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National guidance cautions against low-intensity interventions for people with personality disorder, but evidence from trials is lacking.
To test the feasibility of conducting a randomised trial of a low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder.
Single-blind, feasibility trial (trial registration: ISRCTN14994755). We recruited people aged 18 or over with a clinical diagnosis of personality disorder from mental health services, excluding those with a coexisting organic or psychotic mental disorder. We randomly allocated participants via a remote system on a 1:1 ratio to six to ten sessions of Structured Psychological Support (SPS) or to treatment as usual. We assessed social functioning, mental health, health-related quality of life, satisfaction with care and resource use and costs at baseline and 24 weeks after randomisation.
A total of 63 participants were randomly assigned to either SPS (n = 33) or treatment as usual (n = 30). Twenty-nine (88%) of those in the active arm of the trial received one or more session (median 7). Among 46 (73%) who were followed up at 24 weeks, social dysfunction was lower (−6.3, 95% CI −12.0 to −0.6, P = 0.03) and satisfaction with care was higher (6.5, 95% CI 2.5 to 10.4; P = 0.002) in those allocated to SPS. Statistically significant differences were not found in other outcomes. The cost of the intervention was low and total costs over 24 weeks were similar in both groups.
SPS may provide an effective low-intensity intervention for people with personality disorder and should be tested in fully powered clinical trials.
We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the National Audit of Psychosis to identify factors associated with use of community treatment orders (CTOs) and assess the quality of care that people on CTOs receive.
Between 1.1 and 20.2% of patients in each trust were being treated on a CTO. Male gender, younger age, greater use of in-patient services, coexisting substance misuse and problems with cognition predicted use of CTOs. Patients on CTOs were more likely to be screened for physical health, have a current care plan, be given contact details for crisis support, and be offered cognitive–behavioural therapy.
CTOs appear to be used as a framework for delivering higher-quality care to people with more complex needs. High levels of variation in the use of CTOs indicate a need for better evidence about the effects of this approach to patient care.
Users of mental health service are concerned about changes in clinicians providing their care, but little is known about their impact.
To examine associations between changes in staff, and patient satisfaction and quality of care.
A national cross-sectional survey of 3379 people aged 18 or over treated in secondary care for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
Nearly 41.9% reported at least one change in their key worker during the previous 12 months and 10.5% reported multiple changes. Those reporting multiple changes were less satisfied with their treatment and less likely to report having a care plan, knowing how to obtain help when in a crisis or to have had recommended physical health assessments.
Frequent changes in staff providing care for people with psychosis are associated with poorer quality of care. Greater efforts need to be made to protect relational continuity of care for such patients.
Health anxiety, hypochondriasis and personality disturbance commonly coexist. The impact of personality status was assessed in a secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial (RCT).
To test the impact of personality status using ICD-11 criteria on the clinical and cost outcomes of treatment with cognitive–behavioural therapy for health anxiety (CBT-HA) and standard care over 2 years.
Personality dysfunction was assessed at baseline in 444 patients before randomisation and independent assessment of costs and outcomes made on four occasions over 2 years.
In total, 381 patients (86%) had some personality dysfunction with 184 (41%) satisfying the ICD criteria for personality disorder. Those with no personality dysfunction showed no treatment differences (P = 0.90) and worse social function with CBT-HA compared with standard care (P<0.03) whereas all other personality groups showed greater improvement with CBT-HA maintained over 2 years (P<0.001). Less benefit was shown in those with more severe personality disorder (P<0.05). Costs were less with CBT-HA except for non-significant greater differences in those with moderate or severe personality disorder.
The results contradict the hypothesis that personality disorder impairs response to CBT in health anxiety in both the short and medium term.
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