Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: BJPsych bulletin


Alex Pokorny’s 1983 prospective study of suicide found that 96.3% of high-risk predictions were false positives, and that more than half of the suicides occurred in the low-risk group and were hence false negatives. All subsequent prospective studies, including the recent US Army Study To Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS), have reported similar results. We argue that since risk assessment cannot be a practical basis for interventions aimed at reducing suicide, the alternative is for mental health services to carefully consider what amounts to an adequate standard of care, and to adopt the universal precaution of attempting to provide that to all of our patients.

Concepts: Health care, Statistics, Evaluation, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Risk assessment


Aims and method To review the literature to examine the factors that may be affecting recruitment into psychiatry in the UK. We systematically searched four databases to identify studies from 1974 to 2016 and identified 27 papers that met the specified inclusion criteria. Results Most papers (n = 24) were based on questionnaire surveys. The population in all studies comprised of 1879 psychiatrists, 6733 students and 220 746 trainees. About 4-7% of students opt for a career in psychiatry. Enrichment activities helped to attract students more towards psychiatry than just total time spent in the specialty. Job content in terms of the lack of scientific basis, poor prognosis and stigma towards psychiatry, work-related stress and problems with training jobs were common barriers highlighted among students and trainees, affecting recruitment. Job satisfaction and family-friendly status of psychiatry was rated highly by students, with lifestyle factors appearing to be important for trainees who tend to choose psychiatry. Clinical implications Negative attitudes and stigma towards psychiatry continue to persist. Teaching and training in psychiatry needs rethinking to improve student experience and recruitment into the specialty.

Concepts: Medicine, United Kingdom, Training, Clinical psychology, Stress, Psychiatry, Student, Psychiatrist


Aims and method We aimed to evaluate the availability and nature of services for people affected by personality disorder in England by conducting a survey of English National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts and independent organisations. Results In England, 84% of organisations reported having at least one dedicated personality disorder service. This represents a fivefold increase compared with a 2002 survey. However, only 55% of organisations reported that patients had equal access across localities to these dedicated services. Dedicated services commonly had good levels of service use and carer involvement, and engagement in education, research and training. However, a wider multidisciplinary team and a greater number of biopsychosocial interventions were available through generic services. Clinical implications There has been a substantial increase in service provision for people affected by personality disorder, but continued variability in the availability of services is apparent and it remains unclear whether quality of care has improved.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Mental disorder, National Health Service, England, Psychiatry, Personality disorder, NHS mental health services trust


SummaryThe influence of pharmaceuticals on the environment is an increasing concern among environmental toxicologists. It is known that their growing use is leading to detectable levels in wastewater, conceivably causing harm to aquatic ecosystems. Psychotropic medication is one such group of substances, particularly affecting high-income countries. While these drugs have a clear place in therapy, there is debate around the risk/benefit ratio in patients with mild mental health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the wider implications as risks could extend beyond the individual to non-target organisms, particularly those in rivers and estuaries.Declaration of interestNone.


Aims and method This paper describes the process of setting up and the early results from a new liaison psychiatry service in primary care for people identified as frequent general practice attenders with long-term conditions or medically unexplained symptoms. Using a rapid evidence synthesis, we identified existing service models, mechanisms to identify and refer patients, and outcomes for the service. Considering this evidence, with local contingencies we defined options and resources. We agreed a model to set up a service in three diverse general practices. An evaluation explored the feasibility of the service and of collecting data for clinical, service and economic outcomes. Results High levels of patient and staff satisfaction, and reductions in the utilisation of primary and secondary healthcare, with associated cost savings are reported. Clinical implications A multidisciplinary liaison psychiatry service integrated in primary care is feasible and may be evaluated using routinely collected data.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Avicenna, Physician, Economics, Doctor-patient relationship, Psychiatry, Primary care


Aims and methodThe Tower Hamlets Crisis House (voluntary sector), in partnership with the local home treatment team, offers a brief residential alternative to psychiatric hospital admission. Here, we review clinician-reported (Health of the Nation Outcome Scales; HoNOS) and patient-reported (DIALOG) outcome scores collected from successive admissions between June 2015 and December 2016, to assess the effectiveness of the service model. We identified 153 successive admissions, and of these, 85 (55.6%) and 91 (59.5%) patients completed both admission and discharge DIALOG and HoNOS questionnaires, respectively. We analysed ten out of twelve HoNOS domains and eight patient-reported outcome measure DIALOG domains. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant improvement in nine out of ten domains of HoNOS and three out of eight domains of DIALOG.Clinical implicationsA partnership between a home treatment team and crisis house can result in positive outcomes for patients, as determined by both clinicians and patients.Declaration of interestNone.


Clinical psychiatry, for all its emphasis on scientific rigour, is mediated mainly by words rather than by numbers. As with other professional areas, it has developed its own set of jargon words and phrases. Many of these are not the technical terms traditionally seen as jargon, but standard English words and phrases used in an idiosyncratic way. They therefore go unnoticed as jargon, while enfeebling our communications. I have used the template of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary to highlight some examples, with the aim of helping us all to talk, write and, perhaps, think more clearly.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical psychology, English language, Psychiatry, Mental health professional, The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge


Aims and method To establish an initial conceptualisation of how psychiatrists understand and use formulation within adult psychiatry practice. Twelve psychiatrists took part in semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were analysed using a constructivist grounded theory methodology. Results Formulation was conceptualised as an addition to diagnosis, triggered by risk, complexity and a need for an enhanced understanding. Participants valued collaborative formulation with psychologists. Multiple contextual factors were perceived to either facilitate or inhibit the process. Barriers to formulation led to a disjointed way of working. Clinical implications Findings contribute to an understanding of formulation within psychiatry training and practice.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Perception, Clinical psychology, Grounded theory, Psychiatry, Mental health professional, Psychiatrist


Medical recruitment and retention are national problems. Psychiatry has been more affected than many specialties, as a result of stigma from the public and other healthcare professionals. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has undertaken several initiatives to redress this, notably the ‘Choose Psychiatry’ campaign. In this editorial we argue that student-led university psychiatry societies are a wonderful but frequently untapped resource to help attract the brightest and best medical students to our profession. We describe the activities of three ‘Psych Socs’ across the UK and propose next steps to continue this work.


Aims and methodThe concept of personal resilience is relevant to physician well-being, recruitment and retention, and to delivering compassionate patient care. This systematic review aims to explore factors affecting personal resilience among psychiatrists, in particular, those that may impair well-being and those that facilitate resilience practice. A literature search was performed of the OvidĀ®, EmbaseĀ®, CINAHL and PsycINFO databases, using keywords to identify empirical studies involving psychiatrists that examined resilience, stress and burnout from the past 15 years. RESULTS: Thirty-three international English language studies were included, showing that a combination of workplace, personal and non-workplace factors negatively and positively influenced well-being and resilience.Clinical implicationsGiven that workplace factors were the most commonly cited, it would appear that any resilience package that predominantly targets interventions at the workplace level would be particularly fruitful. Future research, however, needs to address the absence of a universal measurement of well-being and its moderators so that any potential interventions are better evaluated.Declaration of interestNone.