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The following position statement from the Union of the European Phoniatricians, updated on 25th May 2020 (superseding the previous statement issued on 21st April 2020), contains a series of recommendations for phoniatricians and ENT surgeons who provide and/or run voice, swallowing, speech and language, or paediatric audiology services.
This material specifically aims to inform clinical practices in countries where clinics and operating theatres are reopening for elective work. It endeavours to present a current European view in relation to common procedures, many of which fall under the aegis of aerosol generating procedures.
As evidence continues to build, some of the recommended practices will undoubtedly evolve, but it is hoped that the updated position statement will offer clinicians precepts on safe clinical practice.
The European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) aimed to study a large sample of young patients who are at risk of psychosis and to estimate their conversion rate to psychosis during 18 months follow-up. This presentation describes quality of life and its changes in patients at risk of psychosis.
In six European centres, 16 to 35 year old psychiatric patients were examined. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning. Quality of life (QoL), measured by the Modular System for Quality of Life, was assessed at baseline and at 9 and 18 months’ follow-ups. Psychiatric patients without prodromal symptoms and healthy subjects were comparison groups.
In all, 245 risk patients were included. At baseline, they reported lower QoL than non-risk patients and healthy controls. Basic symptoms associated negatively with QoL, and there were differences between the study centres. During the follow-up, QoL raised less in risk patients than in non-risk patients. Baseline QoL did not predict transition to psychosis. However, its development was poorer in patients with than in those without transition to psychosis.
Those of the psychiatric patients who are at risk of psychosis have lower QoL than other psychiatric patients or healthy controls. QoL does not predict transition to psychosis, but its changes correlates with changes in clinical state. The results indicate that there is a need for comprehensive intervention with the patients at risk of psychosis.
Both schizophrenia and ultra high risk (UHR) patients show reduced neurocognitive performance compared to matched healthy control subjects. In the current study we compared neurocognitive performance at baseline and follow up between UHR patients who made the transition to psychosis and patients who did not.
Patients were eligible for the study when they met criteria for one or more of the following groups: Attenuated symptoms or brief limited intermitted psychotic symptoms or a first degree family member with a psychotic disorder and reduced functioning or basic symptoms. We assessed 216 UHR patients (166 males, mean age: 22,6 SD 5,2) with a neuropsychological test battery composed of the National adult reading test (premorbid IQ), California verbal memory test (verbal memory), spatial working memory test, verbal fluency first letter and categories (executive functioning), finger tapping test (motor speed) and continuous performance test (sustained attention). Data were collected in 7 participating centres of EPOS. Follow up was at 9 months.
37 UHR patients made the transition to psychosis (25 males, mean age 21,5 SD 4,8). The only test that showed a significant difference between the transition and non transition group at baseline was verbal fluency categories (t= 2.79, p = 0.006).
Patients who later make the transition to psychosis perform significantly worse on verbal fluency categories than patients who do not make the transition to psychosis. Verbal fluency may contribute to an improved prediction of psychosis in UHR patients. Follow up results will also be presented.
The European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) involved a large (n=245) sample of young individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis. Participants appraisals of criticism and emotional over-involvement were described employing the Level of Expressed Emotion (LEE) measure. This presentation explores results and implications over an 18 month follow-up period.
Across six European centres, n=245 patients aged 16 – 35 years and ascertained to be at high-risk of developing psychosis were assessed over a period of eighteen months. Risk of psychosis was defined by occurrence of basic symptoms, attenuated psychotic symptoms, brief, limited or intermittent psychotic symptoms or familial risk plus reduced functioning. Appraisals of familial expressed emotion from participants towards key family members were examined for relationships to risk of transition to psychosis, psychotic symptomatology and demographical data.
Individuals at high-risk of psychosis were included and compared on the five sub-scales of LEE. Levels of Criticism, Irritability, Intrusiveness and Lack of emotional support were examined with significant correlations found between patient-perceived intrusive over-involvement and depression as well as between sub-scales of LEE and positive symptoms of psychosis. Transition to psychosis was not predicted by LEE in participants.
Perceived LEE of significant others by individuals at high-risk of developing psychosis may have a role in the maintenance of both affective and positive psychotic symptoms prior to the onset of full psychosis. Further explorations of the impact of EE appraisal on developing psychotic symptoms may inform potential targets for therapeutic intervention in both at-risk individuals and family members.
Early detection and indicated early intervention in the initial prodromal phase should considerably improve the course of psychoses. Yet, the benefits of such programmes still require an evidence-based evaluation on the basis of a sufficient sample-size.
This report presents an overview on the concept and design of the European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS) an European 4-country naturalistic field-study of the initial Prodrome.
Materials and Methods
Across six participating centres (Germany: Cologne, Berlin; Finland: Turku; The Netherlands: Amsterdam; United Kingdom: Birmingham, Manchester), 16 to 40 year old putatively prodromal persons attending specialized services or general psychiatric services underwent multi-level baseline, 9-months follow-up, and 18-months follow-up examinations. Inclusion criteria were the presence of APS, BLIPS, at least 2 of 9 Basic Symptoms (BS), and Familial Risk or Schizotypal Personality Disorder plus Reduced Functioning (FR+RF). In addition, psychopathological, neurocognitive, neurobiological, psychosocial, and service and treatment-related assessments were carried out.
A substantial part of more than 250 subjects included into the study participated in their respective baseline, 1st follow-up, and 2nd follow-up examinations. A high percentage presented themselves with BS and/or APS, a smaller percentage with BLIPS or FR+RF. The rates of transition into psychosis and the levels of psychopathology, distress and functional decline found among this patient group underline the need for indicated early recognition and intervention.
EPOS provides for the first time a sound data base allowing an evaluation of the applicability and cost-benefit ratio of early detection and intervention programmes in Europe.
A main objective of EPOS is to provide a valid multifactorial model for the prediction of psychosis. One major element of such a model should be the clinical state.
In a European multicentre study, persons fulfilling clinical criteria thought to indicate an increased risk for psychosis (PAR) were assessed amongst others with different psychopathological instruments covering the whole spectrum from basic symptoms to frank psychotic symptoms. Inclusion criteria comprised attenuated positive symptoms (APS), brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS), cognitive basic symptoms (CogDis) and a combination of family risk and reduced functioning (S&T).
246 PAR were included into the study, mostly by APS or CogDis. Analysis of demographical data showed a high amount of functional impairment, resulting e.g. in low mean GAF scores (51.0 ± 11.8 SD), and of non-psychotic axis-I disorders. In September 2006, the hazard rate for a conversion to psychosis was 15.3 at 12 and 20.0 at 18 months after baseline assessment. According to the inclusion criteria, the highest rate of conversion was observed among PAR with BLIPS. On a dimensional level, a low GAF score was among the best predictors of conversion.
The transition rates of EPOS were in line with recent studies. A first analysis of clinical data supports the notion that the functional state should be an inherent part of any set of clinical risk criteria. Further analysis will consider the contribution of single symptoms or symptom combinations and the impact of symptom duration.
One aim of the European prediction of psychosis study (EPOS) has been to evaluate the clinical course of putatively prodromal patients in terms of psychopathology.
245 patients at risk for psychosis defined by attenuated positive symptoms, brief limited psychotic symptoms, a state/ trait combination or cognitive-perceptive basic symptoms was recruited in six centres in four countries. The Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and the Bonn Scale for the Assessment of Basic Symptoms – Prediction List (BSABS-P) were employed. Follow-up was scheduled after 9 months (t1) and 18 months.
In total, 40 patients developed a psychosis (P). Compared to those without a transition (NP), P showed significantly higher SIPS scores at baseline. The same applied to the BSABS-P sub-scores 'cognitive perception disturbances' and 'cognitive motor disturbances'. The P sub-group developing psychosis after t1 showed no significant change of the SIPS positive (SIPS-P) sub-score or of any BSABS-P score from baseline to t1, whereas all scores improved in the NP group. At t1, SIPS-P and BSABS-P sub-score 'cognitive thought disturbances' were significantly lower in those later becoming psychotic.
Patients at risk showing a transition to psychosis during exhibited a pronounced psychopathology at baseline. Also, the positive symptom scores did not significantly improve during 1st follow-up, whereas those patients with no transition during the complete follow-up showed an improvement of all scores. As EPOS is a naturalistic study, different treatments have been performed in a considerable portion of the patients and association with course awaits further analysis.
A considerable number of patients at clinical high risk of psychosis (CHR) are found to meet criteria for co-morbid clinical psychiatric disorders.
It is not known how clinical diagnoses correspond to transitions to psychosis (TTP).
We aimed to examine distributions of life-time and current Axis I diagnoses, and their association with TTP in CHR patients.
In the European Prediction of Psychosis Study project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were examined, and their baseline and life-time diagnoses were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I). TTP was defined by continuation of BLIPS for more than seven days.
Altogether, 71 % of the CHR patients had one or more life-time and 62 % one or more current SCID-I diagnosis; about a half in each category received a diagnosis of life-time depressive and anxiety disorder. Currently, 34 % suffered from depressive, 39 % from anxiety disorder, 4 % from bipolar and 6.5 % from somatoform disorder. During follow-up, 37 (15.1 %) TTPs were identified. In multivariate Cox regression analyses, current bipolar disorder, somatoform and unipolar depressive disorders associated positively, and anxiety disorders negatively, with TTP.
Both life-time and current mood and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent among help-seeking CHR patients and need to be carefully evaluated. Among them, occurrence of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders seem to predict TTP, while anxiety disorder may predict non-transition to psychosis. Treatment of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders may prevent CHR patients from developing full-blown psychotic disorders.
Depressive and anxiety disorders are the most common clinical diagnoses in patients at clinical high-risk (CHR) of psychosis (1).
Clinical disorders and functioning in CHR patients.
To study how depressive and anxiety disorders associate with patients’ functioning at baseline and follow-ups in CHR patients.
In the EPOS project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were examined, and their baseline diagnoses were assessed by the SCID-I. The patients were interviewed with the SIPS/SOPS, including assessments of positive and negative symptoms and the Global Assessment of Function (GAF), at baseline and at 9 and 18 months follow-ups.
At baseline and follow-ups, the patients without depressive or anxiety disorders had highest GAF scores. At baseline, the patients with depressive disorders had lower GAF scores than the patients with anxiety disorders. At follow-ups, there were no differences in GAF scores between the patients with depressive or anxiety disorders. In modelling, negative symptoms associated with low GAF scores at baseline and follow-ups, positive symptoms only at baseline and anxiety disorders at 18 months follow-up.
Depressive and anxiety disorders associate with poor functional outcome, and require thus special attention when intervention for the CHR patients is carried out. Positive symptoms predict transition to psychosis (2), but their role in predicting functional outcome is not as great. Instead, negative symptoms associate with poor functional outcome and require intensive intervention.
(1) Salokangas RKR et al. Schizophr Res 2012, doi:10.1016/j.schres.2012.03.008.
(2) Ruhrmann S et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2010;67:241-251.
Schizotypal features indicate proneness to psychosis in the general population. It is also possible that they increase transition to psychosis (TTP) among clinical high-risk patients (CHR). Our aim was to investigate whether schizotypal features predict TTP in CHR patients.
In the EPOS (European Prediction of Psychosis Study) project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were prospectively followed for 18 months and their TTP was identified. At baseline, subjects were assessed with the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Associations between SPQ items and its subscales with the TTP were analysed in Cox regression analysis.
The SPQ subscales and items describing ideas of reference and lack of close interpersonal relationships were found to correlate significantly with TTP. The co-occurrence of these features doubled the risk of TTP.
Presence of ideas of reference and lack of close interpersonal relations increase the risk of full-blown psychosis among CHR patients. This co-occurrence makes the risk of psychosis very high.
Cigarette smoking is highly prevalent among young people experiencing homelessness, and many of these smokers are motivated to quit. However, there is a lack of readily available cessation services for this population, which is highly mobile and can be challenging to engage in services.
We describe the development of a smoking cessation text messaging intervention (TMI) for homeless youth who are interested in quitting smoking.
Participants were 18–25 years old and recruited from drop-in centers serving homeless youth. Three focus groups (N = 18) were conducted with smokers to refine the TMI content, and a separate sample of smokers (N = 8) provided feedback on the TMI after using it for 1 week. Survey data assessed the TMI's acceptability and feasibility.
Participants generally rated the TMI as helpful and relevant, and nearly all had cell phone plans that included unlimited texting and were able to view TMI content with few difficulties. Qualitative feedback on strengths/limitations of the TMI in terms of content, tone, and delivery parameters was used to finalize the TMI for a future evaluation.
Results suggest that a TMI is a feasible and acceptable option for young people experiencing homelessness who are interested in quitting smoking.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
We designed a parent-directed home-visiting intervention targeting socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in children's early language environments. A randomized controlled trial was used to evaluate whether the intervention improved parents' knowledge of child language development and increased the amount and diversity of parent talk. Twenty-three mother–child dyads (12 experimental, 11 control, aged 1;5–3;0) participated in eight weekly hour-long home-visits. In the experimental group, but not the control group, parent knowledge of language development increased significantly one week and four months after the intervention. In lab-based observations, parent word types and tokens and child word types increased significantly one week, but not four months, post-intervention. In home-based observations, adult word tokens, conversational turn counts, and child vocalization counts increased significantly during the intervention, but not post-intervention. The results demonstrate the malleability of child-directed language behaviors and knowledge of child language development among low-SES parents.
The present study is dealing with the basic physics for a novel way to generate a free-formed ceramic body, not like common layer by layer, but directly by Selective Volume Sintering (SVS) in a compact block of ceramic powder. To penetrate with laser light into the volume of a ceramic powder compact it is necessary to investigate the light scattering properties of ceramic powders. Compared with polymers and metals, ceramic materials are unique as they offer a wide optical window of transparency. The optical window typically ranges from below 0.3 up to 5 µm wave length. In the present study thin layers of quartz glass (SiO2) particles have been prepared. As a function of layer thickness and the particle size, transmission and reflection spectra in a wave length range between 0.5 and 2.5 µm have been recorded. Depending on the respective particle size and by choosing a proper relation between particle size and wave length of the incident laser radiation, it is found that light can penetrate a powder compact up to a depth of a few millimeters. With an adjustment of the light absorption properties of the compact the initiation of sintering in the volume of the compact is possible.
Rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus Nuttall spp. (Asteraceae), is a
common perennial native shrub across the inland western United States. In
the Columbia Basin growing district of Washington State, rabbitbrush is
often found in close proximity to potatoes and other agronomic crops, but
its value as a conservation reservoir and source of parasitoids of merit in
agriculture is unknown. Here, we define the aphid parasitoids frequenting
rabbitbrush, their aphid host preferences, seasonal occurrence, and linkage
or association with other aphids of economic and noneconomic importance.
Extensive field collections, lab-holdings, and rearings were used to explore
and characterise the fauna. One new species of aphidiine parasitoid is
described and illustrated: Praon cowiche Hollingbery and
Pike, new species and a key to the parasitoids of rabbitbrush
aphids is provided.
Apterous adult morphs of eriosomatine aphids associated with moss (Bryophyta) and/or roots of conifer (Pinaceae) or willow (Salix Linnaeus (Salicaceae)) in forests of the North American Pacific Northwest including Alaska are described, illustrated, and keyed. In total, seven species (Clydesmithia canadensis Danielsson, Melaphis rhois (Fitch) (moss only feeder), Pachypappa rosettei (Maxson), Pachypappa sacculi (Gillette), Prociphilus americanus (Walker) (fir root only feeder), Prociphilus xylostei (De Geer), and Thecabius populimonilis (Riley)) are characterised from their secondary host habitats. Secondary host forms of C. canadensis and T. populimonilis are described for the first time. The morphotypes from the secondary hosts were confirmed through deoxyribonucleic acid sequence matching with those from the primary hosts.
A molecular and biometric assessment and redescription of Myzodium mimulicola (Drews and Sampson) are provided. New North American host and distributional data are presented, including the first record from Alaska. Myzodium knowltoni (Smith and Robinson) is a junior subjective synonym of M. mimulicola, based on molecular-sequence and morphological evidence. A key to the known Myzodium species (apterae and alatae) is included.
Species of Braggia Gillette and Palmer (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Aphidinae: Aphidini) feed on various buckwheat, Eriogonum Michx. (Polygonaceae), species in western North America. Two new species, Braggia columbiana Pike n. sp. from Washington and Oregon and Braggia longicauda Pike n. sp. from Washington, Oregon, and northern California, are proposed. Descriptions, diagnoses, illustrations, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 “barcode” sequences, a key to the species of Braggia, and notes on biology, distribution, and parasitoid associations are provided.