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As a response to the acute strain placed on the National Health Service during the first wave of coronavirus disease 2019 in the UK, a number of junior doctors including ENT trainees were redeployed to other clinical specialties. This presented these trainees with novel challenges and opportunities.
A qualitative study was performed to explore these experiences, undertaking semi-structured interviews with ENT trainees between 17th and 30th July. Participants were recruited through purposeful sampling. Interview transcripts underwent thematic analysis using Dedoose software.
Seven ENT trainees were interviewed, ranging from specialty trainee years four to eight (‘ST4’ to ‘ST8’) in grade. Six core themes were identified: organisation of redeployment, utilisation of skill set, emotional impact of redeployment, redeployed team dynamics, concerns about safety and impact on training.
The ENT trainees’ experiences of redeployment described highlight some important lessons and considerations for future redeployments.
Psychosocial factors have been implicated as both a cause and consequence of hypertension in the general population but are less understood in relation to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). The aims of this review were to (1) synthesize the existing literature examining associations between depression and/or anxiety in pregnancy and HDP and (2) assess if depression and/or anxiety in early pregnancy was a risk factor for HDP.
A comprehensive search of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO was conducted from inception to March 2020 using terms related to ‘pregnancy’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’, and ‘hypertensive disorders’. English-language cohort and case-control studies were included if they reported: (a) the presence or absence of clinically significant symptoms of depression/anxiety, or a medical record diagnosis of depression or an anxiety disorder in pregnancy; (b) diagnosis of HDP; and/or (c) data comparing the depressed/anxious group to the non-depressed/anxious group on HDP. Data related to depression/anxiety, HDP, study characteristics, and aspects related to study quality were extracted independently by two reviewers. Random-effects meta-analyses of estimated pooled relative risks (RRs) were conducted for depression/anxiety in pregnancy and HDP.
In total, 6291 citations were retrieved, and 44 studies were included across 61.2 million pregnancies. Depression and/or anxiety were associated with HDP [RR = 1.39; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–1.54].
When measurement of anxiety or depression preceded diagnosis of hypertension, the association remained (RR = 1.27; 95% CI 1.07–1.50). Women experiencing depression or anxiety in pregnancy have an increased prevalence of HDP compared to their non-depressed or non-anxious counterparts.
There is evidence that depression can be prevented; however, traditional approaches face significant scalability issues. Digital technologies provide a potential solution, although this has not been adequately tested. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a new smartphone app designed to reduce depression symptoms and subsequent incident depression amongst a large group of Australian workers.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted with follow-up assessments at 5 weeks and 3 and 12 months post-baseline. Participants were employed Australians reporting no clinically significant depression. The intervention group (N = 1128) was allocated to use HeadGear, a smartphone app which included a 30-day behavioural activation and mindfulness intervention. The attention-control group (N = 1143) used an app which included a 30-day mood monitoring component. The primary outcome was the level of depressive symptomatology (PHQ-9) at 3-month follow-up. Analyses were conducted within an intention-to-treat framework using mixed modelling.
Those assigned to the HeadGear arm had fewer depressive symptoms over the course of the trial compared to those assigned to the control (F3,734.7 = 2.98, p = 0.031). Prevalence of depression over the 12-month period was 8.0% and 3.5% for controls and HeadGear recipients, respectively, with odds of depression caseness amongst the intervention group of 0.43 (p = 0.001, 95% CI 0.26–0.70).
This trial demonstrates that a smartphone app can reduce depression symptoms and potentially prevent incident depression caseness and such interventions may have a role in improving working population mental health. Some caution in interpretation is needed regarding the clinical significance due to small effect size and trial attrition.
Trial Registration Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (www.anzctr.org.au/) ACTRN12617000548336
This study validated a French language version of an inventory designed to detect symptoms of depression and anxiety [Goldberg et al, 1987] in a sample of elderly French-speaking inpatients at risk for one of these disorders. Latent trait analysis was used to replicate the structure of the symptoms in the inventory, and receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to assess the performance of the inventory as a screening measure for Major Depressive Episode and Generalised Anxiety Disorder according to DSM-IV criteria. Reflecting the ascertainment of individuals in the sample as being at risk for a disorder, prevalence of individual symptoms was high although the general structure of the inventory was found to be comparable to that found in samples of both community elderly and younger medical patients. ROC analyses showed that the subscales of inventory performed satisfactorily as screening measures for anxiety or depression but lacked specificity for each disorder. In addition to providing further evidence for the utility of this inventory to detect general psychiatric distress in elderly persons, this study provides a valid means of detecting symptoms of depression and anxiety in French speaking groups.
Multi-attribute utility instruments (MAUIs) are generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures that enable valuation of health states relative to death (0.0) and full health (1.0). The usefulness of MAUIs in people with psychosis has been questioned, with the EQ-5D considered “insensitive”, the 15D “problematic” and the SF-6D “unsuitable”.
Confirm the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL)-4D MAUI is useful and meaningful in people with psychosis.
Assess utility values across demographic, general and disease-specific health categorisations for a large nationally-representative sample with psychosis (n = 1825).
Participants underwent a comprehensive 32 module interview encompassing psychopathology to service use. Utility values were calculated by applying a standard algorithm to responses to each of 12 items of the AQoL-4D.
Utility values were assessed for 1793 participants (98.2%). No ceiling effect was observed and only 6.6% of participants scored in the top decile of HRQoL [0.9–10.0]. In contrast, 10.8% scored in the lowest decile [−0.04–0.10], a floor effect observed in 0.4%. The mean utility value was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.48–0.51), significantly lower than the Australian population norm of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.81–0.82). Greatest impacts on HRQoL were for diminishing global independent functioning as measured by the MSIF (ESMSIF: 0.68–2.24), self-rated current mental health (ESMH: 0.15–1.65) and physical health status (ESPH: 0.11–1.21). Strong effects also observed for course of disorder (ESCoD: 0.08–1.13), current suicidal ideation (ESCSI1: 0.76–1.08), and labor force participation (ESLFP: 0.11–0.97).
The AQoL-4D had good lower end sensitivity in a large sample of people with a psychotic illness, and demonstrated responsiveness across subjective, objective and symptom measures.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The prevalence of common mental disorders has not declined in high-income countries despite substantial increases in service provision. A possible reason for this lack of improvement is that greater willingness to disclose mental disorders might have led to increased reporting of psychiatric symptoms, thus masking reductions in prevalence. This masking hypothesis was tested using data from two trials of interventions that increased willingness to disclose and that also measured symptoms. Both interventions involved Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training, which is known to reduce stigma, including unwillingness to disclose a mental health problem.
A cross-lagged panel analysis was carried out on data from two large Australian randomised controlled trials of MHFA training. The first trial involved 1643 high school students in Year 10 (mean age 15.87 years), who were randomised to receive either teen MHFA training or physical first aid training as the control. The second trial involved 608 Australia public servants who were randomised to receive either eLearning MHFA, blended eLearning MHFA or eLearning physical first aid as the control. In both trials, willingness to disclose a mental disorder as described in vignettes and psychiatric symptoms (K6 scale) were measured pre-training, post-training and at 12-month follow-up.
Both trials found that MHFA training increased willingness to disclose. However, a cross-lagged panel analysis showed no effect of this change on psychiatric symptom scores.
Greater willingness to disclose did not affect psychiatric symptom scores. Because the trials increased willingness to disclose through a randomly assigned intervention, they provide a strong causal test of the masking hypothesis. It is therefore unlikely that changes in willingness to disclose are masking reductions in prevalence in the population.
Low-intensity psychosocial interventions have been effective in targeting perinatal depression, but relevant mechanisms of change remain unknown.
To examine three theoretically informed mediators of the Thinking Healthy Programme Peer-delivered (THPP), an evidence-based psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression, on symptom severity in two parallel, randomised controlled trials in Goa, India and Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Participants included pregnant women aged ≥18 years with moderate to severe depression, as defined by a Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) score ≥10, and were randomised to either THPP or enhanced usual care. We examine whether three prespecified variables (patient activation, social support and mother–child attachment) at 3 months post-childbirth mediated the effects of THPP interventions of perinatal depressive symptom severity (PHQ-9) at the primary end-point of 6 months post-childbirth. We first examined individual mediation within each trial (n = 280 in India and n = 570 in Pakistan), followed by a pooled analysis across both trials (N = 850).
In both site-specific and pooled analyses, patient activation and support at 3 months independently mediated the intervention effects on depressive symptom severity at 6 months, accounting for 23.6 and 18.2% of the total effect of THPP, respectively. The intervention had no effect on mother–child attachment scores, thus there was no evidence that this factor mediated the intervention effect.
The effects of the psychosocial intervention on depression outcomes in mothers were mediated by the same two factors in both contexts, suggesting that such interventions seeking to alleviate perinatal depression should target both social support and patient activation levels.
Introduction: September 2017 saw the launch of the British Columbia (BC) Emergency Medicine Network (EM Network), an innovative clinical network established to improve emergency care across the province. The intent of the EM Network is to support the delivery of evidence-informed, patient-centered care in all 108 Emergency Departments and Diagnostic & Treatment Centres in BC. After one year, the Network undertook a formative evaluation to guide its growth. Our objective is to describe the evaluation approach and early findings. Methods: The EM Network was evaluated on three levels: member demographics, online engagement and member perceptions of value and progress. For member demographics and online engagement, data were captured from member registration information on the Network's website, Google Analytics and Twitter Analytics. Membership feedback was sought through an online survey using a social network analysis tool, PARTNER (Program to Analyze, Record, and Track Networks to Enhance Relationships), and semi-structured individual interviews. This framework was developed based on literature recommendations in collaboration with Network members, including patient representatives. Results: There are currently 622 EM Network members from an eligible denominator of approximately 1400 physicians (44%). Seventy-three percent of the Emergency Departments and Diagnostic and Treatment Centres in BC currently have Network members, and since launch, the EM Network website has been accessed by 11,154 unique IP addresses. Online discussion forum use is low but growing, and Twitter following is high. There are currently 550 Twitter followers and an average of 27 ‘mentions’ of the Network by Twitter users per month. Member feedback through the survey and individual interviews indicates that the Network is respected and credible, but many remain unaware of its purpose and offerings. Conclusion: Our findings underscore that early evaluation is useful to identify development needs, and for the Network this includes increasing awareness and online dialogue. However, our results must be interpreted cautiously in such a young Network, and thus, we intend to re-evaluate regularly. Specific action recommendations from this baseline evaluation include: increasing face-to-face visits of targeted communities; maintaining or accelerating communication strategies to increase engagement; and providing new techniques that encourage member contributions in order to grow and improve content.
Theory of mind, the ability to represent the mental states of others, is an important social cognitive process, which contributes to the development of social competence. Recent research suggests that interactions between gene and environmental factors, such as oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms and maternal parenting behavior, may underlie individual differences in children's theory of mind. However, the potential influence of DNA methylation of OXTR remains unclear. The current study investigated the roles of OXTR methylation, maternal behavior, and their statistical interaction on toddlers’ early emerging theory of mind abilities. Participants included a community sample of 189 dyads of mothers and their 2- to 3-year-old children, whose salivary DNA was analyzed. Results indicated that more maternal structuring behavior was associated with better performance, on a battery of three theory of mind tasks, while higher OXTR methylation within exon 3 was associated with poorer performance. A significant interaction also emerged, such that OXTR methylation was related to theory of mind among children whose mothers displayed less structuring, when controlling for children's age, sex, ethnicity, number of child-aged siblings, verbal ability, and maternal education. Maternal structuring behavior may buffer the potential negative impact of hypermethylation on OXTR gene expression and function.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Examine data from PNID patients to evaluation the strength of associations between pre-operative and post-operative levels of pain, quality of life, and emotional reactions to pain to determine if one or more can serve as better predictors of surgical success than pain. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In our preliminary study, we gathered data from a pre-existing database of 464 PNID patients that contains self-reported visual analog scale scores (VAS) of pain intensity, QoL, and depression. We measured these variables at three time points: pre-operatively, post-operatively, and at the final visit. We used the Wilcoxon signed rank test to determine if each of these three variables differed significantly between the pre-operative visit and the post-operative visit period and from the pre-operative visit to the final visit. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Median time from the pre-operative visit to surgery was 9 weeks; median time from surgery to the post-operative visit was 4 weeks; and median time from the post-operative visit to the final visit was 23.5 weeks. There was a clinically meaningful difference in pain scores between the pre-operative and post-operative visits (median difference 1.15; 95% CI 0.75-1.55). In the period between the post-operative visit and the final visit there was also a decrease in pain (0.90; 95% CI 0.55-1.30). The magnitude of change in median difference of 1.85 (95% CI 1.50-2.20) between the pre-operative visit and the final visit was larger than the change in median difference of 0.90 (95% CI 0.55-1.30) between the post-operative visit and the final visit. The pre-operative visit median QoL score was higher than the median score at the post-operative visit (1.65; 95% CI 1.25-2.10). The smallest median difference in QoL of occurred between the post-operative and the final visit (1.10; 95% CI 0.60-1.45). As seen with the pain scores, the magnitude of change in median difference of 2.50 (95% CI 2.20-2.85) for QoL was greatest between the pre-operative and the final visit. Depression scores showed the least amount of change amongst all the variables, between the pre-operative and the post-operative visit (1.00; 95% CI (0.70-1.40), and similarly between the post-operative visit and the final visit (0.15; 95% CI (0-.40). The median differences between the pre-operative and final visit were greatest in QoL (2.50; 95% CI 2.20-2.85), followed by pain scores (1.85; 95% CI 1.50-2.20), and finally, depression (1.05; 95% CI 0.70-1.40). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Our results show that all three variables measured improve with surgery and continue to improve over the post-operative course to the final visit. This suggest that the relationships between pain, QoL, and depression should be further investigated. We are hopeful that elucidating how these variables interact in the PNID patient population, will encourage peripheral nerve surgeons to use these parameters in conjunction with pain intensity to measure outcomes. A follow-up study expanding on these results and including measures of anger and frustration in a larger sample is underway.
Emergency department (ED) access block, the inability to provide timely care for high acuity patients, is the leading safety concern in First World EDs. The main cause of ED access block is hospital access block with prolonged boarding of inpatients in emergency stretchers. Cumulative emergency access gap, the product of the number of arriving high acuity patients and their average delay to reach a care space, is a novel access measure that provides a facility-level estimate of total emergency care delays. Many health leaders believe these delays are too large to be solved without substantial increases in hospital capacity. Our objective was to quantify cumulative emergency access blocks (the problem) as a fraction of inpatient capacity (the potential solution) at a large sample of Canadian hospitals.
In this cross-sectional study, we collated 2015 administrative data from 25 Canadian hospitals summarizing patient inflow and delays to ED care space. Cumulative access gap for high acuity patients was calculated by multiplying the number of Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS) 1-3 patients by their average delay to reach a care space. We compared cumulative ED access gap to available inpatient bed hours to estimate fractional access gap.
Study sites included 16 tertiary and 9 community EDs in 12 cities, representing 1.79 million patient visits. Median ED census (interquartile range) was 66,300 visits per year (58,700-80,600). High acuity patients accounted for 70.7% of visits (60.9%-79.0%). The mean (SD) cumulative ED access gap was 46,000 stretcher hours per site per year (± 19,900), which was 1.14% (± 0.45%) of inpatient capacity.
ED access gaps are large and jeopardize care for high acuity patients, but they are small relative to hospital operating capacity. If access block were viewed as a “whole hospital” problem, capacity or efficiency improvements in the range of 1% to 3% could profoundly mitigate emergency care delays.
To assess, using standardised tools, the quality and readability of online tinnitus information that patients are likely to access.
A standardised review was conducted of websites relating to tinnitus and its management. Each website was scored using the DISCERN instrument and the Flesch Reading Ease scale.
Twenty-seven unique websites were evaluated. The mean DISCERN score of the websites was 34.5 out of 80 (standard deviation = 11.2). This would be considered ‘fair’ in quality. Variability in DISCERN score between websites was high (range, 15–57: ‘poor’ to ‘very good’). Website readability was poor, with a mean Flesch Reading Ease score of 52.6 (standard deviation = 7.7); this would be considered ‘difficult’ to read.
In general, the quality of tinnitus websites is fair and the readability is poor, with substantial variability in quality between websites. The Action on Hearing Loss and the British Tinnitus Association websites were identified as providing the highest quality information.
Invasive rodents detrimentally affect native bird species on many islands worldwide, and rodent eradication is a useful tool to safeguard endemic and threatened species. However, especially on tropical islands, rodent eradications can fail for various reasons, and it is unclear whether the temporary reduction of a rodent population during an unsuccessful eradication operation has beneficial effects on native birds. Here we examine the response of four endemic land bird species on subtropical Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island Group, South Pacific Ocean, following an unsuccessful rodent eradication in 2011. We conducted point counts at 25 sampling locations in 14 survey periods between 2011 and 2015, and modelled the abundance trends of all species using binomial mixture models accounting for observer and environmental variation in detection probability. Henderson Reed Warbler Acrocephalus taiti more than doubled in abundance (2015 population estimate: 7,194-28,776), and Henderson Fruit Dove Ptilinopus insularis increased slightly between 2011 and 2015 (2015 population estimate: 4,476–10,072), while we detected no change in abundance of the Henderson Lorikeet Vini stepheni (2015 population estimate: 554–3014). Henderson Crake Zapornia atra increased to pre-eradication levels following anticipated mortality during the operation (2015 population estimate: 4,960–20,783). A temporary reduction of rat predation pressure and rat competition for fruit may have benefitted the reed warbler and the fruit dove, respectively. However, a long drought may have naturally suppressed bird populations prior to the rat eradication operation in 2011, potentially confounding the effects of temporary rat reduction and natural recovery. We therefore cannot unequivocally ascribe the population recovery to the temporary reduction of the rat population. We encourage robust monitoring of island biodiversity both before and after any management operation to better understand responses of endemic species to failed or successful operations.
Little is known about potential harmful effects as a consequence of self-guided internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT), such as symptom deterioration rates. Thus, safety concerns remain and hamper the implementation of self-guided iCBT into clinical practice. We aimed to conduct an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to determine the prevalence of clinically significant deterioration (symptom worsening) in adults with depressive symptoms who received self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions. Several socio-demographic, clinical and study-level variables were tested as potential moderators of deterioration.
Randomised controlled trials that reported results of self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions in adults with symptoms of depression were selected. Mixed effects models with participants nested within studies were used to examine possible clinically significant deterioration rates.
Thirteen out of 16 eligible trials were included in the present IPD meta-analysis. Of the 3805 participants analysed, 7.2% showed clinically significant deterioration (5.8% and 9.1% of participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively). Participants in self-guided iCBT were less likely to deteriorate (OR 0.62, p < 0.001) compared with control conditions. None of the examined participant- and study-level moderators were significantly associated with deterioration rates.
Self-guided iCBT has a lower rate of negative outcomes on symptoms than control conditions and could be a first step treatment approach for adult depression as well as an alternative to watchful waiting in general practice.
Insomnia treatment using an internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy
for insomnia (CBT-I) program reduces depression symptoms, anxiety
symptoms and suicidal ideation. However, the speed, longevity and
consistency of these effects are unknown.
To test the following: whether the efficacy of online CBT-I was sustained
over 18 months; how rapidly the effects of CBT-I emerged; evidence for
distinct trajectories of change in depressive symptoms; and predictors of
A randomised controlled trial compared the 6-week Sleep Healthy Using the
Internet (SHUTi) CBT-I program to an attention control program. Adults
(N=1149) with clinical insomnia and subclinical
depression symptoms were recruited online from the Australian
Depression, anxiety and insomnia decreased significantly by week 4 of the
intervention period and remained significantly lower relative to control
for >18 months (between-group Cohen's d=0.63, 0.47,
0.55, respectively, at 18 months). Effects on suicidal ideation were only
short term. Two depression trajectories were identified using growth
mixture models: improving (95%) and stable/deteriorating (5%) symptoms.
More severe baseline depression, younger age and limited comfort with the
internet were associated with reduced odds of improvement.
Online CBT-I produced rapid and long-term symptom reduction in people
with subclinical depressive symptoms, although the initial effect on
suicidal ideation was not sustained.
Providing benefits to local people from forest conservation programmes is an important issue for policy makers. Livelihood projects are a common way to provide benefits, but there is little information about their costs. We analysed 463 livelihood projects in the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) pilot project in Madagascar to understand how different approaches to delivering livelihood projects affect costs. We compared costs across four approaches: conservation agreements, small grants, direct implementation and application of social safeguards. The approach impacted overall costs and the proportion of funds reaching communities. Projects implemented as safeguards were most expensive and had the lowest proportion of expenditures reaching the community. Projects provided as part of conservation agreements directed the highest proportion of expenditures to communities. Our results highlight that how livelihood projects are delivered has implications for project costs and community benefits and should be an important consideration in the design and implementation of REDD+ and forest conservation policies.
A link between infection, inflammation, neurodevelopment and adult illnesses has been proposed. The objective of this study was to examine the association between infection burden during childhood – a critical period of development for the immune and nervous systems – and subsequent systemic inflammatory markers and general intelligence. In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective birth cohort in England, we examined the association of exposure to infections during childhood, assessed at seven follow-ups between age 1·5 and 7·5 years, with subsequent: (1) serum interleukin 6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels at age 9; (2) intelligence quotient (IQ) at age 8. We also examined the relationship between inflammatory markers and IQ. Very high infection burden (90+ percentile) was associated with higher CRP levels, but this relationship was explained by body mass index (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1·19; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·95–1·50), maternal occupation (adjusted OR 1·23; 95% CI 0·98–1·55) and atopic disorders (adjusted OR 1·24; 95% CI 0·98–1·55). Higher CRP levels were associated with lower IQ; adjusted β = −0·79 (95% CI −1·31 to −0·27); P = 0·003. There was no strong evidence for an association between infection and IQ. The findings indicate that childhood infections do not have an independent, lasting effect on circulating inflammatory marker levels subsequently in childhood; however, elevated inflammatory markers may be harmful for intellectual development/function.