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The COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in how healthcare was accessed and delivered. It was suggested that COVID-19 will lead to an increased delirium burden in its acute phase, with variable effect on mental health in the longer term. Despite this, there are limited data on the direct effects of the pandemic on psychiatric care.
1) describe the mental health presentations of a diverse acute inpatient population, 2) compare findings with the same period in 2019, 3) characterise the SARS-CoV-2 positive cohort of patients.
We present a descriptive summary of the referrals to a UK psychiatric liaison department during the exponential phase of the pandemic, and compare this to the same period in 2019.
show a 40.3% reduction in the number of referrals in 2020, with an increase in the proportion of referrals for delirium and psychosis. One third (28%) of referred patients tested positive for COVID-19 during their admission, with 39.7% of these presenting with delirium as a consequence of their COVID-19 illness. Our data indicate decreased clinical activity for our service during the pandemic’s peak. There was a marked increase in delirium, though in no other psychiatric presentations.
In preparation for further exponential rises in COVID-19 cases, we would expect seamless integration of liaison psychiatry teams in general hospital wards to optimise delirium management in patients with COVID-19. Further consideration should be given to adequate staffing of community and crisis mental health teams to safely manage the potentially increasing number of people reluctant to visit the emergency department.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could be a side-effect-free alternative to psychostimulants in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although there is limited evidence for clinical and cognitive effects, most studies were small, single-session and stimulated left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). No sham-controlled study has stimulated the right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC), which is the most consistently under-functioning region in ADHD, with multiple anodal-tDCS sessions combined with cognitive training (CT) to enhance effects. Thus, we investigated the clinical and cognitive effects of multi-session anodal-tDCS over rIFC combined with CT in double-blind, randomised, sham-controlled trial (RCT, ISRCTN48265228).
Fifty boys with ADHD (10–18 years) received 15 weekday sessions of anodal- or sham-tDCS over rIFC combined with CT (20 min, 1 mA). ANCOVA, adjusting for baseline measures, age and medication status, tested group differences in clinical and ADHD-relevant executive functions at posttreatment and after 6 months.
ADHD-Rating Scale, Conners ADHD Index and adverse effects were significantly lower at post-treatment after sham relative to anodal tDCS. No other effects were significant.
This rigorous and largest RCT of tDCS in adolescent boys with ADHD found no evidence of improved ADHD symptoms or cognitive performance following multi-session anodal tDCS over rIFC combined with CT. These findings extend limited meta-analytic evidence of cognitive and clinical effects in ADHD after 1–5 tDCS sessions over mainly left dlPFC. Given that tDCS is commercially and clinically available, the findings are important as they suggest that rIFC stimulation may not be indicated as a neurotherapy for cognitive or clinical remediation for ADHD.
Adult socioeconomic status (SES) has been consistently associated with body mass index (BMI), but it is unclear whether it is linked to BMI independently of childhood SES or other potentially confounding factors. Twin studies can address this issue by implicitly controlling for childhood SES and unmeasured confounders. This co-twin control study used cross-sectional data from Twins Research Australia’s Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire (N = 1918 twin pairs). We investigated whether adult SES, as measured by both the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage (IRSD) and the Australian Socioeconomic Index 2006 (AUSEI06), was associated with BMI after controlling for factors shared by twins within a pair. The primary analysis was a linear mixed-effects model that estimated effects both within and between pairs. Between pairs, a 10-unit increase in AUSEI06 was associated with a 0.29 kg/m2 decrease in BMI (95% CI [−.42, −.17], p < .001), and a 1-decile increase in IRSD was associated with a 0.26 kg/m2 decrease in BMI (95% CI [−.35, −.17], p < .001). No association was observed within pairs. In conclusion, higher adult SES was associated with lower BMI between pairs, but no association was observed within pairs. Thus, the link between adult SES and BMI may be due to confounding factors common to twins within a pair.
Food security status is a continuum ranging from high to very low food security. While marginal food security falls next to high food security on the spectrum, new quantitative research indicates marginal food security status is associated with negative health outcomes and poor academic performance among college students. Qualitative research focusing on college students experiencing marginal food security has not been conducted. The current study aims to qualitatively explore experiences of college students with marginal food security and to identify themes to better understand and provide context regarding how marginal food security impacts students.
Students were recruited for semi-structured interviews with questions designed to study the challenges associated with students’ food situations. All interviews were recorded and transcribed with themes identified via an inductive approach.
A large public university on the US west coast.
Thirty college students.
Key themes that emerged: purchasing cheap unhealthy foods, insufficient time to prepare and eat meals on a regular basis, stress and anxiety around the inability to eat healthy food and future health issues, self-perception of health when eating poorly along with physical symptoms and low academic motivation by not fully participating in their courses due to few healthy food options or missing meals.
Marginal food security can potentially diminish students’ health and their capacity to learn and succeed in their coursework. The results emphasise that students experiencing marginal food security should not be grouped with students experiencing high food security.
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
Many studies document cognitive decline following specific types of acute illness hospitalizations (AIH) such as surgery, critical care, or those complicated by delirium. However, cognitive decline may be a complication following all types of AIH. This systematic review will summarize longitudinal observational studies documenting cognitive changes following AIH in the majority admitted population and conduct meta-analysis (MA) to assess the quantitative effect of AIH on post-hospitalization cognitive decline (PHCD).
We followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Selection criteria were defined to identify studies of older age adults exposed to AIH with cognitive measures. 6566 titles were screened. 46 reports were reviewed qualitatively, of which seven contributed data to the MA. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale.
The qualitative review suggested increased cognitive decline following AIH, but several reports were particularly vulnerable to bias. Domain-specific outcomes following AIH included declines in memory and processing speed. Increasing age and the severity of illness were the most consistent risk factors for PHCD. PHCD was supported by MA of seven eligible studies with 41,453 participants (Cohen’s d = −0.25, 95% CI [−0.02, −0.49] I2 35%).
There is preliminary evidence that AIH exposure accelerates or triggers cognitive decline in the elderly patient. PHCD reported in specific contexts could be subsets of a larger phenomenon and caused by overlapping mechanisms. Future research must clarify the trajectory, clinical significance, and etiology of PHCD: a priority in the face of an aging population with increasing rates of both cognitive impairment and hospitalization.
Earlier studies examining structural brain abnormalities associated with cognitively derived subgroups were mainly cross-sectional in design and had mixed findings. Thus, we obtained cross-sectional and longitudinal data to characterize the extent and trajectory of brain structure abnormalities underlying distinct cognitive subtypes (“preserved,” “deteriorated,” and “compromised”) seen in psychotic spectrum disorders.
Data from 364 subjects (225 patients with psychotic conditions and 139 healthy controls) were first used to determine the relationship of cognitive subtypes with cross-sectional measures of subcortical volume and cortical thickness. To probe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, brain structure laterality was examined. To examine whether neuroprogressive abnormalities persist, longitudinal brain structural changes over 5 years were examined within a subset of 101 subjects. Subsequent discriminant analysis using the identified brain measures was performed on an independent subject group.
Cross-sectional comparisons showed that cortical thinning and limbic volume reductions were most widespread in “deteriorated” cognitive subtype. Laterality comparisons showed more rightward amygdala lateralization in “compromised” than “preserved” subtype. Longitudinal comparisons revealed progressive hippocampal shrinkage in “deteriorated” compared with healthy controls and “preserved” subtype, which correlated with worse negative symptoms, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. Post-hoc discrimination analysis on an independent group of 52 subjects using the identified brain structures found an overall accuracy of 71% for classification of cognitive subtypes.
These findings point toward distinct extent and trajectory of corticolimbic abnormalities associated with cognitive subtypes in psychosis, which can allow further understanding of the biological course of cognitive functioning over illness course and with treatment.
To examine the effectiveness of an Internet Based Therapy (IBT) for Bulimia Nervosa (BN), when compared to a brief psychoeducational group therapy (PET) or a waiting list (WL).
93 female BN patients, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. An experimental group (31 IBT patients) was compared to two groups (31 PET and 31 WL). PET and WL were matched to the IBT group in terms of age, disorder duration, previous treatments and severity. All patients completed assesment, prior and after treatment.
Considering IBT, mean scores were lower at the end of treatment for some EDI scales and BITE symptoms scale, while the mean BMI was higher at post-therapy. Main predictors of good IBT outcome were higher scores in EDI perfectionism and higher scores on reward dependence. Drop-out was related to higher SCL-obsessive/compulsive (p=0.045) and novelty seeking (p=0.044) scores and lower reward dependence (p=0.018). At the end of the treatment bingeing and vomiting abstinence rates (22.6% for IBT, 33.3% for PET, and 0.0% for WL; p=0.003) and drop-out rates (35.5% IBT, 12.9% PET and 0% WL; p= 0.001) differed significantly between groups. While the concrete comparison between the two treatments (IBT and PET) did not evidence significant differences for success proportions (p=0.375), statistical differences for drop-out rates (p=0.038) were obtained.
The results of this study suggest that an online self-help approach appears to be a valid treatment option for BN, especially for people who present lower severity of their eating disorder (ED) symptomatology and some specific personality traits.
Currently there is no consensus regarding how long anti-psychotics medication should be continued following a first/single psychotic episode. Clinically patients often request discontinuation after a period of remission. This is one of the first double-blind randomized-controlled studies designed to address the issue.
Patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and related psychoses (excluding substance induced psychosis) who remitted well following a first/single-episode, and had remained well on maintenance medication for one year, were randomized to receive either maintenance therapy with quetiapine (400 mg/day), or placebo for 12 months. Relapse was defined by the presence of (i) an increase in at least one of the following PANSS psychotic symptom items to a threshold score (delusion, hallucinatory behaviour, conceptual disorganization, unusual thought content, suspiciousness); (ii) CGI Severity of Illness 3 or above; and (iii) CGI Improvement 5 or above.
178 patients were randomized. 144 patients completed the study (80.9%). The relapse rate was 33.7% (30/89) for the maintenance group and 66.3% (59/89) for the placebo group (log-rank test, chi-square=13.328, p<0.001). Relapse was not related to age or gender. Other significant predictors of relapse include medication status, pre-morbid schizotypal traits, verbal memory and soft neurological signs.
There is a substantial risk of relapse if medication is discontinued in remitted first-episode psychosis patients following one year of maintenance therapy. On the contrary 33.7% of patients discontinued medication and remained well.
Medication discontinuation in remitted single episode patients after a period of maintenance therapy is a major clinical decision and thus the identification of risk factors controlling for medication status is important.
Following a first/single episode with DSM-IV schizophrenia and related psychoses, remitted patients who had remained well on maintenance medication for at least one year were randomized to receive either maintenance therapy (with quetiapine 400 mg/day), or placebo for 12 months.
178 patients were randomized. Relapse rates were 33.7% (30/89) in maintenance group and 66.3% (59/89) in placebo group. Potential predictors were initially identified in univariate Cox regression models (p<0.1) and were subsequently entered into a multivariate Cox regression model for measuring the relapse risk. Significant predictors included patients on placebo (hazard ratio, 0.41; CI, 0.25 – 0.68; p=0.001); having more pre-morbid schizotypal traits (hazard ratio, 2.32; CI, 1.33 – 4.04; p=0.003); scoring lower in the logical memory test (hazard ratio, 0.94; CI, 0.9 – 0.99; p=0.028); and having more soft neurological signs (disinhibition) (hazard ratio, 1.33; CI, 1.02 – 1.74; p=0.039).
Relapse predictors may help to inform clinical decisions about discontinuation of maintenance therapy specifically for patients with a first/single episode psychosis following at least one year of maintenance therapy.
We are grateful to Dr TJ Yao at the Clinical Trials Center, University of Hong Kong, for statistical advice. The study was supported by investigator initiated trial award from AstraZeneca and the Research Grants Council Hong Kong (Project number: 765505).
The existing literature on chronic pain points to the effects anxiety sensitivity, pain hypervigilance, and pain catastrophizing on pain-related fear; however, the nature of the relationships remains unclear. The three dispositional factors may affect one another in the prediction of pain adjustment outcomes. The addition of one disposition may increase the association between another disposition and outcomes, a consequence known as suppressor effects in statistical terms.
This study examined the possible statistical suppressor effects of anxiety sensitivity, pain hypervigilance and pain catastrophizing in predicting pain-related fear and adjustment outcomes (disability and depression).
Chinese patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain (n = 401) completed a battery of assessments on pain intensity, depression, anxiety sensitivity, pain vigilance, pain catastrophizing, and pain-related fear. Multiple regression analyses assessed the mediating/moderating role of pain hypervigilance. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate suppression effects.
Our results evidenced pain hypervigilance mediated the effects of anxiety sensitivity (Model 1: Sobel z = 4.86) and pain catastrophizing (Model 3: Sobel z = 5.08) on pain-related fear. Net suppression effect of pain catastrophizing on anxiety sensitivity was found in SEM where both anxiety sensitivity and pain catastrophizing were included in the same full model to predict disability (Model 9: CFI = 0.95) and depression (Model 10: CFI = 0.93) (all P < 0.001) (see Figs. 3 and 4, Figs. 1 and 2).
Our findings evidenced that pain hypervigilance mediated the relationship of two dispositional factors, pain catastrophic cognition and anxiety sensitivity, with pain-related fear. The net suppression effects of pain catastrophizing suggest that anxiety sensitivity enhanced the effect of pain catastrophic cognition on pain hypervigilance.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A body of evidence has accrued supporting the Fear-Avoidance Model (FAM) of chronic pain which postulated the mediating role of pain-related fear in the relationships between pain catastrophizing and pain anxiety in affecting pain-related outcomes. Yet, relatively little data points to the extent to which the FAM be extended to understand chronic pain in Chinese population and its impact on quality of life (QoL).
This study explored the relationships between FAM components and their effects on QoL in a Chinese sample.
A total of 401 Chinese patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain completed measures of three core FAM components (pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, and pain anxiety) and QoL. Cross-sectional structural equation modeling (SEM) assessed the goodness of fit of the FAM for two QoL outcomes, Physical (Model 1) and Mental (Model 2). In both models, pain catastrophizing was hypothesized to underpin pain-related fear, thereby influencing pain anxiety and subsequently QoL outcomes.
Results of SEM evidenced adequate data-model fit (CFI30.90) for the two models tested (Model 1: CFI = 0.93; Model 2: CFI = 0.94). Specifically, pain catastrophizing significantly predicted pain-related fear (Model 1: stdb = 0.90; Model 2: stdb = 0.91), which in turn significantly predicted pain anxiety (Model 1: stdb = 0.92; Model 2: stdb = 0.929) and QoL outcomes in a negative direction (Model 1: stdb = −0.391; Model 2: stdb = −0.651) (all P < 0.001) (Table 1, Fig. 1).
Our data substantiated the existing FAM literature and offered evidence for the cross-cultural validity of the FAM in the Chinese population with chronic pain.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Valid assessments require sufficient effort from the part of the testee. Motivation may be compromised, particularly in psychiatric conditions. We examined associations between response bias on free recall and self-reported symptoms in depressed and PTSD patients.
Participants and methods
This is a cross-sectional study. Patients had depression (n = 48), or PTSD or other anxiety disorders (n = 37). A control group (n = 47%) had chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. The Green Word Memory Test (GWMT) was administered to all subjects. The Structured Inventory of Malingered. Symptomatology (SIMS), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) were administered in subsamples. Study outcome was self-reported depressive symptoms in Symptom Validity Test (SVT) negative cases.
Average age of the participants was 45.1 years (SD 9.5), 48.5% were female. GWMT was positive in 52.3% of all cases, GWMT and SIMS were positive in 33.8%, and GWMT and SIMS were negative in 37.7%. No significant group effects on GWMT were found. Average BDI-II scores were 32.8 (SD 13.9) for depressed patients, 28.3 (15.5) for those with anxiety disorders, and 27.6 (14.1) for controls (P = 0.43). Seventy-eight percent of depressed GWMT negative cases reported at least moderate depressive symptoms (BDI-II > 18), and 44.4% severe symptoms (BDI-II > 29). Approximately half of the GWMT negative cases with anxiety disorders and controls scored BDI-II > 18.
Non credible test performance is prevalent in disability claimants with affective, mood disorders. However, depressive symptoms per se do not explain poor effort on cognitive tasks.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Unplanned readmissions rates are an important indicator of the quality of care provided in a psychiatric unit. However, there is no validated risk model to predict this outcome in patients with psychotic spectrum disorders.
This paper aims to establish a clinical risk prediction model to predict 28-day unplanned readmission via the accident and emergency department after discharge from acute psychiatric units for patients with psychotic spectrum disorders.
Adult patients with psychotic spectrum disorders discharged within a 5-year period from all psychiatric units in Hong Kong were included in this study. Information on the socioeconomic background, past medical and psychiatric history, current discharge episode and Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) scores were used in a logistic regression to derive the risk model and the predictive variables. The sample was randomly split into two to derive (n = 10 219) and validate (n = 10 643) the model.
The rate of unplanned readmission was 7.09%. The risk factors for unplanned readmission include higher number of previous admissions, comorbid substance misuse, history of violence and a score of one or more in the discharge HoNOS overactivity or aggression item. Protective factors include older age, prescribing clozapine, living with family and relatives after discharge and imposition of conditional discharge. The model had moderate discriminative power with a c-statistic of 0.705 and 0.684 on the derivation and validation data-set.
The risk of readmission for each patient can be identified and adjustments in the treatment for those with a high risk may be implemented to prevent this undesirable outcome.
Low socioeconomic status (SES) has been established as a risk factor for poor mental health; however, the relationship between SES and mental health problems can be confounded by genetic and environmental factors in standard regression analyses and observational studies of unrelated individuals. In this study, we used a within-pair twin design to control for unmeasured genetic and environmental confounders in investigating the association between SES and psychological distress. We also employed within–between pair regression analysis to assess whether the association was consistent with causality. SES was measured using the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD), income and the Australian Socioeconomic Index 2006 (AUSEI06); psychological distress was measured using the Kessler 6 Psychological Distress Scale (K6). Data were obtained from Twins Research Australia’s Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire (2014–2017), providing a maximum sample size of 1395 pairs. Twins with higher AUSEI06 scores had significantly lower K6 scores than their co-twins after controlling for shared genetic and environmental traits (βW [within-pair regression coefficient] = −0.012 units, p = .006). Twins with higher income had significantly lower K6 scores than their co-twins after controlling for familial confounders (βW = −0.182 units, p = .002). There was no evidence of an association between the IRSD and K6 scores within pairs (βW, p = .6). Using a twin design to eliminate the effect of potential confounders, these findings further support the association between low SES and poor mental health, reinforcing the need to address social determinants of poor mental health, in addition to interventions targeted to individuals.
Background: We assessed long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functioning in adults receiving onabotulinumtoxinA for CM. Methods: Interim analysis of multicentre, prospective, observational study in adults naïve to botulinum toxin (NCT02502123). Mean change from baseline in Migraine-Specific Quality of Life (MSQ) score (primary); healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and work productivity (secondary) assessed in patients receiving 4 of 7 onabotulinumtoxinA treatments (Tx4; ~10 months). Results: Across treatments (baseline, n=196, post-Tx2, n=173, post-Tx4, n=137), the mean (SD) between-session interval and onabotulinumtoxinA dose was 13.1 weeks and 170.4 (17.2) U, respectively. MSQ scores increased significantly (P<0.0001) (baseline to post-Tx4; all role function domains). Patient percentages declined from baseline to post-Tx2 and post-Tx4 for emergency room visits (17.3%; 9.3%; 6.6%), hospital admissions (3.6%; 2.9%; 1.5%), and headache-related diagnostic testing (35.9%; 15.9%; 8.1%). The percentages of patients employed at baseline (73.5%) and post-Tx4 (72.3%) were similar. Hours worked increased slightly from baseline to post-Tx4 (28.0 [SD=15.4]; 29.4 [SD=16.0]). Headache-related missed work hours decreased (5.9 [SD=9.5]; 2.5 [SD=5.9]). Patients reported less headache-related impact on work productivity from baseline to post-Tx4 (5.4 [SD=2.1] vs 3.9 [SD=2.6]) and ability to perform daily activities (6.1 [SD=2.1] vs 4.2 [SD=2.8]). Conclusions: OnabotulinumtoxinA for CM improved HRQoL and work productivity and reduced HRU.
Mastitis is a costly disease and in many areas of the world, these costs have been quantified to support farmers in their decision making with regard to prevention of mastitis. Although for subsaharan circumstances estimates have been made for the costs of subclinical mastitis (SCM), farm-specific cost estimations comprising both clinical mastitis (CM) and SCM are lacking. In this paper, we quantified failure costs of both CM and SCM on 150 Ethiopian market-oriented dairy farms keeping Holstein Friesian × Zebu breed cows. Data about CM were collected by face-to-face interviews and the prevalence of SCM was estimated for each farm using the California mastitis test. All other relevant information needed to calculate the failure costs, such as the consequences of mastitis and price levels, was collected during the farm visits, except for the parameter for milk production losses due to SCM, which was based on literature estimates and subjected to sensitivity analyses. The average total failure costs of mastitis was estimated to be 4 765 Ethiopian Birr (ETB) (1 ETB = 0.0449 USD) per farm per year of which SCM contributed 54% of the costs. The average total failure costs per lactating cow per farm per year were 1 961 ETB, with a large variation between farms (range 0 to 35 084 ETB). This large variation in failure costs between farms was mainly driven by variation in incidence of CM and prevalence of SCM. Milk production losses made the largest contribution (80%), whereas culling contributed 13% to 17% to the total failure costs. In our estimates, costs of veterinary services, drugs, discarded milk and labour made a minor contribution to the total failure costs of mastitis. Relative to the income of dairy farmers in North Western Ethiopia; the total failure costs of mastitis are high. In general, Ethiopian farmers are aware of the negative consequences of CM, but creating awareness of the high costs of SCM and showing large variation between farmers may be instrumental in motivating farmers to also take preventive measures for SCM.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.