We don’t know how to improve medicine adherence, says new Cochrane review

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Helge Hasselmann reports on a new Cochrane systematic review of interventions for enhancing medication adherence, which finds insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions. The full health benefits of medicines will not be realised until better interventions and better studies are conducted in this area.

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Social determinants of mental health: how our societies are making us mentally unwell and what we can do about it

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Mark Horowitz summarises the new WHO and UCL Institute of Health Equity (Michael Marmot) report and research paper on social determinants of mental health. He concludes that it’s time to focus on the root causes of mental distress, namely poverty, unemployment, poor education and social isolation.

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Do British newspapers breach suicide reporting guidelines?

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Caroline Tomes highlights a new study that explores suicide reporting in the arts sections of British newspapers. The study concludes that there is poor compliance with suicide reporting guidelines in British newspapers, but further research is needed before we can generalise these findings.

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Psychotherapy for medically unexplained physical symptoms

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Ioana Cristea reviews a recent Cochrane systematic review on non-pharmacological interventions for medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS). The review finds that psychotherapies for MUPS led to reduced symptom severity, but were associated with a higher drop-out rate than usual care.

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Online social networking and psychosis

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Nikki Newhouse reports on a recent systematic review of online social networking and psychosis. Her blog explores the potential benefits and harms of online social networking for people with psychosis, and reflects on some of the challenges facing researchers working in the field.

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Brief interventions for substance misuse in primary care

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Claire Mokrysz reports on two RCTs in JAMA that find no superiority over control for brief interventions for substance misuse in primary care. A finding that casts some doubt on interventions such as motivational interviewing for unhealthy drug use in primary care patients.

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Psychotherapy for UK military veterans: demographics and clinical outcomes

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Mark Smith reports on a study of psychotherapy for UK military veterans, using an IAPT service, which focuses on the demographic characteristics and clinical outcomes of early service leavers and veterans.

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Woodland walks and your ‘Elf

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Kirsten Lawson dons her walking boots and reports on the national Walks for Health (WfH) programme, which has been investigated in an observational study looking at the mental, emotional and social well-being of people who participate in woodland walks.

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Folic acid for depression: results of the FolATED study

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Susie Johnson reports on the FolATED RCT and economic evaluation of folic acid for depression. The study finds no evidence that folic acid is clinically effective or cost-effective in augmenting antidepressants and speculates instead that methylfolate may be a better candidate for future research.

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Do perinatal mental health problems cost the UK £8 billion per year?

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A recent report estimated the societal cost of perinatal mental health problems to be £8 billion, but should we believe it? Chris Sampson advises caution.

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