[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several antipsychotic agents are known to prolong the QT interval in a dose dependent manner. Corrected QT interval (QTc) exceeding a threshold value of 450 ms may be associated with an increased risk of life threatening arrhythmias. Antipsychotic agents are often given in combination with other psychotropic drugs, such as antidepressants, that may also contribute to QT prolongation. This observational study compares the effects observed on QT interval between antipsychotic monotherapy and psychoactive polytherapy, which included an additional antidepressant or lithium treatment.
We examined two groups of hospitalized women with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Schizoaffective Disorder in a naturalistic setting. Group 1 was composed of nineteen hospitalized women treated with antipsychotic monotherapy (either haloperidol, olanzapine, risperidone or clozapine) and Group 2 was composed of nineteen hospitalized women treated with an antipsychotic (either haloperidol, olanzapine, risperidone or quetiapine) with an additional antidepressant (citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, mirtazapine, venlafaxine or clomipramine) or lithium. An Electrocardiogram (ECG) was carried out before the beginning of the treatment for both groups and at a second time after four days of therapy at full dosage, when blood was also drawn for determination of serum levels of the antipsychotic.
Statistical analysis included repeated measures ANOVA, Fisher Exact Test and Indipendent T Test.
Mean QTc intervals significantly increased in Group 2 (24 ± 21 ms) however this was not the case in Group 1 (-1 ± 30 ms) (Repeated measures ANOVA p < 0,01). Furthermore we found a significant difference in the number of patients who exceeded the threshold of borderline QTc interval value (450 ms) between the two groups, with seven patients in Group 2 (38%) compared to one patient in Group 1 (7%) (Fisher Exact Text, p < 0,05).
No significant prolongation of the QT interval was found following monotherapy with an antipsychotic agent, while combination of these drugs with antidepressants caused a significant QT prolongation. Careful monitoring of the QT interval is suggested in patients taking a combined treatment of antipsychotic and antidepressant agents.
Annals of General Psychiatry 01/2005; 4(1):1. DOI:10.1186/1744-859X-4-1 · 1.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term quality of life (QOL) outcome in heart transplant recipients still remains uncertain. This study evaluates the health status and QOL of survivors with associated predictors 10 years after heart transplantation.
A total of 276 patients who underwent heart transplantation in the Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Pavia, between 1985 and 1992 were included in a cross-sectional study. Patients still alive 10 years after transplantation (n=122) were asked to complete the SF36 questionnaire and then received a full clinical examination. All QOL instruments that were used had acceptable reliability and validity. Descriptive statistics, Kaplan-Meier estimate, correlation coefficients, and general linear regression were used to analyze the data.
Survival rates 1, 5, and 10 years after transplantation were 87%, 77%, and 57%, respectively, and the average life expectancy was 9.16 years. The mental QOL of patients 10 years after heart transplantation was similar to that among the general population. The physical QOL was worse among patients when compared with the QOL of the general population, with predictors including older age, being married, the presence of complications, and impaired renal function.
Heart transplantation ensures a relatively high QOL even 10 years after surgery. Predictors of a poor QOL were determined, which may help to identify those patients for whom a poor outcome is likely so treatment can be tailored accordingly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors analyse the prevalence of subthreshold psychiatric disorders in primary care and their association with the patient's health perception, disability in daily activities and psychological distress.
Five-hundred and fifty-four primary care patients who completed a two-phase study were administered the Composite International Interview for Primary Health Care (CIDI-PHC) and other self-report measures. Unweighted and weighted prevalence estimates were obtained for ICD-10 formal disorders and subthreshold disorders defined by specific operational criteria. The impact of subthreshold disorders on health perception, disability in daily activities and psychological distress was analysed by using multiple regression models.
The overall prevalence of subthreshold disorders exceeded that of ICD-10 disorders. Subjects with subthreshold disorders reported levels of psychological distress, disability in daily activities and perceived health comparable to those of patients with full-fledged ICD-10 disorders. When we analysed the associated health characteristics of individual subthreshold disorders, we found that each subthreshold disorder was characterized by poorer health perception, after adjusting for comorbidity with defined disorders and physical illness, age and gender. Disability in daily activities was increased in individuals with subthreshold depression and agoraphobia.
The number of cases with subthreshold panic and somatization is very small and does not allow one to draw any definite conclusions on their associated characteristics. To reduce non-response bias related to sampling design and refusals, adjusted sampling weights were computed. Since the study design in Bologna and Verona was different and Bologna patients scoring <4 on the General Health Questionnaire were not interviewed, individuals with minimal distress come from the Verona sample alone.
Because of the prevalence and associated characteristics of subthreshold disorders, primary care physicians should attach adequate importance to the patient's perceived poor health, distress and inability to fulfil daily tasks. The clinical relevance of subthreshold disorders has also potential implications for ongoing revisions of classification systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among primary care attenders, depression is a common and debilitating disturbance. These patients imply higher medical costs compared with those without depression, even after controlling for comorbid physical illness. A study performed in 15 countries worldwide has shown that ICD-10 mental disorders were present in 24% of primary care attenders. Detection and management of depression in primary care have received increasing attention. Most individuals with depression have been shown to consult their GPs for somatic symptoms rather than psychological ones. In the study mentioned above, 69% of the depressed patients reported only somatic symptoms. Another study found that GPs were able to diagnose a mental disorder in 90% of subjects presenting psychopathological symptoms and in 50% of those with somatic symptoms. In the light of the above, the Italian College of General Practitioners (Società Italiana di Medicina Generale-SIMG) in the area of Varese (north of Italy) organised a course on depression. Then a study was carried out in our setting. The aim was to evaluate the frequency of depression in patients who seek care for somatic symptoms, where tests showed that these symptoms were without an organic cause.
The European Journal of General Practice 07/2003; 9(2):66-7. DOI:10.3109/13814780309160405 · 0.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It was not until the 1950s and 1960s that the situation changed, thanks to the that the situation changed, thanks to the introduction of psychotropic drugs comple- introduction of psychotropic drugs comple- menting other biological treatments, such menting other biological treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and the altered social and political climate of the altered social and political climate of those years, with the fight against social those years, with the fight against social discrimination and inequalities, including discrimination and inequalities, including those suffered by individuals with mental those suffered by individuals with mental disorders. Social psychiatry offered a new disorders. Social psychiatry offered a new paradigm and imposed a conceptual recon- paradigm and imposed a conceptual recon- sideration and practical reorganisation of sideration and practical reorganisation of mental health care. Innovations were intro- mental health care. Innovations were intro- duced, mainly across northern and central duced, mainly across northern and central Italy, based on the recognition of patients' Italy, based on the recognition of patients' needs and the attempt to tailor interven- needs and the attempt to tailor interven- tions accordingly within the mental hospi- tions accordingly within the mental hospi- tal; the creation of new services outside tal; the creation of new services outside the mental hospital; the discharge of long- the mental hospital; the discharge of long- stay patients to the community; and the stay patients to the community; and the prevention of new admissions to mental prevention of new admissions to mental hospitals. hospitals. The ongoing process of deinstitutionali- The ongoing process of deinstitutionali- sation required a different service provision sation required a different service provision and organisation, and the burden and and organisation, and the burden and responsibility fell on local authorities in responsibility fell on local authorities in the absence of national legislation. In the absence of national legislation. In 1968, a new national law (Legge n. 431) 1968, a new national law (Legge n. 431) was passed, integrating the former one was passed, integrating the former one
The British Journal of Psychiatry 01/2003; 181:538-44. · 7.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mental disorders have an increased mortality risk. However, most data have been provided by few countries, some mental disorders have received little attention, long-term studies of large samples are scarce, and insufficient control for confounding variables has lead to artefactual inconsistencies across studies. The aims of this study were: to quantify the mortality risk in psychiatric patients 5 to 21 years after hospital admission and to investigate temporal trends in mortality risk and predictive factors associated with mortality.
All patients admitted to an in-patient psychiatric unit in Italy between 1978 and 1994 were included and vital status and death causes were determined up to 21 years after admission. The observed number of deaths in the sample was compared with the expected number of deaths in the general population. Cox proportional hazard models were fitted to identify predictors of mortality.
Mortality from natural and unnatural causes was higher than expected across all mental disorders. Standardized mortality risk was higher in males (SMR = 4.55; 95% CI 4.17-4.97) than in females (SMR = 3.43; 95% CI 3.07-3.83). Individuals aged less than 40 years were at higher risk in both sexes. The first several years following admission were characterized by a faster decline in survival. Several demographic and clinical factors were predictors of mortality.
Mortality is high in individuals with mental disorders. Prevention of unnatural death causes is an important goal though insufficient to abate excess mortality, since natural death causes account for it to a larger extent.
Psychological Medicine 03/2002; 32(2):227-37. DOI:10.1017/S0033291701005116 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With few exceptions, the prevalence, incidence and morbidity risk of depressive disorders are higher in females than in males, beginning at mid-puberty and persisting through adult life.
To review putative risk factors leading to gender differences in depressive disorders.
A critical review of the literature, dealing separately with artefactual and genuine determinants of gender differences in depressive disorders.
Although artefactual determinants may enhance a female preponderance to some extent, gender differences in depressive disorders are genuine. At present, adverse experiences in childhood, depression and anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence, sociocultural roles with related adverse experiences, and psychological attributes related to vulnerability to life events and coping skills are likely to be involved. Genetic and biological factors and poor social support, however, have few or no effects in the emergence of gender differences.
Determinants of gender differences in depressive disorders are far from being established and their combination into integrated aetiological models continues to be lacking.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 01/2001; 177(6):486-92. DOI:10.1192/bjp.177.6.486 · 7.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The next generation of studies on antidepressant drug prescriptions in general practice needs to assess both the patterns of prescription and its appropriateness. This study aimed to assess the performance of the Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ), a new questionnaire for detecting individuals with ICD- 10 depressive disorders, to be used in association with companion instruments for assessing the 'quality' of antidepressant prescriptions in primary care settings.
The PHQ was completed by 1,413 primary care attenders (100 were re-tested after 7-14 days) and 139 were selected and interviewed using the SCAN-2 and the 17-item HDRS. All data were analysed using appropriately weighted procedures to control for two-phase sampling design and non-response bias. Individual weights were estimated by logistic regression analysis and trimming strategy.
PHQ internal consistency and test-retest on both Likert score and number of symptoms were high. The PHQ discriminated well between individuals with and without depressive disorders. A Likert score > or = 9 provided a good trade-off between sensitivity (0.78) and specificity (0.83). The screening accuracy of the PHQ in detecting subjects likely to benefit from antidepressant drug treatment (SCAN cases with a HDRS total score of 13 or higher) was satisfactory (ROC area 0.87: sensitivity 0.84; specificity 0.78).
The PHQ can be strongly suggested as an accurate and economic screener to identify primary care attenders at high risk of being clinically depressed. However, in order to identify patients requiring antidepressant drug treatment, a second-phase assessment of PHQ high scorers (total score of > or = 10), using the HDRS, is needed.
Psychological Medicine 07/2000; 30(4):831-40. DOI:10.1017/S0033291799002512 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with depression, particularly those seen by primary care physicians, may report somatic symptoms, such as headache, constipation, weakness, or back pain. Some previous studies have suggested that patients in non-Western countries are more likely to report somatic symptoms than are patients in Western countries. We used data from the World Health Organization's study of psychological problems in general health care to examine the relation between somatic symptoms and depression. The study, conducted in 1991 and 1992, screened 25,916 patients at 15 primary care centers in 14 countries on 5 continents. Of the patients in the original sample, 5447 underwent a structured assessment of depressive and somatoform disorders.
A total of 1146 patients (weighted prevalence, 10.1 percent) met the criteria for major depression. The range of patients with depression who reported only somatic symptoms was 45 to 95 percent (overall prevalence, 69 percent; P=0.002 for the comparison among centers). A somatic presentation was more common at centers where patients lacked an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician than at centers where most patients had a personal physician (odds ratio, 1.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.7). Half the depressed patients reported multiple unexplained somatic symptoms, and 11 percent denied psychological symptoms of depression on direct questioning. Neither of these proportions varied significantly among the centers. Although the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms varied markedly among the centers, the frequencies of psychological and physical symptoms were similar.
Somatic symptoms of depression are common in many countries, but their frequency varies depending on how somatization is defined. There is substantial variation in how frequently patients with depression present with strictly somatic symptoms. In part, this variation may reflect characteristics of physicians and health care systems, as well as cultural differences among patients.
New England Journal of Medicine 11/1999; 341(18):1329-35. DOI:10.1056/NEJM199910283411801 · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to assess psychiatric morbidity and to collect information on disability, life events and family support in a representative sample of patients admitted to a general hospital.
On the basis of information collected in a pilot study a systematic sample of patients consecutively admitted to seven general medical and seven surgical wards of the Academic General Hospital of Verona was selected and interviewed using a two-phase screening procedure and standardized instruments (GHQ-12, HADS, BDQ and CIDI-PHC). All data were analysed using appropriately weighted logistic regression procedures.
A total of 1039 patients completed the GHQ-12 and 298 (28.7%) were high-scorers: 363 patients were interviewed with CIDI-PHC. The prevalence of ICD-10 cases was 26.1%. The most common psychiatric diagnoses were current depression (12.8%) and generalized anxiety disorder (10.8%), followed by alcohol related disorders (5 %). A higher prevalence of ICD-10 cases was found in medical wards, among females, patients older than 24 years, unemployed and separated/divorced people. Life events were associated with psychopathology, and so was the number of disability days. Although 49.8% of ICD-10 cases were identified by the hospital doctors as having a psychological disorder, 23.1% of ICD-10 cases were referred to the liaison psychiatric service.
The results of the present study stress the need to collect epidemiologically-based data on psychological disorders and their recognition not only in general practice, but also in general hospital settings, in order to have a more complete picture of the pathways to specialist care.
Psychological Medicine 08/1999; 29(4):823-32. DOI:10.1017/S0033291799008491 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Typologies of anxiety, depression and somatization symptoms were investigated in individuals with no formal mental disorders, making no a priori assumptions about symptom distribution and inter-relationship.
The subjects were 1617 adult primary care attenders from the WHO Collaborative Project on Psychological Problems in General Health Care, with at least three symptoms of anxiety, depression and/or somatization, but with no formal ICD-10 disorders. Analyses were based on the grade of membership model, a multivariate statistical procedure exploring indistinct boundaries between disease categories and preserving the heterogeneity of clinical picture within each category.
Six prototype categories (or pure types) best described the structure of symptoms included in analyses. Pure type I included the full set of somatization symptoms. Pure type II was characterized by most anxiety and depression symptoms. Pure type III resembled generalized anxiety disorder. Pure type IV consisted of individuals reporting sporadic symptoms of anxiety, depression or somatization. Pure type V defined individuals with sleep problems. Finally, pure type VI was characterized by anxiety symptoms, including panic-like symptoms.
These findings provide support to the existence of a mixed anxiety-depression category crossing the diagnostic boundaries of current anxiety and depression disorders. Moreover, criteria of anxiety and somatization disorders may be re-examined to assess whether lower diagnostic thresholds can be identified that both preserve the symptom profile and clinical features of current diagnostic categories and allow for a better characterization of individuals with substantial psychopathology though not meeting the high symptom thresholds required for a diagnosis of formal mental disorders.
Psychological Medicine 06/1999; 29(3):677-88. DOI:10.1017/S0033291799008478 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with severe injuries were investigated 5 years after the traumatic events, and predictors of anxiety and depression disorders were identified. Trauma victims were selected who had an Injury Severity Score of > or = 16 and were brought to all hospitals in the Mersey region and North Wales over 1 year. The 212 patients aged > or = 15 years who left the hospital alive and lived within an accessible distance of the study hospital in Warrington were contacted 5 years later and 158 (74.5%) received follow-up assessment. Thirty-eight subjects (36.9%) reported "definite" anxiety and/or depression disorders and, of these, only 21.1% reported taking psychotropic medications. Factors associated with anxiety and/or depression disorders at follow-up were: sequelae of head injury (i.e., cognitive problems, posttraumatic seizures, facial pain): writing impairment: disability due to thorax problems; and a new trauma during follow-up. Initial severity or types of injuries and overall residual disability rated by the investigator were not strong predictors of anxiety and/or depression disorders at follow-up.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 05/1999; 46(5):455-64. · 2.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with severe injuries were investigated 5 years after the traumatic events, and predictors of anxiety and depression disorders were identified. Trauma victims were selected who had an Injury Severity Score of ⩾16 and were brought to all hospitals in the Mersey region and North Wales over 1 year. The 212 patients aged ⩾15 years who left the hospital alive and lived within an accessible distance of the study hospital in Warrington were contacted 5 years later and 158 (74.5%) received follow-up assessment. Thirty-eight subjects (36.9%) reported “definite” anxiety and/or depression disorders and, of these, only 21.1% reported taking psychotropic medications. Factors associated with anxiety and/or depression disorders at follow-up were: sequelae of head injury (i.e., cognitive problems, posttraumatic seizures, facial pain); writing impairment; disability due to thorax problems; and a new trauma during follow-up. Initial severity or types of injuries and overall residual disability rated by the investigator were not strong predictors of anxiety and/or depression disorders at follow-up.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 01/1999; 46(5). DOI:10.1016/S0022-3999(98)00126-3 · 2.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence for the absence of clear boundaries and divisions between depression and generalized anxiety is reviewed.Indeed, symptoms of depression and of generalized anxiety are strongly associated, with substantial overlap between them. Moreover, anxiety tends to precede depression, increasing the risk of onset of depression and influencing its subsequent course and outcome. Finally, depression and generalized anxiety seem to share the same genes and at least part of the environmental risk factors, and tend to respond to the same treatments. The nosological implications of these findings are discussed.
Current Opinion in Psychiatry 01/1998; 11(1):57-60. DOI:10.1097/00001504-199801000-00021 · 3.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of the present study were to evaluate the extent to which primary care physicians' (PCPs) identification of psychiatric distress is related to a number of nonpsychopathological factors, such as patient sociodemographic and health-related characteristics, and to assess the impact of depression on PCP identification of psychiatric distress, controlling for patient sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Two patient samples were chosen to explore these issues: 1) patients not fulfilling any ICD-10-defined or subthreshold psychiatric diagnosis and, 2) patients with an ICD-10 diagnosis of current depression. Patients attending 46 primary care clinics during an index period were screened by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12 and selected for a second stage interview according to GHQ score. Among the 559 interviewed patients, 123 had no mental disorder and 66 had an ICD-10 current depressive disorder. Identification of psychiatric distress by the PCP was associated with retirement among subjects without mental disorders but not among depressed patients. Patient's negative overall health self-perception and severity of physical illness were significantly related to identification of psychiatric distress in the two groups, whereas neither disability nor reason for medical consultation had a significant effect. Patients with current depression, compared with those without, were 4.3 times more likely to be identified by PCPs as having psychiatric distress when adjusting for all the above nonpsychopathological variables. Patients with depression and comorbid anxiety disorders were more likely to be recognized by the PCP as compared with those with pure depression. Finally, among depressive symptoms, diurnal variation and symptoms related to suicidal tendencies were predictive of identification of psychiatric distress, whereas increase of appetite was negatively associated with PCP recognition.
General Hospital Psychiatry 12/1997; 19(6):411-8. DOI:10.1016/S0163-8343(97)00053-4 · 2.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between the lunar cycle and the frequency of contact with community-based psychiatric services was assessed using the South Verona Psychiatric Case Register data. For each day of the study period (January 1982-December 1991) we recorded the number of contacts made by South Verona residents with psychiatric services and the corresponding day of the lunar cycle. First, the synodic month was divided into four interval phases (usually called new moon, first quarter, full moon and third quarter), and interphase differences in the mean number of contacts were tested using one-way analysis of variance. Second. the null hypothesis of no relationship between the lunar cycle and the frequency of contact with psychiatric services was tested against the alternative hypothesis of a sinusoidal distribution according to the lunar phase. The average number of contacts with psychiatric services on each day of the lunar cycle over the 10-year period was obtained and a sine-wave curve was fitted to the data. Both for total and drop-in contacts, no significant differences in mean number of contacts were found between the four interval phases of the synodic month (new moon, first quarter, full moon and third quarter). Similarly, no significant results were found by setting the expected surge in consultations at 1-3 days after the full moon and the period of the sine-wave curve equal to 30 days. When the period of the sine-wave curve was allowed to vary in order to fit the data best, none of the statistical tests reached the level of significance required to dismiss the possibility of false-positive results. These findings did not support the theory that a relationship exists between the lunar cycle and the frequency of contact with community-based psychiatric services.
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 09/1997; 32(6):323-6. DOI:10.1007/BF00805436 · 2.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gender and cross-cultural differences in the association between somatic symptoms and emotional distress were investigated, using data from the World Health Organization Collaborative Project on Psychological Problems in General Health Care.
Data were collected at 15 centres in 14 countries around the world. At each centre, a stratified random sample of primary care attenders aged 15-65 years was assessed using, among other instruments, the 28-item General Health Questionnaire and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Primary Health Care Version.
Females reported higher levels of somatic symptoms and emotional distress than males. A strong correlation between somatic symptoms and emotional distress was found in both sexes, with females reporting more somatic symptoms at each level of emotional distress. However, linear regression analysis showed that gender had no significant effect on level of somatic symptoms, when the effects of centre and emotional distress were controlled for. In both sexes, no specific pattern of association emerged between somatic symptom clusters and either anxiety or depression. Primary care attenders from less developed centres reported more somatic symptoms and showed greater gender differences than individuals from more developed centres, but inter-centre differences were small. Finally, gender was not a significant predictor of reason for consultation (somatic versus mental/behavioural symptoms), after controlling for levels of somatic symptoms and emotional distress as well as for centre effect.
These data do not support the common belief that females somatize more than males or the traditional view that somatization is a basic orientation prevailing in developing countries. Instead, somatic symptoms and emotional distress are strongly associated in primary care attenders, with few differences between the two sexes and across cultures.
Psychological Medicine 04/1997; 27(2):433-44. DOI:10.1017/S0033291796004539 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the properties of the alcohol use disorders identification test in screening primary care attenders for alcohol problems.
A validity study among consecutive primary care attenders aged 18-65 years. Every third subject completed the alcohol use disorders identification test (a 10 item self report questionnaire on alcohol intake and related problems) and was interviewed by an investigator with the composite international diagnostic interview alcohol use module (a standardised interview for the independent assessment of alcohol intake and related disorders).
10 primary care clinics in Verona, north eastern Italy.
500 subjects were approached and 482 (96.4%) completed evaluation.
When the alcohol use disorders identification test was used to detect subjects with alcohol problems the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.95. The cut off score of 5 was associated with a sensitivity of 0.84, a specificity of 0.90, and a positive predictive value of 0.60. The screening ability of the total score derived from summing the responses to the five items minimising the probability of misclassification between subjects with and without alcohol problems provided an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.93. A score of 5 or more on the five items was associated with a sensitivity of 0.79, a specificity of 0.95, and a positive predictive value of 0.73.
The alcohol use disorders identification test performs well in detecting subjects with formal alcohol disorders and those with hazardous alcohol intake. Using five of the 10 items on the questionnaire gives reasonable accuracy, and these are recommended as questions of choice to screen patients for alcohol problems.
BMJ Clinical Research 03/1997; 314(7078):420-4. DOI:10.1136/bmj.314.7078.420 · 14.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) has been extensively used as a short screening instrument, producing results that are comparable to longer versions of the GHQ.
The validity of the GHQ-12 was compared with the GHQ-28 in a World Health organization study of psychological disorders in general health care. Results are presented for 5438 patients interviewed in 15 centres using the primary care version of the Composite International Diagnostic Instrument, or CIDI-PC.
Results were uniformly good, with the average area under the ROC curve 88, range from 83 to 95. Minor variations in the criteria used for defining a case made little difference to the validity of the GHQ, and complex scoring methods offered no advantages over simpler ones. The GHQ was translated into 10 other languages for the purposes of this study, and validity coefficients were almost as high as in the original language. There was no tendency for the GHQ to work less efficiently in developing countries. Finally gender, age and educational level are shown to have no significant effect on the validity of the GHQ.
If investigators wish to use a screening instrument as a case detector, the shorter GHQ is remarkably robust and works as well as the longer instrument. The latter should only be preferred if there is an interest in the scaled scores provided in addition to the total score.
Psychological Medicine 02/1997; 27(1):191-7. DOI:10.1017/S0033291796004242 · 5.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influence of the moon on patient consultations for anxiety or depression in general practice was assessed through a retrospective survey based on general practice medical records and on lunar records detailing the dates and times of different phases of the moon. Seven-hundred-eighty-two patients continuously registered in a general practice in Beckenham, South London, between 1971 and 1988 were included in analyses. No statistically significant lunar effect was found by setting the expected surge in consultations one to three days after the full moon and the period of the sine-wave curve to 30 days. Similarly, no statistically significant lunar effect was found, when the period of the sine-wave curve was allowed to vary in order to best fit the data. The moon had little influence on when individuals consulted their general practitioner with anxiety or depression.
International Journal of Social Psychiatry 02/1997; 43(1):29-34. DOI:10.1177/002076409704300103 · 1.15 Impact Factor