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Widespread testing for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is necessary to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but testing is undermined when the only option is a nasopharyngeal swab. Self-collected swab techniques can overcome many of the disadvantages of a nasopharyngeal swab, but they require evaluation.
Three self-collected non-nasopharyngeal swab techniques (saline gargle, oral swab and combined oral-anterior nasal swab) were compared to a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 detection at multiple COVID-19 assessment centers in Toronto, Canada. The performance characteristics of each test were assessed.
The adjusted sensitivity of the saline gargle was 0.90 (95% CI 0.86-0.94), the oral swab was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.72–0.89) and the combined oral–anterior nasal swab was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.77–0.93) compared to a nasopharyngeal swab, which demonstrated a sensitivity of ˜90% when all positive tests were the reference standard. The median cycle threshold values for the SARS-CoV-2 E-gene for concordant and discordant saline gargle specimens were 17 and 31 (P < .001), for the oral swabs these values were 17 and 28 (P < .001), and for oral–anterior nasal swabs these values were 18 and 31 (P = .007).
Self-collected saline gargle and an oral–anterior nasal swab have a similar sensitivity to a nasopharyngeal swab for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. These alternative collection techniques are cheap and can eliminate barriers to testing, particularly in underserved populations.
Vitamin C deficiency has been a historical disease rarely seen nowadays. We illustrate a case of a boy with autism presenting with severe pulmonary hypertension and refusal to walk secondary to vitamin C deficiency. Initiating treatment with high-dose vitamin C reversed his symptoms and he regained full power of his lower limbs with total normalisation of his pulmonary pressures.
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
To develop a pediatric research agenda focused on pediatric healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial stewardship topics that will yield the highest impact on child health.
The study included 26 geographically diverse adult and pediatric infectious diseases clinicians with expertise in healthcare-associated infection prevention and/or antimicrobial stewardship (topic identification and ranking of priorities), as well as members of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (topic identification).
Using a modified Delphi approach, expert recommendations were generated through an iterative process for identifying pediatric research priorities in healthcare associated infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship. The multistep, 7-month process included a literature review, interactive teleconferences, web-based surveys, and 2 in-person meetings.
A final list of 12 high-priority research topics were generated in the 2 domains. High-priority healthcare-associated infection topics included judicious testing for Clostridioides difficile infection, chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing, measuring and preventing hospital-onset bloodstream infection rates, surgical site infection prevention, surveillance and prevention of multidrug resistant gram-negative rod infections. Antimicrobial stewardship topics included β-lactam allergy de-labeling, judicious use of perioperative antibiotics, intravenous to oral conversion of antimicrobial therapy, developing a patient-level “harm index” for antibiotic exposure, and benchmarking and or peer comparison of antibiotic use for common inpatient conditions.
We identified 6 healthcare-associated infection topics and 6 antimicrobial stewardship topics as potentially high-impact targets for pediatric research.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Background: Nosocomial central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. CLABSI surveillance establishes rates for internal and external comparison, identifies risk factors, and allows assessment of interventions. Objectives: To determine the frequency of CLABSIs among adult patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in CNISP hospitals and evaluate trends over time. Methods: CNISP is a collaborative effort of the Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee, the Association of Medical Microbiologists and Infectious Disease Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Since 1995, CNISP has conducted hospital-based sentinel surveillance of healthcare-associated infections. Overall, 55 CNISP hospitals participated in ≥1 year of CLABSI surveillance. Adult ICUs are categorized as mixed ICUs or cardiovascular (CV) surgery ICUs. Data were collected using standardized definitions and collection forms. Line-day denominators for each participating ICU were collected. Negative-binomial regression was used to test for linear trends, with robust standard errors to account for clustering by hospital. We used the Fisher exact test to compare binary variables. Results: Each year, 28–42 adult ICUs participated in surveillance (27–37 mixed, 6–8 CV surgery). In both mixed ICUs and CV-ICUs, rates remained relatively stable between 2011 and 2018 (Fig. 1). In mixed ICUs, CLABSI rates were 1.0 per 1,000 line days in 2011, and 1.0 per 1,000 line days in 2018 (test for linear trend, P = .66). In CV-ICUs, CLABSI rates were 1.1 per 1,000 line days in 2011 and 0.8 per 1,000 line days in 2018 (P = .19). Case age and gender distributions were consistent across the surveillance period. The 30-day all-cause mortality rate was 29% in 2011 and in 2018 (annual range, 29%–35%). Between 2011 and 2018, the percentage of isolated microorganisms that were coagulase-negative staphylococci (CONS) decreased from 31% to 18% (P = .004). The percentage of other gram-positive organisms increased from 32% to 37% (P = .34); Bacillus increased from 0% to 4% of isolates and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus from 2% to 6%). The gram-negative organisms increased from 21% to 27% (P = .19). Yeast represented 16% in 2011 and 18% in 2018; however, the percentage of yeast that were Candida albicans decreased over time (58% of yeast in 2011 and 30% in 2018; P = .04). Between 2011 and 2018, the most commonly identified species of microorganism in each year were CONS (18% in 2018) and Enterococcus spp (18% in 2018). Conclusions: Ongoing CLABSI surveillance has shown stable rates of CLABSI in adult ICUs from 2011 to 2018. The causative microorganisms have changed, with CONS decreasing from 31% to 18%.
Funding: CNISP is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Disclosures: Allison McGeer reports funds to her for studies, for which she is the principal investigator, from Pfizer and Merck, as well as consulting fees from Sanofi-Pasteur, Sunovion, GSK, Pfizer, and Cidara.
Investigation of treatments that effectively treat adults with post-traumatic stress disorder from childhood experiences (Ch-PTSD) and are well tolerated by patients is needed to improve outcomes for this population.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two trauma-focused treatments, imagery rescripting (ImRs) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), for treating Ch-PTSD.
We conducted an international, multicentre, randomised clinical trial, recruiting adults with Ch-PTSD from childhood trauma before 16 years of age. Participants were randomised to treatment condition and assessed by blind raters at multiple time points. Participants received up to 12 90-min sessions of either ImRs or EMDR, biweekly.
A total of 155 participants were included in the final intent-to-treat analysis. Drop-out rates were low, at 7.7%. A generalised linear mixed model of repeated measures showed that observer-rated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms significantly decreased for both ImRs (d = 1.72) and EMDR (d = 1.73) at the 8-week post-treatment assessment. Similar results were seen with secondary outcome measures and self-reported PTSD symptoms. There were no significant differences between the two treatments on any standardised measure at post-treatment and follow-up.
ImRs and EMDR treatments were found to be effective in treating PTSD symptoms arising from childhood trauma, and in reducing other symptoms such as depression, dissociation and trauma-related cognitions. The low drop-out rates suggest that the treatments were well tolerated by participants. The results from this study provide evidence for the use of trauma-focused treatments for Ch-PTSD.
Biogas digesters convert waste matter into a natural gas-like fuel and a nutrient-rich digestate by-product. This digestate has the potential to be used as a soil amendment to benefit crop production with or without biochar, a purported nutrient sponge. In a greenhouse study of several crop species, the effects of digestate fertilization on crop growth, photosynthetic efficiency, vegetable production and chemical nutrient levels were tested. Results indicate that increasing potency of the applied digestate fosters higher growth and fruit production rates of several studied plants but to a lesser degree than a conventional fertilizer. More potent digestate application increases antioxidant capacity, total phenolics content and ascorbic acid levels in kale compared to the control chemical fertilizer test groups but has confounding results on legume nutrient levels. Additionally, the combined application of biochar and biogas digestate added to compost and used as potting media positively impacts crop germination. This work has relevance to agrarian communities that could benefit from recycling livestock and food waste into fuel and a renewable fertilizer.
“C-K theory”, a theory of reasoning in design, offers a formal modelling language with the power to describe the unfolding of creativity and the generation of new innovative objects as integral parts of design practice. However, the theory has limited ability to analyze and describe the particulars of design practice when the target area is service. To address this question, the purpose of this paper is to refine the “C-K theory” by embedding service relevant constructs and exploring strategies for enhancing the creative engagement resulting in the innovative service concepts.
Adherence problems are an inherent issue with any bio-psycho-social-spiritual prescription for any disease or behvaioural entity. It is all the more important in a patient with severe mental illness like Schizophrenia with limited insight. In several countries various interventions have been studied to address adherence problems in psychosis. Such as compliance therapy, family and psycho educational interventions, telephonic prompting and also legislative measures like Community Treatment Orders (CTO) have to date shown inconsistent and only modest benefits. Incentives based interventions have been tested for both preventive measures and also for adherence problems in chronic diseases. The Institute of Mental Health, Singapore has implemented a Pilot Supervision Programme (PSP) that incentivise patient engagement through quarterly vouchers as well as minimising barriers to accessing service by waiving off certain treatment fees whilst also offering them intensive intervention for one year. Our Pilot Programme, that focused on high risk patients with diagnosis of severe mental illness needing involuntary admission with history of either prolonged or repeated admissions, has begun recruiting patients since October 2012. The comparison was done between pre and post intervention phase. Total of 58 patients (95% suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder) accepted into the treatment programme and of that nearly half of them have completed 6 months interventions. The results are promising with more than 50% improvemnt in length of stay, number of admissions and psychiatric emergency room visits, making significant impact on our high risk patients with severe mental illness.
The prevalence of internet game use among children and adolescents has been increased in the recent years.
Internet addiction has been found to cause various psychiatric symptoms and psychological problems. Internet addiction has been found to cause various psychiatric symptoms and psychological problems.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between problematic internet game use and psychiatric symptoms in a sample of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic, Ulsan University Hospital.
We analyzed data from 447 subjects who first visit the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic of the Ulsan University Hospital. The level of Internet addiction was categorized as either high-risk (≥108; group 3), potential risk (95 to 107; group 2), or no risk (≤94, group 1) based on the total score. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17.0 and one-way ANOVA and multiple logistic regression method were used.
Thirteen adolescents met the criteria for high risk group of internet game addiction. in the high risk group, 10 were male and 3 were female adolescents. There was an mean difference among group 3 (high risk)< 1 (no risk),2 (potential risk) in AHI ; whereas group 3 (high risk)>1 (no risk), 2 (potential risk) in BDI, BAI, inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity and K-ARS score. with multiple logistic regression analysis, K-scale was significantly related with male sex, BDI, ARShyperactivity/ impulsivity score.
We conclude that having male sex, happiness and depressive symptoms is associated with the risk of developing internet use disorders.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive ritualistic behaviors and has been associated with diverse functional brain abnormalities. We sought to synthesize current evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies and examine their alignment to pathogenetic models of OCD. Following systematic review, we identified 54 task-fMRI studies published in the last decade comparing adults with OCD (n = 1186) to healthy adults (n = 1159) using tasks of affective and non-affective cognition. We used voxel-based quantitative meta-analytic methods to combine primary data on anatomical coordinates of case-control differences, separately for affective and non-affective tasks. We found that functional abnormalities in OCD cluster within cortico-striatal thalamic circuits. Within these circuits, the abnormalities identified showed significant dependence on the affective or non-affective nature of the tasks employed as circuit probes. In studies using affective tasks, patients overactivated regions involved in salience, arousal and habitual responding (anterior cingulate cortex, insula, caudate head and putamen) and underactivated regions implicated in cognitive and behavioral control (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior caudate). In studies using non-affective cognitive tasks, patients overactivated regions involved in self-referential processing (precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex) and underactivated subcortical regions that support goal-directed cognition and motor control (pallidum, ventral anterior thalamus, posterior caudate). The overall pattern suggests that OCD-related brain dysfunction involves increased affective and self-referential processing, enhanced habitual responding and blunted cognitive control.
Patients with distributive shock who are unresponsive to traditional vasopressors are commonly considered to have severe distributive shock and are at high mortality risk. Here, we assess the cost-effectiveness of adding angiotensin II to the standard of care (SOC) for severe distributive shock in the US critical care setting from a US payer perspective.
Short-term mortality outcomes were based on 28-day survival rates from the ATHOS-3 study. Long-term outcomes were extrapolated to lifetime survival using individually estimated life expectancies for survivors. Resource use and adverse event costs were drawn from the published literature. Health outcomes evaluated were lives saved, life-years gained, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained using utility estimates for the US adult population weighted for sepsis mortality. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses assessed uncertainty around results. We analyzed patients with severe distributive shock from the ATHOS-3 clinical trial.
The addition of angiotensin II to the SOC saved .08 lives at Day 28 compared to SOC alone. The cost per life saved was estimated to be $108,884. The addition of angiotensin II to the SOC was projected to result in a gain of .96 life-years and .66 QALYs. This resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $12,843 per QALY. The probability of angiotensin II being cost-effective at a threshold of $50,000 per QALY was 86 percent.
For treatment of severe distributive shock, angiotensin II is cost-effective at acceptable thresholds.
To investigate the association between parity and the risk of incident dementia in women.
We pooled baseline and follow-up data for community-dwelling women aged 60 or older from six population-based, prospective cohort studies from four European and two Asian countries. We investigated the association between parity and incident dementia using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cohort, with additional analysis by dementia subtype (Alzheimer dementia (AD) and non-Alzheimer dementia (NAD)).
Of 9756 women dementia-free at baseline, 7010 completed one or more follow-up assessments. The mean follow-up duration was 5.4 ± 3.1 years and dementia developed in 550 participants. The number of parities was associated with the risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.13). Grand multiparity (five or more parities) increased the risk of dementia by 30% compared to 1–4 parities (HR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02–1.67). The risk of NAD increased by 12% for every parity (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.23) and by 60% for grand multiparity (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.00–2.55), but the risk of AD was not significantly associated with parity.
Grand multiparity is a significant risk factor for dementia in women. This may have particularly important implications for women in low and middle-income countries where the fertility rate and prevalence of grand multiparity are high.
Epidemiological studies indicate that individuals with one type of mental disorder have an increased risk of subsequently developing other types of mental disorders. This study aimed to undertake a comprehensive analysis of pair-wise lifetime comorbidity across a range of common mental disorders based on a diverse range of population-based surveys.
The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys assessed 145 990 adult respondents from 27 countries. Based on retrospectively-reported age-of-onset for 24 DSM-IV mental disorders, associations were examined between all 548 logically possible temporally-ordered disorder pairs. Overall and time-dependent hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Absolute risks were estimated using the product-limit method. Estimates were generated separately for men and women.
Each prior lifetime mental disorder was associated with an increased risk of subsequent first onset of each other disorder. The median HR was 12.1 (mean = 14.4; range 5.2–110.8, interquartile range = 6.0–19.4). The HRs were most prominent between closely-related mental disorder types and in the first 1–2 years after the onset of the prior disorder. Although HRs declined with time since prior disorder, significantly elevated risk of subsequent comorbidity persisted for at least 15 years. Appreciable absolute risks of secondary disorders were found over time for many pairs.
Survey data from a range of sites confirms that comorbidity between mental disorders is common. Understanding the risks of temporally secondary disorders may help design practical programs for primary prevention of secondary disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental disorder that develops in some individuals following exposure to severe psychological stressors. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the conceptual issues, specific methods, and practical considerations in evidence-based assessment of PTSD. First, we outline the conceptual issues and practical components of a comprehensive assessment of PTSD. Second, we provide an overview of the most widely used self-rated and clinician-rated measures of trauma exposure and PTSD, comorbid disorders, and response bias. Third, we discuss cultural considerations in assessing PTSD. Fourth, we offer practical guidelines for conducting a clinically sensitive assessment of PTSD, highlighting some of the unique considerations in engaging trauma survivors in the assessment process and optimizing the information obtained. Last, we briefly summarize conceptual considerations and specific measures for other trauma- and stressor-related disorders.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.