Is moderate alcohol consumption good for you?


Beware underpowered observational studies! Marcus Munafò helps us understand why a recent BMJ study on all cause mortality and age specific alcohol consumption is not as simple as the newspapers would have us believe.

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People with severe mental illness are more likely to be victims of violent and non-violent crime


Vishal Bhavsar summarises a recent cross-sectional study of violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness, which finds that service users were five times more likely to be victims of assault, and three times more likely to be victims of household acquisitive crime.

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Extra care housing vs nursing homes for disabled older people


In her exploration of a Canadian study into extra care housing for older disabled people, Jo Moriatry gives a critical view of the research and offers some insights into what it means for the UK policy and practice context.

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Medication in advanced dementia: how can we judge what is appropriate?


Caroline Struthers appraises a recent US cross-sectional study of the use of medications of “questionable benefit” in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. She concludes that all medications are of questionable value if they have side effects which might have a negative impact on quality of life or are likely to cause harm.

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E-cigarettes and youth: are e-cigs encouraging more use of conventional cigarettes?


Matt Field reviews the recent cross-sectional survey of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarette use in US adolescents, which found that E-Cig users were more likely to also smoke regular cigarettes than non-users. Does this mean that E-cigarettes encourage the use of conventional cigarettes?

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Be nice to patients and they will get better? Therapeutic alliance and service user satisfaction


John Baker reviews a recent cross-sectional study of the relationship between therapeutic alliance and service user satisfaction in mental health inpatient wards and crisis house alternatives.

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Childhood abuse and adverse life events interact synergistically to produce a high risk for psychotic experiences


This recent study concludes that childhood abuse creates an enduring vulnerability to psychosis that is realised in the event of exposure to further stressors and risk factors, such as separation, bereavement, or being involved in an accident or physical attack.

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Financial incentives don’t increase depression screening for patients with chronic illness


The lines between physical health and mental health are blurred in lots of ways, and one example is the fact that people with chronic physical conditions are also more likely to suffer from depression. As well as adding to their burden of illness, there’s also some evidence that those patients with comorbid depression have worse [read the full story…]

35% of people with learning disabilities in Australian city prescribed psychotropic medications

medicine in blisterpack

It is estimated that in UK, up to 200,000 people with learning disabilities are given anti-psychotic drugs, which can have powerful side effects, like risk of weight gain, impotence and strain to the cardiovascular system, and with little evidence of their efficacy in treating challenging behaviour. There are equal concerns about the use of anti-convulsant [read the full story…]