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Animals under human management are often separated from conspecifics, which may lead to behaviour indicative of separation distress or grief. For the purposes of this paper, grief is considered as a biological response to separation, indicated by a bi-phasic ‘protest-despair’ behavioural response. It is reasonable to assume that only animals which are able to form complex social bonds can experience grief. Scientific experiments have suggested that some farm and laboratory animals experience distress or grief as a result of maternal separation and social isolation. However, little is known about whether the public believe that animals are capable of grief. Therefore, we surveyed 1,000 members of the public to establish what knowledge they have about grief in animals and to compare this to what we know in science. The survey revealed that 90% of the general public believed that some or all animals can experience grief, with 23% believing that all animals can grieve. They attributed grief more to companion animals and animals with higher level cognitive abilities than to farm animals and animals that may be feared. It is concluded that public belief about grief in animals extends beyond scientific evidence, and that educating people about scientific findings and management practices connected with grief and separation distress may improve the welfare of farm and laboratory animals.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) have increased exposure and subsequent risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This case-control study was conducted to investigate the contemporaneous risks associated with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs following in-work exposure to a confirmed coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) case. We assessed the influence of demographic (age, sex, nationality, high risk co-morbidities and vaccination status) and work-related factors (job role, exposure location, contact type, personal protective equipment (PPE) use) on infection risk following nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 exposure. All contact tracing records within the hospital site during waves 1–3 of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland were screened to identify exposure events, cases and controls. In total, 285 cases and 1526 controls were enrolled, as a result of 1811 in-work exposure events with 745 index cases. We demonstrate that male sex, Eastern European nationality, exposure location, PPE use and vaccination status all impact the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection following nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 exposure. The findings draw attention to the need for continuing emphasis on PPE use and its persisting benefit in the era of COVID-19 vaccinations. We suggest that non-work-related factors may influence infection risk seen in certain ethnic groups and that infection risk in high-risk HCW roles (e.g. nursing) may be the result of repeated exposures rather than risks inherent to a single event.
General medical conditions (GMCs) often co-occur with mental and substance use disorders (MSDs).
To explore the contribution of GMCs to the burden of disease in people with MSDs, and investigate how this varied by age.
A population-based cohort of 6 988 507 persons living in Denmark during 2000–2015 followed for up to 16 years. Danish health registers were used to identify people with MSDs and GMCs. For each MSD, years lived with disability and health loss proportion (HeLP) were estimated for comorbid MSDs and GMCs, using a multiplicative model for disability weights.
Those with any MSD lost the equivalent of 43% of healthy life (HeLP = 0.43, 95% CI 0.40–0.44) after including information on GMCs, which was an increase from 25% before including GMCs (HeLP = 0.25, 95% CI 0.23–0.27). Schizophrenia was associated with the highest burden of disease (HeLP = 0.77, 95% CI 0.68–0.85). However, within each disorder, the relative contribution of MSDs and GMCs varied. For example, in those diagnosed with schizophrenia, MSDs and GMCs accounted for 86% and 14% of the total health loss; in contrast, in those with anxiety disorders, the same proportions were 59% and 41%. In general, HeLP increased with age, and was mainly associated with increasing rates of pulmonary, musculoskeletal and circulatory diseases.
In those with mental disorders, the relative contribution of comorbid GMCs to the non-fatal burden of disease increases with age. GMCs contribute substantially to the non-fatal burden of disease in those with MSDs.
This edition of Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine is a Special Themed Issue on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Mental health services are not currently meeting the needs of autistic people across the lifespan. We have limited evidence based treatments for core symptoms and comorbidities and there is lack of awareness and under-recognition of ASD, particularly in adults and certain groups of individuals. The key themes in this edition focus on challenges with recognition and diagnosis and address these from both clinical and research perspectives. Co-occurring conditions also feature, which are also under-recognised and can contribute to less optimal outcomes. New and existing research developments in stratification for clinical trials and neuroimaging are also discussed. We hope this Issue highlights relevant current issues in ASD, and provides insights which can help address the challenges in providing evidence based pathways to better meet the needs of autistic people into the future.
The landscape of contemporary religious ecology is presented in this article as a variety of responses to disenchantment and what Lynn White identified as the theological roots of environmental ruin (Biblical divine transcendence and human exceptionality). The various positions are mapped in terms of those who deny divine transcendence and make nature, either as actually or only potentially infinite, the highest (pantheists); those who deny divine unicity and return to a pre-Christian, “enchanted” nature (neo-pagans); and those who defend in various ways the ecology of the Biblical account of creation (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian monotheists).
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often accompanied by changes in appetite and weight. Prior task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings suggest these MDD phenotypes are associated with altered reward and interoceptive processing.
Using resting-state fMRI data, we compared the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and seed-based connectivity (SBC) among hyperphagic (n = 77), hypophagic (n = 66), and euphagic (n = 42) MDD groups and a healthy comparison group (n = 38). We examined fALFF and SBC in a mask restricted to reward [nucleus accumbens (NAcc), putamen, caudate, ventral pallidum, and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)] and interoceptive (anterior insula and hypothalamus) regions and also performed exploratory whole-brain analyses. SBC analyses included as seeds the NAcc and also regions demonstrating group differences in fALFF (i.e. right lateral OFC and right anterior insula). All analyses used threshold-free cluster enhancement.
Mask-restricted analyses revealed stronger fALFF in the right lateral OFC, and weaker fALFF in the right anterior insula, for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. We also found weaker SBC between the right lateral OFC and left anterior insula for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. Whole-brain analyses revealed weaker fALFF in the right anterior insula, and stronger SBC between the right lateral OFC and left precentral gyrus, for hyperphagic MDD v. healthy comparison. Findings were no longer significant after controlling for body mass index, which was higher for hyperphagic MDD.
Our results suggest hyperphagic MDD may be associated with altered activity in and connectivity between interoceptive and reward regions.
To assess the incidence rate of S. aureus colonization at baseline along with the mupirocin susceptibility (or resistance) rate in patients in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in conjunction with the implementation of universal decolonization as the standard of care.
Prospective cohort study.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM) inpatient intensive care units (ICUs).
Newly admitted pediatric patients to the CHM NICU or PICU aged between 1 day and ≤21 years.
Baseline and follow-up S. aureus screening cultures were obtained before patients underwent universal decolonization with mupirocin 2% antibiotic ointment (intranasal and umbilical) and chlorhexidine baths as standard of care to reduce CLABSI rates.
Baseline S. aureus colonization rates of new admissions to the CHM NICU and PICU were high at 32% and 29%, respectively. Baseline mupirocin susceptibility to any S. aureus growth was 98.4%. All baseline culture isolates whether positive for MRSA or MSSA, with one exception, had minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of ≤0.19 µg/mL. All follow-up study cultures after universal decolonization at 7 days or beyond with any S. aureus growth had mupirocin MICs of ≤0.125 µg/mL.
Baseline S. aureus colonization rates of new admissions to the CHM ICUs were high as was baseline mupirocin susceptibility. Follow-up cultures, albeit limited in number, did not detect increasing mupirocin MICs over 1 year, despite broad mupirocin exposure due to the implementation of universal decolonization.
Racial and ethnic groups in the USA differ in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research however has not observed consistent racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress in the early aftermath of trauma, suggesting that such differences in chronic PTSD rates may be related to differences in recovery over time.
As part of the multisite, longitudinal AURORA study, we investigated racial/ethnic differences in PTSD and related outcomes within 3 months after trauma. Participants (n = 930) were recruited from emergency departments across the USA and provided periodic (2 weeks, 8 weeks, and 3 months after trauma) self-report assessments of PTSD, depression, dissociation, anxiety, and resilience. Linear models were completed to investigate racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic dysfunction with subsequent follow-up models assessing potential effects of prior life stressors.
Racial/ethnic groups did not differ in symptoms over time; however, Black participants showed reduced posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms overall compared to Hispanic participants and White participants. Racial/ethnic differences were not attenuated after accounting for differences in sociodemographic factors. However, racial/ethnic differences in depression and anxiety were no longer significant after accounting for greater prior trauma exposure and childhood emotional abuse in White participants.
The present findings suggest prior differences in previous trauma exposure partially mediate the observed racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms following a recent trauma. Our findings further demonstrate that racial/ethnic groups show similar rates of symptom recovery over time. Future work utilizing longer time-scale data is needed to elucidate potential racial/ethnic differences in long-term symptom trajectories.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterised by a recurrent course and high comorbidity rates. A lifespan perspective may therefore provide important information regarding health outcomes. The aim of the present study is to examine mental disorders that preceded 12-month MDD diagnosis and the impact of these disorders on depression outcomes.
Data came from 29 cross-sectional community epidemiological surveys of adults in 27 countries (n = 80 190). The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was used to assess 12-month MDD and lifetime DSM-IV disorders with onset prior to the respondent's age at interview. Disorders were grouped into depressive distress disorders, non-depressive
distress disorders, fear disorders and externalising disorders. Depression outcomes included 12-month suicidality, days out of role and impairment in role functioning.
Among respondents with 12-month MDD, 94.9% (s.e. = 0.4) had at least one prior disorder (including previous MDD), and 64.6% (s.e. = 0.9) had at least one prior, non-MDD disorder. Previous non-depressive distress, fear and externalising disorders, but not depressive distress disorders, predicted higher impairment (OR = 1.4–1.6) and suicidality (OR = 1.5–2.5), after adjustment for sociodemographic variables. Further adjustment for MDD characteristics weakened, but did not eliminate, these associations. Associations were largely driven by current comorbidities, but both remitted and current externalising disorders predicted suicidality among respondents with 12-month MDD.
These results illustrate the importance of careful psychiatric history taking regarding current anxiety disorders and lifetime externalising disorders in individuals with MDD.
The most common treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is antidepressant medication (ADM). Results are reported on frequency of ADM use, reasons for use, and perceived effectiveness of use in general population surveys across 20 countries.
Face-to-face interviews with community samples totaling n = 49 919 respondents in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys asked about ADM use anytime in the prior 12 months in conjunction with validated fully structured diagnostic interviews. Treatment questions were administered independently of diagnoses and asked of all respondents.
3.1% of respondents reported ADM use within the past 12 months. In high-income countries (HICs), depression (49.2%) and anxiety (36.4%) were the most common reasons for use. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), depression (38.4%) and sleep problems (31.9%) were the most common reasons for use. Prevalence of use was 2–4 times as high in HICs as LMICs across all examined diagnoses. Newer ADMs were proportionally used more often in HICs than LMICs. Across all conditions, ADMs were reported as very effective by 58.8% of users and somewhat effective by an additional 28.3% of users, with both proportions higher in LMICs than HICs. Neither ADM class nor reason for use was a significant predictor of perceived effectiveness.
ADMs are in widespread use and for a variety of conditions including but going beyond depression and anxiety. In a general population sample from multiple LMICs and HICs, ADMs were widely perceived to be either very or somewhat effective by the people who use them.
People living in Mesoamerica and what is now the eastern and southwestern United States used turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) as sources of meat, eggs, bones, and feathers. Turkey husbandry and domestication are confirmed in two of these regions (Mesoamerica and the American Southwest), but human-turkey interactions in Eastern North American (eastern United States and Canada) are not fully explored. We apply stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) and ancient mitochondrial DNA analyses to archaeofaunal samples from seven sites in the southeastern United States to test whether turkeys were managed or captively reared. These combined data do not support prolonged or intensive captive rearing of turkeys, and evidence for less intensive management is ambiguous. More research is warranted to determine whether people managed turkeys in these areas, and whether this is generalizable. Determining whether turkeys were managed or reared in the southeastern United States helps define cultural and environmental factors related to turkey management or husbandry throughout North America. This inquiry contributes to discussion of the roles of intensified human-animal interactions in animal domestication.
Comorbidity with general medical conditions is common in individuals with eating disorders. Many previous studies do not evaluate types of eating disorder.
To provide relative and absolute risks of bidirectional associations between (a) anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorders not otherwise specified and (b) 12 general medical conditions.
We included all people born in Denmark between 1977 and 2010. We collected information on eating disorders and considered the risk of subsequent medical conditions, using Cox proportional hazards regression. Absolute risks were calculated using competing risks survival analyses. We also considered risks for prior medical conditions and subsequent eating disorders.
An increased risk was seen for almost all disorder pairs (69 of 70). Hazard ratios for those with a prior eating disorder receiving a subsequent diagnosis of a medical condition ranged from 0.94 (95% CI 0.57−1.55) to 2.05 (95% CI 1.86−2.27). For those with a prior medical condition, hazard ratios for later eating disorders ranged from 1.35 (95% CI 1.26–1.45) to 1.98 (95% CI 1.71–2.28). Absolute risks for most later disorders were increased for persons with prior disorders, compared with reference groups.
This is the largest and most detailed examination of eating disorder–medical condition comorbidity. The findings indicate that medical condition comorbidity is increased among those with eating disorders and vice versa. Although there was some variation in comorbidity observed across eating disorder types, magnitudes of relative risks did not differ greatly.
To examine the rates of antipsychotic prescribing in the Irish paediatric and young adult population enrolled in the Irish General Medical Services Scheme pharmacy claims database from the Health Service Executive Primary Care Reimbursement Services database, with a focus on age and sex differences. To examine concomitant prescribing of certain other related medicines in this population.
Data were obtained from the Irish General Medical Services (GMS) scheme pharmacy claims database from the Health Service Executive (HSE) – Primary Care Reimbursement Services (PCRS). Participants included children aged <16 years and youth aged 16–24 years availing of medicines under the HSE-PCRS GMS scheme between January 2005 and December 2015. Outcome measures included prescribing rates of antipsychotics from 2005 to 2015, differences in prescribing rates between different ages and sexes, and percentage of concomitant prescriptions for antidepressants, psychostimulants, anxiolytics and hypnosedatives.
Overall the trend in prescribing rates of antipsychotic medications was stable at 3.94/1000 in 2005 compared with 3.97/1000 in 2015 for children <16 years, and 48.37/1000 eligible population in 2005 compared to 39.64/1000 in 2015 for those aged 16–24. There was a significant decrease in prescribing rates for males in the 16–24 age group.
While rates of antipsychotic prescribing have decreased or remained stable over the timeframe of the study, we did find a significant proportion of this population were prescribed antipsychotics. This study also shows that co-prescribing of antidepressants increased and highlights the need for guidelines for antipsychotic prescribing in children and youth in terms of clinical indication, monitoring, co-prescribing and treatment duration.
The ‘16Up’ study conducted at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute from January 2014 to December 2018 aimed to examine the physical and mental health of young Australian twins aged 16−18 years (N = 876; 371 twin pairs and 18 triplet sets). Measurements included online questionnaires covering physical and mental health as well as information and communication technology (ICT) use, actigraphy, sleep diaries and hair samples to determine cortisol concentrations. Study participants generally rated themselves as being in good physical (79%) and mental (73%) health and reported lower rates of psychological distress and exposure to alcohol, tobacco products or other substances than previously reported for this age group in the Australian population. Daily or near-daily online activity was almost universal among study participants, with no differences noted between males and females in terms of frequency or duration of internet access. Patterns of ICT use in this sample indicated that the respondents were more likely to use online information sources for researching physical health issues than for mental health or substance use issues, and that they generally reported partial levels of satisfaction with the mental health information they found online. This suggests that internet-based mental health resources can be readily accessed by adolescent Australians, and their computer literacy augurs well for future access to online health resources. In combination with other data collected as part of the ongoing Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study, the 16Up project provides a valuable resource for the longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental contributions to phenotypic variation in a variety of human traits.
Treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is imprecise and often involves trial-and-error to determine the most effective approach. To facilitate optimal treatment selection and inform timely adjustment, the current study investigated whether neurocognitive variables could predict an antidepressant response in a treatment-specific manner.
In the two-stage Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care (EMBARC) trial, outpatients with non-psychotic recurrent MDD were first randomized to an 8-week course of sertraline selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or placebo. Behavioral measures of reward responsiveness, cognitive control, verbal fluency, psychomotor, and cognitive processing speeds were collected at baseline and week 1. Treatment responders then continued on another 8-week course of the same medication, whereas non-responders to sertraline or placebo were crossed-over under double-blinded conditions to bupropion noradrenaline/dopamine reuptake inhibitor or sertraline, respectively. Hamilton Rating for Depression scores were also assessed at baseline, weeks 8, and 16.
Greater improvements in psychomotor and cognitive processing speeds within the first week, as well as better pretreatment performance in these domains, were specifically associated with higher likelihood of response to placebo. Moreover, better reward responsiveness, poorer cognitive control and greater verbal fluency were associated with greater likelihood of response to bupropion in patients who previously failed to respond to sertraline.
These exploratory results warrant further scrutiny, but demonstrate that quick and non-invasive behavioral tests may have substantial clinical value in predicting antidepressant treatment response.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
To identify and synthesise the literature on the cost of mental disorders.
Systematic literature searches were conducted in the databases PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, EconLit, NHS York Database and PsychInfo using key terms for cost and mental disorders. Searches were restricted to January 1980–May 2019. The inclusion criteria were: (1) cost-of-illness studies or cost-analyses; (2) diagnosis of at least one mental disorder; (3) study population based on the general population; (4) outcome in monetary units. The systematic review was preregistered on PROSPERO (ID: CRD42019127783).
In total, 13 579 potential titles and abstracts were screened and 439 full-text articles were evaluated by two independent reviewers. Of these, 112 articles were included from the systematic searches and 31 additional articles from snowball searching, resulting in 143 included articles. Data were available from 48 countries and categorised according to nine mental disorder groups. The quality of the studies varied widely and there was a lack of studies from low- and middle-income countries and for certain types of mental disorders (e.g. intellectual disabilities and eating disorders). Our study showed that certain groups of mental disorders are more costly than others and that these rankings are relatively stable between countries. An interactive data visualisation site can be found here: https://nbepi.com/econ.
This is the first study to provide a comprehensive overview of the cost of mental disorders worldwide.
Epidemiological studies indicate that individuals with one type of mental disorder have an increased risk of subsequently developing other types of mental disorders. This study aimed to undertake a comprehensive analysis of pair-wise lifetime comorbidity across a range of common mental disorders based on a diverse range of population-based surveys.
The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys assessed 145 990 adult respondents from 27 countries. Based on retrospectively-reported age-of-onset for 24 DSM-IV mental disorders, associations were examined between all 548 logically possible temporally-ordered disorder pairs. Overall and time-dependent hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Absolute risks were estimated using the product-limit method. Estimates were generated separately for men and women.
Each prior lifetime mental disorder was associated with an increased risk of subsequent first onset of each other disorder. The median HR was 12.1 (mean = 14.4; range 5.2–110.8, interquartile range = 6.0–19.4). The HRs were most prominent between closely-related mental disorder types and in the first 1–2 years after the onset of the prior disorder. Although HRs declined with time since prior disorder, significantly elevated risk of subsequent comorbidity persisted for at least 15 years. Appreciable absolute risks of secondary disorders were found over time for many pairs.
Survey data from a range of sites confirms that comorbidity between mental disorders is common. Understanding the risks of temporally secondary disorders may help design practical programs for primary prevention of secondary disorders.
Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is characterised by impulsive anger attacks that vary greatly across individuals in severity and consequence. Understanding IED subtypes has been limited by lack of large, general population datasets including assessment of IED. Using the 17-country World Mental Health surveys dataset, this study examined whether behavioural subtypes of IED are associated with differing patterns of comorbidity, suicidality and functional impairment.
IED was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview in the World Mental Health surveys (n = 45 266). Five behavioural subtypes were created based on type of anger attack. Logistic regression assessed association of these subtypes with lifetime comorbidity, lifetime suicidality and 12-month functional impairment.
The lifetime prevalence of IED in all countries was 0.8% (s.e.: 0.0). The two subtypes involving anger attacks that harmed people (‘hurt people only’ and ‘destroy property and hurt people’), collectively comprising 73% of those with IED, were characterised by high rates of externalising comorbid disorders. The remaining three subtypes involving anger attacks that destroyed property only, destroyed property and threatened people, and threatened people only, were characterised by higher rates of internalising than externalising comorbid disorders. Suicidal behaviour did not vary across the five behavioural subtypes but was higher among those with (v. those without) comorbid disorders, and among those who perpetrated more violent assaults.
The most common IED behavioural subtypes in these general population samples are associated with high rates of externalising disorders. This contrasts with the findings from clinical studies of IED, which observe a preponderance of internalising disorder comorbidity. This disparity in findings across population and clinical studies, together with the marked heterogeneity that characterises the diagnostic entity of IED, suggests that it is a disorder that requires much greater research.