Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits

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Can’t get an appointment with your GP? Don’t stress, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help by reducing the demand for primary care visits by distressed patients, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

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New meta-analysis supports the use of mindfulness for depression, but not anxiety

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This study confirms that mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) are valid for the treatment of current depressive episodes, and it identifies the need for more studies to investigate the possibility that MBIs might also be of value in treating anxiety disorders.

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Bridging the gap: low intensity collaborative care for patients with recent cardiac events can improve mental health and quality of life

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There are many interfaces in mental health services, such as the one between physical and mental health. Where there are interfaces, there are inevitably gaps for patients to fall through. Consequently opportunities are missed to treat mental health problems in those with physical health problems. There is mounting evidence for the effectiveness of Collaborative Care (CC) [read the full story...]

Critical illness and risk of psychiatric diagnosis

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Out in the woodland we are pleased that recent advances in medical care mean that more patients are surviving critical illnesses within intensive care units (ICU).  “But what does that have to do with the Mental Elf?” I hear you say. Well, we Mental Elves are wondering whether this advancement in medical technology and technique are actually putting people [read the full story...]

Why do GPs over prescribe benzodiazepines? Synthesis of qualitative studies

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Benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia, anxiety and chronic back pain due to their sedative and muscle relaxing effects. They’ve got a sting in the tail though and can cause memory disruption, loss of coordination and dependence if used long term. It’s therefore recommended that other treatments, such as psychological interventions, are tried first and [read the full story...]

Off to a good start. Are self-help interventions effective for people with comorbid physical and mental health problems?

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The ideal treatment for common mental health problems in those with chronic physical illness would have to be reliable, easy to deliver, inexpensive and accessible by a group of people whose physical impairment may affect treatment adherence. NICE guidelines (CG90 Depression; the treatment and management of depression in adults) recommend self-help interventions (SHIs) based on [read the full story...]

Longer adolescent duration of worry and low mood predicts problems in adulthood: suggests early intervention important

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Adolescent mental health problems are the cause of deep distress to hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK. Young Minds estimates that 850,000 children and young people in the UK have a diagnosed mental health problem, and many more may be suffering in silence.  Statistics on how likely it is that an adolescent with [read the full story...]

Does group CBT treatment reduce social anxiety disorder? Possibly, perhaps, maybe not!

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Social Anxiety Disorder used to be called Social Phobia and is generally regarded as the most prevalent form of common anxiety disorder. Estimates of lifetime prevalence vary but according to a US study, 12% of adults in the US will have social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives (Kessler et al, 2005). According [read the full story...]

Psychological treatment may be useful in reducing depression and anxiety in people with dementia, says new Cochrane review

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Depression and anxiety are both common conditions in patients with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with some studies finding around 30% of patients show at least some depressive symptoms (Enache et al, 2011). Similarly, a study on vascular dementia found around 70% of participants had two or more symptoms of anxiety (Ballard et al, 2000). [read the full story...]

Quitting smoking is associated with decreased anxiety, depression and stress, says new systematic review

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It is well known that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world (WHO, 2011). However, the associations between smoking and mental health are less well established. Smokers often want to quit, but the belief that cigarettes can be used to regulate mood can often deter them, and this is especially true [read the full story...]