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1.  Workplace response of companies exposed to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack: a focus-group study 
Disasters  2012;37(1):101-118.
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) left workplaces in pressing need of a mental health response capability. Unaddressed emotional sequelae may be devastating to the productivity and economic stability of a company’s workforce. In the second year after the attacks, 85 employees of five highly affected agencies participated in 12 focus groups to discuss workplace mental health issues. Managers felt ill prepared to manage the magnitude and the intensity of employees’ emotional responses. Rapid return to work, provision of workplace mental health services, and peer support were viewed as contributory to emotional recovery. Formal mental health services provided were perceived as insufficient. Drawing on their post-9/11 workplace experience, members of these groups identified practical measures that they found helpful in promoting healing outside of professional mental health services. These measures, consistent with many principles of psychological first aid, may be applied by workplace leaders who are not mental health professionals.
PMCID: PMC4221248  PMID: 23066661
disaster; employees; focus group; terrorism; workplace; 9/11; 11 September attacks
2.  The MAPP research network: design, patient characterization and operations 
BMC Urology  2014;14:58.
The “Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain” (MAPP) Research Network was established by the NIDDK to better understand the pathophysiology of urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes (UCPPS), to inform future clinical trials and improve clinical care. The evolution, organization, and scientific scope of the MAPP Research Network, and the unique approach of the network’s central study and common data elements are described.
The primary scientific protocol for the Trans-MAPP Epidemiology/Phenotyping (EP) Study comprises a multi-site, longitudinal observational study, including bi-weekly internet-based symptom assessments, following a comprehensive in-clinic deep-phenotyping array of urological symptoms, non-urological symptoms and psychosocial factors to evaluate men and women with UCPPS. Healthy controls, matched on sex and age, as well as “positive” controls meeting the non-urologic associated syndromes (NUAS) criteria for one or more of the target conditions of Fibromyalgia (FM), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), were also evaluated. Additional, complementary studies addressing diverse hypotheses are integrated into the Trans-MAPP EP Study to provide a systemic characterization of study participants, including biomarker discovery studies of infectious agents, quantitative sensory testing, and structural and resting state neuroimaging and functional neurobiology studies. A highly novel effort to develop and assess clinically relevant animal models of UCPPS was also undertaken to allow improved translation between clinical and mechanistic studies. Recruitment into the central study occurred at six Discovery Sites in the United States, resulting in a total of 1,039 enrolled participants, exceeding the original targets. The biospecimen collection rate at baseline visits reached nearly 100%, and 279 participants underwent common neuroimaging through a standardized protocol. An extended follow-up study for 161 of the UCPPS participants is ongoing.
The MAPP Research Network represents a novel, comprehensive approach to the study of UCPPS, as well as other concomitant NUAS. Findings are expected to provide significant advances in understanding UCPPS pathophysiology that will ultimately inform future clinical trials and lead to improvements in patient care. Furthermore, the structure and methodologies developed by the MAPP Network provide the foundation upon which future studies of other urologic or non-urologic disorders can be based.
Trial registration identifier: NCT01098279 “Chronic Pelvic Pain Study of Individuals with Diagnoses or Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis and/or Chronic Prostatitis (MAPP-EP)”.
PMCID: PMC4126395  PMID: 25085119
Urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes; Interstitial cystitis; Chronic prostatitis; Urine biomarkers; Plasma biomarkers; Non-urologic associated syndromes; Quantitative sensory testing (QST); Neuroimaging
3.  Polysymptomatic, Polysyndromic Presentation of Patients With Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome 
The Journal of urology  2012;187(6):2106-2112.
Somatization disorder has been described in several comorbid functional syndromes of urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome, such as irritable bowel syndrome. We investigated whether a subset of patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome may have the polysymptomatic, polysyndromic presentation pattern that is common in somatization disorder.
Materials and Methods
A total of 70 male and female patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome and 35 age matched controls without the syndrome completed a 59-item symptom checklist to assess the classic polysymptomatic, polysyndromic symptom pattern. The 2 operational tools used were the Perley-Guze derived symptom checklist and the somatic symptom algorithm used for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition, Text Revision somatization disorder criteria.
Female patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome) reported significantly more nonpain symptoms and pain symptoms outside the pelvis than control female urology patients (p = 0.0016 and 0.0018, respectively). Female patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome were more likely to endorse a polysymptomatic, polysyndromic symptom pattern than female controls (27% vs 0%, p = 0.0071). In contrast, male patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and/or chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome) did not report more extrapelvic pain than male controls (p = 0.89). Male patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome were not more likely than male controls to have a polysymptomatic, polysyndromic symptom pattern.
A subset of female patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome endorses numerous extrapelvic symptoms across multiple organ systems. The checklist may be valuable to assess patients for this polysymptomatic, polysyndromic symptom pattern, which is common in somatization disorder. Recognizing this polysymptomatic, polysyndromic presentation will prompt clinicians to investigate further to determine whether somatization disorder may be an underlying diagnosis in a small subset of patients with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome who complain of numerous extrapelvic symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3957225  PMID: 22503014
urinary bladder; prostate; cystitis; interstitial; prostatitis; somatization disorders
4.  Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among Employees of New York City Companies Affected by the September 11, 2001 Attacks on the World Trade Center 
Disaster medicine and public health preparedness  2011;5(0 2):10.1001/dmp.2011.50.
Several studies have provided prevalence estimates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks in broadly affected populations, although without sufficiently addressing qualifying exposures required for assessing PTSD and estimating its prevalence. A premise that people throughout the New York City area were exposed to the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) towers and are thus at risk for developing PTSD has important implications for both prevalence estimates and service provision. This premise has not, however, been tested with respect to DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD. This study examined associations between geographic distance from the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and reported 9/11 trauma exposures, and the role of specific trauma exposures in the development of PTSD.
Approximately 3 years after the attacks, 379 surviving employees (102 with direct exposures, including 65 in the towers, and 277 with varied exposures) recruited from 8 affected organizations were interviewed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule/Disaster Supplement and reassessed at 6 years. The estimated closest geographic distance from the WTC towers during the attacks and specific disaster exposures were compared with the development of 9/11–related PTSD as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision.
The direct exposure zone was largely concentrated within a radius of 0.1 mi and completely contained within 0.75 mi of the towers. PTSD symptom criteria at any time after the disaster were met by 35% of people directly exposed to danger, 20% of those exposed only through witnessed experiences, and 35% of those exposed only through a close associate’s direct exposure. Outside these exposure groups, few possible sources of exposure were evident among the few who were symptomatic, most of whom had preexisting psychiatric illness.
Exposures deserve careful consideration among widely affected populations after large terrorist attacks when conducting clinical assessments, estimating the magnitude of population PTSD burdens, and projecting needs for specific mental health interventions.
PMCID: PMC3842159  PMID: 21900416
September 11 attacks; posttraumatic stress disorder; trauma exposure; disaster; disaster mental health services
5.  Exposure to Bioterrorism and Mental Health Response among Staff on Capitol Hill 
The October 2001 anthrax attacks heralded a new era of bioterrorism threat in the U.S. At the time, little systematic data on mental health effects were available to guide authorities' response. For this study, which was conducted 7 months after the anthrax attacks, structured diagnostic interviews were conducted with 137 Capitol Hill staff workers, including 56 who had been directly exposed to areas independently determined to have been contaminated. Postdisaster psychopathology was associated with exposure; of those with positive nasal swab tests, PTSD was diagnosed in 27% and any post-anthrax psychiatric disorder in 55%. Fewer than half of those who were prescribed antibiotics completed the entire course, and only one-fourth had flawless antibiotic adherence. Thirty percent of those not exposed believed they had been exposed; 18% of all study participants had symptoms they suspected were symptoms of anthrax infection, and most of them sought medical care. Extrapolation of raw numbers to large future disasters from proportions with incorrect belief in exposure in this limited study indicates a potential for important public health consequences, to the degree that people alter their healthcare behavior based on incorrect exposure beliefs. Incorrect belief in exposure was associated with being very upset, losing trust in health authorities, having concerns about mortality, taking antibiotics, and being male. Those who incorrectly believe they were exposed may warrant concern and potential interventions as well as those exposed. Treatment adherence and maintenance of trust for public health authorities may be areas of special concern, warranting further study to inform authorities in future disasters involving biological, chemical, and radiological agents.
PMCID: PMC2956562  PMID: 20028246
6.  Relationship of functional gastrointestinal disorders and psychiatric disorders: Implications for treatment 
This article revisits the links between psychopathology and functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), discusses the rational use of antidepressants as well as non-pharmacological approaches to the management of IBS, and suggests guidelines for the treatment of IBS based on an interdisciplinary perspective from the present state of knowledge. Relevant published literature on psychiatric disorders, especially somatization disorder, in the context of IBS, and literature providing direction for management is reviewed, and new directions are provided from findings in the literature. IBS is a heterogeneous syndrome with various potential mechanisms responsible for its clinical presentations. IBS is typically complicated with psychiatric issues, unexplained symptoms, and functional syndromes in other organ systems. Most IBS patients have multiple complaints without demonstrated cause, and that these symptoms can involve systems other than the intestine, e.g. bones and joints (fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint syndrome), heart (non-cardiac chest pain), vascular (post-menopausal syndrome), and brain (anxiety, depression). Most IBS patients do not have psychiatric illness per se, but a range of psychoform (psychological complaints in the absence of psychiatric disorder) symptoms that accompany their somatoform (physical symptoms in the absence of medical disorder) complaints. It is not correct to label IBS patients as psychiatric patients (except those more difficult patients with true somatization disorder). One mode of treatment is unlikely to be universally effective or to resolve most symptoms. The techniques of psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy can allow IBS patients to cope more readily with their illness. Specific episodes of depressive or anxiety disorders can be managed as appropriate for those conditions. Medications designed to improve anxiety or depression are not uniformly useful for psychiatric complaints in IBS, because the psychoform symptoms that sound similar to those seen in psychiatric disorders may not have the same significance in patients with IBS.
PMCID: PMC4319119  PMID: 17465442
Irritiable bowel syndrome; Functional disorders; Gastrointestinal disease; Somatization disorder; Somatoform; Psychoform; Psychotropic medication; Psychotherapy; Symptoms; Psychiatric disorder

Results 1-6 (6)