From the Editor
As clinicians, we often think about symptoms and symptom scales – important measures of a patient’s journey. Patients may focus on other things, like functionality, including employment.
Do antipsychotics help those with psychosis for their ability to work? Do some antipsychotics provide more advantage than others? Dr. Marco Solmi (of the University of Ottawa) and his co-authors try to answer these questions in a new American Journal of Psychiatry paper. They draw on Swedish databases involving more 21,000 people. They conclude: “Among individuals with first-episode nonaffective psychosis, antipsychotic treatment (with long-acting injectables in particular) was associated with about 30%–50% lower risk of work disability compared with nonuse of antipsychotics in the same individuals, which held true beyond 5 years after first diagnosis.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.
In the second selection, Florence Dzierszinski (of the University of Ottawa) and her co-authors look at mental health research funding in Canada. In a Commentary for The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, they argue that funding is lacking and, in fact, declining. They write that: “Adequate research funding could go a long way to addressing prevention, care, and treatment for the one in four Canadians who experience mental health problems in a given year, improving outcomes for individuals and for Canada’s society and economy.”
And in the third selection, published by CBC First Person, Darleen Murdoch talks about her career and retirement – and her diagnosis. She notes that, during her first hospitalization decades before, she was told by her physician she would never work. She writes: “In my own way, I have proven to the medical field that ‘miracles’ can happen.”