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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 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

Understanding depression from different paradigms: toward an eclectic social work approach

Authors:
HUANG Yu-Te, FANG Lin
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Social Work, 46(3), 2016, pp.756-772.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Depression is a significant mental health issue that many social workers encounter in their practice. There is great deal of theoretical and empirical knowledge concerning depression that stems from different paradigms. In this paper, the authors argue for the importance of understanding depression from four paradigms, post-positivism, social constructivism, critical theory and Eastern paradigm, and they illuminate how depression would be known and dealt with by these paradigmatic approaches. Given multiple paradigms available in understanding depression, the authors argue that social workers need to have the ability to appreciate and discern these different paradigms. Such ability can help strengthen social work practice. The authors further illustrate an eclectic approach that not only allows social workers to recognise the utilities and limitations of different paradigms, but also enables them to be dynamic, effectively addressing a range of issues when working with a service user who has depression. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Young people's narratives of depression

Authors:
ISSAKAINEN Mervi, HANNINEN Vilma
Journal article citation:
Journal of Youth Studies, 19(2), 2016, pp.237-250.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This article reports on findings from a study, which aimed to gain insight into young people's depression as a part of their life course by analysing written accounts of 81 young Finnish people who self-identified as having been depressed. The participants’ accounts were seen as reflecting both their actual life and their narrative interpretations of it in relation to the prevailing normative conceptions regarding youth. The accounts can be grouped into four main story types. The story type referred to as growing up on a sidetrack depicts depression as having its origins in childhood adversities that hinder the realisation of normative goals. Falling off the track depicts how a young person's life can be derailed as a result of experiences that cause or exacerbate depression. In the story missing the track, depression is intertwined with one's experience of failure in meeting normative expectations, whereas the story questioning the track features the problematisation of such expectations. The results underscore the importance of tackling different adverse conditions in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in a timely fashion, as well as the importance of therapy, counselling and guidance, which help young people to manage difficulties and depression in their life. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article Full text available online for free

Late life depression: a historical perspective upon a maturing field of inquiry

Author:
BLAZER Dan G.
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 18(5), 2014, pp.538-539.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

In this editorial, the author reviews the findings of seven studies on the topic of late life depression and compares these studies with the state of the field in terms of empirical research when he wrote his 1982 book. (Original abstract)

Journal article

Researching the mental health status of asylum seekers: reflections and suggestions for practice

Authors:
BERNARDES Dora, WRIGHT John, LIVINGSTONE Andrew G.
Journal article citation:
Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, 9(3), 2012, pp.201-208.
Publisher:
Insight Medical Publishing

This study investigated aspects of the mental health of asylum seekers who had recently arrived in the UK. It used the Post-Migration Living Difficulties Scale, the Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 Scale, the PTSD Symptom Scale Interview, the Clinical Outcomes Routine Evaluation and in-depth interviews. A total of 29 asylum seekers, 26 of whom were male, representing 13 countries, agreed to take part. Findings revealed that the participants all experienced a feeling of fear and sadness about the uncertainty of their application for asylum, while fear of deportation affected their ability to carry out activities of daily life. Social support was deemed essential in helping them cope with these difficulties. The paper ends with some reflections on the challenges that arose during the investigation, and presents recommendations to help other researchers undertaking similar research.

Digital Media Full text available online for free

Mindreel

Authors:
IRISS, et al
Publisher:
IRISS

MindReel is an initiative to create a learning resource using educational films that address a wide range of mental health issues. The website includes a range of films presented along with supporting educational materials and contextual information. MindReel is freely available to all, without the need to register. The MindReel project is led by IRISS with University of Strathclyde supported by partners of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Journal article

Brief report: excessive alcohol use negatively affects the course of adolescent depression: one year naturalistic follow-up study

Authors:
MERIRINNE Esa, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Adolescence, 33(1), February 2010, pp.221-226.
Publisher:
Academic Press

In this study, the researchers aimed to clarify the impact of the core alcohol use phenomenon of drunkenness-oriented drinking, in terms of weekly drunkenness, on the course of adolescent unipolar depression and psychosocial functioning, in a 1 year follow-up study of depressed adolescent patients referred from schools, health care centres and social and family counselling services to adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinics in Finland. The authors conclude that excessive alcohol use (defined as weekly drunkenness) seems to negatively affect the course of depressive symptoms and, even after a year, psychosocial functioning, and that treatments designed to reduce alcohol use seem to be justified along with depression treatment, but that intervention studies are needed to evaluate the best approach.

Journal article

Impact of social support on cognitive symptom burden in HIV/AIDS

Authors:
ATKINS Jana H., et al
Journal article citation:
AIDS Care, 22(7), July 2010, pp.793-802.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

As many as 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS report cognitive difficulties, which can be associated with objective neuropsychological impairments and depression. A number of studies have demonstrated an association between higher social support and lower rates of depression. This study examined the role social support may play in attenuating the effects of both neuropsychological status and depression on cognitive difficulties. A cross-sectional survey of 357 adult men with HIV in Toronto, Canada completed a battery of neuropsychological tests, questionnaires about cognitive difficulties and depression, and an interview that included an assessment of perceived level of social support. A multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that higher levels of cognitive symptom burden were significantly associated with depression while lower levels of cognitive symptom burden were significantly associated with greater social support and higher level of education. There was a significant interaction between neuropsychological status and depression; the presence of neuropsychological impairment with depression was associated with higher levels of cognitive symptom burden. There was also a significant interaction between social support and depression. Interestingly, social support was also associated with a lower cognitive symptom burden for non-depressed individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The article concludes by discussing the clinical implications of these findings for promoting psychological well-being in persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Journal article

Untreated depression in the community

Authors:
ANDREWS Gavin, TITOV Nickolai, SCHWENCKE Genevieve
Journal article citation:
Psychiatric Bulletin, 33(11), November 2009, pp.407-408.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

There is a concern that, at a time of scarce resources, people will present with trivial disorders, and use resources needed for those with more disabling conditions. This Australian study recruited participants from the community for an internet-based treatment for social phobia. Applications were received from 789 people, and 205 were rejected because of severe depression or suicidal thoughts. Many were excluded because they had another disorder or were in treatment. Some dropped out, only 7 were subthreshold cases and 291 people with social phobia were treated. Despite easy access to clinicians, this study found a high level of unmet need for serious mental disorders.

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