BME communities and self-management of long term conditions

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Clarissa Giebel considers a systematic review on user-led self-management of long term conditions for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and weighs up what the findings mean for BME people living with chronic conditions in the UK.

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Do mental health websites improve help-seeking in adolescents?

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Maxine Howard summarises the findings of a recent review of online mental health services for young people, which finds little evidence to suggest that websites increase help-seeking in adolescents.

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Smoking cessation in the emergency setting

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Olivia Maynard summarises a systematic review of smoking cessation interventions in the emergency setting, which highlights the poor quality and heterogenous nature of the published trials in this field.

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Off to a good start. Are self-help interventions effective for people with comorbid physical and mental health problems?

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The ideal treatment for common mental health problems in those with chronic physical illness would have to be reliable, easy to deliver, inexpensive and accessible by a group of people whose physical impairment may affect treatment adherence. NICE guidelines (CG90 Depression; the treatment and management of depression in adults) recommend self-help interventions (SHIs) based on [read the full story…]

Reading well books on prescription: public mental health in action

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Public mental health and wellbeing has gathered greater currency following the publication of No Health without Mental Health in 2011.  Public health is about improving the health of the population through preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health. Local Authorities are now the public sector organisation with lead responsibility for public health and public mental health. [read the full story…]

NICE publish first clinical guideline on social anxiety disorder

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I wonder if the timing of this publication was planned to be so close to the release of DSM-5, but this debut guidance on social phobia (now known as social anxiety disorder) is certainly going to ruffle some feathers. It fuels the discussion about the medicalisation of human personality traits and some will see it [read the full story…]

Books for the blues

GPs are to be encouraged to issue a ‘Reading Prescription’ to patients

The Arts Council-funded project to promote self-help books for mental health conditions was widely reported in the media last week. In true Daily Mail style, their coverage was accompanied by an image of a bikini-clad woman, apparently reading one of the ‘books on prescription’ whilst sitting on an idyllic beach with her toes resting in the gently lapping water [read the full story…]

Does self-help treatment for anxiety disorders work?

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Many people struggle with anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, social phobia, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreover, about 30% of us have an anxiety disorder at some point in our life (Kessler et al 2005) but most people never receive treatment. Self-help interventions may provide a solution when people are unable or unwilling to [read the full story…]

Self-help interventions are effective treatments for social phobia and panic disorder, says new meta-analysis

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The demand for psychological therapies far outstrips the supply and in this ongoing period of austerity we surely need to produce some cost-effective alternatives. One method that patients can attempt pretty much on their own is self-help provided through books, CDs, DVDs and websites. This new systematic review claims to be the first to bring [read the full story…]