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The utility of quality of life (QoL) as an outcome measure in youth-specific primary mental health care settings has yet to be determined. We aimed to determine: (i) whether heterogeneity on individual items of a QoL measure could be used to identify distinct groups of help-seeking young people; and (ii) the validity of these groups based on having clinically meaningful differences in demographic and clinical characteristics.
Young people, at their first presentation to one of five primary mental health services, completed a range of questionnaires, including the Assessment of Quality of Life–6 dimensions adolescent version (AQoL-6D). Latent class analysis (LCA) and multivariate multinomial logistic regression were used to define classes based on AQoL-6D and determine demographic and clinical characteristics associated with class membership.
1107 young people (12–25 years) participated. Four groups were identified: (i) no-to-mild impairment in QoL; (ii) moderate impairment across dimensions but especially mental health and coping; (iii) moderate impairment across dimensions but especially on the pain dimension; and (iv) poor QoL across all dimensions along with a greater likelihood of complex and severe clinical presentations. Differences between groups were observed with respect to demographic and clinical features.
Adding multi-attribute utility instruments such as the AQoL-6D to routine data collection in mental health services might generate insights into the care needs of young people beyond reducing psychological distress and promoting symptom recovery. In young people with impairments across all QoL dimensions, the need for a holistic and personalised approach to treatment and recovery is heightened.
Subjective cognitive difficulties are common in mental illness and have a negative impact on role functioning. Little is understood about subjective cognition and the longitudinal relationship with depression and anxiety symptoms in young people.
To examine the relationship between changes in levels of depression and anxiety and changes in subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months in help-seeking youth.
This was a cohort study of 656 youth aged 12–25 years attending Australian headspace primary mental health services. Subjective changes in cognitive functioning (rated as better, same, worse) reported after 3 months of treatment was assessed using the Neuropsychological Symptom Self-Report. Multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of baseline levels of and changes in depression (nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire; PHQ9) and anxiety symptoms (seven-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder scale; GAD7) on changes in subjective cognitive function at follow-up while controlling for covariates.
With a one-point reduction in PHQ9 at follow-up, there was an estimated 11–18% increase in ratings of better subjective cognitive functioning at follow-up, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A one-point increase in PHQ9 from baseline to follow-up was associated with 7–14% increase in ratings of worse subjective cognitive functioning over 3 months, relative to stable cognitive functioning. A similar attenuated pattern of findings was observed for the GAD7.
A clear association exists between subjective cognitive functioning outcomes and changes in self-reported severity of affective symptoms in young people over the first 3 months of treatment. Understanding the timing and mechanisms of these associations is needed to tailor treatment.
Approximately 25% of people will be affected by a mental disorder at some stage in their life. Despite the prevalence and negative impacts of mental disorders, many people are not diagnosed or do not receive adequate treatment. Therefore primary healthcare has been identified as essential to improving the delivery of mental healthcare. Consultation liaison is a model of mental healthcare where the primary care provider maintains the central role in the delivery of mental healthcare, with a mental health specialist providing consultative support. Consultation liaison has the potential to enhance the delivery of mental healthcare in the primary care setting and, in turn, improve outcomes for people with a mental disorder.
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.
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