197 research outputs found

    Managing Mental Health in Small and Micro Businesses

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    In recent decades, the social and economic impact of mental health problems among working age people has risen up the agenda across the western economies. Common mental health problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, are a leading cause of workplace absence and productivity loss. To date, few empirical studies address, directly and in-depth, the first-hand experiences of small and micro employers in managing mental health problems among their staff. The vast majority of research on managing workplace mental health has been conducted within larger organisations with employer guidance arising from this research inevitably shaped around the experiences and needs of larger organisations, whose resources and capacities are likely to differ from small and micro firms. The aim of this research is to begin to address this gap in evidence. Using in-depth qualitative interviews, we explore the lived experiences of managers within small and micro businesses who had first-hand experience of supporting employees through mental health problems

    Perceived barriers to integrated care in rheumatoid arthritis: views of recipients and providers of care in an inner-city setting

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A number of recent reports published in the UK have put the quality of care of adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) centre stage. These documents set high standards for health care professionals and commissioning bodies that need to be implemented into routine clinical practice. We therefore have obtained the views of recipients and providers of care in inner city settings as to what they perceive are the barriers to providing integrated care.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We conducted focus groups and face to face interviews between 2005-8 with 79 participants (patients, carers, specialist medical and nursing outpatient staff and general practitioners (GPs)) working in or attending three hospitals and three primary care trusts (PCT).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Three barriers were identified that stood in the way of seamless integrated care in RA from the perspective of patients, carers, specialists and GPs: (i) early referral (e.g. 'gate keeper's role of GPs); (ii) limitations of ongoing care for established RA (e.g. lack of consultation time in secondary care) and (iii) management of acute flares (e.g. pressure on overbooked clinics).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>This timely study of the multi-perspective views of recipients and providers of care was conducted during the time of publications of many important reports in the United Kingdom (UK) that highlighted key components in the provision of high quality care for adults with RA. To achieve seamless care across primary and secondary care requires organisational changes, greater personal and professional collaboration and GP education about RA.</p

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment: Exploring Fundamental Symmetries of the Universe

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    The preponderance of matter over antimatter in the early Universe, the dynamics of the supernova bursts that produced the heavy elements necessary for life and whether protons eventually decay --- these mysteries at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics are key to understanding the early evolution of our Universe, its current state and its eventual fate. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) represents an extensively developed plan for a world-class experiment dedicated to addressing these questions. LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, high-intensity neutrino source generated from a megawatt-class proton accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a near neutrino detector just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This facility, located at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, is approximately 1,300 km from the neutrino source at Fermilab -- a distance (baseline) that delivers optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass ordering effects. This ambitious yet cost-effective design incorporates scalability and flexibility and can accommodate a variety of upgrades and contributions. With its exceptional combination of experimental configuration, technical capabilities, and potential for transformative discoveries, LBNE promises to be a vital facility for the field of particle physics worldwide, providing physicists from around the globe with opportunities to collaborate in a twenty to thirty year program of exciting science. In this document we provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess.Comment: Major update of previous version. This is the reference document for LBNE science program and current status. Chapters 1, 3, and 9 provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess. 288 pages, 116 figure

    Identification of Pax6-Dependent Gene Regulatory Networks in the Mouse Lens

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    Lineage-specific DNA-binding transcription factors regulate development by activating and repressing particular set of genes required for the acquisition of a specific cell type. Pax6 is a paired domain and homeodomain-containing transcription factor essential for development of central nervous, olfactory and visual systems, as well as endocrine pancreas. Haploinsufficiency of Pax6 results in perturbed lens development and homeostasis. Loss-of-function of Pax6 is incompatible with lens lineage formation and results in abnormal telencephalic development. Using DNA microarrays, we have identified 559 genes expressed differentially between 1-day old mouse Pax6 heterozygous and wild type lenses. Of these, 178 (31.8%) were similarly increased and decreased in Pax6 homozygous embryonic telencephalon [Holm PC, Mader MT, Haubst N, Wizenmann A, Sigvardsson M, Götz M (2007) Loss- and gain-of-function analyses reveals targets of Pax6 in the developing mouse telencephalon. Mol Cell Neurosci 34: 99–119]. In contrast, 381 (68.2%) genes were differently regulated between the lens and embryonic telencephalon. Differential expression of nine genes implicated in lens development and homeostasis: Cspg2, Igfbp5, Mab21l2, Nrf2f, Olfm3, Spag5, Spock1, Spon1 and Tgfb2, was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR, with five of these genes: Cspg2, Mab21l2, Olfm3, Spag5 and Tgfb2, identified as candidate direct Pax6 target genes by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (qChIP). In Mab21l2 and Tgfb2 promoter regions, twelve putative individual Pax6-binding sites were tested by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) with recombinant Pax6 proteins. This led to the identification of two and three sites in the respective Mab21l2 and Tgfb2 promoter regions identified by qChIPs. Collectively, the present studies represent an integrative genome-wide approach to identify downstream networks controlled by Pax6 that control mouse lens and forebrain development

    Reducing the Activity and Secretion of Microbial Antioxidants Enhances the Immunogenicity of BCG

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    BACKGROUND:In early clinical studies, the live tuberculosis vaccine Mycobacterium bovis BCG exhibited 80% protective efficacy against pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Although BCG still exhibits reliable protection against TB meningitis and miliary TB in early childhood it has become less reliable in protecting against pulmonary TB. During decades of in vitro cultivation BCG not only lost some genes due to deletions of regions of the chromosome but also underwent gene duplication and other mutations resulting in increased antioxidant production. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To determine whether microbial antioxidants influence vaccine immunogenicity, we eliminated duplicated alleles encoding the oxidative stress sigma factor SigH in BCG Tice and reduced the activity and secretion of iron co-factored superoxide dismutase. We then used assays of gene expression and flow cytometry with intracellular cytokine staining to compare BCG-specific immune responses in mice after vaccination with BCG Tice or the modified BCG vaccine. Compared to BCG, the modified vaccine induced greater IL-12p40, RANTES, and IL-21 mRNA in the spleens of mice at three days post-immunization, more cytokine-producing CD8+ lymphocytes at the peak of the primary immune response, and more IL-2-producing CD4+ lymphocytes during the memory phase. The modified vaccine also induced stronger secondary CD4+ lymphocyte responses and greater clearance of challenge bacilli. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:We conclude that antioxidants produced by BCG suppress host immune responses. These findings challenge the hypothesis that the failure of extensively cultivated BCG vaccines to prevent pulmonary tuberculosis is due to over-attenuation and suggest instead a new model in which BCG evolved to produce more immunity-suppressing antioxidants. By targeting these antioxidants it may be possible to restore BCG's ability to protect against pulmonary TB

    Significant benefits of AIP testing and clinical screening in familial isolated and young-onset pituitary tumors

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    Context Germline mutations in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) gene are responsible for a subset of familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA) cases and sporadic pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs). Objective To compare prospectively diagnosed AIP mutation-positive (AIPmut) PitNET patients with clinically presenting patients and to compare the clinical characteristics of AIPmut and AIPneg PitNET patients. Design 12-year prospective, observational study. Participants & Setting We studied probands and family members of FIPA kindreds and sporadic patients with disease onset ≤18 years or macroadenomas with onset ≤30 years (n = 1477). This was a collaborative study conducted at referral centers for pituitary diseases. Interventions & Outcome AIP testing and clinical screening for pituitary disease. Comparison of characteristics of prospectively diagnosed (n = 22) vs clinically presenting AIPmut PitNET patients (n = 145), and AIPmut (n = 167) vs AIPneg PitNET patients (n = 1310). Results Prospectively diagnosed AIPmut PitNET patients had smaller lesions with less suprasellar extension or cavernous sinus invasion and required fewer treatments with fewer operations and no radiotherapy compared with clinically presenting cases; there were fewer cases with active disease and hypopituitarism at last follow-up. When comparing AIPmut and AIPneg cases, AIPmut patients were more often males, younger, more often had GH excess, pituitary apoplexy, suprasellar extension, and more patients required multimodal therapy, including radiotherapy. AIPmut patients (n = 136) with GH excess were taller than AIPneg counterparts (n = 650). Conclusions Prospectively diagnosed AIPmut patients show better outcomes than clinically presenting cases, demonstrating the benefits of genetic and clinical screening. AIP-related pituitary disease has a wide spectrum ranging from aggressively growing lesions to stable or indolent disease course

    The psychological science accelerator’s COVID-19 rapid-response dataset

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    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures for each experimental study, a general questionnaire examining health prevention behaviors and COVID-19 experience, geographical and cultural context characterization, and demographic information for each participant. Each participant started the study with the same general questions and then was randomized to complete either one longer experiment or two shorter experiments. Data were provided by 73,223 participants with varying completion rates. Participants completed the survey from 111 geopolitical regions in 44 unique languages/dialects. The anonymized dataset described here is provided in both raw and processed formats to facilitate re-use and further analyses. The dataset offers secondary analytic opportunities to explore coping, framing, and self-determination across a diverse, global sample obtained at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be merged with other time-sampled or geographic data
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