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The idea of the Nordic countries as benevolent international actors is well entrenched, exerts affective hold, and has recently been incorporated into official regional branding practices. This chapter considers how and why this “peace brand” and conception of the Nordics as quintessential “good states” appears to stick, both domestically and internationally, even though claims about such Nordic exceptionalism are increasingly contested. It argues that for insiders the idea of the Nordic “good state” has become part of a fantasized ideal that appeals to desires for self-esteem and status while bolstering feelings of ontological security and international agency. In contrast, it is argued that, for outsiders, the Nordic “good state” often appears as a useful and instrumentalized ideal to be utilized domestically as part of the politics of (de)legitimation, in ways often only tangentially connected to the Nordics themselves.
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.
Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows for imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopy of materials on length scales ranging from microns to atoms. By using a high-speed, direct electron detector, it is now possible to record a full two-dimensional (2D) image of the diffracted electron beam at each probe position, typically a 2D grid of probe positions. These 4D-STEM datasets are rich in information, including signatures of the local structure, orientation, deformation, electromagnetic fields, and other sample-dependent properties. However, extracting this information requires complex analysis pipelines that include data wrangling, calibration, analysis, and visualization, all while maintaining robustness against imaging distortions and artifacts. In this paper, we present py4DSTEM, an analysis toolkit for measuring material properties from 4D-STEM datasets, written in the Python language and released with an open-source license. We describe the algorithmic steps for dataset calibration and various 4D-STEM property measurements in detail and present results from several experimental datasets. We also implement a simple and universal file format appropriate for electron microscopy data in py4DSTEM, which uses the open-source HDF5 standard. We hope this tool will benefit the research community and help improve the standards for data and computational methods in electron microscopy, and we invite the community to contribute to this ongoing project.
San Francisco (California USA) is a relatively compact city with a population of 884,000 and nine stroke centers within a 47 square mile area. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) transport distances and times are short and there are currently no Mobile Stroke Units (MSUs).
This study evaluated EMS activation to computed tomography (CT [EMS-CT]) and EMS activation to thrombolysis (EMS-TPA) times for acute stroke in the first two years after implementation of an emergency department (ED) focused, direct EMS-to-CT protocol entitled “Mission Protocol” (MP) at a safety net hospital in San Francisco and compared performance to published reports from MSUs. The EMS times were abstracted from ambulance records. Geometric means were calculated for MP data and pooled means were similarly calculated from published MSU data.
From July 2017 through June 2019, a total of 423 patients with suspected stroke were evaluated under the MP, and 166 of these patients were either ultimately diagnosed with ischemic stroke or were treated as a stroke but later diagnosed as a stroke mimic. The EMS and treatment time data were available for 134 of these patients with 61 patients (45.5%) receiving thrombolysis, with mean EMS-CT and EMS-TPA times of 41 minutes (95% CI, 39-43) and 63 minutes (95% CI, 57-70), respectively. The pooled estimates for MSUs suggested a mean EMS-CT time of 35 minutes (95% CI, 27-45) and a mean EMS-TPA time of 48 minutes (95% CI, 39-60). The MSUs achieved faster EMS-CT and EMS-TPA times (P <.0001 for each).
In a moderate-sized, urban setting with high population density, MP was able to achieve EMS activation to treatment times for stroke thrombolysis that were approximately 15 minutes slower than the published performance of MSUs.
This study aims to describe the course of admission and clinical characteristics of admissions to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the Phoenix Care Centre (PCC), Dublin, Ireland.
This retrospective chart study was conducted at the PCC, Dublin, Ireland. The cohort included all admission episodes (n = 91 complete data) over a three-year study period between January 2014 and January 2017.
The mean age of admitted cases was 37.1 (s.d. = 11.3; range 18–63). The mean length of stay (LOS) was 59.3 days (s.d. = 61.0; median 39.5 days). All patients were admitted under Mental Health Act legislation. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was used in 61% (n = 55) of the admissions. A diagnosis of acute psychotic disorder (B = −1.027, p = 0.003, 95% CI: −1.691, −0.363) was associated with reduced LOS in PICU.
Our study describes the cohort of patients admitted as being predominantly male, younger-aged, single, having a diagnosis of schizophrenia and being legally detained. The primary indication for referral is risk of assault, which highlights the need for the intensive and secure treatment model that a PICU can provide.
This study focuses on Ravenna during the period from its fall into the hands of the Lombards in 751 to the decline of Byzantine power in the West from the mid-eleventh century. It argues that Ravenna shared common features with a number of other cities in the upper Adriatic, for example Comacchio, Venice and Zadar. The city maintained its earlier economic and artistic ties with Istria and Dalmatia, but also with Constantinople. The ties to Byzantium were based on admiration, nostalgia or identity and were used as part of strategy of resistance to threatening outside forces. However, the increasing dominance of local landowning elite led to the local autonomy and the strongest Byzantine influence remained the social and cultural cachet of the empire.
Approximately 70% of patients with bipolar disorder (BPD) are initially misdiagnosed, resulting in significantly delayed diagnosis of 7–10 years on average. Misdiagnosis and diagnostic delay adversely affect health outcomes and lead to the use of inappropriate treatments. As depressive episodes and symptoms are the predominant symptom presentation in BPD, misdiagnosis as major depressive disorder (MDD) is common. Self-rated screening instruments for BPD exist but their length and reliance on past manic symptoms are barriers to implementation, especially in primary care settings where many of these patients initially present. We developed a brief, pragmatic bipolar I disorder (BPD-I) screening tool that not only screens for manic symptoms but also includes risk factors for BPD-I (eg, age of depression onset) to help clinicians reduce the misdiagnosis of BPD-I as MDD.
Existing questionnaires and risk factors were identified through a targeted literature search; a multidisciplinary panel of experts participated in 2 modified Delphi panels to select concepts thought to differentiate BPD-I from MDD. Individuals with self-reported BPD-I or MDD participated in cognitive debriefing interviews (N=12) to test and refine item wording. A multisite, cross-sectional, observational study was conducted to evaluate the screening tool’s predictive validity. Participants with clinical interview-confirmed diagnoses of BPD-I or MDD completed a draft 10-item screening tool and additional questionnaires/questions. Different combinations of item sets with various item permutations (eg, number of depressive episodes, age of onset) were simultaneously tested. The final combination of items and thresholds was selected based on multiple considerations including clinical validity, optimization of sensitivity and specificity, and pragmatism.
A total of 160 clinical interviews were conducted; 139 patients had clinical interview-confirmed BPD-I (n=67) or MDD (n=72). The screening tool was reduced from 10 to 6 items based on item-level analysis. When 4 items or more were endorsed (yes) in this analysis sample, the sensitivity of this tool for identifying patients with BPD-I was 0.88 and specificity was 0.80; positive and negative predictive values were 0.80 and 0.88, respectively. These properties represent an improvement over the Mood Disorder Questionnaire, while using >50% fewer items.
This new 6-item BPD-I screening tool serves to differentiate BPD-I from MDD in patients with depressive symptoms. Use of this tool can provide real-world guidance to primary care practitioners on whether more comprehensive assessment for BPD-I is warranted. Use of a brief and valid tool provides an opportunity to reduce misdiagnosis, improve treatment selection, and enhance health outcomes in busy clinical practices.
To assess extent of a healthcare-associated outbreak of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to evaluate the effectiveness of infection control measures, including universal masking.
Outbreak investigation including 4 large-scale point-prevalence surveys.
Integrated VA healthcare system with 2 facilities and 330 beds.
Index patient and 250 exposed patients and staff.
We identified exposed patients and staff and classified them as probable and confirmed cases based on symptoms and testing. We performed a field investigation and an assessment of patient and staff interactions to develop probable transmission routes. Infection prevention interventions included droplet and contact precautions, employee quarantine, and universal masking with medical and cloth face masks. We conducted 4 point-prevalence surveys of patient and staff subsets using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for SARS-CoV-2.
Among 250 potentially exposed patients and staff, 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were identified. Patient roommates and staff with prolonged patient contact were most likely to be infected. The last potential date of transmission from staff to patient was day 22, the day universal masking was implemented. Subsequent point-prevalence surveys in 126 patients and 234 staff identified 0 patient cases and 5 staff cases of COVID-19, without evidence of healthcare-associated transmission.
Universal masking with medical face masks was effective in preventing further spread of SARS-CoV-2 in our facility in conjunction with other traditional infection prevention measures.
Agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC) is associated with a range of cognitive deficits, including mild to moderate problems in higher order executive functions evident in neuropsychological assessments. Previous research has also suggested a lack of self-awareness in persons with AgCC.
We investigated daily executive functioning and self-awareness in 36 individuals with AgCC by analyzing self-ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), as well as ratings on the same instrument from close relatives. Discrepancies between self- and informant-ratings were compared to the normative sample and exploratory analyses examined possible moderating effects of participant and informant characteristics.
Significant deficiencies were found in the Behavioral Regulation and Metacognitive indices for both the self and informant results, with elevated frequency of metacognition scores in the borderline to clinical range. Informants also endorsed elevated frequency of borderline to clinically significant behavioral regulation scores. The proportion of AgCC participants whose self-ratings indicated less metacognitive impairment than informant-ratings was greater than in the normative sample. Self-ratings of behavioral regulation impairment decreased with age and informant-ratings of metacognition were higher in males than females.
These findings provide evidence that individuals with AgCC experience mild to moderate executive functioning problems in everyday behavior which are observed by others. Results also suggest a lack of self-understanding or insight into the severity of these problems in the individuals with AgCC, particularly with respect to their metacognitive functioning.
When presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), migrants can have different demographic and clinical characteristics to the native-born population and this was examined in an Irish Early Intervention for Psychosis service.
All cases of treated FEP from three local mental health services within a defined catchment area were included. Psychotic disorder diagnoses were determined using the SCID and symptom and functioning domains were measured using validated and reliable measures.
From a cohort of 612 people, 21.1% were first-generation migrants and there was no difference in the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, symptoms or functioning between migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland, except that migrants from Africa presented with less insight. Of those admitted, 48.6% of admissions for migrants were involuntary compared to 37.7% for the native-born population (p = 0.09).
First-generation migrants now make up a significant proportion of people presenting with a FEP to an Irish EI for psychosis service. Broadly the demographic and clinical characteristics of migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland are similar, except for less insight in migrants from Africa and a trend for a higher proportion of involuntary admissions in the total migrant group.
Antidepressant medication and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are both recommended interventions in depression treatment guidelines based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. However, ‘conventional’ meta-analyses comparing their efficacy are limited by their reliance on reported study-level information and a narrow focus on depression outcome measures assessed at treatment completion. Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, considered the gold standard in evidence synthesis, can improve the quality of the analyses when compared with conventional meta-analysis.
We describe the protocol for a systematic review and IPD meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of antidepressants and IPT for adult acute-phase depression across a range of outcome measures, including depressive symptom severity as well as functioning and well-being, at both post-treatment and follow-up (PROSPERO: CRD42020219891).
We will conduct a systematic literature search in PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and the Cochrane Library to identify randomised clinical trials comparing antidepressants and IPT in the acute-phase treatment of adults with depression. We will invite the authors of these studies to share the participant-level data of their trials. One-stage IPD meta-analyses will be conducted using mixed-effects models to assess treatment effects at post-treatment and follow-up for all outcome measures that are assessed in at least two studies.
This will be the first IPD meta-analysis examining antidepressants versus IPT efficacy. This study has the potential to enhance our knowledge of depression treatment by comparing the short- and long-term effects of two widely used interventions across a range of outcome measures using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.
We aimed to investigate the associations of poor oral health cross-sectionally with diet quality and intake in older people. We also examined whether change in diet quality is associated with oral health problems. Data from the British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) comprising British males aged 71–92 years and the Health, Aging and Body Composition (HABC) Study comprising American males and females aged 71–80 years were used. Dental data included tooth loss, periodontal disease, dry mouth and self-rated oral health. Dietary data included diet quality (based on Elderly Dietary Index (BRHS) and Healthy Eating Score (HABC Study)) and several nutrients. In the BRHS, change in diet quality over 10 years (1998–2000 to 2010–2012) was also assessed. In the BRHS, tooth loss, fair/poor self-rated oral health and accumulation of oral health problems were associated with poor diet quality, after adjustment. Similar associations were reported for high intake of processed meat. Poor oral health was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (self-rated oral health, OR 1·34, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·77). In the HABC Study, no significant associations were observed for diet quality after adjustment. Periodontal disease was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (OR 1·48, 95 % CI 1·09, 2·01). In the BRHS, persistent low diet quality was associated with higher risk of tooth loss and accumulation of oral health problems. Older individuals with oral health problems had poorer diets and consumed fewer nutrient-rich foods. Persistent poor diet quality was associated with oral health problems later in life.
This paper critically reviews the opportunities and challenges in designing and conducting actionable research on the learning and development of children in conflict- and crisis-affected countries. We approached our review through two perspectives championed by Edward Zigler: (a) child development and social policy and (b) developmental psychopathology in context. The aim of the work was to answer the following questions: What works to enhance children's learning and development in such contexts? By what mechanisms? For whom? Under what conditions? How do experiences and conditions of crisis affect the basic processes of children's typical development? The review is based on a research–practice partnership started in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2010 and expanded to research in Niger and Lebanon in 2016. The focus of the research is on the impact of Healing Classrooms (a set of classroom practices) and Healing Classrooms Plus (an additional set of targeted social and emotional learning activities), developed by the International Rescue Committee, on children's academic outcomes and social and emotional learning. We sought to extract lessons from this decade of research for building a global developmental science for action. Special attention is paid to the importance of research–practice partnerships, conceptual frameworks, measurement and methodology. We conclude by highlighting several essential features of a global developmental science for action.
With no approved treatments for COVID-19 initially available, the Food and Drug Administration utilized multiple preapproval pathways to provide access to investigational agents and/or medical devices: Expanded Access, Emergency Use Authorizations, and Clinical Trials. Regulatory units within an Academic Medical Center (AMC), including those part of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium, have provided support for clinicians in navigating these options prior to the pandemic. As such, they were positioned to be a resource for accessing therapies during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
A small survey and a follow-on poll of the national Investigational New Drug (IND)/Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) Workgroup were conducted in October and December 2020 to determine whether CTSA regulatory units assisted in facilitating access to COVID-19 therapies and the extent of pandemic-related challenges these units faced.
Fifteen survey and 21 poll responses were received, which provided insights into the demands placed on these regulatory support units due to the pandemic and the changes required to provide critical support during this and future crises. Key changes and lessons learned included the importance of regulatory knowledge to support the institutional response, the critical need for electronic submission capacity for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents, and the nimble reallocation of regulatory and legal resources to support patient access to investigational agents and/or medical devices during the pandemic.
AMC- and CTSA-based regulatory units played a meaningful role in the COVID-19 pandemic but further unit modifications are needed for enabling more robust regulatory support in the future.
Efforts to move community engagement in research from marginalized to mainstream include the NIH requiring community engagement programs in all Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how little these efforts have changed the dominant culture of clinical research. When faced with the urgent need to generate knowledge about prevention and treatment of the novel coronavirus, researchers largely neglected to involve community stakeholders early in the research process. This failure cannot be divorced from the broader context of systemic racism in the US that has contributed to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities bearing a disproportionate toll from COVID-19, being underrepresented in COVID-19 clinical trials, and expressing greater hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccination. We call on research funders and research institutions to take decisive action to make community engagement obligatory, not optional, in all clinical and translational research and to center BIPOC communities in this process. Recommended actions include funding agencies requiring all research proposals involving human participants to include a community engagement plan, providing adequate funding to support ongoing community engagement, including community stakeholders in agency governance and proposal reviews, promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the research workforce, and making a course in community engaged research a requirement for Masters of Clinical Research curricula.
Environmental sociologists working in the intersection of medical and political sociology on topics related to environmental public health are bridging knowledge gaps around environmental risks, exposures, government accountability, and public mobilization. This most recent turn of environmental sociology engages in boundary crossing efforts that move beyond pure research to intervention that affects both health and environmental policy. In this chapter we examine how environmental sociologists have advanced understanding environmental health issues, in particular through pushing for social and structural understandings of traditionally individualized disease experiences. Alongside environmental justice activists, environmental sociologists argue for an intersectional approach to examining the roles of racism, gender, and social class in understanding the mechanisms that target vulnerable communities for pollution. Social scientists have highlighted broad impacts of environmental harms including complex physical effects, direct and indirect mental health impacts, and community-wide strains on social relations within affected communities. While several barriers exist that challenge this work, including academic expectations with respect to standards of proof, sample sizes, and institutional priorities, we point to equity building processes, such as community-based participatory research, civic science, and critical epidemiology, in which social scientists are well positioned to critically engage.
Typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (tEPEC) infection is a major cause of diarrhoea and contributor to mortality in children <5 years old in developing countries. Data were analysed from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study examining children <5 years old seeking care for moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) in Kenya. Stool specimens were tested for enteric pathogens, including by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for gene targets of tEPEC. Demographic, clinical and anthropometric data were collected at enrolment and ~60-days later; multivariable logistic regressions were constructed. Of 1778 MSD cases enrolled from 2008 to 2012, 135 (7.6%) children tested positive for tEPEC. In a case-to-case comparison among MSD cases, tEPEC was independently associated with presentation at enrolment with a loss of skin turgor (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37–3.17), and convulsions (aOR 2.83, 95% CI 1.12–7.14). At follow-up, infants with tEPEC compared to those without were associated with being underweight (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.6) and wasted (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3–4.6). Among MSD cases, tEPEC was associated with mortality (aOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.47–5.55). This study suggests that tEPEC contributes to morbidity and mortality in children. Interventions aimed at defining and reducing the burden of tEPEC and its sequelae should be urgently investigated, prioritised and implemented.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Before his incoherent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of President Trump's health policy agenda was the elimination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which he has called a ‘disaster’. The attacks on the ACA included proposals to repeal the law through the legislative process, to erode it through a series of executive actions, and to ask the courts to declare it unconstitutional. Despite these ongoing challenges, the ACA remains largely intact as the U.S. heads into the 2020 election. The longer term fate of the law, however, is uncertain and the outcome of the 2020 election is likely to have a dramatic effect on the direction of health policy in the U.S.