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The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
Wavelength-dispersive X-ray (WDX) spectroscopy was used to measure silicon atom concentrations in the range 35–100 ppm [corresponding to (3–9) × 1018 cm−3] in doped AlxGa1–xN films using an electron probe microanalyser also equipped with a cathodoluminescence (CL) spectrometer. Doping with Si is the usual way to produce the n-type conducting layers that are critical in GaN- and AlxGa1–xN-based devices such as LEDs and laser diodes. Previously, we have shown excellent agreement for Mg dopant concentrations in p-GaN measured by WDX with values from the more widely used technique of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). However, a discrepancy between these methods has been reported when quantifying the n-type dopant, silicon. We identify the cause of discrepancy as inherent sample contamination and propose a way to correct this using a calibration relation. This new approach, using a method combining data derived from SIMS measurements on both GaN and AlxGa1–xN samples, provides the means to measure the Si content in these samples with account taken of variations in the ZAF corrections. This method presents a cost-effective and time-saving way to measure the Si doping and can also benefit from simultaneously measuring other signals, such as CL and electron channeling contrast imaging.
We report the strawberry blossom weevil, Anthonomus rubi (Herbst, 1795) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a species native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, as established in British Columbia, Canada. This is the first report of A. rubi in North America. We provide a diagnosis of the species and compare it with other species of the genus Anthonomus Germar in Canada. This species is a pest of plants in Rosaceae Jussieu, including economically important berries such as strawberries (Fragaria Linnaeus) and raspberries (Rubus idaeus Linnaeus), and of native berries of importance to Indigenous peoples in Canada. Female weevils oviposit eggs inside developing flower buds and sever flower stalks, facilitating larval development inside damaged buds and thus reducing fruit yields. Surveys to confirm the presence of A. rubi conducted in 2020 found the weevil to be well established in cultivated and wild hosts throughout the Greater Vancouver area and Fraser Valley, British Columbia. At least one species of parasitoid wasp in the genus Pteromalus Swederus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) has been found in association with A. rubi in the province. Future investigations are required to understand the biology of A. rubi in its new range, assess its impact on berries, and develop management strategies.
Copper-sulfides within carbonatites and phoscorites of the Phalaborwa Igneous Complex, South Africa, have been investigated since the middle of the 20th Century. However, aspects of ore formation have remained unclear. This study examines the mechanisms involved in Cu-sulfide mineralisation by micro-focus X-ray computed tomography as applied to sulfide-rich drill core samples. Several texturally distinct assemblages of magmatic sulfides can be identified, including: (1) <500 μm rounded bornite and chalcopyrite grains disseminated within the gangue; (2) elongated mm-scale assemblages of chalcopyrite and bornite; and (3) mm-to-cm thick chalcopyrite cumulates. Chalcopyrite veins were also observed, as well as late-stage valleriite, documenting late-stage fluid circulation within the pipe, and alteration of magmatic and hydrothermal sulfides along fractures within the gangue, respectively. The results of micro-focus X-ray computed tomography indicate that magmatic sulfides are sub-vertically aligned. Spatial variability of the sulfide assemblages suggests that textural changes within sulfide layers reflect fluctuating magma flow rate during emplacement of carbonatite–phoscorite magmas, through coalescence or breakup of sulfide liquid droplets during ascent. Modal sulfide abundances, especially for disseminated assemblages, differ from one carbonatite–phoscorite layer to another, suggesting a strong control of the mechanical sorting in the formation of Cu-sulfide textures within the Loolekop carbonatite. The alternation of carbonatite and phoscorite within the intrusion suggest that the Loolekop Pipe was emplaced through a series of successive magma pulses, which differentiated into carbonatite and phoscorite by melt immiscibility/progressive fractional crystallisation and pressure drop. Three-dimensional textural analysis represents an effective tool for the characterisation of magma flow and is useful for the understanding of magmatic processes controlling sulfide liquid-bearing phoscorite–carbonatite magmas.
Although no drugs are licensed for the treatment of personality disorder, pharmacological treatment in clinical practice remains common.
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of psychotropic drug use and associations with psychological service use among people with personality disorder.
Using data from a large, anonymised mental healthcare database, we identified all adult patients with a diagnosis of personality disorder and ascertained psychotropic medication use between 1 August 2015 and 1 February 2016. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed, adjusting for sociodemographic, clinical and service use factors, to examine the association between psychological services use and psychotropic medication prescribing.
Of 3366 identified patients, 2029 (60.3%) were prescribed some form of psychotropic medication. Patients using psychological services were significantly less likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication (adjusted odds ratio 0.48, 95% CI 0.39–0.59, P<0.001) such as antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants. This effect was maintained following several sensitivity analyses. We found no difference in the risk for mood stabiliser (adjusted odds ratio 0.79, 95% CI 0.57–1.10, P = 0.169) and multi-class psychotropic use (adjusted odds ratio 0.80, 95% CI 0.60–1.07, P = 0.133) between patients who did and did not use psychological services.
Psychotropic medication prescribing is common in patients with personality disorder, but significantly less likely in those who have used psychological services. This does not appear to be explained by differences in demographic, clinical and service use characteristics. There is a need to develop clear prescribing guidelines and conduct research in clinical settings to examine medication effectiveness for this population.
The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) emerged in the late 1960s at a time when societies throughout the world were beginning to recognize that our environment and natural resources were being threatened by their activities. Management practices in rangelands, forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and waterways were inadequate to meet the challenges of deteriorating environments, many of which were caused by the practices themselves. Scientists recognized an immediate need was developing a knowledge base about how ecosystems function. That effort took nearly two decades (1980s) and concluded with the acceptance that humans were components of ecosystems, not just controllers and manipulators of lands and waters. While ecosystem science was being developed, management options based on ecosystem science were shifting dramatically toward practices supporting sustainability, resilience, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and local to global interconnections of ecosystems. Emerging from the new knowledge about how ecosystems function and the application of the systems ecology approach was the collaboration of scientists, managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders locally and globally. Today’s concepts of ecosystem management and related ideas, such as sustainable agriculture, ecosystem health and restoration, consequences of and adaptation to climate change, and many other important local to global challenges are a direct result of the SEP.
Fundamental knowledge about the processes that control the functioning of the biophysical workings of ecosystems has expanded exponentially since the late 1960s. Scientists, then, had only primitive knowledge about C, N, P, S, and H2O cycles; plant, animal, and soil microbial interactions and dynamics; and land, atmosphere, and water interactions. With the advent of systems ecology paradigm (SEP) and the explosion of technologies supporting field and laboratory research, scientists throughout the world were able to assemble the knowledge base known today as ecosystem science. This chapter describes, through the eyes of scientists associated with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU), the evolution of the SEP in discovering how biophysical systems at small scales (ecological sites, landscapes) function as systems. The NREL and CSU are epicenters of the development of ecosystem science. Later, that knowledge, including humans as components of ecosystems, has been applied to small regions, regions, and the globe. Many research results that have formed the foundation for ecosystem science and management of natural resources, terrestrial environments, and its waters are described in this chapter. Throughout are direct and implicit references to the vital collaborations with the global network of ecosystem scientists.
Ecosystem science and the systems ecology paradigm co-evolved starting in the late 1960s within the milieu of substantial research funding from the US National Science Foundation-supported US International Biological Program (IBP). Nationally, educational programs focusing on ecosystem structure and functioning, and mathematical modeling, were slow to develop except at Colorado State University (CSU). There, leaders in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) and the Department of Range Science (DRS) established internationally recognized interdisciplinary programs and outreach in basic and applied ecosystem science and systems ecology. Operating from the sound research base within a major Land Grant University (CSU), the NREL, with IBP funding, supported many graduate students housed in the academic DRS. As the systems ecology approach expanded, other ecosystem-focused research programs developed, and graduate students entered other academic departments. Outgrowths from the early diffused educational training were innovative cross-departmental and cross-college programs addressing the systems ecology paradigm. Recently, a new Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability was established housing both graduate and undergraduate programs. As formal academic training developed on-campus, environmental literacy efforts were developed, including: training programs for K-12 students and teachers; online distance education programs; Citizen Science training; and numerous institutes, short courses, and workshops.
The occurrence of early childhood adversity is strongly linked to later self-harm, but there is poor understanding of how this distal risk factor might influence later behaviours. One possible mechanism is through an earlier onset of puberty in children exposed to adversity, since early puberty is associated with an increased risk of adolescent self-harm. We investigated whether early pubertal timing mediates the association between childhood adversity and later self-harm.
Participants were 6698 young people from a UK population-based birth cohort (ALSPAC). We measured exposure to nine types of adversity from 0 to 9 years old, and self-harm when participants were aged 16 and 21 years. Pubertal timing measures were age at peak height velocity (aPHV – males and females) and age at menarche (AAM). We used generalised structural equation modelling for analyses.
For every additional type of adversity; participants had an average 12–14% increased risk of self-harm by 16. Relative risk (RR) estimates were stronger for direct effects when outcomes were self-harm with suicidal intent. There was no evidence that earlier pubertal timing mediated the association between adversity and self-harm [indirect effect RR 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.00 for aPHV and RR 1.00, 95% CI 1.00–1.01 for AAM].
A cumulative measure of exposure to multiple types of adversity does not confer an increased risk of self-harm via early pubertal timing, however both childhood adversity and early puberty are risk factors for later self-harm. Research identifying mechanisms underlying the link between childhood adversity and later self-harm is needed to inform interventions.
It is uncertain if long-term levels of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) affect cognition in middle age. We examined the association of LDL-C levels over 25 years with cognitive function in a prospective cohort of black and white US adults.
Lipids were measured at baseline (1985–1986; age: 18–30 years) and at serial examinations conducted over 25 years. Time-averaged cumulative LDL-C was calculated using the area under the curve for 3,328 participants with ≥3 LDL-C measurements and a cognitive function assessment. Cognitive function was assessed at the Year 25 examination with the Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST], Rey Auditory Visual Learning Test [RAVLT], and Stroop Test. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sub-study (N = 707) was also completed at Year 25 to assess abnormal white matter tissue volume (AWMV) and gray matter cerebral blood flow volume (GM-CBFV) as secondary outcomes.
There were 15.6%, 32.9%, 28.9%, and 22.6% participants with time-averaged cumulative LDL-C <100 mg/dL, 101–129 mg/dL, 130–159 mg/dL, and ≥160 mg/dL, respectively. Standardized differences in all cognitive function test scores ranged from 0.16 SD lower to 0.09 SD higher across time-averaged LDL-C categories in comparison to those with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL. After covariate adjustment, participants with higher versus lower time-averaged LDL-C had a lower RAVLT score (p-trend = 0.02) but no differences were present for DSST, Stroop Test, AWMV, or GM-CBFV.
Cumulative LDL-C was associated with small differences in memory, as assessed by RAVLT scores, but not other cognitive or brain MRI measures over 25 years of follow-up.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in women worldwide. Clinical research indicates that BC patients are at an increased risk for thrombotic events, drastically decreasing their quality-of-life and treatment outcomes. There is ample evidence of this in the literature, but it is mainly focused on metastatic BC. Therefore, coagulopathies of nonmetastatic BC are understudied and require in-depth investigation. In this study, clot kinetics and ultrastructure were used to investigate treatment-naïve, nonmetastatic BC patients using scanning electron microscopy, Thromboelastography®, and confocal laser scanning microscopy. It was demonstrated that nonmetastatic BC patients exhibit minimal ultrastructural alterations of the clot components and no changes in the clot kinetics. However, BC patients presented changes to fibrinogen protein structure, compared to matched controls, using an amyloid-selective stain. Together, these findings suggest that coagulation dysfunction(s) in BC patients with early disease manifest at the microlevel, rather than the macrolevel. This study presents novel insights to a method that are more sensitive to coagulation changes in this specific patient group, emphasizing that the coagulation system may react in different forms to the disease, depending on the progression of the disease itself.
Target Product Profiles (TPPs) outline the characteristics that new health technologies require to address an unmet clinical need. To date, published TPPs for medical tests have focused on infectious diseases, mostly in the context of low- and middle-income countries. Recently, there have been calls for a broader use of TPPs as a mechanism to ensure that diagnostic innovation is aligned with clinical needs, yet the methodology underpinning TPP development remains suboptimal. Here, we propose that early economic evaluation (EEE) should be integrated within the TPP methodology to create a more rigorous framework for the development of “fit-for-purpose” tests. We discuss the potential benefits that EEE could bring to the core activities underpinning TPP development—scoping, drafting, consensus building, and updating—and argue that using EEE to help inform TPPs provides a more objective, evidence-based, and transparent approach to defining test specifications.
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) system technology is a key element for the realization of the Industry 4.0 vision, as it is vital for tasks such as entity tracking, identification and asset management. However, the plethora of RFID systems’ elements in combination with the wide range of factors that need to be taken under consideration along with the interrelations amongst them, make the problem of identification and design of the right RFID system, based on users’ needs particularly complex. The research outlined in this paper seeks to optimize this process by developing an integrating schema that will encapsulate this information in a form that is both human and machine processible. Human readability will allow a shared understanding of the RFID technology domain; machine readability, automated reasoning engines to perform logical deduction techniques returning implicit information. For this purpose, the novel RFID System Configuration Ontology (RFID SCO) is developed. Hence, non-RFID experts are enabled to identify the most suitable RFID system according to their needs and RFID experts to retrieve all the relevant information required for the efficient design of the corresponding RFID system. The RFID SCO is validated and tested successfully against real-world scenarios provided by domain experts.
This Element describes for the first time the database of peer review reports at PLOS ONE, the largest scientific journal in the world, to which the authors had unique access. Specifically, this Element presents the background contexts and histories of peer review, the data-handling sensitivities of this type of research, the typical properties of reports in the journal to which the authors had access, a taxonomy of the reports, and their sentiment arcs. This unique work thereby yields a compelling and unprecedented set of insights into the evolving state of peer review in the twenty-first century, at a crucial political moment for the transformation of science. It also, though, presents a study in radicalism and the ways in which PLOS's vision for science can be said to have effected change in the ultra-conservative contemporary university. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
The use of online platforms for pediatric healthcare research is timely, given the current pandemic. These platforms facilitate trial efficiency integration including electronic consent, randomization, collection of patient/family survey data, delivery of an intervention, and basic data analysis.
We created an online digital platform for a multicenter study that delivered an intervention for sleep disorders to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). An advisory parent group provided input. Participants were randomized to receive either a sleep education pamphlet only or the sleep education pamphlet plus three quick-tips sheets and two videos that reinforced the material in the pamphlet (multimedia materials). Three measures – Family Inventory of Sleep Habits (FISH), Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire modified for ASD (CSHQ-ASD), and Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) – were completed before and after 12 weeks of sleep education.
Enrollment exceeded recruitment goals. Trial efficiency was improved, especially in data entry and automatic notification of participants related to survey completion. Most families commented favorably on the study. While study measures did not improve with treatment in either group (pamphlet or multimedia materials), parents reporting an improvement of ≥3 points in the FISH score showed a significantly improved change in the total CSHQ (P = 0.038).
Our study demonstrates the feasibility of using online research delivery platforms to support studies in ASD, and more broadly, pediatric clinical and translational research. Online platforms may increase participant inclusion in enrollment and increase convenience and safety for participants and study personnel.
The majority of psychological treatment research is dedicated to investigating the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) across different conditions, population and contexts. We aimed to summarise the current systematic review evidence and evaluate the consistency of CBT's effect across different conditions. We included reviews of CBT randomised controlled trials in any: population, condition, format, context, with any type of comparator and published in English. We searched DARE, Cochrane, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, CDAS, and OpenGrey between 1992 and January 2019. Reviews were quality assessed, their data extracted and summarised. The effects upon health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were pooled, within-condition groups. If the across-condition heterogeneity was I2 < 75%, we pooled effects using a random-effect panoramic meta-analysis. We summarised 494 reviews (221 128 participants), representing 14/20 physical and 13/20 mental conditions (World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases). Most reviews were lower-quality (351/494), investigated face-to-face CBT (397/494), and in adults (378/494). Few reviews included trials conducted in Asia, South America or Africa (45/494). CBT produced a modest benefit across-conditions on HRQoL (standardised mean difference 0.23; 95% confidence intervals 0.14–0.33, I2 = 32%). The effect's associated prediction interval −0.05 to 0.50 suggested CBT will remain effective in conditions for which we do not currently have available evidence. While there remain some gaps in the completeness of the evidence base, we need to recognise the consistent evidence for the general benefit which CBT offers.
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.
Cognitive and behavioral impairment are common in children living with perinatally acquired HIV (pHIV) and children exposed to HIV in utero but uninfected (HEU).
We sought to determine the prevalence of adverse behavioral symptomatology using a Thai-translated and validated version of the SNAP-IV questionnaire and assess cognitive function utilizing the Children's Color Trails Test, Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, in our cohort of Thai adolescents (10–20 years old) with well-controlled pHIV compared to HEU and HIV-unexposed, uninfected youth. We then evaluated the interaction between HIV status, behavioral impairment, and executive function outcomes independent of demographic variables.
After controlling for demographic factors of age and household income, adolescents with pHIV had higher inattentive symptomatology and poorer neuropsychological test scores compared to uninfected controls. Significant interactions were found between inattention and executive function across multiple neurocognitive tests.
Behavioral impairment and poor executive functioning are present in adolescents with well-controlled pHIV compared to HIV-uninfected matched peers. The SNAP-IV questionnaire may be a useful tool to identify those with attentional impairment who may benefit from further cognitive testing in resource-limited settings.