Importance It has been observed that suicidal behavior is influenced by sunshine and follows a seasonal pattern. However, seasons bring about changes in several other meteorological factors and a seasonal rhythm in social behavior may also contribute to fluctuations in suicide rates. Objective To investigate the effects of sunshine on suicide incidence that are independent of seasonal variation.

Read >

Abstract: Objective: To understand collaborative care psychiatric consultants’ views and practices on making the diagnosis of and recommending treatment for bipolar disorder in primary care using collaborative care.Method: We conducted a focus group at the University of Washington in December 2013 with nine psychiatric consultants working in primary care-based collaborative care in Washington State. A grounded theory approach with open coding and the constant comparative method revealed categories where emergent themes were saturated and validated through member checking, and a conceptual model was developed.Results: Three major themes emerged from the data including the importance of working as a collaborative care team, the strengths of collaborative care for treating bipolar disorder, and the need for psychiatric consultants to adapt specialty psychiatric clinical skills to the primary care setting. Other discussion topics included gathering clinical data from multiple sources over time, balancing risks and benefits of treating patients indirectly, tracking patient care outcomes with a registry, and effective care.Conclusion: Experienced psychiatric consultants working in collaborative care teams provided their perceptions regarding treating patients with bipolar illness including identifying ways to adapt specialty psychiatric skills, developing techniques for providing team-based care, and perceiving the care delivered through collaborative care as high quality.

Read >

Last week I attended the Partners for Cure (P4C) meeting in New York. This is an annual meetup for an odd mix of academic scientists, advocacy groups, venture capitalists, social entrepreneurs, and biotech-pharma folks.

Read >

Abstract: Objective: This study assessed the role of self-reported facial scar severity as a possible influencing factor on self-esteem and depressive symptoms in patients with facial burns.Method: A prospective multicentre cohort study with a 6 months follow-up was conducted including 132 patients with facial burns. Patients completed the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Structural Equation Modeling was used to assess the relations between depressive symptoms, self-esteem and scar severity.Results: The model showed that patient-rated facial scar severity was not predictive for self-esteem and depressive symptoms six months post-burn

Read >

It’s time again for the year’s ten best from NIMH. A year that included a 16-day government shutdown and a 5.2 percent sequester also saw some outstanding scientific breakthroughs and historic changes in policy.

Read >

Importance The new DSM-5 “Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders” chapter contains a series of conditions thought to be etiologically related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, the evidence to support this relatedness remains incomplete.

Read >

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama launched a new open data policy (pdf) for the federal government. Declaring that, “…information is a valuable asset that is multiplied when it is shared, ” the Administration’s new policy empowers federal agencies to promote an environment in which shareable data are maximally and responsibly accessible. The policy supports broad access to government data in order to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery

Read >

Director’s Blog In a few weeks, the American Psychiatric Association will release its new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This volume will tweak several current diagnostic categories, from autism spectrum disorders to mood disorders. While many of these changes have been contentious, the final product involves mostly modest alterations of the previous edition, based on new insights emerging from research since 1990 when DSM-IV was published.

Read >

Director’s Blog Meredith, a 15-year-old high school student from San Diego, wrote this year’s breakthrough paper on modeling global epidemics. An 11-year-old boy from upstate New York solved a problem in protein folding using a computer game called Foldit.

Read >