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The Liouville equation is of fundamental importance in the derivation of continuum models for physical systems which are approximated by interacting particles. However, when particles undergo instantaneous interactions such as collisions, the derivation of the Liouville equation must be adapted to exclude non-physical particle positions, and include the effect of instantaneous interactions. We present the weak formulation of the Liouville equation for interacting particles with general particle dynamics and interactions, and discuss the results using two examples.
This chapter provides an overview of economic and behavioral economic approaches to behavior change. The chapter begins with a description of the traditional or neoclassical economic view of decision-making using expected utility theory as its basis. Attempts by an external party (e.g., a government or agency) to change behavior are viewed as justifiable in a limited number of circumstances, such as when there are externalities or coordination failures. When behavior change is warranted, neoclassical economics has focused on four options: provide information, increase incentives, reduce prices, or increase subsidies, or impose regulations. To be successful, the approach must change the net benefits of the promoted behavior. The chapter then describes the rationale behind behavioral economic approaches to behavior change, emphasizing the role that “nudges” play in behavior change. Examples are provided of common heuristics and associated decision errors that can result, and how nudges are designed to overcome these decision errors. The underlying rationale and steps for developing nudges are summarized. Current evidence suggests that some nudges can be effective in changing behavior, but more research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of many nudge strategies. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the likely long-term impact of nudges in the field of behavior change.
‘Munchausen's syndrome by proxy’ characteristically describes women alleged to have fabricated or induced illnesses in children under their care, purportedly to attract attention. Where conclusive evidence exists the condition's aetiology remains speculative, where such evidence is lacking diagnosis hinges upon denial of wrong-doing (conduct also compatible with innocence). How might investigators obtain objective evidence of guilt or innocence? Here, we examine the case of a woman convicted of poisoning a child. She served a prison sentence but continues to profess her innocence. Using a modified fMRI protocol (previously published in 2001) we scanned the subject while she affirmed her account of events and that of her accusers. We hypothesized that she would exhibit longer response times in association with greater activation of ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices when endorsing those statements she believed to be false (i.e., when she ‘lied’). The subject was scanned 4 times at 3 Tesla. Results revealed significantly longer response times and relatively greater activation of ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices when she endorsed her accusers' version of events. Hence, while we have not ‘proven’ that this subject is innocent, we demonstrate that her behavioural and functional anatomical parameters behave as if she were.
Effective management of uncertainty can lead to better, more informed decisions. However, many decision makers and their advisers do not always face up to uncertainty, in part because there is little constructive guidance or tools available to help. This paper outlines six Uncertainty Principles to manage uncertainty.
Face up to uncertainty
Deconstruct the problem
Don’t be fooled (un/intentional biases)
Models can be helpful, but also dangerous
Think about adaptability and resilience
Bring people with you
These were arrived at following extensive discussions and literature reviews over a 5-year period. While this is an important topic for actuaries, the intended audience is any decision maker or advisor in any sector (public or private).
Concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy is the standard treatment for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal cancer. Cetuximab can be used in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, the randomised studies that led to approval for its use in this setting excluded nasopharyngeal cancer. In the context of limited data for the use of cetuximab in nasopharyngeal cancer in the medical literature, this review aimed to summarise the current evidence for its use in both primary and recurrent or metastatic disease.
A literature search was performed using the keywords ‘nasopharyngeal neoplasm’, ‘cetuximab’ and ‘Erbitux’.
Twenty studies were included. There were no randomised phase III trials, but there were nine phase II trials. The use of cetuximab in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma has been tested in various settings, including in combination with induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemoradiotherapy, and in the palliative setting.
There is no evidence of benefit from the addition of cetuximab to standard management protocols, and there is some evidence of increased toxicity. There is more promise for its use in metastatic or locally recurrent settings. This review draws together the existing evidence and could provide a focus for future studies.
Evidence from the literature shows that clinicians’ knowledge of rules and legislation surrounding driving can often be poor. A closed-loop audit was conducted to gauge the level of driving advice given to patients with dizziness.
The clinical notes of 100 patients referred to the vertigo clinic at a tertiary referral centre were retrospectively searched for evidence of driving advice. Education sessions were undertaken and a patient information leaflet was developed before a second cycle of the audit.
Results and conclusion
The proportion of patients having documented evidence of receiving driving advice increased from 6.3 per cent to 10.4 per cent. It is therefore clear that, despite this improvement, a significant proportion of patients’ notes did not contain documentation about driving. This is likely because of many reasons, including individual interpretation by clinicians. This paper provides a reminder of the rules, and discusses their interpretation and implementation in an increasingly medicolegal environment.
Childhood adversity (CA) increases the risk of subsequent mental health problems. Adolescent social support (from family and/or friends) reduces the risk of mental health problems after CA. However, the mechanisms of this effect remain unclear, and we speculate that they are manifested on neurodevelopmental levels. Therefore, we investigated whether family and/or friendship support at ages 14 and 17 function as intermediate variables for the relationship between CA before age 11 and affective or neural responses to social rejection feedback at age 18. We studied 55 adolescents with normative mental health at age 18 (26 with CA and therefore considered “resilient”), from a longitudinal cohort. Participants underwent a Social Feedback Task in the magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Social rejection feedback activated the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the left anterior insula. CA did not predict affective or neural responses to social rejection at age 18. Yet, CA predicted better friendships at age 14 and age 18, when adolescents with and without CA had comparable mood levels. Thus, adolescents with CA and normative mood levels have more adolescent friendship support and seem to have normal mood and neural responses to social rejection.
To verify the previously untested assumption that eating more salad enhances vegetable intake and determine if salad consumption is in fact associated with higher vegetable intake and greater adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations.
Individuals were classified as salad reporters or non-reporters based upon whether they consumed a salad composed primarily of raw vegetables on the intake day. Regression analyses were applied to calculate adjusted estimates of food group intakes and assess the likelihood of meeting Healthy US-Style Food Pattern recommendations by salad reporting status.
Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2011–2014 in What We Eat in America, the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
US adults (n 9678) aged ≥20 years (excluding pregnant and lactating women).
On the intake day, 23 % of adults ate salad. The proportion of individuals reporting salad varied by sex, age, race, income, education and smoking status (P<0·001). Compared with non-reporters, salad reporters consumed significantly larger quantities of vegetables (total, dark green, red/orange and other), which translated into a two- to threefold greater likelihood of meeting recommendations for these food groups. More modest associations were observed between salad consumption and differences in intake and likelihood of meeting recommendations for protein foods (total and seafood), oils and refined grains.
Study results confirm the DGA message that incorporating more salads in the diet is one effective strategy (among others, such as eating more cooked vegetables) to augment vegetable consumption and adherence to dietary recommendations concerning vegetables.
In this paper, we summarise and critique a network meta-analysis (NMA) of antidepressant efficacy and tolerability for paediatric depression and an accompanying editorial. Although we agree that many of the extant studies are flawed, this meta-analysis showed clear efficacy of fluoxetine in the NMA, and for sertraline and escitalopram in pairwise analyses. Consequently, these papers underestimate the benefits of antidepressants for paediatric depression, and provide support for current practice guideline, which recommends the use of an antidepressant if the patient does not respond to psychotherapy. In these circumstances, fluoxetine should be the first choice, with escitalopram and sertraline as alternatives.
Declaration of interest
D.A.B. receives royalties from Guilford Press, has or will receive royalties from the electronic self-rated version of the C-SSRS from eResearch Technology, Inc., is on the editorial board of UpToDate, and is a reviewer for Healthwise. R.D.G. serves as an expert witness for the US Department of Justice, Pfizer, Wyeth and GSK; and is the founder of Adaptive Testing Technologies. P.W. receives personal fees from Lundbeck and Takeda. B.D. reports a licensing agreement with Lundbeck for a psychosocial treatment manual for depression. No other disclosures were reported.
To identify predictive factors and mortality of patients with influenza admitted to intensive care units (ICU) we carried out a prospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza in adult ICUs in a network of Canadian hospitals between 2006 and 2012. There were 626 influenza-positive patients admitted to ICUs over the six influenza seasons, representing 17·9% of hospitalized influenza patients, 3·1/10 000 hospital admissions. Variability occurred in admission rate and proportion of hospital influenza patients who were admitted to ICUs (proportion range by year: 11·7–29·4%; 21·3% in the 2009–2010 pandemic). In logistic regression models ICU patients were younger during the pandemic and post-pandemic period, and more likely to be obese than hospital non-ICU patients. Influenza B accounted for 14·2% of all ICU cases and had a similar ICU admission rate as influenza A. Influenza-related mortality was 17·8% in ICU patients compared to 2·0% in non-ICU patients.
Cardiomyopathy is a rare disorder of the heart muscle, affecting 1.13 cases per 100,000 children, from birth to 18 years of age. Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of heart transplantation in children over the age of 1. The Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry funded in 1994 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was established to examine the epidemiology of the disease in children below 18 years of age. More than 3500 children across the United States and Canada have been enrolled in the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry, which has followed-up these patients until death, heart transplantation, or loss to follow-up. The Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry has provided the most in-depth illustration of this disease regarding its aetiology, clinical course, associated risk factors, and patient outcomes. Data from the registry have helped in guiding the clinical management of cardiomyopathy in children under 18 years of age; however, questions still remain regarding the most clinically effective diagnostic and treatment approaches for these patients. Future directions of the registry include the use of next-generation whole-exome sequencing and cardiac biomarkers to identify aetiology-specific treatments and improve diagnostic strategies. This article provides a brief synopsis of the work carried out by the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry since its inception, including the current knowledge on the aetiologies, outcomes, and treatments of cardiomyopathy in children.
We studied the timing of occurrence of 1676 sporadic, community-acquired cases of Legionnaires' disease in England and Wales between 1993 and 2008, in relation to temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, windspeed and ultraviolet light using a fixed-stratum case-crossover approach. The analysis was conducted using conditional logistic regression, with consideration of appropriate lag periods. There was evidence of an association between the risk of Legionnaires' disease and temperature with an apparently long time lag of 1–9 weeks [odds of disease at 95th vs. 75th centiles: 3·91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·06–7·40], and with rainfall at short time lags (of 2–10 days) (odds of disease at 75th vs. 50th centiles: 1·78, 95% CI 1·50–2·13). There was some evidence that the risk of disease in relation to high temperatures was greater at high relative humidities. A higher risk of Legionnaires' disease may be indicated by preceding periods of warmer wetter weather.
This article represents a systematic effort to answer the question, What are archaeology’s most important scientific challenges? Starting with a crowd-sourced query directed broadly to the professional community of archaeologists, the authors augmented, prioritized, and refined the responses during a two-day workshop focused specifically on this question. The resulting 25 “grand challenges” focus on dynamic cultural processes and the operation of coupled human and natural systems. We organize these challenges into five topics: (1) emergence, communities, and complexity; (2) resilience, persistence, transformation, and collapse; (3) movement, mobility, and migration; (4) cognition, behavior, and identity; and (5) human-environment interactions. A discussion and a brief list of references accompany each question. An important goal in identifying these challenges is to inform decisions on infrastructure investments for archaeology. Our premise is that the highest priority investments should enable us to address the most important questions. Addressing many of these challenges will require both sophisticated modeling and large-scale synthetic research that are only now becoming possible. Although new archaeological fieldwork will be essential, the greatest pay off will derive from investments that provide sophisticated research access to the explosion in systematically collected archaeological data that has occurred over the last several decades.
Despite the high prevalence of postnatal depression (PND), few women seek help. Internet interventions may overcome many of the barriers to PND treatment use. We report a phase II evaluation of a 12-session, modular, guided Internet behavioural activation (BA) treatment modified to address postnatal-specific concerns [Netmums Helping With Depression (NetmumsHWD)].
To assess feasibility, we measured recruitment and attrition to the trial and examined telephone session support and treatment adherence. We investigated sociodemographic and psychological predictors of treatment adherence. Effectiveness outcomes were estimated with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Work and Social Adjustment Scale, Postnatal Bonding Questionnaire, and Social Provisions Scale.
A total of 249 women were recruited via a UK parenting site, Netmums.com. A total of 83 women meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder were randomized to NetmumsHWD (n = 41) or treatment-as-usual (TAU; n = 42). Of the 83 women, 71 (86%) completed the EPDS at post-treatment, and 71% (59/83) at the 6-month follow-up. Women completed an average of eight out of 12 telephone support sessions and five out of 12 modules. Working women and those with less support completed fewer modules. There was a large effect size favouring women who received NetmumsHWD on depression, work and social impairment, and anxiety scores at post-treatment compared with women in the TAU group, and a large effect size on depression at 6 months post-treatment. There were small effect sizes for postnatal bonding and perceived social support.
A supported, modular, Internet BA programme can be feasibly delivered to postpartum women, offering promise to improve depression, anxiety and functioning.
We describe epidemiological trends in Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed wild badger (Meles meles) population. Data were derived from the capture, clinical sampling and serological testing of 1803 badgers over 9945 capture events spanning 24 years. Incidence and prevalence increased over time, exhibiting no simple relationship with host density. Potential explanations are presented for a marked increase in the frequency of positive serological test results. Transmission rates (R0) estimated from empirical data were consistent with modelled estimates and robust to changes in test sensitivity and the spatial extent of the population at risk. The risk of a positive culture or serological test result increased with badger age, and varied seasonally. Evidence consistent with progressive disease was found in cubs. This study demonstrates the value of long-term data and the repeated application of imperfect diagnostic tests as indices of infection to reveal epidemiological trends in M. bovis infection in badgers.