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Patients receiving treatment for opioid-use disorder (OUD) may experience psychological symptoms without meeting full criteria for psychiatric disorders. The impact of these symptoms on treatment outcomes is unclear.
To determine the prevalence of psychological symptoms in a cohort of individuals receiving medication-assisted treatment for OUD and explore their association with patient characteristics and outcomes in treatment.
Data were collected from 2788 participants receiving ongoing treatment for OUD recruited in two Canadian prospective cohort studies. The Maudsley Addiction Profile psychological symptoms subscale was administered to all participants via face-to-face interviews. A subset of participants (n = 666) also received assessment for psychiatric disorders with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. We used linear regression analysis to explore factors associated with psychological symptom score.
The mean psychological symptom score was 12.6/40 (s.d. = 9.2). Participants with psychiatric comorbidity had higher scores than those without (mean 16.8 v. 8.6, P<0.001) and 31% of those with psychiatric comorbidity reported suicidal ideation. Higher psychological symptom score was associated with female gender (B = 1.59, 95% CI 0.92–2.25, P<0.001), antidepressant prescription (B = 4.35, 95% CI 3.61–5.09, P<0.001), percentage of opioid-positive urine screens (B = 0.02, 95% CI 0.01–0.03, P<0.001), and use of non-opioid substances (B = 1.92, 95% CI 0.89–2.95, P<0.001). Marriage and employment were associated with lower psychological symptoms.
Psychological symptoms are associated with treatment outcomes in this population and the prevalence of suicidal ideation is an area of concern. Our findings highlight the ongoing need to optimise integrated mental health and addictions services for patients with OUD.
Cannabis is the most commonly used substance among patients in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for opioid use disorder. Current treatment programmes neither screen nor manage cannabis use. The recent legalisation of cannabis in Canada incites consideration into how this may affect the current opioid crisis.
Investigate the health status of cannabis users in MMT.
Patients were recruited from addiction clinics in Ontario, Canada. Regression analyses were used to assess the association between adverse health conditions and cannabis use. Further analyses were used to assess sex differences and heaviness of cannabis use.
We included 672 patients (49.9% cannabis users). Cannabis users were more likely to consume alcohol (odds ratio 1.46, 95% CI 1.04–2.06, P = 0.029) and have anxiety disorders (odds ratio 1.75, 95% CI 1.02–3.02, P = 0.043), but were less likely to use heroin (odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.24–0.86, P = 0.016). There was no association between cannabis use and pain (odds ratio 0.98, 95% CI 0.94–1.03, P = 0.463). A significant association was seen between alcohol and cannabis use in women (odds ratio 1.79, 95% CI 1.06–3.02, P = 0.028), and anxiety disorders and cannabis use in men (odds ratio 2.59, 95% CI 1.21–5.53, P = 0.014). Heaviness of cannabis use was not associated with health outcomes.
Our results suggest that cannabis use is common and associated with psychiatric comorbidities and substance use among patients in MMT, advocating for screening of cannabis use in this population.
Light therapy is a known treatment for patients with seasonal affective disorder. However, the efficacy of light therapy in treating patients with non-seasonal depression remains inconclusive.
To provide the current state of evidence for efficacy of light therapy in non-seasonal depressive disorders.
Systematic review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and CENTRAL from their inception to September 2015. Study selection, data abstraction and risk of bias assessment were independently conducted in duplicate. Meta-analyses were performed to provide a summary statistic for the included RCTs. The reporting of this systematic review follows the PRISMA guidelines.
A meta-analysis including 881 participants from 20 RCTs demonstrated a beneficial effect of light therapy in non-seasonal depression (standardised mean difference in depression score −0.41 (95% CI −0.64 to −0.18)). This estimate was associated with significant heterogeneity (I2=60%, P=0.0003) that was not sufficiently explained by subgroup analyses. There was also high risk of bias in the included trials limiting the study interpretation.
The overall quality of evidence is poor due to high risk of bias and inconsistency. However, considering that light therapy has minimal side-effects and our meta-analysis demonstrated that a significant proportion of patients achieved a clinically significant response, light therapy may be effective for patients with non-seasonal depression and can be a helpful additional therapeutic intervention for depression.
There is conflicting evidence about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression, and a systematic assessment of the literature has not been available.
To determine the relationship, if any, between vitamin D deficiency and depression.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomised controlled trials was conducted.
One case-control study, ten cross-sectional studies and three cohort studies with a total of 31 424 participants were analysed. Lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared with controls (SMD = 0.60,95% Cl 0.23–0.97) and there was an increased odds ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories in the cross-sectional studies (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.0–1.71). The cohort studies showed a significantly increased hazard ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories (HR=2.21, 95% CI 1.40–3.49).
Our analyses are consistent with the hypothesis that low vitamin D concentration is associated with depression, and highlight the need for randomised controlled trials of vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of depression to determine whether this association is causal.
An association between depression and headache is well established, but the specificity to migraine is unclear.
To investigate the specificity of the association of depression and migraine.
People with recurrent depression (n=1259) were compared with psychiatrically healthy controls (n=851) to investigate headache defined according to International Headache Society criteria in each group.
All headache types were more prevalent in the case group than in the controls. However, the strongest association was between depression and migraine with aura (OR=5.6). Among participants with recurrent headaches, migraine with aura (but not other forms of headache) was highly significantly associated with depression.
The data suggest that not only is there a general relationship between headache and depression but also that among people with recurrent headache there is a specific association between depression and migraine with aura. The association is likely to be explained by overlapping aetiological risk factors.
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