School dental screening

The review found that adding family-based interventions to school-based interventions may reduce the onset of smoking by 4-25%.

This Cochrane review of school dental screening included 6 RCTs finding insufficient evidence that it improves dental attendance. although personalised referral letters or additional motivation elements probably have the ability to improve dental attendance over the short term.

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Two-question screening for depression in older adults


Andrew Sommerlad reviews a new systematic review and meta-analysis and asks: Can two questions identify depression in older people?

This is the second in a new series of Mental Elf blogs produced in partnership with the British Journal of Psychiatry.

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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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Whooley questions have high sensitivity and modest specificity in the detection of depression


Ian Anderson on a recent diagnostic accuracy meta-analysis, which shows that the Whooley questions for depression are effective at ruling out the condition, but that false positives are common.

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Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)


Sally Adams summarises a meta-analysis of specialty substance use disorder services following brief alcohol intervention, which finds a lack of evidence for SBIRTs despite the widespread public health support for this type of programme.

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Rise of the machine learning algorithm: the future of diagnosing schizophrenia?


Samei Huda reviews a meta-analysis of multivariate pattern recognition studies, which aims to detect neuroimaging biomarkers for schizophrenia.

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Population screening for dementia


Rosalyn Nelson reports on a recent systematic review about population screening for dementia, which highlights the negative attitudes of patients, carers and health care professionals towards screening. She asks: what are the risks of ignoring diagnosis?

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Screening for bipolar spectrum disorders (MDQ, BSDS and HCL-32)


Elena Marcus appraises a recent meta-analysis of screening for bipolar spectrum disorders, which concludes that the MDQ and HCL-32 tools are supported by more evidence than the BSDS tool.

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Intermediate Care pathways for musculoskeletal conditions – are they working?


In this blog, Lesley Dawson considers a systematic review examining musculoskeletal Intermediate Care pathways to evaluate their effectiveness, outcomes and identify gaps in evidence.

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