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Obesity is one of the major contributors to the excess mortality seen in people with severe mental illness (SMI) and in low- and middle-income countries people with SMI may be at an even greater risk. In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity and overweight in people with SMI and investigate the association of obesity and overweight with sociodemographic variables, other physical comorbidities, and health-risk behaviours. This was a multi-country cross-sectional survey study where data were collected from 3989 adults with SMI from three specialist mental health institutions in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was estimated using Asian BMI thresholds. Multinomial regression models were then used to explore associations between overweight and obesity with various potential determinants. There was a high prevalence of overweight (17·3 %) and obesity (46·2 %). The relative risk of having obesity (compared to normal weight) was double in women (RRR = 2·04) compared with men. Participants who met the WHO recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake had 2·53 (95 % CI: 1·65–3·88) times greater risk of having obesity compared to those not meeting them. Also, the relative risk of having obesity in people with hypertension is 69 % higher than in people without hypertension (RRR = 1·69). In conclusion, obesity is highly prevalent in SMI and associated with chronic disease. The complex relationship between diet and risk of obesity was also highlighted. People with SMI and obesity could benefit from screening for non-communicable diseases, better nutritional education, and context-appropriate lifestyle interventions.
Mental disorders are increasing in South Asia (SA), but their epidemiological burden is under-researched. We carried out a systematic umbrella review to estimate the prevalence of mental disorders and intentional self-harm in the region. Multiple databases were searched and systematic reviews reporting the prevalence of at least one mental disorder from countries in SA were included. Review data were narratively synthesised; primary studies of common mental disorders (CMDs) among adults were identified from a selected subset of reviews and pooled. We included 124 reviews. The majority (n = 65) reported on mood disorders, followed by anxiety disorders (n = 45). High prevalence of mental disorders and intentional self-harm was found in general adult and vulnerable populations. Two reviews met our pre-defined criteria for identifying primary studies of CMDs. Meta-analysis of 25 primary studies showed a pooled prevalence of 16.0% (95% CI = 11.0–22.0%, I2 = 99.9%) for depression, 12.0% (5.0–21.0%, I2 = 99.9%) for anxiety, and 14.0% (10.0–19.0, I2 = 99.9%) for both among the general adult population; pooled estimates varied by country and assessment tool used. Overall, reviews suggest high prevalence for mental disorders in SA, but evidence is limited on conditions other than CMDs.
People with severe mental illness (SMI) die earlier than the general population, primarily because of physical disorders.
We estimated the prevalence of physical health conditions, health risk behaviours, access to healthcare and health risk modification advice in people with SMI in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and compared results with the general population.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey in adults with SMI attending mental hospitals in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Data were collected on non-communicable diseases, their risk factors, health risk behaviours, treatments, health risk modification advice, common mental disorders, health-related quality of life and infectious diseases. We performed a descriptive analysis and compared our findings with the general population in the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘STEPwise Approach to Surveillance of NCDs’ reports.
We recruited 3989 participants with SMI, of which 11% had diabetes, 23.3% had hypertension or high blood pressure and 46.3% had overweight or obesity. We found that 70.8% of participants with diabetes, high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia were previously undiagnosed; of those diagnosed, only around half were receiving treatment. A total of 47% of men and 14% of women used tobacco; 45.6% and 89.1% of participants did not meet WHO recommendations for physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake, respectively. Compared with the general population, people with SMI were more likely to have diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and overweight or obesity, and less likely to receive tobacco cessation and weight management advice.
We found significant gaps in detection, prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in people with SMI.
People with severe mental illness (SMI) are more likely to have obesity and engage in health risk behaviours than the general population. The aims of this study are (1) evaluate the effectiveness of interventions that focus on body weight, smoking cessation, improving sleeping patterns, and alcohol and illicit substance abuse; (2) Compare the number of interventions addressing body weight and health risk behaviours in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) v. those reported in published systematic reviews focusing on high-income countries (HICs).
Intervention studies published up to December 2020 were identified through a structured search in the following database; OVID MEDLINE (1946–December 2020), EMBASE (1974–December 2020), CINAHL (1975–2020), APA PsychoINFO (1806–2020). Two authors independently selected studies, extracted study characteristics and data and assessed the risk of bias. and risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool V2. We conducted a narrative synthesis and, in the studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to address body weight, we conducted random-effects meta-analysis of mean differences in weight gain. We did a systematic search of systematic reviews looking at cardiometabolic and health risk behaviours in people with SMI. We compared the number of available studies of LMICs with those of HICs.
We assessed 15 657 records, of which 9 met the study inclusion criteria. Six focused on healthy weight management, one on sleeping patterns and two tested a physical activity intervention to improve quality of life. Interventions to reduce weight in people with SMI are effective, with a pooled mean difference of −4.2 kg (95% CI −6.25 to −2.18, 9 studies, 459 participants, I2 = 37.8%). The quality and sample size of the studies was not optimal, most were small studies, with inadequate power to evaluate the primary outcome. Only two were assessed as high quality (i.e. scored ‘low’ in the overall risk of bias assessment). We found 5 reviews assessing the effectiveness of interventions to reduce weight, perform physical activity and address smoking in people with SMI. From the five systematic reviews, we identified 84 unique studies, of which only 6 were performed in LMICs.
Pharmacological and activity-based interventions are effective to maintain and reduce body weight in people with SMI. There was a very limited number of interventions addressing sleep and physical activity and no interventions addressing smoking, alcohol or harmful drug use. There is a need to test the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of context-appropriate interventions to address health risk behaviours that might help reduce the mortality gap in people with SMI in LMICs.
Poor research integrity is increasingly recognised as a serious problem in science. We outline some evidence for this claim and introduce the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) journals’ Research Integrity Group, which has been created to address this problem.
In the UK, postnatal depression is more common in British South Asian women than White Caucasion women. Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended as a first-line treatment, but there is little evidence for the adaptation of CBT for postnatal depression to ensure its applicability to different ethnic groups.
To evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a CBT-based positive health programme group intervention in British South Asian women with postnatal depression.
We have designed a multicentre, two-arm, partially nested, randomised controlled trial with 4- and 12-month follow-up, comparing a 12-session group CBT-based intervention (positive health programme) plus treatment as usual with treatment as usual alone, for British South Asian women with postnatal depression. Participants will be recruited from primary care and appropriate community venues in areas of high South Asian density across the UK. It has been estimated that randomising 720 participants (360 into each group) will be sufficient to detect a clinically important difference between a 55% recovery rate in the intervention group and a 40% recovery rate in the treatment-as-usual group. An economic analysis will estimate the cost-effectiveness of the positive health programme. A qualitative process evaluation will explore barriers and enablers to study participation and examine the acceptability and impact of the programme from the perspective of British South Asian women and other key stakeholders.
Approximately 60 000 people in England have coexisting type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and severe mental illness (SMI). They are more likely to have poorer health outcomes and require more complex care pathways compared with those with T2DM alone. Despite increasing prevalence, little is known about the healthcare resource use and costs for people with both conditions.
To assess the impact of SMI on healthcare resource use and service costs for adults with T2DM, and explore the predictors of healthcare costs and lifetime costs for people with both conditions.
This was a matched-cohort study using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink linked to Hospital Episode Statistics for 1620 people with comorbid SMI and T2DM and 4763 people with T2DM alone. Generalised linear models and the Bang and Tsiatis method were used to explore cost predictors and mean lifetime costs respectively.
There were higher average annual costs for people with T2DM and SMI (£1930 higher) than people with T2DM alone, driven primarily by mental health and non-mental health-related hospital admissions. Key predictors of higher total costs were older age, comorbid hypertension, use of antidepressants, use of first-generation antipsychotics, and increased duration of living with both conditions. Expected lifetime costs were approximately £35 000 per person with both SMI and T2DM. Extrapolating nationally, this would generate total annual costs to the National Health Service of around £250 m per year.
Our estimates of resource use and costs for people with both T2DM and SMI will aid policymakers and commissioners in service planning and resource allocation.
To systematically review and synthesise qualitative evidence about determinants of self-management in adults with SMI. The goal is to use findings from this review to inform the design of effective self-management strategies for people with SMI and LTCs.
People living with serious mental illness (SMI) have a reduced life expectancy by around 15–20 years, mainly due to the high prevalence of long-term physical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. People with SMI face many challenges when trying to manage their physical health. Little is known about the determinants of self-management – managing the emotional and practical issues – of long-term conditions (LTCs) for people with SMI.
Six databases, including CINAHL and MEDLINE, were searched to identify qualitative studies that explored people's perceptions about determinants of self-management in adults with SMI (with or without comorbid LTCs). Self-management was defined according to the American Association of Diabetes Educator's self-care behaviours (AADE7). Determinants were defined according to the Capabilities, Opportunity, Motivations and Behaviours (COM-B) framework. Eligible studies were purposively sampled for synthesis according to the richness of the data (assessed using Ames et al (2017)'s data richness scale), and thematically synthesised.
Twenty-six articles were included in the synthesis. Seven studies focused on self-management of LTCs, with the remaining articles exploring self-management of SMI. Six analytic themes and 28 sub-themes were identified from the synthesis. The themes included: the additional burden of SMI; living with comorbidities; beliefs and attitudes about self-management; support from others for self-management; social and environmental factors; routine, structure and planning. Capabilities for self-management were linked to people's perceptions about the support they received for their SMI and LTC from healthcare professionals, family and friends. Opportunities for self-management were more commonly expressed in the context of social and environmental factors. Motivation for self-management was influenced by beliefs and attitudes, whilst being closely related to the burden of SMI.
The themes identified from the synthesis suggest that capabilities, opportunities and motivations for self-management can be negatively influenced by the experience of SMI, whilst social and professional support, improved access to resources, and increased involvement in care, could promote self-management. Support programmes for people with SMI and LTCs need to account for these experiences and adapt to meet the unique needs of this population.
Obesity is a major challenge for people with schizophrenia.
We assessed whether STEPWISE, a theory-based, group structured lifestyle education programme could support weight reduction in people with schizophrenia.
In this randomised controlled trial (study registration: ISRCTN19447796), we recruited adults with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or first-episode psychosis from ten mental health organisations in England. Participants were randomly allocated to the STEPWISE intervention or treatment as usual. The 12-month intervention comprised four 2.5 h weekly group sessions, followed by 2-weekly maintenance contact and group sessions at 4, 7 and 10 months. The primary outcome was weight change after 12 months. Key secondary outcomes included diet, physical activity, biomedical measures and patient-related outcome measures. Cost-effectiveness was assessed and a mixed-methods process evaluation was included.
Between 10 March 2015 and 31 March 2016, we recruited 414 people (intervention 208, usual care 206) with 341 (84.4%) participants completing the trial. At 12 months, weight reduction did not differ between groups (mean difference 0.0 kg, 95% CI −1.6 to 1.7, P = 0.963); physical activity, dietary intake and biochemical measures were unchanged. STEPWISE was well-received by participants and facilitators. The healthcare perspective incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was £246 921 per quality-adjusted life-year gained.
Participants were successfully recruited and retained, indicating a strong interest in weight interventions; however, the STEPWISE intervention was neither clinically nor cost-effective. Further research is needed to determine how to manage overweight and obesity in people with schizophrenia.
Declaration of interest
R.I.G.H. received fees for lecturing, consultancy work and attendance at conferences from the following: Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Lundbeck, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Otsuka, Sanofi, Sunovion, Takeda, MSD. M.J.D. reports personal fees from Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Servier, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc.; and, grants from Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen. K.K. has received fees for consultancy and speaker for Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Servier and Merck Sharp & Dohme. He has received grants in support of investigator and investigator-initiated trials from Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, Lilly, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck Sharp & Dohme. K.K. has received funds for research, honoraria for speaking at meetings and has served on advisory boards for Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Novo Nordisk. D.Sh. is expert advisor to the NICE Centre for guidelines; board member of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH); clinical advisor (paid consultancy basis) to National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (NCAP); views are personal and not those of NICE, NCCMH or NCAP. J.P. received personal fees for involvement in the study from a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) grant. M.E.C. and Y.D. report grants from NIHR Health Technology Assessment, during the conduct of the study; and The Leicester Diabetes Centre, an organisation (employer) jointly hosted by an NHS Hospital Trust and the University of Leicester and who is holder (through the University of Leicester) of the copyright of the STEPWISE programme and of the DESMOND suite of programmes, training and intervention fidelity framework that were used in this study. S.R. has received honorarium from Lundbeck for lecturing. F.G. reports personal fees from Otsuka and Lundbeck, personal fees and non-financial support from Sunovion, outside the submitted work; and has a family member with professional links to Lilly and GSK, including shares. F.G. is in part funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research & Care Funding scheme, by the Maudsley Charity and by the Stanley Medical Research Institute and is supported by the by the Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London.
This paper describes the process of setting up and the early results from a new liaison psychiatry service in primary care for people identified as frequent general practice attenders with long-term conditions or medically unexplained symptoms. Using a rapid evidence synthesis, we identified existing service models, mechanisms to identify and refer patients, and outcomes for the service. Considering this evidence, with local contingencies we defined options and resources. We agreed a model to set up a service in three diverse general practices. An evaluation explored the feasibility of the service and of collecting data for clinical, service and economic outcomes.
High levels of patient and staff satisfaction, and reductions in the utilisation of primary and secondary healthcare, with associated cost savings are reported.
A multidisciplinary liaison psychiatry service integrated in primary care is feasible and may be evaluated using routinely collected data.
In this editorial, we discuss a UK-based cohort study examining the mortality gap for people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder from 2000 to 2014. There have been concerted efforts to improve physical and mental healthcare for this population in recent decades. Have these initiatives reduced mortality and ‘closed the gap’?
Delirium is a distressing but preventable condition associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and significant financial costs. Most research on delirium has focused on high-risk patients in hospitals. Another group also at high risk are residents in care homes for older people. This report reviews the literature on the occurrence, aetiology, outcomes, prevention and treatment of delirium in long-term care. Delirium appears to be common in this setting, with a median point prevalence estimate of 14.2% in studies comparable to the UK. However, there is a paucity of high-quality studies, likely to reflect the difficulty in conducting research in this population and the particular challenges of investigating delirium. Addressing delirium successfully in care homes presents an opportunity to improve care standards and to reduce inequalities in health and social care. Well-designed prospective cohort studies and robust evaluations of interventions to prevent and treat delirium are needed.
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