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Web-based dietary interventions could support healthy eating. The Advice, Ideas and Motivation for My Eating (Aim4Me) trial investigated the impact of three levels of personalised web-based dietary feedback on diet quality in young adults. Secondary aims were to investigate participant retention, engagement and satisfaction.
Randomised controlled trial.
Web-based intervention for young adults living in Australia.
18–24-year-olds recruited across Australia were randomised to Group 1 (control: brief diet quality feedback), Group 2 (comprehensive feedback on nutritional adequacy + website nutrition resources) or Group 3 (30-min dietitian consultation + Group 2 elements). Australian Recommended Food Score (ARFS) was the primary outcome. The ARFS subscales and percentage energy from nutrient-rich foods (secondary outcomes) were analysed at 3, 6 and 12 months using generalised linear mixed models. Engagement was measured with usage statistics and satisfaction with a process evaluation questionnaire.
Participants (n 1005, 85 % female, mean age 21·7 ± 2·0 years) were randomised to Group 1 (n 343), Group 2 (n 325) and Group 3 (n 337). Overall, 32 (3 %), 88 (9 %) and 141 (14 %) participants were retained at 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. Only fifty-two participants (15 % of Group 3) completed the dietitian consultation. No significant group-by-time interactions were observed (P > 0·05). The proportion of participants who visited the thirteen website pages ranged from 0·6 % to 75 %. Half (Group 2 = 53 %, Group 3 = 52 %) of participants who completed the process evaluation (Group 2, n 111; Group 3, n 90) were satisfied with the programme.
Recruiting and retaining young adults in web-based dietary interventions are challenging. Future research should consider ways to optimise these interventions, including co-design methods.
Lifetime trajectories of mental ill-health are often established during adolescence. Effective interventions to prevent the emergence of mental health problems are needed. In the current study we assessed the efficacy of the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)-informed Climate Schools universal eHealth preventive mental health programme, relative to a control. We also explored whether the intervention had differential effects on students with varying degrees of social connectedness.
We evaluated the efficacy of the Climate Schools mental health programme (19 participating schools; average age at baseline was 13.6) v. a control group (18 participating schools; average age at baseline was 13.5) which formed part of a large cluster randomised controlled trial in Australian schools. Measures of internalising problems, depression and anxiety were collected at baseline, immediately following the intervention and at 6-, 12- and 18-months post intervention. Immediately following the intervention, 2539 students provided data on at least one outcome of interest (2065 students at 18 months post intervention).
Compared to controls, we found evidence that the standalone mental health intervention improved knowledge of mental health, however there was no evidence that the intervention improved other mental health outcomes, relative to a control. Student's social connectedness did not influence intervention outcomes.
These results are consistent with recent findings that universal school-based, CBT-informed, preventive interventions for mental health have limited efficacy in improving symptoms of anxiety and depression when delivered alone. We highlight the potential for combined intervention approaches, and more targeted interventions, to better improve mental health outcomes.
The burden of disease attributable to alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in young people is considerable. Prevention can be effective, yet few programs have demonstrated replicable effects. This study aimed to replicate research behind Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course among a large cohort of adolescents.
Seventy-one secondary schools across three States participated in a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Year 8 students received either the web-based Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course (Climate, n = 3236), or health education as usual (Control, n = 3150). Outcomes were measured via self-report and reported here for baseline, 6- and 12-months for alcohol and cannabis knowledge, alcohol, cannabis use and alcohol-related harms.
Compared to Controls, students in the Climate group showed greater increases in alcohol- [standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.51, p < 0.001] and cannabis-related knowledge (SMD 0.49, p < 0.001), less increases in the odds of drinking a full standard drink[(odds ratio (OR) 0.62, p = 0.014], and heavy episodic drinking (OR 0.49, p = 0.022). There was no evidence for differences in change over time in the odds of cannabis use (OR 0.57, p = 0.22) or alcohol harms (OR 0.73, p = 0.17).
The current study provides support for the effectiveness of the web-based Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course in increasing knowledge and reducing the uptake of alcohol. It represents one of the first trials of a web-based AOD prevention program to replicate alcohol effects in a large and diverse sample of students. Future research and/or adaptation of the program may be warranted with respect to prevention of cannabis use and alcohol harms.
A four- to seven-fold increase in the prevalence of current mood, anxiety, substance use and any mental disorders in Indigenous adults compared with non-Indigenous Australians has been reported. A lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder was 23.9%. High rates of comorbid mental disorders indicated a transdiagnostic approach to treatment might be most appropriate. The effectiveness of psychological treatment for Indigenous Australians and adjunct Indigenous spiritual and cultural healing has not previously been evaluated in controlled clinical trials.
This project aims to develop, deliver and evaluate the effectiveness of an Indigenous model of mental healthcare (IMMHC). Trial registration: ANZCTR Registration Number: ACTRN12618001746224 and World Health Organization Universal Trial Number: U1111-1222-5849.
The IMMHC will be based on transdiagnostic cognitive–behaviour therapy co-designed with the Indigenous community to ensure it is socially and culturally appropriate for Indigenous Australians. The IMMHC will be evaluated in a randomised controlled trial with 110 Indigenous adults diagnosed with a current diagnosis of depression. The primary outcome will be the severity of depression symptoms as determined by changes in Beck Depression Inventory-II score at 6 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes include anxiety, substance use disorder and quality of life. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 6 months post-intervention and 12 months post-intervention.
The study design adheres to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement recommendations and CONSORT extensions for pilot trials. We followed the Standard Protocol Items for Randomised Trials statement recommendations in writing the trial protocol.
This study will likely benefit participants, as well as collaborating Aboriginal Medical Services and health organisations. The transdiagnostic IMMHC has the potential to have a substantial impact on health services delivery in the Indigenous health sector.
Methamphetamine has been consistently associated with positive psychotic symptoms, but little is known about whether the reverse also occurs.
This study determined whether the relationship between methamphetamine use and positive psychotic symptoms is bidirectional over 12 months. The impact of lifetime psychotic disorders and methamphetamine dependence on these relationships was also examined.
A total of 201 regular (at least monthly) primary methamphetamine users were recruited from free needle and syringe programmes in three Australian cities. Data on the frequency of methamphetamine and other drug use (from Timeline Followback inteviews) and the severity of positive psychotic symptoms (using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale) in the past 2 weeks were collected in 12 contiguous monthly face-to-face interviews (mean of 9.14/11 (s.d. = 3.16) follow-ups completed). Diagnoses were derived using the Psychiatric Research Interview for DSM-IV Substance and Mental Disorders.
The mean age of participants was 31.71 years (s.d. = 8.19) and 39% (n = 77) were women. At baseline 55% (n = 110) were dependent on methamphetamine and 51% (n = 102) had a lifetime psychotic disorder. Cross-lagged dynamic panel models found a significant bidirectional relationship between psychotic symptoms and methamphetamine use (Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.94, standardised root mean square residual (SRMR) = 0.05, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.05, 95% CI 0.04–0.06). The magnitude of the relationship in each direction was similar, and the presence of methamphetamine dependence or a lifetime psychotic disorder did not have an impact on results.
A dynamic, bidirectional relationship between methamphetamine and psychotic symptoms of similar magnitude in each direction was found over 1 year. This suggests integrated treatments that target methamphetamine, psychotic symptoms and their interrelationship may be of most benefit.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
The cerebellar peduncles are large axon bundles that interconnect the cerebellum with other areas of the nervous system. It is now well established that the cerebellum contains one of the highest densities of CB1 receptors in the mammalian brain. It appears that the primary mode of action of endocannabinoids in the cerebellum is self-regulation by Purkinje cells via retrograde signaling back to the presynaptic terminals that innervate them. In terms of behavioral outcomes, several studies have shown that cannabinoid administration in humans is associated with alterations in temporal processing and psychomotor performance, both of which are at least partly cerebellar-mediated. In addition to alterations in cerebellar-mediated behavioral outcomes, numerous studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia exhibit abnormalities in cerebellar structure and metabolism. To recapitulate, the current chapter has attempted to synthesize known literatures regarding the effect of cannabinoids on cerebellar function and the role of the cerebellum in schizophrenia.