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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Alcohol misuse and PTSD comorbidity: a significant problem lacking solutions

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Current NICE guidelines state that PTSD should not be dealt with unless alcohol dependence is first treated. Paul Christiansen summarises a systematic review of the comorbidity between PTSD and alcohol misuse and wonders where the guidance leaves patients and professionals.

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Depression and cancer: Lancet papers on prevalence and integrated collaborative care

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Kirsten Lawson highlights a trio of Lancet papers on the prevalence of depression in cancer patients and the efficacy of a new treatment programme called ‘Depression Care for People with Cancer’.

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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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New study estimates that UK smokers with mental illness cost the economy £2.34 billion

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This new study estimates that there are approximately 3 million smokers in the UK with mental illness, and the direct cost of treatment to the NHS in this population was £719 million in 2010. The total smoking-attributable costs for this group are estimated at £2.34 billion.

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Homelessness and mental illness in children and young people

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This study explores the prevalence of psychiatric disorder and comorbidity among a UK sample of young people with experience of homelessness. It finds an extremely high prevalence of mental illness, combined with low levels of mental health service use.

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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...]

The cost-effectiveness of liaison psychiatry: the case of RAID

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Liaison psychiatry brings together medical and psychiatric staff in hospital wards and emergency departments, with the aim of more adequately addressing comorbidities between physical and mental health. It’s something that’s been discussed in the Woodland before, with recommendations for wider implementation. The Guardian recently published an article discussing the findings of a recent study and [read the full story...]