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Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
When presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), migrants can have different demographic and clinical characteristics to the native-born population and this was examined in an Irish Early Intervention for Psychosis service.
All cases of treated FEP from three local mental health services within a defined catchment area were included. Psychotic disorder diagnoses were determined using the SCID and symptom and functioning domains were measured using validated and reliable measures.
From a cohort of 612 people, 21.1% were first-generation migrants and there was no difference in the demographic characteristics, diagnoses, symptoms or functioning between migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland, except that migrants from Africa presented with less insight. Of those admitted, 48.6% of admissions for migrants were involuntary compared to 37.7% for the native-born population (p = 0.09).
First-generation migrants now make up a significant proportion of people presenting with a FEP to an Irish EI for psychosis service. Broadly the demographic and clinical characteristics of migrants and those born in the Republic of Ireland are similar, except for less insight in migrants from Africa and a trend for a higher proportion of involuntary admissions in the total migrant group.
The primary aim was to systematically review the literature regarding the effectiveness of clozapine in reducing symptoms of primary psychotic and bipolar disorders in older adults. The secondary aim was to describe other reported patient and caregiver outcomes of clozapine treatment in older adults.
MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, ProQuest, and PubMed databases were searched according to PRISMA guidelines for original empirical research examining the effectiveness of clozapine in adults aged 65 years or more with primary psychotic and bipolar disorders. Identified studies were assessed for methodological quality using the QualSyst tool.
1121 records were screened, of which 7 studies met the inclusion criteria. In total, 128 subjects participated in the included studies (111 of whom were from a single study), with an age range of 65–86 years, and diagnoses including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and delusional disorder. Indications for clozapine use included treatment resistance and inability to tolerate other treatments. While six out of seven studies reported some improvement on the primary measure of psychopathology after treatment with clozapine, the group effects were modest and based on low-level evidence. Additional reported outcomes included discharge destination, death, and relapse. Most of the included studies were only of adequate methodological quality, with significant risks of bias identified.
Clozapine may have positive effects for primary psychotic and bipolar illnesses in some older adults, but the group effects reported were modest and based on low-level evidence studies with methodological limitations. Based on these findings, clinical decision-making about whether or not to trial clozapine should involve an individualized analysis of potential benefits and risks in collaboration with patients and their families and caregivers.
Clozapine is the only licensed pharmacotherapy for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. However, response to clozapine is variable. Understanding the demographic and clinical features associated with response to clozapine may be useful for patient stratification for clinical trials or for identifying patients for earlier initiation of clozapine. We systematically reviewed the literature to investigate clinical and demographic factors associated with variation in clozapine response in treatment-resistant patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Subsequently, we performed a random-effects meta-analysis to evaluate differences in duration of illness, age at clozapine initiation, age of illness onset, body weight and years of education between clozapine responders and non-responders. Thirty-one articles were eligible for qualitative review and 17 of these were quantitatively reviewed. Shorter duration of illness, later illness onset, younger age at clozapine initiation, fewer hospitalisations and fewer antipsychotic trials prior to clozapine initiation showed a trend to be significantly associated with a better response to clozapine. Meta-analysis of seven studies, totalling 313 subjects, found that clozapine responders had a significantly shorter duration of illness compared to clozapine non-responders [g = 0.31; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.56; p = 0.01]. The results imply that a delay in clozapine treatment may result in a poorer response and that a focus on prompt treatment with clozapine is warranted.
Mass shootings account for a small fraction of annual worldwide murders, yet disproportionately affect society and influence policy. Evidence suggesting a link between mass shootings and severe mental illness (i.e. involving psychosis) is often misrepresented, generating stigma. Thus, the actual prevalence constitutes a key public health concern.
We examined global personal-cause mass murders from 1900 to 2019, amassed by review of 14 785 murders publicly described in English in print or online, and collected information regarding perpetrator, demographics, legal history, drug use and alcohol misuse, and history of symptoms of psychiatric or neurologic illness using standardized methods. We distinguished whether firearms were or were not used, and, if so, the type (non-automatic v. semi- or fully-automatic).
We identified 1315 mass murders, 65% of which involved firearms. Lifetime psychotic symptoms were noted among 11% of perpetrators, consistent with previous reports, including 18% of mass murderers who did not use firearms and 8% of those who did (χ2 = 28.0, p < 0.01). US-based mass shooters were more likely to have legal histories, use recreational drugs or misuse alcohol, or have histories of non-psychotic psychiatric or neurologic symptoms. US-based mass shooters with symptoms of any psychiatric or neurologic illness more frequently used semi-or fully-automatic firearms.
These results suggest that policies aimed at preventing mass shootings by focusing on serious mental illness, characterized by psychotic symptoms, may have limited impact. Policies such as those targeting firearm access, recreational drug use and alcohol misuse, legal history, and non-psychotic psychopathology might yield more substantial results.
Schizophrenia is a longstanding condition and most patients experience multiple relapse in the course of the condition. High expressed emotion (HEE) has been found to be a predictor of relapse. This meta-analysis and meta-regression examined the association of global EE and relapse specifically focusing on timing of relapse and EE domains.
Random-effects model was used to pool the effect estimates. Multiple random-effects meta-regression was used to compute the moderator analysis. Putative effect moderators including culture, EE measurements, age, length of condition and study quality were included.
Thirty-three prospective cohort studies comprising 2284 patients were included in the descriptive review and 30 studies were included for meta-analysis and meta-regression. Findings revealed that global HEE significantly predicted more on early relapse (⩽12 months) [OR 4.87 (95% CI 3.22–7.36)] than that on late relapse (>12 months) [OR 2.13 (95% CI 1.36–3.35)]. Higher level of critical comments (CC) significantly predicted relapse [OR 2.22 (95% CI 1.16–4.26)], whereas higher level of warmth significantly protected patients from relapse [OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.15–0.85)]. None of the moderators included significantly change the results.
These findings indicate that there is a dynamic interaction between EE-relapse association with time, and CC and warmth are the two important EE domains to influence relapse among patients with schizophrenia. Results also confirmed the foci of family interventions on reducing CC and improving warmth in relationship.
Personal recovery from psychosis has been explored extensively in community samples but there has been little exploration with people currently receiving care from an acute mental health in-patient setting.
The aim of this study was to explore the personal recovery priorities of people experiencing psychosis who are currently receiving care from an acute mental health in-patient ward.
A Q-methodology mixed-methods approach was adopted. Thirty-eight participants were recruited from an outer London acute mental health hospital. They were required to sort 54 statements regarding personal recovery from most important to least important to reflect their recovery priorities. Thirty-six were included in the final analysis.
Analysis revealed four distinct viewpoints relating to factors that promote recovery in the acute mental health in-patient setting. These were: stability, independence and ‘keeping a roof over your head’; hope, optimism and enhancing well-being; personal change, self-management and social support; and symptom reduction through mental health support.
Acute mental health in-patient wards need to ensure that they are considering the personal recovery needs of in-patients. Symptom reduction was valued by some, but broad psychosocial factors were also of priority.
Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug worldwide, and it is estimated that up to 30% of people who use cannabis will develop a cannabis use disorder (CUD). Demand for treatment of CUD is increasing in almost every region of the world and cannabis use is highly comorbid with mental disorders, where sustained use can reduce treatment compliance and increase risk of relapse. In this narrative review, we outline evidence for psychosocial and pharmacological treatment strategies for CUD, both alone and when comorbid with psychosis, anxiety or depression. Psychosocial treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and contingency management are currently the most effective strategy for treating CUD but are of limited benefit when comorbid with psychosis. Pharmacological treatments targeting the endocannabinoid system have the potential to reduce cannabis withdrawal and cannabis use in CUD. Mental health comorbidities including anxiety, depression and psychosis hinder effective treatment and should be addressed in treatment provision and clinical decision making to reduce the global burden of CUDs. Antipsychotic medication may decrease cannabis use and cannabis craving as well as psychotic symptoms in patients with CUD and psychosis. Targeted treatments for anxiety and depression when comorbid with CUD are feasible.
Can delusions, in the context of psychosis, enhance a person’s sense of meaningfulness? The case described here suggests that, in some circumstances, they can. This prompts further questions into the complexities of delusion as a lived phenomenon, with important implications for the clinical encounter. While assumptions of meaninglessness are often associated with concepts of ‘disorder’, ‘harm’ and ‘dysfunction’, we suggest that meaning can nonetheless be found within what is commonly taken to be incomprehensible or even meaningless. A phenomenological and value-based approach appears indispensable for clinicians facing the seemingly paradoxical coexistence of harmfulness and meaningfulness.
Cognitive tasks delivered during ecological momentary assessment (EMA) may elucidate the short-term dynamics and contextual influences on cognition and judgements of performance. This paper provides initial validation of a smartphone task of facial emotion recognition in serious mental illness.
A total of 86 participants with psychotic disorders (non-affective and affective psychosis), aged 19–65, were administered in-lab ‘gold standard’ affect recognition, neurocognition, and symptom assessments. They subsequently completed 10 days of the mobile facial emotion recognition task, assessing both accuracy and self-assessed performance, along with concurrent EMA of psychotic symptoms and mood. Validation focused on task adherence and predictors of adherence, gold standard convergent validity, and symptom and diagnostic group variation.
The mean rate of adherence to the task was 79%; no demographic or clinical variables predicted adherence. Convergent validity was observed with in-lab measures of facial emotion recognition, and no practice effects were observed on the mobile facial emotion recognition task. EMA reports of more severe voices, sadness, and paranoia were associated with worse performance, whereas mood more strongly associated with self-assessed performance.
The mobile facial emotion recognition task was tolerated and demonstrated convergent validity with in-lab measures of the same construct. Social cognitive performance, and biased judgements previously shown to predict function, can be evaluated in real-time in naturalistic environments.
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, by the World Health Organization. The pandemic has had unprecedented worldwide implications, in particular on marginalized populations.
The aim of this study is to review the impact of the pandemic on patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
A number of databases were searched for this review, including PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Google Scholar. Search terms included psychosis and COVID-19, schizophrenia and COVID-19, and severe mental illness and COVID-19. We included all English language papers and preprints. The final search was done on 15 July 2020.
Forty-seven relevant studies were identified and included in this review. Studies were summarised into five main subcategories: potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical health outcomes of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, impact on mental health outcomes, review of case reports and case series to date, treatment recommendation guidelines and risk of increased prevalence of psychosis.
Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders may be vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This patient population has a number of risk factors, including psychosocial adversities and illness related factors. Continuous monitoring and long-term studies of the impact of the pandemic on this patient population are required.
A recent suicidal drive hypothesis posits that psychotic experiences (PEs) may serve to externalize internally generated and self-directed threat (i.e., self-injurious/suicidal behavior [SIB]) in order to optimize survival; however, it must first be demonstrated that such internal threat can both precede and inform PEs. The current study conducted the first known bidirectional analysis of SIB and PEs to test whether SIB could be considered as a plausible antecedent for PEs. Prospective data were utilized from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative birth cohort of 2232 twins, that captured SIB (any self-harm or suicidal attempt) and PEs at ages 12 and 18 years. Cross-lagged panel models demonstrated that the association between SIB at age 12 and PEs at age 18 was as strong as the association between PEs at age 12 and SIB at age 18. Indeed, the best representation of the data was a model where these paths were constrained to be equal (OR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.63–3.79). Clinical interview case notes for those who reported both SIB and PEs at age 18, revealed that PEs were explicitly characterized by SIB/threat/death-related content for 39% of cases. These findings justify further investigation of the suicidal drive hypothesis.
Family carers supporting an individual with psychosis often experience poorer mental health, however, little is known about specific risk factors among these carers. We investigated the associations between demographic, caregiving characteristics and mental health outcomes in family carers supporting an individual with psychosis and compared carers' outcomes with general population norms.
We analysed baseline data from the COPe-support randomised controlled trial of online psychoeducation and peer support for adult carers supporting an individual with psychosis between 2018 and 2020. We collected carers' demographic and health outcome data, including wellbeing using Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS as primary outcome), quality of life using EQ-5D-5L and caregiving experience assessed with Experience of Caregiving Inventory. We tested associations between carers' demographic and caregiving characteristics for each outcome in turn and meta-analysed carers' WEMWBS and EQ-5D-5L with Health Survey England (HSE) general population data from 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The 407 carers of people with psychosis had a mean WEMWBS score of 42.2 (s.d. 9.21) and their overall weighted pooled WEMWBS score was 7.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) −8.6 to −6.0, p < 0.01) lower than the HSE general population sample, indicating carers have poorer mental wellbeing by more than double the minimum clinically important difference of 3 points on WEMWBS. Among all caring relationships, partners had poorer wellbeing compared to parents with lower WEMWBS score (−6.8, −16.9 to 3.3, p = 0.03). Single carers had significantly poorer wellbeing (−3.6, −5.6 to −1.5, p < 0.01) and a more negative caregiving experience than those who were cohabiting. Spending more than 35 h per week caregiving increased carers' negative experience significantly (p = 0.01).
Carers of people with psychosis have poorer mental health than non-carers. Partners, lone carers and those spending more than 35 h per week on caring were found to be most at risk of poor mental health. Based on the results, we advocate that the details of carers for individuals with psychosis should be added to the existing carers or severe mental illness registers at all general practitioner surgeries and for their wellbeing screened routinely. Future large-scale prospective studies are needed to develop a predictive model to determine risk factors, hence to aid early identification of carers' support needs. Such understandings are also useful to inform tailored intervention development.
There is evidence that patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders present higher mortality in comparison with the general population. The aim of this study was to analyse the causes of mortality and sociodemographic factors associated with mortality, standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), life expectancy and potential years of life lost (YLL) in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders in Spain.
The study included a cohort of patients from the Malaga Schizophrenia Case Register (1418 patients; 907 males; average age 42.31 years) who were followed up for a minimum of 10 years (median = 13.43). The factors associated with mortality were analysed with a survival analysis using Cox's proportional hazards regression model.
The main causes of mortality in the cohort were circulatory disease (21.45%), cancer (17.09%) and suicide (13.09%). The SMR of the cohort was more than threefold that of the population of Malaga (3.19). The life expectancy at birth was 67.11 years old, which is more than 13 years shorter than that of the population of Malaga. The YLL was 20.74. The variables associated with a higher risk of mortality were age [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 1.069, p < 0.001], male gender (AHR = 1.751, p < 0.001) and type of area of residence (p = 0.028; deprived urban zone v. non-deprived urban area, AHR = 1.460, p = 0.028). In addition, receiving welfare benefit status in comparison with employed status (AHR = 1.940, p = 0.008) was associated with increased mortality.
There is excess mortality in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and also an association with age, gender, socioeconomic inequalities and receiving welfare benefits. Efforts directed towards improved living conditions could have a positive effect on reducing mortality.
Chronic psychotic disorders (CPDs) occur worldwide and cause significant burden. Poor medication adherence is pervasive, but has not been well studied in sub-Saharan Africa.
This cross-sectional survey of 100 poorly adherent Tanzanian patients with CPD characterised clinical features associated with poor adherence.
Descriptive statistics characterised demographic and clinical variables, including barriers to adherence, adherence behaviours and attitudes, and psychiatric symptoms. Measures included the Tablets Routine Questionnaire, Drug Attitudes Inventory, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Clinical Global Impressions scale, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test. The relationship between adherence and other clinical variables was evaluated.
Mean age was 35.7 years (s.d. 8.8), 61% were male and 80% had schizophrenia, with a mean age at onset of 22.4 (s.d. 7.6) years. Mean proportion of missed CPD medication was 64%. One in ten had alcohol dependence. Most individuals had multiple adherence barriers. Most clinical variables were not significantly associated with the Tablets Routine Questionnaire; however, in-patients with CPD were more likely to have worse adherence (P ≤ 0.01), as were individuals with worse medication attitudes (Drug Attitudes Inventory, P < 0.01), higher CPD symptom severity levels (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, P < 0.001) and higher-risk use of alcohol (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, P < 0.001).
Poorly adherent patients had multiple barriers to adherence, including poor attitudes toward medication and treatment, high illness acuity and substance use comorbidity. Treatments need to address adherence barriers, and consider family supports and challenges from an intergenerational perspective.
Catastrophic cognitive appraisals, similar to those in anxiety disorders, are implicated in depersonalisation, a form of dissociation. No scales exist to measure appraisals of dissociative experiences. Dissociation is common in psychosis. Misinterpretations of dissociative experiences may maintain psychotic symptoms. Therefore, assessing appraisals in this context may be valuable.
The primary aim was to develop a measure of key appraisals of dissociation in psychosis. Secondary aims were to test the relationship between appraisals and psychotic experiences (paranoia and hallucinations), and determine whether appraisals explain additional variance in psychotic symptoms above dissociative symptoms.
Fifty items were generated from transcripts of interviews with patients. The measure was developed and psychometrically validated via factor analysis of data from 9902 general population participants and 1026 patients with psychosis. Convergent validity, test–re-test reliability, and internal reliability were assessed. Regression analyses tested relationships with psychotic symptoms.
A 13-item single-factor measure was developed. Factor analysis indicated good model fit [χ2(65) = 247.173, comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.960, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.052]. The scale had good convergent validity with a rumination (non-clinical: r = 0.71; clinical: r = 0.73) and dissociation measure (r = 0.81; r = 0.80), high internal consistency (α = 0.93; α = 0.93), and excellent 1-week test–re-test reliability [intraclass correlation (ICC) = 0.90]. It explained variance in psychotic symptoms (paranoia: 36.4%; hallucinations: 35.0%), including additional variance compared with dissociation alone (paranoia: 5.3%; hallucinations: 2.3%).
The Cognitive Appraisals of Dissociation in Psychosis (CAD-P) measure is a psychometrically robust scale identifying appraisals of dissociative experiences in psychosis and is associated with the presence of psychotic experiences. It is likely to prove useful for clinical assessment and research.
There is ongoing debate regarding the relationship between clinical symptoms and cognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). The present study aimed to explore the potential relationships between symptoms, with an emphasis on negative symptoms, and social and non-social cognition.
Hierarchical cluster analysis with k-means optimisation was conducted to characterise clinical subgroups using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms in n = 130 SSD participants. Emergent clusters were compared on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, which measures non-social cognition and emotion management as well as demographic and clinical variables. Spearman’s correlations were then used to investigate potential relationships between specific negative symptoms and emotion management and non-social cognition.
Four distinct clinical subgroups were identified: 1. high hallucinations, 2. mixed symptoms, 3. high negative symptoms, and 4. relatively asymptomatic. The high negative symptom subgroup was found to have significantly poorer emotion management than the high hallucination and relatively asymptomatic subgroups. No further differences between subgroups were observed. Correlation analyses revealed avolition-apathy and anhedonia-asociality were negatively correlated with emotion management, but not non-social cognition. Affective flattening and alogia were not associated with either emotion management or non-social cognition.
The present study identified associations between negative symptoms and emotion management within social cognition, but no domains of non-social cognition. This relationship may be specific to motivation, anhedonia and apathy, but not expressive deficits. This suggests that targeted interventions for social cognition may also result in parallel improvement in some specific negative symptoms.
Over the past two decades, early detection and early intervention in psychosis have become essential goals of psychiatry. However, clinical impressions are insufficient for predicting psychosis outcomes in clinical high-risk (CHR) individuals; a more rigorous and objective model is needed. This study aims to develop and internally validate a model for predicting the transition to psychosis within 10 years.
Two hundred and eight help-seeking individuals who fulfilled the CHR criteria were enrolled from the prospective, naturalistic cohort program for CHR at the Seoul Youth Clinic (SYC). The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO)-penalized Cox regression was used to develop a predictive model for a psychotic transition. We performed k-means clustering and survival analysis to stratify the risk of psychosis.
The predictive model, which includes clinical and cognitive variables, identified the following six baseline variables as important predictors: 1-year percentage decrease in the Global Assessment of Functioning score, IQ, California Verbal Learning Test score, Strange Stories test score, and scores in two domains of the Social Functioning Scale. The predictive model showed a cross-validated Harrell's C-index of 0.78 and identified three subclusters with significantly different risk levels.
Overall, our predictive model showed a predictive ability and could facilitate a personalized therapeutic approach to different risks in high-risk individuals.
An understanding of the current state of mental health services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a clinical perspective is an important step in advising government and stakeholders on addressing the mental health needs of the fast-growing population. We conducted a retrospective study of data on all patients admitted to a regional psychiatric in-patient unit between June 2012 and May 2015. More Emiratis (UAE nationals) were admitted compared with expatriates. Emiratis were diagnosed more frequently with substance use disorders and expatriates with stress-related conditions. Psychotic and bipolar disorders were the most common causes for admission and had the longest in-patient stays; advancing age was associated with longer duration of in-patient stay.
This chapter provides a sympathetic portrayal of Carl Jung, without glossing over his shortcomings and transgressions. It also explores the backgrounds, mindset, and aspirations of Jung and Freud that led to their attraction to each other, and ultimately their conflicts and the near-disastrous dissolution of their partnership. The chapter also covers the influences Otto Gross, Jung’s multi-year struggles with a near-psychotic state, his process of recovery, his exploration of various mystic traditions on the one hand, and the overlap between his thoughts and quantum physics on the other. It ends with a brief description of Jung’s influences on various new age and modern self-help movements. The chapter also discusses Jung’s complicated relationships with Sabina Spielrein, Toni Wolff, and his wife, Emma Jung, linking his attractions and attachments to major “anima” figures in his adult life with his lonely childhood, the deprivation of maternal attention, and his disappointments with a weak father.