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To compare antimicrobial prescribing practices in Australian hematology and oncology patients to noncancer acute inpatients and to identify targets for stewardship interventions.
Retrospective comparative analysis of a national prospectively collected database.
Using data from the 2014–2018 annual Australian point-prevalence surveys of antimicrobial prescribing in hospitalized patients (ie, Hospital National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey called Hospital NAPS), the most frequently used antimicrobials, their appropriateness, and guideline concordance were compared among hematology/bone marrow transplant (hemBMT), oncology, and noncancer inpatients in the setting of treatment of neutropenic fever and antibacterial and antifungal prophylaxis.
In 454 facilities, 94,226 antibiotic prescriptions for 62,607 adult inpatients (2,230 hemBMT, 1,824 oncology, and 58,553 noncancer) were analyzed. Appropriateness was high for neutropenic fever management across groups (83.4%–90.4%); however, hemBMT patients had high rates of carbapenem use (111 of 746 prescriptions, 14.9%), and 20.2% of these prescriptions were deemed inappropriate. Logistic regression demonstrated that hemBMT patients were more likely to receive appropriate antifungal prophylaxis compared to oncology and noncancer patients (adjusted OR, 5.3; P < .001 for hemBMT compared to noncancer patients). Oncology had a low rate of antifungal prophylaxis guideline compliance (67.2%), and incorrect dosage and frequency were key factors. Compared to oncology patients, hemBMT patients were more likely to receive appropriate nonsurgical antibacterial prophylaxis (aOR, 8.4; 95% CI, 5.3–13.3; P < .001). HemBMT patients were also more likely to receive appropriate nonsurgical antibacterial prophylaxis compared to noncancer patients (OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.9–5.0; P < .001). However, in the Australian context, the hemBMT group had higher than expected use of fluoroquinolone prophylaxis (66 of 831 prescriptions, 8%).
This study demonstrates why separate analysis of hemBMT and oncology populations is necessary to identify specific opportunities for quality improvement in each patient group.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
This study aimed to analyse social, health and environmental factors associated with the development of chronic otitis media by age nine.
This was a prospective, longitudinal, birth cohort study of 6560 children, reviewed at age nine. Chronic otitis media defined as previous surgical history or video-otoscopic changes of tympanic membrane retraction, perforation or cholesteatoma. Non-affected children were used as the control group.
Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between chronic otitis media and otorrhoea, snoring, grommet insertion, adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, hearing loss, abnormal tympanograms and preterm birth. Multivariate analysis suggests many of these factors may be interrelated.
The association between chronic otitis media and otorrhoea, abnormal tympanograms and grommets supports the role of the Eustachian tube and otitis media (with effusion or acute) in the pathogenesis of chronic otitis media. The role of snoring, adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy is unclear. Associations suggested by previous studies (sex, socioeconomic group, parental smoking, maternal education, childcare, crowding and siblings) were not found to be significant predictors in this analysis.
Abnormalities of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) sulcogyral patterns have been reported in schizophrenia, but it is not known if these predate psychosis.
Hundred and forty-six subjects at high genetic risk of schizophrenia, 34 first episode of schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 36 healthy controls were scanned and clinically assessed. Utilising the classification system proposed by Chiavaras, we categorised OFC patterns and compared their distribution between the groups, as well as between those high risk subjects who did, and did not develop schizophrenia. The relationship between OFC pattern and schizotypy was explored in high risk subjects.
We refined Chiavaras’ classification system, with the identification of a previously unreported variant of OFC surface structure. There were significant differences in distribution of OFC patterns between high risk subjects who did or did not develop schizophrenia as well as between the first episode of schizophrenia group and healthy controls. Within the high risk group, possession of OFC Type III was associated with higher ratings on the Structured Inventory for Schizotypy (SIS) psychotic factor.
Our results suggest that OFC Type III is associated with psychotic features before the development of schizophrenia. Characterisation of OFC morphology may have a role in the identification of those at greatest risk of developing schizophrenia.
[Improvement in daily accessible risk assessments]
We show enhanced patient safety through a quality improvement methodology project in an intensive psychiatric care unit of a psychiatric hospital in southwest of Scotland. This is a project as part of the national patient safety programme in mental health. The Scottish Patient Safety Programme for Mental Health aims to systematically reduce harm experienced by people using mental health services in Scotland, by supporting frontline staff to test, gather real-time data and reliably implement interventions, before spreading across their catchment area.
Multidisciplinary staff worked together in improving recording of daily electronic and paper based risk assessments from a baseline of 20% to nearly 100% over a sixth month period. We expect better quality risk management by readily accessible risk assessments and safe practise through enhanced safety perception by the patients as well as staff. Patient and staff safety perception tools were designed to measure impact of improvement in risk management. We have seen drop in the number of critical incidents and challenging situations requiring restraint following coordinated approach to risk assessment and easy access to key information. We have been successful as the frontline staff became part of the process of change and this has enabled sustained improvement.
Self-reported activity restriction is an established correlate of depression in dementia caregivers (dCGs). It is plausible that the daily distribution of objectively measured activity is also altered in dCGs with depression symptoms; if so, such activity characteristics could provide a passively measurable marker of depression or specific times to target preventive interventions. We therefore investigated how levels of activity throughout the day differed in dCGs with and without depression symptoms, then tested whether any such differences predicted changes in symptoms 6 months later.
Design, setting, participants, and measurements:
We examined 56 dCGs (mean age = 71, standard deviation (SD) = 6.7; 68% female) and used clustering to identify subgroups which had distinct depression symptom levels, leveraging baseline Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression Scale–Revised Edition and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) measures, as well as a PHQ-9 score from 6 months later. Using wrist activity (mean recording length = 12.9 days, minimum = 6 days), we calculated average hourly activity levels and then assessed when activity levels relate to depression symptoms and changes in symptoms 6 months later.
Clustering identified subgroups characterized by: (1) no/minimal symptoms (36%) and (2) depression symptoms (64%). After multiple comparison correction, the group of dCGs with depression symptoms was less active from 8 to 10 AM (Cohen’s d ≤ −0.9). These morning activity levels predicted the degree of symptom change on the PHQ-9 6 months later (per SD unit β = −0.8, 95% confidence interval: −1.6, −0.1, p = 0.03) independent of self-reported activity restriction and other key factors.
These novel findings suggest that morning activity may protect dCGs from depression symptoms. Future studies should test whether helping dCGs get active in the morning influences the other features of depression in this population (i.e. insomnia, intrusive thoughts, and perceived activity restriction).
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
High-rate lithium ion batteries with long cycling lives can provide electricity grid stabilization services in the presence of large fractions of intermittent generators, such as photovoltaics. Engineering for high rate and long cycle life requires an appropriate selection of materials for both electrode and electrolyte and an understanding of how these materials degrade with use. High-rate lithium ion batteries can also facilitate faster charging of electric vehicles and provide higher energy density alternatives to supercapacitors in mass transport applications.
High-rate lithium ion batteries can play a critical role in decarbonizing our energy systems both through their underpinning of the transition to use renewable energy resources, such as photovoltaics, and electrification of transport. Their ability to be rapidly and frequently charged and discharged can enable this energy storage technology to play a key role in stabilizing future low-carbon electricity networks which integrate large fractions of intermittent renewable energy generators. This decarbonizing transition will require lithium ion technology to provide increased power and longer cycle lives at reduced cost. Rate performance and cycle life are ultimately limited by the materials used and the kinetics associated with the charge transfer reactions and ionic and electronic conduction. We review material strategies for electrode materials and electrolytes that can facilitate high rates and long cycle lives and discuss the important issues of cost, resource availability and recycling.
A fine-grained, up to 3-m-thick tephra bed in southwestern Saskatchewan, herein named Duncairn tephra (Dt), is derived from an early Pleistocene eruption in the Jemez Mountains volcanic field of New Mexico, requiring a trajectory of northward tephra dispersal of ~1500 km. An unusually low CaO content in its glass shards denies a source in the closer Yellowstone and Heise volcanic fields, whereas a Pleistocene tephra bed (LSMt) in the La Sal Mountains of Utah has a very similar glass chemistry to that of the Dt, supporting a more southerly source. Comprehensive characterization of these two distal tephra beds along with samples collected near the Valles caldera in New Mexico, including grain size, mineral assemblage, major- and trace-element composition of glass and minerals, paleomagnetism, and fission-track dating, justify this correlation. Two glass populations each exist in the Dt and LSMt. The proximal correlative of Dt1 is the plinian Tsankawi Pumice and co-ignimbritic ash of the first ignimbrite (Qbt1g) of the 1.24 Ma Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. The correlative of Dt2 and LSMt is the co-ignimbritic ash of Qbt2. Mixing of Dt1 and Dt2 probably occurred during northward transport in a jet stream.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Although the pain caused by castration of calves is a significant animal welfare issue for the beef industry, analgesia is not always used for this procedure, largely because of practical limitations associated with injectable forms of pain relief. Novel analgesic formulations have now been developed for livestock to allow topical and buccal administration, offering practical options to improve cattle welfare if shown to be effective. To assess the effects of topical anaesthetic (TA) and buccal meloxicam (BM) on average daily gain (ADG), behaviour and inflammation following surgical castration of beef calves, a total of 50 unweaned bull calves were randomly allocated to: (1) sham castration (SHAM, n=10); (2) surgical castration (C, n=10); (3) surgical castration with pre-operative buccal meloxicam (CBM, n=10); (4) surgical castration with post-operative topical anaesthetic (CTA, n=10); and (5) surgical castration with pre-operative buccal meloxicam and post-operative topical anaesthetic (CBMTA, n=10). Calves were recorded on video for 5 h following treatment and the frequency and duration of specific behaviours displayed by each animal was later observed for 5 min every hour (total of 25 min). Average daily gain was calculated 1, 2 and 6 days following treatment. Scrotal diameter measurements and photographs of wounds were collected from all castrated calves 1, 2 and 6 days following treatment to evaluate inflammation and wound healing. Infrared photographs were used to identify maximum scrotal temperature. Digital photographs were used to visually score wounds on a numerical rating scale of 1 to 5, with signs of inflammation increasing and signs of healing decreasing with progressive scores. Sham castration calves displayed significantly less, and C calves displayed significantly more foot stamps than all other calves (P=0.005). Observations on the duration of time that calves displayed a hypometric ‘stiff gait’ locomotion, indicated that SHAM calves tended to spend no time, C calves tended to spend the greatest time and all other calves tended to spend an intermediate time displaying this behaviour (P=0.06). Maximum scrotal temperatures were lower in CBM and CBMTA calves than C and CTA calves 2 days following treatment (P=0.004). There was no significant effect of treatment on ADG (P=0.7), scrotal diameter (P=0.09) or wound morphology score (P=0.5). These results suggest that TA and BM, alone or in combination, reduced pain and BM reduced inflammation following surgical castration of calves.
This paper reports on: (1) an evaluation of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) developed for comorbid presentations of depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, and/or externalizing symptoms among children in three Somali refugee camps on the Ethiopian/Somali border, and (2) an evaluation of implementation factors from the perspective of staff, lay providers, and families who engaged in the intervention.
This project was conducted in three refugee camps and utilized locally validated mental health instruments for internalizing, externalizing, and posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. Participants were recruited from either a validity study or from referrals from social workers within International Rescue Committee Programs. Lay providers delivered CETA to youth (CETA-Youth) and families, and symptoms were re-assessed post-treatment. Providers and families responded to a semi-structured interview to assess implementation factors.
Children who participated in the CETA-Youth open trial reported significant decreases in symptoms of internalizing (d = 1.37), externalizing (d = 0.85), and posttraumatic stress (d = 1.71), and improvements in well-being (d = 0.75). Caregivers also reported significant decreases in child symptoms. Qualitative results were positive toward the acceptability and appropriateness of treatment, and its feasibility.
This project is the first to examine a common elements approach (CETA: defined as flexible delivery of elements, order, and dosing) with children and caregivers in a low-resource setting with delivery by lay providers. CETA-Youth may offer an effective treatment that is easier to implement and scale-up versus multiple focal interventions. A fullscale randomized clinical trial is warranted.
Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in the USA. Although secondary household transmission of norovirus is frequently reported in outbreaks, little is known about specific risk factors for susceptibility and infectiousness in the household. Three norovirus outbreaks were investigated and data were collected on individuals exposed in the primary outbreak setting and their household members. Potential individual- and household-level risk factors for susceptibility and infectiousness were assessed using univariate and multivariate generalised linear mixed models. In the univariate models, the secondary attack rate (SAR) was significantly higher when living in a household with two or more primary cases (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 2·1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·37–3·29), more than one primary case with vomiting (IRR = 1·9; CI 1·11–3·37), and at least one primary case with diarrhoea (IRR = 3·0; CI 1·46–6·01). After controlling for other risk factors in the multivariate models, the SAR was significantly higher among those living in a household with two or more primary cases (adjusted IRR = 2·0; CI 1·17–3·47) and at least one primary case with diarrhoea (adjusted IRR = 2·8; CI 1·35–5·93). These findings underscore the importance of maintaining proper hygiene and isolating ill household members to prevent norovirus transmission in the household.
The flora of Laos remains one of the least known within the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. A floristic inventory was carried out in Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area, an under-explored area of the Khammouane Limestone. This study provides a list of 27 taxa that are additions to the most recent country checklists. The Ebenaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Myrtaceae are the families with the highest species number. In this list, four species are endemic to Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam): Cynometra dongnaiensis Pierre, Jasminum vidalii P.S.Green, Memecylon chevalieri Guillaumin and Pothos gigantipes Buchet ex P.C.Boyce. These results illustrate the paucity of our knowledge of the region surveyed and of the flora of Laos in general.
The effect of free stream coherent structures in the asymptotic suction boundary layer on the initiation of Görtler vortices is considered from both the ‘imperfect’ bifurcation and receptivity viewpoints. Firstly a weakly nonlinear and a full numerical approach are used to describe Görtler vortices in the asymptotic suction boundary layer in the absence of forcing from the free stream. It is found that interactions between different spanwise harmonics occur and lead to multiple secondary bifurcations in the fully nonlinear regime. Furthermore it is shown that centrifugal instabilities of the asymptotic suction boundary layer behave quite differently than their counterparts in either fully developed flows such as Couette flow or growing boundary layers. A significant result is that the most dangerous disturbance is found to bifurcate subcritically from the unperturbed state. Within the weakly nonlinear regime the receptivity of Görtler vortices to the free stream exact coherent structures discovered by Deguchi & Hall (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 752, 2014, pp. 602–625; J. Fluid Mech., vol. 778, 2015, pp. 451–484) is considered. The presence of free stream structures results in a resonant excitation of Görtler vortices in the main boundary layer. This leads to imperfect bifurcations reminiscent of those found by Daniels (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A, vol. 358, 1977, pp. 173–197) and Hall & Walton (Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A, vol. 358, 1977, pp. 199–221; J. Fluid Mech., vol. 90, 1979, pp. 377–395) in the context of transition to finite amplitude Bénard convection in a bounded region. In order to understand the receptivity problem for the given flow the spatial initial value problem for this interaction is also considered when the free stream structure begins at a fixed position along the wall. Remarkably, it will be shown that free stream structures are incredibly efficient generators of Görtler vortices; indeed the induced vortices are found to be larger than the free stream structure which provokes them! The relationship between the imperfect bifurcation approach and receptivity theory is described.
Unusual speleothems, associated with hyperalkaline (pH > 12) groundwaters have formed within a shallow, abandoned railway tunnel at Peak Dale, Derbyshire, UK. The hyperalkaline groundwaters are produced by the leaching of a thin layer (<2 m) of old lime-kiln waste on the soil-bedrock surface above the tunnel by rainwater. This results in a different reaction and chemical process to that more commonly associated with the formation of calcium carbonate speleothems from Ca-HCO3-type groundwaters and degassing of CO2. Stalagmites within the Peak Daletunnel have grown rapidly (averaging 33 mm y–1), following the closure of the tunnel 70 years ago. They have an unusual morphology comprising a central sub-horizontally-laminated column of micro- to nano-crystalline calcium carbonate encompassed by an outer sub-vertical assymetricripple-laminated layer. The stalagmites are composed largely of secondary calcite forming pseudomorphs (<1 mm) that we believe to be predominantly after the 'cold climate' calcium carbonate polymorph, ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate: CaCO3·6H2O), withminor volumes of small (<5 μm) pseudomorphs after vaterite. The tunnel has a near constant temperature of 8–9°C, which is slightly above the previously published crystallization temperatures for ikaite (<6°C). Analysis of a stalagmite actively growing at the time ofsampling, and preserved immediately within a dry nitrogen cryogenic vessel, indicates that following crystallization of ikaite, decomposition to calcite occurs rapidly, if not instantaneously. We believe this is the first occurrence of this calcium carbonate polymorph observed within speleothems.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.