Psychiatry - Research Publications

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    Intravenous midazolam-droperidol combination, droperidol or olanzapine monotherapy for methamphetamine-related acute agitation: subgroup analysis of a randomized controlled trial
    Yap, CYL ; Taylor, DM ; Knott, JC ; Taylor, SE ; Phillips, GA ; Karro, J ; Chan, EW ; Kong, DCM ; Castle, DJ (WILEY, 2017-07-01)
    AIM: To examine the efficacy and safety of (1) midazolam-droperidol versus droperidol and (2) midazolam-droperidol versus olanzapine for methamphetamine-related acute agitation. DESIGN AND SETTING: A multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, controlled, clinical trial was conducted in two Australian emergency departments, between October 2014 and September 2015. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred and sixty-one patients, aged 18-65 years, requiring intravenous medication sedation for acute agitation, were enrolled into this study. We report the results of a subgroup of 92 methamphetamine-affected patients. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Patients were assigned randomly to receive either an intravenous bolus of midazolam 5 mg-droperidol 5 mg combined, droperidol 10 mg or olanzapine 10 mg. Two additional doses were administered, if required: midazolam 5 mg, droperidol 5 mg or olanzapine 5 mg, respectively. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients sedated adequately at 10 minutes. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (ORs, 95% CI) were estimated. FINDINGS: The baseline characteristics of patients in the three groups were similar. At 10 minutes, significantly more patients in the midazolam-droperidol group [29 of 34 (85.3%)] were sedated adequately compared with the droperidol group [14 of 30 (46.7%), OR = 6.63, 95% CI = 2.02-21.78] or with the olanzapine group [14 of 28 (50.0%), OR 5.80, 95% CI = 1.74-19.33]. The number of patients who experienced an adverse event (AE) in the midazolam-droperidol, droperidol and olanzapine groups was seven of 34, two of 30 and six of 28, respectively. The most common AE was oxygen desaturation. CONCLUSION: A midazolam-droperidol combination appears to provide more rapid sedation of patients with methamphetamine-related acute agitation than droperidol or olanzapine alone.
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    A systematic review of visual processing and associated treatments in body dysmorphic disorder
    Beilharz, F ; Castle, DJ ; Grace, S ; Rossell, SL (WILEY, 2017-07-01)
    OBJECTIVE: Recent advances in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) have explored abnormal visual processing, yet it is unclear how this relates to treatment. The aim of this study was to summarize our current understanding of visual processing in BDD and review associated treatments. METHOD: The literature was collected through PsycInfo and PubMed. Visual processing articles were included if written in English after 1970, had a specific BDD group compared to healthy controls and were not case studies. Due to the lack of research regarding treatments associated with visual processing, case studies were included. RESULTS: A number of visual processing abnormalities are present in BDD, including face recognition, emotion identification, aesthetics, object recognition and gestalt processing. Differences to healthy controls include a dominance of detailed local processing over global processing and associated changes in brain activation in visual regions. Perceptual mirror retraining and some forms of self-exposure have demonstrated improved treatment outcomes, but have not been examined in isolation from broader treatments. CONCLUSION: Despite these abnormalities in perception, particularly concerning face and emotion recognition, few BDD treatments attempt to specifically remediate this. The development of a novel visual training programme which addresses these widespread abnormalities may provide an effective treatment modality.
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    Counting up the risks: How common are risk factors for morbidity and mortality in young people with psychosis?
    Hahn, LA ; Mackinnon, A ; Foley, DL ; Morgan, VA ; Waterreus, A ; Watts, GF ; Castle, DJ ; Liu, D ; Galletly, CA (WILEY, 2018-12-01)
    BACKGROUND: This study examined the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular (CV)-related morbidity and mortality in young people with psychosis aged 18 to 24 years. METHODS: The study included 132 people aged 18 to 24 years who participated in the 2010 second Australian national survey of people living with psychosis. The 2009 World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Risks report was used as a framework to determine which specific risk factors were present in each in these young people. The risk factors assessed in this study were smoking, alcohol use, hypertension, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, high blood glucose, high cholesterol and poor diet. Each risk factor was defined according to WHO criteria. A count of the total number of risk factors present for each participant was determined. Data for male and female participants were compared. RESULTS: Young men had an average of 2.9 (SD 1.2) risk factors. Young women had an average of 2.4 (SD 1.2) risk factors. The most common risk factors were low fruit and vegetable intake (77.9%), cigarette smoking (67.7%), overweight/obesity (55%) and physical inactivity (39.8%). There were no significant differences between men and women in the number of risk factors present, or the prevalence of individual risk factors. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that many of the risk factors that ultimately contribute to disability and premature death are present at an early age in people with psychosis. Preventive measures need to be an integral component of early intervention services for this client population to avert progression to serious CV morbidity and early mortality.
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    Correlates of physical activity in people living with psychotic illness
    Suetani, S ; Waterreus, A ; Morgan, V ; Foley, DL ; Galletly, C ; Badcock, JC ; Watts, G ; McKinnon, A ; Castle, D ; Saha, S ; Scott, JG ; McGrath, JJ (WILEY, 2016-08-01)
    OBJECTIVE: In the light of the high prevalence of physical comorbidities in people with psychotic illness, there is a need to explore modifiable risk factors that may contribute to this disease burden. The benefits of physical activity to both physical and mental health have been well established. We aimed to examine the prevalence and correlates of physical activity in a national sample of adults living with psychotic illness. METHODS: Physical activity was assessed in 1801 people using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Participants were dichotomised into low and moderate-high physical activity groups and associations between physical activity and a range of sociodemographic, clinical and physical comorbidity variables were examined using logistic regression. RESULTS: More than half the participants were categorised in the moderate-high physical activity group with nearly half of the sample engaged in physical activity every day. There were significant associations between low physical activity and older age, unemployment, educational non-participation, antipsychotic medication use, social dysfunction, self-reported loneliness and obesity. However, there was no significant association between physical activity and sex, psychosis type, illness duration, physical comorbidity or negative symptoms. CONCLUSION: The findings from this study may inform future interventions designed to increase physical activity in people with psychotic illness.
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    Individualised mindfulness-based stress reduction for head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy of curative intent: a descriptive pilot study
    Pollard, A ; Burchell, JL ; Castle, D ; Neilson, K ; Ftanou, M ; Corry, J ; Rischin, D ; Kissane, DW ; Krishnasamy, M ; Carlson, LE ; Couper, J (WILEY, 2017-03-01)
    People with head and neck cancer (HNC) experience elevated symptom toxicity and co-morbidity as a result of treatment, which is associated with poorer psychosocial and quality-of-life (QoL) outcomes. This Phase I study examined whether an individualised mindfulness-based stress reduction (IMBSR) programme could be successfully used with HNC patients undergoing curative treatment. Primary aims were to explore feasibility, compliance, acceptability and fidelity. Secondary aims were to determine whether (1) participation in the intervention was associated with changes in post-intervention mindfulness and (2) post-intervention mindfulness was associated with post-intervention distress and QoL. Nineteen HNC patients participated in a seven-session IMBSR programme with pre- and post-test outcome measures of psychological distress, depression, anxiety and QoL. Primary aims were assessed by therapists or participants. Mindfulness, distress and QoL were assessed using self-report questionnaires at pre- and post-intervention. Longer time spent meditating daily was associated with higher post-intervention mindfulness. After controlling for pre-intervention mindfulness, there was an association between higher post-intervention mindfulness and lower psychological distress and higher total, social and emotional QoL. This study offers important preliminary evidence than an IMBSR intervention can be administered to HNC patients during active cancer treatment. A randomised controlled trial is warranted to confirm these findings.
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    High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation in anorexia nervosa: A pilot study
    Phillipou, A ; Kirkovski, M ; Castle, DJ ; Gurvich, C ; Abel, LA ; Miles, S ; Rossell, SL (WILEY, 2019-08-21)
    OBJECTIVE: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition often associated with poor outcomes. Biologically informed treatments for AN, such as brain stimulation, are lacking, in part due to the unclear nature of the neurobiological contributions to the illness. However, recent research has suggested a specific neurobiological target for the treatment of AN, namely stimulation of the inferior parietal lobe (IPL). The aim of this study was to stimulate-noninvasively-the left IPL in individuals with AN using high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS). METHOD: Twenty participants will be randomized to receive 10 daily sessions of HD-tDCS or sham HD-tDCS (placebo). Assessments will be carried out at baseline and end point, as well as 4- and 12-week follow-ups. DISCUSSION: This pilot investigation will primarily determine the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention.
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    Risk Factors for Sedation-related Events During Acute Agitation Management in the Emergency Department
    Yap, CYL ; Taylor, DM ; Kong, DCM ; Knott, JC ; Taylor, SE ; Graudins, A ; Keijzers, G ; Kulawickrama, S ; Thom, O ; Lawton, L ; Furyk, J ; Finucci, DP ; Holdgate, A ; Watkins, G ; Jordan, P ; Phillips, GA ; Karro, J ; Chan, EW ; Castle, DJ ; Bird, SB (WILEY, 2019-07-24)
    OBJECTIVE: The objective was to describe the incidence, nature, and risk factors for adverse events (AEs) among patients who received parenteral sedation for acute agitation in an emergency department (ED) setting. METHODS: We undertook a prospective observational study and a clinical trial of parenteral sedation for the management of acute agitation. We included agitated adult patients who required parenteral sedation from 2014 to 2017 in 12 Australian EDs, excluding those with incomplete information or aged under 18 years. The primary outcome was the number of patients who experienced at least one AE. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with AEs. RESULTS: A total of 904 patients were included in the analyses (62.3% male; median age = 34 years, range = 18 to 95 years). Of these, 144 (15.9%) patients experienced at least one AE. The most common AEs were oxygen desaturation (7.4%), airway obstruction (3.6%), bradycardia (1.9%), hypotension (1.7%), and prolonged QTc interval (1.3%). No deaths or serious AEs were reported. The following factors had an increased adjusted odds ratio (OR) for experiencing an AE: age 65 years and older (OR = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2 to 7.2), more than one type of parenteral sedation administered within 60 minutes (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.4 to 3.1), and alcohol intoxication (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.2 to 2.6). CONCLUSIONS: Sedation-related AEs are common, especially respiratory events. Elderly patients, sedation with multiple sedatives within 60 minutes, and alcohol intoxication increased the risk.
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    Anorexia nervosa or starvation?
    Phillipou, A ; Rossell, SL ; Castle, DJ (WILEY, 2018-12-01)
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    Impact of the carer on length of hospital stay for mental health: Results from two Australian surveys
    Hielscher, E ; Diminic, S ; Harris, M ; Castle, D ; Lee, YY ; Kealton, J ; Whiteford, H (WILEY, 2019-04-01)
    Informal carers play a vital role in supporting Australians living with a mental illness, including during the acute phases of illness; however, little is known about their impact on length of hospital stay. We aimed to investigate the impact of having a carer and of carer burden on length of hospital stay for mental health. Two Australian datasets were used. Data from the 2010 National Survey of High Impact Psychosis (n = 1825) were used to investigate the impact of having versus not having a carer on length of hospital stay for mental health. Data from the UQ Carer Survey 2016 (n = 105), a convenience sample of mental health carers, were used to investigate the impact of weekly hours of care (a measure of objective carer burden) on length of stay. Multiple logistic regression and correlation analyses were performed to investigate the association between carer status/burden and length of stay. Having a carer was associated with a significantly longer length of hospital stay; however, this relationship was no longer significant after adjusting for diagnosis, global functioning, depressive symptoms, deliberate self-harm, mental health outpatient contacts and type of admission. Weekly hours of care did not significantly impact on length of stay. Patients with carers had poorer functioning which may be related to longer stays. Our analysis was not able to look at subgroups of carers with different needs. Future work is required to determine other components of the admission and discharge process where having a carer is influential.
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