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Journal article

Failure and delay in treatment-seeking across anxiety disorders

Authors:
JOHNSON Emily M., COLES Meredith E.
Journal article citation:
Community Mental Health Journal, 49(6), 2013, pp.668-674.
Publisher:
Springer

Anxiety disorders are a significant mental health problem. Despite the availability of effective treatments most sufferers do not seek help. The current study assesses delays in treatment-seeking, failure to seek treatment, and reasons for delaying treatment for individuals with anxiety disorders. Data were drawn from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiological Surveys including 3,805 participants and analyses focused on treatment-seeking variables. Results indicate that individuals with anxiety disorders are less likely to seek treatment from a professional and more likely to experience delays in obtaining both any treatment, and effective treatment, than individuals with other forms of mental illness (in this case unipolar depression or substance use disorders). Deficits in mental health literacy (knowledge and beliefs about mental illness) were commonly endorsed as reasons for having delayed seeking treatment. The current study highlights the importance of improving knowledge about anxiety disorders to improve treatment-seeking. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Quantifying violence in mental health research

Authors:
HARRIS Stephanie T., OAKLEY Clare, PICCHIONI Marco
Journal article citation:
Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(6), 2013, p.695–701.
Publisher:
Elsevier

Research into mental illness and its relationship with violence has been constrained by inconsistencies in the definition and measurement of violent behaviour. The author conducted a systematic literature search of Scopus, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and Ovid Medline with search terms relating to the measurement, rating and quantification of violent behaviour in mentally disordered populations. The authors identified nine tools designed to assess violence and critically evaluated them. Broadly, measurement tools tended to focus on multiple, but different, facets of violence, which included: severity of act, severity of outcome, frequency and intent, with each suggested as a valid outcome measure for violent acts. The use of multiple sources of information to inform assessment appears to provide detail; however, that detail is then often diluted as a result of dichotomisation of sample groups. This presents methodological challenges for the field. Future studies should give consideration to the trade-off between preserving the richness of data and the difficulties associated with recruiting large patient samples. Studies should move from simply defining violence towards quantification across different dimensions of violence and using multiple sources of information. Abbreviations: MOAS, Modified Overt Aggression Scale; LHA, Lifetime History of Aggression scale; QOVS, Quantification of Violence Scale; CVS, Crime and Violence Scale; Attacks, Attempted and Actual Assault Scale; VAS, Visual Analogue Scale (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Test-retest reliability of PsyCheck: a mental health screening tool for substance use treatment clients

Authors:
JENNER Linda, et al
Journal article citation:
Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 6(4), 2013, pp.168-175.
Publisher:
Emerald

The PsyCheck screening tool was designed for use by non-mental health specialists to detect common mental health problems. In order to examine the test-retest reliability of the PsyCheck screening tool, 50 drug users in Melbourne were given the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ; PsyCheck version) in their first three months of treatment at two time points, between five and nine days apart. The results suggest that the SRQ (PsyCheck version) has good test-retest reliability and confirms that the SRQ (PsyCheck) is a stable and reliable instrument for use within drug treatment settings. The implications of the use of screening tools not validated within alcohol and drug treatment setting are discussed. (Edited publisher abstract)

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Patient suicide: the impact of service changes: a UK wide study

Author:
NATIONAL CONFIDENTIAL INQUIRY INTO SUICIDE AND HOMICIDE BY PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Publisher:
University of Manchester
Publication year:
2013
Pagination:
18
Place of publication:
Manchester

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH) aimed to examine the relationship between mental health service changes and patient suicide rates in the UK. The specific objectives were to investigate: the take up of service changes over time; the association between the number of service changes implemented and suicide rates; the association between service changes and suicide rates before and after their implementation; and the effect of individual service changes on specific patient sub-groups. A detailed service questionnaire was sent to all mental health services in the UK. Questions related to whether specific policies or service changes had been implemented. 17 recommendations and service changes were selected for consideration, reflecting their clinical and policy importance. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Factors affecting attitude towards seeking professional help for mental illness: a UK Arab perspective

Authors:
HAMID Aseel, FURNHAM Adrian
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Religion and Culture, 16(7), 2013, pp.741-758.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This study examined various factors affecting attitude towards seeking professional psychological help (ATSPPH) in Arabs living in the UK: causal beliefs, shame-focused attitudes, confidentiality concerns, ethnic identity and demographic variables. Participants completed an online questionnaire and results indicated that Arabs showed significantly less positive ATSPPH and had stronger causal beliefs in supernatural and non-Western physiology than British Caucasians. Confidentiality concerns, but not shame-focused attitudes were significant predictors of ATSPPH; confidentiality concerns were more significant for Arabs than for British Caucasians. Implications are drawn from the results. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Animal magic

Author:
ALLEN Daniel
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Today, July/August 2013, pp.12-13.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

The therapeutic benefits of animals to people with mental ill health is increasingly being recognised and becoming a more common part of services. This article describes the benefits and briefly reports on the work of Critterish Allsorts, and independent animal assisted therapy and education service provider in the UK. (Original abstract)

Journal article

Do maternal and paternal mental illness and substance abuse predict treatment outcomes for children exposed to violence?

Authors:
RISSER Heather J., et al
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 19(3), 2013, pp.217-220.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This study examined whether having a parent with a mental illness or a parent who abuses substances predicts treatment outcomes for children receiving community-based services for exposure to violence. From 2001 to 2011, data were collected from 492 children from one-and-a-half to seven years old and their primary caregivers enrolled in Safe From the Start services. Results indicated significant improvements pre-intervention to post-intervention in child emotional and behavioural problems, as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). One-way bivariate analyses indicated that children of mothers or fathers with a mental illness and children of mothers who abused substances had higher CBCL scores at intake. Repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed a main effect such that maternal and paternal mental illness and maternal substance abuse were associated with poorer CBCL scores. The only parental risk factor to moderate the association between treatment and CBCL scores was paternal mental illness. Treatment was associated with greater improvement in CBCL scores for children of fathers with, relative to those without, mental illness, and the effect was due to higher CBCL scores at intake for children of fathers with mental illness rather than lower outcome scores. Results suggest that Safe From the Start services which provide early intervention can be effective in improving children's emotional and behavioural functioning. Additionally, the effectiveness of services appears to be robust to parental risk factors such as mental illness and substance abuse.

Journal article

Recovery capital: what enables a sustainable recovery from mental health difficulties?

Author:
TEW Jerry
Journal article citation:
European Journal of Social Work, 16(3), 2013, pp.360-374.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

There is increasing international interest in recovery approaches in mental health; and this connects with an emerging focus within European social work around promoting capability and sustainability. Research at a population level would suggest that social factors rather than medical interventions are the main determinants of recovery from mental health difficulties. However, this is not yet reflected in social work practice, which can still be dominated by biomedical perspectives and a focus on risk management. Drawing upon and extending analyses of social and other forms of capital, this paper outlines the basis for a new paradigm for mental health social work that is specifically oriented towards enabling the development of personal efficacy and social capability. Such an approach is explicitly focused on achieving longer-term sustainability rather than shorter-term problem solving. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Toward the integration of neuroscience and clinical social work

Author:
MONTGOMERY Arlene
Journal article citation:
Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, 27(3), 2013, pp.333-339.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This article reviews recent findings in neuroscience in light of the history of social work, the scientific support for clinical social work interventions, and the challenges of integrating neuroscience into academic and practice settings. Illustrations of several critical neurophysiological underpinnings of important clinical phenomena are described, including disorders of personality, defence mechanisms, attachment styles, and the close relationship between ego functions and right hemisphere functions. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

DSM-5 and the general definition of personality disorder

Author:
WAKEFIELD Jerome C.
Journal article citation:
Clinical Social Work Journal, 41(2), 2013, pp.168-183.
Publisher:
Springer
Place of publication:
New York

There is a fundamental change proposed for DSM-5 in the general definition of personality disorder, representing a new conceptualisation that shapes how the DSM distinguishes personality pathology from other undesirable or negative personality features. The change is needed due to serious deficiencies in the current DSM-IV approach. Specifically, personality disorder is to be conceptualised as impairment in both self organisation and interpersonal relating, caused by pathological (extreme) personality traits. This represents progress in that marked impairment in self organisation and interpersonal relating are plausibly characteristic of personality disorder. However, the required level of impairment remains too low, and the kinds of impairment are not restricted to those which indicate disorder versus culturally undesirable features. Moreover, extreme traits are neither necessary nor sufficient for personality disorder because personality represents not the sum of traits but the holistic organisation of traits and other meanings. The DSM-5’s diagnostic focus on traits thus potentially opens the way to massive false positive diagnoses. An earlier proposal to reframe personality disorders using global similarity matching of the patient’s condition to prototypical descriptions of specific personality disorders is argued to also lead toward less valid diagnoses. (Publisher abstract)

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