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A framework for mental health research

Author:
GREAT BRITAIN. Department of Health
Publisher:
Great Britain. Department of Health
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
53
Place of publication:
London

This Framework provides a collective view of how mental health research should develop in the UK over the next decade and has been developed in response to a recommendation in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.It has been developed in collaboration with people who have mental health problems, academics in mental health research and research funders and sets out a structure to improve co-ordination and strengthen the focus on areas where mental health research is likely to translate into significant health benefit. The framework describes the impact mental health problems can have on individuals, its wider societal and economic consequences. It also explains the importance of mental health research in driving innovation in mental health care and provides case studies to illustrate the UK’s strengths in mental health research and the difference UK-based research has already made. In identifying the current barriers to mental health research in the UK and future research opportunities, the Framework highlights the importance of taking a life-course approach to mental health research; the value of involving of people with mental health problems; the need for securing closer integration of mental and physical health research to maximise research capacity. It provides ten recommendations to address the barriers and opportunities for UK mental health research. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Variation in rates of inpatient admissions and lengths of stay experienced by adults with learning disabilities in England

Authors:
JAMES Elaine, HATTON Chris, BROWN Mark
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 22(4), 2017, pp.211-217.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse rates of inpatient admissions for people with learning disabilities in England and to identify factors associated with higher rates of inpatient admission. Design/methodology/approach: Secondary analysis of data submitted as part of the Transforming Care programme in England. Findings: 2,510 people with learning disabilities in England were inpatients on 31st March 2016. Findings indicate that people with learning disabilities are at risk of higher rate of inpatient admission than can be explained by prevalence within the general population; this risk may be associated with areas where there are higher numbers of inpatient settings which provide assessment and treatment for people with learning disabilities. Research limitations/implications: Variability in the quality of the data submitted by commissioners across the 48 Transforming Care Plan areas mean that greater attention needs to be paid to determining the validity of the common reporting method. This would improve the quality of data and insight from any future analysis. Practical implications: The study’s findings are consistent with the hypothesis that geographical variations in the risk of people with learning disabilities being admitted to inpatient services are not consistent with variations in prevalence rates for learning disability. The findings support the hypothesis that building alternatives to inpatient units should impact positively on the numbers of learning disabled people who are able to live independent lives. Originality/value: This is the first study which examines the data which commissioners in England have reported to NHS England on the experience of people with learning disabilities who are admitted as inpatients and to report on the possible factors which result in higher rates of inpatient admission. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Inclusion/exclusion criteria in late life depression antidepressant efficacy trials

Authors:
ZIMMERMAN Mark, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 32(9), 2017, pp.1009-1016.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objective: The generalisability of antidepressant efficacy trials (AETs) has been questioned. No studies have examined the inclusion/exclusion criteria used in placebo-controlled studies of late life depression and compared them to the criteria used in non-late life AETs. Method: The authors conducted a comprehensive literature review of placebo-controlled AETs published from January, 1995 through December, 2014. They compared the inclusion/exclusion criteria used in the 18 studies of late life depression to those used in non-late life depression. Results: There were nine inclusion/exclusion criteria that were used in more than half of the late life depression AETs: minimum severity on a symptom severity scale (100.0%), significant suicidal ideation (77.8%), psychotic features during the current episode of depression or history of a psychotic disorder (94.4%), history of bipolar disorder (77.8%), diagnosis of alcohol or drug abuse or dependence (83.3%), presence of a comorbid nondepressive, nonsubstance use Axis I disorder (55.6%), episode duration too short (66.7%), and an insufficient score on a cognitive screen (88.3%) or the presence of a cognitive disorder (55.6%). There were some differences between the late life and non-late life depression studies—use of a screening measure of cognitive functioning, presence of a cognitive disorder such as dementia, and the minimum depression severity cutoff score required at baseline. Conclusions: The inclusion/exclusion criteria in AETs of late life depression were generally similar to the criteria used in non-late life depression (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Differential association between unemployment status and mental health among veterans and civilians

Authors:
TRAN Thanh V., CANFIELD Julie, CHAN Keith Tsz-Kit
Journal article citation:
Social Work in Mental Health, 15(4), 2017, pp.419-434.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This study aims to examine the negative effect of unemployment on mental health among 2,762 veterans and 45,095 civilians aged 18 to 50 years. The data were from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. The study used ordinary least squares regression to test the interaction association between employment status and veteran/civilian status with mental health status. Findings revealed that long-term unemployed veterans had a significantly greater number of days with poor mental health than long-term unemployed civilians. The study highlights the need for future research concerning the negative effects of long-term unemployment on veterans’ mental health as well as the reciprocal relationships between mental health and occupational functioning for veterans. The findings challenge researchers to question the meanings that are associated with employment status for veterans as compared to those of their civilian peers. In addition to this, the study raises the need for further exploration into the topics of identity, self-perception, and the notion often present in the military/veteran culture that there is 'dignity in labour.' (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Introduction to the research on: the effectiveness of supported housing and accommodation for people with mental health problems

Authors:
HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
Publisher:
National Development Team for Inclusion
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
17
Place of publication:
Bristol

A short scoping review of research into the effectiveness of supported housing and accommodation for people with mental health problems aimed at practitioners who work with people with mental health problems. For the review, searches were carried out on organisational websites and a range of databases, including Social Care Online, for UK based research published from 2000. The document provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 20 studies reviewed with their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review finds that various models of community-based supported housing have been associated with a range of positive outcomes for people with mental health problems. These include: improved quality of life, more extensive social networks, social inclusion, reduced negative symptoms, increased participation in work and education, increased autonomy, improved self-esteem and happiness, reduced challenging behaviour, increased confidence, and relapse prevention. However, there is less known about the factors which lead to these outcomes and the characteristics that make the most effective types of support. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Employment and mental health

Authors:
KHAN Masood, BOARDMAN Jed
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
32
Place of publication:
London

This report focus on mental health and employment, examining the recent national initiatives and policies and the key arguments for improving the access of people with mental health conditions to the labour market, and setting out key priorities and future prospects. The paper suggests that as well as offering a number of social, health and economic benefits, strong moral and human rights arguments can be put forward to support the creation of employment opportunities for people with mental health problems. The paper highlights a number of approaches to improving employment support, focusing in particular on the following themes: the importance of work and employment for personal recovery; the value of approaching treatment and employment support in parallel; the importance of a clear social perspective on health and social interventions in medical training and in the training of psychiatrists; the need for an integrated approach to employment support; the implementation of evidence-based approaches to supported employment; the clarification of the role of mental health in occupational health services; the importance of primary care services; the importance of valuing people’s lived experience of mental health problems; the development of a clear perspective on public mental health and employment; and the need to define the role of commissioning in improving employment opportunities for people with mental health problems. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article Full text available online for free

The role of shame in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia

Authors:
KEEN Nadine, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56(2), 2017, pp.115-129.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objectives: To examine the role of shame and its relationship to depression in schizophrenia. It was predicted that individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia would exhibit higher levels of shame due to the stigma associated with their diagnosis, independently of depression levels, compared with psychiatric and medical control groups. Design: Cross-sectional design with three groups: individuals with a diagnosis of (1) schizophrenia, (2) depression, and (3) rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Sixty individuals participated in the study (20 per group). Groups were compared on questionnaires assessing external shame, trait shame and guilt, and depression. Results: The pattern of group differences depended on the type of shame measure used. Both the schizophrenia and depression groups exhibited higher levels of external shame, or seeing others as shaming, than the medical group. For individuals with schizophrenia, seeing others as shaming was associated with higher levels of depression, a relationship not found in either control group. They also showed lower levels of trait guilt and shame (at trend level), compared with both control groups. No difference was found between the groups on depression, suggesting that the observed differences were not attributable to differences in levels of depression. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of shame in schizophrenia, especially the link between seeing other people as shaming and depression, which was unique to this group. These results suggest that stigma associated with a diagnosis of mental illness, and schizophrenia in particular, has negative emotional consequences that may impede recovery, and should be addressed by psychological and social interventions. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Caregiver coping with the mentally ill: a qualitative study

Authors:
AZMAN Azlinda, SINGH Paramjit Singh Jamir, SULAIMAN Jamallundin
Journal article citation:
Journal of Mental Health, 26(2), 2017, pp.98-103.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare
Place of publication:
London

Background: Mental illness is a disease that affects millions of people every year. It not only causes stress to the mentally ill patients, but also for the family members who provide them the care. The family caregivers, therefore need some form of coping strategies in dealing with their mentally ill family members. Aims: This qualitative study aims at identifying and analysing the coping strategies adopted by the family caregivers in dealing with their mentally ill family members. Method: A total of 15 family caregivers from the state of Kedah, Malaysia participated in the face-to-face semi structured interview. Results: The study findings identified an array of coping strategies used by the family caregivers, including religious coping, emotional coping, acceptance, becoming engaged in leisure activities, and the use of traditional healing to help them cope with their mentally ill members. Suggestions and conclusions: Study suggests that the family caregivers should engage themselves in social support groups to learn about and obtain the positive coping strategies used by other caregivers who have similar experiences in caring for the mentally ill. Study also suggests that they should get appropriate training from the mental health professionals in order to enhance the caregivers’ coping skills. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Physical health and mental illness: listening to the voice of carers

Authors:
HAPPELL Brenda, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Mental Health, 26(2), 2017, pp.134-141.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare
Place of publication:
London

Background: Shortened life expectancy of people with mental illness is now widely known and the focus of research and policy activity. To date, research has primarily reflected perspectives of health professionals with limited attention to the views and opinions of those most closely affected. The voice of carers is particularly minimal, despite policy stipulating carer participation is required for mental health services. Aim: To present views and opinions of carers regarding physical health of the people they care for. Methods: Qualitative exploratory. Two focus groups and one individual interview were conducted with 13 people identifying as carers of a person with mental illness. Research was conducted in the Australian Capital Territory. Data analysis was based on the thematic framework of Braun and Clarke. Results: Two main themes were interaction between physical and mental health; and, carers’ own physical and mental health. Participants described the impact of mental illness and its treatments on physical health, including their own. Conclusions: Carers are acknowledged as crucial for the delivery of high quality mental health services. Therefore they have an important role to play in addressing the poor physical health of people with mental illness. Hearing their views and opinions is essential. (Publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Think ahead: social work poll

Author:
COMRES
Publisher:
ComRes
Publication year:
2017
Pagination:
8
Place of publication:
London

Reports on the results of an online survey of 2,033 of British adults which asked about the role of social workers in providing support for people with mental health problems. The survey also asked about the type of support people thought social workers could provide for people with severe mental health problems and professionals involved in deciding whether someone could be detained under the Mental Health Act. Results included that only 41 per cent of those surveyed thought of social workers as important providers of mental health support, whereas 69 per cent identified psychiatrists and 65 per cent identified GPs. (Edited publisher abstract)

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