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Suicidal acts may cluster in time and space and lead to community concerns about further imitative suicidal episodes. Although suicide clusters have been researched in previous studies, less is known about the clustering of non-fatal suicidal behaviour (self-harm). Furthermore, most previous studies used crude temporal and spatial information, e.g., numbers aggregated by month and residence area, for cluster detection analysis. This study aimed to (i) identify space–time clusters of self-harm and suicide using daily incidence data and exact address and (ii) investigate the characteristics of cluster-related suicidal acts.
Data on emergency department presentations for self-harm and suicide deaths in Taipei City and New Taipei City, Taiwan, were used in this study. In all-age and age-specific analyses, self-harm and suicide clusters were identified using space–time permutation scan statistics. A cut-off of 0.10 for the p value was used to identify possible clusters. Logistic regression was used to investigate the characteristics associated with cluster-related episodes.
A total of 5,291 self-harm episodes and 1,406 suicides in Taipei City (2004–2006) and 20,531 self-harm episodes and 2,329 suicides in New Taipei City (2012–2016) were included in the analysis. In the two cities, two self-harm clusters (n [number of self-harm episodes or suicide deaths in the cluster] = 4 and 8 in Taipei City), four suicide clusters (n = 3 in Taipei City and n = 4, 11 and 4 in New Taipei City) and two self-harm and suicide combined clusters (n = 4 in Taipei City and n = 8 in New Taipei City) were identified. Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for 0.05%, 0.59%, and 0.08% of the respective groups of suicidal acts. Cluster-related episodes of self-harm and suicide were more likely to be male (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26, 3.89) and young people aged 10–29 years (aOR = 2.72, 95% CI 1.43, 5.21) than their cluster-unrelated counterparts.
Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for a relatively small proportion of suicidal acts and were associated with some sex/age characteristics. Focusing on suicide deaths alone may underestimate the size of some clusters and/or lead to some clusters being overlooked. Future research could consider combining self-harm and suicide data and use social connection information to investigate possible clusters of suicidal acts.
Objectives: Central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) has been the leading cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Previous studies have shown that a care bundle is effective in reducing CLABSI rates; however, the data on long-term sustainability and cost savings of bundled care are limited. Methods: From January 2011 to December 2020, a prospective surveillance was performed to monitor CLABSI at a university hospital in northern Taiwan. To reduce the CLABSI rate, a hospital-wide bundled care program for CLABSI prevention was implemented in 2013. We evaluated the long-term effect of the care bundle on CLABSI incidence and length of stay in the ICU. Results: During the study period, the overall CLABSI incidence decreased from 8.22 per 1,000 catheter days before the care bundle was implemented to 6.33 per 1,000 catheter days in 2020 (P for trend <.01). The most common pathogens causing CLABSI were gut organisms (1,420 of 2,363, 60.1%), followed by environmental organisms (734 of 2,363, 31.1%) and skin organisms (177 of 2,363, 7.5%). The decreasing trend was statistically significant in the incidence of CLABSI caused by skin organisms (P for trend < .01), but not in the incidence of CLABSI caused by environmental organisms (P for trend = .86) or gut organisms (P for trend = .06). In the multivariable analysis, implementation of this care bundle was independently associated with a decrease in the CLABSI rate (RR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.66–0.88). Compared with patients without CLABSI, patients with CLABSI had a longer average ICU length of stay (27 vs 17 days). Conclusions: A sustainable reduction in the incidence of CLABSI caused by common commensals could be achieved through a cost-saving bundled care program.
In recent years, the incidence of teratospermia has been increasing, and it has become a very important factor leading to male infertility. The research on the molecular mechanism of teratospermia is also progressing rapidly. This article briefly summarizes the clinical incidence of teratozoospermia, and makes a retrospective summary of related studies reported in recent years. Specifically discussing the relationship between gene status and spermatozoa, the review aims to provide the basis for the genetic diagnosis and gene therapy of teratozoospermia.
Evidence on the long-term comparative effectiveness of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) psychotherapies in adults remains unknown. Therefore, we performed an extensive network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to determine the comparative effectiveness of psychotherapies for people diagnosed with PTSD.
A comprehensive search was conducted in Cochrane library, Embase, Medline-OVID, PubMed, Scopus, and Psych-Info until March 2021. Studies on the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive therapy (CT), eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR), narrative exposure therapy (NET), prolonged exposure (PE), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), present-centred therapy (PCT), brief eclectic psychotherapies (BEP), psychodynamic therapy (PDT) or combination therapies compared to no treatment (NT) or treatment as usual (TAU) in adults with PTSD were included. Frequentist and Bayesian approaches were used for analysis in R-software.
We included 98 RCTs with 5567 participants from 18 897 studies. CPT, EMDR, CT, NET, PE, CBT, and PCT were significant to reduce PTSD symptoms (SMD range: −1.53 to −0.75; Certainty: very low to high) at immediate post-treatment and ranked accordingly. Longitudinal analysis found EMDR (1.02) and CPT (0.85) as the significant therapies with large effect size in short-term and long-term follow-up, respectively. NET and CPT showed higher proportion of loss of PTSD diagnosis (RR range: 5.51–3.45) while there were no significant psychotherapies for retention rate compared to NT.
Our findings provide evidence for improving current guidelines and informing clinical decision-making for PTSD management. However, the best PTSD treatment plan should be tailored to patients' needs, characteristics, and clinician expertise.
This paper extends the standard double-exponential jump-diffusion (DEJD) model to allow for successive jumps to bring about different effects on the asset price process. The double-exponentially distributed jump sizes are no longer assumed to have the same parameters; instead, we assume that these parameters may take a series of different values to reflect growing or diminishing effects from these jumps. The mathematical analysis of the stock price requires an introduction of a number of distributions that are extended from the hypoexponential (HE) distribution. Under such a generalized setting, the European option price is derived in closed-form which ensures its computational convenience. Through our numerical examples, we examine the effects on the return distributions from the growing and diminishing severity of the upcoming jumps expected in the near future, and investigate how the option prices and the shapes of the implied volatility smiles are influenced by the varying severity of jumps. These results demonstrate the benefits of the modeling flexibility provided by our extension.
Problematic internet use, especially in people with substance use disorder, may negatively affect their quality of life (QoL). However, it is unclear whether sleep quality is a key mediator in the association between problematic internet use and QoL among people with substance use disorder.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between problematic internet use and QoL and how sleep quality may mediate the association between these two variables.
Overall, 319 people (85% male) with substance use disorder (mean age 42.2 years, s.d. 8.9) participated in a cross-sectional study in Taiwan. The Smartphone Application-Based Addiction Scale, Bergan Social Media Addiction Scale, Internet Gaming Disorder-Short Form, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Version were used.
The prevalence of sleep problems was 56%. There were significant and direct associations between sleep quality and two types of problematic internet use, and between sleep quality and different dimensions of QoL. All types of problematic internet use were significantly and negatively correlated with QoL. Mediated effects of sleep quality in relationships between the different types of problematic internet use and all dimensions of QoL were significant, except for problematic use of social media.
Different types of problematic internet use in people with substance use disorder may be directly associated with reduced QoL. Sleep quality as a significant mediator in this association may be an underlying mechanism to explain pathways between problematic internet use and QoL in this population.
China has experienced significant capital flight over the past two decades. Despite anecdotal evidence that some of this capital has been invested in foreign residential markets, not much is known about its destination and impact. We examine the effects of capital inflows from China on residential property prices and the real economy in the USA and global metropolitan areas. We show that inflows had significant effects on residential property markets and employment in regions that i) have strong ethnic ties to China and ii) are destinations of Chinese students. We document spillovers to geographically adjacent regions without strong Chinese links.
The concurrent incidence of autoimmune comorbidities in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is known. However, the association between OCD and related autoimmune skin diseases (ASDs) has not been well studied.
This study aimed to investigate the association between OCD and the risk of ASDs.
To assess the risk of developing ASDs, we recruited 44 324 patients with OCD and 177 296 matched controls from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. A Cox regression model was used for the analyses.
After adjusting for confounders, an increased risk of ASDs among the patients with OCD (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 6.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.43-7.45) was found when compared to the controls. Statistically significant associations were found between OCD and seven individual ASDs, including psoriasis (aHR: 12.52; 95% CI: 8.78-17.85), lichen planus (aHR: 27.22; 95% CI: 13.09-56.60), alopecia areata (aHR: 13.69; 95% CI: 9.38-19.98), autoimmune bullous diseases (aHR: 4.30; 95% CI: 2.03-9.11), hidradenitis suppurativa (aHR: 29.95; 95% CI: 3.35-267.62), vitiligo (aHR: 9.35; 95% CI: 5.35-16.32), and lupus erythematosus (aHR: 2.10; 95% CI: 1.52-2.91).
Patients with OCD had an increased risk of developing ASDs compared to matched controls. Further studies are required to clarify the underlying mechanisms.
Evidence on sex-specific incidence and comorbidity risk factors of suicide among patients with bipolar disorder is scarce. This study investigated the sex-specific risk profiles for suicide among the bipolar disorder population in terms of incidence, healthcare utilization and comorbidity.
Using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2016, this nationwide cohort study included patients with bipolar disorder (N = 46 490) and individuals representative of the general population (N = 185 960) matched by age and sex at a 1:4 ratio. Mortality rate ratios (MRRs) of suicide were calculated between suicide rates of bipolar disorder cohort and general population. In addition, a nested case–control study (1428 cases died by suicide and 5710 living controls) was conducted in the bipolar disorder cohort to examine the sex-specific risk of healthcare utilization and comorbidities.
Suicide risk was considerably higher in the cohort (MRR = 21.9) than in the general population, especially among women (MRR = 35.6). Sex-stratified analyses revealed distinct healthcare utilization patterns and physical comorbidity risk profiles between the sexes. Although female patients who died by suicide had higher risks of nonhypertensive cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, chronic kidney disease, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, and sepsis compared to their living counterparts, male patients who died by suicide had higher risks of chronic kidney disease and sepsis compared to the living controls.
Patients with bipolar disorder who died by suicide had sex-specific risk profiles in incidence and physical comorbidities. Identifying these modifiable risk factors may guide interventions for suicide risk reduction.
Previous studies suggested that a disturbance of the dopamine system underlies the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD). In addition, the therapeutic action of medications for treating BD, such as valproate (VPA), might modulate dopamine system activity, but it remains unclear. Here, we aimed to investigate the role of the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) in BD patients and in social defeat (SD) mice treated with VPA.
We enrolled community-dwelling controls (N = 18) and BD patients (N = 23) who were treated with VPA in a euthymic stage. The striatal DAT availabilities were approached by TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography. We also established a chronic SD mouse model and treated mice with 350 mg/kg VPA for 3 weeks. Behavioral tests were administered, and striatal DAT expression levels were determined.
In humans, the level of striatal DAT availability was significantly higher in euthymic BD patients (1.52 ± 0.17 and 1.37 ± 0.23, p = 0.015). Moreover, the level of striatal DAT availability was also negatively correlated with the VPA concentration in BD patients (r = −0.653, p = 0.003). In SD mice, the expression of striatal DAT significantly increased (p < 0.001), and the SD effect on DAT expression was rescued by VPA treatment.
The striatal DAT might play a role in the pathophysiology of BD and in the therapeutic mechanism of VPA. The homeostasis of DAT might represent a new therapeutic strategy for BD patients.
A suite of Jurassic–Cretaceous migmatites was newly identified in the Liaodong Peninsula of the eastern North China Craton (NCC). Anatexis is commonly associated with crustal thickening. However, the newly identified migmatites were formed during strong lithospheric thinning accompanied by voluminous magmatism and intense deformation. Field investigations show that the migmatites are spatially associated with low-angle detachment faults. Numerous leucosomes occur either as isolated lenses or thin layers (dykes), parallel to or cross-cutting the foliation. Peritectic minerals such as titanite and sillimanite are distributed mainly along the boundaries of reactant minerals or are accumulated along the foliation. Most zircons show distinct core–rim structures, and the rims have low Th/U ratios (0.01–0.24). Zircon U–Pb dating results indicate that the protoliths of the migmatites were either the Late Triassic (224–221 Ma) diorites or metasedimentary rocks deposited sometime after c. 1857 Ma. The zircon overgrowth rims record crystallization ages of 173–161 Ma and 125 Ma, which represent the formation time of leucosomes. These ages are consistent with those reported magmatic events in the Liaodong Peninsula and surrounding areas. The leucosomes indicate a strong anatectic event during the Jurassic–Cretaceous period. Partial melting occurred through the breakdown of muscovite and biotite with the presence of water-rich fluid under a thermal anomaly regime. The possible mechanism that caused the 173–161 Ma and 125 Ma anatectic events was intimately related to the regional crustal extension during the lithospheric thinning of the NCC. Meanwhile, the newly generated melts further weakened the rigidity of the crust and enhanced the extension.
In the present work, the ankle rehabilitation robot (ARR) dynamic model that implements a new series of connection control strategies is introduced. The dynamic models are presented in this regard. This model analyzes the robot LuGre friction model and the nonlinear disturbance model. To improve the ARR system’s rapidity and robustness, a composite 2-degree of freedom (2-DOF) internal model control (IMC) controller is presented. The control performance of the compound 2-DOF IMC controller is simulated and analyzed in the present work. The simulation shows that the composite 2-DOF IMC controller has high following performance. For practical testing purposes, 1-DOF passive training and predetermined trajectory following have been completed for different swing amplitudes and frequencies. Moreover, the thrust and tension torque of the robotic dynamic and static loading characteristics are studied in active control mode. The experimental results show the effectiveness of passive training of the given trajectory and impedance training active control strategy. This paper gives the specific functions of ARR.
Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is not only associated with one's adverse health outcomes in adulthood but also increases the risk of child developmental problems in offspring. However, the mechanisms involved in the transmission of the effects of maternal ACEs to the offspring largely remain unexplored. This study sought to identify possible psychosocial pathways of intergenerational effects of maternal ACEs on child development at 6 months. Data from a longitudinal study on maternal childhood adversity and maternal psychosocial risk during pregnancy as well as maternal mental health problems and child development at 6 months postnatal were used. Structural equation modeling with bootstrapping was used to estimate the indirect effects of maternal ACEs on child development at 6 months. The model showed that maternal ACEs indirectly influenced offspring's development via maternal stressful events during pregnancy and pre- and postnatal mental health problems. This finding highlights the possible interventions at the prenatal and postnatal periods. Early identification of women who have ACEs or who are at psychosocial risk during pre- and postnatal periods is critical to provide interventions to buffer those negative effects on offspring's development. Future studies are needed to longitudinally assess the effects of maternal ACEs on child development over time.
Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne outbreaks in Taiwan. On 27 April 2018, a salmonellosis outbreak among customers of a restaurant was reported to the Taiwan CDC. We investigated the outbreak to identify infection sources and prevent further transmission. We interviewed ill customers and their dining companions. We conducted a case-control study to identify foods associated with the illness. Case-patients were those who had diarrhoea within 72 h after eating at the restaurant during 16–27 April 2018. Specimens, food samples and environmental samples were collected and tested for enteric pathogens. Salmonella isolates were analysed with pulse-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing. We inspected the restaurant sanitation and reviewed kitchen surveillance camera recordings. We identified 47 case-patients, including one decedent. Compared with 44 controls, case-patients were more likely to have had a French toast sandwich (OR: 102.4; 95% CI: 18.7–952.3). Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from 16 case-patients shared an indistinguishable genotype. Camera recordings revealed eggshell contamination, long holding time at room temperature and use of leftovers during implicated food preparation. Recommendations for restaurant egg-containing food preparation are to use pasteurised egg products and ensure a high enough cooking temperature and long enough cooking time to prevent Salmonella contamination.
Dietary salt intake may vary depending on different lifestyles. We aimed to estimate the different salt intakes and evaluate the knowledge and self-awareness about salt among people speaking the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects in the Chaoshan region of southern China.
The study followed a cluster sampling of residents in Chaoshan region. General characteristics, lifestyles, health status as well as knowledge and self-awareness related to salt intake were investigated using a questionnaire. Anthropometric variables as well as Na and K excretion in a 24-h urine collection were measured.
Chaoshan region of China.
Four hundred fifteen adults who spoke only one of these three dialects.
The salt intake of adults who spoke the Teochew, Teochew–Hakka and Hakka dialects was 7·19 (interquartile range (IQR) 5·29–10·17), 9·03 (IQR 6·62–11·54) and 10·12 (IQR 7·61–12·82) g/d, respectively, with significant differences between Teochew and Teochew–Hakka speakers and between Teochew and Hakka speakers (both P < 0·05). The Na:K ratio for adults who spoke the three dialects was 3·00 (IQR 2·00–4·11), 3·50 (IQR 2·64–4·82) and 4·52 (IQR 3·35–5·97), respectively, and differed significantly among the groups (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed increased Na:K ratio associated with hypertension (β = 0·71, P = 0·043) in Hakka speakers. Knowledge and self-awareness about salt intake were poor in this population.
Salt intake was closely related to lifestyles and was higher than the upper limit (5 g/d) recommended by the WHO in adults of Chaoshan, especially those speaking the Hakka dialect.
In order to improve the training efficiency and establish a multi-person cooperative training simulation system, including “virtual human,” in the process of virtual reality-based astronaut training, it is necessary to plan the velocity at which astronauts carry the target object. A velocity planning algorithm, combining a traditional six-stage acceleration/deceleration algorithm, based on a time-discrete model with high-order dynamic constraints, considering the elastic damping torque of the space suit, is proposed. The described algorithm is verified on MATLAB to prove its feasibility. Compared to other algorithms, the planning time of the proposed algorithm is significantly reduced.
The WHO’s (2001) International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model conceptualizes health from an ecological perspective. It has been implemented by many professionals as the standard health classification framework that guides providers’ decisions regarding assessment tools and targeted interventions. Despite this model’s prevalence among many healthcare providers, the ICF framework remains largely underutilized by many in the counseling fields. This conceptual paper provides an overview of the strengths of the ICF model and ICF-based measurements, and demonstrates its clinical, research, and educational value. A case study is presented to guide counselors and counselor educators through application of the ICF model in various contexts to encourage expanded use of the model. Use of the ICF model among counseling professionals, educators, and researchers is recommended as one way to enhance measurement of clinical outcomes.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.