Publications by authors named "G Bragi Walters"

550 Publications

Social and psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on middle-school students: Attendance options and changes over time.

Sch Psychol 2021 Aug 16. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Department of Criminal Justice.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic affected the social and psychological well-being of early adolescent schoolchildren. Participants were 309 youth (51% female, average age = 12.38 years) enrolled in the sixth, seventh, or eighth grades of a single middle school located in northeastern Pennsylvania, a state that took a moderately proactive approach to the pandemic. Employing a cross-sectional design, students in three instructional conditions (100% in-person, hybrid, 100% online) were compared on nine outcome measures (perceived parental support, perceived parental knowledge, peer deviance, neutralization, cognitive impulsivity, depression, delinquency, bullying victimization, and bullying perpetration). There were no significant between-groups differences, although there was a borderline significant effect for depression (100% online > 100% in-person, = .06). A second set of analyses employed a longitudinal design and compared 174 children who completed the test battery in November 2019, 3 months before the start of the pandemic, and then again in November 2020, 9 months after the start of the pandemic. Three out of nine outcomes displayed significant change: A small reduction in parental support and modest increments in neutralization beliefs and cognitive impulsivity. Although there were no statistically significant differences between the three instructional conditions and only a handful of relatively small and predictable longitudinal changes between November 2019 and November 2020, there were a fair number of individual students who experienced moderate (≥ 50%) increases in depression (17.6%), cognitive impulsivity (15.8%), and bullying victimization (11.7%). (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000438DOI Listing
August 2021

Occupational causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis: a systematic review and compendium.

Occup Med (Lond) 2021 Aug 9. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B152TT, UK.

Background: Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is caused by a variety of antigens and low-molecular-weight chemicals, often through occupational exposure. Making a diagnosis of HP and identifying a cause are challenging. Cryptogenic cases are frequently reported, and missing or incomplete exposure histories can cause misclassification.

Aims: To provide an evidence-based compendium of sources of exposure and causes of HP for the clinician, through systematic review of medical literature.

Methods: Articles related to HP causative agents and occupational exposure were searched from the databases OVID Medline (1946 to October 2020) and EMBASE (1974 to October 2020). Abstracts and full texts of articles were screened by two reviewers. Data on causative antigens, occupational source of exposure and any associated eponymous name were extracted and grouped according to source of exposure.

Results: A total of 1790 articles were identified, from which 305 articles met the inclusion criteria. An additional 22 articles were identified from citation lists of the selected review articles. Sources of exposure identified for HP were sorted into 14 categories of work (agricultural, plant matter processing, wood, animal-related, foodstuff, food processing, metal processing, polymers, other manufacturing, chemicals, aerosolized water, service, waste and sewage and wind instruments).

Conclusions: This work is a comprehensive list of occupational causative agents and exposures causing HP. Cases are grouped by source of exposure, allowing an immediately accessible compendium of causes for use during occupational exposure assessment, which could also form the basis for a clinical questionnaire.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqab082DOI Listing
August 2021

Barriers to identifying occupational asthma among primary healthcare professionals: a qualitative study.

BMJ Open Respir Res 2021 Aug;8(1)

Centre for Workplace Health, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

Introduction: Occupational asthma (OA) accounts for one in six cases of adult-onset asthma and is associated with a large societal cost. Many cases of OA are missed or delayed, leading to ongoing exposure to the causative agent and avoidable lung function loss and poor employment-related outcomes. Enquiry about work-related symptoms and the nature of work by healthcare professionals (HCPs) is limited, evident in primary and secondary care. Potential reasons cited for this are time pressure, lack of expertise and poor access to specialists.

Aim: To understand organisational factors and beliefs and behaviours among primary HCPs that may present barriers to identifying OA.

Methods: We employed a qualitative phenomenological methodology and undertook 20-45 min interviews with primary HCPs in West Midlands, UK. We used purposive and snowball sampling to include general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses with a range of experience, from urban and rural settings. Interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed professionally for analysis. Data were coded by hand, and thematic analysis was undertaken and determined theoretically until themes were saturated.

Results: Eleven HCPs participated (eight GPs, three nurses). Four themes were identified that were considered to impact on identification of OA: (1) training and experience, (2) perceptions and beliefs, (3) systems constraints, and (4) variation in individual practice. OA-specific education had been inadequate at every stage of training and practice, and clinical exposure to OA had been generally limited. OA-specific beliefs varied, as did clinical behaviour with working-age individuals with asthma. There was a focus on diagnosis and treatment rather than attributing causation. Identified issues regarding organisation of asthma care were time constraints, lack of continuity, referral pressure, use of guidelines and templates, and external targets.

Conclusion: Organisation and delivery of primary asthma care, negative OA-related beliefs, lack of formal education, and exposure to OA may all currently inhibit its identification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2021-000938DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351481PMC
August 2021

Landscape ecology reaching out.

Landsc Ecol 2021 Jul 26:1-10. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-021-01301-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310730PMC
July 2021

Increased burden of rare variants in genes of the endosomal Toll-like receptor pathway in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Lupus 2021 Jul 16:9612033211033979. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Objective: To compare the frequency of rare variants in genes of the pathophysiologically relevant endosomal Toll-like receptor (eTLR) pathway and any quantifiable differences in variant rarity, predicted deleteriousness, or molecular proximity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthy controls.

Patients And Methods: 65 genes associated with the eTLR pathway were identified by literature search and pathway analysis. Using next generation sequencing techniques, these were compared in two randomised cohorts of patients with SLE (n = 114 and n = 113) with 197 healthy controls. Genetically determined ethnicity was used to normalise minor allele frequencies (MAF) for the identified genetic variants and these were then compared by their frequency: rare (MAF < 0.005), uncommon (MAF 0.005-0.02), and common (MAF >0.02). This was compared to the results for 65 randomly selected genes.

Results: Patients with SLE are more likely to carry a rare nonsynonymous variant affecting proteins within the eTLR pathway than healthy controls. Furthermore, individuals with SLE are more likely to have multiple rare variants in this pathway. There were no differences in rarity, Combined Annotation Dependent Depletion (CADD) score, or molecular proximity for rare eTLR pathway variants.

Conclusions: Rare non-synonymous variants are enriched in patients with SLE in the eTLR pathway. This supports the hypothesis that SLE arises from several rare variants of relatively large effect rather than many common variants of small effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09612033211033979DOI Listing
July 2021
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