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Many studies report an ethnic density effect whereby psychosis incidence among ethnic minority groups is higher in low co-ethnic density areas. It is unclear whether an equivalent density effect applies with other types of socioeconomic disadvantages.
We followed a population cohort of 2 million native Danes comprising all those born on 1st January 1965, or later, living in Denmark on their 15th birthday. Socioeconomic disadvantage, based on parents' circumstances at age 15 (low income, manual occupation, single parent and unemployed), was measured alongside neighbourhood prevalence of these indices.
Each indicator was associated with a higher incidence of non-affective psychosis which remained the same, or was slightly reduced, if neighbourhood levels of disadvantage were lower. For example, for individuals from a low-income background there was no difference in incidence for those living in areas where a low-income was least common [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.01; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93–1.10 v. those in the quintile where a low income was most common. Typically, differences associated with area-level disadvantage were the same whether or not cohort members had a disadvantaged background; for instance, for those from a manual occupation background, incidence was lower in the quintile where this was least v. most common (IRR 0.83; 95% CI 0.71–0.97), as it was for those from a non-manual background (IRR 0.77; 95% CI 0.67–0.87).
We found little evidence for group density effects in contrast to previous ethnic density studies. Further research is needed with equivalent investigations in other countries to see if similar patterns are observed.
Concerns have been raised about the utility of self-report assessments in predicting future suicide attempts. Clinicians in pediatric emergency departments (EDs) often are required to assess suicidal risk. The Death Implicit Association Test (IAT) is an alternative to self-report assessment of suicidal risk that may have utility in ED settings.
A total of 1679 adolescents recruited from 13 pediatric emergency rooms in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network were assessed using a self-report survey of risk and protective factors for a suicide attempt, and the IAT, and then followed up 3 months later to determine if an attempt had occurred. The accuracy of prediction was compared between self-reports and the IAT using the area under the curve (AUC) with respect to receiver operator characteristics.
A few self-report variables, namely, current and past suicide ideation, past suicidal behavior, total negative life events, and school or social connectedness, predicted an attempt at 3 months with an AUC of 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.84–0.90] in the entire sample, and AUC = 0.91, (95% CI 0.85–0.95) for those who presented without reported suicidal ideation. The IAT did not add significantly to the predictive power of selected self-report variables. The IAT alone was modestly predictive of 3-month attempts in the overall sample ((AUC = 0.59, 95% CI 0.52–0.65) and was a better predictor in patients who were non-suicidal at baseline (AUC = 0.67, 95% CI 0.55–0.79).
In pediatric EDs, a small set of self-reported items predicted suicide attempts within 3 months more accurately than did the IAT.
Some people diagnosed with schizophrenia are more prone to committing acts of serious violence, especially in the presence of drug or alcohol misuse. The rarity of homicide has meant that no large controlled study has previously examined clinical risk factors.
To determine the risk factors for homicide by males diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A national nested case–control study of all previously admitted males diagnosed with schizophrenia, convicted of homicide between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2012. Univariate and multivariable conditional logistic regression models were fitted to identify predictors of homicide in this population.
During the observation period 160 male patients with schizophrenia and a history of psychiatric admission were convicted of homicide, and they were matched with 542 male control patients who had not been convicted of homicide. Patients who committed homicide were more likely to have a history of violence and comorbid personality disorder or drug misuse. They were more likely to have missed their last contact with services prior to the offence and to have been non-adherent with their treatment plan. Almost all (94%) of homicides were committed by patients who had a history of alcohol or drug misuse and/or who were not in receipt of planned treatment.
In England and Wales, homicides by patients with schizophrenia without substance misuse and in receipt of planned care are exceptionally rare. To prevent serious violence, mental health services should focus on drug and alcohol misuse, treatment adherence and maintaining contact with services.
Little is known internationally about return to prison from in-patient psychiatric services, including: circumstances leading to return, aftercare services and subsequent patient outcomes.
To examine and describe: (a) circumstances leading to return to prison from medium secure services; (b) available aftercare and early outcomes of returned persons; and (c) implications for policy development.
Prospective cohort design with all patients (n = 96) returned to prisons from 33 National Health Service (NHS) medium secure services over a 6-month period in England and Wales. Follow-up was conducted for 1 year post-remittal, across 60 prisons.
Less than 20% of patients with legal entitlement to section 117 aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983 were receiving care managed/delivered via the care programme approach. Subsequent pathways included: inter-prison transfer (30%), use of the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork process (49%), referral to secure services (21%) and community release (30%). Less than half of community releases were referred to a community mental health team.
Findings suggest that persons returned to prison are a vulnerable group of patients, many of whom require intervention (e.g. enhanced monitoring, admission to a healthcare wing, readmission to secure mental health services) on return to prison in the absence of targeted aftercare services. More robust guidance for discharge and aftercare planning procedures for persons remitted to prison should be developed to ensure that the benefits of in-patient admission are maintained and that individuals’ legal rights to ongoing aftercare are upheld.
Individual- and area-level risk factors for suicide are relatively well-understood but the role of macro social factors such as alienation, social fragmentation or ‘anomie’ is relatively underresearched. Voting choice in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union (EU) provides a potential measure of anomie.
To examine associations between percentage ‘Leave’ votes in the EU referendum and suicide rates in 2015–2017, the period just prior to, and following, the referendum.
National cross-sectional ecological study of 315 English local authority populations. Associations between voting choice in the EU referendum and age-standardised suicide rates, averaged for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, were examined.
Overall there was a weak, but statistically significant, positive correlation between the local authority-level percentage ‘Leave’ vote in 2016 and the suicide rate 2015–2017: Pearson's correlation coefficient, r = 0.17; P = 0.003. This relationship was explained by populations having an older age distribution, being more deprived and lacking ethnic diversity. However, there was divergence (likelihood ratio test for interaction, χ2 = 7.2, P = 0.007) in the observed associations between London and the provincial regions with Greater London having a moderately strong negative association (r = −0.40; P = 0.02) and the rest of England a weak positive association (r = 0.17; P = 0.004).
Deprivation, older age distribution and a lack of ethnic diversity seems to explain raised suicide risk in Brexit-voting communities. A greater sense of alienation among people feeling ‘left behind’/‘left out’ may have had some influence too, although multilevel modelling of individual- versus area-level data are needed to examine these complex relationships. The incongruent ecological relationship observed for London likely reflect its distinct social, economic and health context.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
To compare the impact on child diet and growth of a multisectoral community intervention v. nutrition education and livestock management training alone.
Longitudinal community-based randomized trial involving three groups of villages assigned to receive: (i) Full Package community development activities, delivered via women’s groups; (ii) livestock training and nutrition education alone (Partial Package); or (iii) no intervention (Control). Household surveys, child growth monitoring, child and household diet quality measures (diet diversity (DD), animal-source food (ASF) consumption) were collected at five visits over 36 months. Mixed-effect linear regression and Poisson models used survey round, treatment group and group-by-round interaction to predict outcomes of interest, adjusted for household- and child-specific characteristics.
Households (n 974) with children aged 1–60 months (n 1333).
Children in Full Package households had better endline anthropometry (weight-for-age, weight-for-height, mid-upper-arm-circumference Z-scores), DD, and more consumption of ASF, after adjusting for household- and child-specific characteristics. By endline, compared with Partial Package or Control groups, Full Package households demonstrated preferential child feeding practices and had significantly more improvement in household wealth and hygiene habits.
In this longitudinal study, a comprehensive multisectoral intervention was more successful in improving key growth indicators as well as diet quality in young children. Provision of training in livestock management and nutrition education alone had limited effect on these outcomes. Although more time-consuming and costly to administer, incorporating nutrition training with community social capital development was associated with better child growth and nutrition outcomes than isolated training programmes alone.
Fatigue syndromes (FSs) affect large numbers of individuals, yet evidence from epidemiological studies on adverse outcomes, such as premature death, is limited.
Cohort study involving 385 general practices in England that contributed to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) with linked inpatient Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) cause of death information. A total of 10 477 patients aged 15 years and above, diagnosed with a FS during 2000–2014, were individually matched with up to 20 comparator patients without a history of having a FS. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were estimated to compare the FS and comparison cohorts on clinical characteristics. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for subsequent adverse outcomes were estimated from stratified Cox regression models.
Among patients diagnosed with FSs, we found elevated baseline prevalence of: any psychiatric illness (PR 1.77; 95% CI 1.72–1.82), anxiety disorders (PR 1.92; 1.85–1.99), depression (PR 1.89; 1.83–1.96), psychotropic prescriptions (PR 1.68; 1.64–1.72) and comorbid physical illness (PR 1.28; 1.23–1.32). We found no significant differences in risks for: all-cause mortality (HR 0.99; 0.91–1.09), natural death (HR 0.99; 0.90–1.09), unnatural death (HR 1.00; 0.59–1.72) or suicide (HR 1.68; 0.78–3.63). We did, however, observe a significantly elevated non-fatal self-harm risk: HR 1.83; 1.56–2.15.
The absence of elevated premature mortality risk is reassuring. The raised prevalence of mental illness and increased non-fatal self-harm risk indicate a need for enhanced assessment and management of psychopathology associated with fatigue syndromes.
We aimed to spatially describe mental illness prevalence in England at small-area geographical level, as measured by prevalence of depression, severe mental illness (SMI) and antidepressant prescription volume in primary care records, and how much of their variation was explained by deprivation, social fragmentation and sociodemographic characteristics.
Information on prevalence of depression and SMI was obtained from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) administrative dataset for 2015/16 and the national dispensing dataset for 2015/16. Linear regression models were fitted to examine ecological associations between deprivation, social fragmentation, other sociodemographic characteristics and mental illness prevalence.
Mental illness prevalence varied within and between regions, with clusters of high prevalence identified across England. Our models explained 33.4–68.2% of variability in prevalence, but substantial variability between regions remained after adjusting for covariates. People in socially cohesive and socially deprived areas were more likely to be diagnosed with depression, while people in more socially fragmented and more socially deprived areas were more likely to be diagnosed with SMI.
Our findings suggest that to tackle mental health inequalities, attention needs to be targeted at more socially deprived localities. The role of social fragmentation warrants further investigation, and it is possible that depression remains undiagnosed in more socially fragmented areas. The wealth of routinely collected data can provide robust evidence to aid optimal resource allocation. If comparable data are available in other countries, similar methods could be deployed to identify high prevalence clusters and target funding to areas of greater need.
Pay-for-performance policies aim to improve population health by incentivising improvements in quality of care.
To assess the relationship between general practice performance on severe mental illness (SMI) and depression indicators under a national incentivisation scheme and suicide risk in England for the period 2006–2014.
Longitudinal spatial analysis for 32 844 small-area geographical units (lower super output areas, LSOAs), using population-structure adjusted numbers of suicide as the outcome variable. Negative binomial models were fitted to investigate the relationship between spatially estimated recorded quality of care and suicide risk at the LSOA level. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were adjusted for deprivation, social fragmentation, prevalence of depression and SMI as well as other 2011 Census variables.
No association was found between practice performance on the mental health indicators and suicide incidence in practice localities (IRR=1.000, 95% CI 0.998–1.002). IRRs indicated elevated suicide risks linked with area-level social fragmentation (1.030; 95% CI 1.027–1.034), deprivation (1.013, 95% CI 1.012–1.014) and rurality (1.059, 95% CI 1.027–1.092).
Primary care has an important role to play in suicide prevention, but we did not observe a link between practices' higher reported quality of care on incentivised mental health activities and lower suicide rates in the local population. It is likely that effective suicide prevention needs a more concerted, multiagency approach. Better training in suicide prevention for general practitioners is also essential. These findings pertain to the UK but have relevance to other countries considering similar programmes.
It is accepted generally that anaerobic digesters (AD) are efficacious technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations (Pronto and Gooch, 2009). In addition, AD technology has a number of other potential benefits including: energy production for use on the farm and for sale, separation of manure solids for ease of use or export off-farm, pathogen reduction leading to healthier labor and herd outcomes and odor control. It is also clear that in the USA, research and extension efforts, including public financing of AD technology installations, have disproportionally been focused on larger farms- e.g., dairy farms with at least 500 milking cows. The latter has begun to change as more resources are being invested in AD technology for smaller livestock farms. We present the results of a pre and post survey implemented at four workshops on small-scale AD technology for livestock farmers in northeastern New York State. Results indicate that information presented shifted farmers’ attitudes such that they viewed AD technology as not overly complex; and, they became less interested in selling generated surplus power off-farm.
Factors associated with relapse among children who are discharged after reaching a threshold denoted ‘recovered’ from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) are not well understood. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with sustained recovery, defined as maintaining a mid-upper-arm circumference≥12·5 cm for 1 year after release from treatment. On the basis of an observational study design, we analysed data from an in-depth household (HH) survey on a sub-sample of participants within a larger cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) that followed up children for 1 year after recovery from MAM. Out of 1497 children participating in the cRCT, a subset of 315 children participated in this sub-study. Accounting for other factors, HH with fitted lids on water storage containers (P=0·004) was a significant predictor of sustained recovery. In addition, sustained recovery was better among children whose caregivers were observed to have clean hands (P=0·053) and in HH using an improved sanitation facility (P=0·083). By contrast, socio-economic status and infant and young child feeding practices at the time of discharge and HH food security throughout the follow-up period were not significant. Given these results, we hypothesise that improved water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in tandem with management of MAM through supplemental feeding programmes have the possibility to decrease relapse following recovery from MAM. Furthermore, the absence of associations between relapse and nearly all HH-level factors indicates that the causal factors of relapse may be related mostly to the child’s individual, underlying health and nutrition status.
The elevated risk of suicide in prison and after release is a well-recognised and serious problem. Despite this, evidence concerning community-based offenders' suicide risk is sparse. We conducted a population-based nested case–control study of all people in a community justice pathway in England and Wales. Our data show 13% of general population suicides were in community justice pathways before death. Suicide risks were highest among individuals receiving police cautions, and those having recent, or impending prosecution for sexual offences. Findings have implications for the training and practice of clinicians identifying and assessing suicidality, and offering support to those at elevated risk.
People with physical illness often have psychiatric disorder and this comorbidity may have a specific influence on their risk of suicide.
To examine how physical illness and psychiatric comorbidity interact to influence risk of suicide, with particular focus on relative timing of onset of the two types of illness.
Based on the national population of Denmark, individual-level data were retrieved from five national registers on 27 262 suicide cases and 468 007 gender- and birth-date matched living controls. Data were analysed using conditional logistic regression.
Both suicides and controls with physical illness more often had comorbid psychiatric disorder than their physically healthy counterparts. Although both physical and psychiatric illnesses constituted significant risk factors for suicide, their relative timing of onset in individuals with comorbidity significantly differentiated the associated risk of suicide. While suicide risk was highly elevated when onsets of both physical and psychiatric illness occurred close in time to each other, regardless which came first, psychiatric comorbidity developed some time after onset of physical illness exacerbated the risk of suicide substantially.
Suicide risk in physically ill people varies substantially by presence of psychiatric comorbidity, particularly the relative timing of onset of the two types of illness. Closer collaboration between general and mental health services should be an essential component of suicide prevention strategies.
Older adults have elevated suicide rates. Self-harm is the most important
risk factor for suicide. There are few population-based studies of
self-harm in older adults.
To calculate self-harm rates, risk factors for repetition and rates of
suicide following self-harm in adults aged 60 years and over.
We studied a prospective, population-based self-harm cohort presenting to
six general hospitals in three cities in England during 2000 to 2007.
In total 1177 older adults presented with self-harm and 12.8% repeated
self-harm within 12 months. Independent risk factors for repetition were
previous self-harm, previous psychiatric treatment and age 60–74 years.
Following self-harm, 1.5% died by suicide within 12 months. The risk of
suicide was 67 times that of older adults in the general population. Men
aged 75 years and above had the highest suicide rates.
Older adults presenting to hospital with self-harm are a high-risk group
for subsequent suicide, particularly older men.