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Anxiety and depression are leading causes of disability worldwide, yet individuals are often unable to access appropriate treatment. There is a need to develop effective interventions that can be delivered remotely. Previous research has suggested that emotional processing biases are a potential target for intervention, and these may be altered through brief training programs.
We report two experimental medicine studies of emotional bias training in two samples: individuals from the general population (n = 522) and individuals currently taking antidepressants to treat anxiety or depression (n = 212). Participants, recruited online, completed four sessions of EBT from their own home. Mental health and cognitive functioning outcomes were assessed at baseline, immediately post-training, and at 2-week follow-up.
In both studies, our intervention successfully trained participants to perceive ambiguous social information more positively. This persisted at a 2-week follow-up. There was no clear evidence that this change in emotional processing transferred to improvements in symptoms in the primary analyses. However, in both studies, there was weak evidence for improved quality of life following EBT amongst individuals with more depressive symptoms at baseline. No clear evidence of transfer effects was observed for self-reported daily stress, anhedonia or depressive symptoms. Exploratory analyses suggested that younger participants reported greater treatment gains.
These studies demonstrate the effectiveness of delivering a multi-session online training program to promote lasting cognitive changes. Given the inconsistent evidence for transfer effects, EBT requires further development before it can be considered as a treatment for anxiety and depression.
The aim of this study was to test the appearance of negative dominance in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine-related information and activity online. We hypothesized that if negative dominance appeared, it would be a reflection of peaks in adverse events related to the vaccine, that negative content would attract more engagement on social media than other vaccine-related posts, and posts referencing adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccination would have a higher average toxicity score.
We collected data using Google Trends for search behavior, CrowdTangle for social media data, and Media Cloud for media stories, and compared them against the dates of key adverse events related to COVID-19. We used Communalytic to analyze the toxicity of social media posts by platform and topic.
While our first hypothesis was partially supported, with peaks in search behavior for image and YouTube videos driven by adverse events, we did not find negative dominance in other types of searches or patterns of attention by news media or on social media.
We did not find evidence in our data to prove the negative dominance of adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccination on social media. Future studies should corroborate these findings and, if consistent, focus on explaining why this may be the case.
This study aimed to investigate general factors associated with prognosis regardless of the type of treatment received, for adults with depression in primary care.
We searched Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and Cochrane Central (inception to 12/01/2020) for RCTs that included the most commonly used comprehensive measure of depressive and anxiety disorder symptoms and diagnoses, in primary care depression RCTs (the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule: CIS-R). Two-stage random-effects meta-analyses were conducted.
Twelve (n = 6024) of thirteen eligible studies (n = 6175) provided individual patient data. There was a 31% (95%CI: 25 to 37) difference in depressive symptoms at 3–4 months per standard deviation increase in baseline depressive symptoms. Four additional factors: the duration of anxiety; duration of depression; comorbid panic disorder; and a history of antidepressant treatment were also independently associated with poorer prognosis. There was evidence that the difference in prognosis when these factors were combined could be of clinical importance. Adding these variables improved the amount of variance explained in 3–4 month depressive symptoms from 16% using depressive symptom severity alone to 27%. Risk of bias (assessed with QUIPS) was low in all studies and quality (assessed with GRADE) was high. Sensitivity analyses did not alter our conclusions.
When adults seek treatment for depression clinicians should routinely assess for the duration of anxiety, duration of depression, comorbid panic disorder, and a history of antidepressant treatment alongside depressive symptom severity. This could provide clinicians and patients with useful and desired information to elucidate prognosis and aid the clinical management of depression.
Little is known about the relationship between psychomotor disturbance (PMD) and treatment outcome of psychotic depression. This study examined the association between PMD and subsequent remission and relapse of treated psychotic depression.
Two hundred and sixty-nine men and women aged 18–85 years with an episode of psychotic depression were treated with open-label sertraline plus olanzapine for up to 12 weeks. Participants who remained in remission or near-remission following an 8-week stabilization phase were eligible to participate in a 36-week randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared the efficacy and tolerability of sertraline plus olanzapine (n = 64) with sertraline plus placebo (n = 62). PMD was measured with the psychiatrist-rated sign-based CORE at acute phase baseline and at RCT baseline. Spearman's correlations and logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the association between CORE total score at acute phase baseline and remission/near-remission and CORE total score at RCT baseline and relapse.
Higher CORE total score at acute phase baseline was associated with lower frequency of remission/near-remission. Higher CORE total score at RCT baseline was associated with higher frequency of relapse, in the RCT sample as a whole, as well as in each of the two randomized groups.
PMD is associated with poorer outcome of psychotic depression treated with sertraline plus olanzapine. Future research needs to examine the neurobiology of PMD in psychotic depression in relation to treatment outcome.
Influenza vaccination remains the most effective primary prevention strategy for seasonal influenza. This research explores the percentage of emergency medical services (EMS) clinicians who received the seasonal flu vaccine in a given year, along with their reasons for vaccine acceptance and potential barriers.
A survey was distributed to all EMS clinicians in Virginia during the 2018-2019 influenza season. The primary outcome was vaccination status. Secondary outcomes were attitudes and perceptions toward influenza vaccination, along with patient care behaviors when treating an influenza patient.
Ultimately, 2796 EMS clinicians throughout Virginia completed the survey sufficiently for analysis. Participants were mean 43.5 y old, 60.7% male, and included the full range of certifications. Overall, 79.4% of surveyed EMS clinicians received a seasonal flu vaccine, 74% had previously had the flu, and 18% subjectively reported previous side effects from the flu vaccine. Overall, 54% of respondents believed their agency has influenza or respiratory specific plans or procedures.
In a large, state-wide survey of EMS clinicians, overall influenza vaccination coverage was 79.4%. Understanding the underlying beliefs of EMS clinicians remains a critical priority for protecting these frontline clinicians. Agencies should consider practical policies, such as on-duty vaccination, to increase uptake.
Effective mentoring is a key mechanism propelling successful research and academic careers, particularly for early career scholars. Most mentoring programs focus on models pairing senior and early career researchers, with limited focus on peer mentoring. Peer mentoring may be especially advantageous within emerging areas such as implementation science (IS) where challenges to traditional mentoring may be more prevalent. This special communication highlights the value of peer mentoring by describing a case study of an early career IS peer mentoring group. We delineate our curriculum and structure; support and processes; and products and outcomes. We highlight important group member characteristics to consider during group formation and continuation. The group’s long-term (6 years) success was attributed to the balance of similarities and differences among group members. Members were in a similar career phase and used similar methodologies but studied different health topics at different institutions. Group members gave and received instrumental and psychosocial support and shared resources and knowledge. Peer mentoring can serve an important function to provide emotional, logistical, and professional development support for early career scholars. Our case study highlights strategies to foster peer mentoring groups that provide a generalizable blueprint and opportunity for improved outcomes for early career professionals.
Dopaminergic imaging is an established biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies, but its diagnostic accuracy at the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage remains uncertain.
To provide robust prospective evidence of the diagnostic accuracy of dopaminergic imaging at the MCI stage to either support or refute its inclusion as a biomarker for the diagnosis of MCI with Lewy bodies.
We conducted a prospective diagnostic accuracy study of baseline dopaminergic imaging with [123I]N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane single-photon emission computerised tomography (123I-FP-CIT SPECT) in 144 patients with MCI. Images were rated as normal or abnormal by a panel of experts with access to striatal binding ratio results. Follow-up consensus diagnosis based on the presence of core features of Lewy body disease was used as the reference standard.
At latest assessment (mean 2 years) 61 patients had probable MCI with Lewy bodies, 26 possible MCI with Lewy bodies and 57 MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. The sensitivity of baseline FP-CIT visual rating for probable MCI with Lewy bodies was 66% (95% CI 52–77%), specificity 88% (76–95%) and accuracy 76% (68–84%), with positive likelihood ratio 5.3.
It is over five times as likely for an abnormal scan to be found in probable MCI with Lewy bodies than MCI due to Alzheimer's disease. Dopaminergic imaging appears to be useful at the MCI stage in cases where Lewy body disease is suspected clinically.
The national response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted critical weaknesses in domestic health care and public health emergency preparedness, despite nearly 2 decades of federal funding for multiple programs designed to encourage cross-cutting collaboration in emergency response. Health-care coalitions (HCCs), which are funded through the Hospital Preparedness Program, were first piloted in 2007 and have been continuously funded nationwide since 2012 to support broad collaborations across public health, emergency management, emergency medical services, and the emergency response arms of the health-care system within a geographical area. This commentary provides a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to summarize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the current HCC model against the backdrop of COVID-19. We close with concrete recommendations for better leveraging the HCC model for improved health-care system readiness. These include better evaluating the role of HCCs and their members (including the responsibility of the HCC to better communicate and align with other sectors), reconsidering the existing framework for HCC administration, increasing incentives for meaningful community participation in HCC preparedness, and supporting next-generation development of health-care preparedness systems for future pandemics.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the use of social network analysis to understand public discourse on Twitter around the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We examined different network properties that might affect the successful dissemination by and adoption of public health messages from public health officials and health agencies.
We focused on conversations on Twitter during 3 key communication events from late January to early June of 2020. We used Netlytic, a Web-based software that collects publicly available data from social media sites such as Twitter.
We found that the network of conversations around COVID-19 is highly decentralized, fragmented, and loosely connected; these characteristics can hinder the successful dissemination of public health messages in a network. Competing conversations and misinformation can hamper risk communication efforts in a way that imperil public health.
Looking at basic metrics might create a misleading picture of the effectiveness of risk communication efforts on social media if not analyzed within the context of the larger network. Social network analysis of conversations on social media should be an integral part of how public health officials and agencies plan, monitor, and evaluate risk communication efforts.
The lack of radiation knowledge among the general public continues to be a challenge for building communities prepared for radiological emergencies. This study applied a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to the results of an expert survey to identify priority risk reduction messages and challenges to increasing community radiological emergency preparedness.
Professionals with expertise in radiological emergency preparedness, state/local health and emergency management officials, and journalists/journalism academics were surveyed following a purposive sampling methodology. An MCDA was used to weight criteria of importance in a radiological emergency, and the weighted criteria were applied to topics such as sheltering-in-place, decontamination, and use of potassium iodide. Results were reviewed by respondent group and in aggregate.
Sheltering-in-place and evacuation plans were identified as the most important risk reduction measures to communicate to the public. Possible communication challenges during a radiological emergency included access to accurate information; low levels of public trust; public knowledge about radiation; and communications infrastructure failures.
Future assessments for community readiness for a radiological emergency should include questions about sheltering-in-place and evacuation plans to inform risk communication.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Vaginal ring delivery of antiretroviral drugs may provide protection against acquisition of HIV-1 when used as pre-exposure prophylaxis. As part of a randomized placebo-controlled safety trial of a tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) intravaginal ring (IVR), we assessed product acceptability through surveys of 17 women after continuous ring use. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Sexually active, HIV negative women between the ages of 18 and 45 were enrolled to investigate the safety and pharmacokinetics of three months of continuous TDF IVR use. The study was designed to include 40 US participants randomly assigned (3:1) to a TDF or placebo IVR. Twelve were randomized to TDF and five were assigned to the placebo group before the study was electively discontinued due to development of vaginal ulcerations in eight women in the TDF group. Acceptability data regarding TDF and placebo ring use was gathered via self-administered, computer-based questionnaires at the one- and three-month study visits. Participants were asked about overall attitudes and feelings regarding the TDF and placebo IVR, vaginal changes associated with ring use, and their experiences with ring use during menses and with sex. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The mean age of participants was 30 years (range 18 - 42). Sixteen of 17 (94%) participants completed all study questions at both visits. When asked about ring likeability at one-month, 12 of 16 (75%) women reported overall liking the ring, including 5 of 8 (63%) who developed ulcerations. Vaginal changes described during ring use included 8 participants who indicated that the “vagina was wetter” and 2 who reported that the “vagina was drier.” Additionally, 10 of 12 (83%) who had their period during the first month of the study were not bothered by ring use during menses, and 11 of 16 (69%) stated that the ring was not bothersome with use during sex. When asked at the three-month visit, most reported that they would prefer to wear the ring rather than use a condom during sex, however, condom use was low at baseline in this population. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Despite unanticipated ulcers, the IVRs were acceptable, especially when used with menses and during sex. Regardless of the group assigned or vaginal changes experienced, and even amongst those who developed ulcerations, the women had positive attitudes towards the ring, which is promising for future use of vaginal rings as a method for HIV prevention.
The otoliths (ear stones) of fishes are commonly used to describe the age and growth of marine and freshwater fishes. These non-skeletal structures are fortuitous in their utility by being composed of mostly inorganic carbonate that is inert through the life of the fish. This conserved record functions like an environmental chronometer and bomb-produced radiocarbon (14C)—a 14C signal created by atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices—can be used as a time-specific marker in validating fish age. However, complications from the hydrogeology of nearshore marine environments can complicate 14C levels, as was the case with gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) along the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida. Radiocarbon of these nearshore waters is influenced by freshwater input from the karst topography of the Upper Floridan Aquifer—estuarine waters that are 14C-depleted from surface and groundwater inputs. Some gray snapper likely recruited to this kind of environment where 14C levels were depleted in the earliest otolith growth, although age was validated for individuals that were not exposed to 14C-depleted waters to an age of at least 25 years with support for a 30-year lifespan.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may gradually worsen to dementia, but often remains stable for extended periods of time. Little is known about the predictors of decline to help explain this variation. We aimed to explore whether this heterogeneous course of MCI may be predicted by the presence of Lewy body (LB) symptoms in a prospectively-recruited longitudinal cohort of MCI with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) and Alzheimer's disease (MCI-AD).
A prospective cohort (n = 76) aged ⩾60 years underwent detailed assessment after recent MCI diagnosis, and were followed up annually with repeated neuropsychological testing and clinical review of cognitive status and LB symptoms. Latent class mixture modelling identified data-driven sub-groups with distinct trajectories of global cognitive function.
Three distinct trajectories were identified in the full cohort: slow/stable progression (46%), intermediate progressive decline (41%) and a small group with a much faster decline (13%). The presence of LB symptomology, and visual hallucinations in particular, predicted decline v. a stable cognitive trajectory. With time zeroed on study end (death, dementia or withdrawal) where available (n = 39), the same subgroups were identified. Adjustment for baseline functioning obscured the presence of any latent classes, suggesting that baseline function is an important parameter in prospective decline.
These results highlight some potential signals for impending decline in MCI; poorer baseline function and the presence of probable LB symptoms – particularly visual hallucinations. Identifying people with a rapid decline is important but our findings are preliminary given the modest cohort size.
The effects of long-term antipsychotic medication on cognition in schizophrenia are unclear (Husa A.P. et al., Schizophr. Res. 2014).
Understanding how long-term antipsychotic treatment affects cognition is crucial for the development of safe, evidence-based treatment of schizophrenia.
To analyse the association between cumulative lifetime antipsychotic dose and cognition in schizophrenia at age 43 years in a general population sample.
Sixty (33 males) schizophrenia spectrum subjects from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 were assessed at age 43 years by California Verbal Learning Test, Visual Object Learning Test, Abstraction Inhibition and Working Memory task, Verbal fluency, Visual series, Vocabulary, Digit Span and Matrix reasoning. Cumulative lifetime antipsychotic dose-years were collected from treatment records and interviews. A factor analysis based on the cognitive tests resulted in one cognitive factor. The association between this cognitive composite score and antipsychotic dose-years was analysed by linear regression.
Higher lifetime antipsychotic dose-years were statistically significantly associated with poorer cognitive composite score at age 43 years (B=-0.32, p>0.001), also when adjusted for gender, onset age, remission and number of hospital treatment days (B=-0.42, p=0.008).
To our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between cumulative lifetime antipsychotic dose and cognition in midlife in schizophrenia. Based on this data, the use of high antipsychotic doses may relate to poorer cognitive functioning in schizophrenia after twenty years of illness. These results do not support the view that antipsychotics prevent cognitive decline or promote cognitive recovery in schizophrenia.
Cognitive deficits, such as verbal memory dysfunction, are a core feature of schizophrenia. Yet the longitudinal course and associations of cognitive deficits with antipsychotic medication remain unclear.
Our aim was to analyze how lifetime antipsychotic dosage associates with the change of verbal learning and memory in individuals with schizophrenia during a 9-year follow-up.
Forty-two subjects with schizophrenic psychoses (22 males) from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort went through diagnostic interviews and cognitive assessment including California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) at the ages of 34 and 43 years. Data of the subjects’ lifetime antipsychotic doses in chlorpromazine equivalents were collected from patient history records, interviews and national registers. The association between verbal learning and memory (immediate free recall of trials 1-5 and free recall after long delay) and dose-years of antipsychotics was analyzed by logistic regression model.
Higher dose-years of any and typical antipsychotics, but not atypical antipsychotics, associated statistically significantly to worse verbal learning and memory in cross-sectional analyses at age 34 years, even when onset age, sex, and severity of symptoms were controlled for. However, there was no statistically significant association between lifetime antipsychotic use and verbal learning and memory change between ages 34 and 43 years.
High lifetime antipsychotic dose did not associate to decrease in verbal learning and memory in schizophrenia in 9 years of follow-up. To our knowledge, this is a first report on association between cumulative lifetime antipsychotic use and change in cognition in a long-term naturalistic follow-up.
Patients with schizophrenia generally perform worse than control subjects on all cognitive domains, and particularly in memory functions. It is still unclear, how cognition changes during years of illness in schizophrenia.
Our aim was to analyze the change in verbal learning and memory functions in subjects with schizophrenia and healthy controls during a 9-year follow-up.
The sample was the general population based Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. In 1999-2001 and in 2008-2010 field studies were performed, including repeated measures of clinical status and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). CVLT was used for the estimation of the course of a possible change of verbal learning and memory during the follow-up. The sample included 41 individuals with schizophrenic psychoses and 74 non-psychotic controls.
Both cases and controls had statistically significant decline in measures of CVLT. However, the change in verbal learning and memory in the 9 -year follow-up was not statistically significantly different between cases and controls. Among cases, age of illness onset and sex had no statistically significant effect on change of verbal learning and memory.
According to our unselected, population based sample with long follow up, the impairments during the life span in verbal learning and memory in schizophrenia was not different compared to controls. These results imply that schizophrenia is not a progressing degenerative illness.
Since its 1960s origins, the Haddon matrix has served as a tool to understand and prevent diverse mechanisms of injuries and promote safety. Potential remains for broadened application and innovation of the matrix for disaster preparedness. Hospital functionality and efficiency are particularly important components of community vulnerability in developed and developing nations alike. Given the Haddon matrixʼs user-friendly approach to integrating current engineering concepts, behavioral sciences, and policy dimensions, we seek to apply it in the context of hospital earthquake preparedness and response. The matrixʼs framework lends itself to interdisciplinary planning and collaboration between social and physical sciences, paving the way for a systems-oriented reduction in vulnerabilities. Here, using an associative approach to integrate seemingly disparate social and physical science disciplines yields innovative insights about hospital disaster preparedness for earthquakes. We illustrate detailed examples of pre-event, event, and post-event engineering, behavioral science, and policy factors that hospital planners should evaluate given the complex nature, rapid onset, and broad variation in impact and outcomes of earthquakes. This novel contextual examination of the Haddon matrix can enhance critical infrastructure disaster preparedness across the epidemiologic triad, by integrating essential principles of behavioral sciences, policy, law, and engineering to earthquake preparedness.
Higher lifetime antipsychotic exposure has been associated with poorer cognition in schizophrenia. The cognitive effects of adjunctive psychiatric medications and lifetime trends of antipsychotic use remain largely unclear. We aimed to study how lifetime and current benzodiazepine and antidepressant medications, lifetime trends of antipsychotic use and antipsychotic polypharmacy are associated with cognitive performance in midlife schizophrenia.
Sixty participants with DSM-IV schizophrenia from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 were examined at 43 years of age with an extensive cognitive test battery. Cumulative lifetime and current use of psychiatric medications were collected from medical records and interviews. The associations between medication and principal component analysis-based cognitive composite score were analysed using linear regression.
Lifetime cumulative DDD years of benzodiazepine and antidepressant medications were not significantly associated with global cognition. Being without antipsychotic medication (for minimum 11 months) before the cognitive examination was associated with better cognitive performance (P = 0.007) and higher lifetime cumulative DDD years of antipsychotics with poorer cognition (P = 0.020), when adjusted for gender, onset age and lifetime hospital treatment days. Other lifetime trends of antipsychotic use, such as a long antipsychotic-free period earlier in the treatment history, and antipsychotic polypharmacy, were not significantly associated with cognition.
Based on these naturalistic data, low exposure to adjunctive benzodiazepine and antidepressant medications does not seem to affect cognition nor explain the possible negative effects of high dose long-term antipsychotic medication on cognition in schizophrenia.
There are large between-country differences in measures of economic and noneconomic well-being. Many researchers view increasing the stock of human capital as the key to raising economic development, promoting democratization, and improving health, and hence improving overall societal well-being. The single most studied aspect of human capital concerns cognitive competence. Differences in population cognitive competence might explain these societal differences. Evidence suggests that education builds cognitive competence, and education and cognitive competence promote better social outcomes, in terms of both economic and noneconomic factors. However, measuring population cognitive competence for countries requires representative samples, culture-fair tests, equivalency in the relationship between test measures and other cognitive attributes, and comparability in testing situations. In most cases, none of this has been achieved.
) denote the number of odd-balanced unimodal sequences of size
with even parts congruent to
) and odd parts at most half the peak. We prove that two-variable generating functions for
are simultaneously quantum Jacobi forms and mock Jacobi forms. These odd-balanced unimodal rank generating functions are also duals to partial theta functions originally studied by Ramanujan. Our results also show that there is a single
to which the errors to modularity of these two different functions extend. We also exploit the quantum Jacobi properties of these generating functions to show, when viewed as functions of the two variables
, how they can be expressed as the same simple Laurent polynomial when evaluated at pairs of roots of unity. Finally, we make a conjecture which fully characterizes the parity of the number of odd-balanced unimodal sequences of size
with even parts congruent to
and odd parts at most half the peak.