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Objectives: The Irish national mental health policy document, A Vision for Change, included recommendations to develop specialist rehabilitation mental health services. This survey was conducted as part of a multicentre study to investigate current provision of mental health rehabilitation services in Ireland and factors associated with better clinical outcomes for users of these services. The aim was to carry out a detailed national survey of specialist rehabilitation services in order to describe current service provision.
Method: A structured questionnaire was sent to consultant rehabilitation psychiatrists in all mental health catchment areas of Ireland that had any rehabilitation services to gather data on various aspects of service provision.
Results: Twenty-six of the 31 mental health areas of Ireland had some form of rehabilitation service. Sixteen teams working in 15 of these areas fulfilled A Vision for Change criteria to be defined as specialist rehabilitation services and all 16 responded to the survey. The overall response rate was 73% (19/26). Most services lacked a full multidisciplinary team. Only one service had an assertive outreach team with acceptable fidelity to the assertive outreach model. Urban services were less well resourced than rural services.
Conclusion: This is the first national survey to describe the provision of mental health rehabilitation services in Ireland. Although there has been an increase in the provision of consultant-led specialist rehabilitation services nationally, these services lack multidisciplinary input. There also appears to be a lack of planned provision of the facilities required to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services with unequal distribution of resources between urban and rural areas. This has potential cost implications for local mental health services in relation to ‘out of area treatment’ placements and perhaps more importantly to the overall quality of patient care.
Studies worldwide have reported alarming rates of alcohol misuse among medical students (Webb et al, 1996; Kuo et al, 2002; Akvadar et al, 2004). These reports are surprising as well as of extreme concern, as medical professionals are supposedly more educated on the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. The majority of studies exploring the knowledge and attitudes of medical students regarding alcohol have been from the USA and the UK, with only few from lower-income countries and the Islamic world (Kumar & Basu, 2000; Akvadar et al, 2004).
Objectives: Structured professional judgement is now the most widely accepted approach to clinical risk assessment and risk management. The Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Manual (S-RAMM) is a new structured professional judgement tool closely modelled on the HCR-20. This is the first prospective validation study for this instrument.
Methods: Two post-membership registrars jointly interviewed 81 of 83 current inpatients to rate the S-RAMM. Two assistant psychologists independently rated the HCR-20, GAF and PANSS. All incidents of self-harm, attempted suicide, suicide and violence to others were collated from hospital reporting of critical incidents over the next six months supplemented by examination of other records.
Results: For combined self-harm and suicide outcomes, the S-RAMM total score using the receiver operating characteristic had an area under the curve AUC=0.89, (95% CI 0.79 to 0.99). The S-RAMM performed as well for the prediction of self-harm and suicide as the HCR-20 did for violence, and better than measures of mental state (PANSS total score) and global function (GAF).
Conclusions: The S-RAMM has better than minimum acceptable characteristics for use as a clinical or research tool for suicide risk assessment, and performs almost as well as the HCR-20 does for violence. Further prospective studies are now required, in other populations.
There are validated tools for structured professional judgement of risk of violence, but few for risk of suicide. The Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Manual (S-RAMM) is a new structured professional judgement tool closely modelled on the HCR-20. This is the first validation study for the S-RAMM. We measured inter-rater reliability, internal consistency, concurrent validity with another validated risk instrument (HCR-20) and with a measure of psychopathology (PANSS). We tested whether the tool could distinguish between groups of patients clinically assessed as at varying levels of risk of suicide or self harm.
Two researchers jointly interviewed 25 current in-patients for inter-rater reliability (Cohen's kappa) and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and interviewed 81 of 83 current in-patients to assess whether the mean scores for different wards were significantly different (using ANOVA). Two other researchers made independent ratings of the HCR-20 and PANSS.
Inter-rater reliability was acceptable for all items (Cohen's kappa >0.5 for all but three items) and all sub-scale and total scores (Spearman correlations all >0.8). Internal consistency was high, (Cronbach's alpha all sub-scales >0.6). Scores stratified significantly with high scores for admission and intensive care units and progressively lower scores in rehabilitation and predischarge units. The HCR-20 historical and S-RAMM background scores did not correlate but the dynamic sub-scales correlated significantly. PANSS scores also correlated significantly with S-RAMM scores.
The S-RAMM has better than minimum acceptable characteristics for use as a clinical or research tool. Prospective studies of sensitivity and specificity are now required.
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