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Given the prevalence of adolescent depression and the modest effects of current treatments, research ought to inform development of effective intervention strategies. Self-compassion is inversely associated with depression, and self-compassion interventions have demonstrated promising effects on reducing depression. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying that relationship. Maladaptive self-processing is a characteristic of depression that contributes to the onset and chronicity of depression. Because our own face is an automatic and direct cue for self-processing, this study investigated whether self-compassion was associated with neural responses during sad v. neutral self-face recognition and explore their relationship with depression severity in depressed adolescents and healthy controls (HCs).
During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 81 depressed youth and 37 HCs were instructed to identify whether morphed self or other faces with sad, happy, or neutral expressions resembled their own.
Self-compassion correlated negatively with activity during sad v. neutral self-face recognition in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in the total sample, and in the right posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus in HCs, respectively. In depressed adolescents, higher self-compassion correlated with lower activity during sad v. neutral self-face recognition in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), implying that less cognitive effort might be needed to avoid dwelling on sad self-faces and/or regulate negative affect induced by them. Moreover, higher self-compassion mediated the relationship between lower DLPFC activity and reduced depression severity.
Our findings imply that DLPFC activity might be a biological marker of a successful self-compassion intervention as potential treatment for adolescent depression.
In the 1990s, the idea that culture had a role to play in political sociology was relatively novel. Identifying sociologists who fit this emerging interdisciplinary subfield posed a challenge. Today, it is difficult to imagine a sociologist, or even a political scientist, who would argue against the importance of culture to politics. It has become de rigueur to acknowledge culture in political analysis. If anything, the field of politics and culture borders on oversubscription. Methodological issues that dominated early syntheses (Berezin 1994, 1997b) remain salient. These include epistemological discussions of culture as an explanatory factor in social analysis (e.g., Berezin 2014a; Wagner-Pacifici 2017) distinctions between qualitative and quantitative methodology (Goertz and Mahoney 2012).
Being a current psychiatric in-patient is one of the strongest statistical risk factors for suicide. It is usually assumed that this strong association is not causal but is a result of the combination of the selection of high-risk patients for admission and the imperfect protection from suicide afforded by psychiatric wards. Logically, a third factor, which is causal, might play a role in the association. It has recently been suggested that adverse experiences in psychiatric units such as trauma, stigma and loss of social role might precipitate some in-patient suicides.
To consider whether there is a causal association between psychiatric hospitalisation and suicide.
We used the framework of Austin Bradford Hill's criteria for assessing causality in epidemiology to consider the possibility that psychiatric hospitalisation might causally contribute to the extent and variation in in-patient suicide rates.
The association between psychiatric hospitalisation and suicide clearly meets five of the nine Hill's criteria (strength of association, consistency, plausibility, coherence and analogy) and partially meets three of the remaining four criteria (gradient of exposure, temporality and experimental evidence).
Admission to hospital itself might play a causal role in a proportion of in-patient suicides. The safety of being in hospital with respect to suicide could be examined with a large-scale randomised controlled trial (RCT). In the absence of an RCT, the possibility of a causal role provides further impetus to calls to make care in the community more available and psychiatric hospitals more acceptable to patients.
Palliative care for nursing home residents with advanced dementia is often sub-optimal due to poor communication and limited care planning. In a cluster randomized controlled trial, registered nurses (RNs) from 10 nursing homes were trained and funded to work as Palliative Care Planning Coordinators (PCPCs) to organize family case conferences and mentor staff. This qualitative sub-study aimed to explore PCPC and health professional perceptions of the benefits of facilitated case conferencing and identify factors influencing implementation.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the RNs in the PCPC role, other members of nursing home staff, and physicians who participated in case conferences. Analysis was conducted by two researchers using a thematic framework approach.
Interviews were conducted with 11 PCPCs, 18 other nurses, eight allied health workers, and three physicians. Perceived benefits of facilitated case conferencing included better communication between staff and families, greater multi-disciplinary involvement in case conferences and care planning, and improved staff attitudes and capabilities for dementia palliative care. Key factors influencing implementation included: staffing levels and time; support from management, staff and physicians; and positive family feedback.
The facilitated approach explored in this study addressed known barriers to case conferencing. However, current business models in the sector make it difficult for case conferencing to receive the required levels of nursing qualification, training, and time. A collaborative nursing home culture and ongoing relationships with health professionals are also prerequisites for success. Further studies should document resident and family perceptions to harness consumer advocacy.
An absence of food literacy measurement tools makes it challenging for nutrition practitioners to assess the impact of food literacy on healthy diets and to evaluate the outcomes of food literacy interventions. The objective of the present scoping review was to identify the attributes of food literacy.
A scoping review of peer-reviewed and grey literature was conducted and attributes of food literacy identified. Subjects included in the search were high-risk groups. Eligible articles were limited to research from Canada, USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The search identified nineteen peer-reviewed and thirty grey literature sources. Fifteen identified food literacy attributes were organized into five categories. Food and Nutrition Knowledge informs decisions about intake and distinguishing between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ foods. Food Skills focuses on techniques of food purchasing, preparation, handling and storage. Self-Efficacy and Confidence represent one’s capacity to perform successfully in specific situations. Ecologic refers to beyond self and the interaction of macro- and microsystems with food decisions and behaviours. Food Decisions reflects the application of knowledge, information and skills to make food choices. These interdependent attributes are depicted in a proposed conceptual model.
The lack of evaluated tools inhibits the ability to assess and monitor food literacy; tailor, target and evaluate programmes; identify gaps in programming; engage in advocacy; and allocate resources. The present scoping review provides the foundation for the development of a food literacy measurement tool to address these gaps.