During the last 20 years ethological psychiatric research has developed a working method for the systematic and quantitative recording and analysis of the nonverbal behaviour of psychiatric patients in their actual hospital environment. In this study this method was used to follow changes in the behaviour pattern of 5 depressed, hospitalized patients during their entire hospital stay. Parallel to ethological recording, patients were rated according to Hamilton twice a week. The patients who were most depressed at admission showed the greatest behavioural changes; the changes were most conspicuous in the behavioural elements representing social contact and communication. One patient who obviously developed a new depression during the observation period without this being recognized by the Hamilton rating or the clinical control, seemed to have been better described by the behaviour recording. This study shows that ethological psychiatric methods are very suitable for obtaining a better basis for the observations of the staff in the ward environment.
About one-third of the annual $51 billion cost of mental illnesses is related to productivity losses. However, few studies have examined the association of treatment and productivity. The purpose of our research is to examine the association of depression and its treatment and work productivity.
Our analyses used data from 2737 adults aged between 18 and 65 years who participated in a large-scale community survey of employed and recently employed people in Alberta. Using the World Health Organization's Health and Work Performance Questionnaire, a productivity variable was created to capture high productivity (above the 75th percentile). We used regression methods to examine the association of mental disorders and their treatment and productivity, controlling for demographic factors and job characteristics.
In the sample, about 8.5% experienced a depressive episode in the past year. The regression results indicated that people who had a severe depressive episode were significantly less likely to be highly productive. Compared with people who had a moderate or severe depressive episode who did not have treatment, those who did have treatment were significantly more likely to be highly productive. However, about one-half of workers with a moderate or severe depressive episode did not receive treatment.
Our results corroborate those in the literature that indicate mental disorders are significantly associated with decreased work productivity. In addition, these findings indicate that treatment for these disorders is significantly associated with productivity. Our results also highlight the low proportion of workers with a mental disorder who receive treatment.
BACKGROUND: Only a few studies have investigated how the type of first contact is associated with the risk of subsequent hospitalisation and the risk of committing suicide for patients with depressive or bipolar disorders. METHOD: All outpatients (patients in psychiatric ambulatories and community psychiatry centres) and in-patients (patients admitted during daytime or overnight to a psychiatric hospital) with a diagnosis of depressive or bipolar disorder at first contact ever in a period from 1995 to 1999 in Denmark were identified from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register (DPCRR). The risk of subsequent hospitalisation and the risk of suicide were compared according to type of first contact. RESULTS: The risk of subsequent hospitalisation was significantly increased for patients who were admitted to inpatient facilities during first contact compared to patients with outpatient treatment as their first contact. Patients with depressive disorder who were admitted also had increased risk of committing suicide eventually. LIMITATIONS: The diagnoses are clinician based. CONCLUSIONS: Patients referred to inpatient treatment have a poorer long-term prognosis than patients treated as outpatients.
BACKGROUND: Combining bright light exposure and physical exercise may be an effective way of relieving depressive symptoms. However, relatively little is known about individual factors predicting either a good response or treatment failure. We explored background variables possibly explaining the individual variation in treatment response or failure in a randomised trial. METHODS: Participants were volunteers of working-age, free from prior mental disorders and recruited via occupational health centres. The intervention was a randomised 8-week trial with three groups: aerobics in bright light, aerobics in normal room lighting, and relaxation/stretching in bright light. Good response was defined as a 50% decrease in the symptom score on either the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) or 8-item scale of atypical symptoms. Background variables for the analysis included sex, age, body-mass index, general health habits, seasonal pattern, and sleep disturbances. RESULTS: Complete data were received from 98 subjects (11 men, 87 women). Of them, 42 (5 men, 37 women) were classified as responders on the HDRS. Overall, light had a significant effect on the number of responders, as assessed with the HDRS (X2 =.02). The number needed to treat (NNT) for light was 3.8. CONCLUSIONS: We investigated the effect of bright light and exercise on depressive symptoms. Problems with sleep, especially initial insomnia, may predict a good response to treatment using combined light and exercise. Bright light exposure and physical exercise, even in combination, seem to be well tolerated and effective on depressive symptoms.
Insufficient evidence exists about the effect of different therapies on work ability for patients with psychiatric disorders. The present study compares improvements in work ability in two short-term therapies and one long-term therapy.
In the Helsinki Psychotherapy Study, 326 outpatients with depressive or anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to long-term and short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, and solution-focused therapy. The patients were followed for 3 years from the start of treatment. Primary outcome measures were the Work Ability Index (WAI), the Work-subscale (SAS-Work) of the Social Adjustment Scale (SAS-SR), Perceived Psychological Functioning Scale, the prevalence of patients employed or studying, and the number of sick-leave days.
Work ability was statistically significantly improved according to WAI (15%), SAS-Work (17%), and Perceived Psychological Functioning Scale (21%) during the 3-year follow-up. No differences in the work ability scores were found between two short-term therapies. The short-term therapies showed 4-11% more improved work ability scores than long-term therapy at the 7 month follow-up point. During the second year of follow-up, no significant differences were found between therapies. After 3 years of follow-up, long-term therapy was more effective than the short-term therapies with 5-12% more improved scores. No differences in the prevalence of individuals employed or studying or in the number of sick-leave days were found between therapies during follow-up.
Short-term therapies give benefits more quickly than long-term therapy on work ability but in the long run long-term therapy is more effective than short-term therapies. More research is needed to confirm these findings.
Comment In: Evid Based Ment Health. 2008 Nov;11(4):10918952958
Little is known on whether centralised and specialised combined pharmacological and psychological intervention in the early phase of severe unipolar depression improve prognosis. The aim of the present study was to assess the benefits and harms of centralised and specialised secondary care intervention in the early course of severe unipolar depression.
A randomised multicentre trial with central randomisation and blinding in relation to the primary outcome comparing a centralised and specialised outpatient intervention program with standard decentralised psychiatric treatment. The interventions were offered at discharge from first, second, or third hospitalisation due to a single depressive episode or recurrent depressive disorder. The primary outcome was time to readmission to psychiatric hospital. The data on re-hospitalisation was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register. The secondary and tertiary outcomes were severity of depressive symptoms according to the Major Depression Inventory, adherence to medical treatment, and satisfaction with treatment according to the total score on the Verona Service Satisfaction Scale-Affective Disorder (VSSS-A). These outcomes were assessed using questionnaires one year after discharge from hospital.
A total of 268 patients with unipolar depression were included. There was no significant difference in the time to readmission (unadjusted hazard ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.60 to 1.32; log rank: ?(2)?=?0.3, d.f.?=?1, p?=?0.6); severity of depressive symptoms (mood disorder clinic: median 21.6, quartiles 9.7-31.2 versus standard treatment: median 20.2, quartiles 10.0-29.8; p?=?0.7); or the prevalence of patients in antidepressant treatment (73.9% versus 80.0%, p?=?0.2). Centralised and specialised secondary care intervention resulted in significantly higher satisfaction with treatment (131 (SD 31.8) versus 107 (SD 25.6); p
The association between active musical engagement (as leisure activity or professionally) and mental health is still unclear, with earlier studies reporting contrasting findings. Here we tested whether musical engagement predicts (1) a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar or stress-related disorders based on nationwide patient registers or (2) self-reported depressive, burnout and schizotypal symptoms in 10,776 Swedish twins. Information was available on the years individuals played an instrument, including their start and stop date if applicable, and their level of achievement. Survival analyses were used to test the effect of musical engagement on the incidence of psychiatric disorders. Regression analyses were applied for self-reported psychiatric symptoms. Additionally, we conducted co-twin control analyses to further explore the association while controlling for genetic and shared environmental confounding. Results showed that overall individuals playing a musical instrument (independent of their musical achievement) may have a somewhat increased risk for mental health problems, though only significant for self-reported mental health measures. When controlling for familial liability associations diminished, suggesting that the association is likely not due to a causal negative effect of playing music, but rather to shared underlying environmental or genetic factors influencing both musicianship and mental health problems.
Quality controls are becoming an important part of our health care system. A medical audit is one way of evaluating quality of care, and this paper describes the results of an audit conducted to investigate the reasons for a prolonged stay on a psychiatric inpatient unit. The results showed a decrease in the mean length of stay over a five year period, although the figure remained substantially above provincial norms. A review of the hospital charts of a random sample of one in six patients whose hospital stay exceeded 30 days was carried out. It revealed that in 50.0% of cases the reasons were "medically acceptable," in 10.3% the reasons were "medically unacceptable" and in 39.7% the reasons were "social and administrative" and beyond the control of the treating psychiatrist. The implication of these results are discussed.
In 1977 a questionnaire was sent to all psychiatric departments in the Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, concerning indications for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and the use of unilateral and bilateral treatment, respectively. The inquiry was repeated in 1987 and the answers compared with those obtained in 1977. In addition, the answers from Denmark were compared with previously performed inquiries. The use of exclusively unilateral treatment (U) and of both unilateral and bilateral treatment (UB) has increased in most of the countries and exclusively bilateral treatment (B) has decreased drastically. In Denmark the situation has not changed for ECT in endogenous depression and acute delirium, and the use in reactive psychosis, mania and schizophrenia decreased somewhat during the 1970s and then again stabilized or increased during the 1980s. Nearly all departments in the Nordic countries used ECT in endogenous depression in 1977 and were still doing it in 1987. In mania, about 50% of all departments have found ECT indicated occasionally or exceptionally both in 1977 and 1987. Manic-depressive mixed states have been regarded as an indication in somewhat more than two thirds of departments, increasing during the period. The use of ECT in schizophrenia has been rare and somewhat decreasing, but still about half of the departments apply it once in a while. In reactive psychosis the use of ECT decreased slightly, but in 1987 it was still in use for this indication in about 50% of all departments. In acute delirium there has been an overall increase in the use of ECT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Several studies have earned Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) the designation of a promising empirically supported treatment for adolescents with depression. This study evaluated the feasibility of importing ABFT into a hospital-based outpatient clinic in Norway. This article documents the challenges of initiating and conducting research in a real world clinical setting and training staff therapists. It also reports on outcomes of a pilot randomized clinical trial. Implementation barriers rapidly emerged in relation to hospital administration, infrastructure development, and therapists. Despite these barriers, 20 clinic-referred adolescents were randomly assigned to ABFT (n= 11) or to Treatment as Usual (TAU) (n= 9). Adolescents in ABFT showed significantly better symptom reduction compared to adolescents in TAU with an effect size of 1.08. While preliminary, this study suggests that Norwegian clinical staff therapists could be engaged in learning and delivering ABFT, and in producing promising treatment results. The importance of institutional support for dissemination research is highlighted.