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People with psychotic disorders have increased mortality compared to the general population. The mortality is mostly due to natural causes and it is disproportionately high compared to the somatic morbidity of people with psychotic disorders.
We aimed to find predictors of mortality in psychotic disorders and to evaluate the extent to which sociodemographic and health-related factors explain the excess mortality.
In a nationally representative sample of Finns aged 30–70 years (n = 5642), psychotic disorders were diagnosed in 2000–2001. Information on mortality and causes of death was obtained of those who died by the end of year 2013. Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate the mortality risk.
Adjusting for age and sex, diagnosis of nonaffective psychotic disorder (NAP) (n = 106) was statistically significantly associated with all-cause mortality (HR 2.99, 95% CI 2.03–4.41) and natural-cause mortality (HR 2.81, 95% CI 1.85–4.28). After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, health status, inflammation and smoking, the HR dropped to 2.11 (95% CI 1.10–4.05) for all-cause and to 1.98 (95% CI 0.94–4.16) for natural-cause mortality. Within the NAP group, antipsychotic use at baseline was associated with reduced HR for natural-cause mortality (HR 0.25, 95% CI 0.07–0.96), and smoking with increased HR (HR 3.54, 95% CI 1.07–11.69).
The elevated mortality risk associated with NAP is only partly explained by socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, cardiometabolic comorbidities and inflammation. Smoking cessation should be prioritized in treatment of psychotic disorders. More research is needed on the quality of treatment of somatic conditions in people with psychotic disorders.
Disclosure of interest
Jaakko Keinänen owns shares in pharmaceutical company Orion.
An essential strategy to increase coverage of psychosocial treatments globally is task shifting to non-medical counsellors, but evidence on its effectiveness is still scarce. This study evaluates the effectiveness of lay psychosocial counselling among persons with psychological distress in a primary health care setting in rural Nepal.
A parallel randomized controlled trial in Dang, rural Nepal (NCT03544450). Persons aged 16 and older attending primary care and with a General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) score of 6 or more were randomized (1:1) to receive either non-medical psychosocial counselling (PSY) or enhanced usual care (EUC). PSY was provided by lay persons with a 6-month training and consisted of 5-weekly counselling sessions of 35–60 min with a culturally adapted solution-focused approach. EUC was provided by trained primary health workers. Participants were followed up at 1 (T1) and 6 months (T2). The primary outcome, response to treatment, was the reduction of minimum 50% in the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score.
A total of 141 participants, predominantly socially disadvantaged women, were randomized to receive PSY and 146 to EUC. In the PSY, 123 participants and 134 in the EUC were analysed. In PSY, 101 participants (81.4%) had a response compared with 57 participants (42.5%) in EUC [percentage difference 39.4% (95% CI 28.4–50.4)]. The difference in BDI scores at T2 between PSY and EUC was −7.43 (95% CI −9.71 to −5.14).
Non-medical (lay) psychosocial counselling appears effective in reducing depressive symptoms, and its inclusion in mental health care should be considered in low-resource settings.
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