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In the past decade there has been a rapid increase in gender diversity, particularly in children and young people, with referrals to specialist gender clinics rising. In this article, the evolving terminology around transgender health is considered and the role of psychiatry is explored now that this condition is no longer classified as a mental illness. The concept of conversion therapy with reference to alternative gender identities is examined critically and with reference to psychiatry's historical relationship with conversion therapy for homosexuality. The authors consider the uncertainties that clinicians face when dealing with something that is no longer a disorder nor a mental condition and yet for which medical interventions are frequently sought and in which mental health comorbidities are common.
To evaluate the impact of ‘holistic’ link-workers on service users’ well-being, activation and frailty, and their use of health and social care services and the associated costs.
UK policy is encouraging social prescribing (SP) as a means to improve well-being, self-care and reduce demand on the NHS and social services. However, the evidence to support this policy is generally weak and poorly conceptualised, particularly in relation to frail, older people and patient activation. Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, an integrated care organisation, commissioned a Well-being Co-ordinator service to support older adults (≥50 years) with complex health needs (≥2 long-term conditions), as part of its service redesign.
A before-and-after study measuring health and social well-being, activation and frailty at 12 weeks and primary, community and secondary care service use and cost at 12 months prior and after intervention.
Most of the 86 participants achieved their goals (85%). On average health and well-being, patient activation and frailty showed a statistically significant improvement in mean score. Mean activity increased for all services (some changes were statistically significant). Forty-four per cent of participants saw a decrease in service use or no change. Thirteen high-cost users (>£5000 change in costs) accounted for 59% of the overall cost increase. This was largely due to significant, rapid escalation in morbidity and frailty. Co-ordinators played a valuable key-worker role, improving the continuity of care, reducing isolation and supporting carers. No entry-level participant characteristic was associated with change in well-being or service use. Larger, better conceptualised, controlled studies are needed to strengthen claims of causality and develop national policy in this area.
Connectedness is a central dimension of personal recovery from severe mental illness (SMI). Research reports that people with SMI have lower social capital and poorer-quality social networks compared to the general population.
To identify personal well-being network (PWN) types and explore additional insights from mapping connections to places and activities alongside social ties.
We carried out 150 interviews with individuals with SMI and mapped social ties, places and activities and their impact on well-being. PWN types were developed using social network analysis and hierarchical k-means clustering of this data.
Three PWN types were identified: formal and sparse; family and stable; and diverse and active. Well-being and social capital varied within and among types. Place and activity data indicated important contextual differences within social connections that were not found by mapping social networks alone.
Place locations and meaningful activities are important aspects of people's social worlds. Mapped alongside social networks, PWNs have important implications for person-centred recovery approaches through providing a broader understanding of individual's lives and resources.
This chapter provides an overview of the current state of evidence regarding treatment of medically unexplained symptoms, somatisation and the functional somatic syndromes. Both primary and secondary care studies have been performed to assess the efficacy of psychological interventions, most commonly cognitive behaviour therapy administered by a mental health professional, or antidepressants, prescribed by the patient's usual doctor. Thirteen trials evaluated cognitive behaviour therapy, five evaluated antidepressants, four the effect of a consultation letter to the general practitioner (GP) and three the training of GPs. The chapter reviews psychological treatments and the use of antidepressants. It uses three systematic reviews to provide an overview of the evidence of efficacy of interventions for functional somatic symptoms. The evidence is stronger for some pharmacological treatments than for psychological treatments partly because of the universal use of placebo tablets and the lack of an attention-placebo in psychological treatment trials.
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