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Tobacco smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide. Adults with mental ill-health smoke tobacco at substantially higher rates than other adults, with public health approaches effective in the population overall having less impact on those with mental ill-health. However, less is known about the tobacco smoking behaviours, attitudes and knowledge of young people with mental ill-health, despite this being the peak period of onset for both mental illness and cigarette smoking.
Young people attending a youth mental health centre (providing both primary and specialist care) in Melbourne, Australia were approached by youth peer researchers and asked to complete a survey about smoking behaviours, attitudes and knowledge. We examined smoking and associated attitudes in the sample overall, and as a function of the services accessed.
In total, 114 young people completed the survey, with 56.3% reporting lifetime cigarette smoking, 42.0% smoking in the last 12 months and 28.6% in the past week. Of current regular smokers, 75.0% acknowledged they should quit in the future; however, only 23.5% planned to do so in the next month, with 44.4% confident that they could quit. Participants lacked knowledge about interactions between tobacco smoking, mental and physical health.
Youth presenting for mental ill-health had high rates of cigarette smoking relative to population rates. Presentation at youth mental health services may represent a critical window for early intervention to reduce the lifetime impacts of cigarette smoking in mental ill-health. Interventions to support smoking cessation in this group are urgently needed.
Role functioning is key to optimal health and inoculates against life-long inequality. Depression is a leading cause of functional disability. In most cases, improved symptomatology corresponds with improved functioning; however, functioning does not always return to “normal”, despite symptom remission. Furthermore, the relationship between symptom remission and the likelihood of being Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) is unknown.
Objectives and aim
To examine the temporal associations between depression course, functioning, and NEET status in young adults with mental health problems.
A prospective and multisite clinical cohort study of young people aged 15–25 years seeking help from a primary mental health service (n = 448). Participants completed a clinical interview (incl. QIDS-C16) and self-report battery (incl. WHODAS 2.0, employment, education) at baseline which was repeated at 12-month follow-up whilst continuing treatment as usual.
Remitted depression was significantly associated with improved functioning; however, 12 month functioning was still lower than the normative ranges for age-matched peers. Remittance of depression did not change the likelihood of being NEET. Only 10% of those who were NEET had received vocational support during the study.
Remittance of depression was associated with improved functioning but it did not reduce the likelihood of being NEET. This may be explained by economic influences or alternatively, a time lag may exist where improvements in functioning do not immediately correspond with reduced NEET rates. Lastly, there may be a scarring effect of depression such that change in NEET status requires an additional intervention to depression treatment.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Although mental health information on the internet is often of poor quality, relatively little is known about the quality of websites, such as Wikipedia, that involve participatory information sharing. The aim of this paper was to explore the quality of user-contributed mental health-related information on Wikipedia and compare this with centrally controlled information sources.
Content on 10 mental health-related topics was extracted from 14 frequently accessed websites (including Wikipedia) providing information about depression and schizophrenia, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and a psychiatry textbook. The content was rated by experts according to the following criteria: accuracy, up-to-dateness, breadth of coverage, referencing and readability.
Ratings varied significantly between resources according to topic. Across all topics, Wikipedia was the most highly rated in all domains except readability.
The quality of information on depression and schizophrenia on Wikipedia is generally as good as, or better than, that provided by centrally controlled websites, Encyclopaedia Britannica and a psychiatry textbook.
In recent years there has been increasing interest in functional recovery in the early phase of schizophrenia. Concurrently, new remission criteria have been proposed and several studies have examined their clinical relevance for prediction of functional outcome in first-episode psychosis (FEP). However, the longitudinal interrelationship between full functional recovery (FFR) and symptom remission has not yet been investigated. This study sought to: (1) examine the relationships between FFR and symptom remission in FEP over 7.5 years; (2) test two different models of the interaction between both variables.
Altogether, 209 FEP patients treated at a specialized early psychosis service were assessed at baseline, 8 months, 14 months and 7.5 years to determine their remission of positive and negative symptoms and functional recovery. Multivariate logistic regression and path analysis were employed to test the hypothesized relationships between symptom remission and FFR.
Remission of both positive and negative symptoms at 8-month follow-up predicted functional recovery at 14-month follow-up, but had limited value for the prediction of FFR at 7.5 years. Functional recovery at 14-month follow-up significantly predicted both FFR and remission of negative symptoms at 7.5 years, irrespective of whether remission criteria were simultaneously met. The association remained significant after controlling for baseline prognostic indicators.
These findings provided support for the hypothesis that early functional and vocational recovery plays a pivotal role in preventing the development of chronic negative symptoms and disability. This underlines the need for interventions that specifically address early psychosocial recovery.
The ACE project involved 62 participants with a first episode of psychosis randomly assigned to either a cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention known as Active Cognitive Therapy for Early Psychosis (ACE) or a control condition known as Befriending. The study hypotheses were that: (1) treating participants with ACE in the acute phase would lead to faster reductions in positive and negative symptoms and more rapid improvement in functioning than Befriending; (2) these improvements in symptoms and functioning would be sustained at a 1-year follow-up; and (3) ACE would lead to fewer hospitalizations than Befriending as assessed at the 1-year follow-up.
Two therapists treated the participants across both conditions. Participants could not receive any more than 20 sessions within 14 weeks. Participants were assessed by independent raters on four primary outcome measures of symptoms and functioning: at pretreatment, the middle of treatment, the end of treatment and at 1-year follow-up. An independent pair of raters assessed treatment integrity.
Both groups improved significantly over time. ACE significantly outperformed Befriending by improving functioning at mid-treatment, but it did not improve positive or negative symptoms. Past the mid-treatment assessment, Befriending caught up with the ACE group and there were no significant differences in any outcome measure and in hospital admissions at follow-up.
There is some preliminary evidence that ACE promotes better early recovery in functioning and this finding needs to be replicated in other independent research centres with larger samples.