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Research has consistently shown that language abilities represent a core dimension of psychosis; however, to date, very little is known about syntactic comprehension performance in the early stages of psychosis. This study aims to compare the linguistic abilities involved in syntactic comprehension in a large group of First Episode Psychosis (FEP) patients and healthy controls (HCs).
A multiple choice test of comprehension of syntax was administered to 218 FEP patients (166 non-affective FEP patients [FEP-NA] and 52 affective FEP patients [FEP-A]) and 106 HCs. All participants were asked to match a sentence they listen with one out of four vignettes on a pc screen. Only one vignette represents the stimulus target, while the others are grammatical or non-grammatical (visual) distractors. Both grammatical and non-grammatical errors and performance in different syntactic constructions were considered.
FEP committed greater number of errors in the majority of TCGB language domains compared to HCs. Moreover, FEP-NA patients committed significantly more non-grammatical (z = −3.2, p = 0.007), locative (z = −4.7, p < 0.001), passive-negative (z = −3.2, p = 0.02), and relative (z = −4.6, p < 0.001) errors compared to HCs as well as more passive-affirmative errors compared to both HCs (z = −4.3, p < 0.001) and FEP-A (z = 3.1, p = 0.04). Finally, we also found that both FEP-NA and FEP-A committed more grammatical (FEP-NA: z = −9.2, p < 0.001 and FEP-A: z = −4.4, p < 0.001), total (FEP-NA: z = −8.2, p < 0.001 and FEP-A: z = 3.9, p = 0.002), and active-negative (FEP-NA: z = −5.8, p < 0.001 and FEP-A: z = −3.5, p = 0.01) errors compared to HCs.
This study shows that the access to syntactic structures is already impaired in FEP patients, especially in those with FEP-NA, ultimately suggesting that language impairments represent a core and inner feature of psychosis even at early stages.
Despite depressive disorders being very common there has been little
research to guide primary care physicians on the choice of treatment for
patients with mild to moderate depression.
To evaluate the efficacy of interpersonal counselling compared with
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), in primary care
attenders with major depression and to identify moderators of treatment
A randomised controlled trial in nine centres (DEPICS, Australian New
Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number: ACTRN12608000479303). The
primary outcome was remission of the depressive episode (defined as a
Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score 7 at 2 months). Daily
functioning was assessed using the Work and Social Adjustment Scale.
Logistic regression models were used to identify moderators of treatment
The percentage of patients who achieved remission at 2 months was
significantly higher in the interpersonal counselling group compared with
the SSRI group (58.7% v. 45.1%, P =
0.021). Five moderators of treatment outcome were found: depression
severity, functional impairment, anxiety comorbidity, previous depressive
episodes and smoking habit.
We identified some patient characteristics predicting a differential
outcome with pharmacological and psychological interventions. Should our
results be confirmed in future studies, these characteristics will help
clinicians to define criteria for first-line treatment of depression
targeted to patients' characteristics.
Objective – To test the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the WHOQOL-BRIEF (e.g., construct and internal validity, concorrent validity with the MOS SF-36 and test-retest reliability). The WHOQOL-BRIEF is a 26-items self-report instrument which assesses four domains assumed to represent the Quality Of Life (QOL) construct: physical domain, psychological domain, social relationships domain and environment domain, plus two facets for assessing overall QOL and general health. Methods – Data have been collected in three sites (Bologna, Modena and Padua), located in the North of Italy, in the framework of the international WHOQOL project. According to the study design, the sample had to include about 50% males and 50% females, 50% of subjects below and 50% above the age of 45, all in contact with various health services. A subsample has been re-interviewed after 2-3 weeks in order to study test-retest reliability. After the WHOQOL-BRIEF, most subjects have also been administered the MOS-SF36 in order to test the concurrent validity between these two instruments. Results – The instrument was administered to 379 subjects (1/6 healthy and 1/6 sick), chosen to be representative of a variety of different medical conditions. Seventy patients, wTio displayed stable health conditions, have been reassessed after 2-3 weeks to study test-retest reliability. The WHOQOL-BRIEF domains has shown good internal consistency, ranging from 0.65 for the social relationships domain to 0.80 for the physical domain; it has been able to discriminate between in- and out-patients and between the two age groups considered in the present study (<45, ≥45 years). Only physical and psychological domains were found to discriminate between healthy and ill subjects. No gender differences in the mean scores for the four domains were found. Concurrent validity between the WHOQOL-Brief and the MOS-SF-36 was satisfactory, and specific for the physical and psychological health domains. Test-retest reliability values were also good, ranging from 0.76 for the environment domain to 0.93 for the psychological domain. Conclusions – This study shows that the WHOQOL-BRIEF is psychometrically valid and reliable, and that it is also potentially useful in discriminating between subjects with different health conditions in clinical settings.
Although estimates as to the incidence of personality disorder in the elderly remain controversial, it is well known that such a disorder is prevalently ego-syntonic and capable of interfering with the onset and treatment of other somatic and psychic pathologies, especially in later life, when individuals tend to be particularly vulnerable. Misdiagnosis or failure to treat these disorders may greatly diminish the quality of life of older adults and their families. The aim of this work is to define the chief psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic guidelines for treating personality disorders in the elderly. Pharmacologically, patients require treatment with molecules designed to rebalance neurotransmitter system alterations, which underlie the symptomatological picture. As regards psychotherapeutic treatment, although there are only a few validation studies, we believe that dialectical behavior therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy may constitute valid therapeutic approaches that meet both the needs and the individual characteristics of patients affected by personality disorder and those of elderly patients.
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