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Previous studies in individual countries have identified inconsistent predictors of length of stay (LoS) in psychiatric inpatient units. This may reflect methodological inconsistencies across studies or true differences of predictors. In this study we assessed predictors of LoS in five European countries and explored whether their effect varies across countries.
Prospective cohort study. All patients admitted over 14 months to 57 psychiatric inpatient units in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland and United Kingdom were screened. Putative predictors were collected from medical records and in face-to-face interviews and tested for their association with LoS.
Average LoS varied from 17.9 days in Italy to 55.1 days in Belgium. In the overall sample being homeless, receiving benefits, social isolation, diagnosis of psychosis, greater symptom severity, substance use, history of previous admission and being involuntarily admitted predicted longer LoS. Several predictors showed significant interaction effects with countries in predicting LoS. One variable, homelessness, predicted a different LoS even in opposite directions, whilst for other predictors the direction of the association was the same, but the strength of the association with LoS varied across countries.
The same patient characteristics have a different impact on LoS in different contexts. Thus, although some predictor variables related to clinical severity and social dysfunction appear of generalisable relevance, national studies on LoS are required to understand the complex influence of different patient characteristics on clinical practice in the given contexts.
Around 60 000 people in England live in mental health supported accommodation. There are three main types: residential care, supported housing and floating outreach. Supported housing and floating outreach aim to support service users in moving on to more independent accommodation within 2 years, but there has been little research investigating their effectiveness.
A 30-month prospective cohort study investigating outcomes for users of mental health supported accommodation.
We used random sampling, accounting for relevant geographical variation factors, to recruit 87 services (22 residential care, 35 supported housing and 30 floating outreach) and 619 service users (residential care 159, supported housing 251, floating outreach 209) across England. We contacted services every 3 months to investigate the proportion of service users who successfully moved on to more independent accommodation. Multilevel modelling was used to estimate how much of the outcome and cost variations were due to service type and quality, after accounting for service-user characteristics.
Overall 243/586 participants successfully moved on (residential care 15/146, supported housing 96/244, floating outreach 132/196). This was most likely for floating outreach service users (versus residential care: odds ratio 7.96, 95% CI 2.92–21.69, P < 0.001; versus supported housing: odds ratio 2.74, 95% CI 1.01–7.41, P < 0.001) and was associated with reduced costs of care and two aspects of service quality: promotion of human rights and recovery-based practice.
Most people do not move on from supported accommodation within the expected time frame. Greater focus on human rights and recovery-based practice may increase service effectiveness.
Patient satisfaction is a key indicator of inpatient care quality and is associated with clinical outcomes following admission. Different patient characteristics have been inconsistently linked with satisfaction. This study aims to overcome previous limitations by assessing which patient characteristics are associated with satisfaction within a large study of psychiatric inpatients conducted across five European countries.
All patients with a diagnosis of psychotic (F2), affective (F3) or anxiety/somataform (F4) disorder admitted to 57 psychiatric inpatient units in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK were included. Data were collected from medical records and face-to-face interviews, with patients approached within 2 days of admission. Satisfaction with inpatient care was measured on the Client Assessment of Treatment Scale.
Higher satisfaction scores were associated with being older, employed, living with others, having a close friend, less severe illness and a first admission. In contrast, higher education levels, comorbid personality disorder and involuntary admission were associated with lower levels of satisfaction. Although the same patient characteristics predicted satisfaction within the five countries, there were significant differences in overall satisfaction scores across countries. Compared to other countries, patients in the UK were significantly less satisfied with their inpatient care.
Having a better understanding of patient satisfaction may enable services to improve the quality of care provided as well as clinical outcomes for all patients. Across countries, the same patient characteristics predict satisfaction, suggesting that similar analytical frameworks can and should be used when assessing satisfaction both nationally and internationally.
For armed forces personnel, data on help-seeking behaviour and receipt of treatment for mental disorders are important for both research and policy.
To examine mental healthcare service use and receipt of treatment in a sample of the UK military.
Participants were drawn from an existing UK military health cohort. The sample was stratified by reserve status and by participation in the main war-fighting period of the Iraq War. Participants completed a telephone-based structured diagnostic interview comprising the Patient Health Questionnaire and Primary Care Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screen (PC–PTSD), and a series of questions about service utilisation and treatment receipt.
Only 23% of those with common mental disorders and still serving in the military were receiving any form of medical professional help. Non-medical sources of help such as chaplains were more widely used. Among regular personnel in receipt of professional help, most were seen in primary care (79%) and the most common treatment was medication or counselling/psychotherapy. Few regular personnel were receiving cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT). These findings are comparable with those reported for the general population.
In the UK armed forces, the majority of those with mental disorders are not currently seeking medical help for their symptoms. Further work to understand barriers to care is important and timely given that this is a group at risk of occupational psychiatric injury.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a preoccupation with imagined ugliness, is a disabling condition that seems to respond preferentially to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This open-label trial examines venlafaxine's efficacy in BDD and is the first known study of this serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor in BDD.
A total of 17 BDD patients 16–65 years of age entered and 11 completed a 12–16 week open-label trial of venlafaxine. Participants were treated with venlafaxine until a therapeutic dose (minimum of 150 mg/day) was reached and then maintained at that dose for 8 weeks. Key outcome measures were the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale.
Venlafaxine was found to be effective in lessening the specific symptoms and global severity of BDD. Paired t-tests were used to compare baseline and final ratings on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Body Dysmorphic Disorder total, obsessions, and compulsions scores; by this measure venlafaxine significantly reduced BDD symptoms overall (P=.012), as well as obsessions (P=.034) and compulsions specifically (P=.021). A single sample t-test, comparing final Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale ratings to “no change” (score: 4) found significant improvement following treatment.
Venlafaxine may be an effective treatment for BDD, including both obsessive and compulsive symptoms. Controlled research on venlafaxine in BDD is recommended.
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