Commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs: do they work?


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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Dementia day programmes: how can we tell if they are effective?


Caroline Struthers looks at a study on the effectiveness of a NZ dementia day programme but wonders about the use of outcomes measures in the research.

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How can commissioners improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people?


Alison Turner summarises the Department of Health’s Future in Mind report, which builds on the work of the Children & Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce and sets out a vision for increased coordination and collaboration to improve mental health and wellbeing in children and young people.

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“Payment mechanisms and incentives will need to be aligned across providers” says King’s Fund report

Butterfly emerging from a chrysalis to reflect transformation

Aimed at commissioners, clinical commissioning groups, commissioning support units, this evidence-based paper aims to bring some clarity to the current and future contractual models, as “many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have started to develop novel contracting and commissioning tools”.

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Orthodontic research is currently using a narrow range of outcome domains


This new review looked a 6 main outcome domains in orthodontic research and found that 3 domains (quality of life, health service resource utilization, and adverse effects of treatment.) that could provide useful insight were infrequently evaluated.

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Outcome measure for psychological therapy for people with learning disabilities developed as part of inclusive research process

health problem shutterstock

Background Since the publication of Positive Practice Guidance on access to psychological therapies there have been a number of studies looking at the barriers to such access and some of the approaches to ensure reasonable adjustments are made. The researchers in this study were concerned that the tools being used to evaluate the of impact [read the full story…]

New Outcomes Framework launched to measure effectiveness of services for people with learning disabilities

Health information

The healthcare needs of people with learning disabilities have been well covered in the literature. The recent confidential inquiry into premature deaths found delays or problems with diagnosis or treatment and problems with providing appropriate care in response to changing needs. Annual health checks have been shown to be effective in identifying previously unknown health [read the full story…]

New database of positive behavioural support interventions aims to plug gaps in evidence base

Positive behavioural support (PBS) is based upon the notion that the key to responding to an individual’s challenging behaviours must lie in an understanding why that individual is exhibiting the behaviour and responding to issues to prevent further episodes. Functional assessment is the key technique used in understanding the behaviour and what it means to [read the full story…]

Principles underlying payment by results can be used to commission personalised learning disability services


Payment by Results (PbR) was introduced into the NHS with the aim of improving efficiency and increasing  value for money. The approach uses a national tariff of agreed fixed prices reflecting average prices for procedures. In this article, the authors argue that given that outcome focused approaches to payment by results will be incrementally introduced [read the full story…]