Are Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Using Mental Health Services? New Data From a National Random-Sample Survey.

Are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using mental health services? New data from a national random-sample survey.

Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Feb 1; 64(2): 134-41
Elbogen EB, Wagner HR, Johnson SC, Kinneer P, Kang H, Vasterling JJ, Timko C, Beckham JC

This study analyzed data from a national survey of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to improve understanding of mental health services use and perceived barriers.The National Post-Deployment Adjustment Survey randomly sampled post-9/11 veterans separated from active duty or in the Reserves or National Guard. The corrected response rate was 56% (N=1,388).Forty-three percent screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, or alcohol misuse. Past-year psychiatric treatment was reported by 69% of the PTSD group, 67% of the depression group, and 45% of those with alcohol misuse. Most received care at Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, although women were more likely than men to seek non-VA services. Veterans with more severe symptoms reported greater treatment utilization. Eighteen percent saw a pastoral counselor (chaplain) in the past year. Veterans with mental health needs who did not access treatment were more likely to believe that they had to solve problems themselves and that medications would not help. Those who had accessed treatment were more likely to express concern about being seen as weak by others.Veterans in greatest need were more likely to access services. More than two-thirds with probable PTSD obtained past-year treatment, mostly at VA facilities. Treatment for veterans may be improved by increasing awareness of gender differences, integrating mental health and pastoral services, and recognizing that alcohol misuse may reduce utilization. Veterans who had and had not used services endorsed different perceptions about treatment, indicating that barriers to accessing care may be distinct from barriers to engaging in care. HubMed – depression


Costs of a public health model to increase receipt of hepatitis-related services for persons with mental illness.

Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Feb 1; 64(2): 127-33
Slade EP, Rosenberg S, Dixon LB, Goldberg RW, Wolford GL, Himelhoch S, Tapscott S

This study examined the costs and impact on receipt of hepatitis and HIV testing and hepatitis immunization services of a public health intervention model that was designed for use by persons with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.Between 2006 and 2008, a random sample of 202 nonelderly, predominantly African-American males with a psychotic or major depressive disorder and a co-occurring substance use disorder was recruited at four community mental health outpatient programs in a large metropolitan area. Participants were randomly assigned at each site to enhanced treatment as usual (N=97), including education about blood-borne diseases and referrals for testing and vaccinations, or to an experimental intervention (N=105) that provided on-site infectious disease education, screening of risk level, pretest counseling, testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C, vaccination for hepatitis A and B, and personalized risk-reduction counseling. The authors compared the two study groups to assess the average costs of improving hepatitis and HIV testing and hepatitis A and B vaccination in this population.The average cost per participant was $ 423 for the intervention and $ 24 for the comparison condition (t=52.7, df=201, p<.001). The costs per additional person tested was $ 706 for hepatitis C, $ 776 for hepatitis B, and $ 3,630 for HIV, and the cost per additional person vaccinated for hepatitis was $ 561.Delivery of hepatitis and HIV public health services to persons with serious mental illness in outpatient mental health settings can be as cost-effective as similar interventions for other at-risk populations. HubMed – depression


Psychiatric outpatients’ self-reported adherence versus psychiatrists’ impressions on adherence in affective disorders.

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Mar 8;
De Las Cuevas C, Peñate W, Sanz EJ

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to explore correlation between patients’ self-reported adherence to medication and their treating psychiatrists’ impressions on adherence. METHODS: During a 9-month period, 140 consecutive psychiatric outpatients with affective disorders attending two community mental health centers, and their treating psychiatrists, took part. Data were collected on socio-demographic, clinical, and therapeutic variables. The Clinical Global Impression-Severity and Improvement scales and the Beck Depression Inventory were used for clinical assessment. Adherence was assessed by the psychiatrist’s report and the Morisky scale from patients. In addition, ” Drug Attitude Inventory,” ” Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire,” and ” Leeds Attitude towards concordance scale” were applied to all participants. A multivariate analysis of variance (Bonferroni control) and a subsequent stepwise regression were performed. RESULTS: The allocation of patients to “adherent” or “non-adherent” categories by the patients themselves and their treating psychiatrists was divergent in more than 40% of the cases. The best agreement appears when treatment is prolonged. There is a better agreement with patients having a positive view of the medicines. When patients consider the medication harmful, this is when psychiatrists perceive more non-adherence. The agreement is also better in mild cases of depression. CONCLUSIONS: Adherence was principally compromised by patient-related factors, especially their beliefs and attitudes toward their treatment and its duration. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. HubMed – depression


From Normal Gait to Loss of Ambulation in 6 Months: a Novel Presentation of SCA17.

Cerebellum. 2013 Mar 9;
Mehanna R, Itin I

Spinocerebellar ataxias are a group of rare and heterogeneous autosomal dominant disorders characterized by progressive ataxia and other features. Spinocerebellar ataxia 17 (SCA17) is one of the 32 subtypes described to date and is secondary to CAG/CAA repeat expansion in the gene coding for the TATA-box binding protein (TBP). SCA17 is clinically heterogeneous and typically presents with slowly evolving ataxia, dysarthria, dementia, depression, and other movement disorders such as chorea. More than 41 CAG/CAA repeats are considered diagnostic of SCA17, with more than 49 being associated with full penetrance. We report one patient presenting with isolated rapidly evolving ataxia who was found to have 44 CAG/CAA repeats in the TBP gene. This suggests that, while SCA17 typically slowly progresses over years, its repertoire of presentations should be expanded to include rapidly progressive isolated ataxia resembling paraneoplastic disorders or prion disease. HubMed – depression


The impact of supervision on internal medicine residents’ attitudes and management of depression in primary care: a pilot study.

Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Mar 1; 37(2): 94-7
Milone JM, Gottumukkala A, Ward CP, York KM

OBJECTIVE The authors examined the effect of supervision on internal medicine residents’ attitudes toward and management of depression. METHOD Internal medicine residents completed a survey during preclinical conferences. The survey included a published, validated questionnaire, the Depression Attitude Questionnaire, and items developed by the researchers. RESULTS Of residents in attendance on the day of survey administration, 94% (51/54) agreed to participate. The study sample contained 39% of the 139-member residency program. About half (49%) reported feeling uncomfortable managing depression. Perceived training adequacy was correlated with a greater feeling of ease managing depression. Most residents reported screening ?20% of patients for depression, although 71% indicated they are more likely to screen if it were a priority for their supervisor. Fifty-eight percent indicated that supervisors’ attitudes affect their own attitudes. However, significant correlations between supervisor and resident attitudes were not observed. CONCLUSION The results of this pilot study suggest that supervision can encourage screening and promote resident preparedness to manage depression. HubMed – depression