Browsing by Subject "SCALE"

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  • Virta, Leena; Soininen, Janne; Norkko, Alf (2020)
    Aim Global biodiversity loss has raised interest in understanding variation in diversity at different scales. In particular, studies conducted across large spatial gradients are crucial, because they can increase perspectives on how ecological patterns change relative to environmental factors and facilitate predictions of possible responses to environmental change. We explored the full extent of a brackish sea to test the hypotheses that: (a) benthic communities are defined by the limited ranges of species, controlled by varying drivers along a large environmental gradient; (b) the responses of taxonomic and functional community composition and turnover to the environmental gradient are different, thus highlighting the need to include both measures in ecological studies; and (c) diversity reaches the minimum at intermediate salinities (Remane curve) owing to the low adaptation of freshwater and marine species. Location A large environmental and spatial gradient spanning the entire Swedish coastline (c. 2,300 km; salinity 1.2-27.6), the Baltic Sea. Time period August 2018. Major taxa studied Benthic diatoms. Methods We assessed environmental drivers for the communities and calculated the taxonomic and functional alpha and beta diversity along the gradient. We also compared the taxonomic and functional composition and diversity of communities among areas with different salinity. Results We found support for the hypothesis of limited species ranges, because taxonomic beta diversity, mainly induced by changes in salinity and climate, was high, whereas functional beta diversity remained considerably lower, and the composition and diversity of communities, in addition to environmental drivers controlling the communities, differed between regions with different salinity. The lowest taxonomic diversity was found at intermediate salinities of 5-6. Main conclusions These findings advance understanding of large-scale patterns of benthic diversity, emphasize the importance of large gradient studies for a better understanding of general ecological patterns and highlight the vulnerability of brackish water ecosystems as ecologically important tipping-point realms.
  • Mesimäki, Marja Helena; Hauru, Kaisa Matilda; Lehvävirta, Susanna (2019)
    Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof
  • Kärnä, Olli-Matti; Heino, Jani; Laamanen, Tiina; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Pajunen, Virpi; Soininen, Janne; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Tukiainen, Helena; Hjort, Jan (2019)
    Context One approach to maintain the resilience of biotic communities is to protect the variability of abiotic characteristics of Earth's surface, i.e. geodiversity. In terrestrial environments, the relationship between geodiversity and biodiversity is well recognized. In streams, the abiotic properties of upstream catchments influence stream communities, but the relationships between catchment geodiversity and aquatic biodiversity have not been previously tested. Objectives The aim was to compare the effects of local environmental and catchment variables on stream biodiversity. We specifically explored the usefulness of catchment geodiversity in explaining the species richness on stream macroinvertebrate, diatom and bacterial communities. Methods We used 3 geodiversity variables, 2 land use variables and 4 local habitat variables to examine species richness variation across 88 stream sites in western Finland. We used boosted regression trees to explore the effects of geodiversity and other variables on biodiversity. Results We detected a clear effect of catchment geodiversity on species richness, although the traditional local habitat and land use variables were the strongest predictors. Especially soil-type richness appeared as an important factor for species richness. While variables related to stream size were the most important for macroinvertebrate richness and partly for bacterial richness, the importance of water chemistry and land use for diatom richness was notable. Conclusions In addition to traditional environmental variables, geodiversity may affect species richness variation in streams, for example through changes in water chemistry. Geodiversity information could be used as a proxy for predicting stream species richness and offers a supplementary tool for conservation efforts.
  • Aho, Tommi; Mustonen, Laura; Kalso, Eija; Harno, Hanna (2020)
    Background Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) is a screening questionnaire to help identify neuropathic pain (NP) in clinical practice and research. We tested the accuracy of the DN4 questionnaire in stratifying possible NP (pNP) and definite NP (dNP) in patients operated for breast cancer. Methods We studied 163 patients from a longitudinal cohort of breast cancer operated patients 4-9 years after surgery. pNP or dNP were classified according to the NP grading system. Surgeon-verified intercostobrachial nerve resection was used as a confirmatory test for dNP. A receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated to test the diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values) of the DN4. Additionally, we studied clinical factors that associated with a positive screening outcome in the interview part of the DN4 (DN4i). Results DN4i and DN4 showed significant accuracy in stratifying patients with pNP or dNP with cut-off scores 3 and 4 resulting to sensitivity of 66.2% and 79.4% and specificity of 77.8% and 92.6%, respectively. pNP and dNP patients showed differences in sensory descriptors of pain according to DN4i items. Screening positive on DN4i associated with dNP and younger age. Conclusions Full DN4 could stratify pNP and dNP patients in a chronic postsurgical NP patient group operated for breast cancer. Additionally, DN4i showed significant accuracy in stratifying pNP and dNP, but an examination is necessary to obtain proper accuracy. Demographic factors may have an impact on the screening outcome of DN4i. Significance DN4 stratifies possible and definite postsurgical peripheral neuropathic pain. DN4i may also show this, but full DN4 is more accurate. We confirm DN4i as a valid screening tool for NP.
  • Lindfors, Olavi; Knekt, Paul; Lehtonen, Johannes; Virtala, Esa; Maljanen, Timo; Härkänen, Tommi (2019)
    The evidence on potentially greater benefits of psychoanalysis (PA) vs. long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP) is scarce. This study compared the effectiveness of PA and LPP on personality and social functioning during a 10-year follow-up from the beginning of the treatments. The eligible patients, 41 self-selected for PA and 128 assigned to LPP, were 20–45 years of age and had anxiety or mood disorder. Outcomes were analyzed using ten standard measures of personality and social functioning, carried out 5-9 times during the follow-up. Different change patterns by time in PA and LPP emerged, suggesting less benefit of PA during the first years of follow-up and more benefit in most outcomes thereafter. Greater post-treatment improvement in PA than in LPP was seen up to 1-2 years after PA had ended in more mature defense style (DSQ), level of personality organization (LPO), more positive self-concept (SASB), more improved social adjustment (SAS-SR) and sense of coherence (SOC). However, at the 10-year follow-up the differences were non-significant. In conclusion, PA may give some additional benefits when long-term aims are linked to personality and social functioning. The relatively small differences and higher costs in comparison to LPP may restrict the feasibility of PA.
  • Tan, Xiao; Alen, Markku; Wiklund, Petri; Partinen, Markku; Cheng, Sulin (2016)
    Objective: To determine the effect of a six-month aerobic exercise program on home-based sleep quality among overweight and obese men with chronic insomnia symptoms. Methods: Participants were 45 Finnish men (93% had body mass index >= 25) aged 30-65 years, with chronic months) insomnia symptoms as classified by the DSM-IV criteria. Participants were randomized into an exercise (n = 24) or control group (n = 21). The exercise group received six-month aerobic exercise intervention with one to five sessions per week of 30-60 minutes duration. The control group was instructed to maintain habitual lifestyle behaviors during the study period. Seven-night home sleep was measured with a piezoelectric bed sensor and sleep diary. Other assessments included the modified Basic Nordic Sleep Questionnaire, a health and behavior questionnaire, physical activity and diet diaries, anthropometry, fat mass, and physical fitness. Analysis of covariance controlling for baseline values, and repeated-measures analysis of variance were implemented for time-by-group comparisons and within group comparisons, respectively. Results: At six months, the exercise group showed reduced objective sleep onset latency (p = 0.010) and lowered frequency of difficulty initiating sleep (p = 0.021) than controls. Although a time-by-group difference was not significant, exercisers showed shorter objective wake after sleep onset (p = 0.004), reduced subjective nocturnal awakenings (p = 0.010), improved objective sleep efficiency (p <0.001), and improved morning-rated subjective sleep quality (p = 0.042) at six months than baseline. Conclusions: A six-month aerobic exercise can improve sleep, mainly by mitigating difficulty of initiating sleep among overweight and obese men with chronic insomnia symptoms. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Svedholm-Häkkinen, Annika M.; Halme, Saara; Lindeman, Marjaana (2018)
    Background/Objective: Empathizing-Systemizing Theory suggests that low empathizing and high systemizing are linked to autistic traits in the general population. Evidence from autistic individuals is convincing, but more research in the normal population is needed. Method: We conducted two surveys (N=3,345) investigating the relationships between empathizing, systemizing and autistic traits in the general population, using a large variety of self-report instruments and direct performance tests. Results: Strong connections between autistic symptoms, empathizing, and systemizing were found using commonly used measures (Autism Quotient, Systemizing Quotient and Empathizing Quotient). Other measures on empathizing and systemizing found the connections that E-S-theory predicts, but the correlations were a lot more modest. Weak empathizing was related to autism's social difficulties, while systemizing was linked to non-social aspects of autism. Conclusions: The present results support the main tenets of empathizing-systemizing theory, but suggest that earlier findings might be inflated due to overlapping items in the most common assessment instruments. (c) 2017 Asociacion Espanola de Psicologia Conductual. Published by Elsevier Espana, S.L.U.
  • Simonsen, Nina; Koponen, Anne M.; Suominen, Sakari (2021)
    BackgroundRising prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), also among younger adults, constitutes a growing public health challenge. According to the person-centred Chronic Care Model, proactive care and self-management support in combination with community resources enhance quality of healthcare and health outcomes for patients with T2D. However, research is scarce concerning the importance of person-centred care and community resources for such outcomes as empowerment, and the relative impact of various patient support sources for empowerment is not known. Moreover, little is known about the association of age with these variables in this patient-group. This study, carried out among patients with T2D, examined in three age-groups (27-54, 55-64 and 65-75years) whether person-centred care and diabetes-related social support, including community support and possibilities to influence community health issues, are associated with patient empowerment, when considering possible confounding factors, such as other quality of care indicators and psychosocial wellbeing. We also explored age differentials in empowerment and in the proposed correlates of empowerment.MethodIndividuals from a register-based sample with T2D participated in a cross-sectional survey (participation 56%, n=2866). Data were analysed by descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analyses.ResultsRespondents in the youngest age-group were more likely to have low empowerment scores, less continuity of care, and lower wellbeing than the other age-groups, and to perceive less social support, but a higher level of person-centred care than the oldest group. Community support, including possibilities to influence community health issues, was independently and consistently associated with high empowerment in all three age-groups, as was person-centred care in the two older age-groups. Community support was the social support variable with the strongest association with empowerment across age-groups. Moreover, vitality was positively and diabetes-related distress negatively associated with high empowerment in all age-groups, whereas continuity of care, i.e. having a family/regular nurse, was independently associated in the youngest age-group only.ConclusionPerson-centred care and community support, including possibilities to influence community health issues, supports empowerment among adults with T2D. Findings suggest that age is related to most correlates of empowerment, and that younger adults with T2D have specific healthcare needs.
  • Gammal, Johanna; Järnström, Marie; Bernard, Guillaume; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf (2019)
    The ongoing loss of biodiversity and global environmental changes severely affect the structure of coastal ecosystems. Consequences, in terms of ecosystem functioning, are, however, difficult to predict because the context dependency of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships within these heterogeneous seascapes is poorly understood. To assess the effects of biological and environmental factors in mediating ecosystem functioning (nutrient cycling) in different natural habitats, intact sediment cores were collected at 18 sites on a grain size gradient from coarse sand to silt, with varying organic matter content and vegetation. To assess ecosystem functioning, solute fluxes (O-2, NH4+, PO43-, Si) across the sediment-water interface were measured. The macrofaunal communities changed along the grain size gradient with higher abundance, biomass and number of species in coarser sediments and in habitats with more vegetation. Across the whole gradient, the macrofauna cumulatively accounted for 25% of the variability in the multivariate solute fluxes, whereas environmental variables cumulatively accounted for 20%. Only the biomass and abundance of a few of the most dominant macrofauna species, not the number of species, appeared to contribute significantly to the nutrient recycling processes. Closer analyses of different sediment types (grouped into coarse, medium and fine sediment) showed that the macrofauna was an important predictor in all sediment types, but had the largest impact in fine and medium sediments. The results imply that even if the ecosystem functioning is similar in different sediment types, the underpinning mechanisms are different, which makes it challenging to generalize patterns of functioning across the heterogeneous shallow coastal zones.
  • Pietikäinen, Johanna T; Härkänen, Tommi; Polo-Kantola, Päivi; Karlsson, Hasse; Paunio, Tiina; Karlsson, Linnea; Paavonen, E. Juulia (2021)
    Purpose Insomnia symptoms during late pregnancy are a known risk for postnatal depressive symptoms (PDS). However, the cumulative effect of various risk factors throughout pregnancy has not been explored. Our aim was to test how various insomnia symptoms (sleep latency, duration, quality, frequent night awakenings, early morning awakenings) and other risk factors (e.g., history of depression, symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as sociodemographic factors) in early, mid-, and late pregnancy predict PDS. Methods Using data from the FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study and logistic regression analyses, we investigated the associations of distinct insomnia symptoms at gw 14, 24, and 34 with depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score ≥ 11) 3 months postnatally. We also calculated separate and combined predictive models of PDS for each pregnancy time point and reported the odds ratios for each risk group. Results Of the 2224 women included in the study, 7.1% scored EPDS ≥ 11 3 months postnatally. Our predictive models indicated that sleep latency of ≥ 20 min, anxiety in early pregnancy, and insufficient sleep during late pregnancy predicted the risk of PDS. Furthermore, we found highly elevated odds ratios in early, mid-, and late pregnancy for women with multiple PDS risk factors. Conclusion Screening of long sleep latency and anxiety during early pregnancy, in addition to depression screening, could be advisable. Odds ratios of risk factor combinations demonstrate the magnitude of cumulating risk of PDS when multiple risk factors are present.
  • Martinelli, M.; Martins, C. J. A. P.; Nesseris, S.; Sapone, D.; Tutusaus, I.; Avgoustidis, A.; Camera, S.; Carbone, C.; Casas, S.; Ilic, S.; Sakr, Z.; Yankelevich, V.; Auricchio, N.; Balestra, A.; Bodendorf, C.; Bonino, D.; Branchini, E.; Brescia, M.; Brinchmann, J.; Capobianco, V.; Carretero, J.; Castellano, M.; Cavuoti, S.; Cledassou, R.; Congedo, G.; Conversi, L.; Corcione, L.; Dubath, F.; Ealet, A.; Frailis, M.; Franceschi, E.; Fumana, M.; Garilli, B.; Gillis, B.; Giocoli, C.; Grupp, F.; Haugan, S. V. H.; Holmes, W.; Hormuth, F.; Jahnke, K.; Kermiche, S.; Kilbinger, M.; Kitching, T. D.; Kubik, B.; Kunz, M.; Kurki-Suonio, H.; Ligori, S.; Lilje, P. B.; Lloro, I.; Marggraf, O.; Markovic, K.; Massey, R.; Mei, S.; Meneghetti, M.; Meylan, G.; Moscardini, L.; Niemi, S.; Padilla, C.; Paltani, S.; Pasian, F.; Pettorino, V.; Pires, S.; Polenta, G.; Poncet, M.; Popa, L.; Pozzetti, L.; Raison, F.; Rhodes, J.; Roncarelli, M.; Saglia, R.; Schneider, P.; Secroun, A.; Serrano, S.; Sirignano, C.; Sirri, G.; Sureau, F.; Taylor, A. N.; Tereno, I.; Toledo-Moreo, R.; Valenziano, L.; Vassallo, T.; Wang, Y.; Welikala, N.; Weller, J.; Zacchei, A. (2020)
    Context. In metric theories of gravity with photon number conservation, the luminosity and angular diameter distances are related via the Etherington relation, also known as the distance duality relation (DDR). A violation of this relation would rule out the standard cosmological paradigm and point to the presence of new physics.Aims. We quantify the ability of Euclid, in combination with contemporary surveys, to improve the current constraints on deviations from the DDR in the redshift range 0<z<1.6.Methods. We start with an analysis of the latest available data, improving previously reported constraints by a factor of 2.5. We then present a detailed analysis of simulated Euclid and external data products, using both standard parametric methods (relying on phenomenological descriptions of possible DDR violations) and a machine learning reconstruction using genetic algorithms.Results. We find that for parametric methods Euclid can (in combination with external probes) improve current constraints by approximately a factor of six, while for non-parametric methods Euclid can improve current constraints by a factor of three.Conclusions. Our results highlight the importance of surveys like Euclid in accurately testing the pillars of the current cosmological paradigm and constraining physics beyond the standard cosmological model.
  • Majekova, Maria; Paal, Taavi; Plowman, Nichola S.; Bryndova, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Leps, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco (2016)
    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data.
  • Pitkälä, Kaisu; Raivio, Minna M.; Laakkonen, Marja-Liisa; Tilvis, Reijo S.; Kautiainen, Hannu; Strandberg, Timo E. (2010)
  • Ahmad, Faraaz; Morris, Katherine; Law, Gareth T.W.; Taylor, Kevin G.; Shaw, Samuel (2021)
    Understanding the speciation and fate of radium during operational discharge from the offshore oil and gas industry into the marine environment is important in assessing its long term environmental impact. In the current work, Ra-226 concentrations in marine sediments contaminated by produced water discharge from a site in the UK were analysed using gamma spectroscopy. Radium was present in field samples (0.1-0.3 Bq g(-1)) within International Atomic Energy Agency activity thresholds and was found to be primarily associated with micron sized radiobarite particles (
  • Kallio, Eeva-Liisa; Ohman, H.; Carlson, S.; Kautiainen, H.; Hietanen, M.; Pitkala, K. H. (2017)
    Introduction: Evidence is unclear whether cognitive training (CT) has efficacy in patients with dementia. We present the recruitment and baseline findings of a carefully designed Finnish cognitive training (FINCOG) trial exploring the effectiveness of CT among community-dwelling older persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Methods: Participants were recruited from adult day care centres in Helsinki, Finland, and randomised into two groups: (1) day care with systematic CT twice a week for 12 weeks (n = 76) and (2) day care as usual (n = 71). Demographics, diagnoses and drug use were retrieved from medical records, and baseline cognition, functioning, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological well-being were assessed. A subgroup of participants was planned to undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in brain activity. Feedback from those attending CT was collected. Primary trial outcomes will be participants' cognition and HRQoL. Results: The mean (SD) age of the randomised participants was 83.1 (5.4) years, 72% were female and 37% at a moderate stage of dementia. The intervention and control groups were comparable at baseline. Compliance with CT was good, with a mean attendance of 22/24 sessions. General subjective gain was achieved by three-fourths of the feedback respondents. However, the fMRI was not feasible in this patient group. Conclusions: We successfully randomised 147 persons with mild-to-moderate dementia in the FINCOG trial. The feedback from participants in cognitive intervention was favourable. The trial will provide important information on the effects of CT in patients with dementia. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS and European Union Geriatric Medicine Society. All rights reserved.
  • Sarin, Heikki V.; Taba, Nele; Fischer, Krista; Esko, Tonu; Kanerva, Noora; Moilanen, Leena; Saltevo, Juha; Joensuu, Anni; Borodulin, Katja; Männistö, Satu; Kristiansson, Kati; Perola, Markus (2019)
    Background: Food neophobia is considered a behavioral trait closely linked to adverse eating patterns and reduced dietary quality, which have been associated with increased risk of obesity and noncommunicable diseases. Objectives: In a cross-sectional and prospective study, we examined how food neophobia is associated with dietary quality, health-related biomarkers, and disease outcome incidence in Finnish and Estonian adult populations. Methods: The study was conducted based on subsamples of the Finnish DIetary, Lifestyle, and Genetic determinants of Obesity and Metabolic syndrome (DILGOM) cohort (n = 2982; age range: 25-74 y) and the Estonian Biobank cohort (n = 1109; age range: 18-83 y). The level of food neophobia was assessed using the Food Neophobia Scale, dietary quality was evaluated using the Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS), and biomarker profiles were determined using an NMR metabolomics platform. Disease outcome information was gathered from national health registries. Follow-up data on the NMR-based metabolomic profiles and disease outcomes were available in both populations. Results: Food neophobia associated significantly (adjusted P <0.05) with health-related biomarkers [e.g., omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, citrate, alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein, HDL, and MUFA] in the Finnish DILGOM cohort. The significant negative association between the severity of food neophobia and omega-3 fatty acids was replicated in all cross-sectional analyses in the Finnish DILGOM and Estonian Biobank cohorts. Furthermore, food neophobia was associated with reduced dietary quality (BSDS: beta: -0.03 +/- 0.006; P = 8.04 x 10(-5)), increased fasting serum insulin (beta: 0.004 +/- 0.0013; P = 5.83 x 10(-3)), and increased risk of type 2 diabetes during the similar to 8-y follow-up (HR: 1.018 +/- 0.007; P = 0.01) in the DILGOM cohort. Conclusions: In the Finnish and Estonian adult populations, food neophobia was associated with adverse alteration of health-related biomarkers and risk factors that have been associated with an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases. We also found that food neophobia associations with omega-3 fatty acids and associated metabolites are mediated through dietary quality independent of body weight.
  • Tiainen, Marjaana; Poutiainen, Erja; Oksanen, Tuomas; Kaukonen, Kirsi-Maija; Pettila, Ville; Skrifvars, Markus; Varpula, Tero; Castren, Maaret (2015)
  • Elovainio, Marko; Hakulinen, Christian; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Aalto, Anna-Mari; Virtanen, Marianna; Partonen, Timo; Suvisaari, Jaana (2020)
    The short versions of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI-6), and Mental Health Index (MHI-5) are all valid and reliable measures of general psychological distress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety. We tested the psychometric properties of the scales, their overlap, and their ability to predict mental health service use using both regression and machine learning (ML, random forest) approaches. Data were from the population-based FinHealth-2017 Study of adults (N = 4270) with data on all of the evaluated instruments. Constructive validity, internal consistency, invariance, and optimal cut-off points in predicting mental health services were tested. Constructive validity was acceptable and all instruments measured their own distinct phenomenon. Some of the item scoring in BDI-6 was not optimal, and the sensitivity and specificity of all scales were relatively weak in predicting service use. Small gender differences emerged in optimal cut-off points. ML did not improve model predictions. GHQ-12, BDI-6, and MHI-5 may be interpreted to measure different constructs of psychological health symptoms, but are not particularly useful predictors of service use.
  • Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Toivonen, Tuuli; Di Minin, Enrico; Kukkala, Aija S.; Kullberg, Peter; Kuusterä, Johanna; Lehtomäki, Joona; Tenkanen, Henrikki; Verburg, Peter H.; Moilanen, Atte (2014)
  • Aho, Velma T. E.; Pereira, Pedro A. B.; Voutilainen, Sari; Paulin, Lars; Pekkonen, Eero; Auvinen, Petri; Scheperjans, Filip (2019)
    Background: Several publications have described differences in cross-sectional comparisons of gut microbiota between patients with Parkinson's disease and control subjects, with considerable variability of the reported differentially abundant taxa. The temporal stability of such microbiota alterations and their relationship to disease progression have not been previously studied with a high-throughput sequencing based approach. Methods: We collected clinical data and stool samples from 64 Parkinson's patients and 64 control subjects twice, on average 2.25 years apart. Disease progression was evaluated based on changes in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and Levodopa Equivalent Dose, and microbiota were characterized with 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Findings: We compared patients to controls, and patients with stable disease to those with faster progression. There were significant differences between microbial communities of patients and controls when corrected for confounders, but not between timepoints. Specific bacterial taxa that differed between patients and controls at both timepoints included several previously reported ones, such as Roseburia, Prevotella and Bifidobacterium. In progression comparisons, differentially abundant taxa were inconsistent across methods and timepoints, but there was some support for a different distribution of enterotypes and a decreased abundance of Prevotella in faster-progressing patients. Interpretation: The previously detected gut microbiota differences between Parkinson's patients and controls persisted after 2 years. While we found some evidence for a connection between microbiota and disease progression, a longer follow-up period is required to confirm these findings. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.