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Objective: To determine the adequacy of pharmacotherapy received by patients with newly-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), based on current practice guidelines.
Methods: A 9 year (1997–2006) retrospective claims analysis of adults enrolled in Florida Medicaid for at least 3 continuous years was conducted to determine the percentage who received both a minimally effective duration (≥ 8 continuous weeks) and dose of first-line OCD pharmacotherapy during the year following their first (“index”) OCD diagnosis.
Results: Among 2,960,421 adult (≥ 18 years of age) enrollees, 2,921 (0.1%) were diagnosed with OCD. Among the 2,825 OCD patients without comorbid Asperger syndrome or autism, 843 had newly-diagnosed OCD and at least 12 months of follow-up data after their index diagnosis. Among these 843 patients, 588 (69.7%) received first-line OCD pharmacotherapy but only 323 (38.3%) received a minimally effective pharmacotherapy trial in the year following their index diagnosis.
Conclusions: Among clinically-diagnosed persons with OCD (<10% of those with the disorder), a minority of newly-diagnosed patients receive a minimally effective pharmacotherapy trial consistent with current standards of care. Reasons such as limited patient adherence and/or physician awareness of guidelines must be identified and redressed to ameliorate the patient, healthcare system, and economic burdens associated with OCD.
Aims: Problem or pathological gambling is associated with significant disruption to the individual, family and community with a range of adverse outcomes, including legal, financial and mental health impairment. It occurs more frequently in younger populations, and comorbid conditions are common. Cognitive–behaviour therapy (CBT) is the most empirically established class of treatments for problematic gambling. This article reports on a systematic review and evaluation of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) concerning two core techniques of CBT: cognitive and behavioural (exposure-based) therapies. Methods: PsycINFO, MEDLINE and the Cochrane library were searched from database inception to December 2012. The CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) for non-pharmacological treatments was used to evaluate each study. Results: The initial search identified 104 references. After two screening phases, seven RCTs evaluating either cognitive (n = 3), exposure (n = 3) or both (n = 1) interventions remained. The studies were published between 1983 and 2003 and conducted across Australia, Canada, and Spain. On average, approximately 31% of CONSORT items were rated as ‘absent’ for each study and more than 52% rated as ‘present with some limitations’. For all studies, 70.83% of items rated as ‘absent’ were in the methods section. Conclusions: The findings from this review of randomised clinical trials involving cognitive and exposure-based treatments for gambling disorders show that the current evidence base is limited. Trials with low risk of bias are needed to be reported before recommendations are given on their effectiveness and clinicians can appraise their potential utility with confidence.
Schistosomiasis is the generic name given to diseases caused by parasitic blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. An older name, still widely used in Africa, is bilharzia. Of the three major species that commonly infect humans, two occur predominantly in Africa:
S. mansoni, a cause of intestinal schistosomiasis, also found in Brazil and the Caribbean; and
S. haematobium, the cause of urinary schistosomiasis, also found in the Middle East.
The third major species, S. japonicum, causes another form of intestinal schistosomiasis but is found only in the Far East. A minor species, S. intercalatum, causes infection but insignificant disease in small areas of Central Africa.
Schistosomiasis is typically a chronic infection. Adult worms slowly accumulate from early childhood over a period of 10 to 20 years, and the deposition of eggs in the tissues leads to fibrosis in the intestines and liver (S. mansoni) or the urinary tract (S. haematobium). Mild or moderate symptoms occur in most infected children: severe disease develops in later life in only a minority of these individuals. For detailed reviews of different aspects, the reader is referred to books edited by Jordan et al. (1993) and Mahmoud (2001).
It is now widely recognized that a decentralized approach to the control of parasitic infections in rural sub-Saharan populations allows for the design of more effective control programmes and encourages high compliance. Compliance is usually an indicator of treatment success, but cannot be used as a measure of long-term benefit since re-infection will be strongly influenced by a number of factors including the social ecology of a community. In this paper qualitative and quantitative methods are used to identify and understand the structural and behavioural constraints that may influence water contact behaviour and create inequalities with respect to Schistosoma re-infection following anti-helminth drug treatment. The research is set in a community where participant engagement has remained uniformly high throughout the course of a 10-year multidisciplinary study on treatment and re-infection, but where levels of re-infection have not been uniform and, because of variations in water contact behaviour, have varied by age, sex and ethnic background. Variations in the biomedical knowledge of schistosomiasis, socioeconomic constraints and ethnic differences in general attitudes towards life and health are identified that may account for some of these behavioural differences. The observations highlight the benefits of understanding the socio-ecology of control and research settings at several levels (both between and within ethnic groups); this will help to design more effective and universally beneficial interventions for control and help to interpret research findings.
The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to describe the particular types of behavioral problems, self-concept, and symptoms of depression experienced by children with both low IQ and epilepsy. Three groups of children (83 males, 81 females; mean age 11 years 10 months, SD 1 year 10 months; age range 9 to 14 years) with epilepsy were compared: (Group 1) Low IQ (<85), n=48, 25 males, 23 females; (Group 2) Middle IQ (85 to 100), n=58, 24 males, 34 females; and (Group 3) High IQ (>100), n=58, 34 males, 24 females. The Child Behavior Checklist, Piers–Harris Self-Concept Scale, and Children's Depression Inventory were used to measure behavior, self-concept, and depression respectively. Results indicated that children in the Low IQ group had the most behavioral and mental health problems. Additionally, there were IQ group-by-sex interactions, with females in the Low IQ group being at the highest risk for poor self-concept. Findings suggest that children with both epilepsy and low IQ should be carefully assessed for mental health problems in the clinical setting.
Attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with childhood epilepsy; prevalence figures have ranged from 8 to 77%, depending on the sample studied and the criteria used for diagnosis. In the general population the prevalence of ADHD is approximately 5%, with the majority of affected children having ADHD combined type. As part of a larger study of behavioral problems in children with epilepsy, we assessed 175 children (90 males, 85 females; age range 9 to 14 years, mean age was 11 years 10 months, SD 1 year 8 months) for evidence of ADHD. The children had at least a 6-month history of epilepsy. The primary caregiver completed both the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Child Symptom Inventory-4 (CSI) or Adolescent Symptom Inventory-4 (ASI). On the CBCL, the mean attention problem T score was 64.6 (SD 10.5) for adolescents and 67.9 (SD 11.6) for children. On the CSI or ASI, 20 of 175 children met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD combined type; 42 of 175 had ADHD predominantly inattentive type; and 4 of 175 met criteria for ADHD predominantly hyperactive–impulsive type. There were significant correlations between the CBCL attention score and inattention (r=0.68) and hyperactivity–impulsivity (r=0.59). Sex, seizure type, and focus of seizure discharge were not predictors of symptoms of ADHD. Children with epilepsy are at risk for symptoms of ADHD. They differ from other samples of children with ADHD by the higher proportion of children with ADHD predominantly inattentive type and by an equal male:female ratio.
A 4-year follow-up study of academic achievement in children aged between 11 and 17 years with epilepsy or asthma was carried out to identify differences between the two samples and to identify change in achievement over time. Differences based on sex and seizure severity also were explored. There were 98 subjects in the group with epilepsy and 96 subjects in the group with asthma. Academic achievement in five areas (Composite, Reading, Mathematics, Language, and Vocabulary) was measured using school-administered group test scores. To explore change over time in condition severity, each child was categorized as having a low or high condition severity at baseline (time I) and again 4 years later, resulting in four groups: low–low, low–high, high–low, and high–high. There were too few cases in the low–high group to be included in the analyses. Data were processed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), intraclass correlation coefficients, and paired t tests. At follow-up the children with epilepsy continued to perform significantly worse in all five achievement areas than the children with asthma. Children with either inactive or low-severity epilepsy had mean scores comparable to national norms; those with high seizure severity had mean scores ranging from 3 to 5 points below national norms. No changes were found in academic achievement over time for either sample, even among those whose conditions improved. Although boys with high-severity epilepsy continued to have the lowest achievement scores, there was no trend for them to decline in achievement over time.
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