Cognitive bias modification for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents

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Shirley Reynolds writes her debut Mental Elf blog on a recent meta-analysis of cognitive bias modification (CBM) for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. The review suggests that, on the face of it, we should not be investing in future CBM research, but is it that simple?

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Psychotherapies for anxiety in bipolar disorder

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Elena Marcus finds inconclusive results in this recent systematic review of psychological therapy for anxiety in bipolar spectrum disorders, which includes trials of CBT, mindfulness based cognitive therapy and stress management therapy.

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Cognitive bias modification for anxiety and depression: is practice based on sound evidence?

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Sarah McDonald reviews a recent meta-analysis on the efficacy of cognitive bias modification interventions in anxiety and depression, which finds a dearth of reliable research to support the use of this treatment.

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Childhood adversity linked to psychotropic drug use in later life

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Andrew Jones summarises a large Finnish population-based cohort study, which finds that childhood adversities strongly predict the use of psychotropic drugs (such as antidepressants and antipsychotics) in adulthood.

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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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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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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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Mental health therapy for refugee and asylum seeking children: a small evidence base for a big problem

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Laurence Palfreyman considers the very small and mixed evidence base of mental health interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children presented in a well conducted systematic review from last year.

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CBT for insomnia in psychiatric populations: an effective alternative to hypnotics?

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Amy Green appraises a systematic review of CBT for insomnia (CBTi) in people with comorbid mental illness, which concludes that cognitive behaviour therapy could be an effective alternative to hypnotics. However, concerns about the review methodology cast some doubt on the findings.

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Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for all common mental health disorders?

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For his ninth Mental Elf blog, Mark Smith reports on a Cochrane systematic review of the effectiveness of short term psychodynamic therapies on common mental health disorders.

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