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The importance of measuring psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia
Sofia Brissos, Andrew Molodynski, Vasco Dias, Maria Figueira
Annals of General Psychiatry , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1744-859x-10-18
Abstract: The present article describes measures of social functioning and outlines their psychometric properties. It considers their usefulness in research and clinical settings. Treatment aims and objectives are explored in the context of cognitive and social functioning. Finally, we identify areas for developing research and refining the measurement of social functioning.The definition and measurement of social functioning in schizophrenia remains a complex and disputed area. The relationships between symptoms, cognitive functioning and social functioning are complex but we are beginning to understand them better. Scales for measuring functioning in clinical practice must be brief and sensitive to change and the Personal and Social Performance (PSP) scale may offer several advantages in these regards. Brief cognitive assessments focusing upon the domains most commonly affected in schizophrenia, such as verbal memory and executive functions, should be coadministered with measures of functioning.The use of validated scales for schizophrenia that are sensitive to change over the course of the illness and its treatment, should allow for a better understanding of patients' functional disabilities, enabling better and more comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment strategies.Despite the most distinctive symptoms of schizophrenia being those such as delusions and hallucinations, functional deficits are a core feature of the disorder. In fact, diagnostic doubts often arise if a patient regains his/her previous level of functioning after a psychotic episode [1]. Decline in social functioning is one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia and may serve as a predictor of outcome.The treatment of schizophrenia has evolved substantially in recent decades, with improvements in pharmacological interventions contributing to the deinstitutionalization of many patients. Second generation antipsychotics were introduced and generally had fewer
Satisfaction with Life of Schizophrenia Outpatients and Their Caregivers: Differences between Patients with and without Self-Reported Sleep Complaints
Sofia Brissos,Pedro Afonso,Fernando Ca?as,Julio Bobes,Ivan Bernardo Fernandez,Carlos Guzman
Schizophrenia Research and Treatment , 2013, DOI: 10.1155/2013/502172
Abstract: Patients with schizophrenia often present sleep complaints, but its relationship with general satisfaction with life (SWL) and burden for caregivers has been understudied. We aimed to assess the differences in SWL between patients with and without self-reported sleep disturbances and that of their caregivers. In a noninterventional study, 811 schizophrenia adult outpatients were screened for their subjective perception of having (or not) sleep disturbances and evaluated with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Patients self-reporting sleep disturbances were significantly more symptomatic ( ), presented significantly worse family support ( ), and self-reported worse SWL in all domains. Caregivers of patients with schizophrenia self-reporting sleep disturbances also reported worse SWL in all domains, as compared to caregivers of patients without subjective sleep disturbances. Patient and caregivers’ SWL was significantly correlated to patients’ quality of sleep ( for all domains). Patient’ and caregivers’ SWL was negatively affected by patients’ poor quality of sleep. We found that patients self-reporting sleep disturbances showed greater symptom severity, worse quality of sleep, worse SWL, and less caregiver support. SWL was also worse for caregivers of patients with schizophrenia reporting sleep disturbances. Patients with schizophrenia often present sleep complaints [1], even while being medicated and clinically stable, which can negatively affect their quality of life [2] and be sufficiently severe to warrant clinical attention. Nowadays, besides symptomatic control, the aim of clinicians is to improve schizophrenia patients’ social functioning, quality of life, and satisfaction with life (SWL). To accomplish this, physiologic sleep may be necessary. General SWL has been associated with symptoms, cognition, health-related quality of life, and medical comorbidity [3–5]. Higher burden has been reported for caregivers of schizophrenia patients with higher symptom severity, disruptive or difficult behavior, younger age, and patients’ need for care [6–10]. Given the importance of sleep in schizophrenia, we aimed to assess the differences in SWL between patients with and without self-reported sleep disturbances and that of their caregivers, as well as the degree of family support, since we found no previous reports on this subject. In a multicenter, Iberian, cross-sectional, noninterventional study, 811 outpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, aged ≥18 years, and with no changes in antipsychotic
The impact of a history of psychotic symptoms on cognitive function in euthymic bipolar patients: a comparison with schizophrenic patients and healthy controls
Brissos, Sofia;Dias, Vasco Videira;Soeiro-de-Souza, Márcio Gerhardt;Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent;Kapczinski, Flavio;
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria , 2011, DOI: 10.1590/S1516-44462011000400008
Abstract: background: about two-thirds of patients with bipolar disorder (bd) have a lifetime history of at least one psychotic symptom. objective: to compare the neurocognitive performance of four groups: bd patients with and without a history of psychotic symptoms (bd hps+ and bd hps-, respectively); patients with schizophrenia (sz); and healthy control (hc) subjects. method: in this cross-sectional study, 35 stabilized patients with sz, 79 euthymic (44 hps+ and 35 hps-) patients with bd, and 50 hc were administered a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. results: there was worse neurocognitive functioning in both bd and sz patients compared to hc. overall, data from both groups of bd patients did not differ on sociodemographic, clinical, or neurocognitive variables. however, bd hps+ patients had significantly more negative symptoms, as measured by the positive and negative syndrome scale (panss), and showed a trend toward worse performance on executive functions compared to bd hps- patients. moreover, both bd groups had better performance on all neurocognitive tests compared to sz group. conclusions: neurocognitive dysfunction may be more marked in sz than in bd, yet qualitatively similar. a history of past psychotic symptoms in bd was not associated with more severe cognitive impairment during euthymia. therefore, bd with psychotic symptoms does not appear to be a distinct neurocognitive phenotype.
How Travels a Bohmian Particle?  [PDF]
Sofia Wechsler
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2012.312231
Abstract: Bohm’s mechanics was built for explaining individual results in measurements, and mainly for getting rid of the enigmatic reduction postulate. Its main idea is that particles have at any time definite positions and velocities. An additional axiom is that particles follow continuous trajectories that admit the first derivative in time, the velocity. In the quantum theory, if the position of a quantum object is well-defined at some time, a Δt time later the object may be found anywhere in space, so, the velocity defined as Δx/Δt is completely undefined. This incompatibility is regarded in standard quantum theory as nature’s property. The disagreement between quantum and Bohm’s mechanics is particularly strong in wave-like phenomena, e.g. interference. For a particle traveling through an interference fringe, Bohm’s velocity formula shows a dependence of the time-of-flight on the fringe length. Such a dependence is not supported by the quantum theory. Thus, for deciding which prediction is correct one has to measure times-of-flight. But this is a problem. If one detects a particle at two positions and records the detection times, the time difference is meaningless, because the first position measurement disturbs the particle’s Bohm velocity (if exists). This text suggests a way around: instead of measuring positions and times, the particles are raised to an excited, unstable level, by passing them through a laser beam. The unstable level will decay in time, s.t. the density of probability of the excited atoms will indicate the time elapsed since excitation. For comparing the Bohmian and quantum predictions, this text proposes in continuation to send the beam of excited particle upon a mirror. Bohm’s velocity leads to anomalies in the reflected wave.
Adaptive Behaviour on the Portuguese Curricula: A Comparison between Children and Adolescents with and without Intellectual Disability  [PDF]
Sofia Santos
Creative Education (CE) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2014.57059

The main objective of this study was to assess and compare the adaptive behaviour level of children and adolescents with and without intellectual disability trying to understand how the differences in this area could be influenced by contents and curricula. The sample was composed by 589 children and adolescents with and without intellectual disabilities (both ages 6 to 16, randomly selected from special and regular schools, respectively). The Portuguese version of Adaptive Behaviour Scale was used and administered through an interview, to a proxy who knew the individual being evaluated. Controlling for age, gender, diagnosis, and living area we found that there were statistical significant differences between both groups on most of adaptive behaviour domains in all variables. One of the conclusions is that curricula in special and regular schools differ a lot on contents and in participation activities within the community and that might be one of the causes of the non-skills acquisition by the children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.

Qualified for Power? On Epistemology in Voting  [PDF]
Sofia Wiman
Open Journal of Political Science (OJPS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2015.53022
Abstract: Equal distribution of suffrage is given a nearly “quasi-religious” status by democrats. However, the right to vote rests on a presumption of capacity, and knowledge and competence therefore are important features of democratic arrangements. Democratic theory often assumes that, in order for (representative) democracy to work properly, the average citizen should be interested in, and pay attention to, politics. In reality, however, only a minority of citizens live up to these standards. This paper examines whether demands of uncontroversial knowledge, that is, knowledge about what it means to vote, can be demanded of voters in order for them to be allowed to vote. It is concluded that, for reasons of justice and “issues of mutual concern”, such demands can be raised regarding such uncontroversial knowledge (but perhaps not for knowledge more controversial in kind).
Which Proof We Have against Continuous Trajectories for Particles?  [PDF]
Sofia Wechsler
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2017.81006
Abstract: It is in general accepted that the concept of continuous trajectories for particles is at odds with the relativistic quantum mechanics. Namely, when examining the evolution of entangled quantum objects according to frames of coordinates in relative move-ment, one gets contradictory trajectories. Such a situation is typically derived from the famous “Hardy’s paradox”. However, it is argued here that if the rationale ignores the principle of quantum contextuality, as happens typically when using Hardy’s thought-experiment, the conclusion—rejection of the assumption of trajectories—is questionable. The issue is exemplified by an additional example: the 101 property of spin 1 bosons implies conflicting trajectories when the singlet state of two such bosons is examined according to frames in relative movement. It is concluded here that in the absence of a rationale which doesn’t violate the quantum contextuality, there are no sufficient arguments for refuting the possibility of a substructure of the quantum mechanics, consisting in particles following continuous trajectories.
RETRACTED: What Is Wrong with Bohm’s Mechanics? An Analysis of a Hong-Ou-Mandel Type Experiment  [PDF]
Sofia Wechsler
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2016.710097

Short Retraction Notice

The paper does not meet the standards of \"Journal of Modern Physics\". This article has been retracted to straighten the academic record. In making this decision the Editorial Board follows COPE's Retraction Guidelines. Aim is to promote the circulation of scientific research by offering an ideal research publication platform with due consideration of internationally accepted standards on publication ethics. The Editorial Board would like to extend its sincere apologies for any inconvenience this retraction may have caused. Editor guiding this retraction: Prof. Yang-Hui He (EIC of JMP).?

The full retraction notice in PDF is preceding the original paper, which is marked \"RETRACTED\".

Reasons for Prophylactic Mastectomy in Women Carrying BRCA 1/2 Mutation: A Systematic Literature Review  [PDF]
Manuel Machado, Sofia Braga
Advances in Breast Cancer Research (ABCR) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/abcr.2013.23017

Although the majority of breast cancers are sporadic, it is estimated that between 5% and 10% of cases are hereditary and mostly associated with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations. Women with BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation present up to 95% increased risk of breast cancer and are advised to take preventive measures. Surveillance, chemoprevention and prophylactic surgery (mastectomy and oophorectomy) are risk-reducing strategies. This literature review aims to respond to two major questions: 1) to what extent is the decision-making for prophylactic mastectomy in women with the BRCA mutation a more relevant option than other strategies, and 2) what are the major factors influencing the decision for mastectomy? For this purpose, 27 published articles were reviewed. Results show: a) the decision for mastectomy is more frequent in women carrying BRCA 1/2 mutation than in non-carriers; mastectomy being less frequent than oophorectomy; b) the decision-making is significantly associated with BRCA mutation, parity, age and family history; c) reasons underlying women decision-making relate to anxiety toward the risk of cancer, concerns with surgery, body-image and sexuality. It is discussed that, due to the complexity of the decision-making process, these cases require a careful and meticulous approach regarding information provided, and in addressing concerns.

Noise Reduction in Pavement Made of Rubberized Bituminous Top Layer  [PDF]
Fotini Kehagia, Sofia Mavridou
Open Journal of Civil Engineering (OJCE) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojce.2014.43017

In Greece more than 60,000 tn End of Life Tires are stockpiled every year often uncontrollable, causing severe environmental and other socio-economic negative impacts. Studies up to date are focused mainly on mechanical and physical characteristics of rubberized mixtures (based on cement, asphalt or soil) in which tire rubber is used either as alternative to natural aggregates or as additive. However, effect of tire rubber on noise reduction in rubberized bituminous layers, which is the main topic of present paper, has not been widely studied. In particular, this research paper is dealing with a sustainable use of tire rubber in asphalt pavement, leading to its generated noise reduction. An experimental pilot application has been conducted in the frame of a European Research Project, which has been implemented in a heavy traffic road section, cited outside Lamia city of Greece, (Vasilikon Street). The upper surface layer of the pavement has been made of rubberized bituminous mixture, produced by the wet process. Rheological characteristics of rubberized bitumen as well as basic properties of the implemented, rubberized bituminous mixture are presented. Moreover, measurements of noise level, deriving from vehicles’ motion, under operational conditions took place at the road section right after its implementation as well as after 8 months of its operation, while all data are presented in details. Results of the measurements on conventional and modified pavement sections are compared, certifying that rubberized asphalt layers can be not only environmentally friendly—since a category of solid wastes (worn automobile tires) is utilized—but also, addition of tire rubber particles in bituminous binder provides up to 3dB noise reducing bituminous mixtures and pavements, noise reduction that remains even after 8 months of road section’s operation.

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