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This article describes the results of an eight-month follow-up investigation from a randomized controlled trial of day hospital psychotherapy (DHP) compared with outpatient individual psychotherapy (OIP) for patients with personality disorders (N = 114). The patients were randomly assigned to either 18 weeks of day hospital treatment followed by long-term conjoint group and individual therapy (DHP), or outpatient individual psychotherapy (OIP). The main outcome measures were attrition rate, suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, psychosocial functioning, symptom distress, and interpersonal and personality problems. The study showed a low dropout rate and a moderate improvement on a broad range of clinical measures for both treatments. However, there was no indication of the superiority of one treatment over the other. Neither was there any indication that day hospital treatment was better for the most poorly functioning patients. Further studies will follow this group of patients for the next few years, the results of which may have implications for resource allocation and the organization of mental health services for patients with personality disorders.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a severe psychiatric disorder and is associated with significant impairment in quality of life. The aim of the present study is to assess the internal and external responsiveness of the EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) in BPD patients.
Patients and Methods
Data from 49 patients included in a multi-center Dutch randomized trial were used. We used both the EQ-5D utility score and the Visual Analogue Scale of the EuroQoL, and the Borderline Personality Disorder Severity Index-IV (BPDSI-IV). To determine internal responsiveness, we calculated the standardized response mean (SRM). To determine external responsiveness, we calculated Spearman correlations for the change scores, and compared EQ-5D scores for clinically improved vs. non-clinically improved patients as measured with the BPDSI-IV.
Patient scores improved on all instruments during the three years. SRMs for BPDSI-IV were significantly higher than EQ-5D utility. Three-year Spearman correlation between change scores of BPDSI-IV and EQ-5D utility was 0.487, between BPDSI-IV and EQ-VAS it was 0.404, both statistically significant. EQ-5D utility scores for patients who clinically improved were significantly higher than for patients who did not.
We conclude that the EQ-5D is fairly responsive in BPD, and, therefore, especially because of its brevity and user-friendliness, can serve as a useful tool in economic evaluations in patients with BPD.
The effect of month of birth on personality traits was investigated in 595 healthy Japanese. Personality traits were evaluated by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Statistical analyses were conducted in two steps. Firstly, months of the year were divided according to ambient temperature or photoperiod, and TCI scores were compared between month groups by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with age as a covariate. Secondly, multiple regression analysis was performed with TCI scores as dependent variables and ambient temperature and photoperiod at birth month and age as independent variables. Both analyses showed that higher ambient temperature at birth month was related to higher scores of self-directedness and persistence in females. Also, higher ambient temperature at birth month was related to lower body mass index (BMI) in females. These results suggest that month of birth affects self-directedness and persistence in healthy Japanese females, and these effects may be mediated by BMI changes associated with ambient temperature at birth month.
Little evidence exists about suicidal acts in eating disorders and its relation with personality. We explored the prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts (SA) in women with bulimia nervosa (BN), and compared eating disorder symptoms, general psychopathology, impulsivity and personality between individuals who had and had not attempted suicide. We also determined the variables that better correlate with of SA.
Five hundred sixty-six BN outpatients (417 BN purging, 47 BN non-purging and 102 subthreshold BN) participated in the study.
Lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 26.9%. BN subtype was not associated with lifetime SA (p = 0.36). Suicide attempters exhibited higher rates on eating symptomatology, general psychopathology, impulsive behaviors, more frequent history of childhood obesity and parental alcohol abuse (p < 0.004). Suicide attempters exhibited higher scores on harm avoidance and lower on self-directedness, reward dependence and cooperativeness (p < 0.002). The most strongly correlated variables with SA were: lower education, minimum BMI, previous eating disorder treatment, low self-directedness, and familial history of alcohol abuse (p < 0.006).
Our results support the notion that internalizing personality traits combined with impulsivity may increase the probability of suicidal behaviors in these patients. Future research may increase our understanding of the role of suicidality to work towards rational prevention of suicidal attempts.
There is wide acknowledgement that apathy is an important behavioural syndrome in Alzheimer’s disease and in various neuropsychiatric disorders. In light of recent research and the renewed interest in the correlates and impacts of apathy, and in its treatments, it is important to develop criteria for apathy that will be widely accepted, have clear operational steps, and that will be easily applied in practice and research settings. Meeting these needs is the focus of the task force work reported here.
The task force includes members of the Association Française de Psychiatrie Biologique, the European Psychiatric Association, the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium and experts from Europe, Australia and North America. An advanced draft was discussed at the consensus meeting (during the EPA conference in April 7th 2008) and a final agreement reached concerning operational definitions and hierarchy of the criteria.
Apathy is defined as a disorder of motivation that persists over time and should meet the following requirements. Firstly, the core feature of apathy, diminished motivation, must be present for at least four weeks; secondly two of the three dimensions of apathy (reduced goal-directed behaviour, goal-directed cognitive activity, and emotions) must also be present; thirdly there should be identifiable functional impairments attributable to the apathy. Finally, exclusion criteria are specified to exclude symptoms and states that mimic apathy.
The aim of this study was to evaluate a case-mix system to classify inpatients with mental disorders in Germany by means of self-report and expert-rated instruments. The use of case-mix systems enhances the transparency of performance and cost structure and can thus improve the quality of mental health care. We analysed a consecutive sample of 1677 inpatients with mental disorders from 11 hospitals using regression tree analysis. The model assigns patients to 17 groups, accounting for 17% of the variance for duration of stay. Patients with eating disorders had a longer duration of stay than patients with anxiety disorder, duration of mental illness of less than 3–5 years, lower levels of interpersonal problems and higher occupational position. The results showed that besides diagnosis, variables such as duration of illness and interpersonal problems are important for classifying inpatients with mental disorders. The results of the study should be critically reviewed regarding the empirical results of other studies and the appropriateness of case group concepts for inpatients with mental disorders.
The effect of minor orthopaedic day surgery (MiODS) on patient’s mood.
A prospective population-based cohort study of 148 consecutive patients with age above 18 and less than 65, an American Society of Anaesthesiology (ASA) score of 1, and the requirement of general anaesthesia (GA) were included. The Medical Outcomes Study – Short Form 36 (SF-36), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used pre- and post-operatively.
The mean physical component score of SF-36 before surgery was 45.3 (SD = ±10.1) and 8 weeks following surgery was 44.9 (SD = ±11.04) [n = 148, p = 0.51, 95% CI = (−1.03 to 1.52)]. For the measurement of the changes in mood using BDI, BAI and SF-36, latent construct modelling was employed to increase validity. The covariance between mood pre- and post-operatively (cov = 69.44) corresponded to a correlation coefficient, r = 0.88 indicating that patients suffering a greater number of mood symptoms before surgery continue to have a greater number of symptoms following surgery. When the latent mood constructs were permitted to have different means the model fitted well with χ2 (df = 1) = 0.86 for which p = 0.77, thus the null hypothesis that MiODS has no effect on patient mood was rejected.
MiODS affects patient mood which deteriorates at 8 weeks post-operatively regardless of the pre-operative patient mood state. More importantly patients suffering a greater number of mood symptoms before MiODS continue to have a greater number of symptoms following surgery.
Total hip replacement is one of the most successful orthopaedic interventions in improving considerably the patients' performance, nevertheless some patients demonstrate declined functional ability following an operation. Such condition is not a consequence of medical illness or the surgery itself but might rather be associated with mental status. The authors conduct an investigation concerning the relation between some psychological and psychiatric factors and their influence on health-related quality of life in patients after total hip replacement.
Into the study group we included 102 subjects undergoing total hip replacement (59 female, 43 male). In all subjects we measured depression (Beck Depression Inventory – BDI), anxiety (State and Trait Anxiety Inventory – STAI), sense of coherence (SOC-29), personality traits (Eysenck Personality Inventory – EPI) and health related quality of life (SF-36).
The postoperative values of the PCS and the MCS for the whole group of patients correlated negatively with the SOC values (p = 0.04 and p = 0.03 respectively). Neuroticism (EPI) and anxiety as a trait (STAI) were also associated with postoperative performance, both in mental (p = 0.03 and p = 0.008 respectively) and physical (p = 0.005 and p = 0.04 respectively terms).
Total hip replacement improves significantly the patient’s health-related quality of life at 6 months after surgery, what is influenced by sense of coherence, neuroticism and anxiety as a trait. Above mentioned factors should be taken into account when rehabilitation and social readaptation processes are planned.
In contemporary psychiatry, depression and mania are conceived as different entities. They may occur together, as in bipolar disorder, or they may occur separately, as in unipolar depression. This view is partly based on a narrow definition of mania and a rather broad definition of depression. Generally, depression is seen as more prominent, common, and problematic; while mania appears uncommon and treatment-responsive. We suggest a reversal: mania viewed broadly, not as simply episodic euphoria plus hyperactivity, but a wide range of excitatory behaviors; and depression seen more narrowly. Further, using pharmacological and clinical evidence, and in contrast to previous theories of mania interpreted as a flight from depression, we propose the primacy of mania hypothesis (PM): depression is a consequence of the excitatory processes of mania. If correct, current treatment of depressive illness needs revision. Rather than directly lifting mood with antidepressants, the aim would be to suppress manic-like excitation, with depression being secondarily prevented. Potential objections to, and empirical tests of, the PM hypothesis are discussed.
To compare the clinical management of typical scenarios by using three case vignettes in a substantial number of European countries.
Three case vignettes and an associated questionnaire, filled in and finalised by at least two experts from each country.
Legislation and clinical practice varies widely across the 16 included countries. No specific pattern emerged. Certain practices (intravenous medication, mechanical restraint, net beds and forensic transfers, respectively) only exist in few countries. Legislation for involuntary medication is most restrictive in the Netherlands.
There is little harmonisation and a lack of consistent standards within and across European countries regarding treatment and management of violent patients.