To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
There is a lack of mental health promotion and treatment services targeting HIV-positive men who have sex with men (HIVMSM) in China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mental health promotion efficacy of an online intervention that combined Three Good Things (TGT) with electronic social networking (TGT-SN) and an intervention that used TGT only (TGT-only), compared with a control group.
We conducted a randomised controlled trial among HIVMSM in Chengdu, China. The participants were randomly assigned to the TGT-SN, TGT-only, and control groups. The participants in the TGT-SN group were divided into five social network groups and asked to post brief messages to the group about three good things that they had experienced and for which they felt grateful. The participants in the TGT-only group were only required to write down their three good things daily without sharing them with others. The control group received information about mental health promotion once a week for a month. The primary outcome was probable depression. Secondary outcomes were anxiety, positive and negative affect, gratitude, happiness and social support. These outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after the intervention. Repeated-measures analyses were conducted using generalised estimation equations. The study was registered with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR-TRC-13003252).
Between June 2013 and May 2015, 404 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the TGT-SN (n = 129), TGT-only (n = 139) or control group (n = 136). The main effects of TGT-SN (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.75, 95% CI 0.52–1.09; p = 0.131) and TGT-only (aOR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.57–1.21; p = 0.332) in reducing depression were statistically non-significant. The participants of the TGT-SN group showed significantly lower anxiety symptoms (aOR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.43–0.89; p = 0.009) and negative affect (β = −1.62, 95% CI 2.98 to −0.26; p = 0.019) over time compared with those of the control group. No significant main effect was found for any secondary outcomes for the TGT-only group.
The novel intervention combining the TGT exercise with electronic social networking was found effective in reducing anxiety and negative affect among HIVMSM.
Families facing end-stage nonmalignant chronic diseases (NMCDs) are presented with similar symptom burdens and need for psycho-social–spiritual support as their counterparts with advanced cancers. However, NMCD patients tend to face more variable disease trajectories, and thus may require different anticipatory supports, delivered in familiar environments. The Life Rainbow Programme (LRP) provides holistic, transdisciplinary, community-based end-of-life care for patients with NMCDs and their caregivers. This paper reports on the 3-month outcomes using a single-group, pre–post comparison.
Patients with end-stage NMCDs were screened for eligibility by a medical team before being referred to the LRP. Patients were assessed at baseline (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS). Their hospital use in the previous month was also measured by presentations at accident and emergency services, admissions to intensive care units, and number of hospital bed-days. Caregivers were assessed at T0 and T2 using the Chinese version of the Modified Caregiver Strain Index, and self-reported health, psychological, spiritual, and overall well-being. Over-time changes in outcomes for patients, and caregivers, were tested using paired-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and chi-square tests.
Seventy-four patients and 36 caregivers participated in this research study. Patients reported significant improvements in all IPOS domains at both 1 and 3 months [ranging from Cohen's d = 0.495 (nausea) to 1.793 (depression and information needs fulfilled)]. Average hospital bed-days in the previous month fell from 3.50 to 1.68, comparing baseline and 1 month (p < 0.05). At 3 months, caregiver strain was significantly reduced (r = 0.332), while spiritual well-being was enhanced (r = 0.333).
After receiving 3 month's LRP services, patients with end-stage NMCDs and their caregivers experienced significant improvements in the quality of life and well-being, and their hospital bed-days were reduced.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Expert judgement is frequently used within general insurance. It tends to be a method of last resort and used where data is sparse, non-existent or non-applicable to the problem under consideration. Whilst such judgements can significantly influence the end results, their quality is highly variable. The use of the term “expert judgement” itself can lend a generous impression of credibility to what may be a little more than a guess. Despite the increased emphasis placed on the importance of robust expert judgements in regulation, actuarial research to date has focussed on the more technical or data-driven methods, with less emphasis on how to use and incorporate softer information or how best to elicit judgements from others in a way that reduces cognitive biases. This paper highlights the research that the Getting Better Judgement Working Party has conducted in this area. Specifically, it covers the variable quality of expert judgement, both within and outside the regulatory context, and presents methods that may be applied to improve its formation. The aim of this paper is to arm the insurance practitioner with tools to distinguish between low-quality and high-quality judgements and improve the robustness of judgements accordingly, particularly for highly material circumstances.
During the early stage of an epidemic, timely and reliable estimation of the severity of infections are important for predicting the impact that the influenza viruses will have in the population. We obtained age-specific deaths and hospitalizations for patients with laboratory-confirmed H1N1pdm09 infections from June 2009 to December 2009 in Hong Kong. We retrospectively obtained the real-time estimates of the hospitalization fatality risk (HFR), using crude estimation or allowing for right-censoring for final status in some patients. Models accounting for right-censoring performed better than models without adjustments. The risk of deaths in hospitalized patients with confirmed H1N1pdm09 increased with age. Reliable estimates of the HFR could be obtained before the peak of the first wave of H1N1pdm09 in young and middle-aged adults but after the peak in the elderly. In the next influenza pandemic, timely estimation of the HFR will contribute to risk assessment and disease control.
Continued monitoring of the seriousness of influenza viruses is a public health priority. We applied time-series regression models to data on cardio-respiratory mortality rates in Hong Kong from 2001 to 2011. We used surveillance data on outpatient consultations for influenza-like illness, and laboratory detections of influenza types/subtypes to construct proxy measures of influenza activity. In the model we allowed the regression coefficients for influenza to drift over time, and adjusted for temperature and humidity. The regression coefficient for influenza A(H3N2) increased significantly in 2005. The regression coefficients for influenza A(H1N1) and B were relatively stable over the period. Our model suggested an increase in seriousness of A(H3N2) in 2005, the year after the appearance of the A/Fujian/411/2002(H3N2)-like virus when the drifted A/California/7/2004(H3N2)-like virus appeared. Ongoing monitoring of mortality and influenza activity could permit identification of future changes in seriousness of influenza virus infections.
Chronic disease patients are at high risk of developing serious influenza-related complications. This study investigated the prevalence of seasonal influenza vaccination (IV) and associated factors in such patients. A random sample of 704 Chinese adults with chronic disease was anonymously interviewed by telephone; 35·8% of them had ever taken up IV and 22·7% did so during the last flu season. The most frequently mentioned facilitator was recommendation made by a healthcare worker (HCW). Knowledge that IV is required annually, perceived severe health impacts of influenza, and recommendation made by a HCW were positively associated with previous IV and intention to take up IV in the next year, while perceived side-effects was inversely associated with previous IV and intention to take up IV. The coverage of IV in this study population was low. HCWs should clarify IV-related health beliefs in chronic disease patients and actively advise them to take up IV.
To investigate the changes in community responsiveness during the pre-community-outbreak phase of the H1N1 epidemic in Hong Kong, a pooled sample of 999 adults was interviewed in three surveys (S1, S2, S3) from 7 May to 6 June 2009. Over time, fewer people felt confident in staying free from H1N1 infection in the following year (S1, 63·3%; S3, 46%; P<0·001). The level of distress due to H1N1 remained modest throughout the study period. People's confidence in the government's ability to control a large-scale H1N1 outbreak declined slightly at the third survey (S1, 80·5%; S3, 73·8%; P=0·025). Across the three surveys, respondents remained vigilant with frequent adoption of preventive measures (e.g. wearing face masks in public areas when suffering from influenza-like symptoms and frequent hand-washing). The public was generally supportive of the Hong Kong government although misconceptions regarding the disease were common. Provision of evidence-based public-health education is still warranted as the disease outbreak unfolds.
Five hundred strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus were tested against various anti-staphylococcal agents. Vancomycin, fusidic acid and fosfomycin were found to be the most effective. Only 1 strain out of 500 was resistant to fosfomycin. Three patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus septicaemia were successfully treated by fosfomycin. We conclude that fosfomycin could be the drug of choice for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.
There is lack of published data on bulbar signs among the healthy population. This study aims to determine the range of normality of bulbar signs particularly among the elderly.
Systemic examination of bulbar signs was carried out according to a predetermined protocol on a cohort of young and elderly healthy subjects.
A total of 206 subjects were recruited in the study, 104 young adults with mean age of 20 years, and 102 elderly with mean age of 73 years. Uvula deviation was seen in 28 (26.9%) young subjects and 22 (21.6%) elderly. Irregular tongue border was seen in 17 subjects, unilateral in 4 subjects. Fourteen (6.8%) subjects had deviation on tongue protrusion. Occasional tremor of tongue on protrusion is common in both young and old. Persistent (severe) tongue tremor on protrusion was seen in 18.6% of the elderly, and 4.8% of the young. None of the subjects had tremor of tongue at rest. In gag reflex, absence of gagging response was common in elderly, seen in two thirds of the subjects on stimulation of the posterior pharyngeal wall. However, all the subjects had uvular movement. Habituation or suppression of gagging response was seen in close to 90% of young males.
There is wide range of normality in bulbar signs in normal population, particularly among the elderly.
In 1990, Fontan, Kirklin, and colleagues published equations for survival after the so-called “Perfect Fontan” operation. After 1988, we evolved a protocol using an internal or external polytetraflouroethylene tube of 16 to 19 millimetres diameter placed from the inferior caval vein to either the right or left pulmonary artery along with a bidirectional cava-pulmonary connection. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that a “perfect” outcome is routinely achievable in the current era when using a standardized surgical procedure.
Between 1 January, 1988, and 12 December, 2005, 112 patients underwent the Fontan procedure using an internal or external polytetraflouroethylene tube plus a bidirectional cava-pulmonary connection, the latter usually having been constructed as a previous procedure. This constituted 45% of our overall experience in constructing the Fontan circulation between 1988 and 1996, and 96% of the experience between 1996 and 2005. Among all surviving patients, the median follow-up was 7.3 years. We calculated the expected survival for an optimal candidate, given from the initial equations, and compared this to our entire experience in constructing the Fontan circulation.
An internal tube was utilized in 61 patients, 97% of whom were operated prior to 1998, and an external tube in 51 patients, the latter accounting for 95% of all operations since 1999. At 1, 5, 10 and 15 years, survival of the entire cohort receiving polytetraflouroethylene tubes is superimposable on the curve calculated for a “perfect” outcome. Freedom from replacement or revision of the tube was 97% at 10 years.
Using a standardized operative procedure, combining a bidirectional cavopulmonary connection with a polytetraflouroethylene tube placed from the inferior caval vein to the pulmonary arteries for nearly all patients with functionally univentricular hearts, early and late survival within the “perfect” outcome as predicted by the initial equations of Fontan and Kirklin is routinely achievable in the current era. The need for late revision or replacement of the tube is rare.
Single probe infrared low coherence optical interferometry has been proven to be an effective tool for characterization of thin and ultra-thin semiconductor Si and compound materials wafers. Its application was however limited to wafers transparent at probing wavelength, and having relatively smooth surfaces. Purpose of this paper is to present an extension of low coherence interferometry to characterization of non-transparent wafers, and wafers with rough surfaces.
A detailed study of zinc oxide (ZnO) films prepared by filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) technique was carried out. To deposit the films, a pure zinc target was used and O2 was fed into the chamber. The electrical properties of both undoped and Al-doped ZnO films were studied. For preparing the Al-doped films, a Zn-Al alloy target with 5 wt % Al was used. The resistivity, Hall mobility and carrier concentration of the samples were measured. The lowest resistivity that can be achieved with undoped ZnO films was 3.4×10-3 Ωcm, and that for Al-doped films was 8×10-4 Ωcm. The carrier concentration was found to increase with Al doping.
Superhard and elastic carbon nitride films with hardness and elastic recovery of 47 GPa and 87.5%, respectively, were synthesized by using a double-bend filtered cathodic vacuum arc combined with radio-frequency nitrogen ion beam source. The bombardment of energetic nitrogen atom onto the growing film surface results in the high atomic ratio of N/C (0.4), which contributes to the high sp2 content and the formation of a five-membered ring structure in the carbon nitride film at room temperature. The buckling of the five-membered ring basal planes may facilitate cross-linking between the planes through sp3 coordinated carbon atoms. A rigid three-dimensional network is formed, which contributes to the high hardness and elastic recovery of the deposited films.
The pixel cross-talk is investigated in two-dimensional amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) imager arrays based on the new high fill factor design. In this configuration a continuous a-Si:H sensor extends over the whole surface of the imager, and a buried insulator material with low dielectric constant is used to separate the sensor from the underlying active matrix readout circuit. We find that the lateral conduction between neighboring pixels is mainly determined by the quality of the buried insulator-sensor interface, rather than the specific buried material itself. Minimum cross-talk values below 1% are obtained for different insulator materials including silicon oxynitride and thicker polymer based resins. The quality of this interface also affects trapping and recombination of the photogenerated carriers, influencing important imager properties such as sensitivity and image lag.