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Inpatient equivalent home treatment (IEHT), implemented in Germany since 2018, is a specific form of home treatment. Between 2021 and 2022, IEHT was compared to inpatient psychiatric treatment in a 12-months follow-up quasi-experimental study with two propensity score matched cohorts in 10 psychiatric centers in Germany. This article reports results on the treatment during the acute episode and focuses on involvement in decision-making, patient satisfaction, and drop-out rates.
A total of 200 service users receiving IEHT were compared with 200 matched statistical “twins” in standard inpatient treatment. Premature termination of treatment as well as reasons for this was assessed using routine data and a questionnaire. In addition, we measured patient satisfaction with care with a specific scale. For the evaluation of patient involvement in treatment decisions, we used the 9-item Shared Decision Making Questionnaire (SDM-Q-9).
Patients were comparable in both groups with regard to sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Mean length-of-stay was 37 days for IEHT and 28 days for inpatient treatment. In both groups, a similar proportion of participants stopped treatment prematurely. At the end of the acute episode, patient involvement in decision-making (SDM-Q-9) as well as treatment satisfaction scores were significantly higher for IEHT patients compared to inpatients.
Compared to inpatient care, IEHT treatment for acute psychiatric episodes was associated with higher treatment satisfaction and more involvement in clinical decisions.
Only two-thirds of patients admitted to psychiatric wards return to their previous jobs. Return-to-work interventions in Germany are investigated for their effectiveness, but information regarding cost-effectiveness is lacking. This study investigates the cost-utility of a return-to-work intervention for patients with mental disorders compared to treatment as usual (TAU).
We used data from a cluster-randomised controlled trial including 166 patients from 28 inpatient psychiatric wards providing data at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. Health and social care service use was measured with the Client Sociodemographic and Service Receipt Inventory. Quality of life was measured with the EQ-5D-3L questionnaire. Cost-utility analysis was performed by calculating additional costs per one additional QALY (Quality-Adjusted Life Years) gained by receiving the support of return-to-work experts, in comparison to TAU.
No significant cost or QALY difference between the intervention and control groups has been detected. The return-to-work intervention cannot be identified as cost-effective in comparison to TAU.
The employment of return-to-work experts could not reach the threshold of providing good value for money. TAU, therefore, seems to be sufficient support for the target group.
If people with episodic mental-health conditions lose their job due to an episode of their mental illness, they often experience personal negative consequences. Therefore, reintegration after sick leave is critical to avoid unfavorable courses of disease, longer inability to work, long payment of sickness benefits, and unemployment. Existing return-to-work (RTW) programs have mainly focused on “common mental disorders” and often used very elaborate and costly interventions without yielding convincing effects. It was the aim of the RETURN study to evaluate an easy-to-implement RTW intervention specifically addressing persons with mental illnesses being so severe that they require inpatient treatment.
The RETURN study was a multi-center, cluster-randomized controlled trial in acute psychiatric wards addressing inpatients suffering from a psychiatric disorder. In intervention wards, case managers (RTW experts) were introduced who supported patients in their RTW process, while in control wards treatment, as usual, was continued.
A total of 268 patients were recruited for the trial. Patients in the intervention group had more often returned to their workplace at 6 and 12 months, which was also mirrored in more days at work. These group differences were statistically significant at 6 months. However, for the main outcome (days at work at 12 months), differences were no longer statistically significant (p = 0.14). Intervention patients returned to their workplace earlier than patients in the control group (p = 0.040).
The RETURN intervention has shown the potential of case-management interventions when addressing RTW. Further analyses, especially the qualitative ones, may help to better understand limitations and potential areas for improvement.
The present study aimed at answering three research questions: (a) Does shared decision making (SDM) yield similar effects for patients with involuntary admission or incidents of aggression compared to patients with voluntary admission or without incidents of aggression? (b) Does SDM reduce the number of patients with incidents of aggression and the use of coercive measures? (c) Does the use of coercion have a negative impact on patients’ perceived involvement in decision making?
We used data from the cluster-randomized SDM-PLUS trial in which patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in 12 acute psychiatric wards of 4 German psychiatric hospitals either received an SDM-intervention or treatment as usual. In addition, data on aggression and coercive measures were retrospectively obtained from patients’ records.
The analysis included n = 305 inpatients. Patient aggression as well as coercive measures mostly took place in the first days of the inpatient stay and were seldom during the study phase of the SDM-PLUS trial.
Patients who had been admitted involuntarily or showed incidents of aggression profited similarly from the intervention with regard to perceived involvement, adherence, and treatment satisfaction compared to patients admitted voluntarily or without incidents of aggression. The intervention showed no effect on patient aggression and coercive measures. Having previously experienced coercive measures did not predict patients’ rating of perceived involvement.
Further research should focus on SDM-interventions taking place in the very first days of inpatients treatment and potential beneficial long effects of participatory approaches that may not be measurable during the current inpatient stay.
If patients are unsure whether a specific treatment is really good for them, they often pose the question, ‘What would you do if you were me, doctor?’ Patients want their psychiatrists to put themselves in their shoes and not to give a ‘standard recommendation’.
To study whether this question really leads psychiatrists to reveal their personal preferences.
Randomised experimental study with 515 psychiatrists incorporating two decision scenarios (depression scenario: antidepressant v. watchful waiting; schizophrenia scenario: depot v. oral antipsychotic) and three experimental conditions (giving a recommendation to a patient asking, ‘What would you do if you were me, doctor?’; giving a regular recommendation to a patient without being asked this question; and imagining being ill and deciding for yourself). Main outcome measures were the treatments chosen or recommended by physicians.
Psychiatrists choosing treatment for themselves predominantly selected other treatments (mostly watchful waiting and oral antipsychotics respectively) than what psychiatrists recommended to patients when asked in the ‘regular recommendation role’ (i.e. antidepressant and depot respectively). Psychiatrists in the ‘what-would-you-do role’ gave recommendations similar to the ‘regular recommendation role’ (depression scenario: χ2 = 0.12, P = 0.73; schizophrenia scenario: χ2 = 2.60, P = 0.11) but distinctly different from the ‘self role’.
The question ‘What would you do if you were me, doctor?’ does not motivate psychiatrists to leave their professional recommendation role and to take a more personal perspective. Psychiatrists should try to find out why individuals are asking this question and, together with the individual, identify the most appropriate treatment option.
This work presents a method of mapping deformation-related sublimation patterns, formed on the surface of ice specimens, at microscopic resolution (3–4 μm pixel−1). The method is based on the systematic sublimation of a microtomed piece of ice, prepared either as a thick or a thin section. The mapping system consists of an optical microscope, a CCD video camera and a computer-controlled xy-stage. About 1500 images are needed to build a high-resolution mosaic map of a 4.5 × 9 cm section. Mosaics and single images are used to derive a variety of statistical data about air inclusions (air bubbles and air clathrate hydrates), texture (grain size, shape and orientation) and deformation-related features (subgrain boundaries, slip bands, subgrain islands and loops, pinned and bulged grain boundaries). The most common sublimation patterns are described, and their relevance for the deformation of polar ice is briefly discussed.
Despite the widespread use of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the clinical meaning of its total score and cut-off values used to define treatment response are unclear.
To link the BPRS to Clinical Global Impression (CGI) ratings.
Equipercentile linking of BPRS and CGI ratings from seven drug trials in acutely ill patients with schizophrenia (n=1979).
‘Mildly ill’ according to the CGI approximately corresponded to a BPRS total score of 31, ‘moderately ill’ to a BPRS score of 41 and ‘markedly ill’ to a BPRS score of 53. ‘Minimally improved’ according to the CGI score was associated with percentage BPRS reductions of 24, 27 and 30% at weeks 1, 2 and 4, respectively. The corresponding numbers for a CGI rating of ‘much improved’ were 44, 53 and 58%
The results provide a clearer understanding of how to interpret BPRS total and percentage reduction scores in clinical trials with patients acutely ill with schizophrenia who are experiencing positive symptoms.
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