Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care

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The BRAIN-ICU prospective cohort study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at mental health outcomes and functional disabilities in a general ICU population. It explores the hypothesis that depressive symptoms after discharge are more often somatic (i.e. bodily complaints) than cognitive-affective (i.e. thought-related and mood-related complaints).

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Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders

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This recent and well-conducted meta-review concludes that the impact on mortality and suicide of mental disorders is substantial, and probably poorly appreciated as a public health problem. Raphael Underwood’s blog summarises the data for all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders.

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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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We don’t know if general health advice improves physical health for patients with serious mental illness

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For me, one of the most infuriating aspects of health care is the relegation of mental health problems, and mental health services, as secondary to physical health. There are a myriad of examples of this, from the classic stigma that people with mental health problems receive compared to those with physical health problems (fantastically illustrated [read the full story...]

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...]

Rates of psychosis in epilepsy may not be as high as previously reported, says new systematic review

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For many years, psychiatry has highlighted that people with epilepsy appear to have an elevated risk for psychosis.  However, studies exploring this relationship (of which there are many) seem to disagree on just what the prevalence of psychosis is in this group.  For example, Gudmundsson (1966) interviewed every patient with epilepsy in Iceland and concluded [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...]

Physical health monitoring in serious mental illness is a priority in psychiatry, but where is the evidence that it works?

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It is widely acknowledged that individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression have increased rates of mortality, due to poor physical health. As well as reducing quality of life and function and decreasing life expectancy, physical illness can worsen these mental illnesses. The reasons for this include lifestyle [read the full story...]

Is treatment for depression cost-effective in people with diabetes?

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There is evidence to suggest that people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression. It’s therefore important that the cost-effectiveness of treatments for comorbid depression be indentified. The elves have already reported on a review of the effectiveness of collaborative care for people with diabetes and depression, suggesting that the intervention might be effective. While [read the full story...]

Extended therapy with varenicline reduces rates of smoking relapse in people with serious mental health issues

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People with serious mental health issues such as schizophrenia have higher rates of cigarette smoking than the general population, with estimates suggesting more than 50% are current smokers. When people in this population do manage to quit during treatment we then see particularly high rates of relapse after treatment ends. A new randomised control trial (Evins [read the full story...]