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The course of illness in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) varies significantly between patients. Little is known about factors predicting a chronic course of illness. The aim of this study is to identify factors involved in inducing and in maintaining chronicity in OCD.
The present study is embedded within the Netherlands Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Association (NOCDA) study, an ongoing multicenter naturalistic cohort study designed to identify predictors of long-term course and outcome in OCD. For this study, 270 subjects with a current diagnosis of OCD were included. Chronicity status at 2-year follow-up was regressed on a selection of baseline predictors related to OCD, to comorbidity and to stress and support.
Psychotrauma [odds ratio (OR) 1.98, confidence interval (CI) 1.22–3.22, p = 0.006], recent negative life events (OR 1.42, CI 1.01–2.01, p = 0.043), and presence of a partner (OR 0.28, CI 0.09–0.85, p = 0.025) influenced the risk of becoming chronic. Longer illness duration (OR 1.46, CI 1.08–1.96, p = 0.013) and higher illness severity (OR 1.09, CI 1.03–1.16, p = 0.003) increased the risk of remaining chronic.
External influences increase the risk of becoming chronic, whereas the factors involved in maintaining chronicity are illness-related. As the latter are potentially difficult to modify, treatment should be devoted to prevent chronicity from occurring in the first place. Therapeutic strategies aimed at alleviating stress and at boosting social support might aid in achieving this goal.
A substantial number of people with bipolar disorder show a suboptimal response to treatment.
To study the effectiveness of a collaborative care programme on symptoms and medication adherence in patients with bipolar disorder, compared with care as usual.
A two-armed, cluster randomised clinical trial was carried out in 16 out-patient mental health clinics in The Netherlands, in which 138 patients were randomised. Patient outcomes included duration and severity of symptoms and medication adherence, and were measured at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Collaborative care comprised contracting, psychoeducation, problem-solving treatment, systematic relapse prevention and monitoring of outcomes. Mental health nurses functioned as care managers in this programme. The trial was registered with The Netherlands Trial Registry (NTR2600).
Collaborative care had a significant and clinically relevant effect on number of months with depressive symptoms, both at 6 months (z =–2.6, P = 0.01, d = 0.5) and at 12 months (z =–3.1, P = 0.002, d = 0.7), as well as on severity of depressive symptoms at 12 months (z =–2.9, P = 0.004, d = 0.4). There was no effect on symptoms of mania or on treatment adherence.
When compared with treatment as usual, collaborative care substantially reduced the time participants with bipolar disorder experienced depressive symptoms. Also, depressive symptom severity decreased significantly. As persistent depressive symptoms are difficult to treat and contribute to both disability and impaired quality of life in bipolar disorder, collaborative care may be an important form of treatment for people with this disorder.
Thus far collaborative stepped care (CSC) studies have not incorporated self-help as a first step.
To evaluate the effectiveness of CSC in the treatment of common mental disorders.
An 8-month cluster randomised controlled trial comparing CSC to care as usual (CAU) (Dutch Trial Register identifier NTR1224). The CSC consisted of a stepped care approach guided by a psychiatric nurse in primary care with the addition of antidepressants dependent on the severity of the disorder, followed by cognitive–behavioural therapy in mental healthcare.
Twenty general practitioners (GPs) and 8 psychiatric nurses were randomised to provide CSC or CAU. The GPs recruited 163 patients of whom 85% completed the post-test measurements. At 4-month mid-test CSC was superior to CAU: 74.7% (n = 68) v. 50.8% (n = 31) responders (P = 0.003). At 8-month post-test and 12-month follow-up no significant differences were found as the patients in the CAU group improved as well.
Treatment within a CSC model resulted in an earlier treatment response compared with CAU.
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