General practitioners are the psychiatrists' most important coworkers in the treatment of depressive disorders. A high degree of knowledge about this illness in this group of doctors is of decisive importance. However, the value of postgraduate educational programs for general practitioners has been questioned. The Swedish Committee for the Prevention and Treatment of Depression (PTD) offered an educational program on symptoms, etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of depression to all general practitioners on the Swedish island of Gotland. Lectures on suicide, depressive illness in childhood and in old age and psychotherapy of depressive states were also given. In several control periods data were collected on suicides, referrals to the local psychiatric department, emergency admissions, the quantity of sick leave used and the quantity of inpatient care due to depression. Even the prescription of psychopharmacological drugs on the island was investigated. Overall, the results indicated that general practitioners gratefully accepted the educational program and achieved increasing competence and stringency in treating and preventing depressive states. The program was associated with decreases in the use of psychiatric inpatient care and the sick leave frequency of depressed patients. The possibility of preventing suicides was positively influenced.
To find children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a review was made of all the charts of the 4594 nonretarded, nonpsychotic patients treated at the Children's Psychiatric Hospital in Risskov, Denmark, as in- or outpatients from 1970 to 1986. Sixty-one children and adolescents (37 boys and 24 girls) fulfilled the DSM-III criteria for OCD. The frequency of OCD in a child psychiatric clientele was 1.33%, which supports earlier findings. Only 8 of the 61 children were actually discharged with a diagnosis of OCD (ICD-8 diagnosis). Most children were diagnosed as neurosis infantilis and about one fifth received a diagnosis of maladjustment. The possible reasons for this are discussed. It is concluded that it is hardly a matter of underdiagnosing OCD, but more likely an attempt to look upon the obsessive-compulsive symptoms as transient phenomena and perhaps an unwillingness among clinicians to use the diagnosis of OCD, which is often connected with a bad prognosis. Boys and girls with OCD did not differ significantly on important demographic items.
This study piloted and refined a community-based behavioural intervention for depressed seniors. The intervention, based on Lewinsohn's Control Your Depression, was administered in bibliotherapy format adapted for seniors. It was delivered in a minimal-contact format by home care nurses. The intervention was tested and refined in a series of3 multiple-baseline studies, each with 2 participants. Each series consisted of baseline, 6 weekly treatment sessions, and 3-month follow-up. Series A tested the feasibility of the intervention. Series B examined the role of pleasant activities as a pivotal part of the treatment. Series C replicated the findings of series B and tested the final version of the intervention. In all the series, there was a reduction in depression that remained at 3-month follow-up. The results indicate that this form of intervention can be supported by home care nurses working with an underserved population that is prone to depression.
Early-, middle-, and late-phase client emotional arousal, perceptual processing strategies, and working alliance were examined in relation to treatment outcome on 4 measures in 32 clients who previously underwent experiential therapy for depression. Hierarchical regression analyses relating these variables to outcome indicated that results varied depending on the therapeutic process, phase of treatment, and outcome measure involved in the analyses. Mid-therapy arousal predicted improvements in self-esteem, whereas mid- and late treatment perceptual processing predicted reductions in client interpersonal dysfunction. Emotional arousal in conjunction with perceptual processing during mid-therapy predicted reductions in depressive and psychopathological symptomatology better than either of these variables alone. The implications of these findings for psychotherapy research and practice are discussed.
Although materials informing parents about children's mental health (CMH) problems can improve outcomes, we know relatively little about the design factors that might influence their utilization of available resources. We used a discrete choice conjoint experiment to model the information preferences of parents seeking mental health services for 6 to 18 year olds. Parents completed 30 choice tasks presenting experimentally varied combinations of 20 four-level CMH information content, transfer process, and outcome attributes. Latent class analysis revealed three segments with different preferences. Parents in the Action segment (43%) chose materials providing step-by-step solutions to behavioral or emotional problems. They preferred weekly meetings with other parents and coaching calls from a therapist. The Information segment (41%) chose materials helping them understand rather than solve their child's problems. These parents were more sensitive to logistical factors such as receiving information in groups, the location where information was available, the modality in which the information was presented, and the time required to obtain and use the information. The Overwhelmed segment (16%) reported more oppositional and conduct problems, felt their children's difficulties exerted a greater adverse impact on family functioning, and reported higher personal depression scores than those in the Action or Information segments. Nonetheless, they did not choose information about, or solutions to, the problems their children presented. Simulations predicted that maximizing utilization and realizing the potential benefits of CMH information would require knowledge transfer strategies consistent with each segment's preferences.