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Sleep disturbances are prevalent in cancer patients, especially those with advanced disease. There are few published intervention studies that address sleep issues in advanced cancer patients during the course of treatment. This study assesses the impact of a multidisciplinary quality of life (QOL) intervention on subjective sleep difficulties in patients with advanced cancer.
This randomized trial investigated the comparative effects of a multidisciplinary QOL intervention (n = 54) vs. standard care (n = 63) on sleep quality in patients with advanced cancer receiving radiation therapy as a secondary endpoint. The intervention group attended six intervention sessions, while the standard care group received informational material only. Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), administered at baseline and weeks 4 (post-intervention), 27, and 52.
The intervention group had a statistically significant improvement in the PSQI total score and two components of sleep quality and daytime dysfunction than the control group at week 4. At week 27, although both groups showed improvements in sleep measures from baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in any of the PSQI total and component scores, or ESS. At week 52, the intervention group used less sleep medication than control patients compared to baseline (p = 0.04) and had a lower ESS score (7.6 vs. 9.3, p = 0.03).
Significance of results
A multidisciplinary intervention to improve QOL can also improve sleep quality of advanced cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Those patients who completed the intervention also reported the use of less sleep medication.
Invasive winter annual grass infestations on rangeland accumulate large quantities of litter on the soil surface, as plants senesce yearly and decompose slowly. It has been speculated that winter annual grass litter can adsorb soil-active herbicides and reduce overall performance. Three experiments were conducted from 2017 to 2018 at the Colorado State University Weed Research Laboratory to evaluate interception and subsequent desorption of herbicides applied to litter from three invasive winter annual grass species with simulated rainfall. Imazapic, rimsulfuron, and indaziflam were applied to medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski], ventenata [Ventenata dubia (Leers) Coss.], and downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) litter at two amounts (equivalent to 1,300 and 2,600 kg ha−1). Rainfall was simulated at 3, 6, 12, and 24 mm at 0, 1, and 7 d after herbicide application. Herbicide concentration from the collected rainfall was measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. At 2,600 kg ha−1, B. tectorum herbicide interception was 84.3%, while V. dubia and T. caput-medusae averaged 76% herbicide interception. There were no differences in desorption among the three litter types. Simulated rainfall at 0 d after application recovered 100% of the intercepted rimsulfuron and imazapic from B. tectorum litter, while recovery decreased to 65% with rainfall at 1 or 7 d after application. Only 54% of indaziflam could be recovered at 0 d, and recovery decreased to 33% when rainfall was applied at 1 or 7 d after application. Applying soil-active herbicides before forecasted rain or tank mixing with a POST herbicide to provide initial control could potentially increase the amount of herbicide reaching the soil and provide more consistent invasive winter annual grass control.
This study focuses on adult responses to children's verb uses, the information they provide, and how they change over time. We analyzed longitudinal samples from four children acquiring Hebrew (age-range: 1;4–2;5; child verb-forms = 8,337). All child verbs were coded for inflectional category, and for whether and how adults responded to them. Our findings show that: (a) children's early verbs were opaque with no clear inflectional target (e.g., the child-form tapes corresponds to letapes ‘to-climb’, metapes ‘is-climbing’, yetapes ‘will-climb’), with inflections added gradually; (b) most early verbs were followed by adult responses using the same lexeme; and (c) as opacity in children's verbs decreased, adults made fewer uses of the same lexeme in their responses, and produced a broader array of inflections and inflectional shifts. In short, adults are attuned to what their children know and respond to their early productions accordingly, with extensive ‘tailor-made’ feedback on their verb uses.
Relatively few older adults are physically active despite extensive research exploring barriers and facilitators and concomitant interventions designed to enhance participation rates. Building on the growing literature that considers the subjective experience of being physically active, we explored the meanings that older Canadian men attributed to physical activity broadly defined. Thus, we examined their experiences and perceptions of exercise, sport and/or leisure-time physical activities. Data are presented from qualitative interviews with 22 community-dwelling Canadian men aged 67–90. Our analysis resulted in three overarching categories that subsumed the men's understanding of physical activity. ‘I do it for my health’ described how the men stated that their primary reason for engaging in exercise was to maintain their health and body functionality so that they could age well and continue to participate in sport and leisure. ‘It feels good’ referred to the various ways that the men derived pleasure from being active, including the physical sensations, psychological benefits and social connections they derived from their participation. ‘It gets tougher’ detailed the ways that the men were finding physical activity to be increasingly difficult as a result of the onset of health problems, declining body functionality and the social realities of ageing. We discuss our findings in light of the extant literature concerning age relations, ageism, and the third and fourth ages.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
Anyone over the age of 60 would be foolhardy not to be fearful of dementia in general and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in particular, because it is very common. About one-third of people in the developed world have a family member or friend who has succumbed to one form or another of dementia, and these numbers are expected to soar thanks to longer lifespans. What makes dementia so horrifying is that it comes with the annihilation of memory and personal identity, to the extent that you eventually are unable to recognize even your loved ones. You end up as an empty shell of your former self.
When thinking about AD it is important to appreciate that AD and dementia are not one and the same thing. AD, which accounts for about 60 percent of dementia cases, causes problems with memory, language, and reasoning. It is characterized by the accumulation of deposits made up of a protein amyloid-β between, and tangles of another protein known as tau both between and within, brain cells. In describing AD it is important to distinguish “characterized by” from “caused by” because, as we will see, there is still some doubt here.
The interstellar medium is suffused with magnetic fields, which inform the shape of structures in the diffuse gas. Recent high-dynamic range observations of Galactic neutral hydrogen, combined with novel data analysis techniques, have revealed a deep link between the morphology of neutral gas and the ambient magnetic field. At the same time, an observational revolution is underway in low-frequency radio polarimetry, driven in part by the need to characterize foregrounds to the cosmological 21-cm signal. A new generation of experiments, capable of high angular and Faraday depth resolution, are revealing complex filamentary structures in diffuse polarization. The relationship between filamentary structures observed in radio-polarimetric data and those observed in atomic hydrogen is not yet well understood. Multiwavelength observations will enable new insights into the magnetic interstellar medium across phases.
The Mars Society is an international private organisation advocating the exploration and settlement of Mars. Part of its mission involves selecting areas for Martian analogue research, to test hardware, technology, strategies and human factors relevant to sending people to Mars. Mars Society Australia has selected an area in the Arkaroola region in the Flinders Ranges as the site for the first Australian analogue facility. The facility will be an invaluable public education and outreach tool for Australian science, focusing on astrobiology, and its role in future human Mars missions; demonstrating Australian contributions to astrobiology related science and work on terrestrial analogues to Martian environments.
A series of VLBI observations of the gravitational lens system 0957+561 at λ13 cm has yielded the positions of the A and B images, the relative magnification of their largest discernible radio structures, and the time variability of their smallest discernible radio structures. These observations have also allowed upper limits to be placed on the flux density of an expected third image. The positions and relative magnification of the A and B images provide new information with which to constrain models of the lens that forms the images. The detection of variations in the flux densities of the cores of A and B suggests that observations at shorter wavelengths may reveal superluminal motion, which may in turn provide a means to measure the relative time delay.
Good progress in crop husbandry and science requires that impacts of field-scale interventions can be measured, analysed and interpreted easily and with confidence. The term ‘agronōmics’ describes the arena for research created by field-scale digital technologies where these technologies can enable effective commercially relevant experimentation. Ongoing trials with ‘precision-farm research networks’, along with new statistical methods (and associated software), show that robust conclusions can be drawn from digital field-scale comparisons, but they also show significant scope for improvement in the validity, accuracy and precision of digital measurements, especially those determining crop yields.
Birds are commonly entangled in long-line fisheries, and increases in long-line fishing activity have consistently caused declines in seabird populations. Environmental criminology would posit that the risk of such declines is greater in the case of illegal long-line fisheries, which are less likely to implement bycatch mitigation measures. To investigate this possibility we examined the overlap between data on illegal fishing and albatross at-sea occurrence ranges. Moderate correlations were found between mean exposure to illegal fishing and the Red List status of albatross species, but none were found between Red List status and total fishing pressure. A second analysis overlaid albatross at-sea occurrence ranges with long-lining data for the member countries of the Convention on Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna to compare the effect of exposure to legal and illegal hooks on Red List status. Lacking a better measure, Country A's hooks were used as a proxy for illegal hooks. Critically Endangered and Endangered species were 12 and 3.4 times more exposed to illegal hooks, respectively, than Near Threatened species, whereas there was no relationship between Red List status and exposure to legal hooks. Country-level analyses confirmed these findings, which provide evidence that illegal long-line fishing poses a particular threat to the survival of albatrosses. The findings suggest that the bird conservation lobby should work closely with fisheries authorities to tackle illegal fishing, and that research should identify the highest risk areas of overlap between illegal fishing and albatross at-sea ranges.
There is consensus about the importance of ‘recovery’ in mental health services, but the link between recovery orientation of mental health teams and personal recovery of individuals has been underresearched.
To investigate differences in team leader, clinician and service user perspectives of recovery orientation of community adult mental health teams in England.
In six English mental health National Health Service (NHS) trusts, randomly chosen community adult mental health teams were surveyed. A random sample of ten patients, one team leader and a convenience sample of five clinicians were surveyed from each team. All respondents rated the recovery orientation of their team using parallel versions of the Recovery Self Assessment (RSA). In addition, service users also rated their own personal recovery using the Questionnaire about Processes of Recovery (QPR).
Team leaders (n = 22) rated recovery orientation higher than clinicians (n = 109) or patients (n = 120) (Wald(2) = 7.0, P = 0.03), and both NHS trust and team type influenced RSA ratings. Patient-rated recovery orientation was a predictor of personal recovery (b = 0.58, 95% CI 0.31–0.85, P<0.001). Team leaders and clinicians with experience of mental illness (39%) or supporting a family member or friend with mental illness (76%) did not differ in their RSA ratings from other team leaders or clinicians.
Compared with team leaders, frontline clinicians and service users have less positive views on recovery orientation. Increasing recovery orientation may support personal recovery.