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Increase awareness of the risk associated with access to firearms in clinical practice.
A 57-year-old man, with a 30 year history of schizophrenia, was reviewed routinely at home. His illness is predominantly characterised by chronic delusions of a grandiose nature. He believes he has been offered various senior employment positions and has acted on these beliefs by presenting at workplaces in business attire. He has no insight into his condition. At review, he described awakening a week earlier in a panic and seizing hold of his legally held shotgun. He planned to shoot out the window as he believed people were breaking in. His wife prevented him from doing so by taking the gun and hiding it. A few days later he found the gun and intended to frighten off potential pursuers by pretending to shoot birds. He was persuaded to surrender the gun and it was taken to the local Garda (Police). A short time later, he presented to Garda Headquarters, over an hour away, seeking the return of his gun. At review, he had limited insight into the potential seriousness of the situation. The team immediately liaised with Gardaí, a HCR- 20 risk assessment was completed and clozapine levels checked.
We had not know that our patient owned a shotgun despite very regular contact with him. During a comprehensive psychiatric history we routinely ask about risk of harm to self and others, but rarely ask specifically about access to or ownership of guns. Working on a farm, rural living or having an interest in shooting sports may raise the issue. Suicide, security breaches and homicide are the main risks conferred by firearms in mental illness. Mental illness is not necessarily prohibitive to gun ownership. Applicants for gun certificates in the UK must disclose specific medical conditions, including a psychotic illness, and an automatic medical report is sought. In the Irish Republic it is the responsibility of the applicant to declare any specific physical or mental health condition. Although a medical report may be sought, it is not automatic in all cases. Lack of insight into psychotic illness may potentially influence self-declaration upon application for a certificate.
Awareness of a persons access to firearms should be part of our routine risk assessment.
Quetiapine is an atypical anti-psychotic medication licensed for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and adjunctive use in major depressive disorder. It's off-label use in low doses is increasing, possibly due to its sedative qualities, tolerability, low risk of extrapyramidal symptoms and to limit the unnecessary use of benzodiazepines. However, previous research highlights the risk of metabolic consequences even in low doses. Our aim is to establish the prescribing patterns and off-label use of quetiapine within a complete comminity mental health team population (CMHT).
The GR1 CMHT provides care to a population of 25,000 people in a mixed urban and rural area. Multi-disciplinary case notes for all registered patients were reviewed for a one-year period. A database was created to include sociodemographic details, diagnosis, and medication. The proportion of patients prescribed quetiapine was identified and the dosage divided into multiple increments. The team's consultant reviewed and verified all ICD-10 diagnoses. Quetiapine dose by diagnosis was examined using descriptive statistics.
Of 246 registered patients, 62 (25% of CMHT caseload) were prescribed Quetiapine. Quetiapine was prescribed across a range of disorders including psychotic 17 (27%), mood 18 (29%), anxiety 14 (22 %), personality disorders 11 (18%) and others 2 (3%). Doses spanned between 25 mg – 800 mg daily. 19 patients (31%) were prescribed less than 25 mg, 20 patients (32%) between 25 mg and 100 mg and 23 patients (37%) above 100 mg. In psychotic and mood disorders, dosage varied widely between the low and high range. Furthermore, of the psychotic disorders, 11 (65%) were prescribed a second antipsychotic medication. For diagnoses in which the prescribing indication was clearly off-label, the dosages were predominantly low (100 mg or less).
Quetiapine was commonly prescribed in our patient population. Its frequent off-label use in low doses suggests that its prescription was for its additional qualities. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing the risk-benefit profile for every patient given the potential side effects, involving patients in the consultation of its off-label use and appropriate monitoring.
The consensus statement (CR190) of The Royal College of Psychiatrists states that the benefit of prescribing HDAT does not outweigh the risk of the increased side effect burden. HDAT is defined as the “daily dose of a single antipsychotic exceeding the upper limit for that drug as stated in the Summary of Product Characteristic (SPC) or British National Formulary (BNF),” and as the cumulative daily dose of two or more antipsychotics (for combined prescription). The prevalence of HDAT has been shown to vary widely and protocols for monitoring poorly implemented. In 2018 we completed a baseline survey of the prevalence of HDAT within our CMHT. We assessed our prescribing practice as compared to seven best practice audit criteria, which were adopted. Our aim is to resurvey closing the audit loop to 1) establish the current prevalence of HDAT and 2) assess the impact the intervention on prescribing practice.
Multi-disciplinary case notes for all registered patients were studied. A database was created including sociodemographic details, chart diagnosis, and medication. The proportion of patients prescribed antipsychotic medication was identified. The dose of each medication was converted into a percentage of BNF maximum recommended dose for that drug. For combined antipsychotic prescription, the cumulative dose was obtained adding the single percentages together. Exceeding 100% was regarded as HDAT. All HDAT patients were assessed against identified audit criteria as outlined by the Humber NHS Foundation Trust.
Of a total of 246 patients, 177 (72%) were prescribed antipsychotic medication. Of these, 14 (8%) were in receipt of HDAT. This compared to 68% prescribed antipsychotics and 9% in receipt of HDAT in the baseline audit. The average cumulative dose for every category (oral medication, depot and both) was calculated with a range from 1% to 168% (mean = 70%) for oral antipsychotic (single/combined), 1% to 193% (mean = 50%) for depots and 20% to 257% (mean = 95%) for combination of oral and depot. This compares with ranges of 1.6% to 215% (mean = 44.3%) for oral antipsychotic (single/combined), 0.04% to 100% (mean = 25.8%) for depots and 21% to 425% (mean = 119.6%) for combination of oral and depot in the baseline audit. Similar to the baseline survey no patient met all seven audit criteria but there was better adherence overall with best practice guidance. Blood and ECG monitoring were the most consistent parameters measured.
Lower HDAT was achieved post intervention. Results, whilst positive, indicate the need for ongoing audit to maintain best standards.
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTS) are now the cornerstone of modern mental health care and play a central role in assessment, diagnosis and care coordination. CMHTs vary widely in their service provision and composition. Within teams there is latitude for variation of professional roles but the extent to which different disciplines undertake generic and profession-specific work is poorly defined. This cross-sectional study aims to establish how professional training influences the distribution of case-load mix within a general adult CMHT
The GR1 CMHT provides care to a mixed urban/rural population of 25,000 in Galway city and Connemara. A review was conducted of multi-disciplinary case notes for all patients actively registered with the team for a period of one year. Name, age, gender, whether referred or admitted in the past year, medication and day hospital attendance were recorded. Clinical diagnoses were recorded but, where missing, verified with a relevant team member. The team consultant reviewed and verified the 1CD-10 primary clinical diagnosis for all patients. Evidence of clinical input by multidisciplinary team members was recorded from clinical files with the final electronic database being checked by each professional for accuracy. We examined any input over the past year rather than
frequency of input. Patient characteristics and diagnosis by professional discipline were examined using descriptive statistics.
Of a total of 246 patients registered to the team, 37.8% (N = 93) saw one, 34.6% (N = 85) saw two and 24.4% (N = 60) saw 3 or more team members. Of those who saw three or more team members, psychotic disorders represented the majority diagnoses (40%, N = 24) followed by personality disorders (25%, N = 15) and affective disorders (15%, N = 9). Patients were most commonly seen by a doctor (91.5%, N = 225) followed by community mental health nurses (CMHNs) (52.8%, N = 130). Doctors saw 85% or more of all patients grouped by ICD-10 diagnoses. The majority of social work and occupational therapy case-mix comprised psychotic disorders (SW = 44.2%, OT = 34.2%) followed by personality disorders (SW = 25.6%, OT = 23.7%). Of psychology case-mix, the highest was personality
disorders at 41.6% (N = 13) followed by anxiety and related disorders at 25% (N = 8). CMHN case-mix was highest for psychotic disorders at 44.6% (N = 58) followed by 21.5% mood disorders (N = 28).
This cross sectional survey informs how we currently target our specialist resources. We will now develop this to include frequency of contact to inform resource allocation and skill mix.
To assess the relationship between food insecurity, sleep quality, and days with mental and physical health issues among college students.
An online survey was administered. Food insecurity was assessed using the ten-item Adult Food Security Survey Module. Sleep was measured using the nineteen-item Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Mental health and physical health were measured using three items from the Healthy Days Core Module. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess the relationship between food insecurity, sleep quality, and days with poor mental and physical health.
Twenty-two higher education institutions.
College students (n 17 686) enrolled at one of twenty-two participating universities.
Compared with food-secure students, those classified as food insecure (43·4 %) had higher PSQI scores indicating poorer sleep quality (P < 0·0001) and reported more days with poor mental (P < 0·0001) and physical (P < 0·0001) health as well as days when mental and physical health prevented them from completing daily activities (P < 0·0001). Food-insecure students had higher adjusted odds of having poor sleep quality (adjusted OR (AOR): 1·13; 95 % CI 1·12, 1·14), days with poor physical health (AOR: 1·01; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·02), days with poor mental health (AOR: 1·03; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·03) and days when poor mental or physical health prevented them from completing daily activities (AOR: 1·03; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·04).
College students report high food insecurity which is associated with poor mental and physical health, and sleep quality. Multi-level policy changes and campus wellness programmes are needed to prevent food insecurity and improve student health-related outcomes.
The diagnosis of an advanced cancer in young adulthood can bring one's life to an abrupt halt, calling attention to the present moment and creating anguish about an uncertain future. There is seldom time or physical stamina to focus on forward-thinking, social roles, relationships, or dreams. As a result, young adults (YAs) with advanced cancer frequently encounter existential distress, despair, and question the purpose of their life. We sought to investigate the meaning and function of hope throughout YAs’ disease trajectory; to discern the psychosocial processes YAs employ to engage hope; and to develop a substantive theory of hope of YAs diagnosed with advanced cancer.
Thirteen YAs (ages 23–38) diagnosed with a stage III or IV cancer were recruited throughout the eastern and southeastern United States. Participants completed one semi-structured interview in-person, by phone, or Skype, that incorporated an original timeline instrument assessing fluctuations in hope and an online socio-demographic survey. Glaser's grounded theory methodology informed constant comparative methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
Findings from this study informed the development of the novel contingent hope theoretical framework, which describes the pattern of psychosocial behaviors YAs with advanced cancer employ to reconcile identities and strive for a life of meaning. The ability to cultivate the necessary agency and pathways to reconcile identities became contingent on the YAs’ participation in each of the psychosocial processes of the contingent hope theoretical framework: navigating uncertainty, feeling broken, disorienting grief, finding bearings, and identity reconciliation.
Significance of Results
Study findings portray the influential role of hope in motivating YAs with advanced cancer through disorienting grief toward an integrated sense of self that marries cherished aspects of multiple identities. The contingent hope theoretical framework details psychosocial behaviors to inform assessments and interventions fostering hope and identity reconciliation.
Treatment resistance occurs in approximately 30% of individuals with schizophrenia and is commonly treated with clozapine. Nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's lymphoma is a subtype of Hodgkin's lymphoma predominantly affecting those under 50 years of age. In this case report, an individual with treatment-resistant schizophrenia developed nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's lymphoma and is treated with concurrent clozapine and systemic chemotherapy. The aim of this case report is to act as guidance for clinicians and to outline the difficulties of treating individuals with psychiatric illness under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when the proposed treatment could lead to high levels of morbidity and mortality.
This chapter describes the classical subtypes, differential diagnosis, epidemiology and genetics of schizophrenia and related disorders. Relatives are examined for some of the biological abnormalities which are found in their schizophrenic kin. The relatives of patients with schizophrenia have also been reported to be more likely than control subjects to have poor performance on cognitive tests measuring memory functions. The discovery of risk factors acting in early life has been central to the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have consistently demonstrated that people with schizophrenia have increased lateral ventricular volume and also show a slight decrease in cortical volume with greater decrements in the hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus. Children destined to develop schizophrenia often have subtle developmental delays and deficits in motor and cognitive function, tend to be solitary and show an excess of social anxiety. The chapter reviews the essential principles of management for psychosis.
Western media coverage of the violence associated with the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq has contrasted in magnitude and nature with population-based survey reports.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which first-hand reports of violent deaths were captured in the English language media by conducting in-depth interviews with Iraqi citizens.
The England-based Iraq Body Count (IBC) has methodically monitored media reports and recorded each violent death in Iraq that could be confirmed by two English language media sources. Using the capturerecapture method, 25 Masters' Degree students were assigned to interview residents in Iraq and asked them to describe 10 violent deaths that occurred closest to their home since the 2003 invasion. Students then matched these reports with those documented in IBC. These reports were matched both individually and crosschecked in groups to obtain a percentage of those deaths captured in the English language media.
Eighteen out of 25 students successfully interviewed someone in Iraq. Six contacted individuals by telephone, while the others conducted interviews via e-mail. One out of seven (14%) phone contacts refused to participate. Seventeen out of 18 primary interviewees resided in Baghdad, however, some interviewees reported deaths of neighbors that occurred while the neighbors were elsewhere. The Baghdad residents reported 161 deaths in total, 39 of which (24%) were believed to be reported in the press as summarized by IBC. An additional 13 deaths (8%) might have been in the database, and 61 (38%) were absolutely not in the database.
The vast majority of violent deaths (estimated from the results of this study as being between 68–76%) are not reported by the press. Efforts to monitor events by press coverage or reports of tallies similar to those reported in the press, should be evaluated with the suspicion applied to any passive surveillance network: that it may be incomplete. Even in the most heavily reported conflicts, the media may miss the majority of violent events.
Little is known about self-harm occurring during the period of untreated first-episode psychosis.
To establish the prevalence, nature, motivation and risk factors for self-harm occurring during the untreated phase of first-episode psychosis.
As part of the æSOP (Aetiology and Ethnicity in Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses) study, episodes of self-harm were identified among all incident cases of psychosis presenting to services in south-east London and Nottingham over a 2-year period.
Of the 496 participants, 56 (11.3%) had engaged in self-harm between the onset of psychotic symptoms and first presentation to services. The independent correlates of self-harm were: male gender, belonging to social class I/II, depression and a prolonged period of untreated psychosis. Increased insight was also associated with risk of self-harm.
Self-harm is common during the pre-treatment phase of first-episode psychosis. A unique set of fixed and malleable risk factors appear to operate in those with first-episode psychosis. Reducing treatment delay and modifying disease attitudes may be key targets for suicide prevention.
Research studies for the treatment of the putative prodromal phase of
psychotic disorders have begun to appear
To obtain preliminary evidence of the short-term efficacy and safety of
aripiprazole treatment in people with the psychosis prodrome
Fifteen participants meeting prodrome criteria (mean age 17.1 years,
s.d.=5.5) enrolled in an open-label, single-site trial with
fixed-flexible dosing of aripiprazole (5–30 mg/day) for 8 weeks
In the mixed-effects repeated-measures analysis, improvement from
baseline on the Scale of Prodromal Symptoms total score was statistically
significant by the first week. No participant converted to psychosis and
13 completed treatment. Neuropsychological measures showed no consistent
improvement; mean weight gain was 1.2 kg. Akathisia emerged in 8
participants, but the mean Barnes Akathisia Scale score fell to baseline
levels by the final visit. Adverse events were otherwise minimal
Aripiprazole shows a promising efficacy and safety profile for the
psychosis prodrome. Placebo-controlled studies are indicated