The largest ever study of self-harm in prisons: prevalence, risk, clustering and subsequent suicide


New research published today in the Lancet shows that up to one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year. The largest study of self-harm in prisons also reports that female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates. Previous systematic reviews have investigated self-harm in prisons (Lohner, 2007 and Dixon-Gordon, [read the full story…]

Newer antipsychotics may increase the risk of pneumonia in schizophrenia

Pneumonia x-ray

Because of a more favourable side effects profile (not necessarily clinical superiority), second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are today the most commonly used drugs to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia (Jones et al., 2006). While rather frequent adverse reactions, including weight gain, diabetes or sedation, are largely recognised, recent studies point at increased risk of pneumonia [read the full story…]

Tricyclic antidepressants are associated with higher risk of bone fracture


While most people would likely associate tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) with more common adverse effects such as dry mouth, sedation and constipation, there is some evidence to suggest increased occurrence of bone fractures (Vestergaard, Rejnmark, & Mosekilde, 2006). However, the topic remains controversial and conflicting results about the association of TCAs and fracture risk abound (e.g. [read the full story…]

Maternal antidepressant use in pregnancy may be associated with a small increased risk of autism

Pregnant woman with drugs

The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders has risen dramatically in the last thirty years, with recent estimates suggesting that 1 in 88 children in the United States have an autistic spectrum disorder. This increasing prevalence could simply be due to changes in the diagnosis of such disorders and so be of little interest. However, there [read the full story…]

Young people recently in contact with psychiatric services are 12 times more likely than other young people to attempt suicide


Driving down suicidal behaviour in young people has long been a major target for public health professionals. This new study from researchers in Denmark will help inform this important work. The case control study used data from the Danish national register (403,431 in total) to assess the risk of suicide attempts after contact with a [read the full story…]

Creativity is associated with mental disorder, says new study


New research shows people with bipolar disorder (and siblings of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) are more likely to work in creative professions. The study, published in the November issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, lends further support to the commonly-held view that creativity is associated with mental disorder. Researchers from the Karolinska [read the full story…]

Study highlights growing need for secure long-term in-patient psychiatric rehabilitation

We need to include the risk of crime victimisation, as well as perpetration, in mental health clinical assessments.

Inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation is needed for about 1% of people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Patients are cared for within a rehabilitation centre, sometimes attached to a hospital. The aim is to help these patients recover so that they can be discharged into the community. There is huge variation in the amount of [read the full story…]

People with psychosis are more likely to be convicted of arson

shutterstock_26621449 burning match

Existing studies have identified associations between psychosis and serious crimes such as homicide, but to date it has been unclear to what extent psychotic disorders are associated with arson (the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to buildings or the natural environment). This study conducted by researchers at Oxford University used data from the Swedish [read the full story…]