Psychiatrists and GPs: Diagnostic Decision Making, Personality Profiles and Attitudes Toward Depression and Anxiety.

Psychiatrists and GPs: diagnostic decision making, personality profiles and attitudes toward depression and anxiety.

Australas Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 25;
Lampe L, Fritz K, Boyce P, Starcevic V, Brakoulias V, Walter G, Shadbolt N, Harris A, Malhi G

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this article is to explore diagnostic decision making around psychological symptoms presenting to general practitioners (GPs) and psychiatrists, identify attitudinal and personality factors of possible relevance in these decisions, and compare GPs and psychiatrists to help identify potential educational targets. METHODS: GPs and psychiatrists attended separate peer-facilitated workshops in which two case presentations were discussed. Decision making was explored by structured questions embedded in the workshop, with responses recorded by electronic keypad technology. Participants completed demographic questionnaires and measures of personality and attitudes to depression. RESULTS: GPs and psychiatrists accorded emphasis to different elements of the history, and assigned different diagnoses based on the same set of symptoms. Both groups relied on non-pharmacological management for milder psychological symptoms; GPs were less likely to make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Traits of Extraversion and Agreeableness were associated with greater ease in treating depression. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in diagnostic decision making likely reflect the different contexts of specialist and generalist practice. Educational targets may include information about key symptoms to assist in diagnostic precision, but further information is needed to determine the best match between diagnostic processes, context and outcome. An awareness of the role of personality factors may help when designing education and support programs. HubMed – depression


The duty to be Well-informed: The case of depression.

J Med Ethics. 2013 Apr 26;
Blease C

It is now an ethical dictum that patients should be informed by physicians about their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options. In this paper, I ask: ‘How informed are the ‘informers’ in clinical practice?’ Physicians have a duty to be ‘well-informed’: patient well-being depends not just in conveying adequate information to patients, it also depends on physicians keeping up-to-date about: (1) popular misunderstandings of illnesses and treatments; and (2) the importance of patient psychology in affecting prognosis. Taking the case of depression as an entry point, this paper argues that medical researchers and physicians need to pay serious attention to the explanations given to patients regarding their diagnosis. Studies on lay understanding of depression show that there is a common belief that depression is wholly caused by a ‘chemical imbalance’ (such as ‘low serotonin’) that can be restored by chemically restorative antidepresssants, a claim that has entered ‘folk wisdom’. However, these beliefs oversimplify and misrepresent the current scientific understanding of the causes of depression: first, there is consensus in the scientific community that the causes of depression include social as well as psychological triggers (and not just biochemical ones); second, there is significant dissensus in the scientific community over exactly what lower level, biological or biochemical processes are involved in causing depression; third, there is no established consensus about how antidepressants work at a biochemical level; fourth, there is evidence that patients are negatively affected if they believe their depression is wholly explained by (the vague descriptor) of ‘biochemical imbalance’. I argue that the medical community has a duty, to provide patients with adequate information and to be aware of the negative health impact of prevalent oversimplifications-whatever their origins. HubMed – depression


Psychologic Disorders and Statin Use: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis.

Pharmacotherapy. 2013 Apr 26;
Mansi I, Frei CR, Pugh MJ, Mortensen EM

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between statin therapy and the risk of psychologic disorders including schizophrenia, psychosis, major depression, and bipolar disorder in a military population. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational, population-based, propensity score-matched, cohort study. SETTING: Database of a patient population enrolled in the San Antonio Military Multi-Market Area as Tricare Prime or Plus. PATIENTS: Medical records were reviewed from 46,249 patients aged 30-85 years who were continuously enrolled in the San Antonio Military Multi-Market Area as Tricare Prime or Plus from October 1, 2003-March 1, 2010. Data were obtained from the Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool (M2). Based on drug fills during fiscal year 2005, patients were stratified as statin users (13,626 patients received at least 90-days supply of statin) or nonusers (32,623 patients never received a statin during the study period). A propensity score-matched cohort of 6972 statin users and 6972 nonusers from this population was created. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The occurrence of psychologic disorders between October 1, 2005, and March 1, 2010, was determined using prespecified groups of ICD-9-CM, Psych1: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, and other psychosis; Psych2: major depression and bipolar disorder; Psych3: all psychologic disorders as identified by the Agency for Health Research and Quality-Clinical Classifications (except for categories of childhood or developmental psychiatric disorders). Between matched pairs of statin users and nonusers, the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were as follows: Psych1 (0.9, 0.75-1.05), Psych2 (1.02, 0.94-1.11), and Psych3 (1.02, 0.96-1.1), respectively. CONCLUSION: The risk of developing psychologic disorders was similar in this cohort of propensity score-matched statin users and nonusers. HubMed – depression


Psychosocial problems associated with depression at 18?months poststroke.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 29;
De Ryck A, Fransen E, Brouns R, Geurden M, Peij D, Mariën P, De Deyn PP, Engelborghs S

OBJECTIVE: With a prevalence that varies between 20% and 65%, poststroke depression (PSD) is a frequent sequel of stroke. The aim of this study was to determine incidence and risk factors for PSD 18?months after stroke. METHODS: As part of the Middelheim Interdisciplinary Stroke Study, patients were followed up for 18?months in this prospective and longitudinal epidemiological study. Clinically significant signs and symptoms of PSD were quantified by means of the Cornell Scale for Depression (CSD) and the Montgomery and Åsberg Depression Rating Scale. Activities, including social activities, were measured with the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS). Relational problems since stroke onset were defined by a questionnaire. RESULTS: Data analysis was performed on 125 patients who completed follow-up assessments. Depression (CSD score ?8) was diagnosed in 28% of the patients. Patients with PSD were more dependent for activities of daily living and displayed more physical and cognitive impairment than patients without PSD. The risk to become depressed decreased with 5% when the patient’s activities increased with one unit on the SIS (odds ratio (OR)?=?0.95; 95% confidence interval (CI)?=?0.93-0.97). Patients with persistent relational problems since stroke onset had approximately four and a half times greater risk of becoming depressed than patients without (OR?=?4.48; 95%CI?=?1.17-16.87). CONCLUSIONS: Multiple regression models indicated that the most determining features for developing PSD at 18?months poststroke include reduced activity and relationship problems due to stroke. Further studies on risk factors for PSD are essential, including psychosocial aspects, given its negative impact on rehabilitation and quality of life. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. HubMed – depression



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