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Many male prisoners have significant mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. High proportions struggle with homelessness and substance misuse.
This study aims to evaluate whether the Engager intervention improves mental health outcomes following release.
The design is a parallel randomised superiority trial that was conducted in the North West and South West of England (ISRCTN11707331). Men serving a prison sentence of 2 years or less were individually allocated 1:1 to either the intervention (Engager plus usual care) or usual care alone. Engager included psychological and practical support in prison, on release and for 3–5 months in the community. The primary outcome was the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), 6 months after release. Primary analysis compared groups based on intention-to-treat (ITT).
In total, 280 men were randomised out of the 396 who were potentially eligible and agreed to participate; 105 did not meet the mental health inclusion criteria. There was no mean difference in the ITT complete case analysis between groups (92 in each arm) for change in the CORE-OM score (1.1, 95% CI –1.1 to 3.2, P = 0.325) or secondary analyses. There were no consistent clinically significant between-group differences for secondary outcomes. Full delivery was not achieved, with 77% (108/140) receiving community-based contact.
Engager is the first trial of a collaborative care intervention adapted for prison leavers. The intervention was not shown to be effective using standard outcome measures. Further testing of different support strategies for prison with mental health problems is needed.
Traditional meta-analyses synthesize aggregate data obtained from study publications or study authors, such as a treatment effect estimate and its associated uncertainty. An increasingly important approach is the meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) where the raw individual-level data are obtained for each study and used for synthesis. This study compares and discusses results from an IPD meta-analysis vs standard meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of exercise cardiac rehabilitation in chronic heart failure (CHF).
Based on a previous systematic review, the Exercise Training Meta-Analysis of Trials for Chronic Heart Failure (ExTraMATCH II) identified and collected IPD from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared exercise rehabilitation with a non-exercise control with a minimum follow-up of six months. For this abstract, the outcome of interest was all-cause mortality. Original IPD were checked for consistency and compiled in a master dataset. Standard meta-analytic models were used for aggregate data whilst two-stage and one-stage approaches, accounting for the clustering of participants within studies, were planned for statistical analyses of IPD.
Overall thirty-three RCTs were included in the original systematic review, whereas within the ExTraMatch II project, IPD on all-cause mortality were obtained from seventeen RCTs of approximately 3,700 patients. From aggregate data there was no significant difference in pooled mortality (relative risk 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 1.26). IPD analysis revealed 701 events across exercise and control groups. Our ongoing IPD analyses will allow us to examine how patients’ characteristics (e.g. age, New York Heart Association functional class, ejection fraction) modify treatment benefit.
Given the limitations of current trial level meta-analysis evidence in CHF, access to individual data from several RCTs offers a timely and important opportunity to revisit the question of which CHF patient subgroups benefit most from exercise-based rehabilitation.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) invited the manufacturer of olaratumab (Lartruvo®), Eli Lilly & Company Limited, to submit evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of this drug, in combination with doxorubicin, for advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) not amenable to surgery or radiotherapy, as part of the Institute's Single Technology Appraisal. The Peninsula Technology Assessment Group critically reviewed the submitted evidence.
Clinical effectiveness was derived from an open-label, randomized controlled trial, JGDG. The economic analysis was based on a partitioned survival model with a time horizon of 25 years. The perspective was of the UK National Health Service (NHS) and Personal Social Services. Costs and benefits were discounted at 3.5 percent per year. The company's evidence was submitted in anticipation that olaratumab would be considered as an alternative to doxorubicin, which has been used as a first-line treatment for advanced STS. To improve the cost effectiveness of olaratumab, the company offered a discount through a Commercial Access Agreement with the NHS England.
In the company's submission, the mean base-case and probabilistic incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for olaratumab plus doxorubicin versus doxorubicin alone were GBP 46,076 (USD 61,403) and GBP 47,127 (USD 62,804) per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained, respectively; the probability of this treatment being cost effective at the willingness-to-pay threshold of GBP 50,000 (USD 66,632) per QALY gained, applicable to end-of-life treatments, was 0.54. The respective estimates in our analysis were approximately GBP 60,000 (USD 79,959) per QALY gained, and the probability of cost-effectiveness was 0.21. The increase in the ICERs was primarily due to differences in extrapolation of overall survival, and drug administration costs.
Based on the available evidence, olaratumab in combination with doxorubicin improves the survival of patients with advanced STS. However, this treatment is unlikely to be cost-effective. Olaratumab is now recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Relatives of people with psychosis experience high levels of distress and require support. Family interventions have been shown to be effective in improving outcomes but are difficult to access and not suitable for all relatives.
To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a supported self-management package for relatives of people with recent-onset psychosis.
A randomised controlled trial (n = 103) comparing treatment as usual (TAU) in early intervention services with TAU plus the Relatives' Education And Coping Toolkit (REACT) intervention (trial identifier: ISRCTN69299093).
Compared with TAU only, those receiving the additional REACT intervention showed reduced distress and increased perceived support and perceived ability to cope at 6-month follow-up.
The toolkit is a feasible and potentially effective intervention to improve outcomes for relatives. A larger trial is needed to reliably assess the clinical and cost-effectiveness of REACT, and its impact on longer-term outcomes.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in treating mental health problems in the UK, but little has been done to evaluate the potential of CBT in developing countries. This paper aims to discuss the development and implementation of a CBT training course for clinicians working in Tanzania's main psychiatric hospital in the capital city, Dodoma. A 12-session training course in CBT was delivered to nine clinicians. An outcome evaluation was conducted using multiple measures and methods, taken before and after the training. Information on cultural adaptations of the training was obtained. All participants completed the course, but there were several obstacles to full completion of the evaluation measures. Despite this, there were significant improvements in clinicians’ basic understanding of CBT concepts, and their ability to apply the CBT model to formulate and recommend treatment strategies in response to a clinical case. Qualitative information indicated the potential of developing CBT training and implementation further. As a pilot study, this investigation shows the promise that CBT holds for mental health services in Tanzania. Further research into the training and clinical effectiveness of CBT in Tanzania is indicated.
Democratic therapeutic communities (DTCs) for offenders in the UK are found in both prisons and forensic psychiatric settings in high and medium security, as they represent a whole-system approach to treatment or rehabilitation. An early anthropological study attempted to summarize the operation of the DTC in four principles: democratization, permissiveness, reality confrontation and communalism. Whilst some DTCs include individual therapy, the emphasis is very much on group activity. As with TCs in the non-forensic health system, forensic TCs have a lengthy research history and, as an intervention aimed at long-term change of offenders, the TC would seem to be a promising approach. Whilst not a challenge for DTCs alone, offending rates are problematic as outcome measures: reconviction is not a wholly accurate measure of reoffending and lower rates could reflect more skilful rather than less frequent offending.
All mental health services are expected to aim for equality of access to
people from minority ethnic groups. Psychotherapy services typically have
a low proportion of ethnic minority clients. Specialist services such as
therapeutic communities are no exception. It is also possible that ethnic
minority residents are more likely to leave group treatments early if
they are clearly in the minority. The study examined records between
1996–2000 to ascertain whether ethnic minorities show a different pattern
of exit from the process than people from other backgrounds.
Just over 9% of referrals to Henderson Hospital were from ethnic
minorities. Ethnic minority referrals were less likely to be invited to a
selection interview. However, there was no difference in length of stay
in treatment. There was a trend towards ethnic minority referrals having
more severe symptomatology and histories than those from White
Ethnic background should be taken into account when considering referral
for specialist psychotherapy. Routine monitoring of the processing of
ethnic minority referrals should be conducted in all psychotherapy
The view that severe personality disorder (SPD) is untreatable derives from poor-quality studies of treatment outcome which use indirect measures of SPD pathology. This study evaluates the impact of psychotherapeutic in-patient treatment on core personality disorder symptoms.
137 SPD patients completed the Borderline Syndrome Index (BSI) on referral and one year post-treatment (‘admitted’, n=70) or one year post-referral (‘non-admitted’, n=67); 22 of the non-admitted group were refused extra-contractual referral funding for their treatment.
There was a significantly greater reduction in BSI scores in the treated than in the non-admitted group. Changes in BSI scores were significantly positively correlated with length of treatment. Assessment of the reliability and clinical significance of changes in individual subjects showed that the magnitude of this change was reliable and clinically significant in 42.9% of the admitted sample, compared with only 17.9% of the non-admitted sample (18.2% of the unfunded group)
Specialist in-patient treatment is effective in reducing core SPD psychopathology.
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