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Poor response to dopaminergic antipsychotics constitutes a major challenge in the treatment of psychotic disorders and markers for non-response during first-episode are warranted. Previous studies have found increased levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in non-responding first-episode patients compared to responders, but it is unknown if non-responders can be identified using reference levels from healthy controls (HCs).
Thirty-nine antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode psychosis and 36 matched HCs underwent repeated assessments with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and 3T magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Glutamate scaled to total creatine (/Cr) was measured in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left thalamus, and levels of GABA/Cr were measured in ACC. After 6 weeks, we re-examined 32 patients on aripiprazole monotherapy and 35 HCs, and after 26 weeks we re-examined 30 patients on naturalistic antipsychotic treatment and 32 HCs. The Andreasen criteria defined non-response.
Before treatment, thalamic glutamate/Cr was higher in the whole group of patients but levels normalized after treatment. ACC levels of glutamate/Cr and GABA/Cr were lower at all assessments and unaffected by treatment. When compared with HCs, non-responders at week 6 (19 patients) and week 26 (16 patients) had higher baseline glutamate/Cr in the thalamus. Moreover, non-responders at 26 weeks had lower baseline GABA/Cr in ACC. Baseline levels in responders and HCs did not differ.
Glutamatergic and GABAergic abnormalities in antipsychotic-naïve patients appear driven by non-responders to antipsychotic treatment. If replicated, normative reference levels for glutamate and GABA may aid estimation of clinical prognosis in first-episode psychosis patients.
Canalplasty for auditory exostoses is reserved for symptomatic patients. This study reviewed the outcomes of our technique regarding cicatricial stenosis.
A chart review was conducted on patients undergoing canalplasty for auditory exostoses between 2002 and 2017. The surgical technique is described.
The study comprised 43 adults (50 operated ears). Exostoses were bilateral in 40 cases (94 per cent) and occlusive in 33 (66 per cent). After drilling, the external auditory meatus was covered with a graft in 34 cases (68 per cent) and a silicone sheet was used in 32 (64 per cent). Cicatricial stenosis appeared in eight cases (16 per cent). Skin grafts were not used in six of these eight cases (p < 0.04), and silicone sheets were used only in one of these eight (p < 0.01).
Canalplasty is challenging because of its potential complications. Our data showed that the use of skin grafts and silicone sheets to cover the bared external auditory meatus was associated with a lower rate of cicatricial stenosis.
This study used a single case experimental design to investigate the use of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP) among a sample of individuals with depression and anxiety who also presented with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Eight women received individual treatment with the UP over the course of 14–16 treatment sessions, and were assessed for anxiety and depression severity on a weekly basis over a 2–6 week baseline period and throughout treatment. Three of the eight participants demonstrated reliable pre- to post-treatment clinical improvements on depression and stress scales, and one participant demonstrated a reliable reduction on an anxiety scale. Two participants demonstrated a reliable improvement in overall anxiety. The results indicate that the UP applied to individuals diagnosed with primary BPD may lead to clinical improvement in depression, stress and anxiety for some individuals. However, the majority of individuals with BPD in our sample did not show strong improvement, and this suggests the need for additional sessions of UP or an intervention that focuses on the symptoms of BPD specifically for some women.
Key learning aims
(1)To describe the applicability of the Unified Protocol in the treatment of individuals with borderline personality and co-occurring anxiety or depression.
(2)To understand the value of utilizing a transdiagnostic approach as an alternative to diagnosis-specific approaches to treatment.
(3)To identify the four core modules of the Unified Protocol and describe the general format for individual treatment.
To explore whether the improvement in self-awareness induced by a structured intervention programme in patients suffering a brain injury is associated with an enhancement in their functional outcomes.
This study uses a pre- and post-test control group design with a sample of 56 patients with acquired brain injury randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. Pre- and post-intervention measurements were self-awareness (using a previously developed scale) and functional outcome (using the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale).
Patients who received the intervention programme showed a greater improvement in their self-awareness level and functional outcome than patients in the control group. Additionally, the correlation analyses between improvements at both measures showed a relation between improvement in self-awareness and improvement in functional outcome, especially when the pre-treatment self-awareness level was considered.
Implementing an intervention programme in self-awareness, in the context of a global rehabilitation process of patients with acquired brain injury, is useful for improving their self-awareness level and the functionality in their daily activities.
Research has long investigated the cognitive processes in the treatment of depression, and more recently in panic disorder (PD). Meanwhile, other studies have examined patients’ cognitive therapy skills in depression to gain insight into the link between acquiring such skills and treatment outcome.
Given that no scale exists to examine in-session patient use of panic-related cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills, the aim of this study was to develop a new measure for assessing patients’ cognitive and behavioural skills in CBT for PD.
This study included 20 PD patients who received 12 weekly individual therapy sessions. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Panic Skills (CBTPS) rating system was developed. Three independent raters coded tapes of therapy sessions at the beginning and end of treatment.
The coefficient alphas and inter-rater reliability were high for the cognitive and behavioural subscales. Improvement in the patients’ CBTPS scores on both subscales indicated overall symptom improvement, above improvement in anxiety sensitivity.
To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the impact of patient acquisition of CBT PD skills on treatment outcome. A new measure was developed based on the observations and was deemed reliable and valid. The measure facilitates the examination of the mechanisms of change in treatment for PD. An in-depth examination of the CBTPS may refine our understanding of the impact of each skill on PD treatment outcome. Further research relating to acquiring CBT skills could shed light on the mechanisms of change in treatment.
The value of early functional improvement at week 2 for predicting subsequent functional outcomes at week 8 was assessed in a pooled analysis of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) treated with desvenlafaxine (50 or 100 mg/d) or placebo.
Data were pooled from eight double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of desvenlafaxine 50 mg/d or 100 mg/d for the treatment of MDD. Optimal week-2 improvement thresholds in Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) score, which best predicted week-8 treatment success, were determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Four definitions of treatment success were established: (1) functional response, (2) functional/depression response, (3) functional remission, and (4) functional/depression remission. Odds ratios (ORs) of early improvement for prediction (based on thresholds determined in the ROC analysis) of week-8 treatment success were computed using logistic regression models.
Functional early improvement thresholds of 17%–32% were predictive of week-8 treatment success across treatment groups and definitions of treatment success. Optimal thresholds were higher for more stringent definitions. Negative predictive value exceeded positive predictive value, indicating that failure to achieve early functional improvement was more informative about later treatment success than was the achievement of early functional improvement. Early change in SDS was a highly significant predictor of functional response/remission (ORs, 4.981–8.737; all p < 0.0001); the interaction between treatment and early functional improvement was not significant.
Early improvement in SDS total score was predictive of functional outcomes for patients treated with desvenlafaxine 50 mg, desvenlafaxine 100 mg, or placebo.
The USA is currently enduring an opioid crisis. Identifying cost-effective, easy-to-implement behavioral measures that predict treatment outcomes in opioid misusers is a crucial scientific, therapeutic, and epidemiological goal.
The current study used a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal design to test whether a behavioral choice task, previously validated in stimulant users, was associated with increased opioid misuse severity at baseline, and whether it predicted change in opioid misuse severity at follow-up. At baseline, data from 100 prescription opioid-treated chronic pain patients were analyzed; at follow-up, data were analyzed in 34 of these participants who were non-misusers at baseline. During the choice task, participants chose under probabilistic contingencies whether to view opioid-related images in comparison with affectively pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral images. Following previous procedures, we also assessed insight into choice behavior, operationalized as whether (yes/no) participants correctly self-reported the image category they chose most often.
At baseline, the higher choice for viewing opioid images in direct comparison with pleasant images was associated with opioid misuse and impaired insight into choice behavior; the combination of these produced especially elevated opioid-related choice behavior. In longitudinal analyses of individuals who were initially non-misusers, higher baseline opioid v. pleasant choice behavior predicted more opioid misuse behaviors at follow-up.
These results indicate that greater relative allocation of behavior toward opioid stimuli and away from stimuli depicting natural reinforcement is associated with concurrent opioid misuse and portends vulnerability toward future misuse. The choice task may provide important medical information to guide opioid-prescribing practices.
To investigate if sleep disturbances may affect treatment outcomes of patients with panic disorder (PD).
Eighty-five PD outpatients with no Axis I comorbidity for mood disorders completed a baseline assessment (T1) and were evaluated after 3 (T2), 6 (T3) and 12 months (T4), with the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) total score as outcome measure during a 12-month naturalistic follow-up. Patients were assessed with the Mood Spectrum Self-Report (MOODS-SR, Lifetime Version), and the PDSS.
Forty-three patients (50.5%) met criteria for remission (PDSS<5) and 42 (49.5%) for no remission. In a logistic regression model with remission as the dependent variable, MOODS-SR sleep disturbances was the only determinant for a lower likelihood of PD remission. The items accounting for this result were the following: Repeated difficulty falling asleep (chi-square = 4.4; df = 1; p = 0.036), and Repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night (chi-square = 5.2; df = 1; p = 0.022).
Lifetime sleep disturbances would represent a cue of mood spectrum (in absence of overt affective comorbidity) that may impair remission in PD.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) has been associated with depression and can have an impact on quality of life. Therefore, researchers have suggested the potential utility of psychological interventions for targeting depression among CSU patients. Psychological interventions that may hold the most promise are those that are brief and easily transportable, such as brief behavioural activation treatment for depression. We report results of a preliminary investigation of an uncontrolled open trial of a one-session behavioural activation treatment for depression designed for patients with CSU (BATD-CSU) at a university-based allergy and immunology clinic. Participants were 11 females with chronic, poorly controlled urticaria and symptoms of depression. Following the completion of pretreatment questionnaires, participants were administered BATD-CSU primarily by non-mental health professionals trained and supervised in its delivery. One month post-BATD-CSU, participants completed follow-up questionnaires. Participants exhibited significant reductions in depression severity, avoidance/rumination, and work/school impairment. BATD-CSU was also associated with improvements in urticaria control one month post-treatment. Moreover, five of nine patients reported reliable and clinically significant improvement on at least one outcome. Results demonstrate that BATD-CSU may have benefits for CSU patients even when consisting of one session and delivered by professionals with limited background in psychological interventions, thus speaking to its feasibility and transportability.
Although cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for adult depression, its efficacy and efficiency may be enhanced by better understanding its mechanism(s) of action. According to the theoretical model of CBT, symptom improvement occurs via reductions in maladaptive cognition. However, previous research has not established clear evidence for this cognitive mediation model.
The present study investigated the cognitive mediation model of CBT in the context of a randomized controlled trial of CBT v. antidepressant medication (ADM) for adult depression. Participants with major depressive disorder were randomized to receive 16 weeks of CBT (n = 54) or ADM (n = 50). Depression symptoms and three candidate cognitive mediators (dysfunctional attitudes, cognitive distortions and negative automatic thoughts) were assessed at week 0 (pre-treatment), week 4, week 8 and week 16 (post-treatment). Longitudinal associations between cognition and depression symptoms, and mediation of treatment outcome, were evaluated in structural equation models.
Both CBT and ADM produced significant reductions in maladaptive cognition and depression symptoms. Cognitive content and depression symptoms were moderately correlated within measurement waves, but cross-lagged associations between the variables and indirect (i.e. mediated) treatment effects were non-significant.
The results provide support for concurrent relationships between cognitive and symptom change, but not the longitudinal relationships hypothesized by the cognitive mediation model. Results may be indicative of an incongruence between the timing of measurement and the dynamics of cognitive and symptom change.
Background: Identifying depressed patients unlikely to reach remission and those likely to relapse after reaching remission is of great importance, but there are few pre-treatment factors that can help clinicians predict prognosis and together these explain relatively little variance in treatment outcomes. Attentional control has shown promise in studies to date, but has not been investigated prospectively in routine clinical settings with depressed patients. Aims: This study aimed to pilot the use of a brief self-report measure of attentional control in routine care and investigate the associations between attentional control, psychological treatment response and relapse to depression up to 1 year post-treatment. Method: Depressed patients were recruited from two primary care psychological treatment (IAPT) services and completed the Attentional Control Scale (ACS) alongside routine symptom measures at every therapy session. Participants were tracked and followed up for 1 year post-treatment. Results: Baseline ACS scores were associated with remission and residual depressive symptoms post-treatment, and relapse within 12 months of ending treatment, all independent of pre-treatment depressive symptom severity, and the latter also independent of residual symptoms. Conclusion: A self-report measure of attentional control can potentially be used to predict levels of depressive symptoms post-treatment and can contribute to predicting risk of relapse to depression in IAPT services, without affecting rates of therapy completion/drop-out or data completion of standard IAPT measures. However, this pilot study had a small overall sample size and a very small number of observed relapses, so replication in a larger study is needed before firm conclusions can be made.
To determine the impact of specialized treatments, relative to comparator treatments, upon the weight and psychological symptoms of anorexia nervosa (AN) at end-of-treatment (EOT) and follow-up.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) between January 1980 and December 2017 that reported the effects of at least two treatments on AN were screened. Weight and psychological symptoms were analyzed separately for each study. PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were followed, and studies were assessed using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria and Cochrane risk of bias tool.
We identified 35 eligible RCTs, comprising data from 2524 patients. Meta-analyses revealed a significant treatment effect on weight outcomes at EOT [g = 0.16, 95% CI (0.05–0.28), p = 0.006], but not at follow-up [g = 0.11, 95% CI (−0.04 to 0.27), p = 0.15]. There was no significant treatment effect on psychological outcomes at either EOT [g = −0.03, 95% CI (−0.14 to 0.08), p = 0.63], or follow-up [g = −0.001, 95% CI (−0.11 to 0.11), p = 0.98]. There was no strong evidence of publication bias or significant moderator effects for illness duration, mean age, year of publication, comparator group category, or risk of bias (all p values > 0.05).
Current specialized treatments are more adept than comparator interventions at imparting change in weight-based AN symptoms at EOT, but not at follow-up. Specialized treatments confer no advantage over comparator interventions in terms of psychological symptoms. Future precision treatment efforts require a specific focus on the psychological symptoms of AN.
To compare functional and oncological treatment outcomes among patients with supraglottic laryngeal cancers who underwent transoral robotic supraglottic laryngectomy and open supraglottic laryngectomy.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of 17 patients treated by transoral robotic supraglottic laryngectomy and 20 patients treated by open supraglottic laryngectomy.
No tracheostomy or prolonged intubation was needed in the transoral robotic surgery group. Furthermore, that group had a shorter oral feeding time, hospitalisation and recovery period. There was no difference between groups in terms of complications. There were no differences in overall survival time and disease-specific survival time between groups.
Transoral robotic supraglottic laryngectomy for supraglottic laryngeal cancer is an oncologically safe and functional procedure with better results when compared to conventional open surgery.
To investigate the surgical and audiological outcomes of the Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction hearing implant among children with congenital aural atresia.
Six children were recruited and underwent Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery. The patients’ audiometric thresholds for air conduction, bone conduction and sound-field tests were assessed pre-operatively and at six months post-operatively. Patients’ satisfaction was assessed at six months post-operatively with the Hearing Device Satisfaction Scale.
No major complications were reported. Mean aided sound-field thresholds improved post-operatively by more than 30 dB for 0.5–4 kHz (p < 0.05). Mean unaided air conduction and bone conduction thresholds differed by less than 5 dB post-operatively (compared to pre-operatively) for 0.5–4 kHz; these findings were not significant (p > 0.05). All patients were satisfied (scores were over 90 per cent) with the implant in terms of functional outcome and cosmetic appearance.
Bonebridge transcutaneous bone conduction implant surgery is safe and effective among children with congenital aural atresia with conductive hearing loss.
Empirical evidence on the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in low-resource settings is needed.
To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of prolonged exposure and supportive counselling in adolescents with PTSD.
Sixty-three adolescents (13–18 years) with PTSD were randomly assigned to receive either of the interventions comprising 7–14 sessions of treatment (trial registration in the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry: PACTR201511001345372). The primary outcome measure was PTSD symptom severity, as independently assessed on the Child PTSD Symptom Scale at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at 3- and 6-month follow-up.
Participants receiving prolonged exposure experienced greater improvement on the PTSD symptom severity scale than those receiving supportive counselling (between group differences at post-intervention, mean 12.49, 95% CI 6.82–18.17, P<0.001; d = 1.22). A similar effect size was maintained at 3-month (d = 0.85) and 6-month (d = 1.02) follow-up assessments.
Adolescents with PTSD experienced greater benefit from prolonged exposure treatment when provided by non-specialist health workers (nurses) in a community setting.
Cholesteatoma is widely considered to be more aggressive in children than adults, yet few studies have directly compared the operative findings and surgical outcomes between these two groups. This study aimed to assess differences between childhood and adult cholesteatoma.
The operative caseload of a single consultant surgeon was reviewed between January 2006 and May 2017 using the online Common Otology Audit database. Extracted data were categorised according to patient age (children, aged below 16 years, and adults, aged 16 years or over) and compared.
This study included data from 71 operations on children and 281 operations on adults, performed for cholesteatoma. Childhood cholesteatoma demonstrated significantly more extension (into the sinus tympani, mastoid antrum and mastoid air cells) and ossicular erosion (of the malleus, incus and stapes superstructure) compared to adults. No significant differences were seen in revision rates, post-operative complications or hearing gain.
Childhood cholesteatoma was more extensive and destructive compared to adults, representing a more aggressive disease in this cohort.
To analyse the clinical outcomes of biodegradable synthetic polyurethane foam versus ribbon gauze and ear wick in the treatment of severe acute otitis externa.
Ninety-two adults with severe acute otitis externa were randomly assigned to groups receiving ear wick (n = 28), ribbon gauze (n = 34) or biodegradable synthetic polyurethane foam (n = 30). Clinical efficacy, in terms of otalgia, oedema, erythema and tenderness of the external auditory canal, was assessed before packing was applied and at follow up on the 3rd and 7th days of presentation.
All packing materials were associated with improved otalgia and oedema on the 3rd day; however, there were significant differences between biodegradable synthetic polyurethane foam and the other packing materials, and there was no significant reduction in tenderness in the biodegradable synthetic polyurethane foam group on the 3rd day. In the ribbon gauze and ear wick groups, improvements in all clinical efficacy scores were statistically significant for all pairwise comparisons.
The three packing materials were all quite effective in treating severe acute otitis externa, but ear wick and ribbon gauze were superior to biodegradable synthetic polyurethane foam for relieving signs and symptoms, especially on the 3rd day.
Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common and chronic mental health condition. Given the significant prevalence and impairment caused by SAD, it is important to investigate novel ways to improve the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for SAD. One approach may be to provide CBT in an accelerated fashion, which involves multiple sessions per week. Such accelerated treatments have been shown to be effective in other anxiety disorders, but in SAD this accelerated treatment has only been studied in a group treatment format. Aims: The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary investigation of the efficacy of individual accelerated CBT (aCBT) in the treatment of SAD. Method: The studied utilized an open trial design. Seventeen participants commenced the treatment, which consisted of 12 sessions delivered over 4 weeks. Results: The results indicated that participants obtained moderate to large effect sizes on measures of SAD at post-treatment (range d = 0.76–0.92) and 3-month follow-up (range d = 1.31–1.79). In addition, at post-treatment, 59% of participants no longer met criteria for SAD, and this number increased to 71% at 3-month follow-up. Conclusions: The results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that individual aCBT may be an important treatment option for individuals with SAD.
The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and different versions of the Padua Inventory (PI) are frequently used instruments to measure symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, little is known of how these different versions of the PI compare to each other in their sensitivity to measuring treatment outcome, and there is currently no adequate explanation to account for the weak relationships between self-report measures and the Y-BOCS. This study aimed to investigate the sensitivity of these measures to treatment outcome, and to examine whether differences in how they measure symptom severity can explain the weak relationships. Hypotheses were: (1) the Y-BOCS would be significantly more sensitive to measuring treatment outcome than the PI versions; (2) correlations between the measures would be significantly stronger for change scores as compared to relations measured at a single point in time; (3) weak relationships can be explained by the PI measuring symptom severity based on content and the Y-BOCS measuring symptoms, independent of content. Results showed that the Y-BOCS was significantly more sensitive to measuring treatment outcome than the PI versions, while differences between the questionnaires in which severity is measured can provide a partial account for why weak relations are observed between these measures.