Journal: BJPsych bulletin
Referrals (particularly natal female) to gender identity clinics have increased significantly in recent years. Understanding the reasons for this increase, and how to respond, is hampered by a politically charged debate regarding gender identity. This article starts with a discussion of the so-called ‘affirmative approach’ to gender dysphoria and considers the implications of the Memorandum of Understanding on conversion therapy. I then say something about the relationship between gender dysphoria and the developmental problems that are characteristic of adolescence. Finally, I outline what changes to the current approach are needed to do our best to ensure these patients receive the appropriate treatment.
In the past decade there has been a rapid increase in gender diversity, particularly in children and young people, with referrals to specialist gender clinics rising. In this article, the evolving terminology around transgender health is considered and the role of psychiatry is explored now that this condition is no longer classified as a mental illness. The concept of conversion therapy with reference to alternative gender identities is examined critically and with reference to psychiatry’s historical relationship with conversion therapy for homosexuality. The authors consider the uncertainties that clinicians face when dealing with something that is no longer a disorder nor a mental condition and yet for which medical interventions are frequently sought and in which mental health comorbidities are common.
Each of the components of the biopsychosocial model of mental illness is important for understanding mental illness. Biological and genetic abnormalities have been demonstrated in major mental illnesses. These are leading to changes in our understanding of these conditions, as well as our understanding of the link between life events and mental illness.
This review considers juvenile delinquency and justice from an international perspective. Youth crime is a growing concern. Many young offenders are also victims with complex needs, leading to a public health approach that requires a balance of welfare and justice models. However, around the world there are variable and inadequate legal frameworks and a lack of a specialist workforce. The UK and other high-income countries worldwide have established forensic child and adolescent psychiatry, a multifaceted discipline incorporating legal, psychiatric and developmental fields. Its adoption of an evidence-based therapeutic intervention philosophy has been associated with greater reductions in recidivism compared with punitive approaches prevalent in some countries worldwide, and it is therefore a superior approach to dealing with the problem of juvenile delinquency.
People affected by health conditions bring insights and wisdom to transform healthcare - ‘jewels from the caves of suffering’. Yet traditional patient and public engagement relies on (child-parent) feedback or (adolescent-parent) ‘representative’ approaches that fail to value this expertise and buffers patients' influence. This editorial outlines the emergence of ‘patient leadership’ and work in the Sussex Musculoskeletal Partnership, its patient director (the first such role in the National Health Service) and a group of patient/carer partners, who are becoming equal partners in decision-making helping to reframe problems, generate insight, shift dynamics and change practice within improvement and governance work.Declaration of interestDavid Gilbert is Director of InHealth Associates Ltd, a small consultancy organisation that supports patient and public engagement.
Suicide risk assessment aims to reduce uncertainty in order to focus treatment and supervision on those who are judged to be more likely to die by suicide. In this article we consider recent meta-analytic research that highlights the difference between uncertainty about suicide due to chance factors (aleatory uncertainty) and uncertainty that results from lack of knowledge (epistemic uncertainty). We conclude that much of the uncertainty about suicide is aleatory rather than epistemic, and discuss the implications for clinicians.
Recent years have seen a substantial increase in the use of crisis resolution home treatment (CRHT) teams as an alternative to psychiatric in-patient admission. We discuss the functions of these services and their effectiveness. Our research suggests high rates of suicide in patients under CRHT. Specific strategies need to be developed to improve patient safety in this setting.
Aims and methodSchizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that is stereotypically stigmatised as untreatable and associated with violence. Several authorities have suggested that changing the name, for example to psychosis, would reduce such stigmatisation. We aimed to compare attitudes to schizophrenia and psychosis on Twitter to see if psychosis was associated with less negative attitudes. Tweets containing the terms ‘schizophrenia’, ‘schizophrenic’, ‘psychosis’ or ‘psychotic’ were collected on www.twitter.com and were captured with NCapture. On NVivo, tweets were coded into categories based on user type, tweet content, attitude and stigma type by two independent raters. We compared the content and attitudes of tweets referring to schizophrenia/schizophrenic and psychosis/psychotic. RESULTS: A total of 1120 tweets referring to schizophrenia/schizophrenic and 1080 referring to psychosis/psychotic were identified over two 7-day periods; 424 original tweets for schizophrenia and 416 original tweets for psychosis were included in the analysis. Psychosis was significantly more commonly included in tweets expressing negative attitudes (n=131, 31.5%) than schizophrenia (n=41, 9.7%) (χ² = 237.03, P < 0.0001). Of the personal opinions or dyadic interactions, 125 (53.4%) in the psychosis data set were stigmatising, compared with 33 (24.6%) of those in the schizophrenia set (χ² = 44.65, P < 0.0001).Clinical implicationsThe terms psychosis/psychotic are associated with a significantly higher number of tweets with negative content than schizophrenia/schizophrenic. Together with other evidence, this suggests that changing the name of schizophrenia to psychosis will not reduce negative attitudes toward the condition.Declaration of interestS.L. has received personal fees from Otsuka and Sunovion, and personal and research fees from Janssen.
Aims and methodA national survey investigated the implementation of mental health crisis resolution teams (CRTs) in England. CRTs were mapped and team managers completed an online survey.
Aims and method The STEPWISE trial (STructured lifestyle Education for People WIth SchizophrEnia, schizoaffective disorder and first episode psychosis) is currently evaluating a lifestyle education programme in addition to usual care. However, it is difficult to define what constitutes ‘usual care’. We aimed to define ‘usual care’ for lifestyle management in people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and first-episode psychosis in STEPWISE study sites. Ten National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts participated in a bespoke survey based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. Results Eight trusts reported offering lifestyle education programmes and nine offered smoking cessation support. Reported recording of biomedical measures varied. Clinical implications Although recommended by NICE, lifestyle education programmes are not consistently offered across UK NHS mental health trusts. This highlights missed opportunities to improve the physical health of people with psychotic illness. Our survey benchmarks ‘usual care’ for the STEPWISE study, against which changes can be measured. Furthermore, future studies will be able to identify whether any progress in clinical practice has been made towards achieving the NICE recommendations.