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1.
Ir J Psychol Med ; 38(3): 214-219, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096525

ABSTRACT

In the last three decades, early intervention for psychosis (EIP) services have been established worldwide and have resulted in superior symptomatic and functional outcomes for people affected by psychotic disorders. These improved outcomes are a result of reducing delays to treatment and the provision of specialised, holistic interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to the delivery of these services, such as undetected cases or long delays to treatment. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase the mental health needs of communities, including the incidence of psychotic disorders. In this perspective piece, we provide suggestions as to how EIP services can adapt within this environment, such as utilising novel technologies. Finally, we argue that despite the economic consequences of the pandemic, the funding for mental health services, including EI services, should be increased in line with the need for these services during and beyond the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Psychotic Disorders , Humans , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 34(3): 203-210, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078019

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a critical impact on healthcare systems across the world, as well as on mental health in the general population; however, evidence regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with schizophrenia and on the onset of psychotic symptoms is currently emerging. RECENT FINDINGS: People living with schizophrenia are at an increased risk of COVID-19 and present worse COVID-19-related outcomes, including mortality. They show low levels of information and of concern regarding the possibility of contagion and infection but presented substantially stable levels of psychotic symptoms and even increased subjective well being during the pandemic. SARS-CoV-2, as well as the prolonged social isolation and the spread of misinformation, appear to be responsible in some cases for the onset of psychotic symptoms. SUMMARY: Clinicians should inform and educate their patients on the risks related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 and on the precautions that they should adopt to avoid contagion. Particular attention should be devoted to maintaining the continuity of care, especially in frail patients. Telemedicine might represent a valid support, but face-to-face visits in some cases remain essential. The hypothesis of a direct role of viral infection on the onset of psychotic disorders is currently debated, as viral involvement of central nervous system appears to be rather infrequent in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Continuity of Patient Care , Psychotic Disorders , Schizophrenia , Telemedicine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Schizophrenia/therapy
3.
Eur Psychiatry ; 65(1): e56, 2022 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054015

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: DIALOG+ is a digital psychosocial intervention aimed at making routine meetings between patients and clinicians therapeutically effective. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of implementing DIALOG+ treatment for patients with psychotic disorders in five low- and middle-income countries in Southeast Europe alongside a cluster randomised trial. METHODS: Resource use and quality of life data were collected alongside the multi-country cluster randomised trial of 468 participants with psychotic disorders. Due to COVID-19 interruptions of the trial's original 12-month intervention period, adjusted costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated at the participant level using a mixed-effects model over the first 6 months only. We estimated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with uncertainty presented using a cost-effectiveness plane and a cost-effectiveness acceptability curve. Seven sensitivity analyses were conducted to check the robustness of the findings. RESULTS: The average cost of delivering DIALOG+ was €91.11 per participant. DIALOG+ was associated with an incremental health gain of 0.0032 QALYs (95% CI -0.0015, 0.0079), incremental costs of €84.17 (95% CI -8.18, 176.52), and an estimated ICER of €26,347.61. The probability of DIALOG+ being cost-effective against three times the weighted gross domestic product (GDP) per capita for the five participating countries was 18.9%. CONCLUSION: Evidence from the cost-effectiveness analyses in this study suggested that DIALOG+ involved relatively low costs. However, it is not likely to be cost-effective in the five participating countries compared with standard care against a willingness-to-pay threshold of three times the weighted GDP per capita per QALY gained.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Developing Countries , Europe , Humans , Psychosocial Intervention , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Quality of Life
4.
Eur Psychiatry ; 65(1): e50, 2022 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2032627

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Southeast Europe (SEE) standard treatment of patients with psychosis is largely based on pharmacotherapy with psychosocial interventions rarely available. DIALOG+ is a digital psychosocial intervention designed to make routine care therapeutically effective. This trial simultaneously examined effectiveness of DIALOG+ versus standard care on clinical and social outcomes (Aim 1) and explored intervention fidelity (Aim 2). METHODS: A hybrid type II effectiveness-implementation, cluster-randomized trial was conducted in five SEE countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. The intervention was offered to patients six times across 12 months instead of routine care. The outcomes were subjective quality of life (primary), clinical symptoms, satisfaction with services, and economic costs. Intervention fidelity was operationalized as adherence to the protocol in terms of frequency, duration, content, and coverage. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression. RESULTS: A total of 81 clinicians and 468 patients with psychosis were randomized to DIALOG+ or standard care. The intervention was delivered with high fidelity. The average number of delivered sessions was 5.5 (SD = 2.3) across 12 months. Patients in the intervention arm had better quality of life (MANSA) at 6 months (p = 0.03). No difference was found for other outcomes at 6 months. Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 12-month data were not interpretable. CONCLUSIONS: DIALOG+ improved subjective quality of life of individuals with psychosis at 6 months (after four sessions), albeit with small effect size. The intervention has the potential to contribute to holistic care of patients with psychosis.


Subject(s)
Psychosocial Intervention , Psychotic Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Developing Countries , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Psychosocial Intervention/methods , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Quality of Life , Treatment Outcome
5.
Trials ; 23(1): 751, 2022 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009449

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Substantial data from high-income countries support early interventions in the form of evidence-based Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for people experiencing First Episode Psychosis (FEP) to ameliorate symptoms and minimize disability. Chile is unique among Latin American countries in providing universal access to FEP services through a national FEP policy that mandates the identification of FEP individuals in primary care and guarantees delivery of community-based FEP treatments within a public health care system. Nonetheless, previous research has documented that FEP services currently provided at mental health clinics do not provide evidence-based approaches. This proposal aims to address this shortfall by first adapting OnTrackNY (OTNY), a CSC program currently being implemented across the USA, into OnTrackChile (OTCH), and then examine its effectiveness and implementation in Chile. METHODS: The Dynamic Adaptation Process will be used first to inform the adaptation and implementation of OTCH to the Chilean context. Then, a Hybrid Type 1 trial design will test its effectiveness and cost and evaluate its implementation using a cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) (N = 300 from 21 outpatient clinics). The OTCH program will be offered in half of these outpatient clinics to individuals ages 15-35. Usual care services will continue to be offered at the other clinics. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, most research and intervention procedures will be conducted remotely. The study will engage participants over the course of 2 years, with assessments administered at enrollment, 12 months, and 24 months. Primary outcomes include implementation (fidelity, acceptability, and uptake) and service outcomes (person-centeredness, adherence, and retention). Secondary outcomes comprise participant-level outcomes such as symptoms, functioning, and recovery orientation. Over the course of the study, interviews and focus groups with stakeholders will be conducted to better understand the implementation of OTCH. DISCUSSION: Findings from this study will help determine the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost for delivering CSC services in Chile. Lessons learned about facilitators and barriers related to the implementation of the model could help inform the approach needed for these services to be further expanded throughout Latin America. TRIAL REGISTRATION: www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov NCT04247711 . Registered 30 January 2020. TRIAL STATUS: The OTCH trial is currently recruiting participants. Recruitment started on March 1, 2021, and is expected to be completed by December 1, 2022. This is the first version of this protocol (5/12/2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Adolescent , Adult , Chile , Humans , Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Young Adult
6.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol ; 25(11): 924-932, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008575

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With numerous potentially novel targets and pharmacodynamic biomarkers for schizophrenia entering late-stage testing, the next decade will bring an urgent need for well-conducted clinical trials. A critically important step for the successful execution of clinical research trials is timely and appropriate recruitment of participants. Patients with schizophrenia can be especially challenging to recruit because of the disability inherent in psychotic spectrum disorders. Research on how best to recruit for clinical trials is understudied. Clearly defining a model for recruitment procedures would be valuable for researchers and, by extension, the patient populations that may benefit from the insight gained by future clinical research. METHODS: This article aims to offer suggestions for recruitment based on years of experience at the Columbia Schizophrenia Research Clinic (CSRC), a hub for clinical trials focusing on the etiology and treatment of various psychotic disorders. RESULTS: The present report provides practical, step-by-step recommendations for implementing the highly effective CSRC recruitment model, including the benefits of 2 recruitment initiatives that were instituted in 2018: hiring a dedicated recruiter and targeted chart reviews at affiliated clinics. Other topics discussed include our umbrella protocol and database, advertising, and tips for collaborating with external sites. CONCLUSIONS: Despite ongoing complications from coronavirus disease 2019, these strategies have been successful, increasing the rate of both consents and study enrollments by approximately 40% and enabling the CSRC to conduct multiple studies simultaneously.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Schizophrenia , Humans , Schizophrenia/diagnosis , Schizophrenia/therapy , Patient Selection , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Longitudinal Studies
7.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 718, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951223

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been impacting the need, utilization, and delivery of mental health services with greater challenges being faced by clients and providers. With many clients facing reduced access to services and social isolation, a focus on suicide risk assessment and prevention is critical. Concern is particularly increased for clients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders given data show suicide rates are disproportionately high for those with psychosis in comparison to the general population. Provider perspectives of challenges in service delivery are needed to inform efforts to improve access, feasibility, and quality of mental health care throughout the evolving pandemic. This study explored mental health provider perspectives of client challenges in service utilization and provider challenges in service delivery, including remote engagement, suicide risk assessment, and treatment of psychosis. METHODS: Data were collected from social work mental health providers (n = 12) in United States community mental health setting. Providers consented to participate and responded to questions about service delivery experiences in late 2020 and in relation to COVID-19. Demographic and practice-related provider data were explored descriptively using SPSS and qualitative data using open coding and grounded theory methods in Dedoose. RESULTS: Among the 9 providers who engaged in remote service delivery, 7 (77.8%) experienced challenges in remote engagement with clients and 8 (88.9%) experienced challenges in treatment of psychosis. Among the 7 providers who engaged in remote suicide assessment, 4(57%) experienced challenges. Qualitative themes emerged including logistic (e.g., technology access and use), engagement (e.g., virtual rapport-building and limited remote services), and clinical (e.g., difficulty assessing suicide risk, internal stimuli, abnormal involuntary movement, and affect) challenges in service delivery. CONCLUSIONS: Provider perspectives are essential to inform efforts to build resources and problem-solve challenges and barriers that both providers and clients face throughout various shifts in mental health service delivery. Findings emphasize the need to troubleshoot client access to technology, bolster support for providers to prevent burnout, and greater provider training to improve skills in remote engagement, assessment, and treatment, particularly in relation to psychosis and suicide prevention. Study implications are not only critical for the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, but also in preparation for ongoing shifts in service delivery as technology evolves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Suicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Risk Assessment , Suicide/prevention & control
8.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 9(5): 375-388, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1889992

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Automated delivery of psychological therapy using immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) might greatly increase the availability of effective help for patients. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of an automated VR cognitive therapy (gameChange) to treat avoidance and distress in patients with psychosis, and to analyse how and in whom it might work. METHODS: We did a parallel-group, single-blind, randomised, controlled trial across nine National Health Service trusts in England. Eligible patients were aged 16 years or older, with a clinical diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder or an affective diagnosis with psychotic symptoms, and had self-reported difficulties going outside due to anxiety. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to either gameChange VR therapy plus usual care or usual care alone, using a permuted blocks algorithm with randomly varying block size, stratified by study site and service type. gameChange VR therapy was provided in approximately six sessions over 6 weeks. Trial assessors were masked to group allocation. Outcomes were assessed at 0, 6 (primary endpoint), and 26 weeks after randomisation. The primary outcome was avoidance of, and distress in, everyday situations, assessed using the self-reported Oxford Agoraphobic Avoidance Scale (O-AS). Outcome analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population (ie, all participants who were assigned to a study group for whom data were available). We performed planned mediation and moderation analyses to test the effects of gameChange VR therapy when added to usual care. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, 17308399. FINDINGS: Between July 25, 2019, and May 7, 2021 (with a pause in recruitment from March 16, 2020, to Sept 14, 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions), 551 patients were assessed for eligibility and 346 were enrolled. 231 (67%) patients were men and 111 (32%) were women, 294 (85%) were White, and the mean age was 37·2 years (SD 12·5). 174 patients were randomly assigned to the gameChange VR therapy group and 172 to the usual care alone group. Compared with the usual care alone group, the gameChange VR therapy group had significant reductions in agoraphobic avoidance (O-AS adjusted mean difference -0·47, 95% CI -0·88 to -0·06; n=320; Cohen's d -0·18; p=0·026) and distress (-4·33, -7·78 to -0·87; n=322; -0·26; p=0·014) at 6 weeks. Reductions in threat cognitions and within-situation defence behaviours mediated treatment outcomes. The greater the severity of anxious fears and avoidance, the greater the treatment benefits. There was no significant difference in the occurrence of serious adverse events between the gameChange VR therapy group (12 events in nine patients) and the usual care alone group (eight events in seven patients; p=0·37). INTERPRETATION: Automated VR therapy led to significant reductions in anxious avoidance of, and distress in, everyday situations compared with usual care alone. The mediation analysis indicated that the VR therapy worked in accordance with the cognitive model by reducing anxious thoughts and associated protective behaviours. The moderation analysis indicated that the VR therapy particularly benefited patients with severe agoraphobic avoidance, such as not being able to leave the home unaccompanied. gameChange VR therapy has the potential to increase the provision of effective psychological therapy for psychosis, particularly for patients who find it difficult to leave their home, visit local amenities, or use public transport. FUNDING: National Institute of Health Research Invention for Innovation programme, National Institute of Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy , Adult , England , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Single-Blind Method , State Medicine , Treatment Outcome
10.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 8(11): e22997, 2020 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862476

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: eHealth interventions are widely used in clinical trials and increasingly in care settings as well; however, their efficacy in real-world contexts remains unknown. ReMindCare is a smartphone app that has been systematically implemented in a first episode of psychosis program (FEPP) for patients with early psychosis since 2018. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of ReMindCare after 19 months of use in the clinic and varying use by individual patients. METHODS: The integration of the ReMindCare app into the FEPP started in October 2018. Patients with early psychosis self-selected to the app (ReMindCare group) or treatment as usual (TAU group). The outcome variables considered were adherence to the intervention and number of relapses, hospital admissions, and visits to urgent care units. Data from 90 patients with early psychosis were analyzed: 59 in the ReMindCare group and 31 in the TAU group. The mean age of the sample was 32.8 (SD 9.4) years, 73% (66/90) were males, 91% (83/90) were White, and 81% (74/90) were single. RESULTS: Significant differences between the ReMindCare and TAU groups were found in the number of relapses, hospitalizations, and visits to urgent care units, with each showing benefits for the app. Only 20% (12/59) of patients from the ReMindCare group had a relapse, while 58% (18/31) of the TAU patients had one or more relapses (χ2=13.7, P=.001). Moreover, ReMindCare patients had fewer visits to urgent care units (χ2=7.4, P=.006) and fewer hospitalizations than TAU patients (χ2=4.6, P=.03). The mean of days using the app was 352.2 (SD 191.2; min/max: 18-594), and the mean of engagement was 84.5 (SD 16.04). CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first eHealth intervention that has preliminarily proven its benefits in the real-world treatment of patients with early psychosis. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1111/eip.12960.


Subject(s)
Mobile Applications , Psychotic Disorders , Telemedicine , Adult , Ambulatory Care , Female , Humans , Male , Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Smartphone
11.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e056420, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822070

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) is associated with significant impairment of functioning and high treatment costs. Identification of patients at high risk of TRS at the time of their initial diagnosis may significantly improve clinical outcomes and minimise social and functional disability. We aim to develop a prognostic model for predicting the risk of developing TRS in patients with first-episode schizophrenia and to examine its potential utility and acceptability as a clinical decision tool. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will use two well-characterised longitudinal UK-based first-episode psychosis cohorts: Aetiology and Ethnicity in Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses and Genetics and Psychosis for which data have been collected on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. We will identify candidate predictors for the model based on current literature and stakeholder consultation. Model development will use all data, with the number of candidate predictors restricted according to available sample size and event rate. A model for predicting risk of TRS will be developed based on penalised regression, with missing data handled using multiple imputation. Internal validation will be undertaken via bootstrapping, obtaining optimism-adjusted estimates of the model's performance. The clinical utility of the model in terms of clinically relevant risk thresholds will be evaluated using net benefit and decision curves (comparative to competing strategies). Consultation with patients and clinical stakeholders will determine potential thresholds of risk for treatment decision-making. The acceptability of embedding the model as a clinical tool will be explored using qualitative focus groups with up to 20 clinicians in total from early intervention services. Clinicians will be recruited from services in Stafford and London with the focus groups being held via an online platform. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The development of the prognostic model will be based on anonymised data from existing cohorts, for which ethical approval is in place. Ethical approval has been obtained from Keele University for the qualitative focus groups within early intervention in psychosis services (ref: MH-210174). Suitable processes are in place to obtain informed consent for National Health Service staff taking part in interviews or focus groups. A study information sheet with cover letter and consent form have been prepared and approved by the local Research Ethics Committee. Findings will be shared through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations and social media. A lay summary will be published on collaborator websites.


Subject(s)
Antipsychotic Agents , Psychotic Disorders , Schizophrenia , Antipsychotic Agents/therapeutic use , Health Care Costs , Humans , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Schizophrenia/drug therapy , State Medicine
12.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 35(3): 140-145, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672463

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe and widespread global impact but particularly for those with psychosis. This review summarizes recent evidence on the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and psychotic disorders, highlighting the risks faced by these individuals including the negative impacts on treatment services, complications from contracting COVID-19, and the acceptability of digital interventions. RECENT FINDINGS: Mortality, morbidity, and infection outcomes are among the worst for individuals with psychotic disorders. Presentation rates for psychotic disorders are elevated at emergency departments compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic; demand for inpatient services has increased, and there have been complications in access because of pandemic restrictions. COVID-19 related stressors have led to the exacerbation and incidence of psychotic symptoms among individuals with and without preexisting psychotic diagnoses. Digital interventions may be an acceptable method for maintaining patient contact and treatment during extended isolation. SUMMARY: More data is needed on the longitudinal trajectory for psychotic symptoms post-COVID-19 infection and pandemic restrictions to better support individuals with psychotic disorders. Development of a long-term pandemic management plan is needed to monitor and support psychiatric health across the population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Humans , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/etiology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Early Interv Psychiatry ; 16(10): 1152-1158, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662258

ABSTRACT

AIM: Coordinated specialty care (CSC) is a collaborative-team based approach that has been shown to be helpful for patients with first-episode psychosis. Peer support is an important component of CSC. Here, we describe the development and implementation of peer-led group programming (McLean WellSpace) that was loosely affiliated with a CSC (McLean OnTrack). We discuss how we adapted this program to the challenges imposed by COVID-19. METHODS: WellSpace was developed to have minimal barriers to entry other than a self-reported history of recent onset of psychosis. It is free for participants with minimal restrictions about who may attend. WellSpace and WellSpace groups are largely administered by peer specialists who align with the recovery movement. WellSpace has been a virtual program since March 2020. RESULTS: McLean WellSpace participants include many people who are not patients of McLean OnTrack, suggesting that such programs may have greater reach than standard medical programs. We transitioned to virtual programming and saw average group attendance and unique participants increase during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Our experience suggests that peer-led group programming for first-episode psychosis is well-accepted by patients, including many who are not engaged with a CSC. This may be related to our efforts to minimize barriers to entry and our peer-led, non-medical orientation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Humans , Peer Group , Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis , Psychotic Disorders/therapy
14.
Psychiatr Serv ; 73(7): 834-837, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541977

ABSTRACT

The Intensive Home Treatment Team in Edinburgh provides care at home for those with acute and severe mental health problems. During the first COVID-19 lockdown, the team conducted and evaluated video and telephone calls but also continued seeing most patients face to face to ensure adequate care. The in-person care was achieved safely, without an increase in staff sickness events. During the lockdown, the team observed more cases of psychosis, particularly acute and transient psychosis and first-episode psychosis, particularly among women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Psychotic Disorders , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Psychotic Disorders/therapy
15.
Early Interv Psychiatry ; 16(8): 883-890, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494666

ABSTRACT

AIM: Early intervention for people experiencing first episode psychosis is a priority, and keyworkers are vital to such services. However, keyworkers' roles in addressing first episode psychosis patients' physical health are under researched. This study addresses this knowledge gap by evaluating a keyworker-mediated intervention promoting physical health among first episode psychosis patients. METHODS: The study was informed by the Medical Research Council's Framework for Complex Interventions to Improve Health. First episode psychosis participants were recruited from three Irish mental health services. The intervention was evaluated in terms of its feasibility/acceptability. RESULTS: Feasibility outcomes were mixed (recruitment rate = 24/68 [35.3%]; retention rate = 18/24 [75%]). The baseline sample was predominantly male (M:F ratio = 13:6; Med age = 25 y; IQR = 23-42 y). Common health issues among participants included overweightness/obesity (n = 11) and substance use (smoking/alcohol consumption [n = 19]). Participants' initial health priorities included exercising more (n = 10), improving diet (n = 6), weight loss (n = 7) and using various health/healthcare services. The intervention's acceptability was evidenced by the appreciation participants had for physical health keyworkers' support, as well as the healthy lifestyle, which the intervention promoted. Acceptability was somewhat compromised by a low-recruitment rate, variable linkages between keyworkers and general practitioners (GPs) and COVID-19 restrictions. CONCLUSIONS: Physical health-oriented keyworker interventions for first episode psychosis patients show promise and further evaluation of such initiatives is warranted. Future interventions should be mindful of participant recruitment challenges, strategies to enhance relationships between keyworkers and GPs, and if necessary, they should mitigate COVID-19 restrictions' impacts on care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Psychotic Disorders , Adult , Exercise , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Psychotic Disorders/therapy
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480718

ABSTRACT

Few studies have examined the relationship between the therapeutic alliance in therapy and suicidal experiences. No studies have examined this relationship with people with non-affective psychosis. The present study sought to redress this gap in the literature. Sixty-four participants with non-affective psychosis and suicidal experiences who were receiving a suicide-focused cognitive therapy were recruited. Self-reported suicidal ideation, suicide plans, suicide attempts, depression, and hopelessness were collected from participants prior to starting therapy. Suicidal experience measures were collected again post-therapy at 6 months. Therapeutic alliance ratings were completed by clients and therapists at session 4 of therapy. Dose of therapy was documented in number of minutes of therapy. Data were analyzed using correlation coefficients, independent samples t-tests, a multiple hierarchical regression, and a moderated linear regression. There was no significant relationship found between suicidal ideation prior to therapy and the therapeutic alliance at session 4, rated by both client and therapist. However, there was a significant negative relationship between the client-rated therapeutic alliance at session 4 and suicidal ideation at 6 months, after controlling for pre-therapy suicidal ideation, depression, and hopelessness. Furthermore, the negative relationship between the client-rated alliance and suicidal ideation was the strongest when number of minutes of therapy was 15 h or below. A stronger therapeutic alliance developed in the first few sessions of therapy is important in ameliorating suicidal thoughts in people with psychosis. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily the case that more hours in therapy equates to a cumulative decrease in suicidal ideation of which therapists could be mindful. A limitation of the current study was that the alliance was analyzed only at session 4 of therapy, which future studies could seek to redress.


Subject(s)
Psychotic Disorders , Therapeutic Alliance , Humans , Psychotherapy , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Suicidal Ideation , Suicide, Attempted
17.
Aust N Z J Psychiatry ; 56(7): 811-817, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470558

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on global mental health, with one-third of infected individuals developing a psychiatric or neurological disorder 6 months after infection. The risk of infection and the associated restrictions introduced to reduce the spread of the virus have also impacted help-seeking behaviours. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether there was a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic in the treated incidence of psychotic disorders and rates of admission to hospital for psychosis (including involuntary admission). METHODS: Incident cases of first-episode psychosis in young people, aged 15 to 24, at an early intervention service in Melbourne from an 8-month period before the pandemic were compared with rates during the pandemic. Hospital admission rates for these periods were also compared. RESULTS: Before the pandemic, the annual incidence of first-episode psychosis was 104.5 cases per 100,000 at-risk population, and during the pandemic it was 121.9 (incidence rate ratio = 1.14, 95% confidence interval = [0.92, 1.42], p = 0.24). Immediately after the implementation of restrictions, there was a non-significant reduction in the treated incidence (incidence rate ratio = 0.80, 95% confidence interval = [0.58, 1.09]), which was followed by a significant increase in the treated incidence in later months (incidence rate ratio = 1.94, 95% confidence interval = [1.52, 2.49]; incidence rate ratio = 1.64, 95% confidence interval = [1.25, 2.16]). Before the pandemic, 37.3% of young people with first-episode psychosis were admitted to hospital, compared to 61.7% during the pandemic (odds ratio = 2.71, 95% confidence interval = [1.73, 4.24]). Concerning the legal status of the admissions, before the pandemic, 27.3% were admitted involuntarily to hospital, compared to 42.5% during the pandemic (odds ratio = 1.97, 95% confidence interval = [1.23, 3.14]). CONCLUSION: There was a mild increase, which did not reach statistical significance, in the overall incidence of first-episode psychosis; however, the pattern of presentations changed significantly, with nearly twice as many cases presenting in the later months of the restrictions. There was a significant increase in both voluntary and involuntary admissions, and the possible explanations for these findings are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy
18.
Early Interv Psychiatry ; 16(8): 862-867, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462775

ABSTRACT

AIM: To explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic first wave in Quebec, Canada on practices in early intervention services (EIS) for first-episode psychosis, including reorganization of clinical and administrative practices and teleconsultation use. METHODS: Adopting a cross-sectional descriptive study design, a 41 questions online survey was sent to the team leaders of all the 33 Quebec EIS, of which 100% responded. Data were collected from 18 May to 4 June 2020 and analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Programmes were categorized as urban/non-urban and results were compared between these. RESULTS: All 33 existing Quebec EIS (16 urban and 17 non-urban) completed the survey. Among them, 85% did not experience redeployment of EIS team staff and 58% reported stable frequency of patient interactions, either in-person or through telemedicine. During the studied period, 64% of programmes reported that all professionals used teleconsultation at least occasionally. However, 73% of programmes, mostly in non-urban areas, reported some limitations regarding clinicians' degree of ease with teleconferencing platforms and half of EIS could not access technical support to use them. The majority of EIS (94%) expressed interest to participate in a training program about the use of technologies for teleconsultations. Many smaller clinics reported interest in offering multiregional/multiclinics group teletherapy, therefore merging their pool of patients and clinical staff workforce. CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are warranted to improve access to and use of technology-mediated treatment, which seems to be a promising alternative to provide high-quality mental healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Quebec/epidemiology
19.
Int J Ment Health Nurs ; 30(6): 1620-1629, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327548

ABSTRACT

Family and carers play an important role in supporting service users who are in receipt of acute mental health inpatient care, but they can also be significantly emotionally and physically impacted. The aim of this study was to examine their needs and priorities during this time. Fourteen family and carers of inpatients experiencing psychosis completed semi-structured interviews examining their experiences of inpatient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Four key themes were identified: 'A turbulent journey to hospital admission', 'I need information and support', 'Maintaining my relationship with my loved one' and 'Inpatient care is a mixed bag'. Each theme comprised four or five subthemes. The findings demonstrated that family and carers feel excluded from inpatient care and struggled to maintain contact with their loved ones, which was exacerbated by COVID-19 related restrictions. Communication and being regularly informed about their loved one's care, as well as visiting loved ones, was particularly problematic. Inpatient care needs to be more inclusive of family and carers and ensure they are kept in mind at every stage of the admission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Caregivers , Humans , Inpatients , Mental Health , Pandemics , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Schizophr Bull ; 47(6): 1518-1523, 2021 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309636

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has led to a great deal of general suffering and an increased prevalence of psychiatric illness worldwide. Within the area of psychosis-risk syndromes, a highly heterogeneous clinical population, the picture is quite nuanced as the social restrictions resulting from the pandemic have reduced stress for some and increased it for others. Further, a number of pandemic-related societal and cultural changes have obfuscated the diagnostic and treatment landscape in this area as well. In this opinion article, we describe several prototypical cases, representative of presentations seen in our clinical high-risk (CHR) research programs. The cases highlight considerable clinical variability and, in addition, speak to the current complexities faced by diagnosticians and treatment providers. In addition to discussing these issues, this piece introduces potential solutions highlighting the promise of incorporating data-driven strategies to identify more homogenous CHR subtypes and employ precision medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychotic Disorders , Schizophrenia , Adolescent , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Prodromal Symptoms , Psychotic Disorders/diagnosis , Psychotic Disorders/physiopathology , Psychotic Disorders/therapy , Risk , Schizophrenia/diagnosis , Schizophrenia/physiopathology , Schizophrenia/therapy
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