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Policies addressing the physical health of people with mental disorders have historically focused on those with severe mental illness (SMI), giving less prominence to the more prevalent common mental disorders (CMDs). Little is known about the comparative physical health outcomes of these patient groups. We aimed to first compare the: (a) number of past-year chronic physical conditions and (b) recent physical health service utilization between CMDs vs. SMI, and secondly compare these outcomes between people with CMDs vs. people without mental disorders.
We analyzed cross-sectional data from the third Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, a representative sample of the English population. We determined the presence of physical conditions and health service utilization by self-report and performed logistic regression models to examine associations of these outcomes between participant groups.
Past-year physical conditions were reported by the majority of participants (CMDs, n = 815, 62.1%; SMI = 27, 63.1%) with no variation in the adjusted odds of at least one physical condition between diagnoses (odds ratio [OR] = 0.96, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.42–1.98, p = 0.784). People with CMDs were significantly more likely to be recently hospitalized relative to with those with SMI (OR = 6.33, 95% CI 5.50–9.01, p < 0.05). Having a CMD was associated with significantly higher odds of past-year physical conditions and recent health service utilization (all p < 0.001) compared with the general population.
People with CMDs experience excess physical health morbidities in a similar pattern to those found among people with SMI, while their somatic hospitalization rates are even more elevated. Findings highlight the importance of recalibrating existing public health strategies to bring equity to the physical health needs of this patient group.
Prevention of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is a national priority and may be facilitated by deployment of the Targeted Assessment for Prevention (TAP) Strategy, a quality improvement framework providing a focused approach to infection prevention. This article describes the process and outcomes of TAP Strategy implementation for CDI prevention in a healthcare system.
Hospital A was identified based on CDI surveillance data indicating an excess burden of infections above the national goal; hospitals B and C participated as part of systemwide deployment. TAP facility assessments were administered to staff to identify infection control gaps and inform CDI prevention interventions. Retrospective analysis was performed using negative-binomial, interrupted time series (ITS) regression to assess overall effect of targeted CDI prevention efforts. Analysis included hospital-onset, laboratory-identified C. difficile event data for 18 months before and after implementation of the TAP facility assessments.
The systemwide monthly CDI rate significantly decreased at the intervention (β2, −44%; P = .017), and the postintervention CDI rate trend showed a sustained decrease (β1 + β3; −12% per month; P = .008). At an individual hospital level, the CDI rate trend significantly decreased in the postintervention period at hospital A only (β1 + β3, −26% per month; P = .003).
This project demonstrates TAP Strategy implementation in a healthcare system, yielding significant decrease in the laboratory-identified C. difficile rate trend in the postintervention period at the system level and in hospital A. This project highlights the potential benefit of directing prevention efforts to facilities with the highest burden of excess infections to more efficiently reduce CDI rates.
In October 2017, the American Association of Blood Bankers (AABB; Bethesda, Maryland USA) approved a petition to allow low-titer group O whole blood as a standard product without the need for a waiver. Around that time, a few Texas, USA-based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems incorporated whole blood into their ground ambulances. The purpose of this project was to describe the epidemiology of ground ambulance patients that received a prehospital whole blood transfusion. The secondary aim of this project was to report an accounting analysis of these ground ambulance prehospital whole blood programs.
The dataset came from the Harris County Emergency Service District 48 Fire Department (HCESD 48; Harris County, Texas USA) and San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD; San Antonio, Texas USA) whole blood Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement (QA/QI) databases from September 2017 through December 2018. The primary outcome of this study was the prehospital transfusion indication. The secondary outcome was the projected cost per life saved during the first 10 years of the prehospital whole blood initiative.
Of 58 consecutive prehospital whole blood administrations, the team included all 58 cases. Hemorrhagic shock from a non-traumatic etiology accounted for 46.5% (95% CI, 34.3%-59.2%) of prehospital whole blood recipients. In the non-traumatic hemorrhagic shock cohort, gastrointestinal hemorrhage was the underlying etiology of hemorrhagic shock in 66.7% (95% CI, 47.8%-81.4%) of prehospital whole blood transfusion recipients. The projected average cost to save a life in Year 10 was US$5,136.51 for the combined cohort, US$4,512.69 for HCESD 48, and US$5,243.72 for SAFD EMS.
This retrospective analysis of ground ambulance patients that receive prehospital whole blood transfusion found that non-traumatic etiology accounted for 46.5% (95% CI, 34.3%-59.2%) of prehospital whole blood recipients. Additionally, the accounting analysis suggests that by Year 10 of a ground ambulance whole blood transfusion program, the average cost to save a life will be approximately US$5,136.51.
Rheumatic fever, an immune sequela of untreated streptococcal infections, is an important contributor to global cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to describe trends, characteristics, and cost burden of children discharged from hospitals with a diagnosis of RF from 2000 to 2012 within the United States.
Using the Kids’ Inpatient Database, we examined characteristics of children discharged from hospitals with the diagnosis of rheumatic fever over time including: overall hospitalisation rates, age, gender, race/ethnicity, regional differences, payer type, length of stay, and charges.
The estimated national cumulative incidence of rheumatic fever in the United States between 2000 and 2012 was 0.61 cases per 100,000 children. The median age was 10 years, with hospitalisations significantly more common among children aged 6–11 years. Rheumatic fever hospitalisations among Asian/Pacific Islanders were significantly over-represented. The proportion of rheumatic fever hospitalisations was greater in the Northeast and less in the South, although the highest number of rheumatic fever admissions occurred in the South. Expected payer type was more likely to be private insurance, and the median total hospital charges (adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars) were $16,000 (interquartile range: $8900–31,200). Median length of stay was 3 days, and the case fatality ratio for RF in the United States was 0.4%.
Rheumatic fever persists in the United States with an overall downwards trend between 2003 and 2012. Rheumatic fever admissions varied considerably based on age group, region, and origin.
We compared systematic and random survey techniques to estimate breeding population sizes of burrow-nesting petrel species on Marion Island. White-chinned (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and blue (Halobaena caerulea) petrel population sizes were estimated in systematic surveys (which attempt to count every colony) in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In 2015, we counted burrows of white-chinned, blue and great-winged (Pterodroma macroptera) petrels within 52 randomized strip transects (25 m wide, total 144 km). Burrow densities were extrapolated by Geographic Information System-derived habitat attributes (geology, vegetation, slope, elevation, aspect) to generate island-wide burrow estimates. Great-winged petrel burrows were found singly or in small groups at low densities (2 burrows ha−1); white-chinned petrel burrows were in loose clusters at moderate densities (3 burrows ha−1); and blue petrel burrows were in tight clusters at high densities (13 burrows ha−1). The random survey estimated 58% more white-chinned petrels but 42% fewer blue petrels than the systematic surveys. The results suggest that random transects are best suited for species that are widely distributed at low densities, but become increasingly poor for estimating population sizes of species with clustered distributions. Repeated fixed transects provide a robust way to monitor changes in colony density and area, but might fail to detect the formation/disappearance of new colonies.
The SCIMITAR+ trial was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of a bespoke smoking cessation intervention for people with severe mental ill health compared with usual services. It is difficult to define what constitutes usual care in smoking cessation services. We aimed to define what this was during the trial. Twenty-two National Health Service healthcare providers participated in a bespoke survey asking about usual care in their area.
All sites offered smoking cessation support; however, service provider and service type varied substantially. In some cases services were not streamlined, meaning that people received smoking cessation counselling from one organisation and smoking cessation medication from another.
To better implement the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline PH48, clearer referral pathways need to be implemented and communicated to patients, staff and carers. People with severe mental ill health need to be able to access services that combine nicotine replacement therapy and behavioural support in a streamlined manner.
Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated an association between emotion recognition and apathy in several neurological conditions involving fronto-striatal pathology, including Parkinson’s disease and brain injury. In line with these findings, we aimed to determine whether apathetic participants with early Huntington’s disease (HD) were more impaired on an emotion recognition task compared to non-apathetic participants and healthy controls. Methods: We included 43 participants from the TRACK-HD study who reported apathy on the Problem Behaviours Assessment – short version (PBA-S), 67 participants who reported no apathy, and 107 controls matched for age, sex, and level of education. During their baseline TRACK-HD visit, participants completed a battery of cognitive and psychological tests including an emotion recognition task, the Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale (HADS) and were assessed on the PBA-S. Results: Compared to the non-apathetic group and the control group, the apathetic group were impaired on the recognition of happy facial expressions, after controlling for depression symptomology on the HADS and general disease progression (Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale total motor score). This was despite no difference between the apathetic and non-apathetic group on overall cognitive functioning assessed by a cognitive composite score. Conclusions: Impairment of the recognition of happy expressions may be part of the clinical picture of apathy in HD. While shared reliance on frontostriatal pathways may broadly explain associations between emotion recognition and apathy found across several patient groups, further work is needed to determine what relationships exist between recognition of specific emotions, distinct subtypes of apathy and underlying neuropathology. (JINS, 2019, 25, 453–461)
Crisis resolution teams (CRTs) offer brief, intensive home treatment for people experiencing mental health crisis. CRT implementation is highly variable; positive trial outcomes have not been reproduced in scaled-up CRT care.
To evaluate a 1-year programme to improve CRTs’ model fidelity in a non-masked, cluster-randomised trial (part of the Crisis team Optimisation and RElapse prevention (CORE) research programme, trial registration number: ISRCTN47185233).
Fifteen CRTs in England received an intervention, informed by the US Implementing Evidence-Based Practice project, involving support from a CRT facilitator, online implementation resources and regular team fidelity reviews. Ten control CRTs received no additional support. The primary outcome was patient satisfaction, measured by the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8), completed by 15 patients per team at CRT discharge (n = 375). Secondary outcomes: CRT model fidelity, continuity of care, staff well-being, in-patient admissions and bed use and CRT readmissions were also evaluated.
All CRTs were retained in the trial. Median follow-up CSQ-8 score was 28 in each group: the adjusted average in the intervention group was higher than in the control group by 0.97 (95% CI −1.02 to 2.97) but this was not significant (P = 0.34). There were fewer in-patient admissions, lower in-patient bed use and better staff psychological health in intervention teams. Model fidelity rose in most intervention teams and was significantly higher than in control teams at follow-up. There were no significant effects for other outcomes.
The CRT service improvement programme did not achieve its primary aim of improving patient satisfaction. It showed some promise in improving CRT model fidelity and reducing acute in-patient admissions.
Potentially modifiable risk factors for developing dementia have been identified. However, risk factors for increased mortality in patients with diagnosed dementia are not well understood. Identifying factors that influence prognosis would help clinicians plan care and address unmet needs.
To investigate diagnosed depression and sociodemographic factors as predictors of mortality in patients with dementia in UK secondary clinical care services.
We conducted a cohort study of patients with a dementia diagnosis in an electronic health records database in a UK National Health Service mental health trust.
In 3374 patients with 10 856 person-years of follow-up, comorbid depression was not associated with mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.94; 95% CI 0.71–1.24). Single patients had higher mortality than those who were married (adjusted hazard ratio 1.25; 95% CI 1.03–1.50). Patients of Asian ethnicity had lower mortality rates than White British patients (adjusted hazard ratio 0.50; 95% CI 0.34–0.73).
Clinically diagnosed depression does not increase mortality in patients with dementia. Patients who are single are a potential high-mortality risk group. Lower mortality rates in Asian patients with dementia that have been reported in the USA also apply in the UK.
To identify temporal and demographic trends in referrals made to psychiatric liaison services. Routine clinical data from 16 105 individual referrals from three central London accident and emergency (A&E) departments to psychiatric liaison services from 2012 to 2014 were obtained and analysed using the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS).
Referrals from A&E to psychiatric liaison services increased 16% over the 3-year study period. There were fewer referrals to psychiatric liaison services in winter months compared with other seasons. There were fewer referrals to psychiatric liaison services over the weekend compared with weekdays (average 15.4 daily weekday referrals v. 13.2 weekend, z = 5.1, P < 0.001), and weekend referrals were slightly less likely to result in admission to psychiatric hospital (11.3% v. 12.8%, respectively, χ2 = 6.33, P = 0.01).
Psychiatric staffing in A&E and inpatient psychiatric wards requires planning to meet temporal and regional variations in the pattern of demand.
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are associated with increased mortality relative to the general population. There is an international emphasis on decreasing this excess mortality.
To determine whether the mortality gap between individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and the general population has decreased.
A nationally representative cohort study using primary care electronic health records from 2000 to 2014, comparing all patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and the general population. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality.
Individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia had elevated mortality (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.79, 95% CI 1.67–1.88 and 2.08, 95% CI 1.98–2.19 respectively). Adjusted HRs for bipolar disorder increased by 0.14/year (95% CI 0.10–0.19) from 2006 to 2014. The adjusted HRs for schizophrenia increased gradually from 2004 to 2010 (0.11/year, 95% CI 0.04–0.17) and rapidly after 2010 (0.34/year, 95% CI 0.18–0.49).
The mortality gap between individuals with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and the general population is widening.
We are all members of the National Social Inclusion Programme's Reference Group and here we reflect on our experiences of carers or of being a carer for people with severe and enduring mental health problems. David and Rosemary have family members with mental health problems and Rosemary also uses mental health services herself; Michael works as a volunteer with carers and Susan is a carer of her elderly mother; they both also have experience of mental health services. Our experiences are both similar and distinct and reflect the differences between carer and service user viewpoints. For people who act as carers, particularly those who have family members with mental health problems, there is more than one individual who experiences exclusion and the journey of recovery. The four perspectives here reflect this and illustrate the potential tensions that engagement with services and the desire for different outcomes and choices can engender. Admittedly, many of the causes and solutions to exclusion involve political and social changes, but we will be concentrating on how mental health professionals and services can help in facilitating inclusion or how they may hinder the process of recovery.
David: Caring for a spouse
I have been a carer to my spouse who suffers from bipolar disorder for the past 15 years. She has not had an in-patient episode for over 7 years and we both have learnt to manage the condition and our lives. As our situation became more stable and we began to enjoy more of a ‘normal’ life again, I began to realise that our recovery was intimately linked to increasing experiences of social inclusion, and that much of our distress was exacerbated, even caused, by our experience of exclusion. This exclusion was experienced in many ways and for me was a reflection of my personal needs and altered personal relationships, my experiences of employment and financial difficulties, the increasing isolation from people and social contacts, my experience of health services and my need for information on matters about which I was previously ignorant.
Thinking back to my wife's first admission, it strikes me how alone and vulnerable I was. To be fair, there were people around, so I was not technically alone, but I was very lonely.
There is now an established evidence base for the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support mental healthcare (‘e-mental health’) for common mental health problems. Recently, there have been significant developments in the therapeutic use of computers, mobile phones, gaming and virtual reality technologies for the assessment and treatment of psychosis. We provide an overview of the therapeutic use of ICT for psychosis, drawing on searches of the scientific literature and the internet and using interviews with experts in the field. We outline interventions that are already relevant to clinical practice, some that may become available in the foreseeable future and emerging challenges for their implementation.