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This study aimed to explore the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and postponement of elective surgical procedures for profoundly deaf patients awaiting cochlear implantation.
Open-ended questionnaires were sent to all adult patients awaiting cochlear implantation surgery. Qualitative analysis was performed using a grounded theory approach.
Participants described a primarily negative impact on wellbeing from the surgery delay, expressing feelings of isolation or loneliness. Low mood, depression or hopelessness were commonly expressed by elderly participants; frustration and anxiety were described by young adults. Participants described a negative impact on their general daily life, describing difficulties communicating with facemasks and struggles with reliance on telephone communication because of social distancing. Despite these significant psychosocial challenges, only a minority described adaptive coping strategies.
Profoundly deaf patients may be at greater psychosocial risk because of unique challenges from their hearing disability. Our findings can be used to develop evidence-driven strategies to improve communication, wellbeing and quality of life.
Altered fear learning processes could be mechanistically linked to the development and/or maintenance of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). From a clinical perspective, the first-line psychological treatment for OCD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is based on the principles of fear learning. However, no previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have evaluated the predictive capacity of regional brain activations during fear learning on CBT response in patients with OCD.
We aimed at exploring whether brain activation during fear learning in patients with OCD are associated with CBT outcome.
We assessed 18 patients with OCD and 18 healthy participants during a 2-day experimental protocol where brain activation and skin conductance responses (SCR) where assessed during fear conditioning, extinction learning, and extinction recall within the fMRI scanner. Following the protocol, patients with OCD received CBT.
We found non-significant between-group differences in SCR during fear learning. Patients with OCD showed significantly diminished activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the right insula during fear conditioning. Importantly, our analyses revealed a significant negative association between clinical improvement after CBT and activity at the right insula during fear conditioning (x = 39, y = 12, z = -11; t = 5.64; p<0.001; k = 928). This finding is displayed in Figure 1 below.
Patients with OCD may require less fear-conditioned brain responses to achieve the same level of psychophysiological fear conditioning as healthy participants. Interestingly, insula activations during fear-conditioned responses may represent a potential predictor biomarker of response to CBT for OCD.
This study has two main objectives: to describe the prevalence of undetected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a clinical sample of smokers with severe mental illness (SMI), and to assess the value of the Tobacco Intensive Motivational Estimated Risk tool, which informs smokers of their respiratory risk and uses brief text messages to reinforce intervention.
A multicenter, randomized, open-label, and active-controlled clinical trial, with a 12-month follow-up. Outpatients with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder were randomized either to the experimental group—studied by spirometry and informed of their calculated lung age and degree of obstruction (if any)—or to the active control group, who followed the 5 A’s intervention.
The study sample consisted of 160 patients (71.9% SZ), 78.1% of whom completed the 12-month follow-up. Of the patients who completed the spirometry test, 23.9% showed evidence of COPD (77.8% in moderate or severe stages). TIMER was associated with a significant reduction in tobacco use at week 12 and in the long term, 21.9% of patients reduced consumption and 14.6% at least halved it. At week 48, six patients (7.3%) allocated to the experimental group achieved the seven-day smoking abstinence confirmed by CO (primary outcome in terms of efficacy), compared to three (3.8%) in the control group.
In this clinical pilot trial, one in four outpatients with an SMI who smoked had undiagnosed COPD. An intensive intervention tool favors the early detection of COPD and maintains its efficacy to quit smoking, compared with the standard 5 A’s intervention.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome characterized by heterogeneous clinical manifestations, and knowing this variability can help to develop tailored treatments. To understand better the heterogeneity of FM the present cross-sectional study analyzed the role of several physical symptoms (pain, fatigue and poor sleep quality) and cognitive-affective variables related to pain (pain catastrophizing, pain vigilance, self-efficacy in pain management, and pain acceptance) in the configuration of clinical profiles. A sample of 161 women with FM fulfilled an interview and several self-report measures to explore physical symptoms, cognitive-affective variables, disability and psychopathology. To establish FM groups a hierarchical cluster analysis was performed. The findings revealed three clusters that differed in the grouping variables, Wilks’ λ = .17, F(14, 304) = 31.50, p < .001, ηp2 = .59. Group 1 (n = 72) was characterized by high physical and psychological affectation, Group 2 (n = 19) by low physical affectation and high pain self-efficacy, and Group 3 (n = 70) by moderate physical affectation and low pain catastrophizing. The external validation of the clusters was confirmed, Wilks’ λ = .72, F(4, 314) = 14.09, p < .001, ηp2 = .15, showing Group 1 the highest levels of FM impact and psychopathological distress. Considering the distinctive clinical characteristics of each subgroup therapeutic strategies addressed to the specific needs of each group were suggested. Assessing FM profiles may be key for a better understanding and approach of this syndrome.
Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
Spreading of pruning waste over the soil surface may increase soil organic carbon, thus improving soil physical properties and serving as a source of nutrients and energy for microbial populations. The aim of this study was to test the effect of the environmental conditions and the biochemical composition of pruning waste from avocado, cherimoya, mango and gardens on their decomposition process in a Mediterranean subtropical climate. Bagged pruning and garden waste were placed on the ground at a distance of 1 m around the trunk of the three trees from each crop. The concentrations in C, N, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, other extracts and ash were determined at the beginning of the experiment (T0), after six (T6) and 24 (T24) months in the field. Initially, significant differences were detected for all types of waste, especially in lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose and other extracts. No significant differences were found in the N content and the C content in mango pruning waste was significantly lower than that in avocado. The greatest weight loss recorded at T24 (63.2%) was related to the lower content in lignin, cellulose and other extracts. Weight losses and C concentrations showed negative correlations with lignin content. Despite the intense decomposition of all the waste, between 55 and 36.8% of the original weights were recorded at the end of the experiment. Recalcitrant C could be the result of the lignin concentrating in the case of the garden waste applied to the different crops.
Improving functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) is one of the main objectives in clinical practice. Of the few psychosocial interventions that have been specifically developed to enhance the psychosocial outcome in BD, functional remediation (FR) is one which has demonstrated efficacy. The aim of this study was to examine which variables could predict improved functional outcome following the FR intervention in a sample of euthymic or subsyndromal patients with BD.
A total of 92 euthymic outpatients were included in this longitudinal study, with 62 completers. Partial correlations controlling for the functional outcome at baseline were calculated between demographic, clinical and neurocognitive variables, and functional outcome at endpoint was assessed by means of the Functioning Assessment Short Test scale. Next, a multiple regression analysis was run in order to identify potential predictors of functional outcome at 2-year follow-up, using the variables found to be statistically significant in the correlation analysis and other variables related to functioning as identified in the previous scientific literature.
The regression model revealed that only two independent variables significantly contributed to the model (F(6,53): 4.003; p = 0.002), namely verbal memory and inhibitory control. The model accounted for 31.2% of the variance. No other demographic or clinical variable contributed to the model.
Results suggest that patients with better cognitive performance at baseline, especially in terms of verbal memory and executive functions, may present better functional outcomes at long term follow-up after receiving functional remediation.
A new design methodology for long life and large size (Ll-Ls) products called Design for Installation (DfI) is proposed. Ll-Ls products are usually made up of large parts that need to be assembled on field. The proposed methodology, based on adapted Design Structure Matrix (DSM) and Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) methods, enables to optimize the design of a Ll-Ls product in order to reduce time and cost of the installation process. The new methodology works with a conceptual design of the product and the weight and size restrictions given by logistic factors as inputs.
Nowadays several authors defend the existence of an obsessive-compulsive (OC) spectrum in which eating disorders (ED), especially anorexia nervosa, would be include. We investigated the presence of OC symptoms in bulimic and anorexic patients and its relationships with personality traits.
The Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Questionnaire (MOCQ) and the revised version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) were administered to patients and healthy controls.
Patients show higher scores than controls in the global punctuation of de MOCQ, and in the checking and doubt subscales. Cases also score higher in harm avoidance (dimension associated with personality disorders of cluster C) and in its subscale anticipatory worry. No differences were found between patients subgroups.
Restricting Anorexia Nervosa (RAN, n = 21)
Binging-Purging Anorexia Nervosa (BPAN, n = 29)
Bulimia Nervosa (BN, n = 34)
Control (C, n = 52)
RAN, BPAN, BN > C
Checking subscale (MOCQ)
BPAN, BN > C
RAN, BPAN, BN > C
Harm avoidance (TCI-R)
BPAN, BN > C
Anticipatory worry vs optimism (TCI-R)
RAN, BPAN, BN > C
Patients present more OC behaviours in comparison with healthy population but measures of obsessivity do not differ between the types of ED. Traits of personality characteristically associated to cluster C and to anxiety disorders seem to be also common features. These results do not support a separated classification of RAN into the OC spectrum.
“Rite of passage” is an etnographic concept developed by VanGennep that defines the vital transition of an individual between two different status. It is divided in three stages: separation, liminal/threshold and aggregation. Turner described the liminal phase, and the terms of “communitas” and “liminoid” (structure of a rite without religious/spiritual elements). One widely-known Rite of Passage is the initiation of the shamans.
Study the elements of a rite of passage present in Psychiatric Trainning.
• Field study (observational, descriptive, non-experimental).
• Preliminary Sample=10trainees (5man+5women); last year of Psychiatric Trainning.
• “ad hoc” semi-structured interview (21items subdivided in open questions). 10interviews (average duration=75mins). Permanent register:digital recorder.
• Summary and analysis of the answers. Review of the literature.
- Psychiatric Trainning shared the elements and tri-phasic structure of VanGennep's “rite of passage” concept
- Trainees saw themselves as more empathic(7/10) and humanistic(8/10) than other specialties colleagues. Stigma towards mental illness(8/10) and fear of suicide(9/10) were also considered as their distinctives.
- The collective behaved as a communitas(10/10)
- No spiritual elements(0/10): liminoid process
- Resemblances of the ancestral shamans' Initiation: Despite bloody practices were over, suffering was also present(7/10), but was seen as necessary(6/10) and well tolerated(7/10).
- Trainees felt that they grew spiritual and mentally(7/10) during the trainning years
Results suggest that Psychiatric Trainning has stable phenomena that:
• are compatible with the Rite of Passage schema
• Are considered exclusive of Psychiatry by trainees
• Have not been systematically studied as a whole, which could help to improve the training.
The aim of this study is to assess the personality traits in a sample of Spanish anorexic and bulimic outpatients.
The revised version of the Temperament and Character Inventory was administered to 76 women attended in an Eating Disorders Unit and to 46 healthy controls. Both groups were matched by gender, age and instruction.
Diagnoses in the sample were distributed as follows: bulimia nervosa (BN) 33, binging-purging type anorexia nervosa (BPAN) 23 and restricting anorexia nervosa (RAN) 18. RAN patients were significantly younger (21.6 vs. 26.3 p < 0.01). Differences in the harm avoidance, persistence and selfdirectedness subscales of the TCI were found (see table).
BPAN, BN > C
RAN > C
C > RAN, BPAN, BN
In concordance with previous reports, compared with healthy controls, patients show lower scores in self-directedness. Persistence seems to be associated with restricting behaviours, whereas harm avoidance with binging and purging. RAN trends to have low scores in novelty seeking items and BN shows lower reward dependence, but this differences are not statistically significant, perhaps because of sample size.
Startle reflex (SR) is a defensive response to sudden, intense stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) refers to the ability of innocuous sensory events to reduce SR. PPI has been described as an operational measure of sensorimotor gating that is reduced in several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, but there is no extensive experience in addictions and alcoholism. The objective of this study was to examine the existence of impairments on SR and PPI in abstinent alcoholic males.
Subjects were 40 abstinent alcoholic males, aged 18 to 65 years (mean age 44.73), who had met DSM-IV criteria for Alcohol Dependence, being abstinent for more than a month at the moment they were tested. Participants underwent testing for PPI. Subjects were then compared with 35 equal controls.
Magnitudes of the SR were lower in abstinent alcoholic males when compared with controls. This differences were significant (p< 0,05) in trials with prepulse presented 30, 60 or 120 msec before the onset of startle stimulus. There was a significant less percentage of PPI when prepulse was presented 30 msec before the startle stimulus (p< 0,05).
Abstinent alcoholic males exhibit a decrease in the startle response magnitude and in the PPI of the SR. These data suggest that sensory information processing mechanisms could be damaged in abstinent alcoholic patients. The fact that these findings are common to other psychiatric disorders, could indicate the existence of a common vulnerability marker, and could explain the important comorbidity between alcoholism and other mental illness.
Fiction films offer unexplored opportunities of rehabilitation for schizophrenia and other psychoses. Schizophrenia produces deficits y distortions in the perception and comprehension of reality, also expressed in the perception and comprehension of films. After a year of an “ad hoc” experience, the following technique was developed:
1) Selecting a fiction film for its narrative, affective, cognitive and social cognitive content
2) Briefly presenting of the film to a group of 8-16 patients with diverse psychosis.
3) Screening of the film to the patients and the therapeutic team.
4) Summarizing of the plot by a patient. Group correcting of distortions and deficits caused by problems of attention and working memory, as well as positive, negative, affective and social cognitive symptoms (emotional perception, theory of mind, attributive style)
5) Selecting 1-2 sequences by each patient, and group commenting using the same technique.
6) Field recording of all the commentaries obtained.
7) Second screening of the film two days after, repeating points 2 to 6.
8) Comparing both field records.
An experimental study using this technique is presented. 8 patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses watched 4 fiction films (“The 39 Steps”, “Charade”, “M”, “The General”). The differences founded in both viewings by two external evaluators (using CGI and analogical scales of the main variables) are presented and commented. An evaluation of the perceived usefulness and satisfaction of the participants was included.
Les signes neurologiques mineurs (SNM) sont des marqueurs aujourd’hui bien reconnus dans la schizophrénie, présents à un moindre degré chez les apparentés. Leur signification et leur spécificité reste néanmoins incertaines. Des aspects méthodologiques pourraient expliquer certaines de ces incertitudes (échelles variables selon les publications, méthodes de cotation sensible ou non au changement, types de signes pris en comptes etc) . Les corrélats des SNM peuvent apporter des éléments de réponses sur leur origine et leur signification. Nous avons ainsi montré que la SNM sont associés à une moindre performance cognitive, à plus d’erreurs dans les tâches oculomotrices, notamment dans des tâches de saccades adaptatives , ainsi à une altération du circuit préfronto cérébelleux , suggérant un dysfonctionnement cérébelleux.
Par ailleurs, nous avons également montré que les patients ayant des SNM ont une altération de la morphologie corticale, avec une moindre gyrification corticale, témoignant de l’origine développementale des SNM .
Enfin, nous avons montré récemment que les SNM sont plus marqués chez les sujets présentant un début des troubles précoces, avant l’adolescence (avant 15 ans), comparés à ceux présentant un trouble débutant à l’âge adulte, suggérant à nouveau que les SNM sont les marqueurs d’une forme à charge développementale plus importante.
L’association des SNM avec un âge de début précoce et des anomalies structurales touchant en particulier les circuits cérébelleux, suggère que les SNM pourraient permettre d’identifier un sous-type de schizophrénie précoce, et interroge sur un continuum avec les troubles du spectre autistique.
Impulsivity is associated with different types of disorders, included substance used disorders. The purposed of this study is get to know if alcohol and cocaine affect in the same way to the impulsivity paradigms or if they strength each other or if there are specific bias associated to each one of the substances.
Material and methods
This is a 380 heavy drinker patient's sample recruited from twelve primary care centers. The patients were screened using The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT > 8). Neuropsicological tests done at the base line and after the 4 years of the study were the Continous Performance Test (CPT) and the Barrat Impulsivity scale. The alcohol and cocaine consume accumulated along the four years was also study.
The two variables of the CPT (ommission and commission errors) had a significant correlation with the alcohol and cocaine use accumulated in these four years. The variable that was associated with a greater risk of making more commission and ommission errors was the cocaine risk consumption. The years of study were protective variable.
The most important conclusion of this study is that alcohol and cocaine use produces a modification in the conductual paradigm of impulsivity characterized by the inhibition difficulties measured by the CPT. Also, the cocaine use effects are added respect to the alcohol ones and finally that cocaine plus alcohol effects over the number of ommission and commission errors are more potent that the ones made only with alcohol.
Impulsivity has been considered as a risk factor for alcohol dependence. Recent research is focusing on paradigms of the startle response (SR), specifically prepulse inhibition (PPI) and startle habituation (SH), as vulnerability markers for alcoholism. It has been demonstrated impairments in the PPI and the SH in offspring of alcoholics. It has also been shown, using personality questionnaires, that faster habituation may be associated with tendency toward impulsivity and behavioral disinhibition. Our goal is to study the correlation between impulsivity laboratory measures and the SR paradigms, in order to see if they could share a common base as endophenotypes for alcoholism.
The subjects were 40 abstinent alcoholic males, aged 18 to 65 years (mean age 44.73) and who had met DSM-IV criteria for Alcohol Dependence, being abstinent for more than a month at the moment they were tested. Participants underwent testing for PPI and habituation of the acoustic startle response. Impulsivity was assessed with three different laboratory measures: Continuous Performance Test (CPT), Stop-Signal Task and Differential Reinforcement for Low-Rate Responding (DRL6). Analyses were performed using SPSS v.10.0.
We found a significant positive correlation between CPT-tasks and SH (p< 0,01), and Stop-Signal Task-tasks and SH (p< 0,05), but not with DRL6-tasks. No significant correlation was demonstrated between impulsivity measures and PPI.
Our findings suggest the existence of a common base between impulsivity and SH as vulnerability markers for alcohol dependence. Further studies are needed to assess if both could share a common genetic origin.
Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a prevalence up to 4% of the general adult population, however in Spain adult ADHD is underdiagnosed. Screening instruments can help clinicians to detect adult ADHD. The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-Version 1.1 (ASRS v1.1) is a 6-question scale designed to screen for adult ADHD.
A validation of Spanish version of the ASRS v1.1 was performed.
A case control study was carry out (adult ADHD vs non ADHD) in the Adult ADHD Program of the Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona). ADHD evaluation was performed using Conners Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV (CAADID-Part II) and the diagnosis was compared with the ASRS v1.1 responses. Logistic regression study was made to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV). Kappa coefficient of classification accuracy and area under curve (AUC) were calculated.
Sample consisted of 90 adult ADHD and 90 controls. Average age was 31.6 (SD=10.09) and 57.8% of subjects were men (there were no significant differences between the two groups). Logistic regression analysis showed that the score model proposed by the authors of scale is significant (c2 =129.36, p=.0005): Sensitivity (82.2%), specificity (95.6%), PPV (94.8%), NPV (84.3%), Kappa coefficient 0.78 and AUC 0.89.
The Spanish version of the ASRS v1.1 6-question shows adequate psychometric characteristics and it is a valid scale to screen ADHD for adults in a clinical setting.
To examine the effectiveness of an Internet Based Therapy (IBT) for Bulimia Nervosa (BN), when compared to a brief psychoeducational group therapy (PET) or a waiting list (WL).
93 female BN patients, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. An experimental group (31 IBT patients) was compared to two groups (31 PET and 31 WL). PET and WL were matched to the IBT group in terms of age, disorder duration, previous treatments and severity. All patients completed assesment, prior and after treatment.
Considering IBT, mean scores were lower at the end of treatment for some EDI scales and BITE symptoms scale, while the mean BMI was higher at post-therapy. Main predictors of good IBT outcome were higher scores in EDI perfectionism and higher scores on reward dependence. Drop-out was related to higher SCL-obsessive/compulsive (p=0.045) and novelty seeking (p=0.044) scores and lower reward dependence (p=0.018). At the end of the treatment bingeing and vomiting abstinence rates (22.6% for IBT, 33.3% for PET, and 0.0% for WL; p=0.003) and drop-out rates (35.5% IBT, 12.9% PET and 0% WL; p= 0.001) differed significantly between groups. While the concrete comparison between the two treatments (IBT and PET) did not evidence significant differences for success proportions (p=0.375), statistical differences for drop-out rates (p=0.038) were obtained.
The results of this study suggest that an online self-help approach appears to be a valid treatment option for BN, especially for people who present lower severity of their eating disorder (ED) symptomatology and some specific personality traits.
To describe validation process of the new apathy scale for institutionalized dementia patients (APADEM-NH).
100 elderly, institutionalized patients with diagnosis of probable Alzheimer Disease (AD) (57%), possible AD (13%), AD with cerebral vascular disease (CVD) (17%), Lewy Bodies Dementia (11%) and Parkinson associated to dementia (PDD) (2%). All stages of the disease severity according to the Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) were assessed. The Apathy Inventory (AI), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Cornell scale for depression, and the tested scale were applied. Re-test and inter-rater reliability was carried out in 50 patients. The feasibility and acceptability, reliability, validity, and measurement precision were analyzed.
APADEM-NH final version consists of 26 items and 3 dimensions: Deficit of Thinking and Self-Generated behaviors (DT): 13 items, Emotional Blunting (EB): 7 items, and Cognitive Inertia (CI): 6 items. Mean application time was 9.56 minutes and 74% of applications were fully computable. All subscales showed floor and ceiling effect lower than 15%. Internal consistency was excellent for each dimension (Cronbach’s α DT = 0.88, α EB = 0.83, α CI= 0.88);Test-retest reliability for the items was kW=0,48-0,92; Inter-rater reliability reached kW values 0.84-1.00; The APADEM-NH total score showed a low/moderate correlation with apathy scales (Spearman ρ, AI =0.33; NPI-Apathy= 0,31), no correlation with depression scales (NPI-Dementia = -0.003; Cornell= 0,10), and high internal validity (ρ =0.69 0.80).
APADEM-NH is a brief, psychometrically acceptable, and valid scale to assess apathy in patients from mild to severe dementia and discerning between apathy and depression.