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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health services have had to offer psychological therapy via video with little time to prepare or mitigate potential problems. Identifying the barriers, benefits and training needs highlighted by clinicians may support the effective delivery of care.
Changes in the mode therapy sessions were delivered in during 2020 were assessed in two high-volume psychological therapies services. Sixty-six therapists completed a survey about their experiences of delivering therapy via video.
The lockdown in March 2020 precipitated a dramatic shift from face-to-face to telephone and video-delivered sessions. Most clinicians (89%) found video-based sessions acceptable. Barriers to effective delivery included technological issues, problems with online platforms, and feeling more tired after sessions. Benefits included generalised learning from behavioural work, improvements in efficiency and in the therapeutic relationship, particularly in comparison with telephone-based sessions. Tutorials and support guides were recommended to maximise use of sessions via video.
Video-delivered therapy was liked by clinicians and preferred to telephone-based sessions. Issues with platforms, internet connections and access for patients need addressing, local troubleshooting guides, video-based tutorials and greater support for low-intensity therapists to maximise uptake of video sessions where appropriate, may be beneficial.
This study aimed to develop, validate and compare the performance of models predicting post-treatment outcomes for depressed adults based on pre-treatment data.
Individual patient data from all six eligible randomised controlled trials were used to develop (k = 3, n = 1722) and test (k = 3, n = 918) nine models. Predictors included depressive and anxiety symptoms, social support, life events and alcohol use. Weighted sum scores were developed using coefficient weights derived from network centrality statistics (models 1–3) and factor loadings from a confirmatory factor analysis (model 4). Unweighted sum score models were tested using elastic net regularised (ENR) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression (models 5 and 6). Individual items were then included in ENR and OLS (models 7 and 8). All models were compared to one another and to a null model (mean post-baseline Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II) score in the training data: model 9). Primary outcome: BDI-II scores at 3–4 months.
Models 1–7 all outperformed the null model and model 8. Model performance was very similar across models 1–6, meaning that differential weights applied to the baseline sum scores had little impact.
Any of the modelling techniques (models 1–7) could be used to inform prognostic predictions for depressed adults with differences in the proportions of patients reaching remission based on the predicted severity of depressive symptoms post-treatment. However, the majority of variance in prognosis remained unexplained. It may be necessary to include a broader range of biopsychosocial variables to better adjudicate between competing models, and to derive models with greater clinical utility for treatment-seeking adults with depression.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic and nationally mandated restrictions to control the virus have been associated with increased mental health issues. However, the differential impact of the pandemic and lockdown on groups of individuals, and the personal characteristics associated with poorer outcomes are unknown.
Data from 21 938 adults in England who participated in a stratified cohort study were analysed. Trajectories of depression and anxiety symptoms were identified using growth mixture modelling. Multinomial and logistic regression models were constructed to identify sociodemographic and personality-related risk factors associated with trajectory class membership.
Four trajectories of depression and five for anxiety were identified. The most common group presented with low symptom severity throughout, other classes were identified that showed: severe levels of symptoms which increased; moderate symptoms throughout; worsening mental health during lockdown but improvements after lockdown ended; and for anxiety only, severe initial anxiety that decreased quickly during lockdown. Age, gender, ethnicity, income, previous diagnoses, living situation, personality factors and sociability were associated with different trajectories.
Nearly 30% of participants experienced trajectories with symptoms in the clinical range during lockdown, and did not follow the average curve or majority group, highlighting the importance of differential trajectories. Young, female, outgoing and sociable people and essential workers experienced severe anxiety around the announcement of lockdown which rapidly decreased. Younger individuals with lower incomes and previous mental health diagnoses experienced higher and increasing levels of symptoms. Recognising the likely symptom trajectories for such groups may allow for targeted care or interventions.
To determine whether age, gender and marital status are associated with prognosis for adults with depression who sought treatment in primary care.
Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and Cochrane Central were searched from inception to 1st December 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of adults seeking treatment for depression from their general practitioners, that used the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule so that there was uniformity in the measurement of clinical prognostic factors, and that reported on age, gender and marital status. Individual participant data were gathered from all nine eligible RCTs (N = 4864). Two-stage random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to ascertain the independent association between: (i) age, (ii) gender and (iii) marital status, and depressive symptoms at 3–4, 6–8,<Vinod: Please carry out the deletion of serial commas throughout the article> and 9–12 months post-baseline and remission at 3–4 months. Risk of bias was evaluated using QUIPS and quality was assessed using GRADE. PROSPERO registration: CRD42019129512. Pre-registered protocol https://osf.io/e5zup/.
There was no evidence of an association between age and prognosis before or after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ that are associated with prognosis (symptom severity, durations of depression and anxiety, comorbid panic disorderand a history of antidepressant treatment). Difference in mean depressive symptom score at 3–4 months post-baseline per-5-year increase in age = 0(95% CI: −0.02 to 0.02). There was no evidence for a difference in prognoses for men and women at 3–4 months or 9–12 months post-baseline, but men had worse prognoses at 6–8 months (percentage difference in depressive symptoms for men compared to women: 15.08% (95% CI: 4.82 to 26.35)). However, this was largely driven by a single study that contributed data at 6–8 months and not the other time points. Further, there was little evidence for an association after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ and employment status (12.23% (−1.69 to 28.12)). Participants that were either single (percentage difference in depressive symptoms for single participants: 9.25% (95% CI: 2.78 to 16.13) or no longer married (8.02% (95% CI: 1.31 to 15.18)) had worse prognoses than those that were married, even after adjusting for depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ and all available confounders.
Clinicians and researchers will continue to routinely record age and gender, but despite their importance for incidence and prevalence of depression, they appear to offer little information regarding prognosis. Patients that are single or no longer married may be expected to have slightly worse prognoses than those that are married. Ensuring this is recorded routinely alongside depressive ‘disorder characteristics’ in clinic may be important.
This paper is a narrative review examining the high prevalence of care leaver early parenting in the context of (i) key transitions from care studies taken from the last few decades, (ii) a structured review using Scopus of studies from 2015–2020 focussed specifically on young people transitioning from care and early parenting and (iii) Boss’s (2010) Ambiguous Loss theory. Young care leavers’ challenges, in general, put them at higher risk of protective interventions with their children and may contribute to the growing numbers of children being placed in increasingly over-stretched out-of-home care systems. Questions of surveillance bias for service-connected young people are examined in light of recent large-scale studies using administrative data sets. Serious oversights in responding to young people’s experiences of trauma and exploitation are identified. The relevance of sexual health programs for young people actively seeking pregnancies is discussed with emerging evidence that disengagement from schooling may have more of a role in explaining early pregnancy and parenting than previously thought. The authors test the relevance of Ambiguous Loss theory in understanding how removal from families of origin and placement experiences may affect young people and lead to ‘wanted’ pregnancies.
Stable isotopes of mammoths and mastodons have the potential to illuminate ecological changes in late Pleistocene landscapes and megafaunal populations as these species approached extinction. The ecological factors at play in this extinction remain unresolved, but isotopes of bone collagen (δ13C, δ15N) and tooth enamel (δ13C, δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr) from midwestern North America are leveraged to examine ecological and behavioral changes that occurred during the last interglacial-glacial cycle. Both species had significant C3 contributions to their diets and experienced increasing levels of niche overlap as they approached extinction. A subset of mastodons after the last glacial maximum exhibit low δ15N values that may represent expansion into a novel ecological niche, perhaps densely occupied by other herbivores. Stable isotopes from serial and microsampled enamel show increasing seasonality and decreasing temperatures as mammoths transitioned from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e to glacial conditions (MIS 4, MIS 3, MIS 2). Isotopic variability in enamel suggests mobility patterns and life histories have potentially large impacts on the interpretation of their stable isotope ecology. This study further refines the ecology of midwestern mammoths and mastodons demonstrating increasing seasonality and niche overlap as they responded to landscape changes in the final millennia before extinction.
Substance use occurs at a high rate in persons with a psychiatric disorder. Genetically informative studies have the potential to elucidate the etiology of these phenomena. Recent developments in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) allow new avenues of investigation.
Using results of GWAS meta-analyses, we performed a factor analysis of the genetic correlation structure, a genome-wide search of shared loci, and causally informative tests for six substance use phenotypes (four smoking, one alcohol, and one cannabis use) and five psychiatric disorders (ADHD, anorexia, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia).
Two correlated externalizing and internalizing/psychosis factor were found, although model fit was beneath conventional standards. Of 458 loci reported in previous univariate GWAS of substance use and psychiatric disorders, about 50% (230 loci) were pleiotropic with additional 111 pleiotropic loci not reported from past GWAS. Of the 341 pleiotropic loci, 152 were associated with both substance use and psychiatric disorders, implicating neurodevelopment, cell morphogenesis, biological adhesion pathways, and enrichment in 13 different brain tissues. Seventy-five and 114 pleiotropic loci were specific to either psychiatric disorders or substance use phenotypes, implicating neuronal signaling pathway and clathrin-binding functions/structures, respectively. No consistent evidence for phenotypic causation was found across different Mendelian randomization methods.
Genetic etiology of substance use and psychiatric disorders is highly pleiotropic and involves shared neurodevelopmental path, neurotransmission, and intracellular trafficking. In aggregate, the patterns are not consistent with vertical pleiotropy, more likely reflecting horizontal pleiotropy or more complex forms of phenotypic causation.
Although there is growing interest in mental health problems in university students there is limited understanding of the scope of need and determinants to inform intervention efforts.
To longitudinally examine the extent and persistence of mental health symptoms and the importance of psychosocial and lifestyle factors for student mental health and academic outcomes.
Undergraduates at a Canadian university were invited to complete electronic surveys at entry and completion of their first year. The baseline survey measured important distal and proximal risk factors and the follow-up assessed mental health and well-being. Surveys were linked to academic grades. Multivariable models of risk factors and mental health and academic outcomes were fit and adjusted for confounders.
In 1530 students surveyed at entry to university 28% and 33% screened positive for clinically significant depressive and anxiety symptoms respectively, which increased to 36% and 39% at the completion of first year. Over the academic year, 14% of students reported suicidal thoughts and 1.6% suicide attempts. Moreover, there was persistence and overlap in these mental health outcomes. Modifiable psychosocial and lifestyle factors at entry were associated with positive screens for mental health outcomes at completion of first year, while anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with lower grades and university well-being.
Clinically significant mental health symptoms are common and persistent among first-year university students and have a negative impact on academic performance and well-being. A comprehensive mental health strategy that includes a whole university approach to prevention and targeted early-intervention measures and associated research is justified.
The application of recovery principles within everyday mental health services is understudied.
Objectives and aims
We studied the implementation of a programme of intensive case management (ICM) emphasizing recovery principles in an Irish community mental health service.
Eighty service attenders with severe and enduring illness were randomized into groups
(1) receiving a programme of ICM,
(2) receiving treatment as usual (TAU).
Groups were compared before/after the programme for general psychopathology using the Brief psychiatric Rating Scale [BPRS] (clinician rated) and How are You? Scale (self-rated). The Functional Analysis of Care Environments [FACE] scale provided assessment of functional domains.
The overall group [mean age 44.5 ± 13.2 years; 60% male] had mean total Health of the Nation Outcome Scale [HoNOS] scale scores 10.5 ± 4.6 with impaired social functioning especially prominent (mean social subscale score 5.0 ± 2.7). The ICM group were younger (p < 0.01) with higher baseline scores on the HoNOS social subscale and BPRS (p < 0.05). An analysis of covariance, controlling for these baseline differences, indicated greater improvement in BPRS scores (p = 0.001), How are You? scores (p = 0.02) and FACE domains for cognition, symptoms and interpersonal relationships (all p < 0.001) in the ICM group. The ICM group underwent greater changes in structured daily activities that were linked to improved BPRS scores (p = 0.01).
A programme of ICM emphasizing recovery principles allowed significant improvement across psychopathological and functional domains. Improvements were linked to enhanced engagement with structured daily activities. Recovery-oriented practices can be integrated into existing mental health services and provided alongside traditional models of care.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that carries a significant burden for families providing care.
The ADHES carers' survey canvassed opinions of families/friends of patients with schizophrenia across Europe.
To ascertain carer attitudes towards schizophrenia, its treatment and treatment adherence.
The survey was conducted from January-April 2011 in 16 European countries, comprising 10 questions relating to the respondents' understanding of schizophrenia, attitudes towards schizophrenia treatments, and perception of the family's/friend's role in supporting patients with schizophrenia.
Results were obtained from 138 respondents. 76% of carers recognized the importance of medication to help patients get better, improve their quality of life (77%) and relationships (74%). 67% of carers responded that they believed schizophrenia treatment damages patients' general health. Two-thirds of the carers reported that treatment adherence was a burden for the patient and over a third of carers indicated that it was a daily struggle to get patients to take their medication. 50% of carers considered the benefits offered by long-acting injectable antipsychotics as very/quite important and thus, could provide a valuable tool in improving treatment adherence. 92% of carers agreed on the importance of family support to boost treatment adherence with education/information deemed important for families and patients alike.
Carers recognize the issues they face in caring for patients with schizophrenia and their role in improving partial/non-adherence to medication, especially to avoid suboptimal treatment outcomes. The important role of family carers should be considered by healthcare professionals when treating patients with schizophrenia.
Methamphetamine has been consistently associated with positive psychotic symptoms, but little is known about whether the reverse also occurs.
This study determined whether the relationship between methamphetamine use and positive psychotic symptoms is bidirectional over 12 months. The impact of lifetime psychotic disorders and methamphetamine dependence on these relationships was also examined.
A total of 201 regular (at least monthly) primary methamphetamine users were recruited from free needle and syringe programmes in three Australian cities. Data on the frequency of methamphetamine and other drug use (from Timeline Followback inteviews) and the severity of positive psychotic symptoms (using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale) in the past 2 weeks were collected in 12 contiguous monthly face-to-face interviews (mean of 9.14/11 (s.d. = 3.16) follow-ups completed). Diagnoses were derived using the Psychiatric Research Interview for DSM-IV Substance and Mental Disorders.
The mean age of participants was 31.71 years (s.d. = 8.19) and 39% (n = 77) were women. At baseline 55% (n = 110) were dependent on methamphetamine and 51% (n = 102) had a lifetime psychotic disorder. Cross-lagged dynamic panel models found a significant bidirectional relationship between psychotic symptoms and methamphetamine use (Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.94, standardised root mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.05, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.05, 95% CI 0.04–0.06). The magnitude of the relationship in each direction was similar, and the presence of methamphetamine dependence or a lifetime psychotic disorder did not have an impact on results.
A dynamic, bidirectional relationship between methamphetamine and psychotic symptoms of similar magnitude in each direction was found over 1 year. This suggests integrated treatments that target methamphetamine, psychotic symptoms and their interrelationship may be of most benefit.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is exerting unprecedented pressure on NHS Health and Social Care provisions, with frontline staff, such as those of critical care units, encountering vast practical and emotional challenges on a daily basis. Although staff are being supported through organisational provisions, facilitated by those in leadership roles, the emergence of mental health difficulties or the exacerbation of existing ones amongst these members of staff is a cause for concern. Acknowledging this, academics and healthcare professionals alike are calling for psychological support for frontline staff, which not only addresses distress during the initial phases of the outbreak but also over the months, if not years, that follow. Fortunately, mental health services and psychology professional bodies across the United Kingdom have issued guidance to meet these needs. An attempt has been made to translate these sets of guidance into clinical provisions via the recently established Homerton Covid Psychological Support (HCPS) pathway delivered by Talk Changes (Hackney & City IAPT). This article describes the phased, stepped-care and evidence-based approach that has been adopted by the service to support local frontline NHS staff. We wish to share our service design and pathway of care with other Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services who may also seek to support hospital frontline staff within their associated NHS Trusts and in doing so, lay the foundations of a coordinated response.
Key learning aims
(1) To understand the ways staff can be psychologically and emotionally impacted by working on the frontline of disease outbreaks.
(2) To understand the ways in which IAPT services have previously supported populations exposed to crises.
(3) To learn ways of delivering psychological support and interventions during a pandemic context based on existing guidance and research.
Human immunodeficiency virus infected patients have a three-fold increased risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The British HIV Association recommends human immunodeficiency virus testing in all new diagnoses of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
This observational study aimed to examine the current routine practice of human immunodeficiency virus testing in patients with newly diagnosed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and to address the importance of this test in promoting the early diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus.
All head and neck cancer multidisciplinary teams in England were questioned on their protocol for human immunodeficiency virus testing in new diagnoses of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Only 1 out of 30 hospitals leading head and neck multidisciplinary teams (3.3 per cent) routinely offered human immunodeficiency virus testing in this high-risk patient group.
This observational study highlights that head and neck specialists are not aware of, and are consequently not complying with, routine human immunodeficiency virus testing as recommended by the British HIV Association guidelines.
The discovery of a tenth-century AD high-status burial at Prague Castle in 1928 led to multiple identifications in the context of two world wars and the Cold War. Recognised variously as both a Viking and Slavonic warrior according to Nazi and Soviet ideologies, interpretation of the interred individual and associated material culture were also entangled with the story of the burial's excavator, the remains and commemorative monuments of two Czech Unknown Soldiers and the creation of the Czechoslovak state. This epic narrative reflects the circumstances of Czechoslovakia and Central Europe across the twentieth century.
Tebufenozide (Mimic) kills Lepidoptera larvae that ingest it. Aerial applications of tebufenozide were made against spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens)) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in boreal forest in Manitoba, Canada, in 1999 and 2000. In 2000 and 2001, moths in sprayed and unsprayed plots were sampled with light traps; trapping was supplemented by foliage sampling. Relative to unsprayed plots, catches of spruce budworm moths in plots sprayed in 1999 and 2000 were depressed in 2000, but not in 2001. Host tree defoliation was reduced in 2000 by 1999 and 2000 applications; the 2000 application reduced numbers of spruce budworm larvae in 2000 and 2001. Multivariate analysis revealed negative effects of tebufenozide application on two species of non-target moths in 2000 and no negative effects in 2001. Negatively affected species have larvae feeding in the tree canopy at the time of spray application. Higher catches of non-target species in sprayed treatments were observed for three species in 2000 and two species in 2001. We conclude that tebufenozide can depress the numbers of spruce budworm larvae and provide foliage protection during the year of application and the following year, and that negative effects on non-target species are detectable for about 15 months after application.
Patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernias often have concomitant congenital heart disease (CHD), with small left-sided cardiac structures as a frequent finding. The goal of this study is to evaluate which left-sided heart structures are affected in neonates with congenital diaphragmatic hernias.
Retrospective review of neonates between May 2007 and April 2015 with a diagnosis of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia was performed. Clinical and echocardiographic data were extracted from the electronic medical record and indexed to body surface area and compared to normative values. Univariable regression models assessed for associations between different variables and length of stay.
Data of 52 patients showed decreased mean z scores for the LVIDd (–3.16), LVIDs (–3.05), aortic annulus (–1.68), aortic sinuses (–2.11), transverse arch (–3.11), and sinotubular junction (–1.47) with preservation of the aorta at the diaphragm compared to age-matched normative data with similar body surface areas. Regression analysis showed a percent reduction in length of stay per 1 mm size increase for LVIDd (8%), aortic annulus (27%), aortic sinuses (18%), sinotubular junctions (20%), and transverse arches (25%).
Patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernias have significantly smaller left-sided heart structures compared to age-matched normative data. Aortic preservation at the diaphragm provides evidence for a mass effect aetiology with increased right-to-left shunting at the fetal ductus resulting in decreased size. Additionally, length of stay appears to be prolonged with decreasing size of several of these structures. These data provide quantitative evidence of smaller left-sided heart structures in patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernias.
A study to detect the diversity of endophytic Actinobacteria from Australian rice was conducted using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Rice samples were collected from the rice growing area near Yanco, New South Wales, Australia. Isolation of the endophytic Actinobacteria was done over two consecutive growing seasons. The results demonstrated that most isolates were obtained from plants 10 weeks and older, and only a few were found in younger plants. Microbispora spp. were the most commonly isolated endophytic Actinobacteria (94%) with Streptomyces spp. and other genera present at lower numbers (6%). The culture-dependent method findings were confirmed by T-RFLP profile analysis. Restriction digests using HhaI and RsaI also showed an abundance of terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) profiles related to the genus Microbispora. Furthermore, other biological properties of the endophytic Actinobacteria isolates were also determined. Four isolates, Saccharothrix OSH21, Saccharopolyspora OSR26, Streptomyces OSR46 and Microbispora OSR61, were found to suppress the growth of the pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Moreover, these isolates might be able to promote plant growth by producing indole acetic acid or to solubilise phosphate making this nutrient available for plant uptake.