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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Online social networking and psychosis

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Nikki Newhouse reports on a recent systematic review of online social networking and psychosis. Her blog explores the potential benefits and harms of online social networking for people with psychosis, and reflects on some of the challenges facing researchers working in the field.

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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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Medication for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

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Elena Marcus summarises a recent network meta-analysis published in The Lancet of the comparative efficacy and tolerability of medication for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

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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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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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Anti-inflammatory drugs for depression: new review points to benefits, but more research needed

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Helge Hasselmann highlights a recent systematic review of anti-inflammatory drugs for depression, which concludes that NSAIDs, in particular celecoxib, decreases depressive symptoms without increased risk of adverse effects. However, the meta-analysis has a number of draw-backs, which make the study findings far from convincing.

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Are treatments for borderline personality disorder cost-effective?

Dialectical behaviour therapy was specifically developed to help people with borderline personality disorders

Our resident Elf Economist, Chris Sampson, reports on a new systematic review of economic evaluations for borderline personality disorder. Are any cost-effective?

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Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Online and social networking interventions for depression in young people

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Nikki Newhouse reports on a recent systematic review that brings together 22 studies which investigate a range of online CBT and social networking interventions designed to help young people with depression.

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