Friday, March 29, 2013

More compulsory community treatment does not reduce readmission rate

Results of OCTET study comparing use of S17 leave and CTO has been published (see paper). The rate of readmission was not reduced by CTO compared to use of S17 leave. Other studies have also shown no reduction in readmission. As might have been expected, this finding was despite the period of supervised community treatment being on average more than three times longer on CTO than by using S17 leave

CTOs were actually introduced because it was believed they would reduce death by suicide and homicide, supported by fantasy estimates of how many lives would be saved (see my unpublished paper). Three people died in the CTO group (two by suicide and one by accidental death) and two people died in the S17 leave group (one by suicide and one by natural causes). As death is a rare event, it's not going to be possible to demonstrate in a randomised controlled trial whether CTO reduces death. However, as the authors of the study say, because of the restrictions on patients' liberty, the costs and benefits of CTOs do need to be assessed.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Antidepressant discontinuation problems can be persistent

Article describes patient online reporting of antidepressant discontinuation problems. Persistent post-withdrawal symptoms after 6 weeks are common and can continue for months or years if drug not restarted. I'm not sure how valid the distinction is between immediate withdrawal symptoms and the post-withdrawal phase, but at least this article emphasises that antidepressant discontinuation can be a persistent problem.

(With thanks to post on Mad in America)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Frank Bruno’s 12 rounds to knockout mental health problems

Frank Bruno has spoken to the minister for care services about his treatment by mental health services last year (see EDP report). He had already spoken to the Sunday Mirror. As he says on his website, he wants to highlight "what is wrong in the treatment of mental health patients". 

We're not all exercise fanatics like Frank, and some of his other points may need refining, but his campaign should be supported. I had a letter published in the Observer when he was also sectioned in 2003.