Honors & Awards
Young Investigators Research Grant,, University of Basel (2021)
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (2019)
Excellence in Research Award, Karger Publisher (2018)
Scientific Contribution Award, European Congress of Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (2017)
Poster Presentation Award, Swiss Society of Biological Psychiatry (2015)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, American Psychological Association (2021 - Present)
PhD, University of Basel, Psychology (2018)
James Gross, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
When Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Predicts Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Poor Sleep-Results from a Larger Cross-Sectional and Quasi-Longitudinal Study.
International journal of environmental research and public health
1800; 18 (24)
Poor sleep is associated with a higher risk of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) as a proxy of unfavorable emotion regulation. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that past non-suicidal self-injury was associated with current non-suicidal self-injury and with current subjective sleep patterns. To this end, a larger sample of young adults were assessed. A total of 2374 adults (mean age: 27.58 years; 39.6% females) completed a series of self-rating questionnaires covering sociodemographic information, past and current NSSIs, suicide attempts, and current sleep patterns, including experiencing nightmares. Past NSSIs predicted current NSSIs. Current sleep patterns had a modest impact on the association between past and current NSSIs. Compared to male participants, female participants did not report more sleep complaints or more current NSSIs, but more past NSSIs. Past NSSIs predicted the occurrences of nightmares and suicide attempts. The best predictor of current NSSI was the remembered past NSSI, while current poor sleep was only modestly associated with current NSSI. Further indicators of current NSSI and poor sleep were suicide attempts and nightmares within the last six months. Overall, it appears that poor emotion regulation should be considered as underlying factor to trigger and maintain non-suicidal self-injury-related behavior and poor sleep. Further, unlike previous studies, which focused on the possible influence of sleep patterns on NSSIs, the aim of the present study paradigm was to investigate NSSIs on sleep patterns.
View details for DOI 10.3390/ijerph182413011
View details for PubMedID 34948620
Evaluation of Serum and Salivary Iron and Ferritin Levels in Children with Dental Caries: A Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis.
Children (Basel, Switzerland)
2021; 8 (11)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Dental caries appears to be related to iron deficiency anemia and to low ferritin levels. In the present meta-analysis, we report salivary and serum iron and ferritin levels in children with dental caries, compared to healthy controls.MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched in Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and PubMed/Medline databases to extract studies published until 25 July 2021. We calculated mean differences (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of salivary and serum iron and ferritin levels in children with dental caries, always compared to healthy controls. In addition, we applied a trial sequential analysis (TSA).RESULTS: A total of twelve articles covering thirteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled MD for salivary iron level was -5.76 g/dL (p = 0.57), and -27.70 g/dL (p < 0.00001) for serum iron level: compared to healthy controls, children with dental caries did not show different salivary iron levels, while children with caries had significantly lower serum iron levels. The pooled MD of salivary ferritin level was 34.84 g/dL (p = 0.28), and the pooled MD of serum ferritin level was -8.95 g/L (p = 0.04): compared to healthy controls, children with dental caries did not have different salivary iron levels, but significantly lower serum ferritin levels.CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present meta-analysis showed that salivary levels of iron and ferritin did not differ between children with and without caries, though compared to healthy controls, children with caries had significantly lower salivary and serum iron and ferritin levels. The results are of practical and clinical importance: Possibly, iron and ferritin supplementation might prevent or attenuate dental caries in children at risk. Further, children with caries might suffer from further iron- and ferritin-related health issues. Lastly, serum blood samples, but not saliva samples inform accurately about the current iron and ferritin concentrations in children with or without caries.
View details for DOI 10.3390/children8111034
View details for PubMedID 34828748
Association of N-acetyltransferases 1 and 2 Polymorphisms with Susceptibility to Head and Neck Cancers-A Meta-Analysis, Meta-Regression, and Trial Sequential Analysis.
Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
2021; 57 (10)
Background and objective:N-acetyltransferases 1 and 2 (NAT1 and NAT2) genes have polymorphisms in accordance with slow and rapid acetylator phenotypes with a role in the development of head and neck cancers (HNCs). Herein, we aimed to evaluate the association of NAT1 and NAT2 polymorphisms with susceptibility to HNCs in an updated meta-analysis. Materials and methods: A search was comprehensively performed in four databases (Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed/Medline, and Cochrane Library until 8 July 2021). The effect sizes, odds ratio (OR) along with 95% confidence interval (CI) were computed. Trial sequential analysis (TSA), publication bias and sensitivity analysis were conducted. Results: Twenty-eight articles including eight studies reporting NAT1 polymorphism and twenty-five studies reporting NAT2 polymorphism were involved in the meta-analysis. The results showed that individuals with slow acetylators of NAT2 polymorphism are at higher risk for HNC OR: 1.22 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.46; p = 0.03). On subgroup analysis, ethnicity, control source, and genotyping methods were found to be significant factors in the association of NAT2 polymorphism with the HNC risk. TSA identified that the amount of information was not large enough and that more studies are needed to establish associations. Conclusions: Slow acetylators in NAT2 polymorphism were related to a high risk of HNC. However, there was no relationship between NAT1 polymorphism and the risk of HNC.
View details for DOI 10.3390/medicina57101095
View details for PubMedID 34684132
Physical and mental health impact of COVID-19 on children, adolescents, and their families: The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times - Children and Adolescents (COH-FIT-C&A).
Journal of affective disorders
1800; 299: 367-376
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily routines and family functioning, led to closing schools, and dramatically limited social interactions worldwide. Measuring its impact on mental health of vulnerable children and adolescents is crucial.METHODS: The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (COH-FIT - www.coh-fit.com) is an on-line anonymous survey, available in 30 languages, involving >230 investigators from 49 countries supported by national/international professional associations. COH-FIT has thee waves (until the pandemic is declared over by the WHO, and 6-18 months plus 24-36 months after its end). In addition to adults, COH-FIT also includes adolescents (age 14-17 years), and children (age 6-13 years), recruited via non-probability/snowball and representative sampling and assessed via self-rating and parental rating. Non-modifiable/modifiable risk factors/treatment targets to inform prevention/intervention programs to promote health and prevent mental and physical illness in children and adolescents will be generated by COH-FIT. Co-primary outcomes are changes in well-being (WHO-5) and a composite psychopathology P-Score. Multiple behavioral, family, coping strategy and service utilization factors are also assessed, including functioning and quality of life.RESULTS: Up to June 2021, over 13,000 children and adolescents from 59 countries have participated in the COH-FIT project, with representative samples from eleven countries.LIMITATIONS: Cross-sectional and anonymous design.CONCLUSIONS: Evidence generated by COH-FIT will provide an international estimate of the COVID-19 effect on children's, adolescents' and families', mental and physical health, well-being, functioning and quality of life, informing the formulation of present and future evidence-based interventions and policies to minimize adverse effects of the present and future pandemics on youth.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2021.09.090
View details for PubMedID 34606810
When Much Is Too Much-Compared to Light Exercisers, Heavy Exercisers Report More Mental Health Issues and Stress, but Less Sleep Complaints.
Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
2021; 9 (10)
BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity has become a global somatic and mental health issue. To counterbalance, promoting regular physical activity appears plausible, above all among adults, where physical inactivity is particularly high. However, some, but sparse, research also indicates that excessive exercising might be associated with unfavorable mental health dimensions. Here, we tested the hypothesis that excessive exercising was associated with more mental health issues. To this end, we assessed mental health issues, stress, mental toughness, and sleep disturbances among heavy and light adult exercisers.METHODS: A total of 200 adults (mean age: 35 years; 62% females) took part in the study. Of those, 100 were heavy exercisers (18-22 h/week), and 100 were light exercisers (1-6 h/week). Participants completed questionnaires covering sociodemographic information, mental health issues, perceived stress, mental toughness, and sleep disturbances.RESULTS: Compared with light exercisers, heavy exercisers reported higher mental health issues, more stress, but also higher mental toughness scores and less sleep disturbances. Higher age, lower mental toughness scores, heavy exerciser-status, and more sleep disturbances predicted higher mental health complaints.CONCLUSIONS: Compared with light exercising, heavy exercising might be associated with more mental health issues. As such, it appears that the association between exercise frequency, intensity, and duration and psychological well-being might be related to an optimum point, but not to a maximum point. In a similar vein, heavily exercising athletes, their coaches, parents, and representatives of sports associations should get sensitized to possible adverse psychological effects of excessive physical activity patterns.
View details for DOI 10.3390/healthcare9101289
View details for PubMedID 34682969
The collaborative outcomes study on health and functioning during infection times in adults (COH-FIT-Adults): Design and methods of an international online survey targeting physical and mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Journal of affective disorders
1800; 299: 393-407
BACKGROUND: . High-quality comprehensive data on short-/long-term physical/mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are needed.METHODS: . The Collaborative Outcomes study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times (COH-FIT) is an international, multi-language (n=30) project involving >230 investigators from 49 countries/territories/regions, endorsed by national/international professional associations. COH-FIT is a multi-wave, on-line anonymous, cross-sectional survey [wave 1: 04/2020 until the end of the pandemic, 12 months waves 2/3 starting 6/24 months threreafter] for adults, adolescents (14-17), and children (6-13), utilizing non-probability/snowball and representative sampling. COH-FIT aims to identify non-modifiable/modifiable risk factors/treatment targets to inform prevention/intervention programs to improve social/health outcomes in the general population/vulnerable subgrous during/after COVID-19. In adults, co-primary outcomes are change from pre-COVID-19 to intra-COVID-19 in well-being (WHO-5) and a composite psychopathology P-Score. Key secondary outcomes are a P-extended score, global mental and physical health. Secondary outcomes include health-service utilization/functioning, treatment adherence, functioning, symptoms/behaviors/emotions, substance use, violence, among others.RESULTS: . Starting 04/26/2020, up to 14/07/2021 >151,000 people from 155 countries/territories/regions and six continents have participated. Representative samples of ≥1,000 adults have been collected in 15 countries. Overall, 43.0% had prior physical disorders, 16.3% had prior mental disorders, 26.5% were health care workers, 8.2% were aged ≥65 years, 19.3% were exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, 76.1% had been in quarantine, and 2.1% had been COVID 19-positive.LIMITATIONS: . Cross-sectional survey, preponderance of non-representative participants.CONCLUSIONS: . Results from COH-FIT will comprehensively quantify the impact of COVID-19, seeking to identify high-risk groups in need for acute and long-term intervention, and inform evidence-based health policies/strategies during this/future pandemics.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.048
View details for PubMedID 34949568
Influence of Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate on Early Ejaculation-Results from a Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.
Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
2021; 9 (7)
Among male sexual dysfunctions, erectile dysfunction and early ejaculation have the highest prevalence rates. Here, we tested the influence of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyas®) on early ejaculation. To this end, we performed a double-blind randomized clinical trial among males with early ejaculation.A total of 46 males with early ejaculation (mean age: 35.23 years) and in stable marital relationships with regular weekly penile-vaginal intercourse were randomly assigned either to the lisdexamfetamine dimesylate condition (30 mg) or to the placebo condition. Compounds were taken about six hours before intended penile-vaginal intercourse. At baseline and four weeks later at the end of the study, participants completed a series of self-rating questionnaires covering early ejaculation. Female partners also rated participants' early ejaculation profile.Compared to the placebo condition, dimensions of early ejaculation improved over time in the lisdexamfetamine condition, though improvements were also observed in the placebo condition.Among male adults in stable marital relationships with regular weekly penile-vaginal intercourse, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate improved dimensions of early ejaculation. Given that improvements were also observed in the placebo condition, psychological factors such as increased attention to early ejaculation and favorable expectations of the compound should be considered.
View details for DOI 10.3390/healthcare9070859
View details for PubMedID 34356237
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8303163
- Influence of Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate on Early Ejaculation-Results from a Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial HEALTHCARE 2021; 9 (7)
Do internet resources align with exercise training and physical activity guidelines for people with multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis journal - experimental, translational and clinical
2021; 7 (3): 20552173211038035
Background: Exercise training and lifestyle physical activity have been identified as evidence-based approaches for improving symptoms and quality of life among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Such evidence supported the development of physical activity guidelines (PAGs) for people with MS. The goal of such guidelines involved broad dissemination and uptake, as there is substantial evidence for low rates of participation in exercise training and physical activity in this population.Objective: The current study evaluated the quality and consistency of information on webpages for physical activity against the established PAGs for people with MS.Method: The search was conducted in September 2020 using the Google search engine for webpages containing physical activity information for people with MS. We evaluated the webpages with a list of 18 guidelines for adults with MS based on recommendations from three resources.Results: The search yielded 157 webpages, of which 27 met the inclusion criteria. On average, webpages accurately addressed only 5 of the 18 guidelines. The most commonly addressed guidelines involved MS-specific symptom identification (n=26), and example modalities for aerobic (n=20) and strength (n=16) training.Conclusion: Many online recourses regarding physical activity and exercise training for MS were either inconsistent with the established PAGs or did not address the guidelines.
View details for DOI 10.1177/20552173211038035
View details for PubMedID 34616564
Sources of Sleep Disturbances and Psychological Strain for Hospital Staff Working during the COVID-19 Pandemic
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
2021; 18 (12)
Hospital staff members reported increased stress-related workload when caring for inpatients with COVID-19 ("frontline hospital staff members"). Here, we tested if depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with poor sleep and lower general health, and if social support mediated these associations. Furthermore, we compared current insomnia scores and general health scores with normative data. A total of 321 full-time frontline hospital staff members (mean age: 36.86; 58% females) took part in the study during the COVID-19 pandemic. They completed a series of questionnaires covering demographic and work-related information, symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, social support, self-efficacy, and symptoms of insomnia and general health. Higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with higher symptoms of insomnia and lower general health. Higher scores of depression, anxiety, and stress directly predicted higher insomnia scores and lower general health scores, while the indirect effect of social support was modest. Compared to normative data, full-time frontline hospital staff members had a 3.14 higher chance to complain about insomnia and a significantly lower general health. Symptoms of insomnia and general health were unrelated to age, job experience, educational level, and gender. Given this background, it appears that the working context had a lower impact on individuals' well-being compared to individual characteristics.
View details for DOI 10.3390/ijerph18126289
View details for Web of Science ID 000666457500001
View details for PubMedID 34200708
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8296056
Individuals with Major Depressive Disorder Report High Scores of Insecure-Avoidant and Insecure-Anxious Attachment Styles, Dissociative Identity Symptoms, and Adult Traumatic Events.
Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
2021; 9 (9)
Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) report more issues in social interaction compared to the general population. Moreover, dimensions of dissociation are considered dysfunctional strategies to cope with adverse life events. In this regard, current symptoms of MDD could be associated with traumatic events that occurred in childhood and in adult life. Given this background, the aim of the present study was to explore the associations between attachment styles as a proxy of quality of social interaction, dimensions of dissociation, and childhood and adult traumatic life events among individuals with MDD.A total of 300 individuals with MDD (mean age: 31.31 years; 58.7% female) took part in this study. They completed a series of questionnaires on sociodemographic information, attachment styles, dimensions of dissociation, and childhood and adult traumatic life events.Prevalence rates for attachment styles were as follows: anxious/ambivalent attachment style-71.7%; avoidant/dependent attachment style-13%; secure/close attachment style-15.3%. Compared to the general population, the participants reported higher prevalence rates of insecure attachment styles. Current symptoms of dissociation were associated with adult but not childhood traumatic life events. An anxious attachment style was associated with higher scores of dissociation.Psychotherapeutic treatment of individuals with MDD should consider the individuals' challenging attachment styles and their risk of dissociation. While it is important to consider both adult and childhood traumatic events, in this research, more recent trauma occurring in adulthood was associated with current symptoms of dissociation.
View details for DOI 10.3390/healthcare9091169
View details for PubMedID 34574943
Influence of modafinil on early ejaculation - Results from a double-blind randomized clinical trial.
Journal of psychiatric research
For men, early ejaculation is a serious health concern. Here, we tested the influence of modafinil (Profinil®) on early ejaculation. To this end, we performed a double-blind randomized clinical trial among men with early ejaculation.A total of 46 men with early ejaculation (mean age: 37.35 years) and in stable marital relationships with regular weekly penile-vaginal intercourse were randomly assigned either to the modafinil (100 mg) or to the placebo condition. Compounds were taken about 4-6h before intended penile-vaginal intercourse. At baseline and four weeks later at the end of the study, participants completed a series of self-rating questionnaires covering early ejaculation. Female partners also rated their male partners' early ejaculation profile.Dimensions of early ejaculation improved over time, but only so in the modafinil condition, while no improvements were observed in the placebo condition.Among male adults in stable marital relationships with regular weekly penile-vaginal intercourse modafinil improved dimensions of early ejaculation, always compared to placebo. Given the strong effect of modafinil on cognitive-executive processes, it is conceivable, that modafinil acted both via physiological and cognitive-executive pathways.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.11.015
View details for PubMedID 34799125