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Internationally, an increasing proportion of emergency department visits are mental health related. Concurrently, psychiatric wards are often occupied above capacity. Healthcare providers have introduced short-stay, hospital-based crisis units offering a therapeutic space for stabilisation, assessment and appropriate referral. Research lags behind roll-out, and a review of the evidence is urgently needed to inform policy and further introduction of similar units.
This systematic review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of short-stay, hospital-based mental health crisis units.
We searched EMBASE, Medline, CINAHL and PsycINFO up to March 2021. All designs incorporating a control or comparison group were eligible for inclusion, and all effect estimates with a comparison group were extracted and combined meta-analytically where appropriate. We assessed study risk of bias with Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies – of Interventions and Risk of Bias in Randomized Trials.
Data from twelve studies across six countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, The Netherlands, UK and USA) and 67 505 participants were included. Data indicated that units delivered benefits on many outcomes. Units could reduce psychiatric holds (42% after intervention compared with 49.8% before intervention; difference = 7.8%; P < 0.0001) and increase out-patient follow-up care (χ2 = 37.42, d.f. = 1; P < 0.001). Meta-analysis indicated a significant reduction in length of emergency department stay (by 164.24 min; 95% CI −261.24 to −67.23 min; P < 0.001) and number of in-patient admissions (odds ratio 0.55, 95% CI 0.43–0.68; P < 0.001).
Short-stay mental health crisis units are effective for reducing emergency department wait times and in-patient admissions. Further research should investigate the impact of units on patient experience, and clinical and social outcomes.
Food insecurity occurs when an individual lacks the financial resources to ensure reliable access to sufficient food to meet their dietary, nutritional and social needs. Adults living with mental ill health, particularly severe mental illness, are more likely to experience food insecurity than the general adult population. Despite this, most interventions and policy reforms in recent years have been aimed at children and families, with little regard for other vulnerable groups. Initiating a conversation about access to food can be tricky and assessing for food insecurity does not happen in mental health settings. This article provides an overview of food insecurity and how it relates to mental ill health. With reference to research evidence, the reader will gain an understanding of food insecurity, how it can be assessed and how food-insecure individuals with severe mental illness can be supported. Finally, we make policy recommendations to truly address this driver of health inequality.
An early warning tool, the Congenital Heart Assessment Tool (CHAT), was designed in 2012 to support parental preparation before discharge, enhancing understanding of their infant’s complex CHD, the signs of deterioration to look out for and to support decision-making at home. Acceptability and feasibility of the tool were tested during 2013–2015 in a single centre.
Aim of this project:
To evaluate the wider implementation across four children’s cardiac centres of the CHAT for infants with complex CHD in the community setting.
A four-centre collaborative mixed-methods quality improvement project funded by The Health Foundation, during 2016–2018. A plan, do, study, act cycle of improvement was employed. This article reports on the planning phases, creation of a modified tool (CHATm); and the implementation phases, including retrospective case note review using CHATm; tabletop simulation exercise using CHATm and clinical implementation of CHATm.
Key findings included the benefit of using CHATm simulation for practitioners; the effectiveness of CHATm in predicting amber and red triggers, indicating parental actions and escalation of concerns to professionals. Parents using CHATm found it enhanced knowledge in preparation for going home, supported decision-making, and discussions with health care professionals.
Using the CHATm clinically identified the need to develop a structured model of assessment of parental suitability for home-monitoring programmes. A robust and nationally agreed training programme for all staff using CHATm was recommended to ensure successful and complete implementation in practice.
CHD was the most prevalent congenital anomaly (60.9 per 10,000, 95% CI 59.0–62.8) in England in 2018, with 1767 babies born with severe cardiac defects. The 30-day survival rates for complex procedures continue to improve; however despite care advances, the early post-operative period and first year of life remain a critical time for these infants. The Congenital Heart Assessment Tool was developed to support parental decision-making, standardise care provision, improve communication, and the safety and quality of care.
To further evaluate the Congenital Heart Assessment Tool.
A four centre collaborative mixed-methods quality improvement project funded by The Health Foundation, involving eight phases conducted during 2016–2018. Phases six to eight (clinical simulation exercise, parent workshop, and updated tool) are reported in this paper.
Four themes emerged from the clinical simulation exercise (phase six) including: improving documentation; preparation of parents; preparation of health care professionals; and communication. One main theme emerged from the parent workshop (phase seven): “what parents know versus what professionals know [about CHD]”.
These phases further validated the effectiveness of the CHATm in terms of triggering amber and red indicators and demonstrated parents’ ability to identify deterioration in their infant’s clinical condition. Recommendations arising from the quality improvement project enabled the project team to create an updated version of the Congenital Heart Assessment Tool, CHAT2.
To examine whether national initiatives have led to improvements in the physical health of people with psychosis. Secondary analysis of a national audit of services for people with psychosis. Proportions of patients in ‘good health’ according to seven measures, and one composite measure derived from national standards, were compared between multiple rounds of data collection.
The proportion of patients in overall ‘good health’ under the care of ‘Early Intervention in Psychosis’ teams increased from 2014–2019, particularly for measures of smoking, alcohol and substance use. There was no overall change in the proportion of patients in overall ‘good health’ under the care of ‘Community Mental Health Teams’ from 2011–2017. However, there were improvements in alcohol use, blood glucose and lipid levels.
There have been modest improvements in the health of people with psychosis over the last nine years. Continuing efforts are required to translate these improvements into reductions in premature mortality.
According to a variety of ancient sources (texts, inscriptions, archaeology, visual arts), animals were a common sight in the city of Athens. Their behaviors, characteristics, and relationships to humans revolve around the thematic categories of everyday life, mythology and religion, and performance and competition.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
Neurodevelopmental abnormalities are common in children with CHD and are the highest-priority concerns for parents and professionals following cardiac surgery in childhood. There is no additional routine monitoring of development for children with CHD in the United Kingdom; hence, neurodevelopmental concerns may be detected late, precluding early referral and intervention.
An early recognition tool – the “Brief Developmental Assessment” – was developed using quality improvement methodology involving several iterations and rounds of pilot testing. Our requirements were for a tool covering important developmental domains and practicable for use within inpatient and outpatient settings by paediatric cardiac health professionals who are non-developmental specialists, without specialised equipment and which involved direct observation, as well as parental report.
Items were included in the tool based on existing developmental measures, covering the domains of gross and fine motor skills, daily living skills, communication, socialisation, and general understanding. Items were developed for five age bands – 0–16 weeks, 17–34 weeks, 35–60 weeks, 15 months–2.9 years, and 3–4.9 years – and the final versions included a traffic light scoring system for identifying children with possible delay in any or all domains. Preliminary testing indicated excellent inter-rater reliability, an ability to detect children with a diagnosis known to be associated with developmental delay, and largely acceptable internal reliability.
We report the evolution and preliminary testing of an early recognition tool for assessing the development of children with heart disease; this was encouraging and sufficiently good to support further validation in a larger study.
This audit will be relevant to all psychiatrists, though those working in and with services for early intervention in psychosis (EI) will find it especially useful.
EI is a key component of modern mental health services in England (Department of Health, 2000). It involves the specialist support of people with first-episode psychosis aged 14–35 years and their families and comprises three concepts: the early detection of psychosis; a reduction in the duration of untreated psychosis; the importance of the first 3–5 years following onset (the critical period) for later biological, psychological and social outcomes.
The Mental Health Policy Implementation Guide (PIG) (Department of Health, 2001) provides a model for EI. On the basis of this model, the Department of Health specified eight minimum fidelity criteria against which providers could self-assess local EI services. These were expanded to give ten standards against which services were assessed in this audit:
▸ stand-alone service model
▸ dedicated consultant psychiatrist input
▸ full age range (14–35 years)
▸ care provided for up to 3 years
▸ assertive community outreach work
▸ extended opening hours
▸ case-loads of 10–15 per care coordinator
▸ adolescent provision
▸ primary care referral
▸ designated access to acute beds.
These criteria are included in the Department of Health's autumn assessment local delivery plan (LDP) returns (see also Tiffin & Glover, 2007).
Service managers within EI teams should ensure there is a system in place to document minimum data on all patients under their care and that operational descriptors accurately describe the service model. Information on patient age, referral source and interventions received were obtained from patient case files. Service managers should therefore be able to provide the data required within the audit ‘window’. A bespoke tool was used in the present audit, but an EI audit pro forma is available online as part of the LDP autumn assessment to assist efficiency of data collection and analysis (http://www.ic.nhs.uk/services/ mental-health/mental-health-minimum-dataset-mhmds).
Morbidity is defined as a state of being unhealthy or of experiencing an aspect of health that is “generally bad for you”, and postoperative morbidity linked to paediatric cardiac surgery encompasses a range of conditions that may impact the patient and are potential targets for quality assurance.
As part of a wider study, a multi-disciplinary group of professionals aimed to define a list of morbidities linked to paediatric cardiac surgery that was prioritised by a panel reflecting the views of both professionals from a range of disciplines and settings as well as parents and patients.
We present a set of definitions of morbidity for use in routine audit after paediatric cardiac surgery. These morbidities are ranked in priority order as acute neurological event, unplanned re-operation, feeding problems, the need for renal support, major adverse cardiac events or never events, extracorporeal life support, necrotising enterocolitis, surgical site of blood stream infection, and prolonged pleural effusion or chylothorax. It is recognised that more than one such morbidity may arise in the same patient and these are referred to as multiple morbidities, except in the case of extracorporeal life support, which is a stand-alone constellation of morbidity.
It is feasible to define a range of paediatric cardiac surgical morbidities for use in routine audit that reflects the priorities of both professionals and parents. The impact of these morbidities on the patient and family will be explored prospectively as part of a wider ongoing, multi-centre study.
Early intervention services (EIS) comprise low-stigma, youth-friendly mental health teams for young people undergoing first-episode psychosis (FEP). Engaging with the family of the young person is central to EIS policy and practice.
By analysing carers' accounts of their daily lives and affective challenges during a relative's FEP against the background of wider research into EIS, this paper explores relationships between carers' experiences and EIS.
Semi-structured longitudinal interviews with 80 carers of young people with FEP treated through English EIS.
Our data suggest that EIS successfully aid carers to support their relatives, particularly through the provision of knowledge about psychosis and medications. However, paradoxical ramifications of these user-focused engagements also emerge; they risk leaving carers' emotions unacknowledged and compounding an existing lack of help-seeking.
By focusing on EIS's engagements with carers, this paper draws attention to an urgent broader question: as a continuing emphasis on care outside the clinic space places family members at the heart of the care of those with severe mental illness, we ask: who can, and should, support carers, and in what ways?
Individual placement and support (IPS) is effective in helping patients return to work but is poorly implemented because of clinical ambivalence and fears of relapse.
To assess whether a motivational intervention (motivational interviewing) directed at clinical staff to address ambivalence about employment improved patients' occupational outcomes.
Two of four early intervention teams that already provided IPS were randomised to receive motivational interviewing training for clinicians, focused on attitudinal barriers to employment. The trial was registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Register (ISRCTN71943786).
Of 300 eligible participants, 159 consented to the research. Occupational outcomes were obtained for 134 patients (85%) at 12-month follow-up. More patients in the intervention teams than in the IPS-only teams achieved employment by 12 months (29/68 v. 12/66). A random effects logistic regression accounting for clustering by care coordinator, and adjusted for participants' gender, ethnicity, educational and employment history and clinical status scores, confirmed superiority of the intervention (odds ratio = 4.3, 95% CI 1.5–16.6).
Employment outcomes were enhanced by addressing clinicians' ambivalence about their patients returning to work.
We argue for the existence of a state constitutional legal right to language. Our purpose here is to develop a legal framework for protecting the civil rights of the deaf child, with the ultimate goal of calling for legislation that requires all levels of government to fund programs for deaf children and their families to learn a fully accessible language: a sign language. While our discussion regards the United States, the argument we make is based on human rights and the nature of law itself, and can likely be adapted to any country.
We begin with an introduction to the biological facts surrounding language acquisition and how these facts impact the deaf child, where lack of language has devastating effects on individuals and negative effects on society in general.