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The context- and person-specific nature of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) in England and Wales means inherent indeterminacy characterises decision-making in the Court of Protection (CoP), not least regarding conflicting values and the weight that should be accorded to competing factors. This paper explores how legal professionals frame and influence the MCA's deliberative and adjudicative processes in the social space of the courtroom through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with legal practitioners specialising in mental capacity law and retired judges from the CoP and the Courts of Appeal with specific experience of adjudicating mental capacity disputes. The concept of the ‘human element’ offers important new insight into how legal professionals perform their roles and justify their activities in the conduct of legal proceedings. The ‘human element’ takes effect in two ways: first, it operates as an overarching normative prism that accounts for what good practice demands of legal professionals in mental capacity law; secondly, it explains how these professionals orientate these norms in the day-to-day conduct of their work. The ‘human element’ further presents challenges that demand practical negotiation in relation to countervailing normative commitments to objectivity and socio-institutional expectations around professional hierarchies, expertise, and evidential thresholds.
Blast polytrauma is among the most serious mechanisms of injury confronted by medical providers. There are currently no specific studies or guidelines that define risk factors for mortality in the context of pediatric blast injuries or describe pediatric blast injury profiles.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate risk factors for pediatric mortality and to describe differences in injury profiles between explosions related to terrorism versus unrelated to terrorism within the pediatric population.
A PRISMA systematic review and meta-analysis was performed where articles published from the years 2000-2021 were extracted from PubMed. Mortality and injury profile data were extracted from articles that met inclusion criteria. A bivariant unadjusted odds ratio (OR) analysis was performed to establish protective and harmful factors associated with mortality and to describe the injury profiles of blasts related to terrorism. Statistical significance was established at P < .05.
Thirty-eight articles were included and described a total of 222,638 unique injuries. Factors associated with increased mortality included if the explosion was related to terrorism (OR = 32.73; 95% CI, 28.80-37.21; P < .05) and if the explosion involved high-grade explosives utilized in the Global War on Terror ([GWOT] OR = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.04-1.44; P < .05). Factors associated with decreased mortality included if the patient was resuscitated in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-affiliated combat trauma hospital (OR = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.37-0.62; P < .05); if the explosive was fireworks (OR = 3.20×10-5; 95% CI, 2.00×10-6-5.16×10-4; P < .05); and if the explosion occurred in the United States (OR = 2.40×10-5; 95% CI, 1.51×10-6-3.87×10-4; P < .05). On average, victims of explosions related to terrorism were 10.30 years old (SD = 2.73) with 68.96% (SD = 17.58%) of victims reported as male. Comparison of victims of explosions related to terrorism revealed a higher incidence of thoracoabdominal trauma (30.2% versus 8.6%), similar incidence of craniocerebral trauma (39.5% versus 43.1%), and lower incidence of extremity trauma (31.8% versus 48.3%) compared to victims of explosions unrelated to terrorism.
Explosions related to terrorism are associated with increased mortality and unique injury profiles compared to explosions unrelated to terrorism in the pediatric population. Such findings are important for optimizing disaster medical education of pediatric providers in preparation for and management of acute sequelae of blast injuries—terror-related and otherwise.
Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Animal and human data demonstrate independent relationships between fetal growth, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function (HPA-A) and adult cardiometabolic outcomes. While the association between fetal growth and adult cardiometabolic outcomes is well-established, the role of the HPA-A in these relationships is unclear. This study aims to determine whether HPA-A function mediates or moderates this relationship. Approximately 2900 pregnant women were recruited between 1989-1991 in the Raine Study. Detailed anthropometric data was collected at birth (per cent optimal birthweight [POBW]). The Trier Social Stress Test was administered to the offspring (Generation 2; Gen2) at 18 years; HPA-A responses were determined (reactive responders [RR], anticipatory responders [AR] and non-responders [NR]). Cardiometabolic parameters (BMI, systolic BP [sBP] and LDL cholesterol) were measured at 20 years. Regression modelling demonstrated linear associations between POBW and BMI and sBP; quadratic associations were observed for LDL cholesterol. For every 10% increase in POBW, there was a 0.54 unit increase in BMI (standard error [SE] 0.15) and a 0.65 unit decrease in sBP (SE 0.34). The interaction between participant’s fetal growth and HPA-A phenotype was strongest for sBP in young adulthood. Interactions for BMI and LDL-C were non-significant. Decomposition of the total effect revealed no causal evidence of mediation or moderation.
Developmental adversities early in life are associated with later psychopathology. Clustering may be a useful approach to group multiple diverse risks together and study their relation with psychopathology. To generate risk clusters of children, adolescents, and young adults, based on adverse environmental exposure and developmental characteristics, and to examine the association of risk clusters with manifest psychopathology. Participants (n = 8300) between 6 and 23 years were recruited from seven sites in India. We administered questionnaires to elicit history of previous exposure to adverse childhood environments, family history of psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives, and a range of antenatal and postnatal adversities. We used these variables to generate risk clusters. Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview-5 was administered to evaluate manifest psychopathology. Two-step cluster analysis revealed two clusters designated as high-risk cluster (HRC) and low-risk cluster (LRC), comprising 4197 (50.5%) and 4103 (49.5%) participants, respectively. HRC had higher frequencies of family history of mental illness, antenatal and neonatal risk factors, developmental delays, history of migration, and exposure to adverse childhood experiences than LRC. There were significantly higher risks of any psychiatric disorder [Relative Risk (RR) = 2.0, 95% CI 1.8–2.3], externalizing (RR = 4.8, 95% CI 3.6–6.4) and internalizing disorders (RR = 2.6, 95% CI 2.2–2.9), and suicidality (2.3, 95% CI 1.8–2.8) in HRC. Social-environmental and developmental factors could classify Indian children, adolescents and young adults into homogeneous clusters at high or low risk of psychopathology. These biopsychosocial determinants of mental health may have practice, policy and research implications for people in low- and middle-income countries.
Evidence for risk of dying by suicide and other causes following discharge from in-patient psychiatric care throughout adulthood is sparse.
To estimate risks of all-cause mortality, natural and external-cause deaths, suicide and accidental, alcohol-specific and drug-related deaths in working-age and older adults within a year post-discharge.
Using interlinked general practice, hospital, and mortality records in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink we delineated a cohort of discharged adults in England, 2001–2018. Each patient was matched to up to 20 general population comparator patients. Cumulative incidence (absolute risks) and hazard ratios (relative risks) were estimated separately for ages 18–64 and ≥65 years with additional stratification by gender and practice-level deprivation.
The 1-year cumulative incidence of dying post-discharge was 2.1% among working-age adults (95% CI 2.0–2.3) and 14.1% (95% CI 13.6–14.5) among older adults. Suicide risk was particularly elevated in the first 3 months, with hazard ratios of 191.1 (95% CI 125.0–292.0) among working-age adults and 125.4 (95% CI 52.6–298.9) in older adults. Older patients were vulnerable to dying by natural causes within 3 months post-discharge. Risk of dying by external causes was greater among discharged working-age adults in the least deprived areas. Relative risk of suicide in discharged working-age women relative to their general population peers was double the equivalent male risk elevation.
Recently discharged adults at any age are at increased risk of dying from external and natural causes, indicating the importance of close monitoring and provision of optimal support to all such patients, particularly during the first 3 months post-discharge.
The prevalence of serious psychological distress (SPD) was elevated during the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA, but the relationships of SPD during the pandemic with pre-pandemic SPD, pre-pandemic socioeconomic status, and pandemic-related social stressors remain unexamined.
A probability-based sample (N = 1751) of the US population age 20 and over was followed prospectively from February 2019 (T1), with subsequent interviews in May 2020 (T2) and August 2020 (T3). Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess prospective relationships between T1 SPD with experiences of disruption of employment, health care, and childcare at T2. Binary logistic regression was then used to assess relationships of T1 SPD, and socioeconomic status and T2 pandemic-related stressors with T3 SPD.
At T1, SPD was associated with age, race/ethnicity, and household income. SPD at T1 predicted disruption of employment (OR 4.5, 95% CI 1.4–3.8) and health care (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4–7.1) at T2. SPD at T1 (OR 10.2, 95% CI 4.5–23.3), low household income at T1 (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1–6.4), disruption of employment at T2 (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4–7.6), and disruption of healthcare at T2 (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.5–7.2) were all significantly associated with elevated risk for SPD at T3.
Elevated risk for SPD during the COVID-19 pandemic is related to multiple psychological and social pathways that are likely to interact over the life course. Policies and interventions that target individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions as well as those experiencing persistent unemployment should be high priorities in the mental health response to the pandemic.
Researchers, clinicians and patients are increasingly using real-time monitoring methods to understand and predict suicidal thoughts and behaviours. These methods involve frequently assessing suicidal thoughts, but it is not known whether asking about suicide repeatedly is iatrogenic. We tested two questions about this approach: (a) does repeatedly assessing suicidal thinking over short periods of time increase suicidal thinking, and (b) is more frequent assessment of suicidal thinking associated with more severe suicidal thinking? In a real-time monitoring study (n = 101 participants, n = 12 793 surveys), we found no evidence to support the notion that repeated assessment of suicidal thoughts is iatrogenic.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
North-western Arabia is marked by thousands of prehistoric stone structures. Of these, the monumental, rectilinear type known as mustatils has received only limited attention. Recent fieldwork in AlUla and Khaybar Counties, Saudi Arabia, demonstrates that these monuments are architecturally more complex than previously supposed, featuring chambers, entranceways and orthostats. These structures can now be interpreted as ritual installations dating back to the late sixth millennium BC, with recent excavations revealing the earliest evidence for a cattle cult in the Arabian Peninsula. As such, mustatils are amongst the earliest stone monuments in Arabia and globally one of the oldest monumental building traditions yet identified.
Surface energy-balance models are commonly used in conjunction with satellite thermal imagery to estimate supraglacial debris thickness. Removing the need for local meteorological data in the debris thickness estimation workflow could improve the versatility and spatiotemporal application of debris thickness estimation. We evaluate the use of regional reanalysis data to derive debris thickness for two mountain glaciers using a surface energy-balance model. Results forced using ERA-5 agree with AWS-derived estimates to within 0.01 ± 0.05 m for Miage Glacier, Italy, and 0.01 ± 0.02 m for Khumbu Glacier, Nepal. ERA-5 data were then used to estimate spatiotemporal changes in debris thickness over a ~20-year period for Miage Glacier, Khumbu Glacier and Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland. We observe significant increases in debris thickness at the terminus for Haut Glacier d'Arolla and at the margins of the expanding debris cover at all glaciers. While simulated debris thickness was underestimated compared to point measurements in areas of thick debris, our approach can reconstruct glacier-scale debris thickness distribution and its temporal evolution over multiple decades. We find significant changes in debris thickness over areas of thin debris, areas susceptible to high ablation rates, where current knowledge of debris evolution is limited.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
This work investigated the photophysical pathways for light absorption, charge generation, and charge separation in donor–acceptor nanoparticle blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and indene-C60-bisadduct. Optical modeling combined with steady-state and time-resolved optoelectronic characterization revealed that the nanoparticle blends experience a photocurrent limited to 60% of a bulk solution mixture. This discrepancy resulted from imperfect free charge generation inside the nanoparticles. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and chemically resolved X-ray mapping showed that enhanced miscibility of materials did improve the donor–acceptor blending at the center of the nanoparticles; however, a residual shell of almost pure donor still restricted energy generation from these nanoparticles.
Background: Certain nursing home (NH) resident care tasks have a higher risk for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) transfer to healthcare personnel (HCP), which can result in transmission to residents if HCPs fail to perform recommended infection prevention practices. However, data on HCP-resident interactions are limited and do not account for intrafacility practice variation. Understanding differences in interactions, by HCP role and unit, is important for informing MDRO prevention strategies in NHs. Methods: In 2019, we conducted serial intercept interviews; each HCP was interviewed 6–7 times for the duration of a unit’s dayshift at 20 NHs in 7 states. The next day, staff on a second unit within the facility were interviewed during the dayshift. HCP on 38 units were interviewed to identify healthcare personnel (HCP)–resident care patterns. All unit staff were eligible for interviews, including certified nursing assistants (CNAs), nurses, physical or occupational therapists, physicians, midlevel practitioners, and respiratory therapists. HCP were asked to list which residents they had cared for (within resident rooms or common areas) since the prior interview. Respondents selected from 14 care tasks. We classified units into 1 of 4 types: long-term, mixed, short stay or rehabilitation, or ventilator or skilled nursing. Interactions were classified based on the risk of HCP contamination after task performance. We compared proportions of interactions associated with each HCP role and performed clustered linear regression to determine the effect of unit type and HCP role on the number of unique task types performed per interaction. Results: Intercept-interviews described 7,050 interactions and 13,843 care tasks. Except in ventilator or skilled nursing units, CNAs have the greatest proportion of care interactions (interfacility range, 50%–60%) (Fig. 1). In ventilator and skilled nursing units, interactions are evenly shared between CNAs and nurses (43% and 47%, respectively). On average, CNAs in ventilator and skilled nursing units perform the most unique task types (2.5 task types per interaction, Fig. 2) compared to other unit types (P < .05). Compared to CNAs, most other HCP types had significantly fewer task types (0.6–1.4 task types per interaction, P < .001). Across all facilities, 45.6% of interactions included tasks that were higher-risk for HCP contamination (eg, transferring, wound and device care, Fig. 3). Conclusions: Focusing infection prevention education efforts on CNAs may be most efficient for preventing MDRO transmission within NH because CNAs have the most HCP–resident interactions and complete more tasks per visit. Studies of HCP-resident interactions are critical to improving understanding of transmission mechanisms as well as target MDRO prevention interventions.
Funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. U01CK000555-01-00)
Disclosures: Scott Fridkin, consulting fee, vaccine industry (spouse)
Healthcare workers (HCWs) have a theoretically increased risk of contracting severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) given their occupational exposure. We tested 2,167 HCWs in a London Acute Integrated Care Organisation for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in May and June 2020 to evaluate seroprevalence. We found a seropositivity rate of 31.6% among HCWs.
Non-medical cannabis recently became legal for adults in Canada. Legalization provides opportunity to investigate the public health effects of national cannabis legalization on presentations to emergency departments (EDs). Our study aimed to explore association between cannabis-related ED presentations, poison control and telemedicine calls, and cannabis legalization.
Data were collected from the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System from October 1, 2013, to July 31, 2019, for 14 urban Alberta EDs, from Alberta poison control, and from HealthLink, a public telehealth service covering all of Alberta. Visitation data were obtained to compare pre- and post-legalization periods. An interrupted time-series analysis accounting for existing trends was completed, in addition to the incidence rate ratio (IRR) and relative risk calculation (to evaluate changes in co-diagnoses).
Although only 3 of every 1,000 ED visits within the time period were attributed to cannabis, the number of cannabis-related ED presentations increased post-legalization by 3.1 (range -11.5 to 12.6) visits per ED per month (IRR 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.39, 1.51; absolute level change: 43.5 visits per month, 95% CI; 26.5, 60.4). Cannabis-related calls to poison control also increased (IRR 1.87, 95% CI; 1.55, 2.37; absolute level change: 4.0 calls per month, 95% CI; 0.1, 7.9). Lastly, we observed increases in cannabis-related hyperemesis, unintentional ingestion, and individuals leaving the ED pre-treatment. We also observed a decrease in co-ingestant use.
Overall, Canadian cannabis legalization was associated with small increases in urban Alberta cannabis-related ED visits and calls to a poison control centre.
Acute cannabis administration can produce transient psychotic-like effects in healthy individuals. However, the mechanisms through which this occurs and which factors predict vulnerability remain unclear. We investigate whether cannabis inhalation leads to psychotic-like symptoms and speech illusion; and whether cannabidiol (CBD) blunts such effects (study 1) and adolescence heightens such effects (study 2).
Two double-blind placebo-controlled studies, assessing speech illusion in a white noise task, and psychotic-like symptoms on the Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI). Study 1 compared effects of Cann-CBD (cannabis containing Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and negligible levels of CBD) with Cann+CBD (cannabis containing THC and CBD) in 17 adults. Study 2 compared effects of Cann-CBD in 20 adolescents and 20 adults. All participants were healthy individuals who currently used cannabis.
In study 1, relative to placebo, both Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD increased PSI scores but not speech illusion. No differences between Cann-CBD and Cann+CBD emerged. In study 2, relative to placebo, Cann-CBD increased PSI scores and incidence of speech illusion, with the odds of experiencing speech illusion 3.1 (95% CIs 1.3–7.2) times higher after Cann-CBD. No age group differences were found for speech illusion, but adults showed heightened effects on the PSI.
Inhalation of cannabis reliably increases psychotic-like symptoms in healthy cannabis users and may increase the incidence of speech illusion. CBD did not influence psychotic-like effects of cannabis. Adolescents may be less vulnerable to acute psychotic-like effects of cannabis than adults.
Over the past century, society has achieved great gains in medicine, public health, and health-care infrastructure, particularly in the areas of vaccines, antibiotics, sanitation, intensive care and medical technology. Still, despite these developments, infectious diseases are emerging at unprecedented rates around the globe. Large urban centers are particularly vulnerable to communicable disease events, and must have well-prepared response systems, including on the front-line level. In November 2018, the United States’ largest municipal health-care delivery system, New York City Health + Hospitals, hosted a half-day executive-level pandemic response workshop, which sought to illustrate the complexity of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from modern-day infectious diseases impacting urban environments. Attendees were subjected to a condensed, plausible, pandemic influenza scenario and asked to simulate the high-level strategic decisions made by leaders by internal (eg, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, and Legal Affairs) and external (eg, city, state, and federal public health and emergency management entities) partners across an integrated system of acute, postacute, and ambulatory sites, challenging players to question their assumptions about managing the consequences of a highly pathogenic pandemic.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections in low- and middle-income countries. To encourage establishment of actionable and standardized SSI surveillance in these countries, we propose simplified surveillance case definitions. Here, we use NHSN reports to explore concordance of these simplified definitions to NHSN as ‘reference standard.’