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The Antarctic Ice Sheet loses mass via its ice shelves predominantly through two processes: basal melting and iceberg calving. Iceberg calving is episodic and infrequent, and not well parameterized in ice-sheet models. Here, we investigate the impact of hydrostatic forces on calving. We develop two-dimensional elastic and viscous numerical frameworks to model the ‘footloose’ calving mechanism. This mechanism is triggered by submerged ice protrusions at the ice front, which induce unbalanced buoyancy forces that can lead to fracturing. We compare the results to identify the different roles that viscous and elastic deformations play in setting the rate and magnitude of calving events. Our results show that, although the bending stresses in both frameworks share some characteristics, their differences have important implications for modeling the calving process. In particular, the elastic model predicts that maximum stresses arise farther from the ice front than in the viscous model, leading to larger calving events. We also find that the elastic model would likely lead to more frequent events than the viscous one. Our work provides a theoretical framework for the development of a better understanding of the physical processes that govern glacier and ice-shelf calving cycles.
We investigated whether the type of antipsychotic treatment has an impact on patients’ subjective quality of life (QoL).
In a prospective naturalistic long-term study, 374 patients meeting ICD-10 criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were examined biannually over a two-year period with regards to QoL, psychopathology, social functioning, use of medical and psychosocial services, compliance, side effects and current neuroleptic treatment. QoL was assessed by the Berliner Lebensqualitätsprofil (BeLP), an adaption of the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile. First examination took place two weeks around discharge from a psychiatric clinic. At study entry, all participants were receiving neuroleptic medication of either quetiapine, risperidone or olanzapine. Mixed regression analysis taking into account the unbalanced panel structure of the data and adjusted for selection bias by means of propensity scores were used for data analysis.
Overall quality of life improved continuously during the two years observed period regardless of the type of neuroleptic. A small, but significant difference emerged when comparing quetiapine monotherapy treatment with olanzapine monotherapy or with a combination treatment of conventional and atypical antipsychotics. QoL of patients treated with olanzapine was generally worse than that of patients treated with quetiapine but improved slightly more over the course of time. In total time and type of medication explained only small proportions of variance in QoL.
Type of neuroleptic had only marginal impact on the subjective QoL of our sample. In order to explain changes in quality of life, research on social and individual factors seems to be more promising.
Collecting prospective data on medication adherence, course of illness, course of treatment, cost effectiveness and quality of life among patients with schizophrenia under the German health system.
The ELAN study was conducted as a multi-centre, non-interventional observation study. 374 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (ICD-10 F2) who had been discharged with a medication of quetiapine (N=183), olanzapine (N=91) or risperidone (N=100) were included. Follow-up interviews were conducted after 6,12,18 and 24 months. Applied instruments comprised PANSS, MARS-S, EPS-M, AIMS-S, GAF, ZST and a questionnaire for quality of life.
For each follow-up, at least 80% of the original sample could be included. After two years, between 39% and 43% of patients continued to take the drug prescribed at discharge. Only between 4% and 7% of patients received no neuroleptic treatment in the last 6 months, respectively. The variety of drugs used increased during the course. Only small differences could be found regarding the defined outcome measures (PANSS, GAF, rehospitalisation rate) and side effects. Changes in medication were mostly due to insufficient efficacy or side effects. Doctor's recommendations had an important influence on patients’ decisions.
Under conditions of routine treatment, medication adherence was much greater and differences between drugs were smaller than reported in randomised controlled clinical trials. Taking into account the low sample selection bias and the small percentage of lost-to-follow-up subjects, this study provides some new insight into routine clinical treatment and outcomes in patients with schizophrenia.
Attempts to reduce high utilisation of psychiatric inpatient care by targeting the critical time of hospital discharge have been rare. In Germany, until now no such intervention has been implemented, let alone subjected to a clinical trial.
“Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Needs-Oriented Discharge Planning and Monitoring for High Utilisers of Psychiatric Services” (NODPAM) is a multicentre RCT conducted in five psychiatric hospitals in Germany (Günzburg, Düsseldorf, Regensburg, Greifswald, and Ravensburg). Subjects asked to provide informed consent to participate have to be of adult age with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or affective disorder, and a defined high utilisation of psychiatric care during two years prior to the current admission. Subjects are asked to provide detailed outcome data at four measurement points during a period of 18 months. Recruitment (which started in April 06) is still ongoing. Thus, baseline data of about 350 participants will be presented.
Recruitment has been quite successful and the study has been generally well accepted by participating patients and their clinicians in in- and outpatient treatment settings. Subjects showed substantial initial impairment on outcome measures (e.g. needs, psychopathology, quality of life, and level of functioning) and high utilisation of mental health care. Further results on conduct and feasibility of the trial will be presented.
The first phase of this mulicentre trial was promising. The potential of this study to strengthen the integration of mental health care provision in Germany will be discussed.
Aim of this contribution is to describe the intervention used in the study “Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Needs-Oriented Discharge Planning and Monitoring for High Utilisers of Psychiatric Services” (NODPAM). This intervention applies principles of needs-led care and focusses on the inpatient-outpatient transition. The NODPAM intervention manual includes a range of predefined standardised options based on number and type of needs.
For the intervention group, a trained intervention worker provides a coherent package of needs-oriented discharge planning and monitoring focussing on the care process. He or she emphasises continuity of the care process vis-à-vis both patient and clinician (and carers if possible) via providing two manualised intervention sessions): (a) A discharge planning session takes place just before discharge with the patient and responsible clinician at the inpatient service; (b) A monitoring session takes place three months after discharge with the patient and outpatient clinician (office-based or public outpatient mental health service-based). A written treatment plan is signed by and forwarded to all participants after each session.
Acceptance of the intervention by patients and clinicians has been high so far. Further results on duration, participant characteristics, and participants' appraisal of the NODPAM intervention will be presented.
These first results indicate that the NODPAM intervention is feasible in inpatient mental health services in Germany. Discussion will focus on its applicability in other service systems.
Stigma against mental illness and the mentally ill is well known. However, stigma against psychiatrists and mental health professionals is known but not discussed widely. Public attitudes and also those of other professionals affect recruitment into psychiatry and mental health services. The reasons for this discriminatory attitude are many and often not dissimilar to those held against mentally ill individuals. In this Guidance paper we present some of the factors affecting the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists which is perceived by the public at large. We look at the portrayal of psychiatry, psychiatrists in the media and literature which may affect attitudes. We also explore potential causes and explanations and propose some strategies in dealing with negative attitudes. Reduction in negative attitudes will improve recruitment and retention in psychiatry. We recommend that national psychiatric societies and other stakeholders, including patients, their families and carers, have a major and significant role to play in dealing with stigma, discrimination and prejudice against psychiatry and psychiatrists.
The ELAN study is a prospective multi centre observational trial on the effectiveness and safety of long-term antipsychotic treatment of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders with quetiapine in comparison to olanzapine and risperidone under real world treatment conditions.
374 adult persons with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder prescribed antipsychotic maintenance therapy with quetiapine, olanzapine or risperidone were included at discharge from inpatient treatment. Psychotropic regimen, psychopathological symptoms, general and cognitive functioning, negative side-effects and quality of life were assessed before discharge and at 6, 12, 18 and 24 month follow-up assessments. Intention-to-treat analyses and crossover analyses were conducted by mixed-effects regression models including random linear time effects and time x treatment effects, controlling for baseline differences and additional psychotropic medication and using propensity scores to control for selection bias.
As indicated by significant linear time effects the patients improved with regard to psychopathological symptoms, general functioning, subjective quality of life and cognitive processing speed. No change of extrapyramidal motor side-effects, body mass index or waist circumference was obtained. The lack of any significant time x treatment interaction effects indicated no differences in the safety or effectiveness between the three antipsychotics. Nevertheless, the average hospital admission rate of patients receiving olanzapine was lower in comparison to patients receiving quetiapine or risperidone.
The main aim of this guidance of the European Psychiatric Association is to provide evidence-based recommendations on the quality of mental health services in Europe. The recommendations were derived from a systematic search of the best available evidence in the scientific literature, supplemented by information from documents retrieved upon reviewing the identified articles. While most recommendations could be based on empirical studies (although of varying quality), some had to be based on expert opinion alone, but were deemed necessary as well. Another limitation was that the wide variety of service models and service traditions for the mentally ill worldwide often made generalisations difficult. In spite of these limitations, we arrived at 30 recommendations covering structure, process and outcome quality both on a generic and a setting-specific level. Operationalisations for each recommendation with measures to be considered as denominators and numerators are given as well to suggest quality indicators for future benchmarking across European countries. Further pan-European research will need to show whether the implementation of this guidance will lead to improved quality of mental healthcare, and may help to develop useful country-specific cutoffs for the suggested quality indicators.
Background: Migraines are sub-optimally treated, affect millions of Canadians, and are underrepresented in medical training. A study was conducted to identify the needs of Canadian Healthcare Providers (HCPs) for migraine education, with the aim to inform the development of learning activities. Methods: This ethics-approved study was deployed in two consecutive phases using a mixed-methods approach. Phase 1 (qualitative) explored the causes of challenges to migraine care via a literature review, input from an expert working group, and semi-structured interviews with multiple stakeholders. Phase 2 (quantitative) validated these causes using an online survey. Results: The study included 103 participants (28 in phase 1; 75 in phase 2): general practitioners=37; neurologists=24; nurses=14; pharmacists=20; administrators, policy influencers and payers=8. Four areas of sub-optimal knowledge were identified: (1) Canadian guidelines, (2) diagnostic criteria, (3) preventive treatment, and (4) non-pharmacological therapies. Attitudinal issues related to the management of migraine patients were also identified. Detailed data including the frequencies of knowledge gaps among general practitioners and general neurologists will be presented along with qualitative findings. Conclusions: Educational activities for general practitioners and general neurologists who treat patients with migraines should be designed to address the four educational needs described in this study.
Dormant states of organisms are easier to store than the living state because they tolerate larger variations in temperature, light, storage space etc., making them attractive for laboratory culture stocks and also for experiments under special circumstances, especially space flight experiments. Like several other organisms, Euglena gracilis is capable of forming desiccation tolerant resting states in order to survive periods of unfavourable environmental conditions. In earlier experiments it was found that dormant Euglena cells must not become completely desiccated. Some residual moisture is required to ensure recovery of the resting states. To analyse the water demand in recovery of Euglena resting states, cells were transferred to a defined amount of cotton wool (0.5 g). Subsequently different volumes of medium (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 20 ml) were added in order to supply humidity; a control was set up without additional liquid. Samples were sealed in transparent 50 ml falcon tubes and stored for 9 months under three different conditions:
• Constant low light conditions in a culture chamber at 20°C,
• In a black box, illuminated with short light emitting diode-light pulses provided by joule thieves and
• In darkness in a black box.
After 9 months, cells were transferred to fresh medium and cell number, photosynthetic efficiency and movement behavior was monitored over 3 weeks. It was found that cells recovered under all conditions except in the control, where no medium was supplied. Transcription levels of 21 genes were analysed with a Multiplex-polymerase chain reaction. One hour after rehydration five of these genes were found to be up-regulated: ubiquitin, heat shock proteins HSP70, HSP90, the calcium-sensor protein frequenin and a distinct protein kinase, which is involved in gravitaxis. The results indicate a transient general stress response of the cells.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by fear of social and performance situations. The consequence of scrutiny by others for the neural processing of performance feedback in SAD is unknown.
We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activation to positive, negative, and uninformative performance feedback in patients diagnosed with SAD and age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy control subjects who performed a time estimation task during a social observation condition and a non-social control condition: while either being monitored or unmonitored by a body camera, subjects received performance feedback after performing a time estimation that they could not fully evaluate without external feedback.
We found that brain activation in ventral striatum (VS) and midcingulate cortex was modulated by an interaction of social context and feedback type. SAD patients showed a lack of social-context-dependent variation of feedback processing, while control participants showed an enhancement of brain responses specifically to positive feedback in VS during observation.
The present findings emphasize the importance of social-context processing in SAD by showing that scrutiny prevents appropriate reward-processing-related signatures in response to positive performances in SAD.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been associated with several health benefits. However, the effects on body weight (BW) and metabolic markers are not fully known. The present study investigated the effects of increased intake of fruits and vegetables in overweight and obese men and women on dietary habits, anthropometry and metabolic control. In a 16-week controlled intervention, thirty-four men and thirty-four women aged 35–65 years (BMI>27 kg/m2) were randomised to an intervention (IN) or a reference (RG) group. All participants received general dietary advice, and subjects in the IN group received fruits and vegetables for free, of which ≥500 g had to be eaten daily. BW, waist circumference (WC), sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), plasma insulin, blood glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c), serum lipids, blood pressure, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity, urinary isoprostane (iso-8-PGF 2α) and serum carotenoids were measured. Diet was assessed using 3-d weighed food records. In all, thirty subjects in the IN group and thirty-two in the RG group completed the intervention. Intake of fruits and vegetables doubled in the IN group, whereas intake of fruits increased in the RG group. Serum α- and β-carotene concentrations and intakes of folate and vitamin C increased significantly in the IN group. Energy intake, BW, WC and SAD decreased significantly in both groups. Supine systolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the IN group, with no between-group differences. No significant changes were observed for other metabolic markers. Provision of fruits and vegetables led to substantially increased intakes, with subsequent favourable changes in anthropometry and insulin levels, which tended to be more pronounced in the IN group. The observed improvements may, in combination with improved nutritional markers, have health benefits in the long term.
The typical dietary supply of total fat, fatty acids, starch, sugars, polyols and dietary fibre in Sweden was assessed from analyses of market baskets (MB) purchased in 2005 and 2010. MB were based on food balance sheets, with each basket comprising about 130 foods, which represented more than 90 % of annual dietary supply. Foods were divided into ten to twelve categories. In 2010, total fat contributed 34 % of energy (E%), SFA 14·3 E%, MUFA 12·8 E%, PUFA 4·6 E%, n-6 fatty acids 3·6 E%, n-3 fatty acids 1·0 E% and trans-fatty acids (TFA) 0·5 E%. Glycaemic carbohydrates contributed 47 E%, monosaccharides 9 E%, sucrose 11 E%, disaccharides 15 E% and total sugars 24 E%. Added sugars contributed about 15 E%. Dietary fibre content was about 1·7 g/MJ in the 2010 MB. Compared with the 2005 MB, the dietary supply of TFA and dietary fibre was lower, otherwise differences were small. The present MB survey shows that the content of SFA and added sugars was higher than the current Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, while the content of PUFA and especially dietary fibre was lower. TFA levels decreased and dietary supply was well below the recommendations of the WHO. These results emphasise a focus on quality and food sources of fat and carbohydrates, limiting foods rich in SFA and added sugars and replacing them with foods rich in dietary fibre and cis-unsaturated fatty acids.
Shared decision making has been advocated as a means to improve patient-orientation and quality of health care. There is a lack of knowledge on clinical decision making and its relation to outcome in the routine treatment of people with severe mental illness. This study examined preferred and experienced clinical decision making from the perspectives of patients and staff, and how these affect treatment outcome.
“Clinical Decision Making and Outcome in Routine Care for People with Severe Mental Illness” (CEDAR; ISRCTN75841675) is a naturalistic prospective observational study with bimonthly assessments during a 12-month observation period. Between November 2009 and December 2010, adults with severe mental illness were consecutively recruited from caseloads of community mental health services at the six study sites (Ulm, Germany; London, UK; Naples, Italy; Debrecen, Hungary; Aalborg, Denmark; and Zurich, Switzerland). Clinical decision making was assessed using two instruments which both have parallel patient and staff versions: (a) The Clinical Decision Making Style Scale (CDMS) measured preferences for decision making at baseline; and (b) the Clinical Decision Making Involvement and Satisfaction Scale (CDIS) measured involvement and satisfaction with a specific decision at all time points. Primary outcome was patient-rated unmet needs measured with the Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS). Mixed-effects multinomial regression was used to examine differences and course over time in involvement in and satisfaction with actual decision making. The effect of clinical decision making on the primary outcome was examined using hierarchical linear modelling controlling for covariates (study centre, patient age, duration of illness, and diagnosis). Analysis were also controlled for nesting of patients within staff.
Of 708 individuals approached, 588 adults with severe mental illness (52% female, mean age = 41.7) gave informed consent. Paired staff participants (N = 213) were 61.8% female and 46.0 years old on average. Shared decision making was preferred by patients (χ2 = 135.08; p < 0.001) and staff (χ2 = 368.17; p < 0.001). Decision making style of staff significantly affected unmet needs over time, with unmet needs decreasing more in patients whose clinicians preferred active to passive (−0.406 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.007) or shared (−0.303 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.015) decision making.
Decision making style of staff is a prime candidate for the development of targeted intervention. If proven effective in future trials, this would pave the ground for a shift from shared to active involvement of patients including changes to professional socialization through training in principles of active decision making.
Using in situ data from 2011 and 2013, we evaluate the ability of CryoSat-2 (CS-2) to retrieve sea-ice freeboard over fast ice in McMurdo Sound. This provides the first systematic validation of CS-2 in the coastal Antarctic and offers insight into the assumptions currently used to process CS-2 data. European Space Agency Level 2 (ESAL2) data are compared with results of a Waveform Fitting (WfF) procedure and a Threshold-First-Maximum-Retracker-Algorithm employed at 40% (TFMRA40). A supervised freeboard retrieval procedure is used to reduce errors associated with sea surface height identification and radar velocity in snow. We find ESAL2 freeboards located between the ice and snow freeboard rather than the frequently assumed snow/ice interface. WfF is within 0.04 m of the ice freeboard but is influenced by variable snow conditions causing increased radar backscatter from the air/snow interface. Given such snow conditions and additional uncertainties in sea surface height identification, a positive bias of 0.14 m away from the ice freeboard is observed. TFMRA40 freeboards are within 0.03 m of the snow freeboard. The separation of freeboard estimates is primarily driven by the different assumptions of each retracker, although waveform alteration by variations in snow properties and surface roughness is evident. Techniques are amended where necessary, and automatic freeboard retrieval procedures for ESAL2, WfF and TFMRA40 are presented. CS-2 detects annual fast-ice freeboard trends using all three automatic procedures that are in line with known sea-ice growth rates in the region.