CBT and motivational interviewing are effective treatments for comorbid alcohol use disorders and depression, says new meta-analysis

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Alcohol use disorder is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, and the disease burden associated with this dual diagnosis is considerably greater than that attributed to each disorder in isolation. This creates a problem for clinicians who are trying to treat depressed problem drinkers, because many services are set up to deal with only one [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...]

Systematic review highlights a lack of evidence about using antidepressants to treat cancer patients with depression

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Having a life threatening disease such as cancer and undergoing gruelling treatment can have detrimental psychological effects. According to a recent review, for instance, the prevalence of depression among cancer patients is 10.8%, when assessed by a standardised clinical assessment (Ng et al. 2011). The authors of this meta-analysis make the argument that established criteria [read the full story...]

‘Beating the Blues’ intervention shows promise for reducing depression and improving quality of life in older African Americans

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This paper reports the findings of a study exploring a new approach to treating the symptoms of depression in older African Americans. This a group of the population with very high levels of general health care needs – the result of a combination of factors including the USA’s political and social history but also modern [read the full story...]

Financial incentives don’t increase depression screening for patients with chronic illness

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The lines between physical health and mental health are blurred in lots of ways, and one example is the fact that people with chronic physical conditions are also more likely to suffer from depression. As well as adding to their burden of illness, there’s also some evidence that those patients with comorbid depression have worse [read the full story...]

Cutting across diagnostic categories: Does stimulant medication improve ADHD symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder?

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Until fairly recently, it was thought that autism spectrum disorder (ASD; previously known as PDD or pervasive developmental disorder) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were two entirely separate childhood-onset conditions and that they could not both be diagnosed in one individual. Numerous studies in the last decade have shown that, in reality, a number of [read the full story...]

#MindfulnessMonday – Mindfulness-based stress reduction works for patients with breast cancer

Patients with breast cancer commonly have lots on their mind (psychological distress)

Within the woodland October is a month of themes. Many of you will be familiar with #Stoptober, which always helps any elves who sneak round the the back of the woodshed, to give up smoking. You may be less aware of our #MindfulnessMonday activities that will be sprinkled across the month; showcasing the potential benefits that [read the full story...]

Concurrent treatments may be effective in treating comorbid alcohol dependence and PTSD

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In those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol abuse or dependence is the most common co-morbid disorder. Unfortunately, although individuals with PTSD and alcohol dependence (AD) often have complex needs, the treatments available usually only target one issue. This is often due to specialist treatment services not having access to treatments for comorbid disorders, and [read the full story...]

Psychiatric comorbidity increases the risk of premature mortality in epilepsy

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There is a back to school feeling in the air in the Woodland this week, and so this comes to you with the help of my shiny new yellow pencil case. Epilepsy affects around 70 million people around the world and premature mortality is substantial with almost half of epilepsy-related deaths occuring in those younger [read the full story...]

Behavioural weight-loss interventions can be effective for people with serious mental illness, says new RCT

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People with serious mental illness have mortality rates 2-3 times as high as the general population. The primary cause of death is cardiovascular disease, which in turn is due to an extremely high prevalence of obesity (twice that of the overall population). Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and weight gain from psychotropic medication are all factors [read the full story...]