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Response styles theory of depression postulates that rumination is a central factor in occurrence, severity and maintaining of depression. High neuroticism has been associated with tendency to ruminate. We investigated associations of response styles and neuroticism with severity and chronicity of depression in a primary care cohort study.
In the Vantaa Primary Care Depression Study, a stratified random sample of 1119 adult patients was screened for depression using the Prime-MD. Depressive and comorbid psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using SCID-I/P and SCID-II interviews. Of the 137 patients with depressive disorders, 82% completed the prospective five-year follow-up with a graphic life chart enabling evaluation of the longitudinal course of episodes. Neuroticism was measured with the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI-Q). Response styles were investigated at five years using the Response Styles Questionnaire (RSQ-43).
At five years, rumination correlated significantly with scores of Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (r = 0.54), Beck Depression Inventory (r = 0.61), Beck Anxiety Inventory (r = 0.50), Beck Hopelessness Scale (r = 0.51) and Neuroticism (r = 0.58). Rumination correlated also with proportion of follow-up time spent depressed (r = 0.38). In multivariate regression, high rumination was significantly predicted by current depressive symptoms and neuroticism, but not by anxiety symptoms or preceding duration of depressive episodes.
Among primary care patients with depression, rumination correlated with current severity of depressive symptoms, but the association with preceding episode duration remained uncertain. The association between neuroticism and rumination was strong. The findings are consistent with rumination as a state-related phenomenon, which is also strongly intertwined with traits predisposing to depression.
Patient's relatives usually care for patients with schizophrenia, and as informal caregivers they experience negative consequences. The aim of the EDUCA-III trial is to test the efficacy of a psychoeducational intervention program (PIP) versus standard care to reduce the caregiver burden at post-intervention (4 months), and at follow-up (8 months).
A two-arm, evaluator blind, multicentre, randomized controlled trial. The PIP group had 12 weekly group sessions. The control intervention group had the usual support and standard care. Primary outcomes were change scores since baseline on the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire (IEQ).
One hundred and nine caregivers were randomized to PIP and 114 to control condition from 23 research sites. The decrease of ZBI scores was significantly higher on the PIP arm at 4 months (mean difference [MD] = −4.33; 95% CI −7.96, −0.71), and at 8 months (MD = −4.46; 95% CI −7.79, −1.13). There were no significant decreases in the IEQ scores (MD at 4 months = −2.80; 95% CI −6.27, 0.67; MD at 8 months = −2.85; 95% CI −6.51, 0.81).
The PIP condition seems to reduce caregiver burden.
Patients with chronic depression (CD) by definition respond less well to standard forms of psychotherapy and are more likely to be high utilizers of psychiatric resources. Therefore, the aim of this guidance paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of current psychotherapy for CD. The evidence of efficacy is critically reviewed and recommendations for clinical applications and research are given.
We performed a systematic literature search to identify studies on psychotherapy in CD, evaluated the retrieved documents and developed evidence tables and recommendations through a consensus process among experts and stakeholders.
We developed 5 recommendations which may help providers to select psychotherapeutic treatment options for this patient group. The EPA considers both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy to be effective in CD and recommends both approaches. The best effect is achieved by combined treatment with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, which should therefore be the treatment of choice. The EPA recommends psychotherapy with an interpersonal focus (e.g. the Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy [CBASP]) for the treatment of CD and a personalized approach based on the patient's preferences.
The DSM-5 nomenclature of persistent depressive disorder (PDD), which includes CD subtypes, has been an important step towards a more differentiated treatment and understanding of these complex affective disorders. Apart from dysthymia, ICD-10 still does not provide a separate entity for a chronic course of depression. The differences between patients with acute episodic depression and those with CD need to be considered in the planning of treatment. Specific psychotherapeutic treatment options are recommended for patients with CD.
Patients with chronic forms of depression should be offered tailored psychotherapeutic treatments that address their specific needs and deficits. Combination treatment with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy is the first-line treatment recommended for CD. More research is needed to develop more effective treatments for CD, especially in the longer term, and to identify which patients benefit from which treatment algorithm.
Distinguishing between symptoms of schizotypal (SPD) and borderline personality disorders (BPD) is often difficult due to their partial overlap and frequent co-occurrence. We investigated correlations in self-reported symptoms of SPD and BPD in questionnaires at the levels of both total scores and individual items, examining overlapping dimensions.
Two questionnaires, the McLean Screening Instrument (MSI) for BPD and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire Brief (SPQ-B) for SPD, were filled in by patients with mood disorders (n = 282) from specialized psychiatric care in a study of the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium. Correlation coefficients between total scores and individual items of the MSI and SPQ-B were estimated. Multivariate regression analysis (MRA) was conducted to examine the relationships between SPQ-B and MSI.
The Spearman's correlation between total scores of the MSI and SPQ-B was strong (rho = 0.616, P < 0.005). Items of MSI reflecting disrupted relatedness and affective dysregulation correlated moderately (rφ varied between 0.2 and 0.4, P < 0.005) with items of SPQ. Items of MSI reflecting behavioural dysregulation correlated only weakly with items of SPQ. In MRA, depressive symptoms, sex and MSI were significant predictors of SPQ-B score, whereas symptoms of anxiety, age and SPQ-B were significant predictors of MSI score.
Items reflecting cognitive-perceptual distortions and affective symptoms of BPD appear to overlap with disorganized and cognitive-perceptual symptoms of SPD. Symptoms of depression may aggravate self-reported features of SPQ-B, and symptoms of anxiety features of MSI. Symptoms of behavioural dysregulation of BPD and interpersonal deficits of SPQ appear to be non-overlapping.
The polymorphic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene has been postulated to be involved in inter-individual variability response to antipsychotic drugs.
To perform a qualitative and quantitative synthesis of studies evaluating the influence of BDNF genetic variation on clinical response to antipsychotics.
The review protocol was published in the PROSPERO database (Reg. no CRD42015024614). A comprehensive search was performed through PubMed, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane databases up to July 2015. The methodological quality of identified studies was assessed using the MINORS criteria. Publication bias was estimated and potential sources of heterogeneity were investigated via meta-regression, subgroup and sensitivity analyses.
Nine studies including a total of 2461 antipsychotic-treated patients fulfilled inclusion criteria for meta-analysis of BDNF Val66Met. Using the random-effects model, the pooled results showed no significant association with antipsychotic response for the dominant (Met carriers vs Val/Val, OR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.72–1.19, P = 0.55), codominant (Met/Met vs Val/Val, OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.59–1.15, P = 0.25), recessive (Met/Met vs Val carriers, OR: 0.81, 95% CI 0.60–1.10, P = 0.18) or the allelic contrast (Met vs Val, OR: 0.92, 95% CI 0.76–1.10, P = 0.34). Visual inspection of funnel plots and further evaluation with Egger's test did not suggest evidence of publication bias. Despite lack of significant heterogeneity in most comparisons, no evidence of association also emerged in the subgroup and sensitivity analyses conducted.
The present meta-analysis excludes a clinically relevant effect of BDNF Val66Met on antipsychotic drug response per se. Nevertheless, further investigation is still needed to clarify in well-designed, large sample-based studies, the impact of BDNF haplotypes containing the Val66Met polymorphism.
Auditory hallucinations are resistant to pharmacotherapy in about 25% of adults with schizophrenia. Treatment with noninvasive brain stimulation would provide a welcomed additional tool for the clinical management of auditory hallucinations. A recent study found a significant reduction in auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia after five days of twice-daily transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) that simultaneously targeted left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left temporo-parietal cortex.
We hypothesized that once-daily tDCS with stimulation electrodes over left frontal and temporo-parietal areas reduces auditory hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia.
We performed a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study that evaluated five days of daily tDCS of the same cortical targets in 26 outpatients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder with auditory hallucinations.
We found a significant reduction in auditory hallucinations measured by the Auditory Hallucination Rating Scale (F2,50 = 12.22, P < 0.0001) that was not specific to the treatment group (F2,48 = 0.43, P = 0.65). No significant change of overall schizophrenia symptom severity measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale was observed.
The lack of efficacy of tDCS for treatment of auditory hallucinations and the pronounced response in the sham-treated group in this study contrasts with the previous finding and demonstrates the need for further optimization and evaluation of noninvasive brain stimulation strategies. In particular, higher cumulative doses and higher treatment frequencies of tDCS together with strategies to reduce placebo responses should be investigated. Additionally, consideration of more targeted stimulation to engage specific deficits in temporal organization of brain activity in patients with auditory hallucinations may be warranted.
A post-authorisation safety study was carried out as part of the EU Risk Management Plan to examine the long-term (up to 12 months) use of quetiapine XL as prescribed in general practice in England.
To present a description of the drug utilisation characteristics of quetiapine XL.
An observational, population-based cohort design using the technique of Modified Prescription-Event Monitoring (M-PEM). Patients were identified from dispensed prescriptions issued by general practitioners (GPs) for quetiapine XL between September 2008 and February 2013. Questionnaires were sent to GPs 12 months following the 1st prescription for each individual patient, requesting drug utilisation information. Cohort accrual was extended to recruit additional elderly patients (special population of interest). Summary descriptive statistics were calculated.
The final M-PEM cohort consisted of 13,276 patients; median age 43 years (IQR: 33, 55) and 59.0% females. Indications for prescribing included bipolar disorder (n = 3820), MDD (n = 2844), schizophrenia (n = 2373) and other (non-licensed) indications (n = 3750). Where specified, 59.3% (7869/13,276) were reported to have used quetiapine IR (immediate release formulation) previously at any time. The median start dose was highest for patients with schizophrenia (300 mg/day [IQR 150, 450]). The final elderly cohort consisted of 3127 patients and 28.5% had indications associated with dementia. The median start dose for elderly patients was highest for patients with schizophrenia or BD (both 100 mg/day [IQR 50, 300]).
The prevalence of off-label prescribing in terms of indication and high doses was common, as was use in special populations such as the very elderly. Whilst off-label use may be unavoidable in certain situations, GPs may need to re-evaluate prescribing in circumstances where there may be safety concerns. This study demonstrates the ongoing importance of observational studies such as M-PEM to gather real-world clinical data to support the post-marketing benefit:risk management of new medications, or existing medications for which license extensions have been approved.