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Estimates suggest that 1 in 100 people in the UK live with facial scarring. Despite this incidence, psychological support is limited.
The aim of this study was to strengthen the case for improving such support by determining the incidence and risk factors for anxiety and depression disorders in patients with facial scarring.
A matched cohort study was performed. Patients were identified via secondary care data sources, using clinical codes for conditions resulting in facial scarring. A diagnosis of anxiety or depression was determined by linkage with the patient's primary care general practice data. Incidence was calculated per 1000 person-years at risk (PYAR). Logistic regression was used to determine risk factors.
Between 2009 and 2018, 179 079 patients met the study criteria and were identified as having a facial scar, and matched to 179 079 controls. The incidence of anxiety in the facial scarring group was 10.05 per 1000 PYAR compared with 7.48 per 1000 PYAR for controls. The incidence of depression in the facial scarring group was 16.28 per 1000 PYAR compared with 9.56 per 1000 PYAR for controls. Age at the time of scarring, previous history of anxiety or depression, female gender, socioeconomic status and classification of scarring increased the risk of both anxiety disorders and depression.
There is a high burden of anxiety disorders and depression in this patient group. Risk of these mental health disorders is very much determined by factors apparent at the time of injury, supporting the need for psychological support.
Characterize antibiotic prescribing behaviors at an Indian palliative care center after the initiation of the Antibiotic Order Form (AOF): an antibiotic stewardship program involving a paper form to track antibiotic use and to provide prescription guidelines.
Retrospective chart review.
Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) is a palliative care organization in Kerala, India.
Antibiotic prescription data and patient data were collected for adult patients treated at TIPS between January 1, 2017, and October 31, 2019. Descriptive statistics and a Zero-Inflated Poisson regression model were used to analyze antibiotic prescriptions. AOF completion and prescription concordance with institutional guidelines were also evaluated.
Out of 7,450 unique patients, 675 (9%) were prescribed 1,448 antibiotics. Age was the strongest factor in determining the number of antibiotic courses with each additional year of age decreasing the expected antibiotic prescription count by 2% per year. The most common antibiotics prescribed were topical metronidazole (44%) and penicillins (29%). Among patients who died, 5% were prescribed antibiotics within the final month of life. In total, 32% of antibiotic prescriptions were documented in AOFs, and 18% were concordant with all institutional antibiotic prescribing guidelines.
This study is the first to analyze an antibiotic stewardship intervention in a palliative care setting within a low- and middle-income country. This retrospective study provides a benchmark of antibiotic use within Indian palliative care and highlights areas for future stewardship research including topical metronidazole use within palliative care and higher rates of antibiotic use among younger palliative care patients.
Stress and depression have a reciprocal relationship, but the neural underpinnings of this reciprocity are unclear. We investigated neuroimaging phenotypes that facilitate the reciprocity between stress and depressive symptoms.
In total, 22 195 participants (52.0% females) from the population-based UK Biobank study completed two visits (initial visit: 2006–2010, age = 55.0 ± 7.5 [40–70] years; second visit: 2014–2019; age = 62.7 ± 7.5 [44–80] years). Structural equation modeling was used to examine the longitudinal relationship between self-report stressful life events (SLEs) and depressive symptoms. Cross-sectional data were used to examine the overlap between neuroimaging correlates of SLEs and depressive symptoms on the second visit among 138 multimodal imaging phenotypes.
Longitudinal data were consistent with significant bidirectional causal relationship between SLEs and depressive symptoms. In cross-sectional analyses, SLEs were significantly associated with lower bilateral nucleus accumbal volume and lower fractional anisotropy of the forceps major. Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with extensive white matter hyperintensities, thinner cortex, lower subcortical volume, and white matter microstructural deficits, mainly in corticostriatal-limbic structures. Lower bilateral nucleus accumbal volume were the only imaging phenotypes with overlapping effects of depressive symptoms and SLEs (B = −0.032 to −0.023, p = 0.006–0.034). Depressive symptoms and SLEs significantly partially mediated the effects of each other on left and right nucleus accumbens volume (proportion of effects mediated = 12.7–14.3%, p < 0.001−p = 0.008). For the left nucleus accumbens, post-hoc seed-based analysis showed lower resting-state functional connectivity with the left orbitofrontal cortex (cluster size = 83 voxels, p = 5.4 × 10−5) in participants with high v. no SLEs.
The nucleus accumbens may play a key role in the reciprocity between stress and depressive symptoms.
Contains 'The Meeting-place of Wixamtree Hundred', by F. W. Marsom. 'Newnham Priory: A Bedford Rental, 1506-7', by W. N. Henman. 'Newnham Priory: Rental of Manor at Biddenham, 1505-6', by Barbara Cook. 'The Papers of Richard Taylor of Clapham (c. 1579-1641)', by G. D. Gilmore. 'John Crook, 1617-1699: A Bedfordshire Quaker', by H. G. Tibbutt. 'A Bedfordshire Wage Assessment of 1684', by T. S. Willan. 'A Luton Baptist Minute Book, 1707-1806', by C. E. Freeman.
Raising a concern is an integral duty for a doctor. The General Medical Council guidelines on Good Medical Practice state that a culture should be promoted that allows “all staff to raise concerns openly and safely”. Appointment of Postgraduate Doctors in Training to Representative (Rep) positions can be an effective way to allow trainee voices to be heard. Here we present the results of a Development Half-Day created to empower Reps with the knowledge and confidence to represent peers effectively within a large mental health Trust. The training session was identified as a ”change idea” in a wider Quality Improvement Project (QIP) seeking to improve trainee confidence in raising concerns.
16 Postgraduate Doctors in Training Reps were invited to attend a Development Half-Day in November 2022. The day included talks on their roles and responsibilities, respectful challenge and maintaining well-being.
Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered using anonymous questionnaires completed before and after the session. The questionnaire contained 4 questions asking them to rate their knowledge of their role as a rep and confidence in raising trainee concerns. This was quantified using a 1-10 scale for each question with 1 being lowest confidence/knowledge and 10 being highest. Mean scores and standard deviations were calculated. A paired one-tailed t-test was used to assess the statistical significance of the difference in pre- and post-session scores.
9 Reps attended the Development Half-Day and completed the pre- and post-session questionnaires.
There was a statistically significant improvement between pre- and post-session scores for all questions (all p values <0.05). Importantly there was a significant increase in the confidence felt by reps in knowing where and who to raise trainee concerns to (p < 0.05).
Qualitative feedback indicated that attendees found the session useful and they appreciated that it was in-person. The only suggestion for improvement was for the session to have been held earlier, closer to when reps were initially appointed; this will be a change that will be implemented in the next “Plan, Do, Study, Act” cycle of the QIP.
Implementation of a Development Half-Day for Trainee Reps was shown to have a significantly positive impact on their confidence in their roles and their ability to respectively challenge seniors. The Reps additionally reported being better equipped at knowing where and who to raise concerns to. This will hopefully aid in their ability to signpost and empower other trainees to do the same.
Raising concerns is a duty for all doctors. However, a scoping exercise within a large mental health Trust demonstrated that trainees experience difficulties in raising both patient safety and training concerns. As part of a trainee-led quality improvement (QI) project within this Trust, our aim was to develop a pulse survey to capture the current likelihood of trainees raising concerns and factors influencing this.
An online survey was developed using ‘plan do study act’ (PDSA) methodology. The initial draft was informed by data from the Autumn 2021 scoping exercise. The survey was refined using a collaborative trainee-led approach. It was tested by trainees involved in the QI project followed by two other trainees and was revised accordingly.
Trainees across all training grades were invited to complete the survey through various communication channels. The pulse survey will be repeated monthly with a two-week response window.
Ten trainees out of 103 responded to the first pulse survey open from 18th to 31st January 2023 (response rate 9.7%). Seven respondents were core trainees and three were higher trainees.
Respondents were more likely to raise patient safety concerns than training concerns (average score of 3.8 out of 5, where 5 equals ‘very likely’, versus 3.4 out of 5 respectively). Of the three respondents who had experienced a patient safety concern in the past 2 weeks, only two had used any existing process to raise it. These data were replicated for training concerns.
No respondents were confident that effective action would be taken if they raised a training concern, while less than half of respondents were confident that effective action would be taken if it were a patient safety concern.
The reasons for the low response rate are likely varied. However, there may be some similar underlying reasons for low engagement in surveys and low engagement in raising concerns. Given this, a more negative picture of trainees’ likelihood of raising concerns may have been portrayed if more trainees engaged in the survey.
Engaging trainees to provide insight into their likelihood of raising concerns is challenging. Despite the low response rate, this initial pulse survey demonstrated that trainees continue to experience barriers to raising concerns. PDSA methodology will continue to be used to optimise the monthly pulse survey response rate. The key QI outcome measures will also be integrated into pre and post intervention surveys as a pragmatic approach to evaluate specific change ideas.
Studies of early fourth-millennium BC Britain have typically focused on the Early Neolithic sites of Wessex and Orkney; what can the investigation of sites located in areas beyond these core regions add? The authors report on excavations (2011–2019) at Dorstone Hill in Herefordshire, which have revealed a remarkable complex of Early Neolithic monuments: three long barrows constructed on the footprints of three timber buildings that had been deliberately burned, plus a nearby causewayed enclosure. A Bayesian chronological model demonstrates the precocious character of many of the site's elements and strengthens the evidence for the role of tombs and houses/halls in the creation and commemoration of foundational social groups in Neolithic Britain.
Cross-sectional studies have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of healthcare staff. However, it is less well understood how working over the long term in successive COVID-19 waves affects staff well-being.
To identify subpopulations within the health and social care staff workforce with differentiated trajectories of mental health symptoms during phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Survey assessed health and social care staff well-being within an area of the UK at four time points, separated by 3-month intervals, spanning November 2020 to August 2021.
Growth mixture models were performed on the depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder longitudinal data. Two class solutions provided the best fit for all models. The vast majority of the workforce were best represented by the low-symptom class trajectory, where by symptoms were consistently below the clinical cut-off for moderate-to-severe symptoms. A sizable minority (13–16%) were categorised as being in the high-symptom class, a group who had symptom levels in the moderate-to-severe range throughout the peaks and troughs of the pandemic. In the depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder models, the high-symptom class perceived communication from their organisation to be less effective than the low-symptom class.
This research identified a group of health service staff who reported persistently high mental health symptoms during the pandemic. This group of staff may well have particular needs in terms of the provision of well-being support services.
Different electrophysiological (EEG) indices have been investigated as possible biomarkers of schizophrenia. However, these indices have a very limited use in clinical practice, as their associations with clinical and functional outcomes remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the associations of multiple EEG markers with clinical variables and functional outcomes in subjects with schizophrenia (SCZs).
Resting-state EEGs (frequency bands and microstates) and auditory event-related potentials (MMN-P3a and N100-P3b) were recorded in 113 SCZs and 57 healthy controls (HCs) at baseline. Illness- and functioning-related variables were assessed both at baseline and at 4-year follow-up in 61 SCZs. We generated a machine-learning classifier for each EEG parameter (frequency bands, microstates, N100-P300 task, and MMN-P3a task) to identify potential markers discriminating SCZs from HCs, and a global classifier. Associations of the classifiers’ decision scores with illness- and functioning-related variables at baseline and follow-up were then investigated.
The global classifier discriminated SCZs from HCs with an accuracy of 75.4% and its decision scores significantly correlated with negative symptoms, depression, neurocognition, and real-life functioning at 4-year follow-up.
These results suggest that a combination of multiple EEG alterations is associated with poor functional outcomes and its clinical and cognitive determinants in SCZs. These findings need replication, possibly looking at different illness stages in order to implement EEG as a possible tool for the prediction of poor functional outcome.
Individuals with bipolar disorder are commonly correctly diagnosed a decade after symptom onset. Machine learning techniques may aid in early recognition and reduce the disease burden. As both individuals at risk and those with a manifest disease display structural brain markers, structural magnetic resonance imaging may provide relevant classification features.
Following a pre-registered protocol, we trained linear support vector machine (SVM) to classify individuals according to their estimated risk for bipolar disorder using regional cortical thickness of help-seeking individuals from seven study sites (N = 276). We estimated the risk using three state-of-the-art assessment instruments (BPSS-P, BARS, EPIbipolar).
For BPSS-P, SVM achieved a fair performance of Cohen's κ of 0.235 (95% CI 0.11–0.361) and a balanced accuracy of 63.1% (95% CI 55.9–70.3) in the 10-fold cross-validation. In the leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the model performed with a Cohen's κ of 0.128 (95% CI −0.069 to 0.325) and a balanced accuracy of 56.2% (95% CI 44.6–67.8). BARS and EPIbipolar could not be predicted. In post hoc analyses, regional surface area, subcortical volumes as well as hyperparameter optimization did not improve the performance.
Individuals at risk for bipolar disorder, as assessed by BPSS-P, display brain structural alterations that can be detected using machine learning. The achieved performance is comparable to previous studies which attempted to classify patients with manifest disease and healthy controls. Unlike previous studies of bipolar risk, our multicenter design permitted a leave-one-site-out cross-validation. Whole-brain cortical thickness seems to be superior to other structural brain features.
This article examines the role of business interests in shaping the structures of global environmental governance between the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972 and the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. It demonstrates how the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) managed to establish itself as a key partner for the UN while articulating a neoliberal vision that emphasized the market mechanism and business self-regulation as sources of environmental governance. The article provides empirical evidence that the ICC institutionalized business self-regulation in environmental governance and contributed to the very definition of the concept of sustainable development as we know it today.
Medically assisted alcohol withdrawal (MAAW) is increasingly undertaken on acute adult psychiatric wards.
Comparison of the quality of MAAW between acute adult wards and specialist addictions units in mental health services.
Clinical audit conducted by the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH). Information on MAAW was collected from clinical records using a bespoke data collection tool.
Forty-five National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts/healthcare organisations submitted data relating to the treatment of 908 patients undergoing MAAW on an acute adult ward or psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and 347 admitted to a specialist NHS addictions unit. MAAW had been overseen by an addiction specialist in 33 (4%) of the patients on an acute adult ward/PICU. A comprehensive alcohol history, measurement of breath alcohol, full screening for Wernicke's encephalopathy, use of parenteral thiamine, prescription of medications for relapse prevention (such as acamprosate) and referral for specialist continuing care of alcohol-related problems following discharge were all more commonly documented when care was provided on a specialist unit or when there was specialist addictions management on an acute ward.
The findings suggest that the quality of care provided for medically assisted withdrawal from alcohol, including the use of evidence-based interventions, is better when clinicians with specialist addictions training are involved. This has implications for future quality improvement in the provision of MAAW in acute adult mental health settings.
Studies have reported mixed findings regarding the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on pregnant women and birth outcomes. This study used a quasi-experimental design to account for potential confounding by sociodemographic characteristics.
Data were drawn from 16 prenatal cohorts participating in the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. Women exposed to the pandemic (delivered between 12 March 2020 and 30 May 2021) (n = 501) were propensity-score matched on maternal age, race and ethnicity, and child assigned sex at birth with 501 women who delivered before 11 March 2020. Participants reported on perceived stress, depressive symptoms, sedentary behavior, and emotional support during pregnancy. Infant gestational age (GA) at birth and birthweight were gathered from medical record abstraction or maternal report.
After adjusting for propensity matching and covariates (maternal education, public assistance, employment status, prepregnancy body mass index), results showed a small effect of pandemic exposure on shorter GA at birth, but no effect on birthweight adjusted for GA. Women who were pregnant during the pandemic reported higher levels of prenatal stress and depressive symptoms, but neither mediated the association between pandemic exposure and GA. Sedentary behavior and emotional support were each associated with prenatal stress and depressive symptoms in opposite directions, but no moderation effects were revealed.
There was no strong evidence for an association between pandemic exposure and adverse birth outcomes. Furthermore, results highlight the importance of reducing maternal sedentary behavior and encouraging emotional support for optimizing maternal health regardless of pandemic conditions.