Training alone doesn’t improve outcomes for depression in primary care


Linda Gask writes her debut Mental Elf blog on a recent systematic review, which evaluates healthcare team training programs that aim to improve depression in primary care.

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Self-harm in primary care: more prescribing than referrals

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Olivia Kirtley and Alys Cole-King present a major new cohort study, which includes worrying evidence about the clinical management of patients in primary care following self-harm.

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Does QOF reduce hospitalisation for people with severe mental illness?


Andres Fonseca appraises a regression analysis looking at the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) and the impact it has on psychiatric admissions in people with severe mental illness.

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CBT plus taper may help reduce short-term benzodiazepine use


John Baker summarises a recent Cochrane systematic review of psychosocial interventions for benzodiazepine harmful use, abuse or dependence.

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Inter-professional working between general practice and social care


Tanya Moore discusses a small study on inter-professional working between social care and general practice and finds evidence of misunderstanding.

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits

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Can’t get an appointment with your GP? Don’t stress, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help by reducing the demand for primary care visits by distressed patients, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

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We don’t know if general health advice improves physical health for patients with serious mental illness


For me, one of the most infuriating aspects of health care is the relegation of mental health problems, and mental health services, as secondary to physical health. There are a myriad of examples of this, from the classic stigma that people with mental health problems receive compared to those with physical health problems (fantastically illustrated [read the full story…]

Reasonable adjustments in primary care for people with learning disabilities

Good health care is dependent on cooperation between health care professionals and support workers in order to maximise care, health and functioning for people with learning disabilities

UK law requires public services to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people following the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and the Equality Act (2010), which does not cover Northern Ireland. For people with physical disabilities these have predominantly focused on the environment, whilst for people with a learning disabilities it requires more commonly clear explanations and [read the full story…]

Why do GPs over prescribe benzodiazepines? Synthesis of qualitative studies


Benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia, anxiety and chronic back pain due to their sedative and muscle relaxing effects. They’ve got a sting in the tail though and can cause memory disruption, loss of coordination and dependence if used long term. It’s therefore recommended that other treatments, such as psychological interventions, are tried first and [read the full story…]