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Prediction of treatment outcomes is a key step in improving the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). The Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND) aims to predict antidepressant treatment outcomes through analyses of clinical assessment, neuroimaging, and blood biomarkers.
In the CAN-BIND-1 dataset of 192 adults with MDD and outcomes of treatment with escitalopram, we applied machine learning models in a nested cross-validation framework. Across 210 analyses, we examined combinations of predictive variables from three modalities, measured at baseline and after 2 weeks of treatment, and five machine learning methods with and without feature selection. To optimize the predictors-to-observations ratio, we followed a tiered approach with 134 and 1152 variables in tier 1 and tier 2 respectively.
A combination of baseline tier 1 clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular variables predicted response with a mean balanced accuracy of 0.57 (best model mean 0.62) compared to 0.54 (best model mean 0.61) in single modality models. Adding week 2 predictors improved the prediction of response to a mean balanced accuracy of 0.59 (best model mean 0.66). Adding tier 2 features did not improve prediction.
A combination of clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular data improves the prediction of treatment outcomes over single modality measurement. The addition of measurements from the early stages of treatment adds precision. Present results are limited by lack of external validation. To achieve clinically meaningful prediction, the multimodal measurement should be scaled up to larger samples and the robustness of prediction tested in an external validation dataset.
Research has shown that 20–30% of prisoners meet the diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methylphenidate reduces ADHD symptoms, but effects in prisoners are uncertain because of comorbid mental health and substance use disorders.
To estimate the efficacy of an osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-methylphenidate) in reducing ADHD symptoms in young adult prisoners with ADHD.
We conducted an 8-week parallel-arm, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial of OROS-methylphenidate versus placebo in male prisoners (aged 16–25 years) meeting the DSM-5 criteria for ADHD. Primary outcome was ADHD symptoms at 8 weeks, using the investigator-rated Connors Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS-O). Thirteen secondary outcomes were measured, including emotional dysregulation, mind wandering, violent attitudes, mental health symptoms, and prison officer and educational staff ratings of behaviour and aggression.
In the OROS-methylphenidate arm, mean CAARS-O score at 8 weeks was estimated to be reduced by 0.57 points relative to the placebo arm (95% CI −2.41 to 3.56), and non-significant. The responder rate, defined as a 20% reduction in CAARS-O score, was 48.3% for the OROS-methylphenidate arm and 47.9% for the placebo arm. No statistically significant trial arm differences were detected for any of the secondary outcomes. Mean final titrated dose was 53.8 mg in the OROS-methylphenidate arm.
ADHD symptoms did not respond to OROS-methylphenidate in young adult prisoners. The findings do not support routine treatment with OROS-methylphenidate in this population. Further research is needed to evaluate effects of higher average dosing and adherence to treatment, multi-modal treatments and preventative interventions in the community.
Obesity rates among children are rapidly rising internationally and have been linked to noncommunicable diseases in adulthood. Individual preventive strategies have not effectively reduced global obesity rates, leading to a gap in clinical services regarding the development of early perinatal interventions. The objective of this scoping review is to explore the relationship between maternal BMI and breastfeeding behaviors on child growth trajectories to determine their relevance in developing interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity.
The scoping review was guided and informed by the Arksey and O’Malley (2005) framework. A systematic search was performed in four databases. Studies included in the final review were collated and sorted into relevant themes. A systematic search yielded a total of 5831 records (MEDLINE: 1242, EMBASE: 2629, CINAHL: 820, PubMed: 1140). Results without duplicates (n = 4190) were screened based on relevancy of which 197 relevant-full-text articles were retrieved and assessed for eligibility resulting in 14 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted and charted for the studies and six themes were identified: (1) healthy behaviors, lifestyle, and social economic status; (2) parental anthropometrics and perinatal weight status; (3) genetics, epigenetics, and fetal programming; (4) early infant feeding; (5) infant growth trajectories; and (6) targeted prevention and interventions. Early life risk factors for child obesity are multifactorial and potentially modifiable. Several at-risk groups were identified who would benefit from early preventative interventions targeting the importance of healthy weight gain, exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months, and healthy lifestyle behaviors.
To improve maternal health outcomes, increased diversity is needed among pregnant people in research studies and community surveillance. To expand the pool, we sought to develop a network encompassing academic and community obstetrics clinics. Typical challenges in developing a network include site identification, contracting, onboarding sites, staff engagement, participant recruitment, funding, and institutional review board approvals. While not insurmountable, these challenges became magnified as we built a research network during a global pandemic. Our objective is to describe the framework utilized to resolve pandemic-related issues.
We developed a framework for site-specific adaptation of the generalized study protocol. Twice monthly video meetings were held between the lead academic sites to identify local challenges and to generate ideas for solutions. We identified site and participant recruitment challenges and then implemented solutions tailored to the local workflow. These solutions included the use of an electronic consent and videoconferences with local clinic leadership and staff. The processes for network development and maintenance changed to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, aspects of the sample processing/storage and data collection elements were held constant between sites.
Adapting our consenting approach enabled maintaining study enrollment during the pandemic. The pandemic amplified issues related to contracting, onboarding, and IRB approval. Maintaining continuity in sample management and clinical data collection allowed for pooling of information between sites.
Adaptability is key to maintaining network sites. Rapidly changing guidelines for beginning and continuing research during the pandemic required frequent intra- and inter-institutional communication to navigate.
Infectious disease outbreaks on the scale of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are a new phenomenon in many parts of the world. Many isolation unit designs with corresponding workflow dynamics and personal protective equipment postures have been proposed for each emerging disease at the health facility level, depending on the mode of transmission. However, personnel and resource management at the isolation units for a resilient response will vary by human resource capacity, reporting requirements, and practice setting. This study describes an approach to isolation unit management at a rural Uganda Hospital and shares lessons from the Uganda experience for isolation unit managers in low- and middle-income settings.
Geography is not only the study of the surface of the planet and the exploration of spatial and human - environment relationships, but also a way of thinking about the world. Guided by the Australian Curriculum and the Professional Standards for Teaching School Geography (GEOGstandards), Teaching Secondary Geography provides a comprehensive introduction to both the theory and practice of teaching Geography. This text covers fundamental geographical knowledge and skills, such as working with data, graphicacy, fieldwork and spatial technology, and provides practical guidance on teaching them in the classroom. Each chapter features short-answer and 'Pause and Think' questions to enhance understanding of key concepts, and 'Bringing It Together' review questions to consolidate learning. Classroom scenarios and a range of information boxes are provided throughout to connect students to additional material. Written by an author team with extensive teaching experience, Teaching Secondary Geography is an exemplary resource for pre-service teachers.
Little data exist on provider perspectives about counselling and shared decision-making for complex CHD, ways to support and improve the process, and barriers to effective communication. The goal of this qualitative study was to determine providers’ perspectives regarding factors that are integral to shared decision-making with parents faced with complex CHD in their fetus or newborn; and barriers and facilitators to engaging in effective shared decision-making.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with providers from different areas of practice who care for fetuses and/or children with CHD. Providers were recruited from four geographically diverse centres. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed for key themes using an open coding process with a grounded theory approach.
Interviews were conducted with 31 providers; paediatric cardiologists (n = 7) were the largest group represented, followed by nurses (n = 6) and palliative care providers (n = 5). Key barriers to communication with parents that providers identified included variability among providers themselves, factors that influenced parental comprehension or understanding, discrepant expectations, circumstantial barriers, and trust/relationship with providers. When discussing informational needs of parents, providers focused on comprehensive short- and long-term outcomes, quality of life, and breadth and depth that aligned with parental goals and needs. In discussing resources to support shared decision-making, providers emphasised the need for comprehensive, up-to-date information that was accessible to parents of varying situations and backgrounds.
Provider perspectives on decision-making with families with CHD highlighted key communication issues, informational priorities, and components of decision support that can enhance shared decision-making.
Multiple treatments are effective for major depressive disorder (MDD), but the outcomes of each treatment vary broadly among individuals. Accurate prediction of outcomes is needed to help select a treatment that is likely to work for a given person. We aim to examine the performance of machine learning methods in delivering replicable predictions of treatment outcomes.
Of 7732 non-duplicate records identified through literature search, we retained 59 eligible reports and extracted data on sample, treatment, predictors, machine learning method, and treatment outcome prediction. A minimum sample size of 100 and an adequate validation method were used to identify adequate-quality studies. The effects of study features on prediction accuracy were tested with mixed-effects models. Fifty-four of the studies provided accuracy estimates or other estimates that allowed calculation of balanced accuracy of predicting outcomes of treatment.
Eight adequate-quality studies reported a mean accuracy of 0.63 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56–0.71], which was significantly lower than a mean accuracy of 0.75 (95% CI 0.72–0.78) in the other 46 studies. Among the adequate-quality studies, accuracies were higher when predicting treatment resistance (0.69) and lower when predicting remission (0.60) or response (0.56). The choice of machine learning method, feature selection, and the ratio of features to individuals were not associated with reported accuracy.
The negative relationship between study quality and prediction accuracy, combined with a lack of independent replication, invites caution when evaluating the potential of machine learning applications for personalizing the treatment of depression.
Parents who receive a diagnosis of a severe, life-threatening CHD for their foetus or neonate face a complex and stressful decision between termination, palliative care, or surgery. Understanding how parents make this initial treatment decision is critical for developing interventions to improve counselling for these families.
We conducted focus groups in four academic medical centres across the United States of America with a purposive sample of parents who chose termination, palliative care, or surgery for their foetus or neonate diagnosed with severe CHD.
Ten focus groups were conducted with 56 parents (Mage = 34 years; 80% female; 89% White). Results were constructed around three domains: decision-making approaches; values and beliefs; and decision-making challenges. Parents discussed varying approaches to making the decision, ranging from relying on their “gut feeling” to desiring statistics and probabilities. Religious and spiritual beliefs often guided the decision to not terminate the pregnancy. Quality of life was an important consideration, including how each option would impact the child (e.g., pain or discomfort, cognitive and physical abilities) and their family (e.g., care for other children, marriage, and career). Parents reported inconsistent communication of options by clinicians and challenges related to time constraints for making a decision and difficulty in processing information when distressed.
This study offers important insights that can be used to design interventions to improve decision support and family-centred care in clinical practice.
Within the last fifteen years there have been two additions to Sappho’s corpus (the Cologne fragment on old age, published in 2004, and the more recent Brothers and Cypris poems, published in 2014) both discovered in Greco-Roman Egypt. Notwithstanding this fact there is a general tendency to treat Egypt as idiosyncratic: useful when some aspect of a recovered text fits a scholar’s notion of Sappho’s poetic practice or ancient reception in the Archaic or Classical Period, but otherwise dismissed as irrelevant in taste and in patterns of survival. To test this assumption, I consider the survival of Sappho’s poetry from two perspectives: what ancient Greek sources outside of Graeco-Roman Egypt reveal about literate (as opposed to performative) reception of Sappho and how papyrus and parchment sources recovered from Egypt nuance that picture. My conclusion is that reception outside of and within Egypt is remarkably similar, that it is not possible to make a case for more than a specialized readership in either location, and that ancient readers read Sappho no more frequently than other lyric poets who do not, however, command the modern attention.