Burning mouth syndrome: insufficient evidence for effectiveness of current treatments

Depression

This update of a 2005 Cochrane review identified 23 RCTs but a limited number at low risk of bias so there is insufficient evidence to support or refute the use of any interventions in managing burning mouth syndrome.

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Self-harm on the rise, but many denied mental health assessments

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Katrina Witt explores a recently published paper that draws on the Multicentre Study of Self-Harm in England. The cohort study found that around one-half of self-harm patients do not receive psychosocial assessment, despite 2004 NICE guidance that recommends everyone who has self-harmed should have a comprehensive assessment of needs and risk.

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Cochrane find no evidence for as required PRN medication for mental health inpatients

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John Baker summarises an updated Cochrane review on ‘as required’ PRN medication regimens for seriously mentally ill people in hospital, which finds no randomised controlled trials that support this widely used intervention.

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Commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs: do they work?

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John Baker summarises a review of commonly prescribed medication that covers seven psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, methylphenidate and cholinesterase inhibitors.

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CBT plus taper may help reduce short-term benzodiazepine use

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

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Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle?

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Andrew Shepherd appraises and summarises a systematic review of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms after SSRI discontinuation, which leads him to reconsider his own clinical practice.

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CBT for insomnia in psychiatric populations: an effective alternative to hypnotics?

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Amy Green appraises a systematic review of CBT for insomnia (CBTi) in people with comorbid mental illness, which concludes that cognitive behaviour therapy could be an effective alternative to hypnotics. However, concerns about the review methodology cast some doubt on the findings.

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Reducing benzodiazepine prescribing in primary care

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Liz Hughes summarises two recent studies (1 systematic review and 1 RCT) that both investigate brief interventions for reducing the use of benzodiazepines in primary care.

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Why do GPs over prescribe benzodiazepines? Synthesis of qualitative studies

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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…]