To obtain improved quality information regarding psychiatrist waiting times by use of a novel methodological approach in which accessibility and wait times are determined by a real-time patient referral procedure.
An adult male patient with depression was referred for psychiatric assessment by a family physician. Consecutive calls were made to all registered psychiatrists (n = 297) in Vancouver. A semistructured call procedure was used to collect information about the psychiatrists' availability for receipt of this and similar referrals, identify factors that affect psychiatrist accessibility, and determine the availability of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
Efforts were made to contact 297 psychiatrists and 230 (77%) were reached successfully. Among the 230 psychiatrists contacted, 160 (70%) indicated that they were unable to accept the referral. Although 70 (30%) indicated that they might be able to consider accepting a referral, 64 (91% of those who would consider accepting the referral) indicated that they would need to review detailed, written referral information and could not provide estimates of the length of wait times if the patient was to be accepted. Only 6 (3% of the 230 psychiatrists contacted) offered immediate appointment times and their wait times ranged from 4 to 55 days. When asked whether they could provide CBT, most (56%) psychiatrists in clinical practice answered maybe.
Substantial barriers exist for family physicians attempting to refer patients for psychiatric referral. Consolidated efforts to improve access to psychiatric assessment are needed.
We investigated whether psychosis risk symptoms predicted psychiatric service use using seven-year register follow-up data.
Our sample included 715 adolescents aged 15-18, referred to psychiatric care for the first time. Psychosis risk symptoms were assessed with the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) at the beginning of the treatment. We assessed the power of the overall PQ as well as its positive, negative, general, and disorganized psychosis risk symptom factors in predicting prolonged service use. Baseline psychiatric diagnoses (grouped into 7 categories) were controlled for. Based on both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment after baseline, adolescents were divided into three groups of brief, intermittent, and persistent service use.
Stronger symptoms on any PQ factor as well as the presence of a mood disorder predicted prolonged service use. All of the PQ factors remained significant predictors when adjusted for baseline mood disorder and multimorbidity.
In a prospective follow-up of a large sample using comprehensive mental health records, our findings indicate that assessing psychosis risk symptoms in clinical adolescent settings at the beginning of treatment could predict long-term need for care beyond diagnostic information. Our findings replicate the previous findings that positive psychosis risk symptoms are unspecific markers of severity of psychopathology. Also psychosis risk symptoms of the negative, disorganization, and general clusters are approximately as strongly associated with prolonged psychiatric service use in the upcoming years.
School absenteeism is linked to a range of health concerns, health risk behaviors and school dropout. It is therefore important to evaluate the extent to which adolescents with absenteeism are in contact with health care and other services. The aim of the current study was to investigate service use of Norwegian adolescents with moderate and high absenteeism in comparison to students with lower rates of absence.
The study employs data from a population-based study from 2012 targeting all pupils in upper secondary education in Hordaland County, Norway (the youth@hordaland-survey). A total of 8988 adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 were included in the present study. Information on service use was based on adolescent self-report data collected in the youth@hordaland-survey. Absence data was collected using administrative data provided by the Hordaland County Council.
High absence (defined as being absent 15% or more the past semester) was found among 10.1% of the adolescents. Compared to their peers with low absence (less than 3% absence the past semester), adolescents with high absence were more likely to be in contact with all the services studied, including mental health services (odds ratio (OR) 3.96), adolescent health clinics (OR 2.11) and their general practitioner (GP) (OR 1.94). Frequency of contact was higher among adolescents with moderate and high absence and there seems to be a gradient of service use corresponding to the level of absence. Still, 40% of the adolescents with high absence had not been in contact with any services.
Adolescents with high absence had increased use of services, although a group of youth at risk seems to be without such contact. This finding suggests a potential to address school absenteeism through systematic collaboration between schools and health personnel.
This article describes the results of a one year follow-up investigation of patients suffering from psychiatric and mental diseases and psycho-social problems who were seen in general practice or by private practising psychiatrists and the psychiatric outpatient hospital clinic in a Danish county. 40-50% of the patients concluded treatment within the first year. The general practitioner and the private practising psychiatrist saw 10% of the patients more than 13 times. In the outpatient hospital clinic, 10% of the patients were seen more than 29 times. A psychotherapeutic approach to treatment was employed for 54-90% of the cases. Psychopharmacological medication was administered to 54-60% of the patients. Where patients in general practice and in the outpatient clinic were concerned, treatment in an emergency open unit and treatment in sheltered environments was required and supervision was necessary for 1/4 of the cases. The investigation demonstrates the role of the general practitioner in treatment and referral. After one year 25% of the patients were referred for other treatment. The general practitioner, private practicing psychiatrist and outpatient clinic treat different groups of psychiatric patients and work somewhat independently of one another.
Mood and anxiety disorders typically begin during adolescence or early adulthood. Yet services targeting this population are frequently lacking. This study implemented an outreach, access and assessment programme for youth with these concerns. The data reported constitute an evaluation of this mental healthcare delivery approach.
This evaluation included specification of both programme and implementation theories through causal and programme logic models and formative (process) evaluation. Outreach focused on access points for youth such as schools and family physicians' offices. Concerned youth were encouraged to self-refer. Participants completed a semi-structured clinical interview and symptom and function questionnaire package.
Engagement sessions were conducted and results involved 93 youth. The majority of youth self-referred, a process not possible in traditional physician-referral healthcare systems. Interestingly, almost half had received prior treatment and over half had tried a psychiatric medication. Yet participants had significant symptomatology: 81% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 95% reported high levels of trait-anxiety. Functional impairment was substantial: on average, participants missed 2.6 days of school/work and functioned at reduced levels on 4.2 days in the week prior to assessment. Demographic details are presented.
This study evaluated a mental healthcare delivery system that identified individuals with significant distress and functional impairment from mood/anxiety concerns and previous unsuccessful treatment attempts, verifying that they were in need of mental health services. This approach provides a model for outreach and assessment in this population, where earlier intervention has the potential to prevent chronic mental illness and disability.
Even though asylum seekers are considered vulnerable to mental ill-health, knowledge of their suicidal behaviour is limited. The aim of this study was to improve our understanding of factors that influence the clinical assessment of asylum seekers who have attempted suicide compared to the assessment of non-asylum seekers.
The study focused on 88 asylum seekers registered for suicide attempts in mental health services 2005-2009, who were matched for age and gender and compared with 88 suicide attempters with Swedish personal identity numbers. The medical records were analysed with a quantitative protocol, focusing on social risk and protective factors, health history, current clinical picture as well as the assessment procedure, diagnostics, patterns of treatment and follow-up in this clinical group. Data was analysed using the chi-square test, Fisher's exact probability test, and the Mann-Whitney U test.
As in earlier studies, asylum seekers were more traumatized, had different social risk factors and received different diagnoses than the controls. Asylum seekers were referred to less specialized follow-up after treatment, in spite of their health history and of previous and current clinical pictures indicating a similar or--in the case of the female asylum seekers--more serious mental health condition. Female asylum seekers also received more intense and prolonged in-patient treatment than female controls. Asylum seekers appeared to have social networks more often than the control group. However, there was less documentation of the social context, previous suicidal behaviour, and on suicide in the family and close environment of the asylum-seeking men. Information on suicidal intent was lacking in a majority of both groups. The time relation of the suicide attempt and the asylum process suggested the importance of the asylum decision, as well as the possible role of earlier mental health problems and premigration stress, for the suicidal behaviour.
The groups had different sets of risk factors and clinical pictures. There was a lack of early and thorough exploration of suicide intent for both groups, and of contextual and subjective factors for the asylum seekers. Differences in follow-up indicate unequal access to care.
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Cites: Ann Intern Med. 2002 Feb 19;136(4):302-1111848728
In this study, a systematic needs-assessment approach to evaluating the institutional and community service requirements of adult psychiatric inpatients is reported. The Community Placement Questionnaire (CPQ) was completed by professional staff on all patients between the ages of 18-65 residing in a publicly-funded psychiatric hospital. Of the 105 patients surveyed, 65.7% were considered potentially hard to place in the community (6.7% were nominated for permanent placement in the institution), and 34.3% were considered easy to place. The findings indicate that successful planning for community-based mental health services requires the four essential elements of the protected hospital environment, treatment, augmentation in psychosocial rehabilitation programming and availability of supports and services in the community. Specific strategies for transition from institutional-based care to community care are discussed.
Bullying and being exposed to bullying among children is prevalent, especially among children with psychiatric symptoms, and constitutes a major concern worldwide. Whether childhood bullying or exposure to bullying in the absence of childhood psychiatric symptoms is associated with psychiatric outcomes in adulthood remains unclear.
To study the associations between bullying behavior at 8 years of age and adult psychiatric outcomes by 29 years of age.
Nationwide birth cohort study of 5034 Finnish children with complete information about childhood bullying behavior was followed up from 8 to 29 years of age. Follow-up was completed on December 31, 2009, and data were analyzed from January 15, 2013, to February 15, 2015.
Information about bullying, exposure to bullying, and psychiatric symptoms were obtained from parents, teachers, and child self-reports when children were 8 years of age. Use of specialized services for psychiatric disorders from 16 to 29 years of age was obtained from a nationwide hospital register, including outpatient and inpatient treatment.
Among the 5034 study participants, 4540 (90.2%) did not engage in bullying behavior; of these, 520 (11.5%) had received a psychiatric diagnosis at follow-up; 33 of 166 (19.9%) who engaged in frequent bullying, 58 of 251 (23.1%) frequently exposed to bullying, and 24 of 77 (31.2%) who both frequently engaged in and were frequently exposed to bullying had received psychiatric diagnoses at follow-up. When analyses were adjusted by sex, family factors, and child psychiatric symptoms at 8 years of age, we found independent associations of treatment of any psychiatric disorder with frequent exposure to bullying (hazard ratio [HR], 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.5) and being a bully and exposed to bullying (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3-3.4). Exposure to bullying was specifically associated with depression (HR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-2.9). Bullying was associated with psychiatric outcomes only in the presence of psychiatric problems at 8 years of age. Participants who were bullies and exposed to bullying at 8 years of age had a high risk for several psychiatric disorders requiring treatment in adulthood. However, the associations with specific psychiatric disorders did not remain significant after controlling for concurrent psychiatric symptoms.
Exposure to bullying, even in the absence of childhood psychiatric symptoms, is associated with severe adulthood psychiatric outcomes that require treatment in specialized services. Early intervention among those involved in bullying can prevent long-term consequences.
Studies have shown that schizophrenic patients die on average 15-20 years earlier than the normal population, and that increased prevalance of cardiovascular risk factors plays a crucial role Schizophrenic patients are underdiagnosed and undertreated when it comes to diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia among schizophrenic patients in Iceland.
An observational study of 106 schizophrenic patients in Iceland during the period 2007-2009. The results were compared to age adjusted population based data.
106 patients participated, 86 men and 20 women. In all 57% were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (p30 kg/mÂ²). Only 32.1% had normal BMI, and 82.1% had waist circumference over the normal limits.
The physical condition of Icelandic schizophrenic patients is poor and their risk for cardiovascular diseases is high. It is necessary to follow their weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and lipids more closely It is imperative to educate and enable the schizophrenic patient to live a healthier life.
North America's first government sanctioned supervised injection facility (SIF) was opened in Vancouver in response to the serious health and social consequences of injection drug use and the perseverance of committed advocates and drug user groups who demanded change. This analysis was conducted to describe the attendance, demographic characteristics, drug use patterns, and referrals made during the first 18 months of operation.
As part of the evaluation strategy for the SIF, information is collected through a comprehensive on-site database designed to track attendance and the daily activities within the facility. All users of the SIF must sign a waiver form and are then entered into a database using a unique identifier of their choice. This identifier is used at each subsequent visit to provide a prospective record of attendance, drug use, and interventions.
From 10 March 2004 to 30 April 2005 inclusive, there were 4764 unique individuals who registered at the SIF. The facility successfully attracted a range of community injection drug users including women (23%) and members of the Aboriginal community (18%). Although heroin was used in 46% of all injections, cocaine was injected 37% of the time. There were 273 witnessed overdoses with no fatalities. During just 12 months of observation, 2171 individual referrals were made with the majority (37%) being referred for addiction counseling.
Vancouver's SIF has successfully been integrated into the community, has attracted a wide cross section of community injection drug users, has intervened in overdoses, and initiated over 2000 referrals to counseling and other support services. These findings should be useful for other settings considering SIF trials.