Tag: Mehler Paperny

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: 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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Reading of the Week: RCTs & Mental Health – the New CJP Paper; Also, AI and Discharge Summaries (Lancet DH), and Mehler Paperny on Action (Globe)

From the Editor

How has psychiatric research changed over time?

In the first selection, Sheng Chen (of CAMH) and co-authors attempt to answer this question by focusing on randomized controlled trials in mental health in a new paper for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Using the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, they look at almost 6,700 RCTs published over the past decades. They find: “the number of mental health RCTs increased exponentially from 1965 to 2009, reaching a peak in the years 2005–2009,” and observe a shift away from pharmacologic studies.

RCTs: the gold standard of research

In the second selection, Sajan B. Patel (of St Mary’s Hospital) et al. consider ChatGPT and health care in a new Lancet Digital Health Comment. Noting that discharge summaries tend to be under-prioritized, they wonder if this AI program may help in the future, freeing doctor to do other things. “The question for the future will be how, not if, we adopt this technology.”

And in the third selection, writer Anna Mehler Paperny focuses on campaigns to reduce stigma in a hard-hitting essay for The Globe and Mail. She argues that action is urgently needed to address mental health problems. She writes: “We need more than feel-good bromides. Every time someone prominent utters something about how important mental health is, the follow should be: So what? What are you doing about it? And when?”

DG

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