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Psychiatry draws widely upon insights from many realms ranging from public health, the social sciences, and the humanities. As psychiatric disorders affect mood, cognition, perception, emotion, and behavior, brain science is recognized as foundational to understanding their pathophysiology. Along with the disciplines of neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroradiology, psychiatry is often regarded as one of the clinical neurosciences.
The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
The fight for public health primacy in U.S. emergency preparedness and response to COVID-19 centers on which level of government — federal or state — should “call the shots” to quell national emergencies?
While phenotypically indistinguishable with respect to callousness, individuals with primary and secondary callous–unemotional (CU) traits may show different developmental outcomes. This research predominantly comprised cross-sectional studies of male participants with a focus on maladaptive correlates. Thus, the present study examined whether youth with primary and secondary CU traits identified in Grade 7 reported distinct maladaptive outcomes (internalizing, externalizing, and substance use problems; criminal offenses; and sexual and partner experiences) and adaptive outcomes (health and wellbeing, education, and employment) in adulthood at age 25. We also examined sex differences. Participants included the high-risk control and normative samples from the Fast Track project (N = 754, male = 58%, Black = 46%). Youth with secondary CU traits reported higher levels of adult internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, a greater number of sexual partners and risky sexual behavior, and a greater number of violent offenses, compared with individuals with primary CU traits and those with low CU and anxiety symptoms. Conversely, youth with primary CU traits and low symptoms had higher wellbeing and happiness scores than those with secondary CU traits. Finally, there was differentiation on outcomes between female primary and secondary CU variants and male primary and secondary CU variants.
We present stable isotope and osteological data from human remains at Paloma, Chilca I, La Yerba III, and Morro I that offer new evidence for diet, lifestyle, and habitual mobility in the first villages that proliferated along the arid Pacific coast of South America (ca. 6000 cal BP). The data not only reaffirm the dietary primacy of marine protein for this period but also show evidence at Paloma of direct access interactions between the coast and highlands, as well as habitual mobility in some parts of society. By locating themselves at the confluence of diverse coastal and terrestrial habitats, the inhabitants of these early villages were able to broaden their use of resources through rounds of seasonal mobility, while simultaneously increasing residential sedentism. Yet they paid little substantial health penalty for their settled lifestyles, as reflected in their osteological markers of stature and stress, compared with their agriculturalist successors even up to five millennia later. Contrasting data for the north coast of Chile indicate locally contingent differences. Considering these data in a wider chronological context contributes to understanding how increasing sedentism and population density laid the foundations here for the emergence of Late Preceramic social complexity.
Approved treatments for bipolar depression are limited and associated with a spectrum of undesirable side effects. Lumateperone (lumateperone tosylate, ITI−007), a mechanistically novel antipsychotic that simultaneously modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmission, is FDA-approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. Lumateperone is currently being investigated for the treatment of bipolar depression (major depressive episodes [MDE] associated with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder). This Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled multinational study (NCT03249376) investigated the efficacy and safety of lumateperone in patients with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder experiencing a MDE.
Patients (18 75 years) with a clinical diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II disorder who were experiencing a MDE (Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS] Total score =20 and a Clinical Global Impression Scale-Bipolar Version-Severity [CGI-BP-S] score =4 at screening and baseline) were randomized to lumateperone 42mg or placebo for 6 weeks. The primary and key secondary efficacy endpoints were change from baseline to Day 43 in MADRS total score and CGI-BP-S scores, respectively. Secondary efficacy outcomes included response (MADRS improvement = 50%) and remission (MADRS total score =12) at Day 43. Safety assessments included treatment emergent adverse events, laboratory parameters, vital signs, extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), and suicidality.
In this study, 377 patients received treatment (placebo, n=189; lumateperone 42mg, n=188) and 333 completed treatment. Patients in the lumateperone 42-mg group had significantly greater mean improvement on MADRS total score change from baseline to Day 43 compared with placebo (least squares mean difference [LSMD]=-4.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]=-6.34, −2.83; effect size vs placebo [ES]=-0.56; P<.0001). Lumateperone treatment was associated with significant MADRS improvement in both patients with bipolar I (LSMD=-4.0; 95% CI=-5.92, −1.99; ES=-0.49; P<.0001) and bipolar II (LSMD=-7.0; 95% CI=-10.92, −3.16; ES=-0.81; P=.0004). The lumateperone 42-mg group also had significantly greater mean improvement in CGI-BP-S total score compared with placebo (LSMD=-0.9; 95% CI=-1.37, −0.51; ES=-0.46; P<.001). Lumateperone compared with placebo had significantly greater MADRS response rate (51.1% vs 36.7%; odds ratio=2.98; P<.001) and remission rates (P=.02) at Day 43. Lumateperone treatment was well tolerated, with minimal risk of EPS, metabolic, and prolactin side effects.
Lumateperone 42 mg significantly improved depression symptoms in both patients with bipolar I and bipolar II depression. Lumateperone was generally well tolerated. These results suggest that lumateperone 42 mg may be a promising new treatment for bipolar depression associated with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder.
Adolescents who hold an entity theory of personality – the belief that people cannot change – are more likely to report internalizing symptoms during the socially stressful transition to high school. It has been puzzling, however, why a cognitive belief about the potential for change predicts symptoms of an affective disorder. The present research integrated three models – implicit theories, hopelessness theories of depression, and the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat – to shed light on this issue. Study 1 replicated the link between an entity theory and internalizing symptoms by synthesizing multiple datasets (N = 6,910). Study 2 examined potential mechanisms underlying this link using 8-month longitudinal data and 10-day diary reports during the stressful first year of high school (N = 533, 3,199 daily reports). The results showed that an entity theory of personality predicted increases in internalizing symptoms through tendencies to make fixed trait causal attributions about the self and maladaptive (i.e., “threat”) stress appraisals. The findings support an integrative model whereby situation-general beliefs accumulate negative consequences for psychopathology via situation-specific attributions and appraisals.
Subthreshold post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more prevalent than PTSD, yet its role as a potential risk factor for PTSD is unknown. To address this gap, we analysed data from a 7-year, prospective national cohort of USA veterans. Of veterans with subthreshold PTSD at wave 1, 34.3% developed PTSD compared with 7.6% of trauma-exposed veterans without subthreshold PTSD (relative risk ratio 6.4). Among veterans with subthreshold PTSD, specific PTSD symptoms, greater age, cognitive difficulties, lower dispositional optimism and new-onset traumas predicted incident PTSD. Results suggest that preventive interventions targeting subthreshold PTSD and associated factors may help mitigate risk for PTSD in USA veterans.
Community characteristics, such as collective efficacy, a measure of community strength, can affect behavioral responses following disasters. We measured collective efficacy 1 month before multiple hurricanes in 2005, and assessed its association to preparedness 9 months following the hurricane season.
Participants were 631 Florida Department of Health workers who responded to multiple hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. They completed questionnaires that were distributed electronically approximately 1 month before (6.2005-T1) and 9 months after (6.2006-T2) several storms over the 2005 hurricane season. Collective efficacy, preparedness behaviors, and socio-demographics were assessed at T1, and preparedness behaviors and hurricane-related characteristics (injury, community-related damage) were assessed at T2. Participant ages ranged from 21-72 (M(SD) = 48.50 (10.15)), and the majority were female (78%).
In linear regression models, univariate analyses indicated that being older (B = 0.01, SE = 0.003, P < 0.001), White (B = 0.22, SE = 0.08, P < 0.01), and married (B = 0.05, SE = 0.02, p < 0.001) was associated with preparedness following the 2005 hurricanes. Multivariate analyses, adjusting for socio-demographics, preparedness (T1), and hurricane-related characteristics (T2), found that higher collective efficacy (T1) was associated with preparedness after the hurricanes (B = 0.10, SE = 0.03, P < 0.01; and B = 0.47, SE = 0.04, P < 0.001 respectively).
Programs enhancing collective efficacy may be a significant part of prevention practices and promote preparedness efforts before disasters.
Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) is presented as the right science and analytical approach at the right time for resolving many of the Earth’s natural resource, environmental, and societal challenges. SEP embodies two major parts. One, the systems ecology approach, which is the holistic, systems thinking perspective and methodology developed for the rigorous study of ecosystems, including humans. Two, the use of ecosystem science, the vast body of scientific knowledge, much of which has been assembled using the ecosystem and systems ecology approaches. The fundamental philosophy, evolution, and application of the SEP are defined in this chapter. The organizing principles of the SEP include: many problems are complex and complicated and may have multiple causes; precise definitions of problems and their spatial, temporal, and organizational hierarchical scales are critical; collaborative decision making including scientists, technical and administrative staff members, and essential stakeholders is essential; transparent, honest, and effective communication is required; globalization of collaboration within interdisciplinary networks has been a hallmark of the paradigm; and integration of simulation modeling, field and laboratory studies has proven indispensable for many scientific breakthroughs. A call for integration of transdisciplinary science, policy making, and management is presented.
The evolution of ecosystem science and systems ecology as legitimate branches of science has occurred since the late 1960s. They have flourished because of their essential contributions to understanding and management of natural resources and the environment. Scientific knowledge about the structure and functioning of ecosystems, the services ecosystems provide to people, and the roles people play therein, have become commonplace. Scientists know what challenges face Earth’s environments and they know many of the solutions available to resolve them. But scientific knowledge alone is insufficient to implement change. Knowledge transfer to people who manage our lands, waters, and other natural resources is essential and they must become engaged in implementing solutions to major natural resource and environmental challenges. Adoption of new concepts and technologies is critical. Overcoming the barriers to adoption of best management practices is critically needed. Many of the barriers are created by adherence to dogmatic cultural norms and ideologies by landowners, managers, and policy makers. Behavioral, organizational, learning, and marketing professionals study behavioral change. The systems ecology paradigm must incorporate behavioral, organizational, learning, and marketing professionals as partners in implementing concepts of adoption cycles and community-based social marketing to solve wicked problems.
The Structured Analysis Methodology (SAM) is an application of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP). SAM was built as a “tutorial” to guide community-based, collaborative stakeholder groups through analysis and resolution (decision-making) of complicated and complex natural resource, environmental, and societal challenges. Stakeholders are scientists, managers, policy decision-makers, and citizen leaders. SAM was initially created to address landscape- to regional-scale ecosystem management challenges, but it can be applied to many other complex problems. During the problem analysis phase of SAM several critical steps must be accomplished (e.g., SAM requires precise, transparent, and agreed-upon statements of problems and goals; detailed descriptions of associated space, time, and institutional dimensions of the problem must be made; SAM demands inclusion of important stakeholders; and as the problem analysis develops, the stakeholder group initiates and refines conceptual models of how the defined ecosystem functions and behaves). Conceptual models often require systems or simulation modeling for further analysis and clarification. Following the analysis phase, the stakeholder group develops management options (e.g., ecosystem management), chooses among them (decision-making), and implements one or more. The implemented plans must be monitored and if they are not working make adaptations. Adaptation may require reiteration of part or all of the SAM.
The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) emerged in the late 1960s at a time when societies throughout the world were beginning to recognize that our environment and natural resources were being threatened by their activities. Management practices in rangelands, forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and waterways were inadequate to meet the challenges of deteriorating environments, many of which were caused by the practices themselves. Scientists recognized an immediate need was developing a knowledge base about how ecosystems function. That effort took nearly two decades (1980s) and concluded with the acceptance that humans were components of ecosystems, not just controllers and manipulators of lands and waters. While ecosystem science was being developed, management options based on ecosystem science were shifting dramatically toward practices supporting sustainability, resilience, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and local to global interconnections of ecosystems. Emerging from the new knowledge about how ecosystems function and the application of the systems ecology approach was the collaboration of scientists, managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders locally and globally. Today’s concepts of ecosystem management and related ideas, such as sustainable agriculture, ecosystem health and restoration, consequences of and adaptation to climate change, and many other important local to global challenges are a direct result of the SEP.