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Following Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s lead, Gareth Farmer repositions Plath’s work in experimental British, European and American lineages, testing the complexity of her ‘poetic artifice’ against Forrest-Thomson’s theory and offering ‘other’ intellectual and literary contexts of her work. Such contexts activate alternative questions for the poetry, such as the role and function of form in carrying epistemological and cognitive information, or the ways in which poetry offers a critique of lyric singularity, address and subjectivity. A more sustained concentration on Plath’s poetic artifice offers new intellectual contexts as well as alternative horizons for understanding the afterlife of her work.
To better understand the maintenance of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a valid and reliable measure of cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms is required. Such a measure could also assess beliefs and coping behaviours in the context of fatigue in other somatic conditions.
We aimed to establish the psychometric properties of both the Cognitive and Behavioural Responses Questionnaire (CBRQ) and its shortened version (CBRQ-S) in adolescents with CFS.
The full questionnaire was completed by a clinical cohort of adolescents (n = 121) presenting to specialist CFS units in the UK.
Both the CBRQ and CBRQ-S had good internal consistency. The CBRQ scores were strongly associated with depression, anxiety, school and social functioning, but weakly associated with fatigue and physical functioning, providing evidence of validity.
Both the 40-item and the 18-item versions of the CBRQ were found to be reliable and valid in adolescents with CFS. To minimize unnecessary burden, the 18-item version is favoured. Using this assessment tool in future studies, including intervention studies, may help to better target interventions during clinical practice and improve outcomes.
Reduction of the pulse width has been reported to improve ECT outcomes with unilateral ECT (similar efficacy, fewer cognitive side effects), but has been minimally studied for bitemporal ECT. The only study comparing brief and ultrabrief pulse bitemporal ECT found reduced efficacy for bitemporal ultrabrief compared to bitemporal brief pulse stimulation. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed to test if ultrabrief pulse bitemporal ECT results in fewer cognitive side effects than brief pulse bitemporal ECT, when given at doses adjusted with the aim of achieving comparable efficacy.
Thirty-six participants were randomly assigned to receive ultrabrief (at 3 times seizure threshold) or brief (at 1.5 times seizure threshold) pulse bitemporal ECT given 3 times a week in a double-blind, controlled proof-of-concept trial. Blinded raters assessed mood and cognitive functioning over the ECT course.
Efficacy and cognitive outcomes did not differ significantly between the two treatment groups over the ECT course. The ultrabrief pulse group performed better on a test of visual memory assessed acutely after an ECT treatment.
This study suggests there may be a small cognitive advantage in giving bitemporal ECT with an ultrabrief pulse when dosage is increased to match the efficacy of brief pulse bitemporal ECT, but the study was underpowered to fully examine this issue.
The study of cultural factors in the application of psychotherapy across cultures – ethnopsychotherapy – is an emerging field. It has been argued that Western cultural values underpin cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) as they do other modern psychosocial interventions developed in the West. Therefore, attempts have been made to culturally adapt CBT for ethnic minority patients in the West and local populations outside the West. Some frameworks have been proposed based on therapists’ individual experiences, but this article describes a framework that evolved from a series of qualitative studies to culturally adapt CBT and that was field tested in randomised controlled trials. We describe the process of adaptation, details of methods used and the areas that need to be focused on to adapt CBT to a given culture. Further research is required to move the field forward, but cultural adaptation alone cannot improve outcomes. Access to evidence-based psychosocial interventions, including CBT, needs to be improved for culturally adapted interventions to achieve their full potential.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•recognise the link between cultural factors and the need to adapt psychosocial interventions
•identify the necessary steps to culturally adapt CBT
•understand the modifications required to deliver therapy to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
Introduction: To investigate the effects of paroxetine (PAR) on motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with non-depressed ischemic stroke (nD-AIS).
Methods: One hundred sixty-seven patients hospitalized for non-depressed acute ischemic stroke were selected and divided into treatment (T) and control (C) groups using a random number table. All patients received conventional secondary ischemic stroke prevention and rehabilitation training; patients in Group T additionally received treatment with PAR (10 mg/day during week 1 and 20 mg/day thereafter) for 3 months. The follow-up observation lasted 6 months. The Fugl–Meyer motor scale (FMMS), Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA), and Hamilton depression scale (HAMD) were used on D0, D15, D90, and D180 (T0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively; D180 = 90 days after treatment cessation) after study initiation, and scores were compared between the groups.
Results: The FMMS and MoCA scores differed significantly between Groups T and C at T2 and T3 (p < .05); by contrast, these scores did not differ significantly between the groups at T1 (p > .05). Furthermore, the HAMD scores differed significantly between the two groups at T3 (p < .05), but not at T1 and T2 (p > .05).
Conclusions: PAR treatment may improve motor and cognitive function recovery in patients with nD-AIS. Moreover, PAR may reduce the occurrence of depression after stroke.
The effectiveness of salt iodisation in improving the mental development of young children has not been assessed. We implemented a community-based cluster-randomised effectiveness trial in sixty randomly selected districts in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. We randomly allocated each district to treatment and randomly selected one of its villages. In parallel to national salt iodisation efforts, iodised salt was brought early into the markets of the thirty intervention villages before it became widely available in the thirty control villages 4–6 months later. The primary outcome was children’s mental development scores on the Bayley Scales. This was an intention-to-treat analysis using mixed linear models adjusted for covariates and clusters. The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT013496. We assessed 1835 infants aged 5–11 months at baseline. The same children (85 % of the sample) were re-assessed at 20–29 months when all villages had iodised salt. At endline, urinary iodine concentration was higher in children in the intervention group compared with those in the control group (median 228·0 v. 155·1 µg/l, P=0·001). The intervention group had higher scores compared with the control group on the Bayley composite score (raw scores:130·60 v. 128·51; standardised scores: 27·8 v. 26·9; d=0·13; 95 % CI 0·02, 0·23) and three of the four subscales: cognitive (53·27 v. 52·54, d=0·13; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·23), receptive language (20·71 v. 20·18, d=0·13; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·24) and fine motor (35·45 v. 34·94, d=0·15; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·25). The introduction of iodised salt contributes to children’s higher urinary iodine concentration and mental development.
Background: Internalized stigma is a significant difficulty for those who experience psychosis, but it has never been conceptualized using cognitive theory. Aims: The aim of this paper is to outline a cognitive model conceptualizing internalized stigma experienced by people who also experience psychosis. Method: Previous literature is reviewed, critiqued and synthesized to develop the model. It draws upon previous social cognitive models of internalized stigma and integrates cognitive behavioural theory and social mentality theory. Results: This paper identifies key cognitive, behavioural and emotional processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of internalized stigma, whilst also recognizing the central importance of cultural context in creating negative stereotypes of psychosis. Moreover, therapeutic strategies to alleviate internalized stigma are identified. A case example is explored and a formulation and brief intervention plan was developed in order to illustrate the model in practice. Conclusion: An integrative cognitive model is presented, which can be used to develop individualized case formulations, which can guide cognitive behavioural interventions targeting internalized stigma in those who experience psychosis. More research is required to examine the efficacy of such interventions. In addition, it is imperative to continue to research interventions that create change in stigma at a societal level.
Objectives: In addition to neuropsychological difficulties, patients with cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) can have reduced activities of daily living and a poorer quality of life compared to healthy adults. The Brief Memory and Executive Test (BMET), is a cognitive screening tool designed to be sensitive to the neuropsychological profile of patients with SVD. While the BMET is sensitive to the cognitive consequences of SVD, it is unclear how well scores on this measure relate to functional outcomes. The aims of this study are to investigate the relationship between scores on the BMET and functional outcomes (activities of daily living and quality of life) in SVD, and to compare this with other commonly used cognitive screening tools. Methods: This study included 184 participants with SVD (mean age=63.2; SD=9.9) and 299 healthy controls (mean age=62.4; SD=13.8) who were tested using the BMET, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Stroke Specific - Quality of Life Scale (SS-QoL), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and measures of both instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and basic activities of daily living (BADL). Results: After controlling for covariates the scores on the BMET, but not the MoCA or MMSE, were significantly related to poorer IADL and quality of life in the SVD group. In addition to the BMET scores, symptoms of depression were found to be significant associated with functional outcome. Conclusion: These results support the clinical utility of using of the BMET, in combination with a standardized depression questionnaire, during the early assessment of patients with SVD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1–9)
Background: Many patients do not respond adequately to current pharmacological or psychological treatments for psychosis. Persistent persecutory delusions are common in clinical services, and cause considerable patient distress and impairment. Our aim has been to build a new translational personalized treatment, with the potential for wide use, that leads to high rates of recovery in persistent persecutory delusions. We have been developing, and evaluating individually, brief modular interventions, each targeting a key causal factor identified from our cognitive model. These modules are now combined in “The Feeling Safe Programme”. Aims: To test the feasibility of a new translational modular treatment for persistent persecutory delusions and provide initial efficacy data. Method: 12 patients with persistent persecutory delusions in the context of non-affective psychosis were offered the 6-month Feeling Safe Programme. After assessment, patients chose from a personalized menu of treatment options. Four weekly baseline assessments were carried out, followed by monthly assessments. Recovery in the delusion was defined as conviction falling below 50% (greater doubt than certainty). Results: 11 patients completed the intervention. One patient withdrew before the first monthly assessment due to physical health problems. An average of 20 sessions (SD = 4.4) were received. Posttreatment, 7 out of 11 (64%) patients had recovery in their persistent delusions. Satisfaction ratings were high. Conclusions: The Feeling Safe Programme is feasible to use and was associated with large clinical benefits. To our knowledge this is the first treatment report focused on delusion recovery. The treatment will be tested in a randomized controlled trial.
Objectives: One of the most prominent features of schizophrenia is relatively lower general cognitive ability (GCA). An emerging approach to understanding the roots of variation in GCA relies on network properties of the brain. In this multi-center study, we determined global characteristics of brain networks using graph theory and related these to GCA in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants (N=116 controls, 80 patients with schizophrenia) were recruited from four sites. GCA was represented by the first principal component of a large battery of neurocognitive tests. Graph metrics were derived from diffusion-weighted imaging. Results: The global metrics of longer characteristic path length and reduced overall connectivity predicted lower GCA across groups, and group differences were noted for both variables. Measures of clustering, efficiency, and modularity did not differ across groups or predict GCA. Follow-up analyses investigated three topological types of connectivity—connections among high degree “rich club” nodes, “feeder” connections to these rich club nodes, and “local” connections not involving the rich club. Rich club and local connectivity predicted performance across groups. In a subsample (N=101 controls, 56 patients), a genetic measure reflecting mutation load, based on rare copy number deletions, was associated with longer characteristic path length. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of characteristic path lengths and rich club connectivity for GCA and provide no evidence for group differences in the relationships between graph metrics and GCA. (JINS, 2016, 22, 240–249)
An observational study of neuropsychological outcomes at preschool age of tiered lowered oxygen (O2) saturation targets in extremely preterm neonates. We studied 111 three-year-olds born <28 weeks’ gestational age. Fifty-nine participants born in 2009–2010 during a time-limited quality improvement initiative each received three-tiered stratification of oxygen rates (83–93% until age 32 weeks, 85–95% until age 35 weeks, and 95% after age 35 weeks), the TieredO2 group. Comparisons were made with 52 participants born in 2007–2008 when pre-initiative saturation targets were non-tiered at 89–100%, the Non-tieredO2 group. Neuropsychological domains included general intellectual, executive, attention, language, visuoperceptual, visual-motor, and fine and gross motor functioning. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. Group comparisons were not statistically significant. Descriptively, the TieredO2 group had better general intellectual, executive function, visual-motor, and motor performance and the Non-tieredO2 group had better language performance. Cohen’s d and confidence intervals around d were in similar direction and magnitude across measures. A large effect size was found for recall of digits-forward in participants born at 23 and 24 weeks’ gestation, d=0.99 and 1.46, respectively. Better TieredO2 outcomes in all domains except language suggests that the tiered oxygen saturation target method is not harmful and merits further investigation through further studies. Benefit in auditory attention appeared greatest in those born at 23 and 24 weeks. Participants in the tiered oxygen saturation group also had fewer ventilation days and a lower incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, perhaps explanatory for these neuropsychological outcomes at age 3. (JINS, 2015, 21, 322–331)
Although environmental and heritage interpretation aims to connect humans with their natural and cultural heritage, and has the potential to contribute to a vision of sustainable living, it often falls short of engaging and inspiring its audiences. Some interpreters advocate the use of artistic approaches to create more affective (imaginary-emotional-sensory-aesthetic) experiences. One approach considered compatible is drama. Powerful dramatic experiences can embed interpretive stories in the emotions and leave enduring impressions. Drama is accepted as an interpretive tool overseas, yet it is under-utilised in Australia. How can it be used to strengthen interpretation in this country? This paper presents the outcomes of research investigating the perceptions of ten Queensland practitioners of dramatised interpretation regarding drama's strengths, limitations and value as a tool in interpretation. The authors contend that drama has much to offer interpretation, although further evaluative studies are clearly needed.
Cognitive deficit in Parkinson’s disease has been traditionally considered as being mainly related to executive dysfunction secondary to frontostriatal affectation. However, this traditional consideration has recently been challenged. Forty-three nondemented PD patients (mean age = 59.19; SD = 9.64) and twenty control group subjects (mean age = 60.85; SD = 12.26) were studied. They were assessed on a wide range of cognitive functions. Patients showed motor slowing (p = .012), along with alterations in visuoperceptive (p = .001), visuospatial (p = .007) and visuoconstructive functions (p = .017), as well as in visual span (direct: p = .008; inverse: p = .037). Regarding executive functions, differences were not observed in classical measures for verbal fluency (phonetic: p = .28; semantic: p = .27) or in response inhibition (Stroop test: p = .30), while execution was altered in other prefrontal tasks (Wisconsin Test: p = .003; action fluency: p = .039). Patients showed altered performance in verbal learning processes (p = .005) and delayed memory (free: p = .032; cued: p = .006), visuospatial learning (p = .016) and linguistic functions (naming: p < .001; comprehension: p = .007). Poor performance in visuospatial memory is predicted by deficits in working memory and visuospatial perception. Taken together, the observed alterations not only suggest prefrontal affectation, but also temporal and parietal systems impairment. Thus, cognitive dysfunction in nondemented PD patients cannot be exclusively explained by frontostriatal circuit affectation and the resulting executive dysfunction.
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder associated with structural brain abnormalities already present at the onset of the illness. Whether these brain abnormalities might progress over time is still under debate.
The aim of this study was to investigate likely progressive brain volume changes in schizophrenia during the first 3 years after initiating antipsychotic treatment. The study included 109 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder and a control group of 76 healthy subjects. Subjects received detailed clinical and cognitive assessment and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at regular time points during a 3-year follow-up period. The effects of brain changes on cognitive and clinical variables were examined along with the impact of potential confounding factors.
Overall, patients and healthy controls exhibited a similar pattern of brain volume changes. However, patients showed a significant lower progressive decrease in the volume of the caudate nucleus than control subjects (F1,307.2 = 2.12, p = 0.035), with healthy subjects showing a greater reduction than patients during the follow-up period. Clinical and cognitive outcomes were not associated with progressive brain volume changes during the early years of the illness.
Brain volume abnormalities that have been consistently observed at the onset of non-affective psychosis may not inevitably progress, at least over the first years of the illness. Taking together with clinical and cognitive longitudinal data, our findings, showing a lack of brain deterioration in a substantial number of individuals, suggest a less pessimistic and more reassuring perception of the illness.
Environmental influences on the rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression have received little attention. Our objective was to test hypotheses concerning associations between caregiver personality traits and the rate of AD progression.
Care receivers (CR) were 161 persons with AD from a population-based dementia progression study; 55 of their caregivers were spouses and 106 were adult children. Cognitive status of the CR was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination every six months, over an average of 5.6 (range: 1–14) years. Linear mixed models tested rate of cognitive decline as a function of caregiver personality traits from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory.
Significantly faster cognitive decline was observed with higher caregiver Neuroticism overall; however, in stratified models, effects were significant for adult child but not spouse caregivers. Neuroticism facets of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress were significantly associated with faster decline. Higher caregiver Extraversion was associated with slower decline in the CR when caregivers were adult children but not spouses.
For adult child caregivers, caregiver personality traits are associated with rate of cognitive decline in CRs with AD regardless of co-residency. Results suggest that dementia caregiver interventions promoting positive care management strategies and ways to react to caregiving challenges may eventually become an important complement to pharmacologic and other approaches aimed at slower rate of decline in dementia.
Background: Recent research has highlighted the importance of psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in improving outcomes and promoting recovery for people with experience of psychosis, although a lack of trained therapists means that availability of face-to-face CBT is low. Alternative modes of delivering CBT are being explored, such as telephone and self-help methods, although research to date on whether they can be implemented effectively is limited. Aims: The aims of the present study were to describe and evaluate a new therapy fidelity scale (ROSTA; Recovery Oriented Self-help and Telephone therapy Adherence). This scale was developed to assess fidelity to cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis (CBTp) focused on improving recovery, with optional subscales for delivery over the telephone and alongside a self-help guide. Method: Experienced CBT therapists rated recorded therapy sessions using the ROSTA scale. The scores were used to assess internal consistency and inter-rater reliability, before being compared to scores from an independent expert rater using an alternative fidelity scale for cognitive therapy in psychosis (the CTS-Psy), to investigate concurrent validity. Results: The ROSTA scale demonstrated excellent internal consistency, inter-rater reliability and validity when evaluated as a whole, although findings were mixed in terms of the individual subscales and items. Conclusions: The ROSTA scale is, on the whole, a reliable and valid tool, which may be useful in training and supervision, a utility that would be further emphasized if the therapeutic intervention it assesses is deemed to be efficacious based on future work.
This article presents a panel discussion on the development of collaborative empiricism in cognitive behaviour therapy. The panel comprised experts in research and practice who had been invited as keynote presenters for the 33rd National Conference for the Australian Association of Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. Experts responded to questions about the definition of collaborative empiricism, how this specific relationship construct facilitates meaningful therapeutic changes, and their discussion conveyed the importance of collaborative empiricism for effective therapy. The dialogue included suggestions and strategies for developing therapeutic relationships strong in collaboration and empiricism.
Deficits in neurocognitive functioning are an important area of late effects in survivors of pediatric brain tumors; however, a quantitative analysis of the magnitude of these deficits in survivors of brain tumors of the posterior fossa has not been conducted. Despite tumor locations in the posterior regions of the brain, individual studies have documented deficits in a variety of domains, reflective of impairment in other brain regions. The current study provides a comprehensive meta-analysis of literature on neurocognitive late effects found in survivors of posterior fossa tumors. Results indicated significant deficits in both specific and broad indices of neurocognitive functioning, and the overall magnitude of effects across domains ranged from medium to large (g = −0.62 to −1.69) with a large mean overall effect size (g = −1.03). Moderator analyses indicated significantly greater effects for survivors diagnosed at a younger age and those who received radiation therapy. These findings underscore the importance of monitoring neurocognitive late effects in survivors of pediatric brain tumors of the posterior fossa, as well as the need for more consistent consideration of demographic, diagnostic, and treatment-related variables to allow for examination of factors that moderate these deficits. (JINS, 2012, 19, 1–10)
Background: Although worry is common in children, empirical models of worry remain largely untested in youth. A small number of studies have established preliminary links between cognitive variables and worry in children younger than 12 years old. These cognitive variables include positive and negative beliefs about worry, intolerance of uncertainty, and problem orientation. Aims: The current study examined these variables concurrently and their association with worry. We also examined the extent to which intolerance of uncertainty mediated the association between worry and beliefs about worry. Method: Eighty elementary school children aged 8 to 12 years completed a battery of self-report measures. Results: As a group, the cognitive variables significantly predicted worry scores; negative beliefs about worry was the only significant individual predictor. As a group, the four cognitive variables discriminated clinical from nonclinical levels of worry; positive beliefs about worry and intolerance of uncertainty were the only significant individual predictors. Finally, intolerance of uncertainty mediated the association between worry and both positive and negative beliefs about worry. Conclusions: Components of a cognitive model of worry are largely applicable to children. Negative beliefs about worry were associated with worry across the continuum, while intolerance of uncertainty and positive beliefs about worry were more strongly associated with clinical levels of worry. Intolerance of uncertainty accounted for a significant portion of the association between metacognition and worry and may be a particularly effective target for treatment. Further implications for conceptual models and treatment interventions are discussed.