Tag: Sen

Reading of the Week: Ketamine vs. ECT – the New NEJM Paper; Also, Burnout & Depression (QT) and Rehab for Schizophrenia (Wash Post)

From the Editor

“Ketamine Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Depression in New Study”

 – The New York Times

The gold standard for treatment-refractory depression has been ECT. Last week, The New England Journal of Medicine published a new study by Dr. Amit Anand (of Harvard University) and his co-authors comparing ketamine with ECT. They did a noninferiority trial, with more than 400 people. The results have been widely reported, including in The New York Times. They write: “This randomized trial evaluating the comparative effectiveness of ketamine and ECT in patients with treatment-resistant depression without psychosis showed noninferiority of ketamine to ECT…” We discuss the paper and the accompanying Editorial.

A recent Canadian Medical Association survey found that the majority of physicians reported experiencing high levels of burnout. In the second selection, Dr. Srijan Sen (of the University of Michigan) discusses this timely topic in a new Quick Takes podcast. He talks about the definition(s) of burnout, and the overlap with depression. “Burnout has become a loose term that means different things to different people.”

And in the third selection, Dr. Thomas Insel (of the Steinberg Institute) and his co-authors discuss the life and death of New Yorker Jordan Neely. In an essay for The Washington Post, they argue for better care, in particular with a focus on rehabilitation services for those with schizophrenia. “People with other brain disorders are not abandoned to become homeless or incarcerated rather than receive medical help.”

DG

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Reading of the Week: Mindfulness for Anxiety? The New JAMA Psychiatry Paper; Also, Sim in Med Ed (QT) and Dr. Sen on Burnout & Depression (NEJM)

From the Editor

Mindfulness is trendy. It’s offered at your local YMCA. There are mindfulness techniques in popular apps. Corporations offer sessions over the lunch hour.

But is it helpful? Millions of North Americans struggle with anxiety disorders. Could mindfulness help them? Is it an alternative for those who don’t want to take medications? In the first selection, Dr. Elizabeth A. Hoge (of Georgetown University) and her co-authors try to answer these questions. Their results have just been published in JAMA Psychiatry. In an RCT, they compare a form of mindfulness to the use of an SSRI. They write: “Our prospective randomized clinical trial found that MBSR was noninferior to escitalopram for the treatment of anxiety disorders.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.

In this week’s second selection, we look at a new Quick Takes podcast interview with CAMH’s Stephanie Sliekers and Dr. Petal Abdool (of the University of Toronto). They discuss simulation in mental health education, noting the potential. They also talk about their innovative work in this area. “We can create an environment that’s safe, predictable, consistent, standardized, and reproducible.”

In this week’s third selection, Dr. Srijan Sen (of the University of Michigan) writes about physician burnout. In a Perspective paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine, he argues that separating burnout from depression is problematic. He writes: “Expanding reform efforts to encompass depression and mental health more broadly will not reduce the urgency of reforming our health care system. Rather, it will increase the likelihood that physicians who are struggling can access the spectrum of available evidence-based individual interventions.”

DG

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