Suicide in primary care: findings of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness


The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness was established in its current form at Manchester University in 1996. From 1991, prior to the move to Manchester, research in this area had been managed within the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  The NCISH has established an outstanding national and international reputation [read the full story...]

RCT compares two different versions of enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa in an inpatient setting


A general misconception about anorexia is that it’s just about eating and ‘being thin’, but it’s more complex than that. The illness affects multiple aspects of a person’s life, and often goes hand in hand with other psychological issues such as low mood, or excessive worry. In addition, the jury is still out on the exact [read the full story...]

WEAVE RCT: GP training, but not screening, may benefit women who have experienced intimate partner violence


Behaviour within an intimate relationship which causes psychological, physical or sexual harm to either party is known as intimate partner violence (IPV). This violence is perpetrated by both men and women, but significant injuries are more commonly sustained by women. Consequently, IPV is a major public health concern as it contributes majorly to mortality in [read the full story...]

Do people stop smoking if their doctor advises them to? Cochrane review says sometimes and it IS worth the effort


As previously discussed on the Mental Elf, the rates of tobacco smoking in most developed countries are falling, helped in part by high levels of taxation and bans on smoking in public places. However, over 20% of adults in the UK continue to smoke, and this means that smoking is the greatest single cause of [read the full story...]

Preventing or reducing domestic violence against pregnant women: more studies desperately needed!

Bruised woman's face

30% of domestic violence (DV) begins during pregnancy and is most prevalent within the working and lower middle socio-economic classes. It is a major public health concern and abuse during pregnancy is of particular concern due to the health risks to both mother and child. It can cause physical and psychological harm to women, and [read the full story...]

Systematic review: which anti-psychotic medication is the best?


Schizophrenia is considered a chronic long-term debilitating condition, affecting about 1% of the population. There has been considerable debate about which of the anti-psychotic medications are the best treatments. The debate has usually been structured around typical (older) and atypical (newer) anti-psychotic medications. The revised NICE guidelines (2009) moved towards a more neutral stance between [read the full story...]

Lack of evidence to support QOF incentives for assessing depression severity using tools in primary care

Form filling

Introduction The quality and outcomes framework was set up in 2004 to incentivise aspects of clinical practice within general practice in the UK. Two standards which are incentivised in depression are DEP4 (the percentage of patients who have had assessment of severity at diagnosis using a tool validated for use in primary care (PHQ-9, BDI-II, [read the full story...]

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Do interventions proven to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes work for individuals with severe mental illness?

shutterstock_high blood pressure

Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have shortened life expectancies compared to the general population. This is partly down to higher rates of chronic physical illness. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among patients using mental health services. It is assumed that interventions used to reduce CVD are similarly effective in patients with [read the full story...]

We need to know more about how to help adults who have experienced trauma

A graphic of PTSD concepts

People affected by trauma present in a number of different settings (Solomon et. al., 1997), sometimes immediately after the trauma, and sometimes much later when they are experiencing the effects of traumatic stress, depression, anxiety or other mental health difficulties. When trauma leads to an individual developing a post traumatic stress reaction, there is not [read the full story...]

Meta analysis of antidepressants vs talking therapies: another example of ‘All Must Have Prizes’?


Patients presenting to their GP with a mental health problem are likely to be offered medication, in the form of antidepressants, and/or a ‘talking therapy’, such as counselling or CBT. This is because we know that both those broad categories of treatments (drugs and psychological therapies) are effective in reducing symptoms. However, it’s less clear [read the full story...]