Art therapy for schizophrenia: an effective add-on treatment?

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The MATISSE trial in 2012 concluded that group art therapy did no better than standard care at improving symptoms for people with schizophrenia. A new critique of that RCT from the British Association of Art Therapists says the therapy can be more useful.

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Paliperidone Palmitate is no better than Haloperidol Decanoate at preventing relapse or controlling psychotic symptoms

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Alex Langford summarises a relatively large and pragmatic study, which provides firm evidence that the newer antipsychotic, Paliperidone, is no better at preventing relapse or controlling psychotic symptoms than its decades-old comparator, Haloperidol.

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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...]

RCT shows CBT is more effective than psychoanalytic psychotherapy for treating bulimia nervosa, but that’s only half the story

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I had actually heard about this Danish study, published recently by Poulsen et al. (2014) in the American Journal of Psychiatry, before it landed in my inbox. The findings are interesting because they highlight the debate surrounding the comparative efficacy of psychological treatments. What is most striking though, is how the study itself challenges the [read the full story...]

CBT is more cost-effective than SSRI alone as treatment for panic disorder

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In addition to its impact on quality of life, panic disorder can have a number of costly consequences such as lost productivity – particularly if also associated with agoraphobia. Cost-effectiveness is therefore an important consideration in choosing the optimal treatment for panic disorder, which might improve value via the cost side of the equation. A recent [read the full story...]

Targeted mindfulness-based relapse prevention may support long-term outcomes for substance use disorders

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Approximately 10.6% of individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) in the US seek treatment, with 40-60% relapsing within a year (Dept of Health and Human Services, 2008; McLellan et al, 2000). This highlights a real need for substance abuse treatment that focuses on relapse prevention. This blog summarises a recent RCT from JAMA Psychiatry on [read the full story...]

Anorexia Nervosa and Oxytocin: focusing our attention

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Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a very serious illness with a high morbidity; it is also notoriously difficult to treat. Praise then to researchers investigating innovative treatments that might help. This pair of papers investigating the hormone oxytocin have been widely reported in the popular press, from the BBC to Time magazine and the Daily Mail (link withheld [read the full story...]

Psychotherapy trials should report the side effects of treatment

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If a treatment is powerful enough to have a good effect, then it’s powerful enough to have a bad effect. This is well recognised when it comes to medication, with strict regulations in place to ensure adverse outcomes are monitored and measured. By contrast, psychotherapy has never been as readily associated with the potential to [read the full story...]

Moving to better neighbourhoods: bad for boys, good for girls?

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The link between external influences such as family and neighbourhood experiences and young people’s mental health outcomes has been extensively commented on in the literature. While it is more common for studies to focus on the individual or family level, looking at things from a wider perspective is interesting especially from a public mental health [read the full story...]

New study demonstrates effectiveness of antipsychotic Pimavanserin for Parkinson’s disease psychosis

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When we think of Parkinson’s disease (PD), hallucinations and delusions are probably not the first symptoms that come to mind. And yet, it is estimated that nearly half of all patients with PD experience psychotic symptoms at one time or another. Although deficits in motor function are seen as the hallmark of PD, it is [read the full story...]