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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Drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness


Meg Fluharty summarises a recently updated Cochrane systematic review about interventions for drug-using offenders with co-occurring mental illness.

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Case management for dementia: The jury’s (still) out.


Caroline Struthers comes to grips with a Cochrane Review on case management for people with dementia and finds relevant messages for both practitioners and researchers.

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It may not be possible to generate clear-cut evidence on integrated care, reports a new evidence summary


This recent report, commissioned by the European Commission and compiled by RAND Europe, aims to summarise economic evaluation evidence on the impact of integrated care.  The authors restricted their evidence search to systematic reviews and meta analyses, which is understandable as this is described as a rapid review but the authors acknowledge this has limitations, [read the full story…]

Interventions for drug using offenders: What works in reducing drug use and criminal activity?


It is estimated that between 10% (Gunn 1991) and 39% (Brooke 1996) of prisoners in the UK are dependent on illicit drugs; and that 14.5% of male and 31% of female prisoners have serious mental health problems (Steadman 2009). Drug use can be associated with many health, social and criminological consequences; and when mental health [read the full story…]

Research suggests economic model for virtual wards not viable on hospital activity alone

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This new report is an important addition to the evidence base specifically on case management and more generally in terms of interventions to reduce hospital admissions but, consistent with other studies in this area, can’t give definitive answers.  Much of what already exists in relation to virtual wards is anecdotal or lacks detail and it’s [read the full story…]

Case management: what it is and how it can best be implemented? The King’s Fund reports


It is widely accepted that case management is a valid approach for managing individuals with highly complex needs and long-term conditions. This highly readable report provides a welcome overview. Structure of the report This paper examines: What is case management? Core components? Case finding Assessment Care planning Care co-ordination Care closure How is case management [read the full story…]

Systematic review of home and community care models for the elderly


Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia have published a new systematic review that explores three different home and community care models for the elderly. The evidence in this field is patchy.  Studies are heterogeneous (i.e. too different from one another to be pooled in a meta-analysis) and results are inconsistent. [read the full story…]