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Substantial evidence has highlighted the importance of considering the mental health of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and several organisations have issued guidelines with recommendations. However, the definition of well-being and the evidence base behind such guidelines remain unclear.
The aims of the study are to assess the applicability of well-being guidelines in practice, identify unaddressed healthcare workers’ needs and provide recommendations for supporting front-line staff during the current and future pandemics.
This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative study based on interviews with front-line healthcare workers in the UK (n = 33), and examines them in relation to a rapid review of well-being guidelines developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 14).
The guidelines placed greater emphasis on individual mental health and psychological support, whereas healthcare workers placed greater emphasis on structural conditions at work, responsibilities outside the hospital and the invaluable support of the community. The well-being support interventions proposed in the guidelines did not always respond to the lived experiences of staff, as some reported not being able to participate in these interventions because of understaffing, exhaustion or clashing schedules.
Healthcare workers expressed well-being needs that aligned with socio-ecological conceptualisations of well-being related to quality of life. This approach to well-being has been highlighted in literature on support of healthcare workers in previous health emergencies, but it has not been monitored during this pandemic. Well-being guidelines should explore the needs of healthcare workers, and contextual characteristics affecting the implementation of recommendations.
Evidence suggests the incidence of non-affective psychotic disorders (NAPDs) varies across persons and places, but data from the Global South is scarce. We aimed to estimate the treated incidence of NAPD in Chile, and variance by person, place and time.
We used national register data from Chile including all people, 10–65 years, with the first episode of NAPD (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision: F20–F29) between 1 January 2005 and 29 August 2018. Denominators were estimated from Chilean National Census data. Our main outcome was treated incidence of NAPD and age group, sex, calendar year and regional-level population density, multidimensional poverty and latitude were exposures of interest.
We identified 32 358 NAPD cases [12 136 (39.5%) women; median age-at-first-contact: 24 years (interquartile range 18–39 years)] during 171.1 million person-years [crude incidence: 18.9 per 100 000 person-years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 18.7–19.1]. Multilevel Poisson regression identified a strong age–sex interaction in incidence, with rates peaking in men (57.6 per 100 000 person-years; 95% CI 56.0–59.2) and women (29.5 per 100 000 person-years; 95% CI 28.4–30.7) between 15 and 19 years old. Rates also decreased (non-linearly) over time for women, but not men. We observed a non-linear association with multidimensional poverty and latitude, with the highest rates in the poorest regions and those immediately south of Santiago; no association with regional population density was observed.
Our findings inform the aetiology of NAPDs, replicating typical associations with age, sex and multidimensional poverty in a Global South context. The absence of association with population density suggests this risk may be context-dependent.
Early intervention in psychosis (EIP) has been developed as an approach to improve the prognosis of people with psychotic disorders and it has been claimed to be a more efficient model of care. However, the evidence is not definitive and doubts have spread regard to the economic outcomes of EIP services amid the usually restricted mental health budget.
We aimed to review the cost-effectiveness evidence of EIP services worldwide.
We systematically reviewed the economic literature about EIP following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses statement guidelines. Studies were selected according to previously stated criteria and analysed with standardised critical appraisal tools for trial-based economic evaluations and modelling studies.
A total of 16 studies were selected after applying the eligibility criteria. Most of them were economic evaluations alongside clinical trials. The overall evidence was consistent in the cost-effectiveness of EIP compared with standard care for first episode of psychosis and the Clinical High Risk for Psychosis paradigm. Such evidence was replicated among different health systems, but mainly in high-income countries. The methodological quality of such evidence, however, was moderate and heterogeneity was significant across the studies.
There is consistent evidence that the implementation of EIP services might be a cost-effective alternative across different health systems. Such evidence, nevertheless, derives from heterogeneous and sometimes methodologically flawed studies, reducing the certainty of such statement. More efforts must be done to rigorously assess the value of this intervention, before expanding it among systems where mental health budgets are more constrained.
Declaration of interest
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