Is the NICE guideline for bipolar disorder biased in favour of psychosocial interventions?


Guy Goodwin reviews a new paper in the Lancet Psychiatry by Jauhar, McKenna and Laws, that calls into question the trustworthiness of the NICE bipolar disorder guidance.

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Psychosocial suicide prevention in youth: is the evidence strong enough?


Rachel Upthegrove appraises a recent systematic review of psychosocial suicide prevention for youth, which leaves her calling for better evidence to support investment in universal school-based interventions.

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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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Caring for people with severe mental illness: poor research means that carers get a raw deal

Mother and teenage son

Caroline Struthers is frustrated by the lack of high quality research identified by this recent review, which looks at interventions to improve the experience and well-being of those caring for people with severe mental illness.

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Functional remediation shows promise for enhancing functioning in patients with bipolar disorder

Young boy thinking

Bipolar disorder is a term applied to conditions that are characterised by extreme mood swings.  These swings in mood range from periods of overactive excited behaviour (known as mania) to deep depression. Some people also see or hear things that others around them don’t (known as having visual or auditory hallucinations) or have strange, unshared, beliefs (known [read the full story…]

Psychosocial and psychological interventions can prevent postpartum depression, says new Cochrane review

Pensive woman

The period after giving birth to a child can be difficult for women and in the first twelve weeks after childbirth 13-19% of women will experience post-partum depression (O’Hara 1996, Gaynes 2005). Post-partum depression is bad news – not only does it increase the chance of the mother going onto develop a severe clinical depression [read the full story…]

Treatment of bipolar in specialised outpatient mood disorder clinics substantially reduces readmissions to psychiatric hospitals


There is a limited amount of good quality research being published about bipolar disorder, particularly investigating the early stages. Bipolar is associated with a high risk of relapse and this risk of relapse increases with the number of previous episodes. Observational studies suggest that early intervention may improve both course and outcome, but currently progression [read the full story…]

No clear benefit for using ICT as psychoeducation and support for schizophrenia, according to new Cochrane review


There is a great deal of interest in using information and communication technology (ICT) to support and treat people with mental health conditions. In the broadest sense, ICT includes not just computers, but also telephones, TV and radio; essentially any medium that can communicate information in a multimedia format. ICT interventions can be delivered at [read the full story…]

Depression prevention programmes show promise in helping children and young people, according to new Cochrane review


By the age of 19, between a fifth and a quarter of young people have suffered from a depressive disorder. There are associations between depression and self-harm, suicide, substance abuse, poor academic performance and social dysfunction. The most robust evidence exists for two particular psychological interventions: cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy. There is evidence [read the full story…]

Psychoeducation seems to reduce relapse, readmission and encourage medication compliance for people with schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia can be a severe and chronic illness characterised by lack of insight and poor compliance with treatment. Psychoeducational approaches have been developed to increase patients’ knowledge of, and insight into, their illness and its treatment. It is supposed that this increased knowledge and insight will enable people with schizophrenia to cope in a more [read the full story…]