To save 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 saving content to .
To save 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 saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved 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.
The purpose of this service-learning action research study was to develop and investigate after-school individualised vocal lessons for secondary students aged 14–18 years (n = 15) taught by preservice music educators (PMEs) (n = 12) in the United States. In service learning, all parties should benefit from the experience while addressing curricular and community needs. Therefore, our intentions were to: (a) improve secondary student preparedness for solo experiences, (b) provide an authentic teaching experience to improve the quality of instruction given by PMEs, and (c) develop a mutually beneficial and collaborative service-learning experience. The following themes emerged from the data: (a) perceptions of teaching disposition – such as confidence, interpersonal skills and enthusiasm; (b) perceptions of teaching skills – such as student engagement, questioning techniques and responsive teaching; and (c) perceptions of pedagogical content knowledge – such as vocal anatomy, physiology and pedagogy.
Raising a concern is an integral duty for a doctor. The General Medical Council guidelines on Good Medical Practice state that a culture should be promoted that allows “all staff to raise concerns openly and safely”. Appointment of Postgraduate Doctors in Training to Representative (Rep) positions can be an effective way to allow trainee voices to be heard. Here we present the results of a Development Half-Day created to empower Reps with the knowledge and confidence to represent peers effectively within a large mental health Trust. The training session was identified as a ”change idea” in a wider Quality Improvement Project (QIP) seeking to improve trainee confidence in raising concerns.
16 Postgraduate Doctors in Training Reps were invited to attend a Development Half-Day in November 2022. The day included talks on their roles and responsibilities, respectful challenge and maintaining well-being.
Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered using anonymous questionnaires completed before and after the session. The questionnaire contained 4 questions asking them to rate their knowledge of their role as a rep and confidence in raising trainee concerns. This was quantified using a 1-10 scale for each question with 1 being lowest confidence/knowledge and 10 being highest. Mean scores and standard deviations were calculated. A paired one-tailed t-test was used to assess the statistical significance of the difference in pre- and post-session scores.
9 Reps attended the Development Half-Day and completed the pre- and post-session questionnaires.
There was a statistically significant improvement between pre- and post-session scores for all questions (all p values <0.05). Importantly there was a significant increase in the confidence felt by reps in knowing where and who to raise trainee concerns to (p < 0.05).
Qualitative feedback indicated that attendees found the session useful and they appreciated that it was in-person. The only suggestion for improvement was for the session to have been held earlier, closer to when reps were initially appointed; this will be a change that will be implemented in the next “Plan, Do, Study, Act” cycle of the QIP.
Implementation of a Development Half-Day for Trainee Reps was shown to have a significantly positive impact on their confidence in their roles and their ability to respectively challenge seniors. The Reps additionally reported being better equipped at knowing where and who to raise concerns to. This will hopefully aid in their ability to signpost and empower other trainees to do the same.
Raising concerns is a duty for all doctors. However, a scoping exercise within a large mental health Trust demonstrated that trainees experience difficulties in raising both patient safety and training concerns. As part of a trainee-led quality improvement (QI) project within this Trust, our aim was to develop a pulse survey to capture the current likelihood of trainees raising concerns and factors influencing this.
An online survey was developed using ‘plan do study act’ (PDSA) methodology. The initial draft was informed by data from the Autumn 2021 scoping exercise. The survey was refined using a collaborative trainee-led approach. It was tested by trainees involved in the QI project followed by two other trainees and was revised accordingly.
Trainees across all training grades were invited to complete the survey through various communication channels. The pulse survey will be repeated monthly with a two-week response window.
Ten trainees out of 103 responded to the first pulse survey open from 18th to 31st January 2023 (response rate 9.7%). Seven respondents were core trainees and three were higher trainees.
Respondents were more likely to raise patient safety concerns than training concerns (average score of 3.8 out of 5, where 5 equals ‘very likely’, versus 3.4 out of 5 respectively). Of the three respondents who had experienced a patient safety concern in the past 2 weeks, only two had used any existing process to raise it. These data were replicated for training concerns.
No respondents were confident that effective action would be taken if they raised a training concern, while less than half of respondents were confident that effective action would be taken if it were a patient safety concern.
The reasons for the low response rate are likely varied. However, there may be some similar underlying reasons for low engagement in surveys and low engagement in raising concerns. Given this, a more negative picture of trainees’ likelihood of raising concerns may have been portrayed if more trainees engaged in the survey.
Engaging trainees to provide insight into their likelihood of raising concerns is challenging. Despite the low response rate, this initial pulse survey demonstrated that trainees continue to experience barriers to raising concerns. PDSA methodology will continue to be used to optimise the monthly pulse survey response rate. The key QI outcome measures will also be integrated into pre and post intervention surveys as a pragmatic approach to evaluate specific change ideas.
At various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings have been recommended and encouraged as one of the interventions to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, in the earlier stages of the pandemic, decisions on face coverings relied primarily on evidence based on other viral respiratory infections. More direct evidence on the use of face coverings with COVID-19 developed in tandem with the pandemic.
Health Technology Wales undertook an ultra-rapid review to inform national guidelines, the work assessed the evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We also reviewed evidence on the efficacy of different types of face coverings.
We conducted a systematic literature search for evidence to address (i) the effectiveness of face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and (ii) the efficacy of different types of face coverings designed for use in community settings. We identified a rapid review in 2021 by Public Health England that closely aligned with our review questions. This provided the main source for identifying relevant studies, supplemented by a search for publications following their search date.
We identified two evidence reviews (including the Public Health England review) that examined the effectiveness of face coverings on reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2; reporting on 31 and 39 studies, respectively. Two further primary studies were published after the two evidence review searches were included. Overall, the evidence suggested that face coverings may provide benefits in preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, although the higher-quality studies suggested that these benefits may be modest. Medical masks appeared to have higher efficacy than fabric masks, although the evidence was mixed.
At the time of this review, evidence on the effectiveness of face coverings remains limited and conclusions rely on low-quality sources of evidence with high risk of bias, although higher-quality evidence points to some benefit. Face coverings may play a role in preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, particularly as part of a bundle of other preventative measures.
Lake settlements, particularly crannogs, pose several contradictions—visible yet inaccessible, widespread yet geographically restricted, persistent yet vulnerable. To further our understanding, we developed the integrated use of palaeolimnological (scanning XRF, pollen, spores, diatoms, chironomids, Cladocera, microcharcoal, biogenic silica, SEM-EDS, stable-isotopes) and biomolecular (faecal stanols, bile acids, sedaDNA) analyses of crannog cores in south-west Scotland and Ireland. Both can be effective methods sets for revealing occupation chronologies and identifying on-crannog activities and practices. Strong results from sedaDNA and lipid biomarker analyses demonstrate probable on-site animal slaughter, food storage and possible feasting, suggesting multi-period, elite site associations, and the storage and protection of valuable resources.
Worldwide type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence is increasing dramatically. The present study aimed to evaluate the association between dietary habits and T2D in an Iranian adult population using a cross-sectional analysis of the Shahedieh cohort study. Participants were adults aged 35–70 years (n 9261) from Zarch and Shahedieh, Yazd, Iran, who attended the baseline phase of the Shahedieh cohort study. Dietary habits including meal frequency, fried-food consumption, adding salt to prepared meals and grilled-food consumption were assessed by a standard questionnaire. T2D was defined as fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥126 mg/dl according to the American Diabetes Association. Multiple logistic regression assessed the association between dietary habits and T2D. Individuals who consumed a meal more than six times per day compared to three times per day had greater odds for T2D (OR 2⋅503, 95 % CI 1⋅651, 3⋅793). These associations remained significant in a fully adjusted model. There was a significant association between greater intakes of fried foods and prevalence of T2D (OR 1⋅294, 95 % CI 1⋅004, 1⋅668) in the adjusted model. No significant associations were observed between other dietary habits (adding salt to prepared meals and grilled-food consumption) and odds of T2D in all crude and adjusted models. In conclusion, we have highlighted the association between meal and fried-food consumption frequencies with risk of T2D. Large longitudinal studies in different ethnicities are needed to confirm these associations.
Prenatal glucocorticoid overexposure causes adult metabolic dysfunction in several species but its effects on adult mitochondrial function remain largely unknown. Using respirometry, this study examined mitochondrial substrate metabolism of fetal and adult ovine biceps femoris (BF) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles after cortisol infusion before birth. Physiological increases in fetal cortisol concentrations pre-term induced muscle- and substrate-specific changes in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation capacity in adulthood. These changes were accompanied by muscle-specific alterations in protein content, fibre composition and abundance of the mitochondrial electron transfer system (ETS) complexes. In adult ST, respiration using palmitoyl-carnitine and malate was increased after fetal cortisol treatment but not with other substrate combinations. There were also significant increases in protein content and reductions in the abundance of all four ETS complexes, but not ATP synthase, in the ST of adults receiving cortisol prenatally. In adult BF, intrauterine cortisol treatment had no effect on protein content, respiratory rates, ETS complex abundances or ATP synthase. Activity of citrate synthase, a marker of mitochondrial content, was unaffected by intrauterine treatment in both adult muscles. In the ST but not BF, respiratory rates using all substrate combinations were significantly lower in the adults than fetuses, predominantly in the saline-infused controls. The ontogenic and cortisol-induced changes in mitochondrial function were, therefore, more pronounced in the ST than BF muscle. Collectively, the results show that fetal cortisol overexposure programmes mitochondrial substrate metabolism in specific adult muscles with potential consequences for adult metabolism and energetics.
Many children with hearing loss have atypical social communication skills despite having age-appropriate speech and language. Graduate assessments in an early intervention program for children with hearing loss indicated that despite achieving language skills within typical limits for over a decade, social skills development was frequently delayed. Data gathered in 2007 and 2012 indicated the majority of children with hearing loss demonstrated poor acquisition of concepts linked to theory of mind (ToM), achieving either delayed or alternative acquisition patterns. A small-group 8-week social skills intervention program was subsequently implemented for graduating cohorts with the aim of developing and improving social interactions. In 2017, measures of ToM were collected for 15 children with hearing loss aged 4–6 years and compared to ToM 2007 and 2012 cohort data. An additional measure of social understanding and flexibility, a persuasion task, was also implemented. Although ToM skills for the majority of the 2017 cohort were found to be on par with hearing peers, and were better than skills demonstrated by the 2007 and 2012 graduates, ability to successfully participate in a socially significant persuasion task with a peer was delayed. Challenges and solutions to the development of age-appropriate social skills are proposed.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
The Scaling-up Health-Arts Programme: Implementation and Effectiveness Research (SHAPER) project is the world's largest hybrid study on the impact of the arts on mental health embedded into a national healthcare system. This programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, aims to study the impact and the scalability of the arts as an intervention for mental health. The programme will be delivered by a team of clinicians, research scientists, charities, artists, patients and healthcare professionals in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and the community, spanning academia, the NHS and the charity sector. SHAPER consists of three studies – Melodies for Mums, Dance for Parkinson's, and Stroke Odysseys – which will recruit over 800 participants, deliver the interventions and draw conclusions on their clinical impact, implementation effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. We hope that this work will inspire organisations and commissioners in the NHS and around the world to expand the remit of social prescribing to include evidence-based arts interventions.
In this article, three members of the BIALL Publications Committee, Katy Davies, Kate Manning and Jude Wilson, relate their experience of lockdown in their working environments and mention some of the ways that the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), as a professional organisation, has been supporting its members.
Worldwide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number 1 cause of mortality and is associated with insulin resistance (IR). Emerging biomarkers such as FGF21 and adiponectin are associated with cardiometabolic risk. Low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) diets have been reported to reduce cardiometabolic risk markers; however, few studies have compared a LCHF diet vs. a high carbohydrate (HC), lower fat diet under ad libitum conditions on adiponectin and FGF21. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an ad libitum LCHF vs. HC diet on IR, FGF21 and adiponectin in 16 healthy adults. Ethical approval: Liverpool John Moores University Research Ethics Committee (16/ELS/029); registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (Ref. NCT03257085). Participants were randomly assigned to a HC diet (n = 8, the UK Eatwell guidelines; ≥ 50% of energy from carbohydrates) or a LCHF diet (n = 8, consume < 50 g/day of carbohydrates). All provided plasma samples at 0, 4 and 8 weeks. FGF21 (R&D Systems) was analysed via ELISA and adiponectin, insulin and glucose were analysed via immunoassay technology (Randox Evidence Investigator™ Metabolic Syndrome Arrays I & II). Mann Whitney, Friedmans, Wilcoxon tests and 2×3 ANOVA (IBM SPSS 25®) were undertaken to investigate significant differences between and within groups. The homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) was used to calculate IR. FGF21 significantly (P = 0.04) decreased (Mdn, IQR:148.16, 78.51–282.02 to 99.4, 39.87–132.29 pg/ml) after 4 weeks and significantly (P = 0.02) increased (Mdn, IQR:167.38, 80.82–232.89 pg/ml) by 8 weeks vs. baseline with LCHF. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were observed between groups. Adiponectin was significantly (P = 0.03) different at week 4 only between groups. Adiponectin increased after 4 weeks (Mdn, IQR:13.44, 9.12–25.47 to 16.64, 11.96–21.51 ng/ml) but was only significantly (P = 0.03) different by 8 weeks vs. baseline in the HC group (Mdn, IQR:16, 10.8–27.43 ng/ml). Adiponectin remained unchanged (P = 0.96) in the LCHF group. HOMA significantly decreased with both diets after 8 weeks only (mean ± SD, LCHF: 2.9 ± 1.3 to 1.8 ± 0.8, HC: 2.5 ± 0.6 to 1.9 ± 0.6, P = 0.008) but was not significantly (P = 0.60) different between groups. These preliminary data reveal that while both diets improved insulin sensitivity, they may do so by different mechanisms. Future studies are warranted to investigate further, how a LCHF vs. HC diet affects FGF21 and adiponectin, and the subsequent regulation of IR. Furthermore, studies that extend these findings by determining the impact of LCHF vs. HC on peripheral metabolism to determine potential nutrition-mediated mechanisms of metabolic adaptation are warranted.
Apolipoproteins (apo) regulate lipoprotein characteristics and lipid metabolism. ApoC-III is a regulator of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TRL) metabolism and apolipoproteins are important biomarkers for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction. A low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) diet improves cardiometabolic risk, especially via reduction of TRL. However, few studies have compared a LCHF vs. a high carbohydrate (HC), lower fat diet under ad libitum conditions on apoC-III levels. The objectives of this investigation were to measure the effect of a LCHF vs. a HC diet on apoC-III, apoA1, apoB and apoB/apoA1 in 16 healthy Caucasian adults aged 19–64. Ethical approval: Liverpool John Moores University Research Ethics Committee (16/ELS/029); registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (Ref. NCT03257085). Participants randomly assigned to a HC diet (UK Eatwell guidelines; ≥ 50% of energy from carbohydrates) (n = 8), or a LCHF diet (consume < 50 g/day of carbohydrates) (n = 8) provided plasma samples at 0, 4 and 8 weeks. ApoA1 and apoB were analysed by an automated chemistry analyser (Daytona, Randox Laboratories Ltd, UK). ApoC-III was analysed via ELISA (Thermo Fisher Ltd, USA). Factorial 2×3 ANOVA and ANCOVA (IBM SPSS 25®) were undertaken to investigate significant differences and to control for variables influenced by baseline measures and visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Results show 0, 4, and 8 weeks respectively: ApoC-III (LCHF: 19.12 ± 9.14, 16.05 ± 7.95, 15.11 ± 3.17 mg/dl; HC: 22.13 ± 8.38, 28.22 ± 13.85, 22.22 ± 7.7 mg/dl) showed no significant (P = 0.319) change. No significant (P = 0.23) change was also observed in ApoB (LCHF: 107.25 ± 20.35, 111.38 ± 24.81, 111.43 ± 19.93 mg/dl; HC: 94.38 ± 20.79, 105.00 ± 20.13, 99.00 ± 29.09 mg/dl). Similarly apoA1 (LCHF: 158.71 ± 14.27, 166.50 ± 23.09, 173.00 ± 29.42 mg/dl; HC: 164.71 ± 30.25, 172.50 ± 29.44, 174.00 ± 32.83 mg/dl) showed no significant change (P = 0.76). This resulted in a relatively unchanged apoB/A1 throughout the study in both diets (P = 0.30). No significant (P > 0.05) differences were found after 4 weeks or between groups also. ANCOVA revealed a trend (P = 0.06) in apoC-III for a difference between groups (LCHF: Δ-6.6 mg/dl vs. HC: Δ1.2 mg/dl) after 8 weeks but no significant (P > 0.05) changes in other apolipoproteins were detected. These preliminary data reveal that a LCHF diet does not improve the apolipoprotein profile; however, when accounting for other metabolic risk factors (i.e. VAT) there was a trend towards lowering apoC-III levels (P = 0.06). Modulation of apoC-III may lead to improved lipid metabolism, but higher-powered studies are warranted before any improvement on CVD risk can be inferred.
Our recent study (1) showed that the amount of dietary carbohydrates in obesity interventions has differential effects on cardiovascular risk markers (CVM) and effects magnitude depends on intervention duration. Very-low carbohydrate high-fat diets (VLCD) were superior in ameliorating lipid markers compared to high-carbohydrate low-fat diets (LFD).
We updated our systematic review and meta-analysis to include long-term effects of VLCD (< 50 g /day) on weight, glucose, total cholesterol, insulin and blood pressure (BP) among overweight/obese adults in comparison to LFD.
Medline, PubMed, Cochrane Central, and CINAHLPlus were searched to identify large (n > 100) randomised controlled trials (RCT) with duration ≥ 6 months. Risk of bias, a random effects model and subgroup analyses based on duration of follow-up were performed using Review Manager. Results were reported according to PRISMA.
Four open label RCT (n = 723; 362 VLCD; 361 LFD) with some form of behavioral intervention and duration 6–24 months were identified. VLCD showed more favorable effects on diastolic BP at 6 months (-1.96; 95%CI, -2.99 to 00.93; P = 0.0002) and 24 months (-2.69; 95%CI, -4.87 to -0.51; P = 0.001), near significant level at 12 months (-1.79; 95%CI, -3.56 to 0.04; P = 0.05) and an overall total favourable effect (-1.98; 95%CI, -2.73 to -1.22). The decrease in systolic BP was greater among VLCD for the whole period and the overall total effect reached the level of significance (-1.76; 95%CI, -3.56 to 0.04; P = 0.05). VLCD showed beneficial effect on total cholesterol level at 6 and 12 months (-0.01 mmol/L; 95%CI, -0.01 to –0.00; P = 0.002 and -0.01 mmol/L; 95%CI, -0.01 to –0.00; P = 0.005, respectively). The mean changes in weight, and fasting glucose and insulin levels revealed non-significant differences between both diets at any measured time, although these parameters decreased within both groups compared to baseline.
VLCD led to significant total weighted mean decrease of diastolic BP and near significant decrease of systolic BP independent of changes in body weight, fasting glucose or insulin levels. The present data on decreased levels of diastolic BP and total cholesterol, combined with our recently published results on increased HDL-cholesterol, decreased triglycerides and no significant effect on LDL-cholesterol (1) provide evidence that VLCD are superior to LFD in improving traditional CVM in longer term.
This article by Katy Davies explores the subject of resilience and why it is so important. It offers suggestions on how to change your mind-set to be less phased by the challenges of everyday life at work and home. It is based on a presentation delivered at the BIALL Annual Conference in 2019.
Single patient or ‘n-of-1’ trials are a pragmatic method to achieve optimal, evidence-based treatments for individual patients. Such trials could be particularly valuable in chronic, heterogeneous, difficult to treat illnesses such as schizophrenia.
To identify how often, and in what way, n-of-1 trials have been used in schizophrenia.
We performed a systematic search in the major electronic databases for studies adopting n-of-1 methodology in schizophrenia, published in English from the start of records until the end of January 2017.
We identified six studies meeting inclusion criteria. There was wide variability in study methodology and analysis. Each trial reported positive outcomes for their respective intervention, but all studies were at high risk of bias.
In conclusion, n-of-1 trials are currently underutilised in schizophrenia. Existing trials suggest the method is well tolerated and potentially effective in achieving optimal treatments for patients, but more standardised methods of design, execution and analysis are required in future trials.
Declaration of interest
S.M.L. has received grants and personal fees from Janssen, and personal fees from Otsuka and Sunovion, in the past 3 years, outside the submitted work.
Old age is often characterised as being associated with neglect, isolation and loneliness, not least since established risks factors for loneliness include widowhood, living alone, depression and being female. Cross-sectional data have challenged the notion that loneliness is especially an old-age phenomenon but longitudinal data on loneliness is scarce. Moreover, an under-represented group in prior studies are the oldest old, those aged 85 years and more. This paper addresses these knowledge gaps using data from the Newcastle 85+ Study, a large population-based cohort aged 85 years at first interview with follow-up interviews at 18 months and three years. At baseline over half (55%) reported being always or often alone, and 41 per cent reported feeling more lonely than ten years previously, although only 2 per cent reported always feeling lonely. Women spent more time alone than men and reported more loneliness both currently and compared to the past. Length of widowhood was a key factor, with those recently widowed having twice the risk of feeling lonely and those widowed for five or more years having a lower risk of reporting increased loneliness. Overall, the findings show that loneliness is a minority experience in the oldest old but is strongly driven by length of widowhood, challenging the notion that loneliness in later life is a static experience.
On 19 April 2014, a female goblin shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, was captured in a commercial shrimp trawl in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The shark, estimated to be approximately 5 m in length, was captured at a depth of approximately 490 m and released alive shortly after capture. This specimen represents the second goblin shark ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico.