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The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has accounted for more than 25 000 cases in Ireland with approximately 28% of the clusters in nursing homes as of June 2020. The older population is the most vulnerable to serious complications from this illness and over 90% of deaths due to COVID-19 to date have been in patients over the age of 65. Continuing to provide routine care within nursing homes in these challenging times is an essential part of ensuring that presentations to hospitals for non-essential reasons are minimized. In this article, we describe a project being undertaken by a rural Psychiatry of Old Age Service in the northwest of Ireland. We aim to provide ordinary care in extraordinary times by using mobile tablets within the nursing homes and long-stay facilities in our region for remote video consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
In this time of Covid-19, life in healthcare has changed immeasurably. It has rapidly been injected with an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, to facilitate the necessary adaptations required to reduce the spread of the virus and deliver frontline clinical care. Inevitably aspects of these changes have disrupted the delivery of medical education, notably clinical placements have been cancelled and social distancing guidelines prohibit face-to-face teaching. The training of future doctors is an essential part of this effort. Indeed, the emergence of a global health threat has underlined its continued importance. For medical educators and students alike, we have been presented with a challenge. Concurrently, this presents us with an impetus and opportunity for innovation. For some time now, a transformation in medical education has been called for, with an increasing recognition of the need to prepare students for the changing landscape of healthcare systems. This has included a focus on the use of technology-enhanced and self-directed learning. As a team of educators and clinicians in psychiatry, working in the School of Medicine and Medical Sciences (SMMS) in University College Dublin (UCD), we will share how we have responded. We outline the adaptations made to our ‘Psychiatry’ module and consider the influence this may have on its future delivery. These changes were informed by direct student input.
Forensic Mental Health provision in secure healthcare is complex. the availability of a short and quantifiable, yet comprehensive instrument for summarising patient progress encompassing multi-professional clinical input would facilitate clinical decision-making.
To develop and validate a Progress Rating Scale (PRS) for use in secure healthcare to assess patient course in treatment.
PRS items will reflect multi-professional clinical input. Measurement will be valid and reliable.
Development was undertaken at the Personality Disorder Service, Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit. Thematic analysis of 5 randomly selected archived treatment reviews resulted in a preliminary list of items. This scale was then piloted and refined via independent rating of further anonymised reports.
Validation and further development
To assess content validity, 3 independent raters applied the scale on archived treatment reviews of 12 randomly selected patients. Following examination of single-rating intra-class correlations (ICCs), items were revised to achieve greater content validity.
The domains of the scale were: Engagement, Behaviour, Mental State, Interactions with Peers and Staff, Insight, Supportive relationship, Employment, Leave, Violence/risk, Psychometric score and Final outcome (upon discharge). Initial inter-rater agreement ranged from fair to substantial (ICCs: 0.37–0.82). Following revisions, agreement improved ranging from moderate to substantial (ICCs: 0.63–0.92), the latter applying to most items.
A scale for evaluating patient progress was developed based on multi-professional clinical input. the scale was refined to improve content validity. Internal consistency and factorial structure are under scrutiny and results will be available at the conference.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 20–30% of adults with intellectual disability. This group are vulnerable to challenging behaviour and mental health problems.
To explore the extent to which ASD affects challenging behaviour among specialist mental health service users with intellectual disability.
To identify predictors of challenging behaviour among adults who have intellectual disability.
A cross-sectional study of 92 participants from a specialist mental health service for adults with intellectual disability in the UK. The presence/absence of ASD was confirmed using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Challenging behaviour was assessed using the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC).
Participants with ASD (N=48) had higher total DBC scores than those without ASD (N=44; mean=54.2 vs. 29.2). ASD, severity of intellectual disability, age, presence of psychiatric disorder and total number of needs were entered as independent variables into a linear regression. The model accounted for 51% of the variance and was statistically significant (F(5,91)=18.1, p<0.001). Presence of ASD and total number of needs were the only significant predictors of challenging behaviour. Presence of ASD had the highest standardised coefficient (β=0.56).
Participants with ASD had significantly higher levels of challenging behaviour than those without ASD. Challenging behaviour was also independently associated with total number of needs. Understanding which service users with intellectual disability have higher levels of challenging behaviour than others despite receiving psychiatric treatment, and the extent to which having ASD is a contributing factor, should inform the development of more effective services and lead to improved outcomes.
Destruction of tropical rainforests reduces many unprotected habitats to small fragments of remnant forests within agricultural matrices. To date, these remnant forest fragments have been largely disregarded as wildlife habitat, and little is known about mammalian use of these areas in Sumatra. Here, we conducted camera trap surveys (2285 trap-nights) within Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and five surrounding remnant forest fragments during 2010–2013 and used species composition metrics to compare use. We found 28 mammal species in the protected forest and 21 in the fragments. The fragments harboured a subset of species found in the protected forest and several species not observed in the protected forest. Critically endangered species such as Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) were found in the forest fragments, along with species of conservation concern such as marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) and Asiatic golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii). The biodiversity found within the fragments suggests that these small patches of remnant forest may have conservation value to certain mammal species and indicates the importance of further research into the role these habitats may play in landscape-level, multispecies conservation planning.
Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a pathogen that can cause bloody diarrhoea and severe complications. Cases occur sporadically but outbreaks are also common. Understanding the incubation period distribution and factors influencing it will help in the investigation of exposures and consequent disease control. We extracted individual patient data for STEC cases associated with outbreaks with a known source of exposure in England and Wales. The incubation period was derived and cases were described according to patient and outbreak characteristics. We tested for heterogeneity in reported incubation period between outbreaks and described the pattern of heterogeneity. We employed a multi-level regression model to examine the relationship between patient characteristics such as age, gender and reported symptoms; and outbreak characteristics such as mode of transmission with the incubation period. A total of 205 cases from 41 outbreaks were included in the study, of which 64 cases (31%) were from a single outbreak. The median incubation period was 4 days. Cases reporting bloody diarrhoea reported shorter incubation periods compared with cases without bloody diarrhoea, and likewise, cases aged between 40 and 59 years reported shorter incubation period compared with other age groups. It is recommended that public health officials consider the characteristics of cases involved in an outbreak in order to inform the outbreak investigation and the period of exposure to be investigated.
Current methods of control recruitment for case-control studies can be slow (a particular issue for outbreak investigations), resource-intensive and subject to a range of biases. Commercial market panels are a potential source of rapidly recruited controls. Our study evaluated food exposure data from these panel controls, compared with an established reference dataset. Market panel data were collected from two companies using retrospective internet-based surveys; these were compared with reference data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). We used logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios to compare exposure to each of the 71 food items between the market panel and NDNS participants. We compared 2103 panel controls with 2696 reference participants. Adjusted for socio-demographic factors, exposure to 90% of foods was statistically different between both panels and the reference data. However, these differences were likely to be of limited practical importance for 89% of Panel A foods and 79% of Panel B foods. Market panel food exposures were comparable with reference data for common food exposures but more likely to be different for uncommon exposures. This approach should be considered for outbreak investigation, in conjunction with other considerations such as population at risk, timeliness of response and study resources.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
Silicon carbide together with amorphous carbon are the main components of dust grains in the atmospheres of C-rich AGB stars. Small gaseous Si-C bearing molecules (such as SiC, SiCSi, and SiC2) are efficiently formed close to the stellar photosphere. They likely condense onto dust seeds owing to their highly refractory nature at the lower temperatures (i.e., below about 2500 K) in the dust growth zone which extends a few stellar radii from the photosphere. Beyond this region, the abundances of Si-C bearing molecules are expected to decrease until they are eventually reformed in the outer shells of the circumstellar envelope, owing to the interaction between the gas and the interstellar UV radiation field. Our goal is to understand the time-dependent chemical evolution of Si-C bond carriers probed by molecular spectral line emission in the circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216 at millimeter wavelengths.
Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
An unexpected increase in gastroenteritis cases was reported by healthcare workers on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa, January 2017 with >600 cases seen over a 3-week period. A case–control study was conducted to identify the source and risk factors associated with the outbreak so as to recommend control and prevention measures. Record review identified cases and controls and structured-telephonic interviews were conducted to obtain exposure history. Stool specimens were collected from 20 cases along with environmental samples and both screened for enteric pathogens. A total of 126 cases and 62 controls were included in the analysis. The odds of developing gastroenteritis were 6.0 times greater among holiday makers than residents (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0–17.7). Swimming in the lagoon increased the odds of developing gastroenteritis by 3.3 times (95% CI 1.06–10.38). Lagoon water samples tested positive for norovirus (NoV) GI.6, GII.3 and GII.6, astrovirus and rotavirus. Eleven (55%) stool specimens were positive for NoV with eight genotyped as GI.1 (n = 2), GI.5 (n = 3), GI.6 (n = 2), and GI.7 (n = 1). A reported sewage contamination event impacting the lagoon was the likely source with person-to-person spread perpetuating the outbreak. Restriction to swimming in the lagoon was apparently ineffective at preventing the outbreak, possibly due to inadequate enforcement, communication and signage strategies.
Medication is an important component of the treatment of many mental illnesses. Very little information is available about the particular medications that are being prescribed by community mental health services and how this has changed over time. We set out to obtain details of psychiatric medications being prescribed by one Irish community mental health service.
All prescribing by the Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Service became electronic during 2004. Using Business Intelligence software, we obtained details of all psychiatric medications prescribed from 2005 to 2016. We compared numbers of prescriptions written in the first 6 years (2005–2010) with the following 6 (2011–2016).
Olanzapine was the most commonly prescribed medication throughout but its use declined by one-quarter over the study period. Clozapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole and haloperidol prescribing increased. Prescriptions for mood stabilisers and antidepressants fell by 25%. Sedative prescriptions declined by almost 50%. Absolute numbers of prescriptions written for methylphenidate and pregabalin were small but increased dramatically over the time period.
This community mental health service prescribed less of most psychiatric medications in 2016, than had been the case in 2005. This is despite an increase in the numbers of patients seen over the same period. It is not clear if this pattern is echoed in other services.
Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
Accurate knowledge of pathogen incubation period is essential to inform public health policies and implement interventions that contribute to the reduction of burden of disease. The incubation period distribution of campylobacteriosis is currently unknown with several sources reporting different times. Variation in the distribution could be expected due to host, transmission vehicle, and organism characteristics, however, the extent of this variation and influencing factors are unclear. The authors have undertaken a systematic review of published literature of outbreak studies with well-defined point source exposures and human experimental studies to estimate the distribution of incubation period and also identify and explain the variation in the distribution between studies. We tested for heterogeneity using I2 and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests, regressed incubation period against possible explanatory factors, and used hierarchical clustering analysis to define subgroups of studies without evidence of heterogeneity. The mean incubation period of subgroups ranged from 2·5 to 4·3 days. We observed variation in the distribution of incubation period between studies that was not due to chance. A significant association between the mean incubation period and age distribution was observed with outbreaks involving only children reporting an incubation of 1·29 days longer when compared with outbreaks involving other age groups.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
To evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) associated with the diet of Irish adults.
GHGE were estimated by applying conversion factors to habitual food consumption data taken from the National Adult Nutrition Survey, which was representative of the population. Descriptive analyses were undertaken for GHGE for the total population, as well as accounting for energy misreporting and across categories of sociodemographic and socio-economic factors and tertiles of emissions.
Republic of Ireland.
Adults aged 18–87 years (n 1500).
The GHGE derived from daily dietary intakes was estimated as 6·5 kg of CO2 equivalents (CO2eq) per person. Males, younger consumers, those with secondary education and student employment status were associated with significantly higher GHGE. Red meat was the highest contributor to GHGE with 1646 g CO2eq arising from a mean intake of 47 g/d. Dairy and starchy staples were the next largest dietary GHGE sources, with mean daily emissions of 732 g CO2eq and 647 g CO2eq, respectively. The lowest emissions were associated with consumption of vegetables, fruits and legumes/pulses/nuts.
Based on profiling using actual food consumption data, it is evident that one single measure is not sufficient and a range of evidence-based mitigation measures with potential to lower emissions throughout the food chain should be considered. The research contributes towards an improved understanding of the climatic impact of the dietary intakes of Irish adults and can serve to inform a sustainability framework to guide action in food and nutrition policy development.
The burden and aetiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its microvascular complications may be influenced by varying behavioural and lifestyle environments as well as by genetic susceptibility. These aspects of the epidemiology of T2D have not been reliably clarified in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), highlighting the need for context-specific epidemiological studies with the statistical resolution to inform potential preventative and therapeutic strategies. Therefore, as part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, we designed a multi-site study comprising case collections and population-based surveys at 11 sites in eight countries across SSA. The goal is to recruit up to 6000 T2D participants and 6000 control participants. We will collect questionnaire data, biophysical measurements and biological samples for chronic disease traits, risk factors and genetic data on all study participants. Through integrating epidemiological and genomic techniques, the study provides a framework for assessing the burden, spectrum and environmental and genetic risk factors for T2D and its complications across SSA. With established mechanisms for fieldwork, data and sample collection and management, data-sharing and consent for re-approaching participants, the study will be a resource for future research studies, including longitudinal studies, prospective case ascertainment of incident disease and interventional studies.