ResearchPad - anxiety https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Trust as a mediator in the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and IL-6 level in adulthood]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14728 Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been shown to predict the coupling of depression and inflammation in adulthood. Trust within intimate relationships, a core element in marital relations, has been shown to predict positive physical and mental health outcomes, but the mediating role of trust in partners in the association between CSA and inflammation in adulthood requires further study. The present study aimed to examine the impact of CSA on inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6 and IL-1β) in adults with depression and the mediating role of trust. A cross-sectional survey data set of adults presenting with mood and sleep disturbance was used in the analysis. CSA demonstrated a significant negative correlation with IL-6 level (r = -0.28, p<0. 01) in adults with clinically significant depression, while trust showed a significant positive correlation with IL-6 level (r = 0.36, p < .01). Sobel test and bootstrapping revealed a significant mediating role for trust between CSA and IL-6 level. CSA and trust in partners were revealed to have significant associations with IL-6 level in adulthood. Counterintuitively, the directions of association were not those expected. Trust played a mediating role between CSA and adulthood levels of IL-6. Plausible explanations for these counterintuitive findings are discussed.

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<![CDATA[National and regional prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14691 Repeated and prolonged exposure to violence, armed conflict, and mass-casualty events, combined with a lack of access to mental health treatment, may result in a substantial effect on the population burden of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).While many studies of PTSD have been conducted in SSA, most of these studies derived their estimates from nonrepresentative samples or specific populations.Population-representative epidemiologic data are critical to understand the burden of PTSD in SSA and develop national and regional policies to address that burden.What did the researchers do and find?We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of PTSD from representative national and regional studies in SSA.Pooled prevalence estimates were calculated across all studies, and then within subgroups including by sex, assessment time frame (i.e., 1 week, 1 month, 1 year), use of a screening or diagnostic measure, and whether populations were affected or not affected by mass-casualty war or armed conflict.We identified 25 unique studies (N = 58,887) across 10 of the 48 SSA countries.The pooled prevalence of probable PTSD across all studies was 22% (95% CI 13%–32%).The pooled prevalence of probable PTSD in participants from war-exposed regions was 30% (95% CI 20%–40%), while the estimate from war-unexposed regions was 8% (95% CI 3%–15%; p = 0.01).What do these findings mean?These data suggest that PTSD symptoms and probable PTSD are common in SSA.However, information was only found on 10 of the 48 SSA countries, and only 6 studies provided national-level data.Only one study used a measure of PTSD symptoms whose reliability and validity had been assessed previously in the population of interest.Our results suggest both that PTSD is a major public health problem in SSA and that large gaps in our knowledge of this problem remain. ]]> <![CDATA[The psychological distress and coping styles in the early stages of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic in the general mainland Chinese population: A web-based survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14631 As the epidemic outbreak of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), general population may experience psychological distress. Evidence has suggested that negative coping styles may be related to subsequent mental illness. Therefore, we investigate the general population’s psychological distress and coping styles in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. A cross-sectional battery of surveys was conducted from February 1–4, 2020. The Kessler 6 psychological distress scale, the simplified coping style questionnaire and a general information questionnaire were administered on-line to a convenience sample of 1599 in China. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify the influence factors of psychological distress. General population’s psychological distress were significant differences based on age, marriage, epidemic contact characteristics, concern with media reports, and perceived impacts of the epidemic outbreak (all p <0.001) except gender (p = 0.316). The population with younger age (F = 102.04), unmarried (t = 15.28), with history of visiting Wuhan in the past month (t = -40.86), with history of epidemics occurring in the community (t = -10.25), more concern with media reports (F = 21.84), perceived more impacts of the epidemic outbreak (changes over living situations, F = 331.71; emotional control, F = 1863.07; epidemic-related dreams, F = 1642.78) and negative coping style (t = 37.41) had higher level of psychological distress. Multivariate analysis found that marriage, epidemic contact characteristics, perceived impacts of the epidemic and coping style were the influence factors of psychological distress (all p <0.001). Epidemic of COVID-19 caused high level of psychological distress. The general mainland Chinese population with unmarried, history of visiting Wuhan in the past month, perceived more impacts of the epidemic and negative coping style had higher level of psychological distress in the early stages of COVID-19 epidemic. Psychological interventions should be implemented early, especially for those general population with such characteristics.

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<![CDATA[Psychological symptoms and quality of life after repeated exposure to earthquake: A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13809 In 2005, a random sample of 200 people were assessed in Camerino, Italy, eight years after an earthquake. Psychological symptom levels were low and only one person had current Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2016 a new earthquake occurred in Camerino. The study aims to assess the impact of the second exposure in the same cohort. A longitudinal study was conducted, 130 participants were re-interviewed between July and December 2017. Psychological symptoms were self-rated on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Global Severity Index (GSI) was analysed. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were self-rated on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Subjective quality of life (SQOL) was assessed on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). Mean scores of GSI and IES-R were significantly higher than in 2005 (p<0.01 and p<0.001), whilst SQOL remained almost unchanged (p = 0.163). In 2017, 16.9% of the sample had reached the PTSD threshold whilst in 2005 only the 0.5% had reached it. Despite low symptom levels several years after an earthquake, people can show psychological distress after a new exposure, whilst average quality of life levels are not affected.

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<![CDATA[Operational method of reliability and content-validity analysis: Taking “trait-symptoms” screening of individuals at high-risk for OCD as an example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13806 A well-designed self-reported scale is highly applicable to current clinical and research practices. However, the problems with the scale method, such as quantitative analysis of content validity and test-retest reliability analysis of state-like variables are yet to be resolved. The main purpose of this paper is to propose an operational method for solving these problems. Additionally, it aims to enhance understanding of the research paradigm for the scale method (excluding criterion-related validity). This paper used a study that involved screening of high-risk groups for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), conducted 5 rounds of tests, and developed scales, reliability, and validity analysis (using sample sizes of 496, 610, 600, 600 and 990). The operational method we propose is practical, feasible, and can be used to develop and validate a scale.

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<![CDATA[Life within a limited radius: Investigating activity space in women with a history of child abuse using global positioning system tracking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7709 Early experiences of childhood sexual or physical abuse are often associated with functional impairments, reduced well-being and interpersonal problems in adulthood. Prior studies have addressed whether the traumatic experience itself or adult psychopathology is linked to these limitations. To approach this question, individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healthy individuals with and without a history of child abuse were investigated. We used global positioning system (GPS) tracking to study temporal and spatial limitations in the participants’ real-life activity space over the course of one week. The sample consisted of 228 female participants: 150 women with PTSD and emotional instability with a history of child abuse, 35 mentally healthy women with a history of child abuse (healthy trauma controls, HTC) and 43 mentally healthy women without any traumatic experiences in their past (healthy controls, HC). Both traumatized groups—i.e. the PTSD and the HTC group—had smaller movement radii than the HC group on the weekends, but neither spent significantly less time away from home than HC. Some differences between PTSD and HC in movement radius seem to be related to correlates of PTSD psychopathology, like depression and physical health. Yet group differences between HTC and HC in movement radius remained even when contextual and individual health variables were included in the model, indicating specific effects of traumatic experiences on activity space. Experiences of child abuse could limit activity space later in life, regardless of whether PTSD develops.

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<![CDATA[Misophonia: Phenomenology, comorbidity and demographics in a large sample]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4224db8b-e824-4eb2-b1dc-d3c3ccfee32c

Objective

Analyze a large sample with detailed clinical data of misophonia subjects in order to determine the psychiatric, somatic and psychological nature of the condition.

Methods

This observational study of 779 subjects with suspected misophonia was conducted from January 2013 to May 2017 at the outpatient-clinic of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, the Netherlands. We examined DSM-IV diagnoses, results of somatic examination (general screening and hearing tests), and 17 psychological questionnaires (e.g., SCL-90-R, WHOQoL).

Results

The diagnosis of misophonia was confirmed in 575 of 779 referred subjects (74%). In the sample of misophonia subjects (mean age, 34.17 [SD = 12.22] years; 399 women [69%]), 148 (26%) subjects had comorbid traits of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, 58 (10%) mood disorders, 31 (5%) attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, and 14 (3%) autism spectrum conditions. Two percent reported tinnitus and 1% hyperacusis. In a random subgroup of 109 subjects we performed audiometry, and found unilateral hearing loss in 3 of them (3%). Clinical neurological examination and additional blood test showed no abnormalities. Psychological tests revealed perfectionism (97% CPQ>25) and neuroticism (stanine 7 NEO-PI-R). Quality of life was heavily impaired and associated with misophonia severity (rs (184) = -.34 p = < .001, p = < .001).

Limitations

This was a single site study, leading to possible selection–and confirmation bias, since AMC-criteria were used.

Conclusions

This study with 575 subjects is the largest misophonia sample ever described. Based on these results we propose a set of revised criteria useful to diagnose misophonia as a psychiatric disorder.

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<![CDATA[Basic self-disturbances are associated with Sense of Coherence in patients with psychotic disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N649319e6-6856-4764-b128-93f725942825

Background

The Sense of Coherence (SOC) theory gives a possible explanation of how people can experience subjective good health despite severe illness. Basic self-disturbances (BSDs) are subtle non-psychotic disturbances that may destabilize the person’s sense of self, identity, corporeality, and the overall ‘grip’ of the world.

Aim

Our objective was to investigate associations between BSDs and SOC in patients with psychotic disorders.

Design

This is a cross-sectional study of 56 patients diagnosed with psychotic disorders inside and outside the schizophrenia spectrum (35 schizophrenia, 13 bipolar, and eight other psychoses). SOC was measured using Antonovsky’s 13-item SOC questionnaire, and BSDs were assessed using the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE) manual. Diagnosis, symptoms, and social and occupational performance were assessed using standardized clinical instruments.

Results

We found a statistically significant correlation (r = ) between high levels of BSDs and low levels of SOC (r = -0.64/p<0.001). This association was not influenced by diagnostics, clinical symptoms or level of functioning in follow-up multivariate analyses.

Conclusion

A statistically significant association between BSDs and SOC indicates that the presence and level of self-disturbances may influence the person's ability to experience life as comprehensive, manageable and meaningful. However, the cross-sectional nature of the study precludes conclusions regarding the direction of this association.

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<![CDATA[Risk and protective factors for post-traumatic stress among New Zealand military personnel: A cross sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88434cd0-9137-4283-905a-485946610b9a

Background

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) is prevalent among military personnel. Knowledge of the risk and protective factors associated with PTS in this population may assist with identifying personnel who would benefit from increased or targeted support.

Aims

To examine factors associated with PTS among New Zealand military personnel.

Methods

For this cross-sectional study, currently serving and retired military personnel were invited to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire included a measure of PTS (the Military Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist; PCL-M), where scores ≥30 indicate the experience of significant PTS symptoms and scores ≥45 indicate a presumptive clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress. Potential risk and protective factors associated with PTS were examined using logistic regression modelling.

Results

1817 military personnel completed the questionnaire. PCL-M scores were ≥30 for 549 (30%) participants and ≥45 for 179 (10%) participants. Factors associated with higher PCL-M scores were trauma exposure, older age, male sex, and Māori ethnicity. Factors associated with lower PCL-M scores were greater length of service, psychological flexibility, and better quality sleep.

Conclusions

PTS was found to be prevalent among New Zealand military personnel. The experience of trauma was strongly associated with PTS. However, factors such as psychological flexibility (the ability to adapt to changes in circumstances) and good sleep were protective, suggesting that these factors could be key targets for interventions designed to reduce PTS among military personnel in New Zealand.

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<![CDATA[Psychometric characteristics and factorial structures of the Defensive Pessimism Questionnaire—Spanish Version (DPQ-SV)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb6dcc03f-c5ae-4fce-8b03-b30a02ab227b

The aim of this study was to validate the Spanish version of the Defensive Pessimism Questionnaire. A sample of undergraduate students (N = 539) was measured on defensive pessimism using the Defensive Pessimism Questionnaire (DPQ), optimism and pessimism using the Life Orientation Test (LOT), positive and negative affect using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and anxiety using the trait subscale of the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory. A Spanish version of the DPQ (DPQ-SV) is presented. Exploratory and Robust Confirmatory Factor Analysis had a bi-dimensional structure (Reflectivity and Negative Expectation). Omega coefficient showed a high internal consistency and the temporal stability was high in each dimension. Both DPQ-SV subscales (Negative Expectation and Reflectivity) showed adequate convergence with LOT-optimism and LOT-pessimism. Reflectivity showed adequate criterion validity with trait-anxiety and negative affect, but inadequate criterion validity with positive affect. Negative Expectation showed excellent criterion validity with trait-anxiety and negative affect and good criterion validity with positive affect. Finally, mediation analysis showed that Negative Expectation had a significant indirect mediating effect between trait-anxiety and negative affect. Reflectivity had a significant indirect mediating effect between trait-anxiety and negative and positive affect. Analysis of the psychometric properties of the DPQ-SV subscale scores showed that it is a two factor adequate measurement tool for its use in this type of samples.

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<![CDATA[Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb7fad802-34c4-4007-a6dc-8e780c86cbf8

Huge citizens expose to social media during a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, China. We assess the prevalence of mental health problems and examine their association with social media exposure. A cross-sectional study among Chinese citizens aged≥18 years old was conducted during Jan 31 to Feb 2, 2020. Online survey was used to do rapid assessment. Total of 4872 participants from 31 provinces and autonomous regions were involved in the current study. Besides demographics and social media exposure (SME), depression was assessed by The Chinese version of WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and anxiety was assessed by Chinese version of generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7). multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify associations between social media exposure with mental health problems after controlling for covariates. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and combination of depression and anxiety (CDA) was 48.3% (95%CI: 46.9%-49.7%), 22.6% (95%CI: 21.4%-23.8%) and 19.4% (95%CI: 18.3%-20.6%) during COVID-19 outbroke in Wuhan, China. More than 80% (95%CI:80.9%-83.1%) of participants reported frequently exposed to social media. After controlling for covariates, frequently SME was positively associated with high odds of anxiety (OR = 1.72, 95%CI: 1.31–2.26) and CDA (OR = 1.91, 95%CI: 1.52–2.41) compared with less SME. Our findings show there are high prevalence of mental health problems, which positively associated with frequently SME during the COVID-19 outbreak. These findings implicated the government need pay more attention to mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety among general population and combating with “infodemic” while combating during public health emergency.

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<![CDATA[INTRA-INDIVIDUAL PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOM VARIABILITY AND STRESS INFLUENCE ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nec8bf4bd-cff2-48fc-8daa-39bd10e35489

Abstract

Stress and symptomatology have been shown to have strong relationships to health outcomes in older adults. More specifically, perceived social stressors (PSS), whether related to disease, disability or demographics, is a contributor to health. Recently it was reported that intra-individual symptom variability (ISV) may predict poor health outcomes better than symptom severity in some chronic illnesses. Individual and combined influences of ISV and PSS on health behaviors are not fully described. Using a subset (n = 518, 46.5% men; mean age = 48.7) of MIDUS Refresher participants’ 8 day daily diary data, we sought to determine the influences of physical and psychological ISV and PSS on independent and basic activities of daily living (iADLs, bADLs). The ISVs represent an average of day-to-day variation across each of the 22 physical and 27 psychological symptoms for each participant. Psychological ISV, physical ISV, PSS, and total number of chronic conditions were entered into two structural equation models as predictors for each ADL outcome (p<.01). The models depicted both direct and indirect influences of psychological ISV on ADLs (iADLs: B=-.43, P < .001; B = .51, P < .001 [through PSS]; bADLs: B=-.45, P < .001; B = .51, P < .001 [through PSS]). However, the influence of physical ISV on ADLs was indirect (B = .22, P = .001 [through PSS]). Individual-level influences of ISV and PSS on ADLs may better aide healthcare providers’ identifying and intervening to disrupt poor health outcomes for those at risk.

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<![CDATA[A comparison study of anxiety in children undergoing brain MRI vs adults undergoing brain MRI vs children undergoing an electroencephalogram]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9902cbd5eed0c484b985cc

Background

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain in children and adolescents is a well-established method in both clinical practice and in neuroscientific research. This practice is sometimes viewed critically, as MRI scans might expose minors (e.g. through scan-associated fears) to more than the legally permissible “minimal burden”. While there is evidence that a significant portion of adults undergoing brain MRI scans experience anxiety, data on anxiety in children and adolescents undergoing brain MRI scans is rare. This study therefore aimed to examine the prevalence and level of anxiety in children and adolescents who had MRI scans of the brain, and to compare the results to adults undergoing brain MRI scans, and to children and adolescents undergoing electroencephalography (EEG; which is usually regarded a “minimal burden”).

Method

Participants were 57 children and adolescents who had a brain MRI scan (MRI-C; mean age 12.9 years), 28 adults who had a brain MRI scan (MRI-A; mean age 43.7 years), and 66 children and adolescents undergoing EEG (EEG-C; mean age 12.9 years). Anxiety was assessed on the subjective (situational anxiety) and on the physiological level (arousal), before and after the respective examination.

Results

More than 98% of children and adolescents reported no or only minimal fear during the MRI scan. Both pre- and post-examination, the MRI-C and the MRI-A groups did not differ significantly with respect to situational anxiety (p = 0.262 and p = 0.374, respectively), and to physiological arousal (p = 0.050, p = 0.472). Between the MRI-C and the EEG-C group, there were also no significant differences in terms of situational anxiety (p = 0.525, p = 0.875), or physiological arousal (p = 0.535, p = 0.189). Prior MRI experience did not significantly influence subjective or physiological anxiety parameters.

Conclusions

In this study, children and adolescents undergoing a brain MRI scan did not experience significantly more anxiety than those undergoing an EEG, or adults undergoing MRI scanning. Therefore, a general exclusion of minors from MRI research studies does not appear reasonable.

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<![CDATA[An experimental examination of cognitive processes and response inhibition in patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977a6d5eed0c4847d3276

There is an ongoing debate about whether buying-shopping disorder (BSD) should be acknowledged as a behavioral addiction. The current study investigated if mechanisms that play a prominent role in disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors are relevant in BSD, particularly cue reactivity, craving, cognitive bias and reduced inhibitory control regarding addiction-relevant cues. The study included 39 treatment-seeking patients with BSD and 39 healthy control (HC) participants (29 women and 10 men in each group). Subjective responses toward buying/shopping-relevant visual cues were compared in patients vs. control participants. Experimental paradigms with neutral and semi-individualized buying/shopping-related pictures were administered to assess attentional bias, implicit associations and response inhibition with respect to different visual cues: Dot-probe paradigm (DPP), Implicit Association Task (IAT), Go/nogo-task (GNG). The severity of BSD, craving for buying/shopping, and symptoms of comorbid mental disorders (anxiety, depressive and hoarding disorders) were measured using standardized questionnaires. The BSD-group showed more general craving for buying/shopping, stronger subjective craving reactions towards buying/shopping-related visual cues, and more symptoms of anxiety, depression and hoarding disorder than control participants. Task performance in the DPP, IAT and GNG paradigm did not differ between the two groups. The present findings confirm previous research concerning the crucial role of craving in BSD. The assumption that attentional bias, implicit associations and deficient inhibitory control with respect to buying/shopping-related cues are relevant in BSD could not be proven. Future research should address methodological shortcomings and investigate the impact of acute psychosocial stress and present mood on craving responses, cognitive processing, and response inhibition in patients with BSD.

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<![CDATA[Creative arts in psychotherapy for traumatized children in South Africa: An evaluation study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f8d5eed0c48452a61d

Aim

To evaluate the feasibility and effect of a 10-session creative arts in psychotherapy group programme on posttraumatic stress symptoms, behavioural problems, and posttraumatic growth, in children who experienced a traumatic event.

Design

A multicentre non-randomized controlled trial with a treatment and a control condition conducted in South Africa (4 sites).

Methods

125 children aged 7 to 13 years were assigned either to the treatment condition receiving creative arts in psychotherapy or a control condition with a low-level supportive programme without treatment. Attrition rates were 63.4% and in total 47 children completed the programme and questionnaires assessing posttraumatic stress, posttraumatic growth and behaviour problems both at baseline and follow-up; 23 in the treatment group and 24 in the control group. Adjusted mean differences were analysed using ANCOVA with bootstrapping.

Results

Results showed that both hyperarousal symptoms (d = 0.61) and avoidance symptoms (d = 0.41) decreased more in the treatment group compared to the control group. There was no significant effect of the intervention found for reported levels of behavioural problems and posttraumatic growth.

Conclusion

In spite of severe challenges implementing and executing this pioneering study in underprivileged areas of South Africa, support was found for creative arts in psychotherapy reducing hyperarousal and avoidance symptoms, but not for other symptoms. Valuable lessons were learned on feasibility of implementing this intervention in a developing context.

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<![CDATA[The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT2) for evaluating civilian mild traumatic brain injury. A pilot normative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe2cd5eed0c484e5b651

Self-report measures, particularly symptom inventories, are critical tools for identifying patients with persistent post-concussion symptoms and their follow-up. Unlike in military or sports-related assessment, in general civilian settings pre-injury levels of concussion-like symptoms are lacking. Normative data are available in adolescent and college populations, but no reference data exist to guide clinical adult explorations. The purpose of this study was to use the second edition of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT2) to profile a cohort of 60 healthy community volunteers who had not sustained a head injury. Participating volunteers underwent MRI scanning and were evaluated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Participants reported a median of 3 concussion-like symptoms and the 97.5 percentile score was found at 10.5 symptoms, out of a total of 22. The median severity score was 4.9 points, and 28.9 was the upper limit of the reference interval. Only 10 participants (16.7%) did not endorse any symptom. The most frequently endorsed symptom was feeling difficulty in concentrating, with 41.7% of the sample reporting it. Age, sex and general distress, anxiety and depressive symptoms were not associated with concussion-like symptoms. Our data yielded elevated cut-offs scores for both the number of symptoms and the symptom severity. In conclusion, postconcussive-like symptoms are frequent in the general non-concussed adult population and it should be taken into account in any future models developed for screening patients at risk of developing physical, cognitive, and psychological complaints following mild traumatic injury.

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<![CDATA[Depression and anxiety in patients with different rare chronic diseases: A cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe74d5eed0c484e5bab4

Objective

Empirical evidence on depression and anxiety in patients with rare diseases is scarce but can help improve comprehensive treatment. The objectives of this study were to investigate the frequency of depression and anxiety in this heterogeneous population and to examine aspects associated with increased psychopathology.

Methods

N = 300 patients with 79 different rare diseases (female:80%, age:M = 44.3(12.8), range:16–74 years) participated in a cross-sectional online study. We determined the percentages of patients reporting elevated depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) scores. We calculated two linear regressions with depression and anxiety as outcomes. Predictor variables were diagnosis-related aspects (diagnosis assigned to ICD-10 chapter, visibility of symptoms, time since diagnosis, comorbid diseases), perceived somatic-symptom-severity (PHQ-15), illness-perceptions (consequences, control, identity, concern, understanding and treatment control; B-IPQ-R), coping mechanisms (constructive attitudes, active engagement in life) and social support (heiQ). We controlled for gender, age and depression or anxiety depending on the outcome.

Results

42% of the patients (95%CI [36.41%,47.59%]) reported depression scores indicating moderately or severely elevated symptom levels. Regarding anxiety, this applies to 23% (95%CI [18.54%,28.06%]). Variables significantly associated with depression were higher perceived somatic-symptom-severity (B = 0.41,p < .001), less control (B = .17,p < .05), lower levels of concern (B = -0.32,p < .01) and less constructive attitudes (B = -1.40,p < .001). No diagnosis-related variables were associated with depression. Variables significantly associated with anxiety were diseases of the circulatory system compared to congenital malformations (B = 1.88,p < .05), less consequences (B = -0.32,p < .05) and more concern (B = -0.32,p < .01).

Conclusion

The data reveal first insights into depression and anxiety in patients with different rare diseases. High percentages of patients showed clinically relevant symptom burden. No diagnosis-related differences were found in depression while anxiety seems to be particularly frequent in patients with rare diseases of the circulatory system. Besides perceived somatic symptom severity, cognitive appraisal seems to be linked to depression. Supporting patients in coping with their disease may help reduce psychopathology and therefore improve overall health.

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<![CDATA[Searching for the causal effects of body mass index in over 300 000 participants in UK Biobank, using Mendelian randomization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df305d5eed0c484580b50

Mendelian randomization (MR) has been used to estimate the causal effect of body mass index (BMI) on particular traits thought to be affected by BMI. However, BMI may also be a modifiable, causal risk factor for outcomes where there is no prior reason to suggest that a causal effect exists. We performed a MR phenome-wide association study (MR-pheWAS) to search for the causal effects of BMI in UK Biobank (n = 334 968), using the PHESANT open-source phenome scan tool. A subset of identified associations were followed up with a formal two-stage instrumental variable analysis in UK Biobank, to estimate the causal effect of BMI on these phenotypes. Of the 22 922 tests performed, our MR-pheWAS identified 587 associations below a stringent P value threshold corresponding to a 5% estimated false discovery rate. These included many previously identified causal effects, for instance, an adverse effect of higher BMI on risk of diabetes and hypertension. We also identified several novel effects, including protective effects of higher BMI on a set of psychosocial traits, identified initially in our preliminary MR-pheWAS in circa 115,000 UK Biobank participants and replicated in a different subset of circa 223,000 UK Biobank participants. Our comprehensive MR-pheWAS identified potential causal effects of BMI on a large and diverse set of phenotypes. This included both previously identified causal effects, and novel effects such as a protective effect of higher BMI on feelings of nervousness.

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<![CDATA[A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ccdd5eed0c484c8180c

The phenomenon of ‘microdosing’, that is, regular ingestion of very small quantities of psychedelic substances, has seen a rapid explosion of popularity in recent years. Individuals who microdose report minimal acute effects from these substances yet claim a range of long-term general health and wellbeing benefits. There have been no published empirical studies of microdosing and the current legal and bureaucratic climate makes direct empirical investigation of the effects of psychedelics difficult. In Study One we conducted a systematic, observational investigation of individuals who microdose. We tracked the experiences of 98 microdosing participants, who provided daily ratings of psychological functioning over a six week period. 63 of these additionally completed a battery of psychometric measures tapping mood, attention, wellbeing, mystical experiences, personality, creativity, and sense of agency, at baseline and at completion of the study. Analyses of daily ratings revealed a general increase in reported psychological functioning across all measures on dosing days but limited evidence of residual effects on following days. Analyses of pre and post study measures revealed reductions in reported levels of depression and stress; lower levels of distractibility; increased absorption; and increased neuroticism. To better understand these findings, in Study Two we investigated pre-existing beliefs and expectations about the effects of microdosing in a sample of 263 naïve and experienced microdosers, so as to gauge expectancy bias. All participants believed that microdosing would have large and wide-ranging benefits in contrast to the limited outcomes reported by actual microdosers. Notably, the effects believed most likely to change were unrelated to the observed pattern of reported outcomes. The current results suggest that dose controlled empirical research on the impacts of microdosing on mental health and attentional capabilities are needed.

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<![CDATA[Seeking certainty about Intolerance of Uncertainty: Addressing old and new issues through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b269bd5eed0c484289d6b

Intolerance of Uncertainty is a trans-diagnostic process that spans a range of emotional disorders and it is usually measured through the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12. The current study aims at investigating some issues in the assessment of Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) through the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised, a measure adapted from the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 to assess IU across the lifespan. In particular we address the factor structure among a large community sample, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time, together with reliability and validity of the overall scale and its subscales. The questionnaire was administered to community (N = 761; mean age = 35.86 ± 14.01 years) and undergraduate (N = 163; mean age = 21.16 ± 2.64 years) participants, together with other self-report measures assessing constructs theoretically related to IU. The application of a bifactor model shows that the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised possesses a robust general factor, thus supporting the use of the unit-weighted total score of the questionnaire as a measure of the construct. Furthermore, measurement invariance across gender, age, and over time is supported. Finally, the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised appears to possess adequate reliability and validity. These findings support the unidimensionality of the measure, a conceptually reasonable result in line with the trans-diagnostic nature of Intolerance of Uncertainty. In addition, this study and comparison with published factor structures of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-12 and of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised identify some issues for the internal structure of the measure. In particular, concern is expressed for the Prospective IU subscale. In light of the promising psychometric properties, the use of the Italian Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale-Revised as a univocal measure is encouraged in both research and clinical practice.

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