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Seed conservation of banana crop wild relatives (Musa L. spp.) is limited because of lack of knowledge about their germination ecology. Musa acuminata Colla, the most important banana crop wild relative, is distributed in tropical and subtropical Asian and Pacific rainforests and colonizes disturbed sites. The role of temperature in stimulating/inhibiting germination to detect disturbance when canopy gaps are formed is not well known. We assessed seed germination thermal requirements of three subspecies of M. acuminata using nine seed accessions which had been stored in the Millennium Seed Bank. Diurnally alternating temperature cycles were almost completely essential for germination compared with constant temperatures. Germination was optimal when the upper temperature of a diurnal cycle was at 35°C; the lower temperature of the cycle was less important. Subspecies occurrence coordinates were used to extract climate temperature data which were then compared against the temperature requirements for germination from our experiment results. Maximum temperatures of the warmest month across subspecies ranges were close to but below optimal germination temperatures, as were diurnal ranges, suggesting soil-warming at the micro-climate level following gap creation is important for M. acuminata seed germination. Additionally, pre-treatment for 3 months at 60% relative humidity at constant 25°C improved germination from 14 ± 10 (mean, standard deviation) to 41 ± 29% suggesting a period in the soil seed bank under the canopy may increase sensitivity to alternating temperature cycles. Overall viability was low (49 ± 28%), and considerable variance was caused by the different accessions. Germination remained somewhat inconsistent.
The quality of mental health services is crucial for the effectiveness and efficiency of mental healthcare systems, symptom reduction, and quality of life improvements in persons with mental illness. In recent years, particularly care coordination (i.e., the integration of care across different providers and treatment settings) has received increased attention and has been put into practice. Thus, we focused on care coordination in this update of a previous European Psychiatric Association (EPA) guidance on the quality of mental health services.
We conducted a systematic meta-review of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and evidence-based clinical guidelines focusing on care coordination for persons with mental illness in three literature databases.
We identified 23 relevant documents covering the following topics: case management, integrated care, home treatment, crisis intervention services, transition from inpatient to outpatient care and vice versa, integrating general and mental healthcare, technology in care coordination and self-management, quality indicators, and economic evaluation. Based on the available evidence, we developed 15 recommendations for care coordination in European mental healthcare.
Although evidence is limited, some concepts of care coordination seem to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of mental health services and outcomes on patient level. Further evidence is needed to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of different care coordination models.
Temporal and spatial patterns in flowering phenology were assessed for eight tropical African tree species. Specifically, the frequency and seasonality of flowering at seven sites in central Africa were determined using field data, graphical analysis and circular statistics. Additionally, spatial variation in the timing of flowering across species range was investigated using herbarium data, analysing the relative influence of latitude, longitude and timing of the dry season with a Bayesian circular generalized linear model. Annual flowering was found for 20 out of the 25 populations studied. For 21 populations located at the north of the climatic hinge flowering was occurring during the dry season. The analysis of herbarium collections revealed a significant shift in the timing of flowering with latitude for E. suaveolens, and with the timing of the dry season for M. excelsa (and to a lesser extent L. alata), with the coexistence of two flowering peaks near the equator where the distribution of monthly rainfall is bimodal. For the other species, none of latitude, longitude or timing of the dry season had an effect on the timing of flowering. Our study highlights the need to identify the drivers of the flowering phenology of economically important African tree species.
Introduction: Epidemiologic and modeling studies suggest that between 45 and 70% of individuals with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Canada remain undiagnosed. The Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) recommends one-time screening of baby boomers (1945-1975). Screening programs in the US have shown a very high prevalence of previously undiagnosed HCV among patients seen in the emergency department (ED). We sought to assess the feasibility of implementing a targeted birth-cohort HCV screening program in a Canadian ED setting. Methods: Patients born from 1945 to 1975 presenting to the ED of a downtown Toronto hospital were offered HCV testing. Patients with life-threatening conditions, unable to provide verbal consent in English or intoxication were excluded. Blood samples were collected by finger prick on Dried Blood Spot (DBS) collection cards and tested for anti-HCV antibody with reflex to HCV RNA. Patients with positive HCV RNA were referred to a liver specialist. Results: During a 27-month period (July 2017 - Sept 2019), 8363 patients in the birth cohort presented to the ED during daytime hours. 80% (6714) met eligibility criteria, and 48.4% (3247) were offered testing. Screening was performed by non-medical staff (mean 8/day, median spots on DBS 4). 345 (10.6%) had been previously tested, and 639 (19.7%) declined. 2136 (65.8%) patients underwent testing: median age 58.4 years (40-82), 1117 male (52.3%). Of these, 45 patients (2.1%; 95% CI 1.5%-2.7%) were anti-HCV positive: 32 (76.2%) were HCV RNA positive, 10 (23.8%) negative and 3 not done due to inadequate DBS sample. 26 patients (81.3%) were linked to care and 3 (9.4%) lost to follow-up. HCV prevalence in the ED was significantly higher than the general Canadian population (2.1% vs 0.7%; p < 0.0001) but much lower than reported rates in American EDs (2.1% vs 10.3%; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Acceptance of HCV screening in the ED birth cohort was high and easily performed using DBS to ensure the majority of positive samples were tested for HCV RNA. Challenges included implementation that limited number of people tested, and linkage to care for HCV positive patients. HCV prevalence among this ED birth cohort was higher than the general population but lower than seen in the ED in the US. This may in part be due to exclusion of individuals with more severe medical issues, refusal by higher risk subgroups, or population and healthcare system differences between countries.
To advance the quality of mental healthcare in Europe by developing guidance on implementing quality assurance.
We performed a systematic literature search on quality assurance in mental healthcare and the 522 retrieved documents were evaluated by two independent reviewers (B.J. and J.Z.). Based on these evaluations, evidence tables were generated. As it was found that these did not cover all areas of mental healthcare, supplementary hand searches were performed for selected additional areas. Based on these findings, fifteen graded recommendations were developed and consented by the authors. Review by the EPA Guidance Committee and EPA Board led to two additional recommendations (on immigrant mental healthcare and parity of mental and physical healthcare funding).
Although quality assurance (measures to keep a certain degree of quality), quality control and monitoring (applying quality indicators to the current degree of quality), and quality management (coordinated measures and activities with regard to quality) are conceptually distinct, in practice they are frequently used as if identical and hardly separable. There is a dearth of controlled trials addressing ways to optimize quality assurance in mental healthcare. Altogether, seventeen recommendations were developed addressing a range of aspects of quality assurance in mental healthcare, which appear usable across Europe. These were divided into recommendations about structures, processes and outcomes. Each recommendation was assigned to a hierarchical level of analysis (macro-, meso- and micro-level).
There was a lack of evidence retrievable by a systematic literature search about quality assurance of mental healthcare. Therefore, only after further topics and search had been added it was possible to develop recommendations with mostly medium evidence levels.
Evidence-based graded recommendations for quality assurance in mental healthcare were developed which should next be implemented and evaluated for feasibility and validity in some European countries. Due to the small evidence base identified corresponding to the practical obscurity of the concept and methods, a European research initiative is called for by the stakeholders represented in this Guidance to improve the educational, methodological and empirical basis for a future broad implementation of measures for quality assurance in European mental healthcare.
Attempts to reduce high utilisation of psychiatric inpatient care by targeting the critical time of hospital discharge have been rare. In Germany, until now no such intervention has been implemented, let alone subjected to a clinical trial.
“Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Needs-Oriented Discharge Planning and Monitoring for High Utilisers of Psychiatric Services” (NODPAM) is a multicentre RCT conducted in five psychiatric hospitals in Germany (Günzburg, Düsseldorf, Regensburg, Greifswald, and Ravensburg). Subjects asked to provide informed consent to participate have to be of adult age with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or affective disorder, and a defined high utilisation of psychiatric care during two years prior to the current admission. Subjects are asked to provide detailed outcome data at four measurement points during a period of 18 months. Recruitment (which started in April 06) is still ongoing. Thus, baseline data of about 350 participants will be presented.
Recruitment has been quite successful and the study has been generally well accepted by participating patients and their clinicians in in- and outpatient treatment settings. Subjects showed substantial initial impairment on outcome measures (e.g. needs, psychopathology, quality of life, and level of functioning) and high utilisation of mental health care. Further results on conduct and feasibility of the trial will be presented.
The first phase of this mulicentre trial was promising. The potential of this study to strengthen the integration of mental health care provision in Germany will be discussed.
Aim of this contribution is to describe the intervention used in the study “Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Needs-Oriented Discharge Planning and Monitoring for High Utilisers of Psychiatric Services” (NODPAM). This intervention applies principles of needs-led care and focusses on the inpatient-outpatient transition. The NODPAM intervention manual includes a range of predefined standardised options based on number and type of needs.
For the intervention group, a trained intervention worker provides a coherent package of needs-oriented discharge planning and monitoring focussing on the care process. He or she emphasises continuity of the care process vis-à-vis both patient and clinician (and carers if possible) via providing two manualised intervention sessions): (a) A discharge planning session takes place just before discharge with the patient and responsible clinician at the inpatient service; (b) A monitoring session takes place three months after discharge with the patient and outpatient clinician (office-based or public outpatient mental health service-based). A written treatment plan is signed by and forwarded to all participants after each session.
Acceptance of the intervention by patients and clinicians has been high so far. Further results on duration, participant characteristics, and participants' appraisal of the NODPAM intervention will be presented.
These first results indicate that the NODPAM intervention is feasible in inpatient mental health services in Germany. Discussion will focus on its applicability in other service systems.
“High utilizing” schizophrenic patients are a problem in routine inpatient care.
A complex intervention with improved cooperation between in- and outpatient services was applied to 46 “high utilizing” patients after discharge from inpatient care during an intervention phase of 6 months. The study was controlled by a matched group of 47 patients receiving treatment as usual.
The goal of this study was to prevent rehospitalizations and thus optimize satisfaction with treatment and quality of life in patients suffering from schizophrenia.
The intervention was based on a computerized decision support module. Eight psychiatrists in private practices were supplied with this software to obtain guideline-based recommendations according to current psychopathology and clinical state. A local hospital project team arranged specifically suggested interventions. Moderator variables such as socio-demographical aspects or influences of certain interventions to rehospitalization rate were analyzed
Sociodemographical aspects showed no differences between both groups. The rehospitalization rate and the mean length of inpatient treatment were reduced to nearly 50% (Interventiongroup). The rate of readmissions increased in the control group, leading to a difference of 23% between both groups. Cost effectiveness was higher in the interventiongroup than in the controlgroup.
The most important single factor was the participation in coping skills training, but only the guideline consistent complex therapies caused the significant overall result. Satisfaction increased during 6 months and remained constant during 12 months of follow up. The project described an important step to gain evidence for integrated care for patients with schizophrenia.
The main aim of this guidance of the European Psychiatric Association is to provide evidence-based recommendations on the quality of mental health services in Europe. The recommendations were derived from a systematic search of the best available evidence in the scientific literature, supplemented by information from documents retrieved upon reviewing the identified articles. While most recommendations could be based on empirical studies (although of varying quality), some had to be based on expert opinion alone, but were deemed necessary as well. Another limitation was that the wide variety of service models and service traditions for the mentally ill worldwide often made generalisations difficult. In spite of these limitations, we arrived at 30 recommendations covering structure, process and outcome quality both on a generic and a setting-specific level. Operationalisations for each recommendation with measures to be considered as denominators and numerators are given as well to suggest quality indicators for future benchmarking across European countries. Further pan-European research will need to show whether the implementation of this guidance will lead to improved quality of mental healthcare, and may help to develop useful country-specific cutoffs for the suggested quality indicators.
One of the priorities in the German mental healthcare system pertains to the development and implementation of evidence-based quality assurance initiatives with the goal to measure quality and optimize the structures, processes and outcomes of mental healthcare services.
To optimize the quality of mental healthcare by developing quality assurance tools including clinical practice guidelines and quality indicators.
To describe quality assurance initiatives in German mental healthcare.
Review of quality assurance initiatives and their current status.
In national and regional initiatives, evidence- and consensus-based clinical practice guidelines and quality indicators are being developed. As examples, the cross-sectoral quality indicators of the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN) and the update process of the German clinical practice and disease management guideline on schizophrenia will be described. A discussion of the critical issues in psychiatric quality indicator and guideline development and implementation will be included.
Evidence- and consensus-based approaches are crucial to the development of relevant and valid instruments for quality assurance. One of the main challenges is the implementation of clinical practice guidelines and their evaluation by means of quality indicators as well as the establishment of a common framework of standardized quality indicators that address relevant quality aspects in mental healthcare.
Quality Indicators that are valid and feasible can measure the quality of care and thus have the potential to effectively improve healthcare. However implementation of quality indicator tools in routine mental health care in Europe is challenging. One reason for this is the sectoral structured health care system in many of the European countries.
The German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN) has developed four sets of trans-sectoral Quality Indicators (QI) that are specifically designed for relevant mental disorders with a high prevalence in inpatient and outpatient mental health care (depression and schizophrenia). As an example, the implementation of the QIs in routine health care of nine psychiatric hospitals and outpatient facilities in the Rhineland [Northrhine-Westfalia-state] will be presented and compared to results of other European countries. The potential benefits for improving treatment quality by implementation of QIs in routine mental health care will be discussed.
Because plant phenotypes can change in response to attacks by herbivores in highly variable ways, the distribution of herbivores depends on the occurrence of other herbivore species on the same plant. We carried out a field study to evaluate the co-occurrence of three coconut pests, the mites Aceria guerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae), Steneotarsonemus concavuscutum (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and the moth Atheloca bondari (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). The eriophyid mite Ac. guerreronis is the most important coconut pest around the world, whereas S. concavuscutum and At. bondari are economically important only in some areas along the Brazilian coast. A previous study suggested that the necrosis caused by Ac. guerreronis facilitates the infestation of At. bondari larvae. Because all three species infest the area under the perianths on coconuts and S. concavuscutum also causes necrosis that could facilitate At. bondari, we evaluated the co-occurrence of all three species. We found that the occurrence of At. bondari was positively associated with Ac. guerreronis, but negatively associated with S. concavuscutum. In addition, the two mite species showed negative co-occurrence. Atheloca bondari was found on nuts of all ages, but more on nuts that had fallen than on those on the trees, suggesting that nuts infested by At. bondari tend to fall more frequently. We discuss the status of At. bondari as a pest and discuss experiments to test the causes of these co-occurrence patterns.
The Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event (T-OAE, c. 182 Ma) represents a major perturbation of the carbon cycle marked by widespread black shale deposition. Consequently, the onset of the T-OAE has been linked to the combined effects of global warming, high productivity, basin restriction and salinity stratification. However, the processes that led to termination of the event remain elusive. Here, we present palynological data from Arctic Siberia (Russia), the Viking Corridor (offshore Norway) and the Yorkshire Coast (UK), all spanning the upper Pliensbachian – upper Toarcian stages. Rather than a ‘dinoflagellate cyst black-out’, as recorded in T-OAE strata of NW Europe, both the Arctic and Viking Corridor records show high abundance and dinoflagellate diversity throughout the T-OAE interval as calibrated by C-isotope records. Significantly, in the Arctic Sea and Viking Corridor, numerous species of the Parvocysta and Phallocysta suites make their first appearance in the lower Toarcian Falciferum Zone much earlier than in Europe, where these key dinoflagellate species appeared suddenly during the Bifrons Zone. Our results indicate migrations of Arctic dinoflagellate species, driven by relative sea-level rise in the Viking Corridor and the establishment of a S-directed circulation from the Arctic Sea into the Tethys Ocean. The results support oceanographic models, but are at odds with some interpretations based on geochemical proxies. The migration of Arctic dinoflagellate species coincides with the end of the T-OAE and marks the arrival of oxygenated, low-salinity Arctic waters, triggering a regime change from persistent euxinia to more dynamic oxygen conditions.
Crop wild relatives (CWRs) play a key role in crop breeding by providing beneficial trait characteristics for improvement of related crops. CWRs are more efficiently used in breeding if the plant material is genetically characterized, but the diversity in CWR genetic resources has often poorly been assessed. Seven seed collections of Musa balbisiana, an important CWR of dessert and cooking bananas, originating from three natural populations, two feral populations and two ex situ field collections were retrieved and their genetic diversity was quantified using 18 microsatellite markers to select core subsets that conserve the maximum genetic diversity. The highest genetic diversity was observed in the seed collections from natural populations of Yunnan, a region that is part of M. balbisiana's centre of origin. The seeds from the ex situ field collections were less genetically diverse, but contained unique variation with regards to the diversity in all seed collections. Seeds from feral populations displayed low genetic diversity. Core subsets that maximized genetic distance incorporated almost no seeds from the ex situ field collections. In contrast, core subsets that maximized allelic richness contained seeds from the ex situ field collections. We recommend the conservation and additional collection of seeds from natural populations, preferentially originating from the species' region of origin, and from multiple individuals in one population. We also suggest that the number of seeds used for ex situ seed bank regeneration must be much higher for the seed collections from natural populations.
Genetic evaluation of Piétrain sires in Flanders occurs under standardized conditions, on test stations with fixed dam breeds, standardized diets and uniform management practices. As environmental conditions vary on commercial farms and differ from the test stations, this study aimed at understanding to what extent the sire, the dam breed and the interaction between both affects the translation of breeding values to practice. Dams of two commercial breeds were inseminated with semen from one of five different sires selected for contrasting breeding values (daily gain, feed conversion ratio and carcass quality). For each sire by dam breed combination, six pen replicates (with three gilts and three barrows per pen) were evaluated for growth performance from 9 weeks of age (20 kg) to slaughter (110 kg), and for carcass and meat quality. In our experimental setup, both sire and dam breed affected growth, carcass and meat quality traits. No significant sire×dam breed interactions on performance could be detected. Though a tendency for interaction on average daily feed intake between 20 and 110 kg (P=0.087), and on pork colour (lightness) (P=0.093) was present. In general, offspring of all tested sires behaved similarly in both dam breeds, indicating that estimated breeding values for Piétrain sires determined in one dam breed are representative in other dam breeds as well.
In the UK, 11.8% of expectant mothers undergo an elective caesarean section (ELCS) representing 92 000 births per annum. It is not known to what extent this procedure has an impact on mental well-being in the longer term.
To determine the prevalence and postpartum progression of anxiety and depression symptoms in women undergoing ELCS in Wales.
Prevalence of depression and anxiety were determined in women at University Hospital Wales (2015–16; n = 308) through completion of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS; ≥13) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; ≥40) questionnaires 1 day prior to ELCS, and three postpartum time points for 1 year. Maternal characteristics were determined from questionnaires and, where possible, confirmed from National Health Service maternity records.
Using these criteria the prevalence of reported depression symptoms was 14.3% (95% CI 10.9–18.3) 1 day prior to ELCS, 8.0% (95% CI 4.2–12.5) within 1 week, 8.7% (95% CI 4.2–13.8) at 10 weeks and 12.4% (95% CI 6.4–18.4) 1 year postpartum. Prevalence of reported anxiety symptoms was 27.3% (95% CI 22.5–32.4), 21.7% (95% CI 15.8–28.0), 25.3% (95% CI 18.5–32.7) and 35.1% (95% CI 26.3–44.2) at these same stages. Prenatal anxiety was not resolved after ELCS more than 1 year after delivery.
Women undergoing ELCS experience prolonged anxiety postpartum that merits focused clinical attention.
Based on the data from the Next Generation Virgo cluster Survey (NGVS), we statistically study the photometric properties of globular clusters (GCs), ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) and dwarf nuclei in the Virgo core (M87) region. We found an obvious negative color (g - z) gradient in GC system associate with M87, i.e. GCs in the outer regions are bluer. However, such color gradient does not exist in UCD system, neither in dwarf nuclei system around M87. In addition, we found that many UCDs are surrounded by extended, low surface brightness envelopes. The dwarf nuclei and UCDs show different spatial distributions from GCs, with dwarf nuclei and UCDs (especially for the UCDs with visible envelopes) lying at larger distances to the Virgo center. These results support the view that UCDs (at least for a fraction of UCDs) are more tied to dwarf nuclei than to GCs.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.