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This study aimed to measure the duration and recovery rate of olfactory loss in patients complaining of recent smell loss as their prominent symptom during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.
This was a prospective telephone follow-up observational study of 243 participants who completed an online survey that started on 12 March 2020.
After a mean of 5.5 months from the loss of smell onset, 98.3 per cent of participants reported improvement with a 71.2 per cent complete recovery rate after a median of 21 days. The chance of complete recovery significantly decreased after 131 days from the onset of loss of smell (100 per cent sensitive and 97.7 per cent specific). Younger age and isolated smell loss were associated with a rapid recovery, whereas accompanying rhinological and gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with longer loss of smell duration.
Smell loss, occurring as a prominent symptom during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, showed a favourable outcome. However, after 5.5 months from the onset, around 10 per cent of participants still complained of moderate or severe hyposmia.
In order to compare estimates by one assessment scale across various cultures/ethnic groups, an important aspect that needs to be demonstrated is that its construct across these groups is invariant when measured using a similar and simultaneous approach (i.e., demonstrated cross-cultural measurement invariance). One of the methods for evaluating measurement invariance is testing for differential item functioning (DIF), which assesses whether different groups respond differently to particular items. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) in societies with different socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
The study was organised by the International Child Mental Health Study Group. Self-reported data were collected from adolescents residing in 11 countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Indonesia, Montenegro, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania and Serbia. The multiple-indicators multiple-causes model was used to test the RCADS items for DIF across the countries.
Ten items exhibited DIF considering all cross-country comparisons. Only one or two items were flagged with DIF in the head-to-head comparisons, while there were three to five items flagged with DIF, when one country was compared with the others. Even with all cross-culturally non-invariant items removed from nine language versions tested, the original factor model representing six anxiety and depressive symptoms subscales was not significantly violated.
There is clear evidence that relatively small number of the RCADS items is non-invariant, especially when comparing two different cultural/ethnic groups, which indicates on its sound cross-cultural validity and suitability for cross-cultural comparisons in adolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Nearly single phase sintered samples of the lead-doped high-Tc oxide superconductor of nominal composition Bi1.6Pb0.4Ca2Sr2Cu3Ox have been prepared using a precursor matrix reaction method. The experimental results indicate that in samples annealed under optimum conditions (200 h at 855 °C) the volume fraction of impurity phases is only about 3%. If the optimum annealing time is exceeded, the high-Tc phase begins to decompose into the low-Tc phase and nonsuperconducting phases. It is found that the precursor reaction matrix method minimizes loss of lead during processing.
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