Psychiatry - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 152
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Secure attachment primes reduce fear consolidation
    Toumbelekis, M ; Liddell, BJ ; Bryant, RA (WILEY, 2021-05-05)
    BACKGROUND: Recent studies have found that attachment security primes can inhibit fear acquisition. This current study aimed to examine whether a brief imaginal prime of one's attachment figure could impact on fear consolidation. METHODS: A total of 75 participants underwent fear conditioning on Day 1 and fear recall was tested on Day 2. Immediately following conditioning, half the participants were instructed to imagine an attachment figure while the other half imagined a nonattachment positive situation. Fear-potentiated startle and subjective expectancy of shock ratings were used as the measures of fear learning across trials. RESULTS: The attachment group showed significantly lower levels of fear recall on Day 2 at both physiological and subjective levels. Furthermore, this effect was moderated by attachment anxiety, such that it was greatest for individuals who were securely attached. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that attachment relationships are protective during the consolidation of fear memories, and may have implications for how social attachments may impact how anxiety disorders can develop.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Investigating neural circuits of emotion regulation to distinguish euthymic patients with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.
    Rai, S ; Griffiths, K ; Breukelaar, IA ; Barreiros, AR ; Chen, W ; Boyce, P ; Hazell, P ; Foster, S ; Malhi, GS ; Bryant, RA ; Harris, AWF ; Korgaonkar, MS (Wiley, 2021-05)
    BACKGROUND: Up to 40% of patients with bipolar disorder (BD) are initially diagnosed as having major depressive disorder (MDD), and emotional lability is a key aspect of both sets of mood disorders. However, it remains unknown whether differences in the regulation of emotions through cognitive reappraisal may serve to distinguish BD and MDD. Therefore, we examined this question in euthymic BD and MDD patients. METHODS: Thirty-eight euthymic BD, 33 euthymic MDD and 37 healthy control (HC) participants, matched for age, gender and depression severity, engaged in an emotion regulation (ER) cognitive reappraisal task during an fMRI scan were examined. Participants either reappraised (Think condition) or passively watched negative (Watch condition) or neutral (Neutral condition) pictures and rated their affect. Activation and connectivity analyses were used to examine group differences in reappraisal (Think vs Watch) and reactivity (Watch vs Neutral) conditions in ER-specific neural circuits. RESULTS: Irrespective of group, participants rated most negatively the images during the Watch condition relative to Think and Neutral conditions, and more negatively to Think relative to Neutral. Notably, BD participants exhibited reduced subgenual anterior cingulate activation (sgACC) relative to MDD during reappraisal, but exhibited greater sgACC activation relative to MDD during reactivity, whereas MDD participants elicited greater activation in right amygdala relative to BD during reactivity. We found no group differences in task-related connectivity. CONCLUSIONS: Euthymic BD and MDD patients engage differential brain regions to process and regulate emotional information. These differences could serve to distinguish the clinical groups and provide novel insights into the underlying pathophysiology of BD.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Emerging experience with selected new categories in the ICD-11: complex PTSD, prolonged grief disorder, gaming disorder, and compulsive sexual behaviour disorder.
    Reed, GM ; First, MB ; Billieux, J ; Cloitre, M ; Briken, P ; Achab, S ; Brewin, CR ; King, DL ; Kraus, SW ; Bryant, RA (Wiley, 2022-06)
    Among the important changes in the ICD-11 is the addition of 21 new mental disorders. New categories are typically proposed to: a) improve the usefulness of morbidity statistics; b) facilitate recognition of a clinically important but poorly classified mental disorder in order to provide appropriate management; and c) stimulate research into more effective treatments. Given the major implications for the field and for World Health Organization (WHO) member states, it is important to examine the impact of these new categories during the early phase of the ICD-11 implementation. This paper focuses on four disorders: complex post-traumatic stress disorder, prolonged grief disorder, gaming disorder, and compulsive sexual behaviour disorder. These categories were selected because they have been the focus of considerable activity and/or controversy and because their inclusion in the ICD-11 represents a different decision than was made for the DSM-5. The lead authors invited experts on each of these disorders to provide insight into why it was considered important to add it to the ICD-11, implications for care of not having that diagnostic category, important controversies about adding the disorder, and a review of the evidence generated and other developments related to the category since the WHO signaled its intention to include it in the ICD-11. Each of the four diagnostic categories appears to describe a population with clinically important and distinctive features that had previously gone unrecognized as well as specific treatment needs that would otherwise likely go unmet. The introduction of these categories in the ICD-11 has been followed by a substantial expansion of research in each area, which has generally supported their validity and utility, and by a significant increase in the availability of appropriate services.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    A critical review of mechanisms of adaptation to trauma: Implications for early interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder.
    Bryant, RA (Elsevier BV, 2021-04)
    Although many attempts have been made to limit development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by early intervention after trauma exposure, these attempts have achieved only modest success. This review critiques the biological and cognitive strategies used for early intervention and outlines the extent to which they have prevented PTSD. The major predictors of PTSD are reviewed, with an emphasis on potential mechanisms that may underpin the transition from acute stress reaction to development of PTSD. This review highlights that there is a wide range of biological and cognitive factors that have been shown to predict PTSD. Despite this, the major attempts at early intervention have focused on strategies that attempt to augment extinction processes or alter appraisals in the acute period. The documented predictors of PTSD indicate that a broader range of potential strategies could be explored to limit PTSD. The evidence that people follow different trajectories of stress response following trauma and there is a wide array of acute predictors of PTSD indicates that a flexible and tailored approach needs to be investigated to evaluate more effective early intervention strategies.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Course and predictors of posttraumatic stress and depression longitudinal symptom profiles in refugees: A latent transition model
    Lenferink, LIM ; Liddell, BJ ; Byrow, Y ; O'Donnell, M ; Bryant, RA ; Mau, V ; McMahon, T ; Benson, G ; Nickerson, A (PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2021-12-18)
    Exposure to potentially traumatic events and post-migration living difficulties (PMLDs) may explain the high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in resettled refugees. Latent class analyses (LCAs) in refugees have identified subgroups that differ in symptom profiles of PTSD and comorbid symptoms. However, knowledge on longitudinal symptom profiles in refugees is sparse. Examining longitudinal PTSD and depression symptom profiles could provide information on risk factors underlying worsening of symptoms post-resettlement. Self-rated PTSD (Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale) and depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) symptoms were assessed among 613 refugees who had resettled in Australia up to two years previously (W1) and at 6 months follow-up (W2). PTSD and depression symptom profiles were identified using LCAs for W1 and W2 separately. Latent transition analysis was used to examine (predictors of) changes in symptom profiles, including gender, age, trauma exposure, and PMLDs. Four classes were identified that were consistent across timepoints: a No symptoms (W1 61%; W2 68%), Low PTSD/Moderate depression (W1 16%; W2 10%), Moderate PTSD/depression (W1 16%; W2 14%), and High symptoms class (W1 7%; W2 7%). Higher levels of problems with PMLDs, including being discrimination and family separation, predicted movements out of the No symptom class at W1 to classes with psychopathology at W2. To conclude, most participants did not develop PTSD or depression symptoms. The risk of developing these symptoms seems higher when problems with interpersonal PMLDs increased, pointing to the need for considering these stressors when addressing the mental health needs in this population.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Pathways to mental health care in active military populations across the Five-Eyes nations: An integrated perspective.
    Fikretoglu, D ; Sharp, M-L ; Adler, AB ; Bélanger, S ; Benassi, H ; Bennett, C ; Bryant, R ; Busuttil, W ; Cramm, H ; Fear, N ; Greenberg, N ; Heber, A ; Hosseiny, F ; Hoge, CW ; Jetly, R ; McFarlane, A ; Morganstein, J ; Murphy, D ; O'Donnell, M ; Phelps, A ; Richardson, DJ ; Sadler, N ; Schnurr, PP ; Smith, P ; Ursano, R ; Hooff, MV ; Wessely, S ; Forbes, D ; Pedlar, D (Elsevier BV, 2022-02)
    Military service is associated with increased risk of mental health problems. Previous reviews have pointed to under-utilization of mental health services in military populations. Building on the most recent systematic review, our narrative, critical review takes a complementary approach and considers research across the Five-Eyes nations from the past six years to update and broaden the discussion on pathways to mental healthcare in military populations. We find that at a broad population level, there is improvement in several indicators of mental health care access, with greater gains in initial engagement, time to first treatment contact, and subjective satisfaction with care, and smaller gains in objective indicators of adequacy of care. Among individual-level barriers to care-seeking, there is progress in improving recognition of need for care and reducing stigma concerns. Among organizational-level barriers, there are advances in availability of services and cultural acceptance of care-seeking. Other barriers, such as concerns around confidentiality, career impact, and deployability persist, however, and may account for some remaining unmet need. To address these barriers, new initiatives that are more evidence-based, theoretically-driven, and culturally-sensitive, are therefore needed, and must be rigorously evaluated to ensure they bring about additional improvements in pathways to care.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Dropout from guideline-recommended psychological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis
    Varker, T ; Jones, KA ; Arjmand, HA ; Hinton, M ; Hiles, SA ; Freijah, I ; Forbes, D ; Kartal, D ; Phelps, A ; Bryant, RA ; McFarlane, A ; Hopwood, M ; O'Donnell, M (Elsevier BV, 2021-04-01)
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The Network Structure of ICD-11 Disorders Specifically Associated with Stress: Adjustment Disorder, Prolonged Grief Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    Karatzias, T ; Knefel, M ; Maercker, A ; Cloitre, M ; Reed, G ; Bryant, RA ; Ben-Ezra, M ; Kazlauskas, E ; Jowett, S ; Shevlin, M ; Hyland, P (KARGER, 2022-03-28)
    INTRODUCTION: The ICD-11 includes a new grouping for "disorders specifically associated with stress" that contains revised descriptions of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorder (AjD) and new diagnoses in the form of complex PTSD (CPTSD) and prolonged grief disorder (PGD). These disorders are similar in that they each require a life event for the diagnosis; however, they have not yet been assessed together for validity within the same sample. We set out to test the distinctiveness of the four main ICD-11 stress disorders using a network analysis approach. METHODS: A population-based, cross-sectional design. A nationally representative sample of adults from the Republic of Ireland aged 18 years and older (N = 1,020) completed standardized measures of PTSD, CPTSD, AjD, and PGD. A network analysis was conducted at the symptom level. Outcome measures included the International Trauma Questionnaire, the Inventory of Complicated Grief, and the International Adjustment Disorder Questionnaire. RESULTS: Consistent with the taxonomic structure of the ICD-11, our results showed that although the four conditions clustered independently at the disorder level, the specific symptoms of PTSD, CPTSD, PGD, and AjD clustered together very strongly but more strongly than with symptoms of the other disorders. The majority (61%) of the variation in each symptom could be explained by its neighboring symptoms. The strongest transdiagnostically connecting symptom was "startle response." DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Mental health professionals caring for people who have experienced a range of stressors and traumatic life events can be confident in diagnosing these conditions that have clear diagnostic boundaries. Interventions addressing stress-associated disorders should be based on diagnostic assessment to ensure close fit between symptoms and treatment.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Effectiveness of a Videoconferencing-Delivered Psychological Intervention for Mental Health Problems during COVID-19: A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Clinical Trial
    Bryant, RA ; Dawson, KS ; Keyan, D ; Azevedo, S ; Yadav, S ; Tran, J ; Rawson, N ; Harvey, S (KARGER, 2021-12-07)
    INTRODUCTION: Anxiety and depression have increased markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a lack of evidence-based strategies to address these mental health needs during the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We aim to conduct a proof-of-concept trial of the efficacy of a brief group-based psychological intervention delivered via videoconferencing for adults in Australia distressed by the pandemic. METHODS: In this single-blind, parallel, randomised controlled trial, adults who screened positive for COVID-related psychological distress across Australia were randomly allocated to either a 6-session group-based program based on behavioural principles (n = 120) or enhanced usual care (EUC, n = 120). Primary outcome was total score on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS) anxiety and depression subscales assessed at baseline, 1 week posttreatment, 2 months (primary outcome time point), and 6 months after treatment, as well as secondary outcome measures of worry, sleep impairment, anhedonia, mood, and COVID-19-related stress. RESULTS: Between May 20, 2020, and October 20, 2020, 240 patients were enrolled into the trial. Relative to EUC, at 2 months participants receiving intervention showed greater reduction on anxiety (mean difference, 1.4 [95% CI, 0.3 to 2.6], p = 0.01; effect size, 0.4 [95% CI, 0.1 to 0.7]) and depression (mean difference, 1.6 [95% CI, 0.4 to 2.8], p = 0.009; effect size, 0.4 [95% CI, 0.2 to 0.7]) scales. These effects were maintained at 6 months. There were also greater reductions of worry, anhedonia, COVID-19-related fears, and contamination fears. CONCLUSIONS: This trial provides initial evidence that brief group-based behavioural intervention delivered via videoconferencing results in moderate reductions in common psychological problems arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program may offer a viable and scalable means to mitigate the rising mental health problems during the pandemic.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Residual posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms after provision of brief behavioral intervention in low- and middle-income countries: An individual-patient data meta-analysis
    Akhtar, A ; Koyiet, P ; Rahman, A ; Schafer, A ; Hamdani, SU ; Cuijpers, P ; Sijbrandij, M ; Bryant, RA (WILEY, 2021-11-09)
    BACKGROUND: To address shortages of mental health specialists in low- and middle-income countries, task-shifting approaches have been employed to train nonspecialists to deliver evidence-based scalable psychosocial interventions. Problem Management Plus (PM+) is a brief transdiagnostic nontrauma focused intervention for people affected by adversity. This study reports on the capacity of PM+ to address specific symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHODS: Individual patient data from three randomised controlled trials were combined and analysed to observe the impacts of PM+ (n = 738) or enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) (n = 742) interventions on specific PTSD symptoms at posttreatment and 3-month follow-up. The PTSD-Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) was used to index PTSD symptoms, and presence of each symptom was defined as moderate severity (score ≥ 2 on individual items). RESULTS: The average PCL-5 score at baseline was 26.1 (SD: 16.8) with 463 (31.3%) scoring above 33, indicative of a diagnosis of PTSD. Following intervention, 12.5% and 5.8% of participants retained a score greater than 33 at postassessment and follow-up, respectively. There was greater symptom reduction for PM+ than for ETAU for most symptoms. Hyperarousal symptoms were the most common residual symptoms after PM+, with more than 30% of participants reporting persistent sleep disturbance, concentration difficulties, and anger. CONCLUSION: PM+ led to greater reduction in symptoms relating to re-experiencing and avoidance. The evidence indicates that strategies focusing on hyperarousal symptoms including sleep, concentration, and anger difficulties, could be strengthened in this brief intervention.