Abstract: Introduction: Measurement of mental health is challenging; however, many solutions may be found through the use of health information technology.Method: This article reviews current approaches to measuring mental health, focusing on screening, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. It then identifies several key areas in which health information technology may advance the field and provide reliable and valid measurements that are readily available to and manageable for providers, as well as acceptable, feasible, and sustainable for selected populations.Result and Conclusions: Although new technologies must overcome many challenges, including privacy, efficiency, cost, and scalability, it is an exciting and fast-growing field with many potential applications and clinical benefit.

Read >

Director’s Blog In a visit to a mental asylum in 1912 you would have seen many patients with “general paresis.” The word “paresis” is Latin for weakness. General paresis was a form of psychosis with delusions, hallucinations, and memory problems often of rapid onset and thought to be due to a general constitutional weakness. At least that was the explanation until 1913, when general paresis was shown to be caused by syphilitic infection of the brain

Read >

In the recent publication by Gold, Sen and Schwenk (2012), “Details on suicide among US physicians: data from the National Violent Death Reporting System,” the authors examined mental health comorbidities and psychosocial stressors as potential factors related to completed suicide among physicians. Gold et al. found that job stress and inadequate treatment of mental illnesses in the physician population were two risk factors associated with physician suicide .

Read >

Abstract: Objectives: The aim of this research was to investigate whether a training intervention to enhance collaboration between mental health and primary care professionals improved the detection and management of mental health problems in primary health care in four large cities in Brazil. The training intervention was a multifaceted program over 96 h focused on development of a shared care model.Method: A quasiexperimental study design was undertaken with assessment of performance by nurse and general practitioners (GPs) pre- and postintervention. Rates of recognition of mental health disorders (compared with the General Health Questionnaire) were the primary outcome, while self-reports of patient-centered care, psychosocial interventions and referral were the secondary outcomes.Results: Six to 8 months postintervention, no changes were observed in terms of rate of recognition across the entire sample.

Read >

Abstract: Objective: The objective was to assess factors associated with previous exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Brazilian adults in mental health centers.Method: A cross-sectional national multicenter study of 2087 psychiatric patients randomly selected from 26 public mental health services was conducted between 2005 and 2007 in Brazil. An interview was conducted for obtaining sociodemographic, clinical and behavioral data.

Read >

Director’s Blog Today, on World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, an updated National Strategy for Suicide Prevention is being released amidst a public health landscape that has changed thanks in part to the focus brought to suicide by the first national strategy issued 11 years ago. Since the first version was issued, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline was established, Federal and State legislation has been passed that advances suicide prevention planning and programming, and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center was established, among other efforts.

Read >

Director’s Blog NIMH just reached a milestone — our first grant was awarded 65 years ago last month. Rather than celebrating, this anniversary has been allowed to pass quietly. With so much progress in genomics and neuroscience, we at NIMH have mostly been trying to keep up

Read >

Abstract: Objective: The objective was to determine the impact of stimulant use on antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients in an integrated hepatitis clinic.Methods: A retrospective chart review of 449 consecutive patients seen in an integrated hepatitis clinic that included co-located mental health clinicians was performed. Psychiatric measures included drug use questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption questions (AUDIT-C), urine drug screen and antiviral treatment outcomes. Patients with stimulant use were compared to patients with no drug use, other drug users and an unknown drug use group using ?2 and analysis of variance tests.Results: Over 15% of hepatitis C patients presenting to the clinic were using stimulants

Read >

Abstract: Objective: Physician suicide is an important public health problem as the rate of suicide is higher among physicians than the general population. Unfortunately, few studies have evaluated information about mental health comorbidities and psychosocial stressors which may contribute to physician suicide.

Read >

Director’s Blog In a commentary just published on innovation in health care, Narayan and colleagues describe the need for integrated solutions to mental health care. 1 Moving beyond “magic bullets” and the magical thinking of a single intervention for a complex problem, they recommend a comprehensive model that includes early detection, better access to care, monitoring, and patient-reported outcomes. None of this would be particularly innovative, except that Narayan and his colleagues all work for a pharmaceutical company.

Read >