How valid are hospital psychiatric diagnoses?

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Vishal Bhavsar explores a recent study that uses data linkage to electronic patient records to assess the validity of selected mental health diagnoses in English Hospital Episode Statistics.

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Turn on, tune in, burnout: clerical burden, e-health systems and doctor burnout

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Chris Pell considers a recent US study of the relationship between clerical burden and e-health systems with doctor burnout and professional satisfaction.

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Psychotropic medication in pregnancy: new evidence may help achieve a safe balance

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Joanne Wallace considers a recent health technology assessment on the risks and benefits of psychotropic medication in pregnancy, which supports previous associations between valproate and adverse child outcomes.

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Childhood bullying and mental illness in young adulthood

The risk of psychotic experiences was found to be increased for both self-reported bullies and victims at age 8 and 10.

Jasmin Wertz appraises a recent Finnish cohort study, which explores how different forms of children’s bullying involvement are associated with mental illness and use of specialised psychiatric services in young adulthood.

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Mood Matters: mood instability is common and associated with poor outcomes

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Farhana Mann summarises an observational study of mood instability in people with mental illness, which explores its relationship with days spent in hospital, frequency of admissions, the likelihood of being sectioned and the chance of being prescribed antipsychotics and mood stabilisers.

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Alive and clicking: using the web and social media to share information with patients

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The NHS Confederation have published another paper in their occasional series that looks at interactions between the NHS, individuals and communities. This paper explores the potential for using and sharing information in the NHS. It looks at the costs and benefits of informing and communicating with patients through web and social media platforms versus the [read the full story…]

New DH information strategy calls for online GP records for all by 2015

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The Department of Health have published the long awaited information strategy for the NHS, entitled The power of information: Putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need (PDF). The main thrust of the strategy is to give patients more information and make data central to the drive to improve [read the full story…]

Limited evidence for the use of electronic health records to improve smoking cessation rates

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This Cochrane systematic review examined the effectiveness of electronic health record-facilitated interventions on smoking cessation activity by clinicians and on patient smoking cessation outcomes. The review shows these interventions improve the documentation of tobacco use and referral to cessation counselling, but does not demonstrate an improvement in patients actually giving up smoking. While smoking rates [read the full story…]