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Interviewing patients is one of the most rewarding aspects of clinical psychiatry. It offers an opportunity to get to know someone, to find clues to diagnosis, and to relieve suffering. The psychiatric interview thus functions as an alliance-building process, diagnostic procedure, and therapeutic intervention. While this may sound complex, the interview process can be simplified by learning to approach it with the proper attitude. This can be considered analogous to helping a young musician learn how to have proper posture at the piano or to hold a violin and bow correctly. Without a good feel for the instrument, and without the appropriate perspective for learning what the music is about, the simple drilling of scales and fingerings will be misguided. Similarly, in the psychiatric interview, one must have a proper attitude toward the patient to be of the most help. The key qualities of this approach are curiosity, respect, and caring. If you notice obstacles to feeling interested in or caring about the patient, do not despair – such attitudes can be cultivated (see the section on empathy and compassion later in this chapter).
Approximately one in ten adults under the age of 65 in the USA has a mobility impairing disability. People with mobility impairment generally have poorer dietary habits contributing to obesity and related negative health outcomes. This article presents the psychometric properties of the Food Environment Assessment Survey Tool (FEAST) instrument that measures barriers to accessing healthy food from the perspective of people with mobility impairment (PMI).
The current study presents cross-sectional data from two sequential independent surveys.
Surveys were administered online to a national sample of PMI.
Participants represented PMI living throughout the USA. The pilot FEAST survey involved 681 participants and was used to shape the final instrument; 25 % completed a retest survey. After following empirically and theoretically guided item reduction strategies, the final FEAST instrument was administered to a separate sample of 304 PMI.
The final twenty-seven-item FEAST instrument includes items measuring Neighbourhood Environment, Home Environment, Personal Control and Access to Support (Having Help, Food Delivery Services, Parking/Transportation). The final four scales had acceptable intra-class correlations, indicating that the scales could be used as reliable measures of the hypothesised constructs in future studies.
The FEAST instrument is the first of its kind developed to assess the food environment from the perspective of PMI themselves. Future studies would benefit from using this measure in research and practice to help guide the development of policy aimed at improving access to healthy food and promoting healthy eating in community-dwelling PMI.
Families express a need for information to support people with severe anorexia nervosa.
To examine the impact of the addition of a skills training intervention for caregivers (Experienced Caregivers Helping Others, ECHO) to standard care.
Patients over the age of 12 (mean age 26 years, duration 72 months illness) with a primary diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and their caregivers were recruited from 15 in-patient services in the UK. Families were randomised to ECHO (a book, DVDs and five coaching sessions per caregiver) or treatment as usual. Patient (n=178) and caregiver (n=268) outcomes were measured at discharge and 6 and 12 months after discharge.
Patients with caregivers in the ECHO group had reduced eating disorder psychopathology (EDE-Q) and improved quality of life (WHO-Quol; both effects small) and reduced in-patient bed days (7–12 months post-discharge). Caregivers in the ECHO group had reduced burden (Eating Disorder Symptom Impact Scale, EDSIS), expressed emotion (Family Questionnaire, FQ) and time spent caregiving at 6 months but these effects were diminished at 12 months.
Small but sustained improvements in symptoms and bed use are seen in the intervention group. Moreover, caregivers were less burdened and spent less time providing care. Caregivers had most benefit at 6 months suggesting that booster sessions, perhaps jointly with the patients, may be needed to maintain the effect. Sharing skills and information with caregivers may be an effective way to improve outcomes. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) was registered with Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN06149665.
To examine whether weight history and weight transitions over adult lifespan contribute to physical impairment among postmenopausal women.
BMI categories were calculated among postmenopausal women who reported their weight and height at age 18 years. Multiple-variable logistic regression was used to determine the association between BMI at age 18 years and BMI transitions over adulthood on severe physical impairment (SPI), defined as scoring <60 on the Physical Functioning subscale of the Rand thirty-six-item Short-Form Health Survey.
Participants were part of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI OS), where participants’ health was followed over time via questionnaires and clinical assessments.
Postmenopausal women (n 76 016; mean age 63·5 (sd 7·3) years).
Women with overweight (BMI=25·0–29·9 kg/m2) or obesity (BMI≥30·0 kg/m2) at 18 years had greater odds (OR (95 % CI)) of SPI (1·51 (1·35, 1·69) and 2·14 (1·72, 2·65), respectively) than normal-weight (BMI=18·5–24·9 kg/m2) counterparts. Transitions from normal weight to overweight/obese or to underweight (BMI<18·5 kg/m2) were associated with greater odds of SPI (1·97 (1·84, 2·11) and 1·35 (1·06, 1·71), respectively) compared with weight stability. Shifting from underweight to overweight/obese also had increased odds of SPI (1·52 (1·11, 2·09)). Overweight/obese to normal BMI transitions resulted in a reduced SPI odds (0·52 (0·39, 0·71)).
Higher weight history and transitions into higher weight classes were associated with higher likelihood of SPI, while transitioning into lower weight classes for those with overweight/obesity was protective among postmenopausal women.
In this commentary we focus on individual differences in proposed mechanisms underlying arousal-based enhancement of prioritized stimuli. We discuss the potential of genotyping studies for examining effects of noradrenergic processes on stimulus prioritization in humans and stress the importance of potential individual differences in the activity of specific receptor subtypes in hotspot processes proposed by the GANE model.
Pessoa's (2013) integrative model of emotion and cognition can be strengthened in two ways: first, by clarification and refinement of key concepts and terminology, and second by the incorporation of an additional key neural system into the model, the locus coeruleus/norepinephrine system.
The relative influence of amyloid burden, neuronal structure and function, and prior cognitive performance on prospective memory decline among asymptomatic late middle-aged individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently unknown. We investigated this using longitudinal cognitive data from 122 middle-aged adults (21 “Decliners” and 101 “Stables”) enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention who underwent multimodality neuroimaging [11C-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and structural/functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)] 5.7 ± 1.4 years (range = 2.9–8.9) after their baseline cognitive assessment. Covariate-adjusted regression analyses revealed that the only imaging measure that significantly distinguished Decliners from Stables (p = .027) was a Neuronal Function composite derived from FDG and fMRI. In contrast, several cognitive measures, especially those that tap episodic memory, significantly distinguished the groups (p's<.05). Complementary receiver operating characteristic curve analyses identified the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R) Total (.82 ± .05, p < .001), the BVMT-R Delayed Recall (.73 ± .06, p = .001), and the Reading subtest from the Wide-Range Achievement Test-III (.72 ± .06, p = .002) as the top three measures that best discriminated the groups. These findings suggest that early memory test performance might serve a more clinically pivotal role in forecasting future cognitive course than is currently presumed. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–12)
To examine the potential efficacy of a brief telephone-based parental intervention in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children aged 3–5 years and to examine the feasibility of intervention delivery and acceptability to parents.
A pre–post study design with no comparison group. Telephone surveys were conducted approximately 1 week before and following intervention delivery.
Participants were recruited through pre-schools in the Hunter region, New South Wales, Australia.
Thirty-four parents of 3–5-year-olds received four 30-min interventional telephone calls over 4 weeks administered by trained telephone interviewers. The scripted support calls focused on fruit and vegetable availability and accessibility within the home, parental role modelling of fruit and vegetable consumption and on implementing supportive family eating routines.
Following the intervention, the frequency and variety of fruit and vegetable consumption increased (P = 0·027), as measured by a subscale of the children's dietary questionnaire. The intervention was feasible to be delivered to parents, as all participants who started the intervention completed all four calls, and all aspects of the interventional calls, including the number, length, content, format and relevance, were considered acceptable by more than 90 % of parents.
A brief telephone-based parental intervention to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in pre-school-aged children may be effective, feasible and acceptable. Further investigation is warranted in a randomised controlled trial.
Children's behavior problems may stem from ineffective cortical mechanisms for regulating negative emotions, and the success of interventions may depend on their impact on such mechanisms. We examined neurophysiological markers associated with emotion regulation in children comorbid for externalizing and internalizing problems before and after treatment. We hypothesized that treatment success would correspond with reduced ventral prefrontal activation, and increased dorsomedial prefrontal activation, at the time point of an event-related potential (ERP) associated with inhibitory control. Twenty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children (with usable data) were tested before and after a 14-week community-based treatment program and assessed as to improvement status. Fifteen 8- to 12-year-olds from the normal population (with usable data) were tested over the same interval. All children completed an emotion-induction go/no-go task while fitted with a 128-channel electrode net at each test session. ERP amplitudes, and estimates of cortical activation in prefrontal regions of interest, were measured at the peak of the “inhibitory” N2 and compared between improvers, nonimprovers, and nonclinical children. ERP amplitudes showed no group differences. However, improvers showed an overall reduction in ventral prefrontal activation from pretreatment to posttreatment, bringing them in line with nonclinical children, whereas ventral activation remained high for nonimprovers. Both improvers and nonimprovers showed high dorsal activation relative to nonclinical children. Supplementary analyses indicated that only ventral prefrontal regions, and only within the N2 time window, showed decreased activity from pre- to posttreatment, suggesting changes in regulatory processes rather than in overall emotional arousal. These cortically mediated changes may permit a reduction in the overengaged, rigid style of emotion regulation characteristic of children with behavior problems.
Many theorists treat consciousness as a single, all-or-nothing phenomenon, others distinguish between first order consciousness and a meta-level of consciousness. This chapter proposes that discussions of the development of consciousness have been hampered by reliance on relatively undifferentiated notions of consciousness. It describes the Levels of Consciousness (LOC) model, which addresses explicitly the potential implications of neurocognitive development for children's subjective experience. First, the chapter presents an overview of the model and then provides an account of the way in which consciousness develops during the first 5 years of life (and potentially beyond). Finally, it considers the implications of the LOC model for: the structure of consciousness, cognitive control via the use of rules at different levels of complexity, the functions of prefrontal cortex, and the development of consciousness in childhood.