Are there any effective interventions for preventing falls in older people with mental health problems?

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Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year (College of Optometrists, 2011) and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This fact alone should be giving us the drive to look for ways to prevent falls in healthcare settings. A systematic review recently published in BMC Nursing (Bunn et al, 2014) is [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...]

Recent review suggests Agomelatine is as effective as other antidepressants, but controversy persists

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In spite of widely available different antidepressants, major depression does not respond adequately in up to one third of patients. Overall, the need for both reliable and well-tolerated treatment has remained unmet for a sizeable proportion of people with depression. In the past couple of years, there has been controversy about the suitability of Agomelatine (Valdoxan) [read the full story...]

Community treatment orders simply don’t work

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Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) were introduced in the UK in the last revisions of the Mental Health Act. They are highly controversial, and unpopular amongst the mental health community. They clearly impact on an individual’s Human Rights. Interestingly, they cannot enforce a treatment but can require an individual to return to hospital or a place of treatment. [read the full story...]

Dealing with a diagnosis of dementia: putting a systematic review into context

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Last July I wrote a blog (Helping patients and carers deal with a diagnosis of dementia: one size doesn’t fit all) about a systematic review of qualitative evidence (Bunn, 2012) relating to patients and carers experiences of reaching and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia.  That blog was heavily influenced by personal experience of my [read the full story...]

Insufficient evidence for sexual health promotion interventions in people with severe mental illness

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People with serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have higher morbidity and mortality rates due to physical illness. It’s estimated that people with SMI die 10-15 years earlier than the general population (DeHert et al, 2011). Increasingly attention is being paid to ways to improve the physical health of people with [read the full story...]

Cochrane review finds that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy and electrostimulation show little benefit for smoking cessation

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Despite being on the decline, smoking is still one of the largest causes of preventable morbidity and mortality in the world. According to recent World Health Organisation data, smoking directly kills around 5 million people every year.  The NHS spends almost £90 million on cessation efforts to combat the £5 billion treatment cost. Recent research [read the full story...]

Systematic review finds no good evidence to restrict the freedom of people with mental health problems

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Compulsory community treatment (CCT) is a method used in many industrialized nations, including the UK and Australia, that allows clinicians to legally oblige those with severe mental illness to comply with treatment in the community and can allow clinicians to recall them to hospital merely because they are not compliant with an aspect of treatment [read the full story...]

Little differences among antidepressants regarding sexual dysfunction, but bupropion performs best

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Antidepressant treatment is associated with a variety of side effects, including emotional changes, weight gain or fatigue. As pharmaceutical treatment has evolved, clinicians have become increasingly aware of another major adverse effect of modern antidepressants: sexual dysfunction. Current figures estimate that up to every second patient will, at some stage, experience reduced sexual function, which [read the full story...]

Maternal depression may be associated with offspring obesity, according to systematic review

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Maternal depression is a serious mental health condition and does not only affect the mental health of the mother, but also the physical health of her children. One meta-analysis found that up to 19% of women in developed countries experienced an episode of depression in the 3-month prenatal period (Gavin et al., 2005). More specifically, [read the full story...]