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Medically unexplained symptoms otherwise referred to as persistent physical symptoms (PPS) are debilitating to patients. As many specific PPS syndromes share common behavioural, cognitive, and affective influences, transdiagnostic treatments might be effective for this patient group. We evaluated the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a therapist-delivered, transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural intervention (TDT-CBT) plus (+) standard medical care (SMC) v. SMC alone for the treatment of patients with PPS in secondary medical care.
A two-arm randomised controlled trial, with measurements taken at baseline and at 9, 20, 40- and 52-weeks post randomisation. The primary outcome measure was the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) at 52 weeks. Secondary outcomes included mood (PHQ-9 and GAD-7), symptom severity (PHQ-15), global measure of change (CGI), and the Persistent Physical Symptoms Questionnaire (PPSQ).
We randomised 324 patients and 74% were followed up at 52 weeks. The difference between groups was not statistically significant for the primary outcome (WSAS at 52 weeks: estimated difference −1.48 points, 95% confidence interval from −3.44 to 0.48, p = 0.139). However, the results indicated that some secondary outcomes had a treatment effect in favour of TDT-CBT + SMC with three outcomes showing a statistically significant difference between groups. These were WSAS at 20 weeks (p = 0.016) at the end of treatment and the PHQ-15 (p = 0.013) and CGI at 52 weeks (p = 0.011).
We have preliminary evidence that TDT-CBT + SMC may be helpful for people with a range of PPS. However, further study is required to maximise or maintain effects seen at end of treatment.
The hyper-function of the striatal dopamine system has been suggested to underlie key pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia. Moreover, patients have been observed to present a significant elevation of dopamine receptor availability compared to healthy controls. Although it is difficult to measure dopamine levels directly in humans, neurochemical imaging techniques such as single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) provide indirect indices of in vivo dopamine synthesis and release, and putative synaptic levels.
We focused on the role of dopamine postsynaptic regulation using [123I] iodobenzamide (IBZM) SPECT. We compared D2/3 receptor availability between 53 healthy controls and 21 medication-naive patients with recent-onset schizophrenia.
The mean specific striatal binding showed no significant difference between patients and controls (estimated difference = 0.001; 95% CI −0.11 to 0.11; F = 0.00, df = 1, 69; p = 0.99). There was a highly significant effect of age whereby IBZM binding declined with advancing age [estimated change per decade of age = −0.01(binding ratio); 95% CI −0.01 to −0.004; F = 11.5, df = 1, 69; p = 0.001]. No significant correlations were found between the mean specific striatal binding and psychopathological or cognitive rating scores.
Medication-naïve patients with recent-onset schizophrenia have similar D2/3 receptor availability to healthy controls. We suggest that, rather than focusing exclusively on postsynaptic receptors, future treatments should target the presynaptic control of dopamine synthesis and release.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are endemic in the Chicago region. We assessed the regional impact of a CRE control intervention targeting high-prevalence facilities; that is, long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) and ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs). Methods: In July 2017, an academic–public health partnership launched a regional CRE prevention bundle: (1) identifying patient CRE status by querying Illinois’ XDRO registry and periodic point-prevalence surveys reported to public health, (2) cohorting or private rooms with contact precautions for CRE patients, (3) combining hand hygiene adherence, monitoring with general infection control education, and guidance by project coordinators and public health, and (4) daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing. Informed by epidemiology and modeling, we targeted LTACHs and vSNFs in a 13-mile radius from the coordinating center. Illinois mandates CRE reporting to the XDRO registry, which can also be manually queried or generate automated alerts to facilitate interfacility communication. The regional intervention promoted increased automation of alerts to hospitals. The prespecified primary outcome was incident clinical CRE culture reported to the XDRO registry in Cook County by month, analyzed by segmented regression modeling. A secondary outcome was colonization prevalence measured by serial point-prevalence surveys for carbapenemase-producing organism colonization in LTACHs and vSNFs. Results: All eligible LTACHs (n = 6) and vSNFs (n = 9) participated in the intervention. One vSNF declined CHG bathing. vSNFs that implemented CHG bathing typically bathed residents 2–3 times per week instead of daily. Overall, there were significant gaps in infection control practices, especially in vSNFs. Also, 75 Illinois hospitals adopted automated alerts (56 during the intervention period). Mean CRE incidence in Cook County decreased from 59.0 cases per month during baseline to 40.6 cases per month during intervention (P < .001). In a segmented regression model, there was an average reduction of 10.56 cases per month during the 24-month intervention period (P = .02) (Fig. 1), and an estimated 253 incident CRE cases were averted. Mean CRE incidence also decreased among the stratum of vSNF/LTACH intervention facilities (P = .03). However, evidence of ongoing CRE transmission, particularly in vSNFs, persisted, and CRE colonization prevalence remained high at intervention facilities (Table 1). Conclusions: A resource-intensive public health regional CRE intervention was implemented that included enhanced interfacility communication and targeted infection prevention. There was a significant decline in incident CRE clinical cases in Cook County, despite high persistent CRE colonization prevalence in intervention facilities. vSNFs, where understaffing or underresourcing were common and lengths of stay range from months to years, had a major prevalence challenge, underscoring the need for aggressive infection control improvements in these facilities.
Funding: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (SHEPheRD Contract No. 200-2011-42037)
Disclosures: M.Y.L. has received research support in the form of contributed product from OpGen and Sage Products (now part of Stryker Corporation), and has received an investigator-initiated grant from CareFusion Foundation (now part of BD).
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) tend to lack insight, which is linked to poor outcomes. The effect size of previous treatments on insight changes in SSD has been small. Metacognitive interventions may improve insight in SSD, although this remains unproved.
We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to examine the effects of metacognitive interventions designed for SSD, namely Metacognitive Training (MCT) and Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy (MERIT), on changes in cognitive and clinical insight at post-treatment and at follow-up.
Twelve RCTs, including 10 MCT RCTs (n = 717 participants) and two MERIT trials (n = 90), were selected, totalling N = 807 participants. Regarding cognitive insight six RCTs (n = 443) highlighted a medium effect of MCT on self-reflectiveness at post-treatment, d = 0.46, p < 0.01, and at follow-up, d = 0.30, p < 0.01. There was a small effect of MCT on self-certainty at post-treatment, d = −0.23, p = 0.03, but not at follow-up. MCT was superior to controls on an overall Composite Index of cognitive insight at post-treatment, d = 1.11, p < 0.01, and at follow-up, d = 0.86, p = 0.03, although we found evidence of heterogeneity. Of five MCT trials on clinical insight (n = 244 participants), which could not be meta-analysed, four of them favoured MCT compared v. control. The two MERIT trials reported conflicting results.
Metacognitive interventions, particularly Metacognitive Training, appear to improve insight in patients with SSD, especially cognitive insight shortly after treatment. Further long-term RCTs are needed to establish whether these metacognitive interventions-related insight changes are sustained over a longer time period and result in better outcomes.
The value of services for those with the ‘At Risk Mental State for Psychosis’ (ARMS) continues to be disputed. ARMS services have provided a valuable stimulus to academic research into the transition into psychosis. Furthermore, there is currently a welcome trend to transform such clinics into youth mental health services catering for the broader clientele of young people suffering from anxiety and depression, who already constitute the bulk of those seen at ARMS clinics. However, such services are never likely to make major inroads into preventing psychosis because they only reach a small proportion of those at risk. Evidence from medicine shows that avoiding exposure to factors which increase the risk of disease (e.g. poor nutrition, transmission of infection, tobacco smoking), produces greater public benefit than focussing efforts on individuals with, or about to develop, disease. We consider that the most productive approach for psychosis prevention is avoiding exposure to risk-increasing factors. The best-established risk factors for psychosis are obstetric events, childhood abuse, migration, city living, adverse life events and cannabis use. Some as city living, are likely proxies for an unknown causal factor(s) while preventing others such as childhood abuse is currently beyond our powers. The risk factor for psychosis which is most readily open to this approach is the use of cannabis. Therefore, as an initial step towards a strategy for universal primary prevention, we advocate public health campaigns to educate young people about the harms of regular use of high potency cannabis.
In clinical and translational research, data science is often and fortuitously integrated with data collection. This contrasts to the typical position of data scientists in other settings, where they are isolated from data collectors. Because of this, effective use of data science techniques to resolve translational questions requires innovation in the organization and management of these data.
We propose an operational framework that respects this important difference in how research teams are organized. To maximize the accuracy and speed of the clinical and translational data science enterprise under this framework, we define a set of eight best practices for data management.
In our own work at the University of Rochester, we have strived to utilize these practices in a customized version of the open source LabKey platform for integrated data management and collaboration. We have applied this platform to cohorts that longitudinally track multidomain data from over 3000 subjects.
We argue that this has made analytical datasets more readily available and lowered the bar to interdisciplinary collaboration, enabling a team-based data science that is unique to the clinical and translational setting.
Academic interest in the concept of insight in psychosis has increased markedly over the past 30 years, prompting this selective appraisal of the current state of the art. Considerable progress has been made in terms of measurement and confirming a number of clinical associations. More recently, the relationship between insight and involuntary treatment has been scrutinised more closely alongside the link between decision-making capacity and insight. Advances in the clinical and cognitive neurosciences have influenced conceptual development, particularly the field of ‘metacognition’. New therapies, including those that are psychologically and neurophysiologically based, are being tested as ways to enhance insight.
Impairments of contextual processing and theory of mind (ToM) have both been offered as accounts of the deviant language characterising formal thought disorder (FTD) in schizophrenia. This study investigated these processes in patients' dialogue. We predicted that FTD patients would show a decrement in linguistic alignment, associated with impaired ToM in dialogue.
Speech samples were elicited via participation in an interactive computer-based task and a semi-structured interview to assess contextual processing abilities and ToM skills in dialogue, respectively, and from an interactive card-sorting task to measure syntactic alignment. Degree of alignment in dialogue and the syntactic task, and evidence of ToM in (i) dialogue and (ii) a traditional ToM task were compared across schizophrenia patients with FTD (n = 21), non-FTD patients (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 21).
FTD patients showed less alignment than the other two groups in dialogue, and than healthy controls on the syntactic task. FTD patients showed poorer performance on the ToM task than the other two groups, but only compared to the healthy controls in dialogue. The FTD group's degree of alignment in dialogue was correlated with ToM performance in dialogue but not with the traditional ToM task or with syntactic alignment.
In dialogue, FTD patients demonstrate an impairment in employing available contextual information to facilitate their own subsequent production, which is associated with a ToM deficit. These findings indicate that a contextual processing deficit impacts on exploiting representations via the production system impoverishing the ability to make predictions about upcoming utterances in dialogue.
The first episode of psychosis is a critical period in the emergence of cardiometabolic risk.
We set out to explore the influence of individual and lifestyle factors on cardiometabolic outcomes in early psychosis.
This was a prospective cohort study of 293 UK adults presenting with first-episode psychosis investigating the influence of sociodemographics, lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, substance use) and medication on cardiometabolic outcomes over the following 12 months.
Rates of obesity and glucose dysregulation rose from 17.8% and 12%, respectively, at baseline to 23.7% and 23.7% at 1 year. Little change was seen over time in the 76.8% tobacco smoking rate or the quarter who were sedentary for over 10 h daily. We found no association between lifestyle at baseline or type of antipsychotic medication prescribed with either baseline or 1-year cardiometabolic outcomes. Median haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) rose by 3.3 mmol/mol in participants from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with little change observed in their White counterparts. At 12 months, one-third of those with BME heritage exceeded the threshold for prediabetes (HbA1c >39 mmol/mol).
Unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent in early psychosis and cardiometabolic risk worsens over the next year, creating an important window for prevention. We found no evidence, however, that preventative strategies should be preferentially directed based on lifestyle habits. Further work is needed to determine whether clinical strategies should allow for differential patterns of emergence of cardiometabolic risk in people of different ethnicities.
Most reports on the outcome of children who present with heart failure, due to heart muscle disease, are from an era when ventricular assist devices were not available. This study provides outcome data for the current era where prolonged circulatory support can be considered for most children.
Methods & Results:
Data was retrieved on 100 consecutive children, who presented between 2010 – 2016, with a first diagnosis of unexplained heart failure. Hospital outcome was classified as either death, transplantation, recovery of function or persistent heart failure. Median age at presentation was 24 months and 58% were < 5 years old. Hospital mortality was 12% and 59% received a heart transplant. Most, 79%, of the transplants were carried out on patients with a device. Recovery of function was observed in 18% and 10% stabilised on oral therapy. Eighty-four percent of the deaths occurred in the <5 year old group. Shorter duration of support was associated with survival (34 days in survivors versus 106 in non-survivors, p = 0.01) and 72% were on an assist device at time of death.
Heart failure in children who require referral to a transplant unit is a serious illness with a high chance of either transplantation or death. Modifications in assist devices will be required to improve safety, especially for children < 5 years old where the donor wait may be prolonged. The identification of children who may recover function requires further study.
Reducing hospitalisation and length of stay (LOS) in hospital following first episode psychosis (FEP) is important, yet reliable measures of these outcomes and their moderators are lacking. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the proportion of FEP cases who were hospitalised after their first contact with services and the LOS in a hospital during follow-up.
Studies were identified from a systematic search across major electronic databases from inception to October 2017. Random effects meta-analyses and meta-regression analyses were conducted.
81 longitudinal studies encompassing data for 23 280 FEP patients with an average follow-up length of 7 years were included. 55% (95% CI 50.3–60.5%) of FEP cases were hospitalised at least once during follow-up with the pooled average LOS of 116.7 days (95% CI 95.1–138.3). Older age of illness onset and being in a stable relationship were associated with a lower proportion of people who were hospitalised. While the proportion of hospitalised patients has not decreased over time, LOS has, with the sharpest reduction in the latest time period. The proportion of patients hospitalised during follow-up was highest in Australia and New Zealand (78.4%) compared to Europe (58.1%) and North America (48.0%); and lowest in Asia (32.5%). Black ethnicity and longer duration of untreated psychosis were associated with longer LOS; while less severe psychotic symptoms at baseline were associated with shorter LOS.
One in two FEP cases required hospitalisation at least once during a 7-year follow-up with an average length of hospitalisation of 4 months during this period. LOS has declined over time, particularly in those countries in which it was previously longest.
At Risk Mental State (ARMS) clinics are specialised mental health services for young, help-seeking people, thought to be at ultra-high risk of developing psychosis. Their stated purpose is to reduce transitions from the ARMS state to clinical psychotic disorder. Reports of ARMS clinics provide ‘evidence-based recommendations’ or ‘guidance’ for the treatment of such individuals, and claim that such clinics prevent the development of psychosis. However, we note that in an area with a very well-developed ARMS clinic (South London), only a very small proportion (4%) of patients with first episode psychosis had previously been seen at this clinic with symptoms of the ARMS. We conclude that the task of reaching sufficient people to make a major contribution to the prevention of psychosis is beyond the power of ARMS clinics. Following the preventative approaches used for many medical disorders (e.g. lung cancer, coronary artery disease), we consider that a more effective way of preventing psychosis will be to adopt a public health approach; this should attempt to decrease exposure to environmental factors such as cannabis use which are known to increase risk of the disorder.
An insect trap constructed using three-dimensional (3D) printing technology was tested in potato (Solanum tuberosum Linnaeus; Solanaceae) fields to determine whether it could substitute for the standard yellow sticky card used to monitor Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Triozidae). Sticky cards have shortcomings that prompted search for a replacement: cards are messy, require weekly replacement, are expensive to purchase, and accumulate large numbers of nontarget insects. Bactericera cockerelli on sticky cards also deteriorate enough that specimens cannot be tested reliably for the presence of vectored plant pathogens. A prototype trap constructed using 3D printing technology for monitoring Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Liviidae) was tested for monitoring B. cockerelli. The trap was designed to attract B. cockerelli visually to the trap and then funnel specimens into preservative-filled vials at the trap bottom. Prototype traps were paired against yellow sticky cards at multiple fields to compare the captures of B. cockerelli between cards and traps. The prototype trap was competitive with sticky cards early in the growing season when B. cockerelli numbers were low. We estimated that two or three prototype traps would collect as many B. cockerelli as one sticky card under these conditions. Efficacy of the prototype declined as B. cockerelli numbers increased seasonally. The prototype trap accumulated nontarget taxa that are common on sticky cards (especially Thysanoptera and Diptera), and was also found to capture taxa of possible interest in integrated pest management research, including predatory insects, parasitic Hymenoptera, and winged Aphididae (Hemiptera), suggesting that the traps could be useful outside of the purpose targeted here. We believe that 3D printing technology has substantial promise for developing monitoring tools that exploit behavioural traits of the targeted insect. Ongoing work includes the use of this technology to modify the prototype, with a focus on making it more effective at capturing psyllids and less susceptible to capture of nontarget species.
Jumping to conclusions (JTC), which is the proneness to require less information before forming beliefs or making a decision, has been related to formation and maintenance of delusions. Using data from the National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) case–control study of first-episode psychosis (FEP), we set out to test whether the presence of JTC would predict poor clinical outcome at 4 years.
One-hundred and twenty-three FEP patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and the probabilistic reasoning ‘Beads’ Task at the time of recruitment. The sample was split into two groups based on the presence of JTC bias. Follow-up data over an average of 4 years were obtained concerning clinical course and outcomes (remission, intervention of police, use of involuntary treatment – the Mental Health Act (MHA) – and inpatient days).
FEP who presented JTC at baseline were more likely during the follow-up period to be detained under the MHA [adjusted OR 15.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.92–83.54, p = 0.001], require intervention by the police (adjusted OR 14.95, 95% CI 2.68–83.34, p = 0.002) and have longer admissions (adjusted IRR = 5.03, 95% CI 1.91–13.24, p = 0.001). These associations were not accounted for by socio-demographic variables, IQ and symptom dimensions.
JTC in FEP is associated with poorer outcome as indicated and defined by more compulsion police intervention and longer periods of admission. Our findings raise the question of whether the implementation of specific interventions to reduce JTC, such as Metacognition Training, may be a useful addition in early psychosis intervention programmes.
Lateral memristors consisting of planar Ag electrodes (with sub-micrometer separation) supported on thin films of amorphous zinc-tin-oxide have been characterized. After an initial filament-forming process, each device exhibited volatile, resistive switching. In the low resistance state, the transport mechanism and conductance depended on prior activity and on the imposed current limit, mimicking biologic synaptic plasticity. Microscopic observations performed on each device revealed nanoscale filaments between the electrodes. These filaments were subject to Rayleigh instability and exhibited relaxation times determined by their effective radii. The relaxation times and on:off resistance ratios suggest suitability for threshold switching selector devices.
To determine which healthcare worker (HCW) roles and patient care activities are associated with acquisition of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on HCW gloves or gowns after patient care, as a surrogate for transmission to other patients.
Prospective cohort study.
Medical and surgical intensive care units at a tertiary-care academic institution.
VRE-colonized patients on Contact Precautions and their HCWs.
Overall, 94 VRE-colonized patients and 469 HCW–patient interactions were observed. Research staff recorded patient care activities and cultured HCW gloves and gowns for VRE before doffing and exiting patient room.
VRE were isolated from 71 of 469 HCWs’ gloves or gowns (15%) following patient care. Occupational/physical therapists, patient care technicians, nurses, and physicians were more likely than environmental services workers and other HCWs to have contaminated gloves or gowns. Compared to touching the environment alone, the odds ratio (OR) for VRE contamination associated with touching both the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient) and environment was 2.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99–0.77) and the OR associated with touching only the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity) was 3.65 (95% CI, 1.17–11.41). Independent risk factors for transmission of VRE to HCWs were touching the patient’s skin (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.15–4.13) and transferring the patient into or out of bed (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.15–6.43).
Patient contact is a major risk factor for HCW contamination and subsequent transmission. Interventions should prioritize contact precautions and hand hygiene for HCWs whose activities involve touching the patient.