Poor authenticity in high stake clinical exams adversely effects validity. We propose including known misleading diagnostic factors and contextual biases in the assessment of diagnostic skills amongst advanced specialty trainees. We hypothesise that this strategy offers a more realistic and critical assessment of diagnostic skill than strategies in which candidates are presented with directive, bias free information, allowing for assumptions which cannot be made in real life.
Eleven patient based practice clinical exam stations were presented to nine advanced ophthalmology trainees. Four patients had a history of misdiagnosis or near misdiagnosis of key ophthalmic findings, presumed to result from identifiable biases and misleading information. In those four stations, candidates were presented with authentic, file based information and were asked authentic questions, similar to those with which the patients presented. If the candidates were unsuccessful in identifying key findings, the questions were converted into directive questions about the same key findings (i.e. “examine the patient’s eyelids, what is your diagnosis?”), and the candidates re-assessed the patient and re-answered.
Ninety-eight doctor-patient encounters took place. Of those, 35 encounters were analysed for the purpose of this study. In 63% of those encounters, key findings were missed when the question included authentic biases or misleading background information, but rephrasing the question to a directive exam format led to their correct identification (Fail converted to pass). Key findings were detected despite contextual biases or misleading background information in only 23% of encounters. In 14% the findings were missed with either question phrasing.
Presentation authentic questions provide a more realistic and less forgiving measure of diagnostic skills than directive exam questions. Given the prevalence of diagnostic errors and their importance to patient outcomes, known mechanisms contributing to diagnostic errors should be used as one of the assessment tools of advanced speciality trainees.
Studies have shown that children with ADHD profit from working memory training, although few studies have investigated transfer effects comprehensively. The current Randomized Controlled Trial analyzes transfer to other neuropsychological (NP) domains, academic performance and everyday functioning at home and school.
Sixty-seven children with ADHD were randomized into a control group or a training group. The training group underwent Cogmed’s RoboMemo program. All participants were assessed pre-training, immediately after and eight months later with a battery of NP tests, measures of mathematical and reading skills, as well as rating scales filled out by parents and teachers.
There was a significant training effect in psychomotor speed, but not to any other NP measures. Reading and mathematics were improved. There were no training induced changes in symptom rating scales either at home or at school. The increased reading scores remained significant eight months later.
The study is the most comprehensive study of transfer effects to date, and with mixed results compared to previous research. More research is needed regarding how to improve the training program and the conditions and thresholds for successful training.
Although it is understood that work-related factors, including job demands, job control, and workplace support, are associated with workers' health and well-being, the role played by personal characteristics, especially workaholism, has not been fully investigated. This study examined workaholism's associations with psychological ill health, low back pain with disability, and sickness absence among Japanese workers.
A cross-sectional Internet survey was conducted using self-administered questionnaires. Data from 3,899 Japanese workers were analyzed. Workaholism was measured using the Dutch Workaholism Scale (DUWAS). Scores were divided into tertiles, where respondents were classified into three groups (high, middle, and low). Depressive mood as a measure of psychological ill health was assessed using the SF-36 mental health subscale, and low back pain using a standardized question. Sickness absence, except that due to physical injuries, was categorized either as absence due to mental health problems or to physical/somatic problems including the common cold. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between workaholism and depressive mood, low back pain with disability, and sickness absence, adjusting for demographic characteristics, job demand, job control, and workplace support.
Compared to the low workaholism group, the middle and high workaholism groups had significantly higher odds for depressive mood (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.93 and 3.62 for the middle and high groups, respectively), disabling back pain (ORs = 1.36 and 1.77 for the middle and high groups, respectively). Workaholism was more strongly associated with sickness absence due to mental health problems than that for other reasons (ORs = 1.76 vs. 1.21 for the middle group and 3.52 vs. 1.37 for the high groups).
Workaholism is significantly associated with poor psychological health, disabling back pain, and sickness absence, particularly from mental health problems. Therefore, workaholism must be considered when addressing well-being of workers.
The purpose of this research was to examine the associations of attachment anxiety and avoidance with personal growth following relationship dissolution, and to test breakup distress, rumination, and tendency to rebound with new partners as mediators of these associations. Study 1 (N = 411) and Study 2 (N = 465) measured attachment style, breakup distress, and personal growth; Study 2 additionally measured ruminative reflection, brooding, and proclivity to rebound with new partners. Structural equation modelling revealed in both studies that anxiety was indirectly associated with greater personal growth through heightened breakup distress, whereas avoidance was indirectly associated with lower personal growth through inhibited breakup distress. Study 2 further showed that the positive association of breakup distress with personal growth was accounted for by enhanced reflection and brooding, and that anxious individuals’ greater personal growth was also explained by their proclivity to rebound. These findings suggest that anxious individuals’ hyperactivated breakup distress may act as a catalyst for personal growth by promoting the cognitive processing of breakup-related thoughts and emotions, whereas avoidant individuals’ deactivated distress may inhibit personal growth by suppressing this cognitive work.
Computerized ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is widely accepted as a “gold standard” method for capturing momentary symptoms repeatedly experienced in daily life. Although many studies have addressed the within-individual temporal variations in momentary symptoms compared with simultaneously measured external criteria, their concurrent associations, specifically with continuous physiological measures, have not been rigorously examined. Therefore, in the present study, we first examined the variations in momentary symptoms by validating the associations among self-reported symptoms measured simultaneously (depressive mood, anxious mood, and fatigue) and then investigated covariant properties between the symptoms (especially, depressive mood) and local statistics of locomotor activity as the external objective criteria obtained continuously. Healthy subjects (N = 85) from three different populations (adolescents, undergraduates, and office workers) wore a watch-type computer device equipped with EMA software for recording the momentary symptoms experienced by the subjects. Locomotor activity data were also continuously obtained by using an actigraph built into the device. Multilevel modeling analysis confirmed convergent associations by showing positive correlations among momentary symptoms. The increased intermittency of locomotor activity, characterized by a combination of reduced activity with occasional bursts, appeared concurrently with the worsening of depressive mood. Further, this association remained statistically unchanged across groups regardless of group differences in age, lifestyle, and occupation. These results indicate that the temporal variations in the momentary symptoms are not random but reflect the underlying changes in psychophysiological variables in daily life. In addition, our findings on the concurrent changes in depressive mood and locomotor activity may contribute to the continuous estimation of changes in depressive mood and early detection of depressive disorders.
Unemployment is known to have a negative effect on the quality of life (QOL) of individuals. However, the influence of an autotelic personality on QOL and SOC of unemployed individuals remains unclear. Our study compared health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and sense of coherence (SOC) among 3 groups: (i) an autotelic personality group (AP), which tends to “go with the flow,” (ii) an average group (AV), and (iii) a non-autotelic personality group (NAP).
In October 2010, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among 140 job trainees not receiving unemployment benefits in Hiroshima, Japan. We collected 134 completed questionnaires. Autotelic personality was investigated using the Flow Experience Checklist, health-related quality of life was assessed using the Short Form (SF-8) Health Survey, and SOC was measured using the University of Tokyo Health Sociology version of the SOC3 scale (SOC3–UTHS).
The average age of participants was 36.14±11.54 year. Participants were classified into 3 groups based on daily activity values: 4+ for AP (n = 22), 1–3 for AV (n = 82), and 0 for NAP (n = 30). Significant differences were observed in mental component summary (MCS) score and SOC3–UTHS total scores in the ranking order of AP (highest), AV, and NAP.
Our findings indicate a need to develop programs for facilitating AP among unemployed people to enhance mental QOL and SOC.
In order to understand how certain personality traits influence the relation between depression symptoms and craving for alcohol, trait self-consciousness (trait SC) was examined during a withdrawal and detoxification program.
Craving (Obsessive and Compulsive Drinking Scale), depressive state (Beck Depression Inventory) and trait SC (Revised Self-Consciousness Scale) were assessed in alcohol-dependent inpatients (DSM-IV, N = 30) both at the beginning (T1: day 1 or 2) and at the end (T2: day 14 to18) of protracted withdrawal during rehabilitation.
A significant decrease in craving and depressive symptoms was observed from T1 to T2, while SC scores remained stable. At both times, strong positive correlations were observed between craving and depression. Moreover, regression analyses indicated that trait SC significantly moderated the impact of depression on cravings for alcohol.
This study was performed on a relatively small sample size. Administration of medications during detoxification treatment can also be a confounding factor. Finally, craving could have been evaluated through other types of measurements.
During protracted withdrawal, alcohol craving decreased with the same magnitude as depressive mood. Depressive symptoms were related to alcohol craving but only among patients with high trait SC scores. Our results suggest that metacognitive approaches targeting SC could decrease craving and, in turn, prevent future relapses.
Web-based interventions for depression that are supported by coaching have generally produced larger effect-sizes, relative to standalone web-based interventions. This is likely due to the effect of coaching on adherence. We evaluated the efficacy of a manualized telephone coaching intervention (TeleCoach) aimed at improving adherence to a web-based intervention (moodManager), as well as the relationship between adherence and depressive symptom outcomes.
101 patients with MDD, recruited from primary care, were randomized to 12 weeks moodManager+TeleCoach, 12 weeks of self-directed moodManager, or 6 weeks of a waitlist control (WLC). Depressive symptom severity was measured using the PHQ-9.
TeleCoach+moodManager, compared to self-directed moodManager, resulted in significantly greater numbers of login days (p = 0.01), greater time until last use (p = 0.007), greater use of lessons (p = 0.03), greater variety of interactive tools used (p = 0.02), but total instances of tool use did not reach statistical significance. (p = 0.07). TeleCoach+moodManager produced significantly lower PHQ-9 scores relative to WLC at week 6 (p = 0.04), but there were no other significant differences in PHQ-9 scores at weeks 6 or 12 (ps>0.20) across treatment arms. Baseline PHQ-9 scores were no significantly related to adherence to moodManager.
TeleCoach produced significantly greater adherence to moodManager, relative to self-directed moodManager. TeleCoached moodManager produced greater reductions in depressive symptoms relative to WLC, however, there were no statistically significant differences relative to self-directed moodManager. While greater use was associated with better outcomes, most users in both TeleCoach and self-directed moodManager had dropped out of treatment by week 12. Even with telephone coaching, adherence to web-based interventions for depression remains a challenge. Methods of improving coaching models are discussed.
Workers with common mental disorders (CMDs) frequently experience recurrent sickness absence but scientifically evaluated interventions to prevent recurrences are lacking. The objectives of this study are to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of a problem solving intervention aimed at preventing recurrent sickness absence in workers with CMDs compared to care as usual.
An economic evaluation was conducted alongside a cluster-randomised controlled trial with 12 months follow-up. Treatment providers were randomised to either a 2-day training in the SHARP-at work intervention, i.e. a problem solving intervention, or care as usual. Effect outcomes were the incidence of recurrent sickness absence and time to recurrent sickness absence. Self-reported health care utilisation was measured by questionnaires. A cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) from the societal perspective and a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) from the employer’s perspective were conducted.
The CEA showed that the SHARP-at work intervention was more effective but also more expensive than care as usual. The CBA revealed that employer’s occupational health care costs were significantly higher in the intervention group compared to care as usual. Overall, the SHARP-at work intervention showed no economic benefit compared to care as usual.
As implementation of the SHARP-at work intervention might require additional investments, health care policy makers need to decide if these investments are worthwhile considering the results that can be accomplished in reducing recurrent sickness absence.
The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is widely used to screen for anxiety and depression. A large literature is citable in support of its validity, but difficulties are increasingly being identified, such as inexplicably discrepant optimal cutpoints and inconsistent factor-structures. This article examines whether these problems could be due to the construction of the HADS that poses difficulties for translation and cross-cultural use.
Authors’ awareness of difficulties translating the HADS were identified by examining 20% of studies using the HADS, obtained by a systematic literature search in Pubmed and PsycINFO in May 2012. Reports of use of translations and validation studies were recorded for papers from non-English speaking countries. Narrative and systematic reviews were examined for how authors dealt with different translations.
Of 417 papers from non-English speaking countries, only 45% indicated whether a translation was used. Studies validating translations were cited in 54%. Seventeen reviews, incorporating data from diverse translated versions, were examined. Only seven mentioned issues of language and culture, and none indicated insurmountable problems in integrating results from different translations.
Initial decisions concerning item content and response options likely leave the HADS difficult to translate, but we failed to find an acknowledgment of problems in articles involving its translation and cross-cultural use. Investigators’ lack of awareness of these issues can lead to anomalous results and difficulties in interpretation and integration of these results. Reviews tend to overlook these issues and most reviews indiscriminately integrate results from studies performed in different countries. Cross-culturally valid, but literally translated versions of the HADS may not be attainable, and specific cutpoints may not be valid across cultures and language. Claims about rates of anxiety and depression based on integrating cross-cultural data or using the same cutpoint across languages and culture should be subject to critical scrutiny.
To assess sexual risk-taking of female sex workers (FSWs) with emotional partners (boyfriends and husbands), compared to regular and casual clients. Experiences of violence and the degree of relationship control that FSWs have with emotional partners are also described.
Cohort study with quarterly follow-up visit over 12-months.
Four hundred HIV-uninfected FSWs older than 16 years were recruited from their homes and guesthouses in Mombasa, Kenya. A structured questionnaire assessed participant characteristics and study outcomes at each visit, and women received risk-reduction counselling, male and female condoms, and HIV testing.
Four or more unprotected sex acts in the past week were reported by 21.3% of women during sex with emotional partners, compared to 5.8% with regular and 4.8% with casual clients (P<0.001). Total number of unprotected sex acts per week was 5–6-fold higher with emotional partners (603 acts with 259 partners) than with regular or casual clients (125 acts with 456, and 98 acts with 632 clients, respectively; P<0.001). Mostly, perceptions of “trust” underscored unprotected sex with emotional partners. Low control over these relationships, common to many women (36.9%), was linked with higher partner numbers, inconsistent condom use, and being physically forced to have sex by their emotional partners. Half experienced sexual or physical violence in the past year, similarly associated with partner numbers and inconsistent condom use.
High-risk sexual behaviour, low control and frequent violence in relationships with emotional partners heighten FSWs' vulnerability and high HIV risk, requiring targeted interventions that also encompass emotional partners.
Although patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) present positive responses to family therapy, the key features of therapeutic changes still require identification. This study explores the role of conflictual communication and affiliative nonverbal behaviour in therapeutic change in brief strategic family therapy (BSFT) for AN patients.
Ten female AN patients and their parents were included in the sample and took part in a 6-month follow-up of BSFT. The durations of conflictual communication and of affiliative nonverbal behaviour estimated by eye contact were compared between the first and the last sessions of family-based treatment using nonparametric statistical tests.
An increase of the Body Mass Index associated with an increase in the conflictual communication expressed during BSFT sessions were observed. Moreover, affiliative nonverbal behaviour expressed by the father and the patient decrease, after a BSFT follow-up, in conflictual situations only. By contrast, no significant difference was observed in affiliative nonverbal behaviour expressed by the mother.
The present study demonstrates that the impact of the BSFT differs between members of a family: the AN patient and the father have established a new form of emotional functioning with a decrease in emotional involvement. The study of the combination between verbal and nonverbal communication can represent an important step in the understanding of the mechanisms of therapeutic change.
Prisoners are at increased risk of suicide. Investigation of both individual and environmental risk factors may assist in developing suicide prevention policies for prisoners and other high-risk populations. We conducted a matched case-control interview study with 60 male prisoners who had made near-lethal suicide attempts in prison (cases) and 60 male prisoners who had not (controls). We compared levels of depression, hopelessness, self-esteem, impulsivity, aggression, hostility, childhood abuse, life events (including events occurring in prison), social support, and social networks in univariate and multivariate models. A range of psychosocial factors was associated with near-lethal self-harm in prisoners. Compared with controls, cases reported higher levels of depression, hopelessness, impulsivity, and aggression, and lower levels of self-esteem and social support (all p values <0.001). Adverse life events and criminal history factors were also associated with near-lethal self-harm, especially having a prior prison spell and having been bullied in prison, both of which remained significant in multivariate analyses. The findings support a model of suicidal behaviour in prisoners that incorporates imported vulnerability factors, clinical factors, and prison experiences, and underscores their interaction. Strategies to reduce self-harm and suicide in prisoners should include attention to such factors.
Individuals with gender identity disorder (GID), who are commonly referred to as transsexuals (TXs), are afflicted by negative psychosocial stressors. Central to the psychological complex of TXs is the conviction of belonging to the opposite sex. Neuroanatomical and functional brain imaging studies have demonstrated that the GID is associated with brain alterations. In this study, we found that TXs identify, when viewing male-female couples in erotic or non-erotic (“neutral”) interactions, with the couple member of the desired gender in both situations. By means of functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that the TXs, as opposed to controls (CONs), displayed an increased functional connectivity between the ventral tegmental area, which is associated with dimorphic genital representation, and anterior cingulate cortex subregions, which play a key role in social exclusion, conflict monitoring and punishment adjustment. The neural connectivity pattern suggests a brain signature of the psychosocial distress for the gender-sex incongruity of TXs.
High rates of mental disorders have been reported for prison populations worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The present study aimed to establish prevalence rates of mental disorders in Chilean prisoners.
A nationwide random sample of 1008 prisoners was assessed in 7 penal institutions throughout Chile. Twelve-month prevalence rates were established using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and compared to the prevalence rates previously published for the general population.
Prevalence rates were 12.2% (95% CI, 10.2-14.1) for any substance use disorder, 8.3% (6.6-10.0) for anxiety disorders, 8.1% (6.5-9.8) for affective disorders, 5.7% (4.4-7.1) for intermittent explosive disorders, 2.2% (1.4-3.2) for ADHD of the adult, and 0.8% (0.3-1.3) for non-affective psychoses. Significantly higher prevalence rates among prisoners as compared to the general population in Chile were seen for major depression (6.1% vs. 3.7% males, Z=2.58, p<0.05) and illicit drug use (3.3% vs. 0.6% males with drug abuse, Z=2.04, p<0.05; 2.6% vs. 0.1% females with drug abuse, Z=5.36, p<0.001; 3.4% vs. 1.1% males with drug dependence, Z=3.70; p<0.001). Dysthymia (6.5% vs. 15.6%, Z=-2.39, p<0.05), simple (3.3% vs. 11.5%, Z=-3.13, p<0.001) and social phobias (3.9% vs. 9.7%, Z=2.38, p<0.05) were significantly less frequent in the female prison population than in the general population. One-year prevalence rates of alcohol abuse (2.3% vs. 3.9%; Z=-2.04; p<0.05) and dependence (2.7% vs. 8.2%; Z=-5.24; p<0.001) were less prevalent in the male prison population than in the general population.
Service provision for prison populations in Chile should acknowledge high rates of depression and illicit drug use. Overall prevalence rates are lower than reported in other LMICs. Previous research in prison populations in LMICs might have overestimated prevalence rates of mental disorders.
Impaired Theory of Mind (ToM) has been repeatedly reported as a feature of psychotic disorders. ToM is crucial in social interactions and for the development of social behavior. It has been suggested that reasoning about the belief of others, requires inhibition of the self-perspective. We investigated the neural correlates of self-inhibition in nineteen low psychosis prone (PP) and eighteen high PP subjects presenting with subclinical features. High PP subjects have a more than tenfold increased risk of developing a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. Brain activation was measured with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging during a ToM task differentiating between self-perspective inhibition and belief reasoning. Furthermore, to test underlying inhibitory mechanisms, we included a stop-signal task. We predicted worse behavioral performance for high compared to low PP subjects on both tasks. Moreover, based on previous neuroimaging results, different activation patterns were expected in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in high versus low PP subjects in self-perspective inhibition and simple response inhibition. Results showed increased activation in left IFG during self-perspective inhibition, but not during simple response inhibition, for high PP subjects as compared to low PP subjects. High and low PP subjects showed equal behavioral performance. The results suggest that at a neural level, high PP subjects need more resources for inhibiting the self-perspective, but not for simple motor response inhibition, to equal the performance of low PP subjects. This may reflect a compensatory mechanism, which may no longer be available for patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders resulting in ToM impairments.
Depression is a common disorder affecting 10–15% women in the postpartum period. Postpartum depression can disrupt early mother-infant interaction, and constitutes a risk factor for early child development. Recently, attention has been drawn to the hypothesis that a low intake of seafood in pregnancy can be a risk factor for postpartum depression. Seafood is a unique dietary source of the marine omega-3 fatty acids and is a natural part of a healthy balanced diet that is especially important during pregnancy.
In a community based prospective cohort in a municipality in Western Norway, we investigated both nutritional and psychological risk factors for postpartum depression. The source population was all women who were pregnant within the period November 2009 - June 2011. The fatty acid status in red blood cells was assessed in the 28th gestation week and participants were screened for postpartum depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) three months after delivery. The aim of the present study was to investigate if a low omega-3 index in pregnancy is a possible risk factor for postpartum depression.
In a simple regression model, the omega-3 index was associated with the EPDS score in a nonlinear inverse manner with an R square of 19. Thus, the low omega-3 index explained 19% of the variance in the EPDS score. The DPA content, DHA content, omega-3 index, omega-3/omega-6 ratio, total HUFA score, and the omega-3 HUFA score were all inversely correlated with the EPDS score. The EPDS scores of participants in the lowest omega-3 index quartile were significantly different to the three other omega-3 index quartiles.
In this study population, a low omega-3 index in late pregnancy was associated with higher depression score three months postpartum.
Depression is the most frequent reason for receiving disability benefits in North America, and treatment with psychotherapy is often funded by private insurers. No studies have explored the association between the provision of psychotherapy for depression and time to claim closure.
Using administrative data from a Canadian disability insurer, we evaluated the association between the provision of psychotherapy and short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) claim closure by performing Cox proportional hazards regression.
We analyzed 10,508 STD and 10,338 LTD claims for depression. In our adjusted analyses, receipt of psychotherapy was associated with longer time to STD closure (HR [99% CI] = 0.81 [0.68 to 0.97]) and faster LTD claim closure (1.42 [1.33 to 1.52]). In both STD and LTD, older age (0.90 [0.88 to 0.92] and 0.83 [0.80 to 0.85]), per decade), a primary diagnosis of recurrent depression versus non-recurrent major depression (0.78 [0.69 to 0.87] and 0.80 [0.72 to 0.89]), a psychological secondary diagnosis (0.90 [0.84 to 0.97] and 0.66 [0.61 to 0.71]), or a non-psychological secondary diagnosis (0.81 [0.73 to 0.90] and 0.77 [0.71 to 0.83]) versus no secondary diagnosis, and an administrative services only policy ([0.94 [0.88 to 1.00] and 0.87 [0.75 to 0.996]) or refund policy (0.86 [0.80 to 0.92] and 0.73 [0.68 to 0.78]) compared to non-refund policy claims were independently associated with longer time to STD claim closure.
We found, paradoxically, that receipt of psychotherapy was independently associated with longer time to STD claim closure and faster LTD claim closure in patients with depression. We also found multiple factors that were predictive of time to both STD and LTD claim closure. Our study has limitations, and well-designed prospective studies are needed to establish the effect of psychotherapy on disabling depression.
This paper reports day-to-day data for from a one-week intervention phase, part of a 9-weeks randomised parallel study with patient having major depression (data from weekly visits have been reported). Wake therapy (sleep deprivation) has an established antidepressant effect with onset of action within hours. Deterioration on the following night’s sleep is, however, common, and we used daily light therapy and sleep time stabilisation as a preventive measure. In particular, we evaluated the day-to-day acute effect of and tolerance to sleep deprivation and examined predictors of response.
Patients were assessed at psychiatric inpatient wards. In the wake group (n = 36), patients did three wake therapies in combination with light therapy each morning together with sleep time stabilisation. In the exercise group (n = 38), patients did daily exercise. Hamilton subscale scores were primary outcome (not blinded), secondary outcome was self-assessment data from the Preskorn scale and sleep.
Patients in the wake therapy group had an immediate, large, stable, and statistically significant better antidepressant effect than patients in the exercise group with response rates at day5 of 75.0%/25.1% and remission rates of 58.6%/6.0%, respectively. The response and remission rates were diminished at day8 with response rates of 41.9%/10.1% and remission rates of 19.4%/4.7%, respectively. Patients and ward personnel found the method applicable with few side effects. Positive diurnal variation (mood better in the evening) predicted a larger response to wake therapy. In the wake group napping on days after intervention predicted greater deterioration on day8.
The intervention induced an acute antidepressant response without relapse between wake nights but with a diminishing effect after intervention. Development is still needed to secure maintenance of response. Avoiding napping in the days after wake therapy is important.
Clinical trials.gov NCT00149110
Inflammation is thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BP) and metabolic syndrome. Prior studies evaluated the association between metabolic profiles and cytokines only during certain mood states instead of their changes during treatment. We enrolled drug-naïve patients with BP-II and investigated the correlation between changes in mood symptoms and metabolic indices with changes in plasma cytokine levels after 12 weeks of pharmacological treatment. Drug-naïve patients (n = 117) diagnosed with BP-II according to DSM-IV criteria were recruited. Metabolic profiles (cholesterol, triglyceride, HbA1C, fasting serum glucose, body mass index (BMI) and plasma cytokines (TNF-α, CRP, IL-6, and TGF-β) were measured at baseline and 2, 8, and 12 weeks post-treatment. To adjust within-subject dependence over repeated assessments, multiple linear regressions with generalized estimating equation methods were used. Seventy-six (65.0%) patients completed the intervention. Changes in plasma CRP were significantly associated with changes in BMI (P = 1.7E-7) and triglyceride (P = 0.005) levels. Changes in plasma TGF-β1 were significantly associated with changes in BMI (P = 8.2E-6), cholesterol (P = 0.004), and triglyceride (P = 0.006) levels. However, changes in plasma TNF-α and IL-6 were not associated with changes in any of the metabolic indices. Changes in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores were significantly associated with changes in IL-6 (P = 0.003) levels; changes in Young Mania Rating Scale scores were significantly associated with changes in CRP (P = 0.006) and TNF-α (P = 0.039) levels. Plasma CRP and TGF-β1 levels were positively correlated with several metabolic indices in BP-II after 12 weeks of pharmacological intervention. We also hypothesize that clinical symptoms are correlated with certain cytokines. These new findings might be important evidence that inflammation is the pathophysiology of clinical symptoms and metabolic disturbance in BP-II.
Excess mortality from diseases and medical conditions (natural death) in persons with psychiatric disorders has been extensively reported. Even in the Nordic countries with well-developed welfare systems, register based studies find evidence of an excess mortality. In recent years, cardiac mortality and death by diseases of the circulatory system has seen a decline in all the Nordic countries, but a recent paper indicates that women and men in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, who had been hospitalised for a psychotic disorder, had a two to three-fold increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to compare the mortality by diseases of the circulatory system among patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in the three Nordic countries Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Furthermore, the aim was to examine and compare life expectancy among these patients. Cause specific Standardized Mortality Rates (SMRs) were calculated for each specific subgroup of mortality. Life expectancy was calculated using Wiesler’s method.
The SMR for bipolar disorder for diseases of the circulatory system was approximately 2 in all countries and both sexes. SMR was slightly higher for people with schizophrenia for both genders and in all countries, except for men in Denmark. Overall life expectancy was much lower among persons with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, with life expectancy being from 11 to 20 years shorter.
Our data show that persons in the Nordic countries with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder have a substantially reduced life expectancy. An evaluation of the reasons for these increased mortality rates should be prioritized when planning healthcare in the coming years.
Many children can be exposed to multiple adversities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) placing them at potential risk of psychological problems. However, there is a paucity of research using large representative cohorts examining the psychological adjustment of children in school settings in these countries. Children’s psychological adjustment has been shown to affect educational progress which is critical for their future. This study, based in a rural, socio-economically disadvantaged area of South Africa, aimed to examine the prevalence of children’s psychological problems as well as possible risk and protective factors.
Rates of psychological problems in 10–12 year olds were examined using teacher- and child-report questionnaires. Data on children from 10 rural primary schools, selected by stratified random sampling, were linked to individual and household data from the Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance system collected from households over 15 years.
A total of 1,025 children were assessed. Teachers identified high levels of behavioural and emotional problems (41%). Children reported lower, but substantial rates of anxiety/depression (14%), and significant post-traumatic stress symptoms (24%); almost a quarter felt unsafe in school. Risk factors included being a second-generation former refugee and being from a large household. Protective factors highlight the importance of maternal factors, such as being more educated and in a stable partnership.
The high levels of psychological problems identified by teachers are a serious public health concern, as they are likely to impact negatively on children’s education, particularly given the large class sizes and limited resources in rural LMIC settings. Despite the high levels of risk, a proportion of children were managing well and research to understand resilience could inform interventions.
The use of Khat leaves (Catha edulis) in Jazan, southwest of KSA, is prevalent among all segments of the population.
This study was conducted to assess the prevalence and predictors of Khat chewing among intermediate and secondary school students of Jazan region.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in late 2011 in Jazan region. A random sample of 3923 students was selected from 72 intermediate and upper secondary schools representing the different educational sectors of the region. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics, a chi-squared test and logistic regression were performed to examine the prevalence, associations and predictors of Khat chewing.
The overall Khat chewing prevalence among students was 20.5% (95% C.I.: 19.27–21.79). The prevalence was significantly higher among males, at 33.1% (95% CI: 31.16–35.08), than among females 4.3% (95% C.I.: 3.39–5.31) (P<0.001). Univariate analysis revealed that gender, age, academic performance, friends’ smoking and Khat chewing, and students’ smoking status were associated with a significantly high risk of Khat chewing (P<0.001 for all). The multivariate logistic regression analysis suggested that the most important independent predictors of Khat chewing among the students in our sample were students’ smoking status (OR = 13.02, P<0.001), friends’ use of Khat (OR = 5.65, P<0.001), gender (OR = 4.62, P<0.001), and friend’s use of tobacco (OR = 1.43, P<0.001).
A significant percentage of students chew Khat. The abuse of Khat is significantly associated with gender, peer influence, and cigarette smoking. Intervention programs are needed to create awareness among school students and to reduce the prevalence of the habit and its unfavorable consequences.
About 50% of patients in substance abuse treatment with a partner perpetrated and/or experienced intimate partner violence in the past year. To date, there are no screeners to identify both perpetrators and victims of partner intimate violence in a substance abusing population. We developed a 4 item screening instrument for this purpose, the Jellinek Inventory for assessing Partner Violence (J-IPV). Important strengths of the J-IPV are that it takes only 2 minutes to administer and is easy to use and to score.
To investigate the validity of the J-IPV, two independent studies were conducted including 98 and 99 participants, respectively. Aim of the second study was to cross-validate findings from the first study. Psychometric properties of the J-IPV were determined by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value, and positive and negative likelihood ratio’s by comparing J-IPV outcomes to outcomes on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (‘gold standard’). Also, receiver operator characteristics (ROC)-curves were determined to weight sensitivity and specificity as a result of different J-IPV cutoffs, and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated.
Results of the first study demonstrated that the J-IPV possesses good psychometric properties to detect perpetrators and victims of any as well as severe intimate partner violence. Results from the second study replicated findings from the first study.
We recommend administering the J-IPV to patients entering substance abuse treatment. If perpetrators and victims of partner violence are identified, action can be taken to stop IPV perpetration and arrange help for victims, for example by offering perpetrators treatment or by providing safety planning or advocacy interventions to victims.
The First Episode Social Functioning Scale (FESFS) was designed to measure social functioning of young individuals with schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to validate a Chinese version of the FESFS in a sample of young Chinese adults.
The FESFS was translated to Chinese prior to being administered to 1576 college students. The factor structure, reliability, and validity of the scale were examined.
Two items were deleted after item analysis and the internal consistency of the whole scale was .89. A six-factor structure was derived by exploratory factor analysis. The factors were interpersonal, family and friends, school, living skills, intimacy, and balance. Estimates of the structural equation model supported this structure, with Goodness of Fit Chi-Square χ2 = 1097.53 (p<0.0001), the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.058, and the comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.93. Scale validity was supported by significant correlations between social functioning factors scores and schizophrenia personality questionnaire (SPQ) scores. Individuals with schizotypal personality features presented poorer social functioning than those without schizotypal personality features.
The Chinese revised version of the FESFS was found to have good psychometric properties and could be used in the future to examine social functioning in Chinese college students.