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…]

Black patients’ first contact with mental health services is more likely to be coercive


It is well documented that there are differences in how patients are treated, depending on their ethnicity. Previous inquiries in the UK have suggested that the NHS is institutionally racist (Blofeld et al, 2003). Some groups, for example those from African Caribbean or Aboriginal descent, experience more coercive care and poor outcomes, including higher doses of [read the full story…]

WEAVE RCT: GP training, but not screening, may benefit women who have experienced intimate partner violence


Behaviour within an intimate relationship which causes psychological, physical or sexual harm to either party is known as intimate partner violence (IPV). This violence is perpetrated by both men and women, but significant injuries are more commonly sustained by women. Consequently, IPV is a major public health concern as it contributes majorly to mortality in [read the full story…]

Do people stop smoking if their doctor advises them to? Cochrane review says sometimes and it IS worth the effort


As previously discussed on the Mental Elf, the rates of tobacco smoking in most developed countries are falling, helped in part by high levels of taxation and bans on smoking in public places. However, over 20% of adults in the UK continue to smoke, and this means that smoking is the greatest single cause of [read the full story…]