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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly prevalent across Europe. While evidence-based treatments exist, many people with MDD have their condition undetected and/or untreated. This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of reducing treatment gaps using a modeling approach.
A decision-tree model covering a 27-month time horizon was used. This followed a care pathway where MDD could be detected or not, and where different forms of treatment could be provided. Expected costs pertaining to Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK were calculated and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated. The incremental costs per QALY of reducing detection and treatment gaps were estimated.
The expected costs with a detection gap of 69% and treatment gap of 50% were €1236 in Germany, €476 in Hungary, €1413 in Italy, €938 in Portugal, €2093 in Sweden, and €1496 in the UK. The incremental costs per QALY of reducing the detection gap to 50% ranged from €2429 in Hungary to €10,686 in Sweden. The figures for reducing the treatment gap to 25% ranged from €3146 in Hungary to €13,843 in Sweden.
Reducing detection and treatment gaps, and maintaining current patterns of care, is likely to increase healthcare costs in the short term. However, outcomes are improved, and reducing these gaps to 50 and 25%, respectively, appears to be a cost-effective use of resources.
The Deliberation without Attention (DWA) effect refers to apparent improvements in decision-making following a period of distraction. It has been presented as evidence for beneficial unconscious cognitive processes. We identify two major concerns with this claim: first, as these demonstrations typically involve subjective preferences, the effects of distraction cannot be objectively assessed as beneficial; second, there is no direct evidence that the DWA manipulation promotes unconscious decision processes. We describe two tasks based on the DWA paradigm in which we found no evidence that the distraction manipulation led to decision processes that are subjectively unconscious, nor that it reduced the influence of presentation order upon performance. Crucially, we found that a lack of awareness of decision process was associated with poorer performance, both in terms of subjective preference measures used in traditional DWA paradigm and in an equivalent task where performance can be objectively assessed. Therefore, we argue that reliance on conscious memory itself can explain the data. Thus the DWA paradigm is not an adequate method of assessing beneficial unconscious thought.
While shared clinical decision-making (SDM) is the preferred approach to decision-making in mental health care, its implementation in everyday clinical practice is still insufficient. The European Psychiatric Association undertook a study aiming to gather data on the clinical decision-making style preferences of psychiatrists working in Europe.
We conducted a cross-sectional online survey involving a sample of 751 psychiatrists and psychiatry specialist trainees from 38 European countries in 2021, using the Clinical Decision-Making Style – Staff questionnaire and a set of questions regarding clinicians’ expertise, training, and practice.
SDM was the preferred decision-making style across all European regions ([central and eastern Europe, CEE], northern and western Europe [NWE], and southern Europe [SE]), with an average of 73% of clinical decisions being rated as SDM. However, we found significant differences in non-SDM decision-making styles: participants working in NWE countries more often prefer shared and active decision-making styles rather than passive styles when compared to other European regions, especially to the CEE. Additionally, psychiatry specialist trainees (compared to psychiatrists), those working mainly with outpatients (compared to those working mainly with inpatients) and those working in community mental health services/public services (compared to mixed and private settings) have a significantly lower preference for passive decision-making style.
The preferences for SDM styles among European psychiatrists are generally similar. However, the identified differences in the preferences for non-SDM styles across the regions call for more dialogue and educational efforts to harmonize practice across Europe.
Despite well-established guidelines for managing major depressive disorder, its extensive disability burden persists. This Value of Treatment mission from the European Brain Council aimed to elucidate the nature and extent of “gaps” between best-practice and current-practice care, specifically to:
1. Identify current treatment gaps along the care pathway and determine the extent of these gaps in comparison with the stepped-care model and
After agreement upon a set of relevant treatment gaps, data pertaining to each gap were gathered and synthesized from several sources across six European countries. Subsequently, a modified Delphi approach was undertaken to attain consensus among an expert panel on proposed recommendations for minimizing treatment gaps.
Four recommendations were made to increase the depression diagnosis rate (from ~50% episodes), aiming to both increase the number of patients seeking help, and the likelihood of a practitioner to correctly detect depression. These should reduce time to treatment (from ~1 to ~8 years after illness onset) and increase rates of treatment; nine further recommendations aimed to increase rates of treatment (from ~25 to ~50% of patients currently treated), mainly focused on targeting the best treatment to each patient. To improve follow-up after treatment initiation (from ~30 to ~65% followed up within 3 months), seven recommendations focused on increasing continuity of care. For those not responding, 10 recommendations focused on ensuring access to more specialist care (currently at rates of ~5–25% of patients).
The treatment gaps in depression care are substantial and concerning, from the proportion of people not entering care pathways to those stagnating in primary care with impairing and persistent illness. A wide range of recommendations can be made to enhance care throughout the pathway.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented worldwide crisis affecting several sectors, including health, social care, economy and society at large. The World Health Organisation has emphasized that mental health care should be considered as one of the core sectors within the overall COVID-19 health response. By March 2020, recommendations for the organization of mental health services across Europe have been developed by several national and international mental health professional associations.
The European Psychiatric Association (EPA) surveyed a large European sample of psychiatrists, namely the “EPA Ambassadors”, on their clinical experience of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the treatment of psychiatric patients during the month of April 2020 in order to: a) identify and report the views and experiences of European psychiatrists; and b) represent and share these results with mental health policy makers at European level. Based on the recommendations issued by national psychiatric associations and on the results of our survey, we identified important organisational aspects of mental health care during the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19.
While most of the recommendations followed the same principles, significant differences between countries emerged in service delivery, mainly relating to referrals to outpatients and for inpatient admission, assessments and treatment for people with mental disorders. Compared to previous months, the mean number of patients treated by psychiatrists in outpatient settings halved in April 2020. In the same period, the number of mentally ill patients tested for, or developing, COVID-19 was low. In most of countries, traditional face-to-face visits were replaced by online remote consultations.
Based on our findings we recommend: 1) to implement professional guidelines into practice and harmonize psychiatric clinical practice across Europe; 2) to monitor the treatment outcomes of patients with COVID-19 and pre-existing mental disorders; 3) to keep psychiatric services active by using all available options (for example telepsychiatry); 4) to increase communication and cooperation between different health care providers.
Since the late 1980s, the interpretations of policy toward Hungary’s minorities—most notably the country’s 1993 minority law and the minority self-governments established as part of a system of nonterritorial autonomy (NTA)—have been the subject of debates in politics and academia in at least two critical respects. Aside from the declarative character of the law, foremost has been the question of Hungary’s kin-state activism toward Hungarians abroad and the implications this has carried for domestic minority issues. A second—and related—question has concerned the extent to which cultural autonomy and minority rights are in accordance with the needs of the Roma, by far the country’s largest ethnic minority group. A growing number of scholars have accepted the argument that the minority law was enacted because of concerns regarding Hungarian minorities living in the neighboring countries. In our view, it is more appropriate to ask instead how Hungary’s kin-state policies have influenced the opportunities for domestic groups, and, in particular, how Hungary fits into the broader context of post-Communist state- and nation-building projects. This is the approach we take in this article, which aims to unpack and reconcile the complex and seemingly contradictory findings on the Hungarian case. Our conclusions are drawn from a content analysis of parliamentary debates on the minority law—something that has never previously been undertaken. This is supplemented by semi-structured interviews with former and current politicians and minority activists.
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia are heterogeneous and multidimensional; effective treatments are lacking. Cariprazine, a dopamine D3-preferring D3/D2 receptor partial agonist and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, was significantly more effective than risperidone in treating negative symptoms in a prospectively designed trial in patients with schizophrenia and persistent, predominant negative symptoms.
Using post hoc analyses, we evaluated change from baseline at week 26 in individual items of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and PANSS-derived factor models using a mixed-effects model for repeated measures (MMRM) in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population (cariprazine = 227; risperidone = 227).
Change from baseline was significantly different in favor of cariprazine versus risperidone on PANSS items N1-N5 (blunted affect, emotional withdrawal, poor rapport, passive/apathetic social withdrawal, difficulty in abstract thinking) (P <.05), but not on N6 (lack of spontaneity/flow of conversation) or N7 (stereotyped thinking). On all PANSS-derived negative symptom factor models evaluated (PANSS-Factor Score for Negative Symptoms, Liemburg factors, Khan factors, Pentagonal Structure Model Negative Symptom factor), statistically significant improvement was demonstrated for cariprazine versus risperidone (P <.01). Small and similar changes in positive/depressive/EPS symptoms suggested that negative symptom improvement was not pseudospecific. Change from baseline was significantly different for cariprazine versus risperidone on PANSS-based factors evaluating other relevant symptom domains (disorganized thoughts, prosocial function, cognition; P <.05).
Since items representing different negative symptom dimensions may represent different fundamental pathophysiological mechanisms, significant improvement versus risperidone on most PANSS Negative Subscale items and across all PANSS-derived factors suggests broad-spectrum efficacy for cariprazine in treating negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
Migration has been reported to be associated with higher prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour.
To examine the prevalence of emotional and behavioural difficulties, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among migrant adolescents and their non-migrant peers.
A school-based survey was completed by 11 057 European adolescents as part of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study.
A previous suicide attempt was reported by 386 (3.6%) adolescents. Compared with non-migrants, first-generation migrants had an elevated prevalence of suicide attempts (odds ratio (OR) 2.08; 95% CI 1.32–3.26; P=0.001 for European migrants and OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.06–3.27; P=0.031 for non-European migrants) and significantly higher levels of peer difficulties. Highest levels of conduct and hyperactivity problems were found among migrants of non-European origin.
Appropriate mental health services and school-based supports are required to meet the complex needs of migrant adolescents.
It is a matter of debate whether X-linked dichromacy is accompanied by enhanced achromatic processing. In the present study, we used sinusoidally modulated achromatic gratings under photopic conditions to compare the contrast sensitivity (CS) of protanopes, deuteranopes, and normal trichromats. 36 male volunteers were examined. CS was tested in static and dynamic conditions at nine different spatial frequencies. The results support the assumption that X-linked color-defective observers are at an advantage in terms of achromatic processing. Both protanopes and deuteranopes had significantly better CS than controls in both the static and the dynamic conditions. In the static condition, the advantage was observed especially at higher spatial frequencies, whereas in the dynamic condition, it was seen also at lower frequencies. The results are interpreted in terms of decreased chromatic modulation of the luminance channel and the early plasticity of the parvocellular system.
Although resveratrol has widely been studied for its potential health benefits, little is known about its metabolic effects in humans. Our aims were to determine whether the polyphenol resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients and to gain some insight into the mechanism of its action. After an initial general examination (including blood chemistry), nineteen patients enrolled in the 4-week-long double-blind study were randomly assigned into two groups: a resveratrol group receiving oral 2 × 5 mg resveratrol and a control group receiving placebo. Before and after the second and fourth weeks of the trial, insulin resistance/sensitivity, creatinine-normalised ortho-tyrosine level in urine samples (as a measure of oxidative stress), incretin levels and phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAkt):protein kinase B (Akt) ratio in platelets were assessed and statistically analysed. After the fourth week, resveratrol significantly decreased insulin resistance (homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance) and urinary ortho-tyrosine excretion, while it increased the pAkt:Akt ratio in platelets. On the other hand, it had no effect on parameters that relate to β-cell function (i.e. homeostasis model of assessment of β-cell function). The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in humans, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin signalling via the Akt pathway.
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