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The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions/lockdowns have caused significant physical and psychological consequences for people with cognitive impairment who are heavily dependent on their care-givers. However, little is known about the impact on care-givers, the factors that exacerbate their situation and what supports they need. The aims of this paper are threefold: (a) to examine the impact of COVID-19 physical restrictions on both formal and informal care-givers of people with cognitive impairment; (b) to identify attributing factors influencing this impact; and (c) to recognise their support needs. Further, this paper informs future research, policy and practice. Guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute framework, a systematic review was conducted using a mixed-methods convergent integrated approach. Eight databases were searched using keywords related to COVID-19 restriction, dementia care-givers, impacts and care settings, followed by a manual search. The study was limited to primary research published in English between January 2020 and December 2021. Of the 840 records identified, 30 met the inclusion criteria. Service withdrawal and social distancing has effectively led to the reprivatisation of care to the family, particularly women. Care-givers experienced negative impacts including reduced psychological wellbeing and physical health, increased care burden and financial difficulties. A number of clinical attributes and socio-demographic factors influenced the COVID-19 impact on care-givers. Consequently, counselling services, assistance with care and financial support were identified as support needs. Implementation of new support and the strengthening of existing services are recommended to enhance resilience, build capacity to support care-givers in any given situation and mitigate the effects of future outbreaks.
The proposed memory architecture by Barzykowski and Moulin is compelling, and could be improved by incorporating a rational analysis of the functional roles of involuntary autobiographical memory and déjà vu. Additionally, modeling these phenomena computationally would remove ambiguities from the proposal. We provide examples of past work that illustrate how the phenomena may be described more precisely.
Several hypotheses may explain the association between substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. However, few studies have utilized a large multisite dataset to understand this complex relationship. Our study assessed the relationship between alcohol and cannabis use trajectories and PTSD and depression symptoms across 3 months in recently trauma-exposed civilians.
In total, 1618 (1037 female) participants provided self-report data on past 30-day alcohol and cannabis use and PTSD and depression symptoms during their emergency department (baseline) visit. We reassessed participant's substance use and clinical symptoms 2, 8, and 12 weeks posttrauma. Latent class mixture modeling determined alcohol and cannabis use trajectories in the sample. Changes in PTSD and depression symptoms were assessed across alcohol and cannabis use trajectories via a mixed-model repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Three trajectory classes (low, high, increasing use) provided the best model fit for alcohol and cannabis use. The low alcohol use class exhibited lower PTSD symptoms at baseline than the high use class; the low cannabis use class exhibited lower PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline than the high and increasing use classes; these symptoms greatly increased at week 8 and declined at week 12. Participants who already use alcohol and cannabis exhibited greater PTSD and depression symptoms at baseline that increased at week 8 with a decrease in symptoms at week 12.
Our findings suggest that alcohol and cannabis use trajectories are associated with the intensity of posttrauma psychopathology. These findings could potentially inform the timing of therapeutic strategies.
Background: The incidence of drug resistant epilepsy (DRE) is around 30% patients with epilepsy. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is offered to patients who are not candidates for epilepsy resective surgery, however the results of lesional cases has not been explored previously Methods: The study was a retrospective cohort study that involved patients with DRE implanted with VNS at the Epilepsy program at Western University, Ontario. We classified our VNS cohort based on brain imaging of lesional (L) and nonlesional (NL) epilepsy. Results: The median age was 31.8 years, 70.69% were females. The VNS-L group average age was 31.8 years and the NL 35.2 years. The most common abnormality was nodular heterotropias 31.34% (n=9). 16 patients underwent palliative procedures before the VNS implantation, 12 in VNS-L and 4 in VNS-NL. The median period of follow-up was 69.97 months. 62% of the VNS-L group had a seizure reduction of 50% or greater, compared to 41.38% in the VNS-NL group. Seizure freedom was 10.34% in VNS-L, compared to 6.99% in VNS-NL. Conclusions: This is the first study reporting the outcome of VNS in lesional cases. Our results suggest that VNS in lesional cases is effective. However, a large multicenteric study is needed.
Individuals living with severe mental illness can have significant emotional, physical and social challenges. Collaborative care combines clinical and organisational components.
We tested whether a primary care-based collaborative care model (PARTNERS) would improve quality of life for people with diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other psychoses, compared with usual care.
We conducted a general practice-based, cluster randomised controlled superiority trial. Practices were recruited from four English regions and allocated (1:1) to intervention or control. Individuals receiving limited input in secondary care or who were under primary care only were eligible. The 12-month PARTNERS intervention incorporated person-centred coaching support and liaison work. The primary outcome was quality of life as measured by the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA).
We allocated 39 general practices, with 198 participants, to the PARTNERS intervention (20 practices, 116 participants) or control (19 practices, 82 participants). Primary outcome data were available for 99 (85.3%) intervention and 71 (86.6%) control participants. Mean change in overall MANSA score did not differ between the groups (intervention: 0.25, s.d. 0.73; control: 0.21, s.d. 0.86; estimated fully adjusted between-group difference 0.03, 95% CI −0.25 to 0.31; P = 0.819). Acute mental health episodes (safety outcome) included three crises in the intervention group and four in the control group.
There was no evidence of a difference in quality of life, as measured with the MANSA, between those receiving the PARTNERS intervention and usual care. Shifting care to primary care was not associated with increased adverse outcomes.
Childhood adversities (CAs) predict heightened risks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) among people exposed to adult traumatic events. Identifying which CAs put individuals at greatest risk for these adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) is important for targeting prevention interventions.
Data came from n = 999 patients ages 18–75 presenting to 29 U.S. emergency departments after a motor vehicle collision (MVC) and followed for 3 months, the amount of time traditionally used to define chronic PTSD, in the Advancing Understanding of Recovery After Trauma (AURORA) study. Six CA types were self-reported at baseline: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect and bullying. Both dichotomous measures of ever experiencing each CA type and numeric measures of exposure frequency were included in the analysis. Risk ratios (RRs) of these CA measures as well as complex interactions among these measures were examined as predictors of APNS 3 months post-MVC. APNS was defined as meeting self-reported criteria for either PTSD based on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and/or MDE based on the PROMIS Depression Short-Form 8b. We controlled for pre-MVC lifetime histories of PTSD and MDE. We also examined mediating effects through peritraumatic symptoms assessed in the emergency department and PTSD and MDE assessed in 2-week and 8-week follow-up surveys. Analyses were carried out with robust Poisson regression models.
Most participants (90.9%) reported at least rarely having experienced some CA. Ever experiencing each CA other than emotional neglect was univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.31–1.60). Each CA frequency was also univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.65–2.45). In multivariable models, joint associations of CAs with 3-month APNS were additive, with frequency of emotional abuse (RR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.43–2.87) and bullying (RR = 1.44; 95% CI = 0.99–2.10) being the strongest predictors. Control variable analyses found that these associations were largely explained by pre-MVC histories of PTSD and MDE.
Although individuals who experience frequent emotional abuse and bullying in childhood have a heightened risk of experiencing APNS after an adult MVC, these associations are largely mediated by prior histories of PTSD and MDE.
The school setting can provide an environment that supports healthy behaviours, including the provision of food. School food activities, that is, school feeding, are commonplace globally, but not well understood in the Pacific Islands region. The aim of this research is to explore learnings associated within existing school food programmes (SFP), and adoption resistors in those Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) without SFP, with the intent of improving current and future SFP interventions.
This observational cross-sectional study utilised four facilitated workshop sessions to explore SFP within an existing framework.
Pacific Islands region.
Fourteen participants representing the education and health sectors from eleven PICT, and two participants representing regional organisations.
Most countries reported some form of related policy, but key critical constraints to the use of SFP included local food environments, strategic alignment to organisational priorities, advocacy and organisational leadership, and community and cultural connections and collaboration. There are opportunities for integration of SFP into existing frameworks (i.e. Health Promoting Schools), increased collaboration, greater professional development and awareness activities, improved monitoring and evaluation, improved awareness of SFP and promotion of healthy eating for the wider school community.
Given the current health, social and economic challenges faced by countries and territories in the Pacific Islands region, SFP should be considered as an opportunity for food provision and associated nutrition education for students and their wider community. Further research is needed to understand the critical constraints of SFP in this region and how to support stakeholders to advocate for, develop and sustain SFP that are contextually and culturally appropriate.
Despite increasing evidence for the effectiveness of individual psychological interventions for bipolar disorder, research on older adults is lacking. We report the first randomised controlled trial of psychological therapy designed specifically for older adults with bipolar disorder.
To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of recovery-focused therapy, designed in collaboration with older people living with bipolar disorder.
A parallel, two-armed, randomised controlled trial comparing treatment as usual with up to 14 sessions of recovery-focused therapy plus treatment as usual, for older adults with bipolar disorder.
Thirty-nine participants (67% female, mean age 67 years) were recruited over a 17-month period. Feasibility and acceptability of recruitment, retention (>80% observer-rated outcomes at both 24 and 48 weeks) and intervention processes were demonstrated. The majority of participants started therapy when offered, adhered to the intervention (68% attended all sessions and 89% attended six or more sessions) and reported positive benefits. Clinical assessment measures provide evidence of a signal for effectiveness on a range of outcomes including mood symptoms, time to relapse and functioning. No trial-related serious adverse events were identified.
Recovery-focused therapy is feasible, acceptable and has the potential to improve a range of outcomes for people living with bipolar disorder in later life. A large-scale trial is warranted to provide a reliable estimate of its clinical and cost-effectiveness.
This audit aimed to assess the adherence to the anti-psychotic policy for delirium in the medical wards. It aimed to assess compliance with each of the guidelines mentioned in the health board's policy which is based on the National Institute for Health and Cares Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
After registering the audit, the Acute medical ward was approached for the hospital numbers of all the patients admitted in the months between January and March 2021, and 70 case records were screened. Case notes of patients above 18 years who were diagnosed with delirium including those after managing alcohol withdrawal were included. Those who were admitted only with alcohol withdrawal delirium were excluded. 47 case records were selected for data collection. A proforma was prepared based on the policy available in the intranet and data were entered.
Retrospective data of 47 patients who had delirium were analysed which included 18 males and 29 females. The mean age of the participants was 80.7 years (range 40–101; SD + 30). The mean days of referral after admission were 28(+7.07). 34%were diagnosed to have delirium by the treating team,8.5% were diagnosed by the Emergency Department (ED) team and 57.4% were diagnosed by the liaison psychiatric team. 57% had another psychiatric diagnosis. The cause for delirium was mentioned in 55% of the records and the most common cause was urinary tract infection (31%) followed by multifactorial delirium (27%). Antipsychotics were prescribed for 57% and among those who received 74% received risperidone, 15% received olanzapine, and 11% haloperidol. Compliance was 100% in prescribing appropriate antipsychotics, maximum dose, investigations (expect x-ray chest and CT scan), only 54% compliance was observed with regards to stopping the antipsychotic before discharge and in 23% it was mentioned to be monitored by the GP and another 23% by the treating team.
This audit has displayed the lacuna in the prescription of antipsychotics for patients diagnosed with delirium. Periodic programs will be planned and executed for training the liaison practitioners and the staff in the medical wards regarding the diagnosis and management of delirium especially the prescription of antipsychotics. A re-audit will be conducted after 6 months.
Racial and ethnic groups in the USA differ in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research however has not observed consistent racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress in the early aftermath of trauma, suggesting that such differences in chronic PTSD rates may be related to differences in recovery over time.
As part of the multisite, longitudinal AURORA study, we investigated racial/ethnic differences in PTSD and related outcomes within 3 months after trauma. Participants (n = 930) were recruited from emergency departments across the USA and provided periodic (2 weeks, 8 weeks, and 3 months after trauma) self-report assessments of PTSD, depression, dissociation, anxiety, and resilience. Linear models were completed to investigate racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic dysfunction with subsequent follow-up models assessing potential effects of prior life stressors.
Racial/ethnic groups did not differ in symptoms over time; however, Black participants showed reduced posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms overall compared to Hispanic participants and White participants. Racial/ethnic differences were not attenuated after accounting for differences in sociodemographic factors. However, racial/ethnic differences in depression and anxiety were no longer significant after accounting for greater prior trauma exposure and childhood emotional abuse in White participants.
The present findings suggest prior differences in previous trauma exposure partially mediate the observed racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms following a recent trauma. Our findings further demonstrate that racial/ethnic groups show similar rates of symptom recovery over time. Future work utilizing longer time-scale data is needed to elucidate potential racial/ethnic differences in long-term symptom trajectories.
This study seeks the opinions of qualified doctors on what they feel medical students should learn about otolaryngology. It aims to identify both the content deemed relevant and the performance levels for medical students in otolaryngology.
A national survey developed from a content analysis of undergraduate otolaryngology curricula from the UK was undertaken, accompanied by a review of the literature and input from an expert group. Data were collected from a wide range of doctors.
Participants felt that graduating students should be able to: recognise, assess and initiate management for common and life-threatening acute conditions; take an appropriate patient history; and perform an appropriate examination for the majority of otolaryngology clinical conditions but manage only a select few.
This study reports performance levels for otolaryngology topics at an undergraduate level. Participating doctors felt that a higher level of performance should be expected of students treating life-threatening, acute and common otolaryngology conditions.
In this study, atom probe tomography (APT) was used to investigate strontium-containing bioactive glass particles (BG-Sr10) and strontium-releasing bioactive glass-based scaffolds (pSrBG), both of which are attractive biomaterials with applications in critical bone damage repair. We outline the challenges and corresponding countermeasures of this nonconductive biomaterial for APT sample preparation and experiments, such as avoiding direct contact between focussed ion beam micromanipulators and the extracted cantilever to reduce damage during liftout. Using a low imaging voltage (≤3 kV) and current (≤500 pA) in the scanning electron microscope and a low acceleration voltage (≤2 kV) and current (≤200 pA) in the focussed ion beam prevents tip bending in the final stages of annular milling. To optimize the atom probe experiment, we considered five factors: total detected hits, multiple hits, the background level, the charge-state ratio, and the accuracy of the measured compositions, to explore the optimal laser pulse for BG-Sr10 bioactive glass. We show that a stage temperature of 30 K, 200–250 pJ laser pulse energy, 0.3% detection rate, and 200 kHz pulse rate are optimized experimental parameters for bioactive glass. The use of improved experimental preparation methods and optimized parameters resulted in a 90% successful yield of pSrBG samples by APT.
The workhouse remains a totemic institution for social historians, yet we still know very little about the day-to-day experiences of the indoor poor. Nowhere is this clearer than in discussions about workhouse clothing, which remain overwhelmingly negative in the literature and consistent with the predominant view of the workhouse as a place of suffering and humiliation. Yet more often than not, this view is based on relatively shallow empirical foundations and tends to rely on anecdotal evidence or on the uncritical use of subjective sources such as photographs, newspaper editorials and other cultural products. This article takes a different approach by looking again at the whole range of meanings that workhouse clothing held for paupers and those who oversaw its allocation, and at the practical and symbolic usages to which it was put by them. On the basis of this evidence the authors argue that, contrary to the orthodox view, workhouse clothing was rarely intended to be degrading or stigmatising; that it would have held very different meanings for different classes of paupers; and that, far from being a source of unbridled misery, paupers often found it to be a source of great strategic and practical value.
Difficulties with decision making and risk taking in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) have been associated with mood episodes. However, there is limited information about these experiences during euthymia, the mood state where people with BD spent the majority of their time.
To examine how individuals with BD consider risk in everyday decisions during their euthymic phase.
We conducted a qualitative study that used semi-structured audio recorded interviews. Eight euthymic participants with confirmed BD were interviewed, and we used interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyse the data.
We identified four themes. The first theme, ‘Who I really am’, involves the relationship between individual identity and risks taken. The second theme, ‘Taking back control of my life’, explored the relationship between risks taken as participants strove to keep control of their lives. The third theme, ‘Fear of the “what ifs”’, represents how the fear of negative consequences from taking risks impacts risk decisions. Finally, the fourth theme, ‘The role of family and friends’, highlights the important role that a supporting network can play in their lives in the context of taking risks.
The study highlights aspects that can impact on an individual with BD’s consideration of risk during euthymia. Identity, control, fear and support all play a role when a person considers risk in their decision-making process, and they should be taken into consideration when exploring risk with individuals with BD in clinical settings, and inform the design of future interventions.
This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience.
We focus on participants presenting at EDs after a motor vehicle collision (MVC), which characterizes most AURORA participants, and examine associations of participant socio-demographics and MVC characteristics with 8-week depression as mediated through peritraumatic symptoms and 2-week depression.
Eight-week depression prevalence was relatively high (27.8%) and associated with several MVC characteristics (being passenger v. driver; injuries to other people). Peritraumatic distress was associated with 2-week but not 8-week depression. Most of these associations held when controlling for peritraumatic symptoms and, to a lesser degree, depressive symptoms at 2-weeks post-trauma.
These observations, coupled with substantial variation in the relative strength of the mediating pathways across predictors, raises the possibility of diverse and potentially complex underlying biological and psychological processes that remain to be elucidated in more in-depth analyses of the rich and evolving AURORA database to find new targets for intervention and new tools for risk-based stratification following trauma exposure.
Antibiotic prescribing practices across the Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) experienced significant shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. From 2015 to 2019, antibiotic use between January and May decreased from 638 to 602 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 days present (DP), while the corresponding months in 2020 saw antibiotic utilization rise to 628 DOT per 1,000 DP.
Background: Accurate identification of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) from electronic data sources is important for surveillance. We evaluated how frequently laboratory findings were supported by diagnostic coding and treatment data in the electronic health record. Methods: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of patients in the Veterans’ Affairs Health System from 2006 through 2016. A CDI event was defined as a positive laboratory test for C. difficile toxin or toxin genes in the inpatient, outpatient, or long-term care setting with no prior positive test in the preceding 14 days. Events were classified as incident (no CDI in the prior 56 days), or recurrent (CDI in the prior 56 days) and were evaluated for evidence of clinical diagnosis based on International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and ICD-10-CM codes and at least 1 dose of an anti-CDI agent (intravenous or oral metronidazole, fidaxomicin, or oral vancomycin). We further assessed the possibility of treatment without testing by quantifying positive laboratory tests and diagnostic codes among inpatients receiving an anti-CDI agent. A course of anti-CDI therapy was defined as continuous treatment with the same drug. Results: Among 119,063 incident and recurrent CDI events, 70,114 (58.9%) had a diagnosis code and 15,850 (13.3%) had no accompanying treatment. The proportion of patients with ICD codes was highest among patients treated with fidaxomicin (82.6% of 906) or oral vancomycin (74.3% of 30,777) and was lower among patients receiving metronidazole (63.3% of 103,231) and those without treatment (29.9% of 15,850). The proportion of events with ICD codes and treatment was similar between incident and recurrent episodes. During the study period, there were ~470,000 inpatient courses of metronidazole, fidaxomicin, and oral vancomycin. Table 1 shows the presence of ICD codes and positive laboratory tests by anti-CDI agents. Among 51,100 courses of oral vancomycin, 51% had an ICD code and 44% had a positive test for C. difficile within 7 days of treatment initiation. Among 1,013 courses of fidaxomicin, 79% had an ICD code and 56% had a positive laboratory test. Conclusions: In this large cohort, there was evidence of substantial CDI treatment without confirmatory C. difficile testing and, to a lesser extent, some positive tests without accompanying treatment or coding. A combination of data sources may be needed to more accurately identify CDI from electronic health records for surveillance purposes.
Background: Assessing antimicrobial use (AU) appropriateness isa cornerstone of antimicrobial stewardship, largely accomplished through time-intensive manual chart review of specific agents or diagnoses. Efforts to evaluate appropriateness have focused on assessing the appropriateness of an entire treatment course. An electronic measure was developed to assess the appropriateness of each day of inpatient AU leveraging electronic health record data. Methods: We extracted contextual data, including risk factors for resistant organisms, allergies, constitutional signs and symptoms from diagnostic and procedural codes, and microbiological findings, from the electronic health records of patients in Veterans’ Health Administration inpatient wards reporting data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) AU option from 2017–2018. Only the antibacterial categories shown in Figure 1 were included. Respiratory, urinary tract, skin and soft-tissue, and other infection categories were defined and applied to each hospital day. Algorithm rules were constructed to evaluate AU based on the clinical context (eg, in the ICU, during empiric therapy, drug–pathogen match, recommended drugs, and duration). Rules were drawn from available literature, were discussed with experts, and were then refined empirically. Generally, the rules allowed for use of first-line agents unless risk factors or contraindications were identified. AU was categorized as appropriate, inappropriate, or indeterminate for each day, then aggregated into an overall measure of facility-level AU appropriateness. A validation set of 20 charts were randomly selected for manual review. Results: Facility distribution of appropriateness, inappropriateness, and indeterminate AU by 4 of the adult, 2017 baseline NHSN Standardized Antimicrobial Administration Ratio (SAAR) categories are shown in Figure 1. The median facility-level inappropriateness across all SAAR categories was 37.2% (IQR, 29.4%–52.5%). The median facility-level indeterminate AU across all SAAR categories was 14.4% (IQR, 9.1%–21.2%). Chart review of 20 admissions showed agreement with algorithm appropriateness and inappropriateness in 95.4% of 240 antibacterial days.
Conclusions: We developed a comprehensive, flexible electronic tool to evaluate AU appropriateness for combinations of setting, antibacterial agent, syndrome, or time frame of interest (eg, empiric, definitive, or excess duration). Application of our algorithm in 2 years of VA acute-care data suggest substantial interfacility variability; the highest rates of inappropriateness were for anti-MRSA therapy. Our preliminary chart review demonstrated agreement between electronic and manual review in >95% of antimicrobial days. This approach may be useful to identify potential stewardship targets, in the development of decision support systems, and in conjunction with other metrics to track AU over time.