Irene Shyu

Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (7)29.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study explored the feasibility of using Internet social networking media in an online program for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) screening and psychoeducation targeting college students. A Facebook advertisement targeted students at five colleges in the United States to complete a mental health research survey that screened for MDD using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Students who screened positive for MDD were offered an eightweek follow-up survey. Of the 259 students who consented to participate in the study, 26.7% screened positive for MDD, while only 14.2% were receiving treatment. The use of Facebook to advertise for online screening for MDD required very little start-up time, and the average cost was $11.45 per subject recruited. It is feasible to use online, commercially available social networking media such as Facebook for online screening for MDD among college students. However, conducting online screening and offering treatment resources alone did not increase treatment rate in this population.
    International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 01/2013; 13(1):74-80. DOI:10.1016/S1697-2600(13)70010-3 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in college students and is often associated with depression. The aim of this study was to assess the rates of suicidal ideation (SI) on college campuses and to identify its correlates. On-campus depression screening sessions were conducted at 3 universities (n = 898; 55% female; mean age 20.07 ± 1.85 years). Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; mean ± SD of total score = 6.27 ± 6.31) and other measures. Eighty-four students endorsed a '1' on the BDI suicidality item, suggesting thoughts of suicide. Results showed that students with greater depression severity, higher levels of hopelessness, and poorer quality of life were more likely to endorse SI. Factors associated with SI highlighted in this study may aid in the identification of college students at risk for suicide.
    Psychopathology 05/2012; 45(4):228-34. DOI:10.1159/000331598 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual dysfunction is a known side effect of antidepressant treatment (ADT), affecting up to 58-73% of those who receive ADT, potentially affecting antidepressant adherence. Consequently, it is vital to develop novel treatments that target antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. We examined whether adjunctive S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) is associated with greater improvement in sexual functioning than adjunctive placebo by measuring changes in sexual functioning using the Massachusetts General Hospital-Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (MGH-SFQ) during a 6-week, single-center, randomized, double-blind trial of SAMe augmentation for SSRI/SNRI- nonresponders. Controlling for the degree of arousal dysfunction at baseline as well as the degree of change in HDRS-17 scale scores during the course of the study, men treated with adjunctive SAMe demonstrated significantly lower arousal dysfunction at endpoint than those treated with adjunctive placebo. In addition, controlling for the degree of erectile dysfunction at baseline as well as the degree of change in HDRS-17 scale scores, men treated with adjunctive SAMe demonstrated significantly lower erectile dysfunction at endpoint than those treated with adjunctive placebo. In the present study, we have observed that adjunctive SAMe can have positive benefit on male arousal and erectile dysfunction, independent of improvement in depressive symptoms. These findings are preliminary, and warrant replication. CLINICAL TRIALS.GOV IDENTIFIER: NCT00093847; titled 'Optimizing the Effectiveness of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in Treatment-Resistant Depression', accessible at:
    European Psychiatry 03/2011; 27(6):451-4. DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.01.003 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We test the hypothesis that racial or ethnic differences exist in relapse rates to fluoxetine discontinuation in major depressive disorder (MDD). Data are from a prospective study examining the relapse rates secondary to fluoxetine discontinuation in MDD. Subjects in the discontinuation phase consisted of 255 adults aged 18 to 65: 214 subjects who self-identified as white, 22 as African American, 13 as Latino American, and 6 as Asian American. In both the fluoxetine and placebo groups, no statistically significant differences emerged when comparing time to relapse for minority groups as compared to the white population. Adjusting for statistically significant predictors of relapse (symptom severity, neurovegetative symptom pattern, sex) and for educational level did not change the outcome of the survival analyses. Although the size of minority groups in this sample was modest, in a randomized, controlled trial setting, minority and white patients may have similar rates of relapse in MDD. This finding reinforces the importance of maintenance treatment in relapse for both minority as well as white patients with MDD. Given the self-selecting nature of clinical trials, future studies are needed to further examine the potential influence of underlying cultural factors on clinical outcomes in minority populations.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 03/2011; 52(2):151-5. DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.05.004 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The association between heavy alcohol consumption and risky behaviors has been amply investigated among college students. However, less is known with regard to types of drinking behaviors associated with high-risk activities. The present study extends this area of research by examining the relationship between compulsive drinking and hazardous behaviors in this population. Nine hundred and four college students completed measures on compulsive drinking and other risky behaviors in the context of mental health screenings at three campuses. Results showed that in males, compulsive drinking increased the risk for compulsive street drugs use, compulsive prescription drugs use, compulsive sexual activities, and gambling. Among females, compulsive drinking increased the risk for compulsive street drugs use, and compulsive sexual activities. These findings suggest that inquiring about compulsive drinking among college students may have great utility in identifying those at greater risk for other risky behaviors. The high co-occurrence of compulsive drinking, illicit substances, compulsive sexual activities, and gambling in college students suggests the need for comprehensive programs addressing high-risk behaviors together.
    American Journal on Addictions 01/2011; 20(1):14-20. DOI:10.1111/j.1521-0391.2010.00090.x · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the feasibility and effectiveness of using culturally sensitive collaborative treatment (CSCT) to improve recognition, engagement, and treatment of depressed Chinese Americans in primary care. Chinese American patients in a primary care setting (n = 4228) were screened for depression. The primary study outcome was treatment engagement rate, and the secondary outcome was treatment response. Of the study participants, 296 (7%) screened positive for depression, 122 (41%) of whom presented for a psychiatric assessment; 104 (85%) were confirmed with major depressive disorder, and 100 (96%) of these patients were randomized into treatment involving either care management or usual care. Patients in the care management and usual care groups did not differ in terms of their outcomes. CSCT resulted in a nearly 7-fold increase in treatment rate among depressed patients in primary care. CSCT is both feasible and effective in improving recognition and treatment engagement of depressed Chinese Americans. Care management may have limited effects on depressed patients treated by psychiatrists, given that these patients tend to have favorable responses in general.
    American Journal of Public Health 10/2010; 100(12):2397-402. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2009.184911 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the progressive increase in the number of antidepressants, many patients with major depressive disorder continue to be symptomatic. Clearly, there is an urgent need to develop better tolerated and more effective treatments for this disorder. The use of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring molecule that serves as a methyl donor in human cellular metabolism, as adjunctive treatment for antidepressant nonresponders with major depressive disorder represents one such effort toward novel pharmacotherapy development. Participants were 73 serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) nonresponders with major depressive disorder enrolled in a 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial of adjunctive oral SAMe (target dose: 800 mg/twice daily). Patients continued to receive their SRI treatment at a stable dose throughout the 6-week trial. The primary outcome measure for the study was the response rates according to the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). The HAM-D response and remission rates were higher for patients treated with adjunctive SAMe (36.1% and 25.8%, respectively) than adjunctive placebo (17.6% versus 11.7%, respectively). The number needed to treat for response and remission was approximately one in six and one in seven, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of SAMe- versus placebo-treated patients who discontinued the trial for any reason (20.6% versus 29.5%, respectively), due to adverse events (5.1% versus 8.8%, respectively), or due to inefficacy (5.1% versus 11.7%, respectively). These preliminary results suggest that SAMe can be an effective, well-tolerated, and safe adjunctive treatment strategy for SRI nonresponders with major depressive disorder and warrant replication.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 08/2010; 167(8):942-8. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09081198 · 13.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

118 Citations
29.34 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Suffolk University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • Partners HealthCare
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States