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There is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected mental health, but most studies have been conducted in the general population.
To identify factors associated with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness.
Participants (N = 2869, 78% women, ages 18–94 years) from a UK cohort (the National Centre for Mental Health) with a history of mental illness completed a cross-sectional online survey in June to August 2020. Mental health assessments were the GAD-7 (anxiety), PHQ-9 (depression) and WHO-5 (well-being) questionnaires, and a self-report question on whether their mental health had changed during the pandemic. Regressions examined associations between mental health outcomes and hypothesised risk factors. Secondary analyses examined associations between specific mental health diagnoses and mental health.
A total of 60% of participants reported that mental health had worsened during the pandemic. Younger age, difficulty accessing mental health services, low income, income affected by COVID-19, worry about COVID-19, reduced sleep and increased alcohol/drug use were associated with increased depression and anxiety symptoms and reduced well-being. Feeling socially supported by friends/family/services was associated with better mental health and well-being. Participants with a history of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or eating disorder were more likely to report that mental health had worsened during the pandemic than individuals without a history of these diagnoses.
We identified factors associated with worse mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in individuals with pre-existing mental illness, in addition to specific groups potentially at elevated risk of poor mental health during the pandemic.
Individuals with schizophrenia are at higher risk of physical illnesses, which are a major contributor to their 20-year reduced life expectancy. It is currently unknown what causes the increased risk of physical illness in schizophrenia.
To link genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia to anonymised National Health Service (NHS) records. To assess (a) rates of physical illness in those with schizophrenia, and (b) whether physical illness in schizophrenia is associated with genetic liability.
We linked genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia participants, n = 896) to anonymised NHS records held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank. Physical illnesses were defined from the General Practice Database and Patient Episode Database for Wales. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was indexed by (a) rare copy number variants (CNVs), and (b) polygenic risk scores.
Individuals with schizophrenia in SAIL had increased rates of epilepsy (standardised rate ratio (SRR) = 5.34), intellectual disability (SRR = 3.11), type 2 diabetes (SRR = 2.45), congenital disorders (SRR = 1.77), ischaemic heart disease (SRR = 1.57) and smoking (SRR = 1.44) in comparison with the general SAIL population. In those with schizophrenia, carrier status for schizophrenia-associated CNVs and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated CNVs was associated with height (P = 0.015–0.017), with carriers being 7.5–7.7 cm shorter than non-carriers. We did not find evidence that the increased rates of poor physical health outcomes in schizophrenia were associated with genetic liability for the disorder.
This study demonstrates the value of and potential for linking genetic data from clinically ascertained research studies to anonymised health records. The increased risk for physical illness in schizophrenia is not caused by genetic liability for the disorder.
Within the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) component of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, we created a mentoring program to complement training provided by the associated Multidisciplinary Career Development Program (KL2). Called Research design Analysis Methods Program (RAMP) Mentors, the program provides each KL2 scholar with individualized, hands-on mentoring in biostatistics, epidemiology, informatics, and related fields, with the goal of building multidisciplinary research teams. From 2015 to 2019, RAMP Mentors paired 8 KL2 scholars with 16 individually selected mentors. Mentors had funded/protected time to meet at least monthly with their scholar to provide advice and instruction on methods for ongoing research, including incorporating novel techniques. RAMP Mentors has been evaluated through focus groups and surveys. KL2 scholars reported high satisfaction with RAMP Mentors and confidence in their ability to establish and maintain methodologic collaborations. Compared with other Northwestern University K awardees, KL2 scholars reported higher confidence in obtaining research funding, including subsequent K or R awards, and selecting appropriate, up-to-date research methods. RAMP Mentors is a promising partnership between a BERD group and KL2 program, promoting methodologic education and building multidisciplinary research teams for junior investigators pursuing clinical and translational research.
Longitudinal studies of patterns of healthcare contacts in those who die by suicide to identify those at risk are scarce.
To examine type and timing of healthcare contacts in those who die by suicide.
A population-based electronic case–control study of all who died by suicide in Wales, 2001–2017, linking individuals’ electronic healthcare records from general practices, emergency departments and hospitals. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios, adjusted for deprivation. We performed a retrospective continuous longitudinal analysis comparing cases’ and controls’ contacts with health services.
We matched 5130 cases with 25 650 controls (5 per case). A representative cohort of 1721 cases (8605 controls) were eligible for the fully linked analysis. In the week before their death, 31.4% of cases and 15.6% of controls contacted health services. The last point of contact was most commonly associated with mental health and most often occurred in general practices. In the month before their death, 16.6 and 13.0% of cases had an emergency department contact and a hospital admission respectively, compared with 5.5 and 4.2% of controls. At any week in the year before their death, cases were more likely to contact healthcare services than controls. Self-harm, mental health and substance misuse contacts were strongly linked with suicide risk, more so when they occurred in emergency departments or as emergency admissions.
Help-seeking occurs in those at risk of suicide and escalates in the weeks before their death. There is an opportunity to identify and intervene through these contacts.
A single specimen of Hazelia palmata Walcott, 1920, was collected from the Middle Cambrian Marjum Formation near Marjum Pass, in the central House Range, western Utah. This is a first occurrence of the species outside the Burgess shale region of British Columbia, Canada. The flattened oval impression of the monaxonid demosponge shows characteristic tufts and spicule structures of the species.
Discrete current switching is induced in carbon nanotubes by electron beam irradiation. Switching amplitudes of 3% to 6% are observed at room temperature. Switching is created by electron beam exposure with dosage as low as 1000 pC/cm. Relative switching amplitude remains constant as the bias voltage varies, suggesting that current fluctuation is dominated by mobility fluctuation. Changes in the noise power spectral density following electron beam exposure will be discussed.
The relationship between the Mental Illness Needs Index (MINI) and the common mental disorders is not known.
To investigate associations between the small-area MINI score and common mental disorder at individual level.
Mental health status was measured using the Mental Health Inventory of the Short Form 36 instrument (SF-36). Data from the Caerphilly Health and Social Needs population survey were analysed in multilevel models of 10 653 individuals aged 18–74 years nested within the 2001 UK census geographies of 110 lower super output areas and 33 wards.
The MINI score was significantly associated with common mental disorder after adjusting for individual risk factors. This association was stronger at the smaller spatial scale of the lower super output area and for individuals who were permanently sick or disabled.
The MINI is potentially useful for small-area needs assessment and service planning for common mental disorder in community settings.
Medieval ‘new towns’ seem to echo Roman towns in having a grid of streets associated with a fortress, and have often been credited with a standard plan applied by the hand of authority. Here the authors analyse the new towns founded by Edward I in Wales and find some highly significant variations. Rediscovering the original layouts by high precision survey and GIS mapping, they show that some towns, founded at the same time and on similar topography, had quite different layouts, while others, founded at long intervals, had plans that were almost identical. Documentation hints at the explanation: it was the architects, masons and ditch-diggers, not the king and aristocracy, who established and developed these blueprints of urban life.
Background. There is little population-based evidence on ethnic variation in the most common mental disorders (CMD), anxiety and depression. We compared the prevalence of CMD among representative samples of White, Irish, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani individuals living in England using a standardized clinical interview.
Method. Cross-sectional survey of 4281 adults aged 16–74 years living in private households in England. CMD were assessed using the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R), a standardized clinical interview.
Results. Ethnic differences in the prevalence of CMD were modest, and some variation with age and sex was noted. Compared to White counterparts, the prevalence of CMD was higher to a statistically significant degree among Irish [adjusted rate ratios (RR) 2·09, 95% CI 1·16–2·95, p=0·02] and Pakistani (adjusted RR 2·38, 95% CI 1·25–3·53, p=0·02) men aged 35–54 years, even after adjusting for differences in socio-economic status. Higher rates of CMD were also observed among Indian and Pakistani women aged 55–74 years, compared to White women of similar age. The prevalence of CMD among Bangladeshi women was lower than among White women, although this was restricted to those not interviewed in English. There were no differences in rates between Black Caribbean and White samples.
Conclusions. Middle-aged Irish and Pakistani men, and older Indian and Pakistani women, had significantly higher rates of CMD than their White counterparts. The very low prevalence of CMD among Bangladeshi women contrasted with high levels of socio-economic deprivation among this group. Further study is needed to explore reasons for this variation.
In this paper, we give several kinds of characterisations of isomorphic authentication codes by examining a correspondence between optimal authentication codes and some combinatorial designs. The isomorphism classes of some kinds of authentication codes are also enumerated.
To determine psychological morbidity among staff following actual or threatened violence from patients on acute psychiatric wards. A retrospective survey of all 156 clinical staff on Exeter's acute psychiatric wards was conducted by means of an anonymous questionnaire using standardised measures.
The response rate was 81%, and 72% of respondents had experienced one or more distressing incidents of actual or threatened violence within the previous year. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire and Impact of Events Scale scores were significantly higher in those who reported exposure to ‘frequent’ violent incidents.
Some National Health Service staff may be harmed psychologically when they are at work. This consequently may have implications for patient care, employer liability and recruitment.
On 6 October 1997 NASA plans to launch a space probe named Cassini which, if all goes to plan, will follow a convoluted path which will take it past Venus in April 1998 and again in June 1999 before it repasses close to Earth in August 1999. By then it will have gained enough speed to set out to more distant planets and after passing Jupiter at the end of the millennium (i.e. at the end of the year 2000) it should reach Saturn on 25 June 2004, where it will spend four years studying that planet and its satellites.