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Aim of the current study is to investigate the associations between daily levels of air pollutants (particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide) and daily admissions for mental disorders to the emergency department of two general hospitals in Umbria region (Italy).
We collected data about daily admissions to psychiatric emergency services of two general hospitals, air pollutants' levels and meteorological data for the time period 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2016. We assessed the impact of an increase in air pollutants on the number of daily admissions using a time-series econometric framework.
A total of 1860 emergency department admissions for mental disorders were identified. We observed a statistically significant impact of ozone levels on daily admissions. The estimated coefficient of O3 is statistically significant at the 1% level. All other pollutants were not significantly associated with the number of daily admissions.
Short-term exposure to ozone may be associated with increased psychiatric emergency services admissions. Findings add to previous literature on existing evidence for air pollution to have an impact on mental health. Ozone may be considered a potential environmental risk factor for impaired mental health.
Deliberate self-harm (DSH) causes important concern in prison inmates as it worsens morbidity and increases the risk for suicide. The aim of the present study is to investigate the prevalence and correlates of DSH in a large sample of male prisoners.
A cross-sectional study evaluated male prisoners aged 18+ years. Current and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II Disorders and with the Addiction Severity Index-Expanded Version. DSH was assessed with The Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify independent correlates of lifetime DSH.
Ninety-three of 526 inmates (17.7%) reported at least 1 lifetime DSH behavior, and 58/93 (62.4%) of those reported a DSH act while in prison. After multivariable adjustment (sensitivity 41.9%, specificity 96.1%, area under the curve = 0.854, 95% confidence interval CI = 0.811–0.897, P < 0.001), DSH was significantly associated with lifetime psychotic disorders (adjusted Odds Ratio aOR = 6.227, 95% CI = 2.183–17.762, P = 0.001), borderline personality disorder (aOR = 6.004, 95% CI = 3.305–10.907, P < 0.001), affective disorders (aOR = 2.856, 95% CI = 1.350–6.039, P = 0.006) and misuse of multiple substances (aOR = 2.024, 95% CI = 1.111–3.687, P = 0.021).
Borderline personality disorder and misuse of multiple substances are established risk factors of DSH, but psychotic and affective disorders were also associated with DSH in male prison inmates. This points to possible DSH-related clinical sub-groups, that bear specific treatment needs.
The “schizophrenia spectrum” concept allowed better identifying the psychopathology underpinning disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder (SZA) and cluster A personality disorders (PD).
To compare the clinical portrait of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, focusing on the impact of the affective dimension.
Inpatients at the acute psychiatric ward of Perugia (Umbria-Italy) were evaluated with the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II disorders and diagnosed with a “schizophrenia spectrum” disorder according to DSM-IV-TR. The clinical evaluation was conducted using the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). Pearson correlations of the different subscales in the three groups and between the negative scales with the affective symptom “depression” were conducted.
The sample consisted of 72 inpatients (schizophrenia 55.6%, SZA 20% and cluster A PD 19.4%). The negative and the general psychopathology scales directly correlated at different degrees in the three groups (schizophrenia: r = 0.750; P < 0.001; SZA: r = 0.625, P = 0.006; cluster A PD: r = 0.541, P = 0.046). The symptom “depression” directly correlated with 5 out of 7 negative symptoms: blunted affect (r = 0.616, P < 0.001), emotional withdrawal (r = 0.643, P < 0.001), poor rapport (r = 0.389, P = 0.001), passive/apathetic social withdrawal (r = 0.538, P < 0.001), lack of spontaneity & flow of conversation (r = 0.399, P = 0.001).
Our study confirmed the existence of the “schizophrenia spectrum” with combined different disorders lying on a continuum in which negative symptoms mainly correlated with the psychopathological functioning. Noteworthy, the symptoms of the negative scale strongly correlated with the “depression” symptom, underlying the impact of the affective symptoms on the severity of the “schizophrenia spectrum” disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To evaluate treatment decision-making capacity (DMC) to consent to psychiatric treatment in involuntarily committed patients and to further investigate possible associations with clinical and socio-demographic characteristics of patients.
131 involuntarily hospitalised patients were recruited in three university hospitals. Mental capacity to consent to treatment was measured with the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment (MacCAT-T); psychiatric symptoms severity (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, BPRS-E) and cognitive functioning (Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE) were also assessed.
Mental capacity ratings for the 131 involuntarily hospitalised patients showed that patients affected by bipolar disorders (BD) scored generally better than those affected by schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) in MacCAT-T appreciation (p < 0.05) and reasoning (p < 0.01). Positive symptoms were associated with poorer capacity to appreciate (r = −0.24; p < 0.01) and reason (r = −0.27; p < 0.01) about one's own treatment. Negative symptoms were associated with poorer understanding of treatment (r = −0.23; p < 0.01). Poorer cognitive functioning, as measured by MMSE, negatively affected MacCAT-T understanding in patients affected by SSD, but not in those affected by BD (SSD r = 0.37; p < 0.01; BD r = −0.01; p = 0.9). Poorer MacCAT-T reasoning was associated with more manic symptoms in the BD group of patients but not in the SSD group (BD r = −0.32; p < 0.05; SSD r = 0.03; p = 0.8). Twenty-two per cent (n = 29) of the 131 recruited patients showed high treatment DMC as defined by having scored higher than 75% of understanding, appreciating and reasoning MacCAT-T subscales maximum sores and 2 at expressing a choice. The remaining involuntarily hospitalised patients where considered to have low treatment DMC. Chi-squared disclosed that 32% of BD patients had high treatment DMC compared with 9% of SSD patients (p < 0.001).
Treatment DMC can be routinely assessed in non-consensual psychiatric settings by the MacCAT-T, as is the case of other clinical variables. Such approach can lead to the identification of patients with high treatment DMC, thus drawing attention to possible dichotomy between legal and clinical status.
The classification of psychological distress and illness behavior in the setting of medical disease is still controversial. Current psychiatric nosology does not seem to cover the spectrum of disturbances. The aim of this investigation was to assess whether the joint use of DSM-IV categories and the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), that provide identification of syndromes related to somatization, abnormal illness behavior, irritable mood, type A behavior, demoralization and alexithymia, could yield subtyping of psychosocial variables in the medically ill.
A cross-sectional assessment using both DSM-IV and the DCPR was conducted in eight medical centers in the Italian Health System. Data were submitted to cluster analysis. Participants were consecutive medical out-patients and in-patients for whom a psychiatric consultation was requested. A total of 1700 subjects met eligibility criteria and 1560 agreed to participate.
Three clusters were identified: non-specific psychological distress, irritability and affective disturbances with somatization.
Two-step cluster analysis revealed clusters that were found to occur across clinical settings. The findings indicate the need of expanding clinical assessment in the medically ill to include the various manifestations of somatization, illness behavior and subclinical distress encompassed by the DCPR.
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