Tag: coercive care

Reading of the Week: DBT for Youth with Bipolar – the New JAMA Psych Paper; Also, Involuntary Care and Dr. Gibbons on the Truths About Suicide

From the Editor

Nine! 

This month, the Reading of the Week celebrates a big birthday, its ninth. The first Reading was emailed out in September 2014. Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support. I’m looking forward to the next nine years.

Many young people with bipolar attempt suicide. What can be done to help them? In the first selection, Tina R. Goldstein (of the University of Pittsburgh) and her co-authors attempt to answer that question in a just-published JAMA Psychiatry paper. In their RCT involving youth with bipolar spectrum disorder, participants were enrolled in DBT or they received standard-of-care psychological support. “These findings support DBT as the first psychosocial intervention with demonstrated effects on suicidal behavior for adolescents with bipolar spectrum disorder.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.

In the second selection, journalist and bestselling author Anna Mehler Paperny discusses coercive care in a new Quick Takes podcast interview. Mehler Paperny’s perspective on involuntary care is informed by her writing on the issue – and her lived experience. She worries that public debate may be driven by a desire to address public disorder rather than genuinely prioritizing the well-being of those with mental illness. “Coercive care is having a moment.”

And in the third selection, Dr. Rachel Gibbons (of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists) considers suicide in a new BJPsych Bulletin paper. She opens by disclosing that three of her patients died by suicide early in her career. She then reviews “truths” about suicide. “In research we conducted, around two-thirds of psychiatrists and other clinicians felt it was their job to predict suicide. Our fantasy that we can do this, and our fear that we can’t, becomes a constant preoccupation in our work, distracts us from providing therapeutic care and closes our hearts to those in distress.”

DG

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Reading of the Week: Lithium Prescribing – the New CJP Paper; Also, AI vs. Doctors (JAMA Int Med) and Bergner on Compulsory Mental Health (NYT)

From the Editor

For patients with bipolar disorder, lithium is an important medication, shown to reduce hospitalizations and suicides better than newer agents. But has it fallen out of fashion? International reports suggest that it has.

In the first selection, Samreen Shafiq (of the University of Calgary) and her co-authors try to answer this question with Canadian data in a new paper for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. They draw on a decade of Alberta prescription data with more than 580,000 lithium scripts. “This population-based study suggests that the overall number of new and prevalent lithium users is decreasing in Alberta between the years of 2009 and 2018, but the observed pattern suggests that this decrease may have stopped by the end of our study interval.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.

In the second selection, John W. Ayers (of University of California San Diego) considers AI-generated responses to health care questions posted on social media, like the need to seek medical attention after a minor head injury with a presentation of a lump and a headache. In a JAMA Internal Medicine paper, they compare ChatGPT answers to those of physicians in terms of quality and empathy. “In this cross-sectional study, a chatbot generated quality and empathetic responses to patient questions posed in an online forum.”

The debate over coercive care is hot, with proposals to rebalance patients’ rights actively discussed in New York City, Alberta, and California. In the third selection, author Daniel Bergner writes that we should look for alternatives to medications. In a New York Times essay, he argues that antipsychotics are problematic. “By doubling down on existing methods, we’re only beckoning more failure.”

DG

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Reading of the Week: Motor Vehicle Crashes and Mental Disorders – the New CJP Paper; Also, Psychedelics & the States, and Hogan on NYC & Coercion

From the Editor 

He’s not well but insists that he can still drive his car. Should you report him to the Ministry of Transportation?

As clinicians, we often struggle with such issues, which touch on clinical judgment, as well as legal requirements. In Ontario, half a decade ago, the governme­­nt changed the law, requiring mandatory reporting for several conditions, including “acute” psychosis. Yet other provinces continue to leave major decisions to the discretion of providers. What does the literature say about motor vehicle crashes and mental disorders? In the first selection, Dr. Mark J. Rapoport (of the University of Toronto) and his co-authors do a systematic review for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, drawing on 24 studies. “The available evidence is mixed, not of high quality, and does not support a blanket restriction on drivers with psychiatric disorder.” We consider the paper and its implications.

In the second selection, Dr. Joshua S. Siegel (of Washington University in St. Louis) and his co-authors look at US state legislation for psychedelic drugs in a new JAMA Psychiatry Special Communication. They note a sharp uptick in legislative activity and draw comparisons to cannabis. “After decades of legal restriction, US states have been swiftly moving toward increased access to psychedelics.”

And in the third selection, Michael F. Hogan (of Case Western Reserve University) writes about coercion and mental health care in JAMA Psychiatry. He considers the proposals of New York City Mayor Eric Adams which would expand efforts to hospitalize those with several, persistent mental illness. “Mayor Adams’ proposal for a more vigorous police response leading to inpatient care is well intended but incomplete. It would be preferable for New York to implement comprehensive crisis programs, including intensive care options that reduced the burden on police.”

DG

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Reading of the Week: Polypharmacy & Health – the New AJP Paper; Also, Melatonin Gummies (JAMA) & Mehler Paperny on Involuntary Care (Globe)

From the Editor

When it comes to antipsychotics, polypharmacy (the use of more than one antipsychotic) has fallen out of fashion – the psychopharmacological equivalent of bell bottoms. Providers worry about side effects and the long-term physical health implications. Are the concerns overstated? In the first selection, Heidi Taipale (of the University of Eastern Finland) and her coauthors analyze Finnish data for The American Journal of Psychiatry. The study includes almost 62,000 patients with schizophrenia with a median follow up period of more than 14 years, and they find that the use of more than one antipsychotic isn’t linked to poorer health outcomes. “The results show that antipsychotic monotherapy is not associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for severe physical health problems when compared with antipsychotic polypharmacy.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.

Melatonin is a popular recommendation for sleep, but what’s the quality like? In the second selection from JAMA, Dr. Pieter A. Cohen (of Harvard University) and his co-authors try to answer that question with a focus on melatonin gummy products, looking at 30 brands. “The great majority of melatonin gummy products were inaccurately labeled, with most products exceeding the declared amount of melatonin and CBD.”

Gummy melatonin: colourful but what’s the quality?

In the third selection, in an essay for The Globe and Mail, journalist Anna Mehler Paperny writes about the push for more coercive care by different governments. Drawing on her personal experiences, she notes potential problems. “There is a role for coercive care. It’s arguably necessary for some people, sometimes. But used injudiciously, it can sour people on care and set them up for failure.”

There will be no Reading next week.

DG

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