entirely due to genetic correlations among the tracts. Diagnostic group main effect and correlation with neurocognitive performance were mainly restricted to tracts with heritable FA suggesting shared genetic effects on these traits.
We studied the compositional turnover in infracommunities and component communities of ecto- and endoparasites infesting a bat, Miniopterus natalensis (Chiroptera, Miniopteridae), across seven sampling sites using the zeta diversity metric (measuring similarity between multiple communities) and calculating zeta decline and retention rate (both scales) and zeta decay (component communities). We asked whether the patterns of zeta diversity differ between (a) infracommunities and component communities; (b) ecto- and endoparasites and (c) subsets of communities infecting male and female bats. The pattern of compositional turnover differed between infracommunities and component communities in endoparasites only. The shape of zeta decline for infracommunities indicated that there were approximately equal probabilities of ecto- and endoparasitic species to occur on/in any bat individual within a site. The shape of zeta decline for component communities suggested the stochasticity of ectoparasite turnover, whereas the turnover of endoparasites was driven by niche-based processes. Compositional turnover in component communities of ectoparasites was more spatially dependent than that of endoparasites. Spatial independence of compositional turnover in endoparasites was due to subcommunities harboured by female bats. We conclude that the patterns of compositional turnover in infracommunities were similar in ecto- and endoparasites, whereas the patterns of turnover in component communities differed between these groups.
To explore the phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) in a clinical sample of young people who have a ‘non-psychotic’ diagnosis.
Ten participants aged 17–31 years with presentation of emotionally unstable personality disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder and frequent AVHs were recruited and participated in a qualitative study exploring their subjective experience of hearing voices. Photo-elicitation and ethnographic diaries were used to stimulate discussion in an otherwise unstructured walking interview.
‘Non-psychotic’ voices comprised auditory qualities such as volume and clarity. Participants commonly personified their voices, viewing them as distinct characters with which they could interact and form relationships. There appeared to be an intimate and unstable relationship between participant and voice, whereby voices changed according to the participants’ mood, insecurities, distress and circumstance. Equally, participants reacted to provocation by the voice, leading to changes in mood and circumstance through emotional and physical disturbances. In contrast to our previous qualitative work in psychosis, voice hearing was not experienced with a sense of imposition or control.
This phenomenological research yielded in-depth and novel accounts of ‘non-psychotic’ voices which were intimately linked to emotional experience. In contrast to standard reports of voices in disorders such as schizophrenia, participants described a complex and bi-directional relationship with their voices. Many other features were in common with voice hearing in psychosis. Knowledge of the phenomenology of hallucinations in non-psychotic disorders has the potential to inform future more successful management strategies. This report gives preliminary evidence for future research.
We evaluated the safety and feasibility of high-intensity interval training via a novel telemedicine ergometer (MedBIKE™) in children with Fontan physiology.
The MedBIKE™ is a custom telemedicine ergometer, incorporating a video game platform and live feed of patient video/audio, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and power output, for remote medical supervision and modulation of work. There were three study phases: (I) exercise workload comparison between the MedBIKE™ and a standard cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer in 10 healthy adults. (II) In-hospital safety, feasibility, and user experience (via questionnaire) assessment of a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training protocol in children with Fontan physiology. (III) Eight-week home-based high-intensity interval trial programme in two participants with Fontan physiology.
There was good agreement in oxygen consumption during graded exercise at matched work rates between the cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer and MedBIKE™ (1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute versus 1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute, p = 0.44). Ten youth with Fontan physiology (11.5 ± 1.8 years old) completed a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training session with no adverse events. The participants found the MedBIKE™ to be enjoyable and easy to navigate. In two participants, the 8-week home-based protocol was tolerated well with completion of 23/24 (96%) and 24/24 (100%) of sessions, respectively, and no adverse events across the 47 sessions in total.
The MedBIKE™ resulted in similar physiological responses as compared to a cardiopulmonary exercise test ergometer and the high-intensity interval training protocol was safe, feasible, and enjoyable in youth with Fontan physiology. A randomised-controlled trial of a home-based high-intensity interval training exercise intervention using the MedBIKE™ will next be undertaken.
Introduction: Workplace based assessments (WBAs) are integral to emergency medicine residency training. However many biases undermine their validity, such as an assessor's personal inclination to rate learners leniently or stringently. Outlier assessors produce assessment data that may not reflect the learner's performance. Our emergency department introduced a new Daily Encounter Card (DEC) using entrustability scales in June 2018. Entrustability scales reflect the degree of supervision required for a given task, and are shown to improve assessment reliability and discrimination. It is unclear what effect they will have on assessor stringency/leniency – we hypothesize that they will reduce the number of outlier assessors. We propose a novel, simple method to identify outlying assessors in the setting of WBAs. We also examine the effect of transitioning from a norm-based assessment to an entrustability scale on the population of outlier assessors. Methods: This was a prospective pre-/post-implementation study, including all DECs completed between July 2017 and June 2019 at The Ottawa Hospital Emergency Department. For each phase, we identified outlier assessors as follows: 1. An assessor is a potential outlier if the mean of the scores they awarded was more than two standard deviations away from the mean score of all completed assessments. 2. For each assessor identified in step 1, their learners’ assessment scores were compared to the overall mean of all learners. This ensures that the assessor was not simply awarding outlying scores due to working with outlier learners. Results: 3927 and 3860 assessments were completed by 99 and 116 assessors in the pre- and post-implementation phases respectively. We identified 9 vs 5 outlier assessors (p = 0.16) in the pre- and post-implementation phases. Of these, 6 vs 0 (p = 0.01) were stringent, while 3 vs 5 (p = 0.67) were lenient. One assessor was identified as an outlier (lenient) in both phases. Conclusion: Our proposed method successfully identified outlier assessors, and could be used to identify assessors who might benefit from targeted coaching and feedback on their assessments. The transition to an entrustability scale resulted in a non-significant trend towards fewer outlier assessors. Further work is needed to identify ways to mitigate the effects of rater cognitive biases.
Introduction: The Ottawa Emergency Department Shift Observation Tool (O-EDShOT) was recently developed to assess a resident's ability to safely run an ED shift and is supported by multiple sources of validity evidence. The O-EDShOT uses entrustability scales, which reflect the degree of supervision required for a given task. It was found to discriminate between learners of different levels, and to differentiate between residents who were rated as able to safely run the shift and those who were not. In June 2018 we replaced norm-based daily encounter cards (DECs) with the O-EDShOT. With the ideal assessment tool, most of the score variability would be explained by variability in learners’ performances. In reality, however, much of the observed variability is explained by other factors. The purpose of this study is to determine what proportion of total score variability is accounted for by learner variability when using norm-based DECs vs the O-EDShOT. Methods: This was a prospective pre-/post-implementation study, including all daily assessments completed between July 2017 and June 2019 at The Ottawa Hospital ED. A generalizability analysis (G study) was performed to determine what proportion of total score variability is accounted for by the various factors in this study (learner, rater, form, pgy level) for both the pre- and post- implementation phases. We collected 12 months of data for each phase, because we estimated that 6-12 months would be required to observe a measurable increase in entrustment scale scores within a learner. Results: A total of 3908 and 3679 assessments were completed by 99 and 116 assessors in the pre- and post- implementation phases respectively. Our G study revealed that 21% of total score variance was explained by a combination of post-graduate year (PGY) level and the individual learner in the pre-implementation phase, compared to 59% in the post-implementation phase. An average of 51 vs 27 forms/learner are required to achieve a reliability of 0.80 in the pre- and post-implementation phases respectively. Conclusion: A significantly greater proportion of total score variability is explained by variability in learners’ performances with the O-EDShOT compared to norm-based DECs. The O-EDShOT also requires fewer assessments to generate a reliable estimate of the learner's ability. This study suggests that the O-EDShOT is a more useful assessment tool than norm-based DECs, and could be adopted in other emergency medicine training programs.
Little is known about the experiences of people living alone with dementia in the community and their non-resident relatives and friends who support them. In this paper, we explore their respective attitudes and approaches to the future, particularly regarding the future care and living arrangements of those living with dementia. The study is based on a qualitative secondary analysis of interviews with 24 people living alone with early-stage dementia in North Wales, United Kingdom, and one of their relatives or friends who supported them. All but four of the dyads were interviewed twice over 12 months (a total of 88 interviews). In the analysis, it was observed that several people with dementia expressed the desire to continue living at home for ‘as long as possible’. A framework approach was used to investigate this theme in more depth, drawing on concepts from the existing studies of people living with dementia and across disciplines. Similarities and differences in the future outlook and temporal orientation of the participants were identified. The results support previous research suggesting that the future outlook of people living with early-stage dementia can be interpreted in part as a response to their situation and a way of coping with the threats that it is perceived to present, and not just an impaired view of time. Priorities for future research are highlighted in the discussion.
It has long been known that most patients with bipolar disorder have a course marked by multiple recurrence of major depressive and manic episodes. More recently, many epidemiological studies have shown that at least 50% of unipolar depressive patients have one or more subsequent episodes of depression in their lifetimes. Likewise, relapse following successful short-term treatment of depression is so common that it is now recommended to prolong treatment in the form of maintenance pharmacotherapy. Interest in preventing the recurrence of depression has been stimulated by the results from long-term trials involving antidepressant drugs and lithium. However, these pharmacological studies suffer somewhat from methodological deficits, making difficult any clear and complete interpretation of their results. While some methodological recommendations have now been established to compensate for previous deficits (eg, definition of relapse and recurrence, duration of acute and maintenance treatments, statistical analysis of efficacy), unfortunately, many key points still remain to be resolved (eg, selection of patients, dosage in maintenance and prophylactic phases, maximum length of a course of treatment, etc).
To examine genetic influences the anatomy of the Corpus Callosum (CC) in Bipolar Disorder (BD) by examining first-degree relatives in addition to BD patients.
We compared CCl size and shape in 180 individuals: 70 with BD, 45 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 75 healthy controls. The CC was extracted from a mid-sagittal slice from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images; its total area, length and curvature were compared across groups. A non-parametric permutation method was used to examine for alterations in width of the callosum along 39 points.
Validating our previous findings, a significant global reduction in CC thickness was seen in BD patients, with a disproportionate thinning in the anterior body. First-degree relatives did not differ in CC size or shape from controls. Duration of illness was associated with thinning in the anterior body, whereas Lithium treatment associated with thicker anterior CC midbody.
Global and regional CC thinning is a disease related feature of BD and may not represent a marker of familial disposition.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has a central role in brain dopamine, noradrenalin and adrenalin signaling, and has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis and pharmacological treatment of affective disorders. The functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 4 (Val158Met, rs4680) influences the COMT enzyme activity. The Val158Met polymorphism is a commonly studied variant in psychiatric genetics, and initial studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder presented evidence for association with the Met allele. In unipolar depression, while some of the investigations point at an association between the Met/Met genotype and others have found a link between the Val/Val genotype and depression, most of the studies cannot detect any difference in Val158Met allele frequency between depressed individuals and controls.
In the present study, we further elucidated the impact of COMT polymorphisms including the Val158Met in MDD. We investigated 1,250 subjects with DSM-IV and/or ICD-10 diagnosis of major depression (MDD), and 1,589 control subjects from UK. A total of 24 SNPs spanning the COMT gene were successfully genotyped using the Illumina HumaHap610-Quad Beadchip (22 SNPs), SNPlex™ genotyping system (1 SNP), and Sequenom MassARRAY® iPLEX Gold (1 SNP). Statistical analyses were implemented using PASW Statistics18, FINETTI (http://ihg.gsf.de/cgi-bin/hw/hwa1.pl), UNPHASED version 3.0.10 program and Haploview 4.0 program.
Neither single-marker nor haplotypic association was found with the functional Val158Met polymorphism or with any of the other SNPs genotyped. Our findings do not provide evidence that COMT plays a role in MDD or that this gene explains part of the genetic overlap with bipolar disorder.
According to Oedegaard et al. (2010) the co-morbidity of migraine and bipolar disorder (BPD) is well documented in numerous epidemiological and clinical studies, and there are clear pathophysiological similarities. Interestingly, in a genome-wide scan, Lea et al. (2005) identified a susceptibility locus for a severe heritable form of common migraine on chromosome 3q29. With respect to BPD, a susceptibility region on chromosome 3q29 was identified in a genome-wide linkage scan (Bailer et al. 2002) and follow-up linkage analysis (Schosser et al. 2004). These findings were also supported by further fine-mapping of this region (Schosser et al. 2007). Since 3q29 is among the chromosomal regions implicated in migraine and bipolar linkage studies, the aim of the current study is to test for 3q29 association of migraine in sample of patients with BPD. The sample consists of 463 patients with a diagnosis of BPD (34.63% men, 65.37% women; mean age ± SD: 48.01 ± 11.26), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition operational criteria (DSM-IV) and the International Classification of Diseases 10th edition operational criteria (ICD-10), derived from the Bipolar Affective Disorder Case Control Study (BACCS). A total of 51 SNPs in the region of the 3q29 were genotyped using Sequenom MassARRAY® iPLEX Gold and tested for association with migraine. The results of this association study investigating the 3q29 region in a sample of patients with BPD will be presented.
Improving the quality of care on psychiatric inpatient wards has been a major focus in recent mental health policy, a recurrent criticism being that contact between staff and patients is limited in time and therapeutic value. Change is unlikely to be achieved without recruitment and retention of a high quality and well-motivated work force.
The NHS commissioned national inpatient mental health staff morale study is intended to inform service planning and policy by delivering evidence on the morale of the inpatient mental health workforce and the clinical, organisational, architectural and human resources factors that influence it.
100 wards in 17 area ‘Trusts’ are participating in the study, in addition to 40 community teams. The study will take place over two years, and has 6 modules:
1. A quantitative questionnaire for all staff in participating wards and
2. A comparison group in 20 community mental health teams and 20 crisis teams.
3. Case studies of 10 wards scoring in the top and bottom quartile for indicators of morale.
4. Repeated questionnaires for 20 wards in the second year to investigate how morale changes over time.
5. Staff who leave the wards in the course of the first year will be asked their reasons for leaving.
6. Links between rates of staff sickness and morale will be investigated.
Questionnaires have been distributed to 3,500 staff with a response rate of 65%, results from which will be presented in 2009.
Evidence suggests that the subjective experience of AVHs cannot be explained by any of the existing cognitive models, highlighting the obvious need to properly investigate the actual, lived experience of AVHs, and derive models/theories that fit the complexity of this.
Via phenomenological interviews and ethnographic diary methods, we aim to gain a deeper insight into the experience of AVHs.
To explore the phenomenological quality of AVHs, as they happen/reveal themselves to consciousness,   without relying on existing suppositions.
Participants with First Episode Psychosis were recruited from the Birmingham Early Intervention Service (EIS), BSMHFT. In-depth 'walking interviews' were carried out with each participant, together with standardised assessment measures of voices. Prior to interviews, participants were asked to complete a dairy and take photographs, further capturing aspects of their AVH experiences.
20 participants have completed interviews to date. Emerging themes cover the form and quality of voices (i.e. as being separate to self, imposing, compelling etc.), and participants' understanding and management of these experiences.
Authentic descriptions gleaned from participants have the potential to increase our understanding of the relationship between the phenomenology and neurobiology of AVHs and, in turn, the experience as a whole.
Numerous studies have applied novel multivariate statistical approaches to the analysis of brain alterations in patients with schizophrenia. However the diagnostic accuracy of the reported predictive models differs largely, making it difficult to evaluate the overall potential of these studies to inform clinical diagnosis.
We conducted a comprehensive literature search to identify all studies reporting performance of neuroimaging-based multivariate predictive models for the differentiation of patients with schizophrenia from healthy control subjects. The robustness of the results as well as the effect of potentially confounding continous variables (e.g. age, gender ratio, year of publication) was investigated.
The final sample consisted of n=37 studies studies including n=1491 patients with schizophrenia and n=1488 healthy controls. Metaanalysis of the complete sample showed a sensitivity of 80.7% (95%-CI: 77.0 to 83.9%) and a specificity of 80.2% (95%-CI: 83.3 to 76.7%). Separate analysis for the different imaging modalities showed similar diagnostic accuracy for the structural MRI studies (sensitivity 77.3%, specificity 78.7%), the fMRI studies (sensitivity 81.4%, specificity 82.4%) and resting-state fMRI studies (sensitivity 86.9%, specificity 80.3%). Moderator analysis showed significant effects of age of patients on sensitivity (p=0.021) and of positive-tonegative symptom ratio on specificity (p=0.028) indicating better diagnostic accuracy in older patients and patients with positive symptoms.
Our analysis indicate an overall sensitivity and overall specificity of around 80 % of neuroimaging-based predictive models for differentiating schizophrenic patients from healthy controls. The results underline the potential applicability of neuroimaging-based predictive models for the diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Tourniquets (TQs) save lives. Although military-approved TQs appear more effective than improvised TQs in controlling exsanguinating extremity hemorrhage, their bulk may preclude every day carry (EDC) by civilian lay-providers, limiting availability during emergencies.
The purpose of the current study was to compare the efficacy of three novel commercial TQ designs to a military-approved TQ.
Nine Emergency Medicine residents evaluated four different TQ designs: Gen 7 Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT7; control), Stretch Wrap and Tuck Tourniquet (SWAT-T), Gen 2 Rapid Application Tourniquet System (RATS), and Tourni-Key (TK). Popliteal artery flow cessation was determined using a ZONARE ZS3 ultrasound. Steady state maximal generated force was measured for 30 seconds with a thin-film force sensor.
Success rates for distal arterial flow cessation were 89% CAT7; 67% SWAT-T; 89% RATS; and 78% TK (H 0.89; P = .83). Mean (SD) application times were 10.4 (SD = 1.7) seconds CAT7; 23.1 (SD = 9.0) seconds SWAT-T; 11.1 (SD = 3.8) seconds RATS; and 20.0 (SD = 7.1) seconds TK (F 9.71; P <.001). Steady state maximal forces were 29.9 (SD = 1.2) N CAT7; 23.4 (SD = 0.8) N SWAT-T; 33.0 (SD = 1.3) N RATS; and 41.9 (SD = 1.3) N TK.
All novel TQ systems were non-inferior to the military-approved CAT7. Mean application times were less than 30 seconds for all four designs. The size of these novel TQs may make them more conducive to lay-provider EDC, thereby increasing community resiliency and improving the response to high-threat events.
Neurobiological models of auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) have been advanced by symptom capture functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), where participants self-report hallucinations during scanning. To date, regions implicated are those involved with language, memory and emotion. However, previous studies focus on chronic schizophrenia, thus are limited by factors, such as medication use and illness duration. Studies also lack detailed phenomenological descriptions of AVHs. This study investigated the neural correlates of AVHs in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP) using symptom capture fMRI with a rich description of AVHs. We hypothesised that intrusive AVHs would be associated with dysfunctional salience network activity.
Sixteen FEP patients with frequent AVH completed four psychometrically validated tools to provide an objective measure of the nature of their AVHs. They then underwent fMRI symptom capture, utilising general linear models analysis to compare activity during AVH to the resting brain.
Symptom capture of AVH was achieved in nine patients who reported intrusive, malevolent and uncontrollable AVHs. Significant activity in the right insula and superior temporal gyrus (cluster size 141 mm3), and the left parahippocampal and lingual gyri (cluster size 121 mm3), P < 0.05 FDR corrected, were recorded during the experience of AVHs.
These results suggest salience network dysfunction (in the right insula) together with memory and language processing area activation in intrusive, malevolent AVHs in FEP. This finding concurs with others from chronic schizophrenia, suggesting these processes are intrinsic to psychosis itself and not related to length of illness or prolonged exposure to antipsychotic medication.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The national implementation of competency-based medical education (CBME) has prompted an increased interest in identifying and tracking clinical and educational outcomes for emergency medicine training programs. For the 2019 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium, we developed recommendations for measuring outcomes in emergency medicine training in the context of CBME to assist educational leaders and systems designers in program evaluation.
We conducted a three-phase study to generate educational and clinical outcomes for emergency medicine (EM) education in Canada. First, we elicited expert and community perspectives on the best educational and clinical outcomes through a structured consultation process using a targeted online survey. We then qualitatively analyzed these responses to generate a list of suggested outcomes. Last, we presented these outcomes to a diverse assembly of educators, trainees, and clinicians at the CAEP Academic Symposium for feedback and endorsement through a voting process.
Academic Symposium attendees endorsed the measurement and linkage of CBME educational and clinical outcomes. Twenty-five outcomes (15 educational, 10 clinical) were derived from the qualitative analysis of the survey results and the most important short- and long-term outcomes (both educational and clinical) were identified. These outcomes can be used to help measure the impact of CBME on the practice of Emergency Medicine in Canada to ensure that it meets both trainee and patient needs.
Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is thought to have an almost world-wide distribution, but few countries have conducted national serosurveys. We measured Q fever seroprevalence using residual sera from diagnostic laboratories across Australia. Individuals aged 1–79 years in 2012–2013 were sampled to be proportional to the population distribution by region, distance from metropolitan areas and gender. A 1/50 serum dilution was tested for the Phase II IgG antibody against C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence. We calculated crude seroprevalence estimates by age group and gender, as well as age standardised national and metropolitan/non-metropolitan seroprevalence estimates. Of 2785 sera, 99 tested positive. Age standardised seroprevalence was 5.6% (95% confidence interval (CI 4.5%–6.8%), and similar in metropolitan (5.5%; 95% CI 4.1%–6.9%) and non-metropolitan regions (6.0%; 95%CI 4.0%–8.0%). More males were seropositive (6.9%; 95% CI 5.2%–8.6%) than females (4.2%; 95% CI 2.9%–5.5%) with peak seroprevalence at 50–59 years (9.2%; 95% CI 5.2%–13.3%). Q fever seroprevalence for Australia was higher than expected (especially in metropolitan regions) and higher than estimates from the Netherlands (2.4%; pre-outbreak) and US (3.1%), but lower than for Northern Ireland (12.8%). Robust country-specific seroprevalence estimates, with detailed exposure data, are required to better understand who is at risk and the need for preventive measures.
Evidence suggests that early trauma may have a negative effect on cognitive functioning in individuals with psychosis, yet the relationship between childhood trauma and cognition among those at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis remains unexplored. Our sample consisted of 626 CHR children and 279 healthy controls who were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study 2. Childhood trauma up to the age of 16 (psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and bullying) was assessed by using the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. Multiple domains of cognition were measured at baseline and at the time of psychosis conversion, using standardized assessments. In the CHR group, there was a trend for better performance in individuals who reported a history of multiple types of childhood trauma compared with those with no/one type of trauma (Cohen d = 0.16). A history of multiple trauma types was not associated with greater cognitive change in CHR converters over time. Our findings tentatively suggest there may be different mechanisms that lead to CHR states. Individuals who are at clinical high risk who have experienced multiple types of childhood trauma may have more typically developing premorbid cognitive functioning than those who reported minimal trauma do. Further research is needed to unravel the complexity of factors underlying the development of at-risk states.