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TDuring COVID-19 pandemic, it was noticed that it was students who were mostly affected by the changes that aroused because of the pandemic. The interesting part is whether students’ well-being could be associated with their fields of study as well as coping strategies.
In this study, we aimed to assess 1) the mental health of students from nine countries with a particular focus on depression, anxiety, and stress levels and their fields of study, 2) the major coping strategies of students after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We conducted an anonymous online cross-sectional survey on 12th April – 1st June 2021 that was distributed among the students from Poland, Mexico, Egypt, India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Philippines, and Bangladesh. To measure the emotional distress, we used the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), and to identify the major coping strategies of students - the Brief-COPE.
We gathered 7219 responses from students studying five major studies: medical studies (N=2821), social sciences (N=1471), technical sciences (N=891), artistic/humanistic studies (N=1094), sciences (N=942). The greatest intensity of depression (M=18.29±13.83; moderate intensity), anxiety (M=13.13±11.37; moderate intensity ), and stress (M=17.86±12.94; mild intensity) was observed among sciences students. Medical students presented the lowest intensity of all three components - depression (M=13.31±12.45; mild intensity), anxiety (M=10.37±10.57; moderate intensity), and stress (M=13.65±11.94; mild intensity). Students of all fields primarily used acceptance and self-distraction as their coping mechanisms, while the least commonly used were self-blame, denial, and substance use. The group of coping mechanisms the most frequently used was ‘emotional focus’. Medical students statistically less often used avoidant coping strategies compared to other fields of study. Substance use was only one coping mechanism that did not statistically differ between students of different fields of study. Behavioral disengagement presented the highest correlation with depression (r=0.54), anxiety (r=0.48), and stress (r=0.47) while religion presented the lowest positive correlation with depression (r=0.07), anxiety (r=0.14), and stress (r=0.11).
1) The greatest intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress was observed among sciences students, while the lowest intensity of those components was found among students studying medicine.
2) Not using avoidant coping strategies might be associated with lower intensity of all DASS components among students.
3) Behavioral disengagement might be strongly associated with greater intensity of depression, anxiety, and stress among students.
4) There was no coping mechanism that provided the alleviation of emotional distress in all the fields of studies of students.
Despite replicated cross-sectional evidence of aberrant levels of peripheral inflammatory markers in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD), there is limited literature on associations between inflammatory tone and response to sequential pharmacotherapies.
To assess associations between plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers and treatment response to escitalopram and adjunctive aripiprazole in adults with MDD.
In a 16-week open-label clinical trial, 211 participants with MDD were treated with escitalopram 10– 20 mg daily for 8 weeks. Responders continued on escitalopram while non-responders received adjunctive aripiprazole 2–10 mg daily for 8 weeks. Plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers – C-reactive protein, Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-17, Interferon gamma (IFN)-Γ, Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α, and Chemokine C–C motif ligand-2 (CCL-2) - measured at baseline, and after 2, 8 and 16 weeks were included in logistic regression analyses to assess associations between inflammatory markers and treatment response.
Pre-treatment levels of IFN-Γ and CCL-2 were significantly higher in escitalopram non-responders compared to responders. Pre-treatment IFN-Γ and CCL-2 levels were significantly associated with a lower of odds of response to escitalopram at 8 weeks. Increases in CCL-2 levels from weeks 8 to 16 in escitalopram non-responders were significantly associated with higher odds of non-response to adjunctive aripiprazole at week 16.
Pre-treatment levels of IFN-Γ and CCL-2 were predictive of response to escitalopram. Increasing levels of these pro-inflammatory markers may predict non-response to adjunctive aripiprazole. These findings require validation in independent clinical populations.
Patients with unbalanced common atrioventricular canal can be difficult to manage. Surgical planning often depends on pre-operative echocardiographic measurements. We aimed to determine the added utility of cardiac MRI in predicting successful biventricular repair in common atrioventricular canal.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children with common atrioventricular canal who underwent MRI prior to repair. Associations between MRI and echocardiographic measures and surgical outcome were tested using logistic regression, and models were compared using area under the receiver operator characteristic curve.
We included 28 patients (median age at MRI: 5.2 months). The optimal MRI model included the novel end-diastolic volume index (using the ratio of left ventricular end-diastolic volume to total end-diastolic volume) and the left ventricle–right ventricle angle in diastole (area under the curve 0.83, p = 0.041). End-diastolic volume index ≤ 0.18 and left ventricle–right ventricle angle in diastole ≤ 72° yield a sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 81% for successful biventricular repair. The optimal multimodality model included the end-diastolic volume index and the echocardiographic atrioventricular valve index with an area under the curve of 0.87 (p = 0.026).
Cardiac MRI can successfully predict successful biventricular repair in patients with unbalanced common atrioventricular canal utilising the end-diastolic volume index alone or in combination with the MRI left ventricle–right ventricle angle in diastole or the echocardiographic atrioventricular valve index. A prospective cardiac MRI study is warranted to better define the multimodality characteristic predictive of successful biventricular surgery.
Electron cryo-tomography is an imaging technique for probing 3D structures with at the nanometer scale. This technique has been used extensively in the biomedical field to study the complex structures of proteins and other macromolecules. With the advancement in technology, microscopes are currently capable of producing images amounting to terabytes of data per day, posing great challenges for scientists as the speed of processing of the images cannot keep up with the ever-higher throughput of the microscopes. Therefore, automation is an essential and natural pathway on which image processing—from individual micrographs to full tomograms—is developing. In this paper, we present Ot2Rec, an open-source pipelining tool which aims to enable scientists to build their own processing workflows in a flexible and automatic manner. The basic building blocks of Ot2Rec are plugins which follow a unified application programming interface structure, making it simple for scientists to contribute to Ot2Rec by adding features which are not already available. In this paper, we also present three case studies of image processing using Ot2Rec, through which we demonstrate the speedup of using a semi-automatic workflow over a manual one, the possibility of writing and using custom (prototype) plugins, and the flexibility of Ot2Rec which enables the mix-and-match of plugins. We also demonstrate, in the Supplementary Material, a built-in reporting feature in Ot2Rec which aggregates the metadata from all process being run, and output them in the Jupyter Notebook and/or HTML formats for quick review of image processing quality. Ot2Rec can be found at https://github.com/rosalindfranklininstitute/ot2rec.
We document a new empirical phenomenon in which the aggregate positions of money managers, who are sophisticated speculators in the commodity futures market, as disclosed by the Disaggregated Commitments of Traders reports, can predict the cross section of commodity producers’ stock returns in the subsequent week. We employ a number of cross-sectional methods, including calendar-time regression analysis, single-sort, double-sort, and Fama–MacBeth regressions, to confirm the predictability results. The results are more pronounced in firms with higher information asymmetry. We thus add more empirical evidence to the literature on costly information processing, which leads to gradual information diffusion across asset markets.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) seeks to improve upon the translational process to advance research and treatment across all diseases and conditions and bring these interventions to all who need them. Addressing the racial/ethnic health disparities and health inequities that persist in screening, diagnosis, treatment, and health outcomes (e.g., morbidity, mortality) is central to NCATS’ mission to deliver more interventions to all people more quickly. Working toward this goal will require enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the translational workforce and in research conducted across the translational continuum, to support health equity. This paper discusses how aspects of DEIA are integral to the mission of translational science (TS). It describes recent NIH and NCATS efforts to advance DEIA in the TS workforce and in the research we support. Additionally, NCATS is developing approaches to apply a lens of DEIA in its activities and research – with relevance to the activities of the TS community – and will elucidate these approaches through related examples of NCATS-led, partnered, and supported activities, working toward the Center’s goal of bringing more treatments to all people more quickly.
Background: Machine learning (ML) methods hold promise in allowing early detection of dementia. We performed a systematic review to assess the quality of published evidence for using ML methods applied to drawing tests of cognition, and to describe the accuracy of the methods. Methods: Embase, Medline, and Cochrane Central Library databases were searched for potential studies up to December 8, 2018 by four independent reviewers. Included articles satisfied the following criteria: 1) use of ML on 2) a drawing test in order to 3) assess cognition. The quality of evidence was then assessed using GRADE methodology. Results: The initial search yielded 4620 citations. Of these, 64 were eligible for full text review. 18 articles then met inclusion criteria. Median AUC across all models was 0.765, with certain ML algorithms performing better in terms of AUC or diagnostic accuracy. However, based on GRADE, the quality of evidence was deemed very low. Conclusions: ML has been applied by several groups to drawing tests of cognition. The quality of evidence is currently too low to make recommendations on their use. Future work must focus on improving reporting, and using standard algorithms and larger, more diverse datasets to improve comparability and generalizability.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a high-priority group for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and serve as sources for public information. In this analysis, we assessed vaccine intentions, factors associated with intentions, and change in uptake over time in HCWs.
A prospective cohort study of COVID-19 seroprevalence was conducted with HCWs in a large healthcare system in the Chicago area. Participants completed surveys from November 25, 2020, to January 9, 2021, and from April 24 to July 12, 2021, on COVID-19 exposures, diagnosis and symptoms, demographics, and vaccination status.
Of 4,180 HCWs who responded to a survey, 77.1% indicated that they intended to get the vaccine. In this group, 23.2% had already received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, 17.4% were unsure, and 5.5% reported that they would not get the vaccine. Factors associated with intention or vaccination were being exposed to clinical procedures (vs no procedures: adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16–1.65) and having a negative serology test for COVID-19 (vs no test: AOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.24–1.73). Nurses (vs physicians: AOR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.17–0.33), non-Hispanic Black (vs Asians: AOR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.21–0.59), and women (vs men: AOR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.30–0.50) had lower odds of intention to get vaccinated. By 6-months follow-up, >90% of those who had previously been unsure were vaccinated, whereas 59.7% of those who previously reported no intention of getting vaccinated, were vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccination in HCWs was high, but variability in vaccination intention exists. Targeted messaging coupled with vaccine mandates can support uptake.
To determine the changes in severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) serologic status and SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in healthcare workers (HCWs) over 6-months of follow-up.
Prospective cohort study.
Setting and participants:
HCWs in the Chicago area.
Cohort participants were recruited in May and June 2020 for baseline serology testing (Abbott anti-nucleocapsid IgG) and were then invited for follow-up serology testing 6 months later. Participants completed monthly online surveys that assessed demographics, medical history, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and exposures to SARS-CoV-2. The electronic medical record was used to identify SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positivity during follow-up. Serologic conversion and SARS-CoV-2 infection or possible reinfection rates (cases per 10,000 person days) by antibody status at baseline and follow-up were assessed.
In total, 6,510 HCWs were followed for a total of 1,285,395 person days (median follow-up, 216 days). For participants who had baseline and follow-up serology checked, 285 (6.1%) of the 4,681 seronegative participants at baseline seroconverted to positive at follow-up; 138 (48%) of the 263 who were seropositive at baseline were seronegative at follow-up. When analyzed by baseline serostatus alone, 519 (8.4%) of 6,194 baseline seronegative participants had a positive PCR after baseline serology testing (4.25 per 10,000 person days). Of 316 participants who were seropositive at baseline, 8 (2.5%) met criteria for possible SARS-CoV-2 reinfection (ie, PCR positive >90 days after baseline serology) during follow-up, a rate of 1.27 per 10,000 days at risk. The adjusted rate ratio for possible reinfection in baseline seropositive compared to infection in baseline seronegative participants was 0.26 (95% confidence interval, 0.13–0.53).
Seropositivity in HCWs is associated with moderate protection from future SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This case series, conducted during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, investigates the impact of leaving aural foreign bodies in situ for a prolonged period of time, including the risk of complications and success rates of subsequent removal attempts.
A retrospective study of aural foreign body referrals over a six-month period was carried out.
Thirty-four patients with 35 foreign bodies were identified (6 organic and 29 inorganic). The duration of foreign bodies left in situ ranged from 1 to 78 days. Four patients suffered from traumatic removal upon initial attempts. First attempts made by non-ENT specialists (68.8 per cent) all failed and were associated with a high risk of trauma (36.4 per cent).
Because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, this is the first case series to specifically investigate the relationship between the duration of aural foreign bodies left in situ and the risk of complications. Our data suggest that prolonged duration does not increase the incidence of complications.
Infants with complex cyanotic CHD can become symptomatic from insufficient pulmonary blood supply following either ductal closure or due to outflow tract obstruction. Blalock–Taussig shunt mortality remains significant and recent studies have highlighted the advantages of using transcatheter alternatives. We present here our experience in changing our primary choice of palliation from the Blalock–Taussig shunt to transcatheter palliation with either a ductal stent or, if antegrade flow is present, a right ventricular outflow tract stent.
This is a retrospective, single-unit cohort study. Eighty-seven infants underwent palliation for insufficient pulmonary blood flow at under 3 months of age between 2012 and 2019. On an intention-to-treat basis, 29 underwent insertion of a Blalock–Taussig shunt, 36 duct stents, and 22 right ventricular outflow tract stents at median ages of 15, 9, and 32 days, respectively, and median weights of 3.3, 3.1, and 3.1 kg, respectively. No primary Blalock–Taussig shunts have been performed in our institution since 2017.
At 30-days there had been one death in each group (univariable p = 0.93) and deaths prior to repair totalled three in the shunt group, four in the ductal stent group, and two in the right ventricular outflow tract stent group (univariable p = 0.93). Reintervention on the pulmonary circuit prior to next stage of surgery was more frequent in those undergoing transcatheter intervention, reaching statistical significance by logrank (p = 0.012).
In conclusion, within this work we provide further evidence of the safety and efficacy of transition from a primary surgical to primary transcatheter palliation pathway in infants with insufficient pulmonary blood supply.
Litigation in the National Health Service continues to rise with a 9.4 per cent increase in clinical negligence claims from the period 2018 and 2019 to the period 2019 and 2020. The cost of these claims now accounts for 1.8 per cent of the National Health Service 2019 to 2020 budget. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of clinical negligence claims in the subspecialty of otology.
This study was a retrospective review of all clinical negligence claims in otology in England held by National Health Service Resolution between April 2013 and April 2018.
There were 171 claims in otology, 24 per cent of all otolaryngology claims, with a potential cost of £24.5 million. Over half of these were associated with hearing loss. Stapedectomy was the highest mean cost per claim operation at £769 438. The most common reasons for litigation were failure or delay in treatment (23 per cent), failure or delay in diagnosis (20 per cent), intra-operative complications (15 per cent) and inadequate consent (13 per cent).
There is a risk of high-cost claims in otology, especially with objective injuries such as hearing loss and facial nerve injury.
The schizophrenia polygenic risk score (SCZ-PRS) is an emerging tool in psychiatry.
We aimed to evaluate the utility of SCZ-PRS in a young, transdiagnostic, clinical cohort.
SCZ-PRSs were calculated for young people who presented to early-intervention youth mental health clinics, including 158 patients of European ancestry, 113 of whom had longitudinal outcome data. We examined associations between SCZ-PRS and diagnosis, clinical stage and functioning at initial assessment, and new-onset psychotic disorder, clinical stage transition and functional course over time in contact with services.
Compared with a control group, patients had elevated PRSs for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, but not for any non-psychiatric phenotype (for example cardiovascular disease). Higher SCZ-PRSs were elevated in participants with psychotic, bipolar, depressive, anxiety and other disorders. At initial assessment, overall SCZ-PRSs were associated with psychotic disorder (odds ratio (OR) per s.d. increase in SCZ-PRS was 1.68, 95% CI 1.08–2.59, P = 0.020), but not assignment as clinical stage 2+ (i.e. discrete, persistent or recurrent disorder) (OR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.64–1.26, P = 0.53) or functioning (R = 0.03, P = 0.76). Longitudinally, overall SCZ-PRSs were not significantly associated with new-onset psychotic disorder (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.34–2.03, P = 0.69), clinical stage transition (OR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.70–1.48, P = 0.92) or persistent functional impairment (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.52–1.38, P = 0.50).
In this preliminary study, SCZ-PRSs were associated with psychotic disorder at initial assessment in a young, transdiagnostic, clinical cohort accessing early-intervention services. Larger clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the clinical utility of SCZ-PRSs, especially among individuals with high SCZ-PRS burden.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Optimism is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk; however, few prospective studies have considered optimism in relation to hypertension risk specifically. We investigated whether optimism was associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension in U.S. service members, who are more likely to develop high blood pressure early in life. We also evaluated race/ethnicity, sex and age as potential effect modifiers of these associations.
Participants were 103 486 hypertension-free U.S. Army active-duty soldiers (mean age 28.96 years, 61.76% White, 20.04% Black, 11.01% Hispanic, 4.09% Asian, and 3.10% others). We assessed optimism, sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, health behaviours and depression status at baseline (2009–2010) via self-report and administrative records, and ascertained incident hypertension over follow-up (2010–2014) from electronic health records and health assessments. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and adjusted models for a broad range of relevant covariates.
Over a mean follow-up of 3.51 years, 15 052 incident hypertension cases occurred. The highest v. lowest optimism levels were associated with a 22% reduced risk of developing hypertension, after adjusting for all covariates including baseline blood pressure (HR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.74–0.83). The difference in hypertension risk between the highest v. lowest optimism was also maintained when we excluded soldiers with hypertension in the first two years of follow-up and, separately, when we excluded soldiers with prehypertension at baseline. A dose–response relationship was evident with higher optimism associated with a lower relative risk (p < 0.001). Higher optimism was consistently associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension across sex, age and most race/ethnicity categories.
In a diverse cohort of initially healthy male and female service members particularly vulnerable to developing hypertension, higher optimism levels were associated with reduced hypertension risk independently of sociodemographic and health factors, a particularly notable finding given the young and healthy population. Results suggest optimism is a health asset and a potential target for public health interventions.
Agitated Unipolar Depression and Bipolar mixed states combine depressive and manic symptoms, reflecting severe forms of affective disorders with an increased suicide risk. These states have not been defined with adequate consensus and hence present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.
We searched the records of patients with Affective Mixed States in a community Mental Health Team to identify patients with affective mixed states.
We assessed the treatments prescribed and the time it took to treat the Mixed states so that they then suffered from depression or were euthymic.
Ten out of 17 patients were suicidal when experiencing a mixed state. Of the 6 patients that were agitated, 5 were suicidal. Best results were achieved with a combination of -Reducing antidepressant -Increasing mood stabilisers (Depakote, Lithium) -Increasing/adding atypical antipsychotics. With such treatment, the average duration to resolution was 2.5 weeks. The worse results were achieved by adding antidepressants to a patient experiencing low mood with a mixed state such treatment led to resolution in 10 weeks
Agitation is a strong predictor of suicide risk. Reducing antidepressants is important thus Increasing/adding antipsychotics and mood stabilisers without changing antidepressants led to an 8.5 weeks duration of treatment.
Patients with mixed states should be reviewed regularly and risk-assessed -We suggest weekly due to increased suicide risk. With very high-risk patients, referral should be made to the Crisis Team. Care coordinators should be involved for regular contact with services.
The benefits of Tai-chi on relaxation, mental focus, motor coordination, balance, and stress reduction may help improve symptoms control and physical functioning in schizophrenic patients. The study aims at evaluating the effects of Tai-chi and developing this mind-body exercise in residential care of schizophrenia in long term.
The RCT included a pilot trial and an on-going 3-arm main study. A pilot trial with 30 participants randomly allocated into a 12-session (6-week) Tai-chi program and control group was conducted. Gross motor coordination, negative symptoms and functional disabilities were assessed at baseline, 1 week and 6 weeks post-intervention. Recruitment of 150 participants for the main study was conducted at the same hostel. They were randomly allocated into Tai-chi group, exercise group and wait-list control group. The study is still in progress and will be reported in the presentation.
For the pilot trial, participants in the control group showed marked deteriorations in the above areas throughout the study period. Tai-chi showed a protective effect from deteriorations in gross motor coordination (Z=-2.28; p=.023), and interpersonal functioning which could be sustainable for 6 weeks after the program (Z=(2.56; p=.01). Preliminary results of the main study will be presented in the conference.
The pilot trial demonstrated the positive effects of Tai-chi on promoting movement coordination and alleviating functional disabilities. The group exercise format encourages socialization and interpersonal functioning. Tai-chi emphasizes movement rhythm and inner calmness which may further help symptoms control. The main study will confirm the results of the pilot trial.
The special mental states such as hallucination and confusion in schizophrenia have been creating obstacles in research in spirituality in this population. Although primary treatment should focus on symptom management, psychosocial and spiritual care should not be neglected. This study aimed to understand spirituality from the perspectives of both the patients and the healthcare professionals and its role in different stages of disease and rehabilitation.
Schizophrenic patients (n=22) and healthcare professionals including psychiatric doctors, nurses, and social workers (n=19) were recruited from an out-patient clinic of a hospital and a mental health rehabilitation complex. Semi-structured interviews on the meaning and experiences of spirituality, and its role in rehabilitation were conducted, with follow-up interviews when further clarification was needed. Interviews were transcribed into verbatim and analyzed with the assistance of computer software based on Ground theory. Trustworthiness was assured through member checking and peer scrutiny.
Both patients and professionals regarded spirituality as an inherent part of the patients’ well-being. Spirituality could be a practice, a way of thinking, sense of peace and fulfillment, and connectedness towards oneself, others, and a higher power. Spiritual experiences were helpful in the rehabilitation phase. However, some patients considered spirituality as apparitional experiences, thus hindered their recovery.
This study demonstrated that the spirituality played a part in patients’ lives and rehabilitation. Findings suggest the importance of spiritual care in this population and provide insights and roadmap for developing spiritual assessments and holistic care in psychiatric context.