Can digital communication improve relationships between young people and clinicians?

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Victoria Betton reports on the LYNC study; mixed methods research into timely digital patient-clinician communication in specialist clinical services for young people.

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Parotid gland tumours and mobile phone use?

The study used data from a previous telephone survey, which focused on depression, concussion and brain injury, amongst other things

This review of parotid gland tumours and mobile phone use included 3 case-controlled studies and hints at a possible association. However the limited evidence means that the findings should be viewed very cautiously.

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Is there still a digital divide in mental health?

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Lisa Marzano writes her debut elf blog on a recent cross-sectional survey of Internet use in people with psychosis and depression, which explores the extent of the digital divide in mental health.

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Mobile app for reducing binge drinking in young adults: better evidence needed

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Sally Adams appraises a naturalistic study about the D-ARIANNA mobile app, which aims to reduce levels of binge drinking in young people.

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Is clinical research essential to develop good mental health apps?

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Join a diverse group of mental health service users, researchers, practitioners and developers to discuss this vital issue. We are debating this question in a #Mindtech15 fringe event taking place in London (and on Twitter) at 7pm on Wednesday 2nd December.

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No proof that 85% of mental health apps accredited by the NHS actually work

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Health Economist Simon Leigh argues that the unregulated world of health apps brings cause for concern as well as celebration. Fear not though, he has some suggestions for what to look out for when downloading apps, which may help whilst you’re waiting for the regulators and accreditors to get their act together.

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SMS texting to quit smoking: a meta-analysis of text messaging interventions for smoking cessation

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Olivia Maynard reviews a new meta-analysis of SMS text messaging for smoking cessation and reveals that this intervention is not as effective as other methods of helping people quit smoking.

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A practical guide to social media in mental health practice

This review highlights a huge range of predictors of treatment response that varying widely in their clinical utility.

This new 30-page guide (PDF) is a must read for any health and social care professionals who are thinking about getting more involved with social media. Twitter remains a terrifying prospect for many professionals working in health and social care, but in my experience it’s very rare for someone to actually give it a go, [read the full story…]

Health Technology Assessment report finds computer and other electronic aids can help people stop smoking

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Smoking continues to be the greatest single preventable cause of premature illness and death in developed countries. Although rates of smoking have fallen, over 20% of the adult population in the UK continues to smoke. Anything which can be done to help people stop smoking will therefore have substantial public health benefits. More and more [read the full story…]