Are e-cigarettes a gateway to tobacco smoking in youth?

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Matt Field sets the record straight by providing a thoughtful and measured appraisal of the recent US cohort study linking e-cigarette use in young people with progression to regular tobacco smoking.

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Crisis of faith? Instead of CBT, we should be worrying about meta-analyses

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Ioana Cristea appraises a recent meta-analysis, which examines whether the treatment effects of CBT have decreased over time. She finds a study with such significant limitations, that her blog ends up questioning the objectivity and reliability of meta-analyses.

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Internet-based CBT for chronic somatic conditions: problematic meta-analysis offers an overly enthusiastic appraisal

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Ioana Cristea critically reviews a recent meta-analysis of Internet-based CBT for patients with chronic somatic conditions. She concludes that the review authors are offering an overly positive interpretation of their results, and that we need more high quality studies before we can recommend online cognitive behaviour therapy for this population.

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Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: a critique by Laws, Langford and Huda

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Keith Laws, Alex Langford and Samei Huda provide a critique of the British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology report published today.

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Reality orientation and skills training may improve cognition in dementia, but don’t jump to conclusions

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Well this is an interesting one. The abstract of a recent review by Carrion et al concludes that cognitive psychosocial interventions such as reality orientation and skills training improve cognition (Carrion, 2013). Woohoo, I thought; fantastic!  And then I read the review… Methods The authors searched the usual bibliographic databases for randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, [read the full story…]

CAM: Many of us are using it, despite poor evidence. Whats going on?

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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are often perceived to be as effective as conventional treatments, more “natural”, less expensive, have fewer side-effects and are easily available without a prescription. But do these perceptions match up with the reality? Can CAM therapies be helpful additions to conventional treatments? This alludes to an interesting sociological question [read the full story…]

Can assessing and acting on quality of life scores improve patient satisfaction? New study concludes yes, but the results actually say no

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For mental health patients, quality of life (QoL) can include many things like self-esteem, autonomy, satisfaction with the care they’re receiving and the staff who are caring from them, reduced symptoms, minimal side-effects from treatment and good overall functioning. Measuring QoL can pick up on difficulties a patient is having that wouldn’t have otherwise come [read the full story…]

More evidence needed on additional interventions to reduce mortality in older people with depression

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It has consistently been shown that a link exists between older adults who have depression and mortality (Cuijpers & Smit, 2002, Schulz et al., 2002). RCTs have demonstrated that treating depression during later life in primary care settings can result in the remission of depression and its associated symptoms as well as improve quality of [read the full story…]