Sidney Zisook

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Bryan, Texas, United States

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Publications (231)839.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Patients with serious mental illness can be at higher risk for suicide. Most research has focused on determining the risk factors for suicide-related events using quantitative methodologies and psychological autopsies. However, fewer studies have examined patients' perspectives regarding the experience of suicidal events. Aims: To better understand suicide experiences from the perspective of patients diagnosed with serious mental illness. Method: This study purposively sampled and qualitatively interviewed 23 patients within the Veterans Affairs Hospital who were diagnosed with serious mental illness and who had attempted suicide. Using a phenomenological design, hermeneutic interviews included questions about the precursors, characteristics, and treatment of the suicide events, as well as patients' recommendations for care. Results: Loneliness, isolation, depression, and hopelessness were commonly described as emotional precursors to the suicide events for all patients, while command hallucinations were reported among patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. When evaluating whether treatments were effective, patients focused primarily on the level of empathy and compassion shown by their providers. Conclusion: The most common recommendation for the improvement of care was to increase clinicians' empathy, compassion, and listening skills. Additionally, efforts to bolster social supports were highlighted as a means to diminish suicide events.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 04/2014; · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Every clinical specialty has its own high risk patient challenges that threaten to undermine their trainees' professional identity, evolving sense of competence. In psychiatric training, it is patient suicide, an all-too frequently encountered consequence of severe mental illness that may leave the treating resident perplexed, guilt-ridden, and uncertain of their suitability for the profession. This study evaluates a patient suicide training program aimed at educating residents about patient suicide, common reactions, and steps to attenuate emotional distress while facilitating learning. The intervention was selected aspects of a patient suicide educational program, "Collateral Damages,"-video vignettes, focused discussions, and a patient-based learning exercise. Pre- and post-survey results were compared to assess both knowledge and attitudes resulting from this educational program. Eight psychiatry residency training programs participated in the study, and 167 of a possible 240 trainees (response rate = 69.58 %) completed pre- and post-surveys. Knowledge of issues related to patient suicide increased after the program. Participants reported increased awareness of the common feelings physicians and trainees often experience after a patient suicide, of recommended "next" steps, available support systems, required documentation, and the role played by risk management. This patient suicide educational program increased awareness of issues related to patient suicide and shows promise as a useful and long overdue educational program in residency training. It will be useful to learn whether this program enhances patient care or coping with actual patient suicide. Similar programs might be useful for other specialties.
    Academic Psychiatry 03/2014; · 0.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Non-adherence to antidepressant treatment is not routinely measured in practical clinical trials. It has not been related to outcomes in a large sample of adults with chronic and/or recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) or any sample treated with antidepressant combinations. Methods. Adult outpatients with chronic and/or recurrent MDD were randomized to 12 weeks of treatment with bupropion-SR plus escitalopram, venlafaxine-XR plus mirtazapine, or escitalopram plus placebo. We compared non-adherence (the frequency with which daily medications were not taken) and specifically the frequency of temporarily stopping and/or skipping medication, or reducing or increasing the dose across treatments in 567 participants using a self-report questionnaire collected at each visit. We tested the association between non-adherence, and both treatment type and outcomes. Results. A non-adherence rate under 10% was reported by 77.9%, 70.9%, and 71.6% of participants during weeks 1-4, 5-12, and 1-12, respectively. Antidepressant combinations were associated with a higher non-adherence rate than monotherapy during weeks 1-4 and 1-12. During weeks 1-4, 24.1% stopped/skipped doses and 6.1% reduced the dose. During weeks 5-12, 34.7% stopped/skipped doses and 9.4% reduced the dose. Across 12 weeks, 43.2% stopped/skipped doses, and 12.9% reduced the dose. Stopping/skipping doses during all time frames and dose decreases during weeks 1-12 occurred most frequently with combination treatments. Non-adherence was unrelated to symptom remission, response, or symptom change. Conclusions. With closely monitored treatment, non-adherence is low and unrelated to depressive symptom outcome. Nonadherence is highest with antidepressant combinations. Specific non-adherent events are most often sporadic. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2014;20:118-132).
    Journal of psychiatric practice. 03/2014; 20(2):118-32.
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1980, the DSM-III and its various iterations through the DSM-IV-TR have systematically excluded individuals from the diagnosis of major depressive disorder if symptoms began within months after the death of a loved one (2 months in DSM-IV), unless the depressive syndrome was 'severely' impairing and/or accompanied by specific features. This criterion became known as the 'bereavement exclusion'. No other adverse life events were noted to negate the diagnosis of major depressive disorder if all other symptomatic, duration, severity and distress/impairment criteria were met. However, studies since the inception of the bereavement exclusion have shown that depressive syndromes occurring after bereavement share many of the same features as other, non-bereavement related depressions, tend to be chronic and/or recurrent if left untreated, interfere with the resolution of grief, and respond to treatment. Furthermore, the bereavement exclusion has had the unintended consequence of suggesting that grief should end in only 2 months, or that grief and major depressive disorder cannot co-occur. To prevent the denial of diagnosis and the consideration of sometimes much needed care, even after bereavement or other significant losses, the DSM-5 no longer contains the bereavement exclusion. Instead, the DSM-5 now permits the diagnosis of major depressive disorder after and during bereavement and includes a note and a comprehensive footnote in the major depressive episode criteria set to guide clinicians in making the diagnosis in this context. The decision to make this change was widely and publically debated and remains controversial. This article reports on the rationale for this decision and the way the DSM-5 now addresses the challenges of diagnosing major depressive disorder in the context of someone grieving the loss of a loved one.
    Current Psychiatry Reports 11/2013; 15(11):413. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between homelessness among veterans and mental illness and suicidality has not been clearly defined. To further examine this relationship, we compared rates of mental illness and suicidality among homeless and domiciled veterans seeking urgent psychiatric care at a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility. Information was collected by survey from 482 consecutive veterans seeking care at the Psychiatric Emergency Clinic (PEC) at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. A total of 73 homeless veterans were designated the homeless group and 73 domiciled veterans were randomly selected as the domiciled group. Suicidality and mental illnesses were assessed by self-assessment questionnaires and chart review of diagnoses. The homeless group had significantly higher rates of past suicide attempts (47% vs 27%) and recent reckless or self-harming behavior (33% vs 18%) compared with the domiciled group but significantly lower rates of depressive disorder (25% vs 44%), as diagnosed by a PEC physician. There were no differences between groups on the questionnaires for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or alcohol abuse. Nor were there differences in diagnoses of bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, or alcohol abuse. Veterans seeking help from a VA-based urgent psychiatric care clinic often are burdened by substantial depression, alcohol use disorders, PTSD, and both past and present suicide risk.
    Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 11/2013; 25(4):275-82. · 1.54 Impact Factor
  • Sidney Zisook, Ronald Pies, Alana Iglewicz
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    ABSTRACT: Based on a review of the best available evidence and the importance of providing clinicians an opportunity to ensure that patients and their families receive the appropriate diagnosis and the correct intervention without necessarily being constrained by a somewhat arbitrary 2-month period of time, the DSM-5 Task Force recommended eliminating the "bereavement exclusion" (BE) from the diagnosis of major depressive disorder. This article reviews the initial rationale for creating a BE in DSM-III, reasons for not carrying the BE into DSM-5, and sources of continued controversy. The authors argue that removing the BE does not "medicalize" or "pathologize" grief, "stigmatize" bereaved persons, imply that grief morphs into depression after 2 weeks, place any time limit on grieving, or imply that antidepressant medications should be prescribed. Rather, eliminating the BE opens the door to the same careful attention that any person suffering from major depressive disorder deserves and allows the clinician to provide appropriate education, support, hope, care, and treatment. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2013;19:386-396).
    Journal of psychiatric practice. 09/2013; 19(5):386-96.
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Generalized anxiety disorder is common among older adults and leads to diminished health and cognitive functioning. Although antidepressant medications are efficacious, many elderly individuals require augmentation treatment. Furthermore, little is known about maintenance strategies for older people. The authors examined whether sequenced treatment combining pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) boosts response and prevents relapse in older adults with generalized anxiety disorder. METHOD Participants were individuals at least 60 years of age with generalized anxiety disorder (N=73) who were recruited from outpatient clinics at three sites. Participants received 12 weeks of open-label escitalopram and were then randomly assigned to one of four conditions: 16 weeks of escitalopram (10-20 mg/day) plus modular CBT, followed by 28 weeks of maintenance escitalopram; escitalopram alone, followed by maintenance escitalopram; escitalopram plus CBT, followed by pill placebo; and escitalopram alone, followed by placebo. RESULTS Escitalopram augmented with CBT increased response rates on the Penn State Worry Questionnaire but not on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale compared with escitalopram alone. Both escitalopram and CBT prevented relapse compared with placebo. CONCLUSIONS This study demonstrates effective strategies for treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in older adults. The sequence of antidepressant medication augmented with CBT leads to worry reduction in the short-term. Continued medication prevents relapse, but for many individuals, CBT would allow sustained remission without requiring long-term pharmacotherapy.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 05/2013; · 14.72 Impact Factor
  • Academic Psychiatry 05/2013; · 0.81 Impact Factor
  • General hospital psychiatry 04/2013; · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It remains unclear how augmenting anti-psychotic medications with anti-depressants impacts primary positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. In this study, we used data collected from a randomized trial comparing citalopram to placebo for management of subsyndromal depression (SSD) in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, to assess the effects of antidepressant augmentation on positive and negative symptoms. Participants in this study conducted at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Cincinnati, were persons with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder aged 40 or older and who met study criteria for SSD. Patients were randomly assigned to flexible-dose treatment with citalopram or placebo augmentation of their current anti-psychotic medication. Analysis of covariance was used to compare changes in positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores between treatment groups. We also assessed mediating effects of improvement in depression and moderating effects of multiple factors on positive and negative symptoms. There was significant improvement in PANSS negative symptoms scores in the citalopram group, which was partially mediated by improvement in depressive symptoms. There was no effect on PANSS positive scores. In patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, treating depressive symptoms with citalopram appears to carry the added benefit of improving negative symptoms.
    Indian Journal of Psychiatry 04/2013; 55(2):144-8.
  • Ira D Glick, Sidney Zisook, Mark H Rapaport
    The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 03/2013; 74(3):262-4. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE To address nationally recognized needs for increased numbers of psychiatric clinician-scholars and physician-scientists, the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) has provided a series of full-day conferences of psychiatry residency training directors designed to increase their competence in evidence-based medicine, enhance their research literacy, and aid them in transmitting that knowledge to their programs. METHOD These conferences take place on the day before AADPRT's annual meeting. Each year's pre-meeting conference includes a series of morning plenary sessions covering new information pertaining to a contemporary clinical theme. RESULTS The clinical theme serves as a vehicle to teach evidence-based practice and research and neuroscience literacy. The theme is carried into the afternoon with a series of highly interactive small-group teaching sessions designed to consolidate knowledge and provide pragmatic teaching tools appropriate for residents. A detailed report of the first 5 years documented the excellent attendance, perceived satisfaction, and usefulness of the material. CONCLUSION This report highlights the evolution of the program from the first 5 years to Years 6 and 7, details how new pedagogic and funding challenges have been approached, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the revised format, and describes plans for the future.
    Academic Psychiatry 03/2013; 37(2):82-6. · 0.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical trials in major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly assess remission at a single endpoint. Complementary, clinically relevant metrics include the likelihood and speed of achieving sustained remission. A neurophysiologic measure, the Antidepressant Treatment Response (ATR) index, previously predicted 8-week outcomes of pharmacotherapy. We retrospectively examined data from the Biomarkers for Rapid Identification of Treatment Effectiveness in Major Depression (BRITE-MD) trial to evaluate this biomarker's properties in predicting sustained remission and time to achieve sustained remission. In the BRITE-MD trial, 67 adults with DSM-IV MDD received escitalopram continuously for 13 weeks. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17) was used to define sustained remission as achieving remission (HDRS17 score ≤ 7) at a series of consecutive assessments, including week 13. The onset of sustained remission was defined as the earliest time from which all subsequent HDRS17 assessments were ≤ 7. The ATR was evaluated by using frontal quantitative electroencephalogram recordings at baseline and week 1. Subjects were stratified based on ATR status (ie, ATR+/ATR-). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis evaluated group differences in time to sustained remission. Higher ATR was hypothesized to predict sustained remission and time to sustained remission. Subjects participated between January 2006 and July 2007. Of 67 subjects, 36 achieved remission by week 13, and ATR predicted this single endpoint in receiver operating characteristic analyses (P = .016; sensitivity, 52.8%; positive predictive value, 76.0%). Remitters had a higher mean (SD) ATR value than those who did not remit (57.9 [10.0] vs 51.9 [8.7], P = .012). Sixteen of the 31 individuals with sustained remission had ATR+ status, while 28 of the 36 who were not sustained remitters had ATR- status (P = .012). The mean time to reach sustained remission was significantly shorter among ATR+ subjects than ATR- individuals (38 vs 53 days, P = .038). The ATR index predicted remission at 13 weeks as well as the speed of achieving sustained remission with antidepressant monotherapy. This finding suggests that the ATR biomarker may predict stable longer-term outcomes. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00289523.
    The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 01/2013; 74(1):51-6. · 5.81 Impact Factor
  • Revista de Trastornos del Ánimo. 01/2013; 7(1):8-13.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Prior studies have suggested that major depressive disorder (MDD) with pre-adult onset represents a distinct subtype with greater symptom severity and higher rates of suicidal ideation. Whether these patients have poorer response to various types of antidepressant treatment than those with adult-onset MDD is unclear. Method A total of 665 psychiatric and primary care out-patients (aged 18-75 years) with non-psychotic chronic or recurrent MDD participated in a single-blind, randomized trial that compared the efficacy of escitalopram plus placebo, bupropion sustained-release plus escitalopram, or venlafaxine extended-release plus mirtazapine. We compared participants who self-reported MDD onset (before age 18) to those with a later onset (adult onset) with respect to baseline characteristics and treatment/outcome variables at 12 and 28 weeks. RESULTS: Early-onset chronic/recurrent MDD was associated with a distinct set of sociodemographic (female, younger age) and clinical correlates (longer duration of illness, greater number of prior episodes, greater likelihood of atypical features, higher rates of suicidality and psychiatric co-morbidity, fewer medical problems, poorer quality of life, greater history of child abuse/neglect). However, results from unadjusted and adjusted analyses showed no significant differences in response, remission, tolerability of medications, quality of life, or retention at 12 or 28 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Although early-onset chronic/recurrent MDD is associated with a more severe clinical picture, it does not seem to be useful for predicting differential treatment response to antidepressant medication. Clinicians should remain alert to an increased risk of suicidality in this population.
    Psychological Medicine 12/2012; · 5.59 Impact Factor
  • Archives of internal medicine 12/2012; 172(22):1768-9. · 11.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The authors conducted two multicenter sequential parallel comparison design trials to investigate the effect of l-methylfolate augmentation in the treatment of major depressive disorder in patients who had a partial response or no response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). METHOD In the first trial, 148 outpatients with SSRI-resistant major depressive disorder were enrolled in a 60-day study divided into two 30-day periods. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 2:3:3 ratio, to receive l-methylfolate for 60 days (7.5 mg/day for 30 days followed by 15 mg/day for 30 days), placebo for 30 days followed by l-methylfolate (7.5 mg/day) for 30 days, or placebo for 60 days. SSRI dosages were kept constant throughout the study. In the second trial, with 75 patients, the design was identical to the first, except that the l-methylfolate dosage was 15 mg/day during both 30-day periods. RESULTS In the first trial, no significant difference was observed in outcomes between the treatment groups. In the second trial, adjunctive l-methylfolate at 15 mg/day showed significantly greater efficacy compared with continued SSRI therapy plus placebo on both primary outcome measures (response rate and degree of change in depression symptom score) and two secondary outcome measures of symptom severity. The number needed to treat for response was approximately six in favor of adjunctive l-methylfolate at 15 mg/day. l-Methylfolate was well tolerated, with rates of adverse events no different from those reported with placebo. CONCLUSIONS Adjunctive l-methylfolate at 15 mg/day may constitute an effective, safe, and relatively well tolerated treatment strategy for patients with major depressive disorder who have a partial response or no response to SSRIs.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 12/2012; 169(12):1267-74. · 14.72 Impact Factor
  • Academic Psychiatry 11/2012; 36(6):497-9. · 0.81 Impact Factor
  • John Kasckow, Shahrokh Golshan, Sidney Zisook
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Suicidal deaths in middle-aged and older individuals with schizophrenia are a public health concern. Depression and schizophrenia are major risk factors for suicide. However, it is unknown whether age moderates the relationship between depression and suicidal ideation in patients with schizophrenia and subthreshold depression. METHODS:: Suicidal ideation was assessed with the InterSePT Scale for Suicidal Ideation and the Clinical Global Impression-Suicide Severity Scale in outpatients older than 39 years with schizophrenia and subthreshold depression (n = 213). Using linear regression, we examined whether depression (based on Calgary Depression Rating Scale scores), age, and "age by depressive symptoms" predicted suicidal ideation. RESULTS:: Depressive symptoms predicted suicidal ideation. Neither age nor "depressive symptoms by age" predicted suicidal ideation. CONCLUSIONS:: In this population, age does not appear to moderate the relationship between depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. Thus, assessing depressive symptoms as a risk factor is important at all ages in this population.
    The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry 09/2012; · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This report describes one in a series of National Institute of Health (NIH) supported conferences aimed at enhancing the ability of leaders of psychiatry residency training to teach research literacy and produce both clinician-scholars and physician-scientists in their home programs. Most psychiatry training directors would not consider themselves research scholars or even well-schooled in evidence based practice. Yet they are the front line educators to prepare tomorrow's psychiatrists to keep up with, critically evaluate, and in some cases actually participate in the discovery of new and emerging psychiatric knowledge. This annual conference is meant to help psychiatry training directors become more enthusiastic, knowledgeable and pedagogically prepared to create research-friendly environments at their home institutions, so that more trainees will, in turn, become research literate, practice evidence-based psychiatry, and enter research fellowships and careers. The overall design of each year's meeting is a series of plenary sessions introducing participants to new information pertaining to the core theme of that year's meeting, integrated with highly interactive small group teaching sessions designed to consolidate knowledge and provide pragmatic teaching tools appropriate for residents at various levels of training. The theme of each meeting, selected to be a compelling and contemporary clinical problem, serves as a vehicle to capture training directors' attention while teaching relevant brain science, research literacy and effective pedagogy. This report describes the content and assessment of the 2011 annual pre-meeting, "Evidence-based Approaches to Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention: Insights from the Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences for use in Psychiatry Residency Training."
    Comprehensive psychiatry 09/2012; · 2.08 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
314 Downloads
839.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
      Bryan, Texas, United States
    • Tufts University
      Georgia, United States
  • 1985–2013
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Psychiatry
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 2012
    • Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
      Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New York City, NY, United States
    • Argosy University
      Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • 2008–2012
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Boston, MA, United States
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • Virginia Commonwealth University
      Richmond, Virginia, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 1998–2012
    • VA San Diego Healthcare System
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1992–2012
    • National University (California)
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2005–2011
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Dallas, TX, United States
  • 2010
    • University of California, San Francisco
      San Francisco, California, United States
    • University of Virginia
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
    • Naval Medical Center San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
      Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 2002–2008
    • University of Cincinnati
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 2007
    • Aarhus University
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 2000
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 1999
    • Georgetown University
      • Department of Psychiatry (MedStar)
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States
  • 1997
    • San Diego State University
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1994
    • Psychiatric Centers at San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1978
    • University of Texas Medical School
      Houston, Texas, United States