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Numerous research studies have demonstrated an association between higher symptom severity and cognitive impairment with poorer social functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP). By contrast, the influence of subjective experiences, such as social relatedness and self-beliefs, has received less attention. Consequently, a cohesive understanding of how these variables interact to influence social functioning is lacking.
We used structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships among neurocognition (processing speed) and social cognition, symptoms, and social relatedness (perceived social support and loneliness) and self-beliefs (self-efficacy and self-esteem) in 170 individuals with FEP.
The final model yielded an acceptable model fit (χ2 = 45.48, comparative fit index = 0.96; goodness of fit index = 0.94; Tucker–Lewis index = 0.94; root mean square error of approximation = 0.06) and explained 45% of social functioning. Negative symptoms, social relatedness, and self-beliefs exerted a direct effect on social functioning. Social relatedness partially mediated the impact of social cognition and negative symptoms on social functioning. Self-beliefs also mediated the relationship between social relatedness and social functioning.
The observed associations highlight the potential value of targeting social relatedness and self-beliefs to improve functional outcomes in FEP. Explanatory models of social functioning in FEP not accounting for social relatedness and self-beliefs might be overestimating the effect of the illness-related factors.
Relapse prevention strategies based on monitoring of early warning signs (EWS) are advocated for the management of psychosis. However, there has been a lack of research exploring how staff, carers and patients make sense of the utility of EWS, or how these are implemented in context.
To develop a multiperspective theory of how EWS are understood and used, which is grounded in the experiences of mental health staff, carers and patients.
Twenty-five focus groups were held across Glasgow and Melbourne (EMPOWER Trial, ISRCTN: 99559262). Participants comprised 88 mental health staff, 21 patients and 40 carers from UK and Australia (total n = 149). Data were analysed using constructivist grounded theory.
All participants appeared to recognise EWS and acknowledged the importance of responding to EWS to support relapse prevention. However, recognition of and acting on EWS were constructed in a context of uncertainty, which appeared linked to risk appraisals that were dependent on distinct stakeholder roles and experiences. Within current relapse management, a process of weighted decision-making (where one factor was seen as more important than others) described how stakeholders weighed up the risks and consequences of relapse alongside the risks and consequences of intervention and help-seeking.
Mental health staff, carers and patients speak about using EWS within a weighted decision-making process, which is acted out in the context of relationships that exist in current relapse management, rather than an objective response to specific signs and symptoms.
Background: High quality randomized controlled trials (RCT) of psychotherapeutic interventions should ensure that the therapy being tested is what is actually delivered. However, contamination of one therapy into the other, a critical component of treatment adherence, is seldom measured in psychotherapy trials of psychosis. Aims: The aim of the study was to determine whether a purpose-designed measure, the ACE Treatment Integrity Measure (ATIM) could detect therapy contaminations within a controlled trial of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) versus Befriending for first-episode psychosis and to compare the ATIM to a more traditional adherence measure, the Cognitive Therapy Scale (CTS). Method: Therapy sessions were audio-recorded and at least one therapy session from 53 of the 62 participants in the RCT was rated by an independent rater using the CTS and ATIM. Results: Ninety-nine therapy sessions were rated. All Befriending sessions and all but three CBT sessions were correctly identified. The ATIM showed that 29 of the 99 (29%) sessions were contaminated by techniques from the other therapy. Within the CBT sessions, 19 of the 51 sessions (37%) were contaminated by one or more Befriending techniques. Of the Befriending sessions, 10 of 48 (21%) were contaminated by ACE techniques. The mean CTS score was higher in the CBT than the Befriending group. Conclusions: The ATIM was able to detect contaminations and revealed more meaningful, fine-grained analysis of what therapy techniques were being delivered and what contaminations occurred. The study highlights the benefit of employing purpose-designed measures that include contamination when assessing treatment adherence.
Antipsychotic-induced weight gain is a major concern in the treatment of psychosis. The efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions as well as the optimal intervention approach for this side-effect remain unclear.
To determine the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions and specific treatment approaches to control antipsychotic-induced weight gain in patients with firstepisode or chronic schizophrenia.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Ten trials were included in the meta-analysis. Adjunctive non-pharmacological interventions, either individual or group interventions, or cognitive-behavioural therapy as well as nutritional counselling were effective in reducing or attenuating antipsychotic-induced weight gain compared with treatment as usual, with treatment effects maintained over follow-up.
Non-pharmacological weight-management interventions should be a priority, particularly during the early stages of antipsychotic treatment. Preventive approaches have the potential to be more effective, acceptable, cost-efficient and beneficial.
There is increasing evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is efficacious in treating psychosis. However, very little attention has been paid to the nature of the control treatments used in studies of this. Befriending has been used as a control treatment in several randomized control trials (RCTs) of CBT for psychosis as it is simple to learn and administer. The aim of the present study was to examine whether Befriending controlled for important non-specific aspects of therapy when compared to CBT in a RCT for acute first episode psychosis (FEP). These non-specific factors included time in, expectancy created by, and acceptability of therapy. Expectations and enjoyment of therapy were measured by questionnaire. Time in therapy and the number of drop-outs were also recorded. Results showed that Befriending was comparable to CBT on measures of expectancy, enjoyment of therapy and drop-out rate, but significantly different with regard to time in therapy. This suggests that Befriending is a credible and acceptable control therapy for FEP with modification to increase time in therapy sessions. Methodological issues are raised, and suggestions for future research are made regarding control treatments.
Significant symptomatic improvement after a first episode of psychosis is not matched by a similar improvement in functional outcome. Thus, increased attention has been given to psychological intervention, in particular cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), with the hope of enhancing functional recovery. Outcome trials of CBT for schizophrenia are few, in particular for the first episode, and have been occasionally criticised for their lack of significance compared with supportive therapies. We describe a modular CBT approach for those with a first episode of psychosis that addresses adaptation as well as both functional and symptomatic outcome and one that parallels the theoretical shift in CBT that has occurred in the last decade. Guidelines for integrating CBT into an early psychosis service are presented.
Two experiments were carried out to determine the effect on milk yield, milk composition and composition and physical properties of milk fat of giving full fat soyabeans (FFS) and full fat rapeseeds (FFR) to dairy cows. In both experiments grass silage was provided ad lib. and constituted over 50% of the dry matter (DM) intake of the cows. In experiment 1, cows received 7·25 kg/d of a concentrate mixture containing 240 g/kg of extruded FFS or 7·25 kg/d of a mixture without soyabeans. Cow performance was not significantly affected by the inclusion of FFS but fatty acid composition of the milk fat was greatly altered. The contents of C8:0 to C16:0 were significantly reduced (P < 0·001) while the contents of C18:0, C18:l and C18:2 were significantly increased (P < 0·001). Milk fat produced during feeding on FFS concentrate had a significantly lower content of solid fat at temperatures between 0 and 25 °C compared with milk fat produced when FFS was not given. In experiment 2, cows received concentrate mixtures containing either no whole rapeseed, 150 g/kg of whole unground FFR or 150 g/kg of ground FFR. Milk yield was significantly higher and silage DM intake significantly lower with the ground FFR concentrate compared with the other two diets but milk composition was not significantly different among treatments. FFR inclusion, either ground or unground, reduced diet digestibility. Changes in fatty acid composition of the milk fat were similar to those observed with FFS inclusion but the effect was larger with ground FFR compared with unground FFR. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis showed a lower solid fat content when the FFR diets were employed with the effect being greatest with ground FFR.