Olfactory function tests are sensitive tools for assessing sensory-cognitive processing in schizophrenia. However, associations of central olfactory measures with clinical outcome parameters have not been simultaneously studied in large samples of schizophrenia patients.
In the framework of the comprehensive phenotyping of the GRAS (Göttingen Research Association for Schizophrenia) cohort, we modified and extended existing odor naming (active memory retrieval) and interpretation (attribute assignment) tasks to evaluate them in 881 schizophrenia patients and 102 healthy controls matched for age, gender and smoking behavior. Associations with emotional processing, neuropsychological test performance and disease outcome were studied.
Schizophrenia patients underperformed controls in both olfactory tasks. Odor naming deficits were primarily associated with compromised cognition, interpretation deficits with positive symptom severity and general alertness. Contrasting schizophrenia extreme performers of odor interpretation (best versus worst percentile; N=88 each) and healthy individuals (N=102) underscores the obvious relationship between impaired odor interpretation and psychopathology, cognitive dysfunctioning, and emotional processing (all p<0.004).
The strong association of performance in higher olfactory measures, odor naming and interpretation, with lead symptoms of schizophrenia and determinants of disease severity highlights their clinical and scientific significance. Based on the results obtained here in an exploratory fashion in a large patient sample, the development of an easy-to-use clinical test with improved psychometric properties may be encouraged.
Odor naming; Higher olfactory processing; Odor interpretation; Positive symptoms; Cognition
There is a lack of empirical studies of patients’ level of humiliation during the hospital admission process and its implications for the clinical setting. We wanted to explore associations between self-rated humiliation and socio-demography and psychopathology in relation to admission to a psychiatric emergency unit.
Consecutively admitted patients (N = 186) were interviewed with several validated instruments. The patients self-rated humiliation by The Cantril Ladder, and 35% of the sample was defined as the high humiliation group.
Final multivariate analysis found significant associations between compulsory admission, not being in paid work, high scores on hostility, and on entitlement, and high levels of humiliation. No significant interactions were observed between these variables, and the narcissism score was not a confounder concerning humiliation.
High level of humiliation during the admission process was mainly related to patient factors, but also to compulsory admission which should be avoided as much as possible protecting the self-esteem of the patients.
Humiliation; Psychiatry; Narcissism; Psychopathology; Violence
This study focuses on people with complex and severe mental health problems who require inpatient rehabilitation. The majority have a diagnosis of schizophrenia whose recovery has been delayed due to non-response to first-line treatments, cognitive impairment, negative symptoms and co-existing problems such as substance misuse. These problems contribute to major impairments in social and everyday functioning necessitating lengthy admissions and high support needs on discharge to the community. Engagement in structured activities reduces negative symptoms of psychosis and may lead to improvement in function, but no trials have been conducted to test the efficacy of interventions that aim to achieve this.
This study aims to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a staff training intervention to increase service users’ engagement in activities. This is a single-blind, two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial involving 40 inpatient mental health rehabilitation units across England. Units are randomised on an equal basis to receive either standard care or a “hands-on”, manualised staff training programme comprising three distinct phases (predisposing, enabling and reinforcing) delivered by a small team of psychiatrists, occupational therapists, service users and activity workers. The primary outcome is service user engagement in activities 12 months after randomisation, assessed using a standardised measure. Secondary outcomes include social functioning and costs and cost-effectiveness of care.
The study will provide much needed evidence for a practical staff training intervention that has potential to improve service user functioning, reducing the need for hospital treatment and supporting successful community discharge. The trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials (Ref ISRCTN25898179).
To ascertain whether factors of the family environment and gestational period are associated with the appearance of ADHD in children, as reported by various different informants (mothers and teachers).
This paper presents results from the dataset of a longitudinal study to evaluate behavioral problems among schoolchildren in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro State, in 2005 and 2006. The cross-section considered for this paper comprises records of exposure factors and ADHD. In all, 370 schoolchildren of the public school system were assessed by 3-stage cluster sampling. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Teacher Report Form (TRF) were used to measure outcomes. The exposure factors examined were: profile of child and mother, variables relating to the family environment, and perinatal considerations. The questions were answered by mothers and teachers. A hierarchical logistic regression model was used.
Precariously functioning families, lack of social support for mothers, adverse life events and discord during pregnancy were the factors associated with mother-reported ADHD. When ADHD was reported by teachers, the variables selected were: Intelligence quotient (IQ) and sex, with children with low IQ scores and boys more likely to display the disorder.
Assessment of ADHD by teachers or mothers reveals specific characteristics that reflect how each of these informants understands the children. This highlights the importance of using informants from different environments in diagnosing the disorder.
ADHD; Family environment; Perinatal period; Hierarchical model
Prolactin elevations occur in people treated with antipsychotic medications and are often much higher in women than in men. Hyperprolactinemia is known to cause amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, galactorrhea and gynecomastia in females and is also associated with sexual dysfunction and bone loss. These side effects increase risk of antipsychotic nonadherence and suicide and pose significant problems in the long term management of women with schizophrenia. In this manuscript, we review the literature on prolactin; its physiology, plasma levels, side effects and strategies for treatment. We also present the rationale and protocol for an ongoing clinical trial to treat symptomatic hyperprolactinemia in premenopausal women with schizophrenia. More attention and focus are needed to address these significant side effects and help the field better personalize the treatment of women with schizophrenia.
Women; Prolactin; Amenorrhea; Galactorrhea; Clinical trial; Sexual dysfunction; Osteoporosis; Aripiprazole
Numerous genome-wide gene expression studies of bipolar disorder (BP) have been carried out. These studies are heterogeneous, underpowered and use overlapping samples. We conducted a systematic review of these studies to synthesize the current findings.
We identified all genome-wide gene expression studies on BP in humans. We then carried out a quantitative mega-analysis of studies done with post-mortem brain tissue. We obtained raw data from each study and used standardized procedures to process and analyze the data. We then combined the data and conducted three separate mega-analyses on samples from 1) any region of the brain (9 studies); 2) the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (6 studies); and 3) the hippocampus (2 studies). To minimize heterogeneity across studies, we focused primarily on the most numerous, recent and comprehensive studies.
A total of 30 genome-wide gene expression studies of BP done with blood or brain tissue were identified. We included 10 studies with data on 211 microarrays on 57 unique BP cases and 229 microarrays on 60 unique controls in the quantitative mega-analysis. A total of 382 genes were identified as significantly differentially expressed by the three analyses. Eleven genes survived correction for multiple testing with a q-value < 0.05 in the PFC. Among these were FKBP5 and WFS1, which have been previously implicated in mood disorders. Pathway analyses suggested a role for metallothionein proteins, MAP Kinase phosphotases, and neuropeptides.
We provided an up-to-date summary of results from gene expression studies of the brain in BP. Our analyses focused on the highest quality data available and provided results by brain region so that similarities and differences can be examined relative to disease status. The results are available for closer inspection on-line at Metamoodics [http://metamoodics.igm.jhmi.edu/], where investigators can look up any genes of interest and view the current results in their genomic context and in relation to leading findings from other genomic experiments in bipolar disorder.
Microarray; Gene expression; Bipolar disorder; Mega-analysis; FKBP5; WFS1; Genome-wide; Brain; Prefrontal cortex; Hippocampus
Many new approaches have been adopted for the treatment of bipolar disorder (BD) in the past few years, which strived to produce more positive outcomes. To enhance the quality of care, several guideline recommendations have been developed. For study purposes, we monitored the prescription of psychotropic drugs administered to bipolar patients who had been referred to tertiary care services, and assessed the degree to which treatment met specific guidelines.
Between December 2006 and February 2009, we assessed 113 individuals suffering from BD who had been referred to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (ROMHC) Mood Disorders Program by physicians within the community, mostly general practitioners. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR was used to assess diagnosis. The prescribed treatment was compared with specific Canadian guidelines (CANMAT, 2009). Univariate analyses and logistic regression were used to assess the contribution of demographic and clinical factors for concordance of treatment with guidelines.
Thirty-two subjects had BD type I (BD-I), and 81 subjects had BD type II (BD-II). All subjects with BD-I, and 90% of the BD-II group were given at least one psychotropic treatment. Lithium was more often prescribed for subjects with BD-I (62%) than those with BD-II (19%). Antidepressants were the most frequently prescribed class of psychotropics. Sixty-eight percent of subjects received treatment concordant with guidelines by medication and dose. The presence of a current hypomanic episode was independently associated with poorer concordance to guidelines. In more than half the cases, the inappropriate use of antidepressants was at the origin of the non concordance of treatment with respect to guidelines. Absence of psychotropic treatment in bipolar II patients and inadequate dosage of mood stabilizers were the two other main causes of non concordance with guidelines.
The factors related to treatment not concordant with guidelines should be further explored to determine appropriate strategies in implementing the use of guidelines in clinical practice.
Bipolar disorder; Pharmacotherapy; Treatment; Guidelines
The assessment of personality organization and its observable behavioral manifestations, i.e. personality functioning, has a long tradition in psychodynamic psychiatry. Recently, the DSM-5 Levels of Personality Functioning Scale has moved it into the focus of psychiatric diagnostics. Based on Kernberg’s concept of personality organization the Structured Interview of Personality Organization (STIPO) was developed for diagnosing personality functioning. The STIPO covers seven dimensions: (1) identity, (2) object relations, (3) primitive defenses, (4) coping/rigidity, (5) aggression, (6) moral values, and (7) reality testing and perceptual distortions. The English version of the STIPO has previously revealed satisfying psychometric properties.
Validity and reliability of the German version of the 100-item instrument have been evaluated in 122 psychiatric patients. All patients were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and were assessed by means of the STIPO. Moreover, all patients completed eight questionnaires that served as criteria for external validity of the STIPO.
Interrater reliability varied between intraclass correlations of .89 and 1.0, Crohnbach’s α for the seven dimensions was .69 to .93. All a priori selected questionnaire scales correlated significantly with the corresponding STIPO dimensions. Patients with personality disorder (PD) revealed significantly higher STIPO scores (i.e. worse personality functioning) than patients without PD; patients cluster B PD showed significantly higher STIPO scores than patients with cluster C PD.
Interrater reliability, Crohnbach’s α, concurrent validity, and differential validity of the STIPO are satisfying. The STIPO represents an appropriate instrument for the assessment of personality functioning in clinical and research settings.
Personality functioning; Personality disorder; Diagnosis; Reliability; Validity
Data on therapeutic interventions following deliberate self harm (DSH) in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) are very scant and there is no unanimous consensus on the best pharmacological option for these patients. There is some evidence that lithium treatment might be effective in reducing the risk of completed suicide in adult patients with unipolar affective disorders, however no clear cut results have been found so far. The primary aim of the present study is to assess whether adding lithium to standard therapy is an effective treatment strategy to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour in long term treatment of people with TRD and previous history of DSH.
We will carry out a randomised, parallel group, assessor-blinded superiority clinical trial. Adults with a diagnosis of major depression, an episode of DSH in the previous 12 months and inadequate response to at least two antidepressants given sequentially at an adequate dose for an adequate time for the current depressive episode will be allocated to add lithium to current therapy (intervention arm) or not (control arm). Following randomisation, treatment is to be taken daily for 1 year unless some clear reason to stop develops. Suicide completion and acts of DSH during the 12 months of follow-up will constitute the composite primary outcome. To preserve outcome assessor blindness, an independent adjudicating committee, blind to treatment allocation, will anonymously review all outcome events.
The results of this study should indicate whether lithium treatment is associated with lower risk of completed suicide and DSH in adult patients with treatment resistant unipolar depression, who recently attempted suicide.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00927550
Randomised controlled trial; Lithium; Suicide; Deliberate self harm; Mortality; Depression; Treatment resistant; Antidepressant
Subthreshold depression and anxiety are common in the growing population of visually impaired older adults and increase the risk of full-blown depressive or anxiety disorders. Adequate treatment may prevent the development of depression or anxiety in this high risk group.
A stepped-care programme was developed based on other effective interventions and focus groups with professionals and patient representatives of three low vision rehabilitation organisations in the Netherlands and Belgium. The final programme consists of four steps: 1) watchful waiting, 2) guided self-help, 3) problem solving treatment, 4) referral to general practitioner. The (cost-)effectiveness of this programme is evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. Patients (N = 230) are randomly assigned to either a treatment group (stepped-care) or a control group (usual care). The primary outcome is the incidence of depressive and anxiety disorders, measured with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
Preventive interventions for depression and anxiety have received little attention in the field of low vision. A stepped-care programme that focuses on both depression and anxiety has never been investigated in visually impaired older adults before. If the intervention is shown to be effective, this study will result in an evidence based treatment programme to prevent depression or anxiety in patients from low vision rehabilitation organisations. The pragmatic design of the study greatly enhances the generalisability of the results. However, a possible limitation is the difficulty to investigate the contribution of each individual step.
Low vision; Stepped-care; Older adults; Depression; Anxiety; Prevention
Functional neuroimaging is being used in clinical psychiatry today despite the vigorous objections of many in the research community over issues of readiness. To date, a systematic examination of the perspectives of key stakeholders involved in this debate has not yet been attempted. To this fill this gap, we interviewed investigators who conduct functional neuroimaging studies involving adults with mood disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, providers who offer clinical neuroimaging services in the open marketplace, and consumers of these services, in order to understand perspectives underlying different views and practices.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted over the telephone. Verbal consent was obtained and all interviews were audio recorded. Interviews of investigators and service providers followed the same interview guide. A separate set of questions was developed for consumers. All interviews were transcribed and made software ready. We applied the qualitative methodology of constant comparison to analyze the data, whereby two researchers independently analyzed the results into textual themes. Coding discrepancies were discussed until consensus was achieved.
Investigators, service providers, and consumers held many common perspectives about the potential or actual risks and benefits of functional neuroimaging for mental illness. However, we also found striking divergences. Service providers focused on the challenges posed by the persistence of symptoms based diagnostic categories, whereas the limitations of the science in this area was the challenge noted most frequently by investigators. The majority of consumers stated that their expectations were met.
Our findings point toward a fundamental tension between academic investigators on the one hand, and commercial service providers and their customers on the other. This scenario poses dangers to the communities directly involved, and to public trust in science and medicine more generally. We conclude with recommendations for work that needs to be done to minimize tensions and maximize the potential of neurotechnology through concerted efforts to respect its limitations while leveraging the strengths, investments, and hopes of each stakeholder group.
This systematic review evaluates the efficacy of internet-based interventions for the treatment of different eating disorders in adults.
A search for peer reviewed journal articles detailing Randomised Control Trials (RCT) and Controlled Trials (CT) addressing participants with eating disorders aged at least 16 was completed in the electronic databases Web of Science, PsycInfo and PubMed. The quality of the included articles was assessed, results were reviewed and effect sizes and corresponding confidence intervals were calculated.
Eight studies, including a total of N = 609 participants, fulfilled the selection criteria and were included. The majority of treatments applied in these studies were based on CBT principles. Six studies described guided self-help interventions that showed significant symptom reduction in terms of primary and secondary outcomes regarding eating behaviour and abstinence rates. These studies produced significant medium to high effect sizes both within and between the groups after utilisation of guided self-help programs or a self-help book backed up with supportive e-mails. The two remaining studies utilised a specific writing task or e-mail therapy that did not follow a structured treatment program. Here, no significant effects could be found. Treatment dropout rates ranged from 9% to 47.2%. Furthermore, reductions in other symptoms, for example depression and anxiety, and an increase in quality of life were found by four studies.
Overall, the results support the value of internet-based interventions that use guided self-help to tackle eating disorders, but further research is needed due to the heterogeneity of the studies.
Eating disorders; Internet-based intervention; Systematic review; Binge eating disorder; Bulimia nervosa; EDNOS
Depression is common in diabetes and associated with hyperglycemia, diabetes related complications and mortality. No single intervention has been identified that consistently leads to simultaneous improvement of depression and glycemic control. Our aim is to analyze the efficacy of a diabetes-specific cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBT) compared to sertraline (SER) in adults with depression and poorly controlled diabetes.
This study is a multi-center parallel arm randomized controlled trial currently in its data analysis phase. We included 251 patients in 70 secondary care centers across Germany. Key inclusion criteria were: type 1 or 2 diabetes, major depression (diagnosed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, SCID) and hemoglobin A1C >7.5% despite current insulin therapy. During the initial phase, patients received either 50–200 mg/d sertraline or 10 CBT sessions aiming at the remission of depression and enhanced adherence to diabetes treatment and coping with diabetes. Both groups received diabetes treatment as usual. After 12 weeks of this initial open-label therapy, only the treatment-responders (50% depression symptoms reduction, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version [HAMD]) were included in the subsequent one year study phase and represented the primary analysis population. CBT-responders received no further treatment, while SER-responders obtained a continuous, flexible-dose SER regimen as relapse prevention. Adherence to treatment was analyzed using therapeutic drug monitoring (measurement of sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline concentrations in blood serum) and by counting the numbers of CBT sessions received. Outcome assessments were conducted by trained psychologists blinded to group assignment. Group differences in HbA1c (primary outcome) and depression (HAMD, secondary outcome) between 1-year follow-up and baseline will be analyzed by ANCOVA controlling for baseline values. As primary hypothesis we expect that CBT leads to significantly greater improvement of glycemic control in the one year follow-up in treatment responders of the short term phase.
The DAD study is the first randomized controlled trial comparing antidepressants to a psychological treatment in diabetes patients with depression.
The study is investigator initiated and was supported by the ‘Förderprogramm Klinische Studien (Clinical Trials)’ and the ‘Competence Network for Diabetes mellitus’ funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 01KG0505).
Current controlled trials ISRCTN89333241.
Previous studies have found high levels of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder among women survivors of human trafficking. No previous research has described risk factors for diagnosed mental disorders in this population.
A historical cohort study of women survivors of trafficked women aged 18 and over who returned to Moldova and registered for assistance with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Women were approached by IOM social workers and, if they gave informed consented to participate in the study, interviewed by the research team. At 2–12 months post-return to Moldova, a psychiatrist assessed DSM-IV mental disorders blind to information about women’s pre-trafficking and post-trafficking experiences using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID). A backwards stepwise selection procedure was used to create a multivariable regression model of risk factors for DSM-IV mental disorder measured at an average of 6 months post-return.
120/176 (68%) eligible women participated. At an average of 6 months post-return, 54% met criteria for any DSM-IV mental disorder: 35.8% of women had PTSD (alone or co-morbid), 12.5% had depression without PTSD and 5.8% had another anxiety disorder. Multivariable regression analysis found that childhood sexual abuse (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] 4.68, 95% CI 1.04-20.92), increased number of post-trafficking unmet needs (AOR 1.80; 95% CI 1.28-2.52) and post-trafficking social support (AOR 0.64; 95% CI 0.52-0.79) were independent risk factors for mental disorder, and that duration of trafficking showed a borderline association with mental disorder (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 0.98-1.29).
Assessment for mental disorders should be part of re-integration follow-up care for women survivors of human trafficking. Mental disorders at that time, most commonly PTSD and depression, are likely to be influenced by a range of predisposing, precipitating and maintaining factors. Care plans for survivors of trafficking must be based on individual needs, and must apply clinical guidelines for the treatment of PTSD and of depression. Evidence is needed on the effectiveness of therapy for PTSD in survivors of human trafficking.
Depression; PTSD; Human trafficking; Trauma; Violence; Women’s mental health
Some patients with depression do not respond to first and second line conventional antidepressants and are therefore characterised as suffering from treatment refractory depression (TRD). On-going psychosocial stress and dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are both associated with an attenuated clinical response to antidepressants. Preclinical data shows that co-administration of corticosteroids leads to a reduction in the ability of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to increase forebrain 5-hydroxytryptamine, while co-administration of antiglucocorticoids has the opposite effect. A Cochrane review suggests that antiglucocorticoid augmentation of antidepressants may be effective in treating TRD and includes a pilot study of the cortisol synthesis inhibitor, metyrapone. The Antiglucocorticoid augmentation of anti-Depressants in Depression (The ADD Study) is a multicentre randomised placebo controlled trial of metyrapone augmentation of serotonergic antidepressants in a large population of patients with TRD in the UK National Health Service.
Patients with moderate to severe treatment refractory Major Depression aged 18 to 65 will be randomised to metyrapone 500 mg twice daily or placebo for three weeks, in addition to on-going conventional serotonergic antidepressants. The primary outcome will be improvement in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score five weeks after randomisation (i.e. two weeks after trial medication discontinuation). Secondary outcomes will include the degree of persistence of treatment effect for up to 6 months, improvements in quality of life and also safety and tolerability of metyrapone. The ADD Study will also include a range of sub-studies investigating the potential mechanism of action of metyrapone.
Strengths of the ADD study include broad inclusion criteria meaning that the sample will be representative of patients with TRD treated within the UK National Health Service, longer follow up, which to our knowledge is longer than any previous study of antiglucocorticoid treatments in depression, and the range of mechanistic investigations being carried out. The data set acquired will be a rich resource for a range of research questions relating to both refractory depression and the use of antiglucocorticoid treatments.
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN45338259; EudraCT Number: 2009-015165-31.
Antidepressive agents; Cortisol; Depressive disorder; Metyrapone; Antiglucocorticoid treatment; Treatment refractory depression
Studies that compare neuropsychological functioning in inpatients with mood disorder or schizophrenia come to heterogeneous results. This study aims at investigating the question whether there are different neuropsychological test profiles in stabilised post-acute inpatients with affective disorders or schizophrenia.
We were interested in evaluating impairment in specific areas of cognitive functioning in patients with schizophrenia or depression. In clinical reality, patients with depression and schizophrenia are often treated together with little attention to their specific needs. 74 patients with major depression and 38 patients with schizophrenia were assessed in a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. All patients were in a post-acute stage of their illness, i.e. remission of acute symptoms.
In spite of a comparable mean score of psychopathological symptoms in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Expanded (BPRS-E) as well as in the Global Assessment Functioning Scale (GAF), patients with depressive disorder showed significantly better results in verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal fluency, visual-motor coordination, information processing in visual-verbal functioning and selective attention compared to patients with schizophrenia. No significant differences between both samples were found in practical reasoning, general verbal abstraction, spatial-figural functioning, speed of cognitive processing.
These results show that there are differences in scores in psychopathology (BPRS-E, GAF) in patients with affective disorders or schizophrenia and different neuropsychological test profiles in the post-acute stage of their illness.
Neuropsychological functioning; Depressive disorder; Schizophrenia; Psychopathology; Post-acute stage of the illness
Mental health is interconnected with somatic health and can manifest itself in biological processes. Life dissatisfaction is an indicator of subjective well-being, but information on its biological correlates is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the biological correlates along with other health-related factors of long-term life dissatisfaction in a population-based sample.
As part of the Kuopio Depression Study, health questionnaires were sent to a randomly selected population-based sample in 1998, 1999, and 2001. In 2005, among a clinically studied sub-sample (n = 305), the 7-year long-term life dissatisfaction burden was assessed by summing life satisfaction scores from previous health questionnaires. Several sociodemographic, health, health behavior, and biological factors were investigated in respect to their associations to categorized (low and high) and continuous (linear regression) life satisfaction burden score (higher values indicating dissatisfaction).
In the final linear regression model long-term life dissatisfaction burden was significantly associated with poor social support (B = 0.138; p < 0.001), marital status (i.e. living alone) (B = 0.049; p = 0.019), current smoking (B = 0.087; p < 0.001), poor sleep (B = 0.052; p = 0.001), use of statins (B = −0.052; p = 0.002) and lower serum adiponectin level (B = −0.001; p = 0.039) whereas association of metabolic syndrome was marginally nonsignificant (B = 0.029; p = 0.055).
Long-term life dissatisfaction is associated with adverse health, health behavioral, and social factors, as well as with a decreased anti-inflammatory buffer capacity, all indicating close relationships between subjective well-being and somatic morbidity.
Life satisfaction; Burden; Social support; Inflammation; Adiponectin; Metabolic syndrome
There is a need for studies that can highlight principles of addiction recovery. Because social relationships are involved in all change processes, understanding how social motivations affect the recovery process is vital to guide support programs.
The objective was to develop a model of recovery by examining addicted individuals’ social motivations through longitudinal assessment of non-professional support dyads. A qualitative, longitudinal study design was used, combining focus groups and in-depth interviews with addicted individuals and their sponsors. Data were analyzed using the principles of grounded theory: open coding and memos for conceptual labelling, axial coding for category building, and selective coding for theory building. The setting was an addiction recovery social support program in Oslo, Norway. The informants included nine adults affected by addiction, six sponsors, and the program coordinator. The participants were addicted to either alcohol (2), benzodiazepines (1), pain killers (1) or polydrug-use (5). The sponsors were unpaid, and had no history of addiction problems.
Support perceived to be ineffective emerged in dyads with no operationalized goal, and high emotional availability with low degree of practical support. Support perceived to be effective was signified by the sponsor attending to power imbalance and the addict coming into position to help others and feel useful.
The findings appear best understood as a positive identity-model of recovery, indicated by the pursuit of skill building relevant to a non-drug using identity, and enabled by the on-going availability of instrumental support. This produced situations where role reversals were made possible, leading to increased self-esteem. Social support programs should be based on a positive identity-model of recovery that enable the building of a life-sustainable identity.
Principles of recovery; Grounded theory; Positive identity; Social support
Alcohol use disorders and social anxiety disorder are common and disabling conditions that frequently co-exist. Although there are efficacious treatments for each disorder, only two randomized controlled trials of interventions for these combined problems have been published. We developed a new integrated treatment for comorbid Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder based on established Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) interventions for the separate disorders. Compared to established MI/CBT for alcohol use disorders this new intervention is hypothesised to lead to greater reductions in symptoms of social anxiety and alcohol use disorder and to produce greater improvements in quality of life. Higher levels of alcohol dependence will result in relatively poorer outcomes for the new integrated treatment.
A randomised controlled trial comparing 9 sessions of individual integrated treatment for alcohol and social phobia with 9 sessions of treatment for alcohol use problems alone is proposed. Randomisation will be stratified for stable antidepressant use. Post treatment clinical assessments of alcohol consumption and diagnostic status at 3 and 6 month follow-up will be blind to allocation.
The proposed trial addresses a serious gap in treatment evidence and could potentially define the appropriate treatment for a large proportion of adults affected by these problems.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12608000228381.
Alcohol use disorders; Social anxiety disorder; Comorbidity; Cognitive behavior therapy; Clinical trial
The aim of this study is to compare the 12-year follow-up effects on in- and outpatient services of 2 years of integrated treatment for recent-onset schizophrenia versus treatment as usual in a randomized controlled trial.
50 patients aged 18–35 years were randomized to Integrated Treatment (IT) (N = 30) or Treatment-as-Usual (TAU) (N = 20) for two years. TAU comprised optimal pharmacotherapy and outreach assertive treatment, while IT also included cognitive-behavioural family treatment, skills training, strategies for residual psychotic and non-psychotic problems and home-based crisis management.
There were no differences in number of days in hospital, time to readmission, number of admittances to psychiatric wards, number of involuntarily psychiatric admissions or number of outpatient contacts over a period of 12 years following the initial 2-year treatment trial. Fewer patients in the IT group were, however, involuntary admitted to hospital in the period.
The intensive two-year psychosocial intervention seemed to have little long-term effects on use of in- and outpatient services.
Current Controlled Trials:
Schizophrenia; Integrated treatment; Early intervention; Long term outcome
The START and SAPROF are newly developed fourth generation structured professional judgement instruments assessing strengths and protective factors. The DUNDRUM-3 and DUNDRUM-4 also measure positive factors, programme completion and recovery in forensic settings.
We compared these instruments with other validated risk instruments (HCR-20, S-RAMM), a measure of psychopathology (PANSS) and global function (GAF). We prospectively tested whether any of these instruments predict violence or self harm in a secure hospital setting (n = 98) and whether they had true protective effects, interacting with and off-setting risk measures.
SAPROF and START-strengths had strong inverse (negative) correlations with the HCR-20 and S-RAMM. SAPROF correlated strongly with GAF (r = 0.745). In the prospective in-patient study, SAPROF predicted absence of violence, AUC = 0.847 and absence of self-harm AUC = 0.766. START-strengths predicted absence of violence AUC = 0.776, but did not predict absence of self-harm AUC = 0.644. The DUNDRUM-3 programme completion and DUNDRUM-4 recovery scales also predicted in-patient violence (AUC 0.832 and 0.728 respectively), and both predicted in-patient self-harm (AUC 0.750 and 0.713 respectively). When adjusted for the HCR-20 total score however, SAPROF, START-S, DUNDRUM-3 and DUNDRUM-4 scores were not significantly different for those who were violent or for those who self harmed. The SAPROF had a significant interactive effect with the HCR-dynamic score. Item to outcome studies often showed a range of strengths of association with outcomes, which may be specific to the in-patient setting and patient group studied.
The START and SAPROF, DUNDRUM-3 and DUNDRUM-4 can be used to assess both reduced and increased risk of violence and self-harm in mentally ill in-patients in a secure setting. They were not consistently better than the GAF, HCR-20, S-RAMM, or PANSS when predicting adverse events. Only the SAPROF had an interactive effect with the HCR-20 risk assessment indicating a true protective effect but as structured professional judgement instruments all have additional content (items) complementary to existing risk assessments, useful for planning treatment and risk management.
Risk; Violence; Self-harm; SAPROF; START; DUNDRUM toolkit; HCR-20; S-RAMM; Forensic; Protective
Prescribing of antipsychotics (AP) to young people has increased in the last decade internationally. We aimed to characterize AP prescribing in a population of low-income youth in Nova Scotia, Canada.
We conducted a population database study of AP prescription claims and health services utilization by young people aged 25 years and younger receiving drug benefits through the publicly funded Pharmacare program between October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2007.
Four percent (1715/43888) of youth receiving Pharmacare benefits filled AP prescriptions. The use of second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) significantly increased (p < 0.0001) in all age groups except 0-5 year olds, whereas first generation antipsychotic use significantly decreased. Pharmacare beneficiaries aged 21-25 years represented 45.2% of AP users. The majority (66%) of youth filling AP prescriptions had 2 or more psychiatric diagnoses. Most youth (76%) filled prescriptions for only one type of AP during the study period. Psychotic disorders were the most common indication for AP use except with risperidone, in which ADHD was the most likely reason for use. Co-prescribing of psychotropics was prevalent with antidepressants and mood stabilizers prescribed in 42% and 27% of AP users, respectively. General practitioners (GPs) prescribed incident APs most often (72%) followed by psychiatrists (16%). The age- and gender-adjusted rate of death was higher in AP users as compared to the age-matched general population of Nova Scotia.
SGA use increased significantly over seven years in a cohort of 0 to 25 years olds receiving Pharmacare benefits. Off-label use of APs was prevalent with ADHD and other non-psychotic disorders being common reasons for AP use. GPs initiated most AP prescriptions. Co-prescribing of other psychotropics, especially antidepressants and mood stabilizers, was prevalent even in younger age strata. This study raises further questions about AP prescribing in those 25 years of age and under, especially given the range of diagnoses and psychotropic co-prescribing.
Antipsychotics; Pediatrics; Retrospective studies; Pharmacoepidemiology
This study examined the efficacy and safety of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) augmentation for treating irritability in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Forty children and adolescents met diagnostic criteria for ASD according to DSM-IV. They were randomly allocated into one of the two groups of NAC (1200 mg/day)+risperidone or placebo+risperidone. NAC and placebo were administered in the form of effervescent and in two divided doses for 8 weeks. Irritability subscale score of Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) was considered as the main outcome measure. Adverse effects were also checked.
The mean score of irritability in the NAC+risperidone and placebo+risperidone groups at baseline was 13.2(5.3) and 16.7(7.8), respectively. The scores after 8 weeks were 9.7(4.1) and 15.1(7.8), respectively. Repeated measures of ANOVA showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups after 8 weeks. The most common adverse effects in the NAC+risperidone group were constipation (16.1%), increased appetite (16.1%), fatigue (12.9%), nervousness (12.9%), and daytime drowsiness (12.9%). There was no fatal adverse effect.
Risperidone plus NAC more than risperidone plus placebo decreased irritability in children and adolescents with ASD. Meanwhile, it did not change the core symptoms of autism. Adverse effects were not common and NAC was generally tolerated well.
This trial was registered at http://www.irct.ir. The registration number of this trial was IRCT201106103930N6
Autism; Clinical trial; Randomized; Therapy; N-acetylcysteine; Oxidative stress
In Switzerland, people with a severe mental illness and unable to work receive disability benefits (‘IV-pension’). Once they are granted these benefits, the chances to regain competitive employment are usually small. However, previous studies have shown that individual placement and support (IPS) supports a successful reintegration into competitive employment. This study focuses on the integration of newly appointed IV-pensioners, who have received an IV-pension for less than a year.
The present pilot project ZHEPP (Zürcher Eingliederungs-Pilot Projekt; engl.: Zurich integration pilot project) is a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The 250 participants will be randomized to either the intervention or the control group. The intervention group receives support of a job coach according to the approach of IPS. Participants in the control group do not receive IPS support. Participation takes a total of two years for each participant. Each group is interviewed every six months (T0-T4). A two-factor analysis of variance will be conducted with the two factors group (intervention versus control group) and outcome (employment yes/no). The main criterion of the two-factor analysis will be the number of competitive employment contracts in each group.
This study will focus on the impact of IPS on new IV-pensioners and aims to identify predictors for a successful integration. Furthermore, we will examine the effect of IPS on stigma variables and recovery orientation.
Psychopathology seems to play a role in reflux pathogenesis and vice versa, yet few population-based studies have systematically investigated the association between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and psychopathology. We thus aimed to investigate the relationship between GORD-related symptoms and psychological symptomatology, as well as clinically diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders in a randomly selected, population-based sample of adult women.
This study examined data collected from 1084 women aged 20-93 yr participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. Mood and anxiety disorders were identified using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition (SCID-I/NP), and psychological symptomatology was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). GORD-related symptoms were self-reported and confirmed by medication use where possible and lifestyle factors were documented.
Current psychological symptomatology and mood disorder were associated with increased odds of concurrent GORD-related symptoms (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3-3.5, and OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.7-5.6, respectively). Current anxiety disorder also tended to be associated with increased odds of current GORD-related symptoms (p = 0.1). Lifetime mood disorder was associated with a 1.6-fold increased odds of lifetime GORD-related symptoms (adjusted OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.4) and lifetime anxiety disorder was associated with a 4-fold increased odds of lifetime GORD-related symptoms in obese but not non-obese participants (obese, age-adjusted OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.8-9.0).
These results indicate that psychological symptomatology, mood and anxiety disorders are positively associated with GORD-related symptoms. Acknowledging this common comorbidity may facilitate recognition and treatment, and opens new questions as to the pathways and mechanisms of the association.
Mood disorder; Anxiety disorder; Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD); Psychological symptoms; Comorbidity; Depression; Gastrointestinal tract; Somatic; Comorbidity