Psychiatry - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 555
Predicting individual improvement in schizophrenia symptom severity at 1-year follow-up: Comparison of connectomic, structural, and clinical predictors
In a machine learning setting, this study aims to compare the prognostic utility of connectomic, brain structural, and clinical/demographic predictors of individual change in symptom severity in individuals with schizophrenia. Symptom severity at baseline and 1‐year follow‐up was assessed in 30 individuals with a schizophrenia‐spectrum disorder using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Structural and functional neuroimaging was acquired in all individuals at baseline. Machine learning classifiers were trained to predict whether individuals improved or worsened with respect to positive, negative, and overall symptom severity. Classifiers were trained using various combinations of predictors, including regional cortical thickness and gray matter volume, static and dynamic resting‐state connectivity, and/or baseline clinical and demographic variables. Relative change in overall symptom severity between baseline and 1‐year follow‐up varied markedly among individuals (interquartile range: 55%). Dynamic resting‐state connectivity measured within the default‐mode network was the most accurate single predictor of change in positive (accuracy: 87%), negative (83%), and overall symptom severity (77%) at follow‐up. Incorporating predictors based on regional cortical thickness, gray matter volume, and baseline clinical variables did not markedly improve prediction accuracy and the prognostic utility of these predictors in isolation was moderate (<70%). Worsening negative symptoms at 1‐year follow‐up were predicted by hyper‐connectivity and hypo‐dynamism within the default‐mode network at baseline assessment, while hypo‐connectivity and hyper‐dynamism predicted worsening positive symptoms. Given the modest sample size investigated, we recommend giving precedence to the relative ranking of the predictors investigated in this study, rather than the prediction accuracy estimates.
Combatting social isolation and increasing social participation of older adults through the use of technology: A systematic review of existing evidence
Objectives There are growing concerns that social isolation presents risks to older people's health and well‐being. Thus, the objective of the review was to explore how technology is currently being utilised to combat social isolation and increase social participation, hence improving social outcomes for older people. Methods A systematic review of the literature was conducted across the social science and human‐computer interaction databases. Results A total of 36 papers met the inclusion criteria and were analysed using a four‐step process. Findings were threefold, suggesting that: (i) technologies principally utilised social network services and touch‐screen technologies; (ii) social outcomes are often ill‐defined or not defined at all; and (iii) methodologies used to evaluate interventions were often limited and small‐scale. Conclusion Results suggest a need for studies that examine new and innovative forms of technology, evaluated with rigorous methodologies, and drawing on clear definitions about how these technologies address social isolation/participation.
Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light concentration predicts brain atrophy and cognition in Alzheimer's disease.
Introduction: This study assessed the utility of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurofilament light (NfL) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis, its association with amyloid and tau pathology, as well as its potential to predict brain atrophy, cognition, and amyloid accumulation. Methods: CSF NfL concentration was measured in 221 participants from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL). Results: CSF NfL levels as well as NfL/amyloid β (Aβ42) were significantly elevated in AD compared to healthy controls (HC; P < .001), and in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to HC (P = .008 NfL; P < .001 NfL/Aβ42). CSF NfL and NfL/Aβ42 differentiated AD from HC with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.84 and 0.90, respectively. CSF NfL and NfL/Aβ42 predicted cortical amyloid load, brain atrophy, and cognition. Discussion: CSF NfL is a biomarker of neurodegeneration, correlating with cognitive impairment and brain neuropathology.
Computerized cognitive training for older diabetic adults at risk of dementia: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Introduction: Older adults with type 2 diabetes are at high risk of cognitive decline and dementia and form an important target group for dementia risk reduction studies. Despite evidence that computerized cognitive training (CCT) may benefit cognitive performance in cognitively healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, whether CCT may benefit cognitive performance or improve disease self-management in older diabetic adults has not been studied to date. In addition, whether adaptive difficulty levels and tailoring of interventions to individuals' cognitive profile are superior to generic training remains to be established. Methods: Ninety community-dwelling older (age ≥ 65) diabetic adults are recruited and randomized into a tailored and adaptive computerized cognitive training condition or to a generic, nontailored, or adaptive CCT condition. Both groups complete an 8-week training program using the commercially available CogniFit program. The intervention is augmented by a range of behavior-change techniques, and participants in each condition are further randomized into a global or cognition-specific phone-based self-efficacy (SE) condition, or a no-SE condition. The primary outcome is global cognitive performance immediately after the intervention. Secondary outcomes include diabetes self-management, meta-memory, mood, and SE. Discussion: This pilot study is the first trial evaluating the potential benefits of home-based tailored and adaptive CCT in relation to cognitive and disease self-management in older diabetic adults. Methodological strengths of this trial include the double-blind design, the clear identification of the proposed active ingredients of the intervention, and the use of evidence-based behavior-change techniques. Results from this study will indicate whether CCT has the potential to lower the risk of diabetes-related cognitive decline. The outcomes of the trial will also advance our understanding of essential intervention parameters required to improve or maintain cognitive function and enhance disease self-management in this at-risk group.
Youth Depression Alleviation with Anti-inflammatory Agents (YoDA-A): a randomised clinical trial of rosuvastatin and aspirin
BACKGROUND: Inflammation contributes to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD), and anti-inflammatory strategies might therefore have therapeutic potential. This trial aimed to determine whether adjunctive aspirin or rosuvastatin, compared with placebo, reduced depressive symptoms in young people (15-25 years). METHODS: YoDA-A, Youth Depression Alleviation with Anti-inflammatory Agents, was a 12-week triple-blind, randomised, controlled trial. Participants were young people (aged 15-25 years) with moderate to severe MDD (MADRS mean at baseline 32.5 ± 6.0; N = 130; age 20.2 ± 2.6; 60% female), recruited between June 2013 and June 2017 across six sites in Victoria, Australia. In addition to treatment as usual, participants were randomised to receive aspirin (n = 40), rosuvastatin (n = 48), or placebo (n = 42), with assessments at baseline and weeks 4, 8, 12, and 26. The primary outcome was change in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) from baseline to week 12. RESULTS: At the a priori primary endpoint of MADRS differential change from baseline at week 12, there was no significant difference between aspirin and placebo (1.9, 95% CI (- 2.8, 6.6), p = 0.433), or rosuvastatin and placebo (- 4.2, 95% CI (- 9.1, 0.6), p = 0.089). For rosuvastatin, secondary outcomes on self-rated depression and global impression, quality of life, functioning, and mania were not significantly different from placebo. Aspirin was inferior to placebo on the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q-SF) at week 12. Statins were superior to aspirin on the MADRS, the Clinical Global Impressions Severity Scale (CGI-S), and the Negative Problem Orientation Questionnaire scale (NPOQ) at week 12. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of either aspirin or rosuvastatin did not to confer any beneficial effect over and above routine treatment for depression in young people. Exploratory comparisons of secondary outcomes provide limited support for a potential therapeutic role for adjunctive rosuvastatin, but not for aspirin, in youth depression. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12613000112763. Registered on 30/01/2013.
Similarities and differences in people accessing prevention and recovery care services and inpatient units in Victoria, Australia
BACKGROUND: There is an emerging international literature demonstrating clinical and cost-effectiveness of sub-acute residential mental health services. To date, however, there is limited information on the profile of consumers accessing these models of care. This study aimed to understand the profile of the population served by adult sub-acute residential mental health services in Victoria, Australia (known as Prevention and Recovery Care; PARC) and to compare PARC service consumers with consumers admitted to psychiatric inpatient units within public hospitals. METHOD: Using 5 years (2012-2016) of a state-wide database of routinely collected individual level mental health service data, we describe the socio-demographic and clinical profile of PARC service consumers compared to consumers of psychiatric inpatient units including for primary diagnosis and illness severity. Using admissions as the unit of analysis, we identify the characteristics that distinguish PARC service admissions from psychiatric inpatient admissions. We also examine and compare length of stay for the different admission types. RESULTS: We analysed 78,264 admissions representing 34,906 individuals. The profile of PARC service consumers differed from those admitted to inpatient units including for sex, age, diagnosis and illness severity. The odds of an admission being to a PARC service was associated with several socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Being male or in the youngest age grouping (< 20 years) significantly reduced the odds of admission to PARC services. The presence of primary diagnoses of schizophrenia and related disorders, mood, anxiety or personality disorders, all significantly increased the odds of admission to PARC services. Predictors of length of stay were consistent across PARC and inpatient admission types. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest PARC services may serve an overlapping but distinguishably different consumer group than inpatient psychiatric units. Future research on sub-acute mental health services should be cognizant of these consumer differences, particularly when assessing the long-term effectiveness of this service option.
Association of suicidal behavior with exposure to suicide and suicide attempt: A systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-03-01)
BACKGROUND: Exposure to suicidal behavior may be associated with increased risk of suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation and is a significant public health problem. However, evidence to date has not reliably distinguished between exposure to suicide versus suicide attempt, nor whether the risk differs across suicide-related outcomes, which have markedly different public health implications. Our aim therefore was to quantitatively assess the independent risk associated with exposure to suicide and suicide attempt on suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation outcomes and to identify moderators of this risk using multilevel meta-analysis. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ASSIA, Sociological Abstracts, IBSS, and Social Services Abstracts from inception to 19 November 2019. Eligible studies included comparative data on prior exposure to suicide, suicide attempt, or suicidal behavior (composite measure-suicide or suicide attempt) and the outcomes of suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation in relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Dichotomous events or odds ratios (ORs) of suicide, suicide attempt, and suicidal ideation were analyzed using multilevel meta-analyses to accommodate the non-independence of effect sizes. We assessed study quality using the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute quality assessment tool for observational studies. Thirty-four independent studies that presented 71 effect sizes (exposure to suicide: k = 42, from 22 independent studies; exposure to suicide attempt: k = 19, from 13 independent studies; exposure to suicidal behavior (composite): k = 10, from 5 independent studies) encompassing 13,923,029 individuals were eligible. Exposure to suicide was associated with increased odds of suicide (11 studies, N = 13,464,582; OR = 3.23, 95% CI = 2.32 to 4.51, P < 0.001) and suicide attempt (10 studies, N = 121,836; OR = 2.91, 95% CI = 2.01 to 4.23, P < 0.001). However, no evidence of an association was observed for suicidal ideation outcomes (2 studies, N = 43,354; OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 0.97 to 3.51, P = 0.06). Exposure to suicide attempt was associated with increased odds of suicide attempt (10 studies, N = 341,793; OR = 3.53, 95% CI = 2.63 to 4.73, P < 0.001), but not suicide death (3 studies, N = 723; OR = 1.64, 95% CI = 0.90 to 2.98, P = 0.11). By contrast, exposure to suicidal behavior (composite) was associated with increased odds of suicide (4 studies, N = 1,479; OR = 3.83, 95% CI = 2.38 to 6.17, P < 0.001) but not suicide attempt (1 study, N = 666; OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.69 to 1.76, P = 0.90), a finding that was inconsistent with the separate analyses of exposure to suicide and suicide attempt. Key limitations of this study include fair study quality and the possibility of unmeasured confounders influencing the findings. The review has been prospectively registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018104629). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis indicate that prior exposure to suicide and prior exposure to suicide attempt in the general population are associated with increased odds of subsequent suicidal behavior, but these exposures do not incur uniform risk across the full range of suicide-related outcomes. Therefore, future studies should refrain from combining these exposures into single composite measures of exposure to suicidal behavior. Finally, future studies should consider designing interventions that target suicide-related outcomes in those exposed to suicide and that include efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of exposure to suicide attempt on subsequent suicide attempt outcomes.
The Post-Anaesthesia N-acetylcysteine Cognitive Evaluation (PANACEA) trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Some degree of cognitive decline after surgery occurs in as many as one quarter of elderly surgical patients, and this decline is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Cognition may be affected across a range of domains, including memory, psychomotor skills, and executive function. Whilst the exact mechanisms of cognitive change after surgery are not precisely known, oxidative stress and subsequent neuroinflammation have been implicated. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) acts via multiple interrelated mechanisms to influence oxidative homeostasis, neuronal transmission, and inflammation. NAC has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in both human and animal models. There is clinical evidence to suggest that NAC may be beneficial in preventing the cognitive decline associated with both acute physiological insults and dementia-related disorders. To date, no trials have examined perioperative NAC as a potential moderator of postoperative cognitive changes in the noncardiac surgery setting. METHODS AND DESIGN: This is a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, with a between-group, repeated-measures, longitudinal design. The study will recruit 370 noncardiac surgical patients at the University Hospital Geelong, aged 60 years or older. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either NAC or placebo (1:1 ratio), and groups are stratified by age and surgery type. Participants undergo a series of neuropsychological tests prior to surgery, 7 days, 3 months, and 12 months post surgery. It is hypothesised that the perioperative administration of NAC will reduce the degree of postoperative cognitive changes at early and long-term follow-up, as measured by changes on individual measures of the neurocognitive battery, when compared with placebo. Serum samples are taken on the day of surgery and on day 2 post surgery to quantitate any changes in levels of biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. DISCUSSION: The PANACEA trial aims to examine the potential efficacy of perioperative NAC to reduce the severity of postoperative cognitive dysfunction in an elderly, noncardiac surgery population. This is an entirely novel approach to the prevention of postoperative cognitive dysfunction and will have high impact and translatable outcomes if NAC is found to be beneficial. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The PANACEA trial has been registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12614000411640 ; registered on 15 April 2014.
Development and validation of a mental health screening tool for asylum-seekers and refugees: the STAR-MH
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2018-03-16)
BACKGROUND: There is no screening tool for major depressive disorder (MDD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in asylum-seekers or refugees (ASR) that can be readily administered by non-mental health workers. Hence, we aimed to develop a brief, sensitive and rapidly administrable tool for non-mental health workers to screen for MDD and PTSD in ASR. METHODS: The screening tool was developed from an extant dataset (n = 121) of multiply screened ASR and tested prospectively (N = 192) against the M.I.N.I. (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview) structured psychiatric interview. Rasch, Differential Item Functioning and ROC analyses evaluated the psychometric properties and tool utility. RESULTS: A 9-item tool with a median administration time of six minutes was generated, comprising two 'immediate screen-in' items, and a 7-item scale. The prevalence of PTSD &/or MDD using the M.I.N.I. was 32%, whilst 99% of other diagnosed mental disorders were comorbid with one or both of these. Using a cut-score of ≥2, the tool provided a sensitivity of 0.93, specificity of 0.75 and predictive accuracy of 80.7%. CONCLUSIONS: A brief sensitive screening tool with robust psychometric properties that was easy to administer at the agency of first presentation was developed to facilitate mental health referrals for asylum-seekers and new refugees.
The impact of substance use on treatment as a compulsory patient
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2019-08-01)
OBJECTIVES: This paper considers the impact of having a diagnosis of substance use disorder on the utilisation of compulsory orders under the Victorian Mental Health Act (2014). METHODS: We analysed the subsequent treatment episodes over 2 years of people who had been on a community treatment order for at least 3 months and determined the odds of a further treatment order if there was a diagnosis of substance use at or about the time the index community treatment order ended. RESULTS: An additional diagnosis of a substance use disorder was coded in 47.7% and was associated with significantly increased odds of a subsequent treatment order in the following 2 years for those with a main diagnosis of schizophrenia (AOR = 3.03, p<0.001) and 'other' disorders (AOR = 11.60, p=0.002). Those with a main diagnosis of mood disorder had a significant increase in odds for an inpatient treatment order if there was an additional substance use disorder diagnosis (AOR = 3.81, p=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Having an additional diagnosis of substance use disorder was associated with increased likelihood of being placed on an order. This study supports greater emphasis being given to treatment of substance use concurrently with that of mental illness.
Does legislative change affect the use and duration of compulsory treatment orders?
(SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2019-05-01)
OBJECTIVE: Victoria, Australia, introduced reformed mental health legislation in 2014. The Act was based on a policy platform of recovery-oriented services, supported decision-making and minimisation of the use and duration of compulsory orders. This paper compares service utilisation and legal status after being on a community treatment order under the Mental Health Act 1986 (Vic) with that under the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic). METHODS: We obtained two distinct data sets of persons who had been on a community treatment order for at least 3 months and their subsequent treatment episodes over 2 years under the Mental Health Act and/or as an inpatient for the periods 2008-2010 (Mental Health Act 1986) and 2014-2016 (Mental Health Act 2014). The two sets were compared to assess the difference in use, duration and odds of having a further admission over 2 years. We also considered the mode of discharge - whether by the treating psychiatrist, external body or through expiry. RESULTS: Compared with the Mental Health Act 1986, under the Mental Health Act 2014, index community treatment orders were shorter (mean 227 days compared with 335 days); there was a reduction in the mean number of community treatment orders in the 2 years following the index discharge - 1.1 compared with 1.5 (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = [0.63, 0.80]) - and a 51% reduction in days on an order over 2 years. There was a reduction in the number of subsequent orders for those whose order expired or was revoked by the psychiatrist under the Mental Health Act 2014 compared to those under the Mental Health Act 1986. The number of orders which were varied to an inpatient order by the authorised psychiatrist was notably greater under the Mental Health Act 2014. CONCLUSION: The reformed Mental Health Act has been successful in its intent to reduce the use and duration of compulsory orders in the community. The apparent increase in return to inpatient orders raises questions regarding the intensity and effectiveness of community treatment and context of service delivery.
Evaluating the effectiveness of a website about masculinity and suicide to prompt help-seeking.
(Wiley - John Wiley & Sons, 2019-02-25)
ISSUE ADDRESSED: A website was designed to form the core of a multimedia strategy surrounding the Man Up documentary - a three-part documentary that aimed to address the problem of male suicide in Australia. Together these formed a media-based, public health intervention that explored the link between masculinity and suicide and promoted help-seeking. This is of great importance given the demonstrated link between masculine norms, men's reduced help-seeking and suicidal thinking. This study assesses the website's effectiveness in facilitating help-seeking and fostering conversations about suicide, mental health and help-seeking. Help-seeking indicators included website clicks to helping organisations, downloads of health information from the website and request for help received via emails. METHODS: Google Analytics data, emails to the Man Up team received through the website and open-ended responses to an online survey were analysed. RESULTS: The website reached 43 140 users. Indictors of help-seeking activity on the website included 307 outbound clicks to helping organisations and 802 downloads of health information. Qualitative analysis of emails received and responses to the survey demonstrated that Man Up's messages resonated with viewers and provided further evidence of help-seeking. CONCLUSION: The findings demonstrate that the website provided an important opportunity for people to engage with Man Up and seek help. SO WHAT?: Media-based public health interventions offer enormous potential to provide suicide prevention interventions and promote help-seeking. The website evaluation findings provide insight into the ways in which websites can be used as part of a multimedia strategy to address the problem of male suicide.