[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Violence against women is a global public health problem with negative effects on physical, mental, and reproductive health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) as major targets for prevention and amelioration and recently developed clinical and policy guidelines to assist healthcare providers. This project was undertaken to determine the 2013 baseline national policies and clinical guidelines on IPV and SV within the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region to identify strengths and gaps requiring action.
Each Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/WHO) country focal point was contacted to request their current national policy and clinical guidelines (protocol) on IPV/SV. We augmented this by searching the internet and the United Nations Women website. Each country's policy and clinical guideline (where available) was reviewed and entered into a scoring matrix based on WHO Clinical and Policy Guidelines. A total score for each heading and subheading was developed by adding positive responses to identify LAC regional strengths and gaps.
We obtained 15 national policies and 12 national clinical guidelines (protocols) from a total of 18 countries ("response" rate 66.7 %). National policies were comprehensive in terms of physical, emotional, and sexual violence and recommended good intersectoral collaboration. The greatest gap was in the training of health-care providers. National Guidelines for women-centered care for IPV/SV survivors were strong in the vital areas of privacy, confidentiality, danger assessment, safety planning, and supportive reactions to disclosure. The largest gaps noted were again in training healthcare professionals and strengthening monitoring and evaluation of services.
Baseline measurement of policy and clinical guidelines for IPV/SV in LAC PAHO/WHO member countries at the time of issuing the 2013 WHO Clinical and Policy Guidelines reveals some important strengths, but also serious gaps that need to be addressed. The most pressing needs are for concerted training initiatives for healthcare providers and strengthening multisectoral monitoring and evaluation of services. A future evaluation of national policies, clinical guidelines, monitoring and evaluation will need to be conducted to measure the progress of the required scaling-up process.
BMC Public Health 12/2015; 15(1):665. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1994-9 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using combined individual patient data from prospective studies, we explored sex differences in depression and prognosis post-myocardial infarction (MI) and determined whether disease indices could account for found differences.
Individual patient data analysis of 10,175 MI patients who completed diagnostic interviews or depression questionnaires from 16 prospective studies from the MINDMAPS study was conducted. Multilevel logistic and Cox regression models were used to determine sex differences in prevalence of depression and sex-specific effects of depression on subsequent outcomes.
Combined interview and questionnaire data from observational studies showed that 36% (635/1760) of women and 29% (1575/5526) of men reported elevated levels of depression (age-adjusted odds ratio = 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.60-0.77). The risk for all-cause mortality associated with depression was higher in men (hazard ratio = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.30-1.47) than in women (hazard ratio = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.14-1.31; sex by depression interaction: p < .001). Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was associated with higher depression scores in men only (sex by LVEF interaction: B = 0.294, 95% CI = 0.090-0.498), which attenuated the sex difference in the association between depression and prognosis.
The prevalence of depression post-MI was higher in women than in men, but the association between depression and cardiac prognosis was worse for men. LVEF was associated with depression in men only and accounted for the increased risk of all-cause mortality in depressed men versus women, suggesting that depression in men post-MI may, in part, reflect cardiovascular disease severity.
Psychosomatic Medicine 04/2015; 77(4). DOI:10.1097/PSY.0000000000000174 · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single-item measure of self-rated mental health (SRMH) is being used increasingly in health research and population health surveys. The item asks respondents to rate their mental health on a five-point scale from excellent to poor. This scoping study presents the first known review of the SRMH literature.
Electronic databases of Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Cochrane Reviews were searched using keywords. The databases were also searched using the titles of surveys known to include the SRMH single item. The search was supplemented by manually searching the bibliographic sections of the included studies. Two independent reviewers coded articles for inclusion or exclusion based on whether articles included SRMH. Each study was coded by theme and data were extracted about study design, sample, variables, and results.
Fifty-seven studies included SRMH. SRMH correlated moderately with the following mental health scales: Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire, mental health subscales of the Short-Form Health Status Survey, Behaviour and Symptom Identification Scale, and World Mental Health Clinical Diagnostic Interview Schedule. However, responses to this item may differ across racial and ethnic groups. Poor SRMH was associated with poor self-rated health, physical health problems, increased health service utilization and less likelihood of being satisfied with mental health services. Poor or fair SRMH was also associated with social determinants of health, such as low socioeconomic position, weak social connections and neighbourhood stressors. Synthesis of this literature provides important information about the relationships SRMH has with other variables.
SRMH is associated with multi-item measures of mental health, self-rated health, health problems, service utilization, and service satisfaction. Given these relationships and its use in epidemiologic surveys, SRMH should continue to be assessed as a population health measure. More studies need to examine relationships between SRMH and clinical mental illnesses. Longitudinal analyses should look at whether SRMH is predictive of future mental health problems.
BMC Health Services Research 09/2014; 14(1):398. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-14-398 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine decision-making among women considering antidepressant medication use in pregnancy. Decisional conflict was assessed using the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) among pregnant women considering antidepressant medication treatment (N = 40). Overall DCS and subscale scores were compared between women who were antidepressant users and non-users. Semi-structured interviews (N = 10) explored barriers and facilitators of decision-making. Twenty-one women (52 %) had moderate or high decisional conflict (DCS ≥ 25). Overall DCS scores did not differ between groups, but antidepressant use was associated with feeling more adequately informed (subscale mean 17.5, SD 17.9 vs. 42.1, SD 23.8, p = 0.001) and clear about values (subscale mean 16.7, SD 15.1 vs. 29.8, SD 24.0, p = 0.043). Barriers to decision-making were (1) difficulty weighing maternal versus infant health, (2) lack of high quality information, (3) negative external influences, and (4) emotional reactions to decision-making. Facilitators were (1) interpersonal supports, (2) accessible subspecialty care, and (3) severe depressive symptoms. Many pregnant women facing decisions regarding antidepressant medication use experience decisional conflict. Interventions that provide accurate information, assistance with weighing risks and benefits of treatment, management of problematic external influences, and emotional support may reduce decisional conflict and facilitate the decision-making process.
Archives of Women s Mental Health 08/2014; 17(6). DOI:10.1007/s00737-014-0448-1 · 2.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression (PPD) has a prevalence rate of 13% and a similarly high proportion of women report a subclinical state of one or more MDE symptoms. The aim was to investigate whether monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) VT, an index of MAO-A density, is increased in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex (PFC and ACC), during PPD or when a PPD spectrum symptom, greater predisposition to crying, is present. MAO-A is an enzyme that increases in density after estrogen decline, and has several functions including creating oxidative stress, influencing apoptosis and monoamine metabolism. Fifty seven women were recruited including 15 first onset, antidepressant naive, PPD subjects, 12 postpartum healthy who cry due to sad mood, 15 asymptomatic postpartum healthy women and 15 healthy women not recently pregnant. Each underwent [(11)C]-harmine positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to measure MAO-A VT. Both PPD, and greater predisposition to crying were associated with greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC (multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), group effect, F21,135 =1.856; p=0.019; mean combined region elevation 21% and 14% in PPD and crying groups, respectively, relative to postpartum asymptomatic). Greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC represents a new biomarker in PPD, and the PPD symptom of predisposition to crying. Novel strategies for preventing PPD (and some PPD symptoms) may be possible by avoiding environmental conditions that elevate MAO-A level and enhancing conditions that normalize MAO-A level. These findings also argue for clinical trials in PPD with the newer, well-tolerated MAO-A inhibitor antidepressants.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 30 July 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.190.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2014; 40(2). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.190 · 8.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbearing with a 13 % prevalence rate, and there is no widespread approach for prevention. There is an appealing theoretical rationale for oral tyrosine to help prevent PPD. However, the effect of oral tyrosine on its total and free concentrations in breast milk and plasma of breastfeeding mothers is not known. Twenty-four healthy breastfeeding women were randomly assigned to 0, 2, 5, or 10 g of oral tyrosine. Free and total tyrosine in breast milk and free tyrosine in plasma were measured. Free tyrosine was also measured in 12 different infant formulas. Total tyrosine in breast milk did not rise, but there was a slight tendency towards a reduction (up to -12 %; repeated measures ANOVA (RMANOVA): p = 0.074). Maternal plasma tyrosine rose (RMANOVA: p < 0.005). In breast milk, 98 % of tyrosine was in proteins or peptides and 2 % was free. Free tyrosine levels in breast milk rose in each group (RMANOVA: p < 0.005), but levels were within the range found in common infant formulas. The negligible effect of oral tyrosine on its concentration in breast milk supports further development of oral tyrosine as part of a prevention strategy for PPD.
Archives of Women s Mental Health 07/2014; 17(6). DOI:10.1007/s00737-014-0441-8 · 2.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the impact of a requirement introduced in December 2010 that all applicants to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research indicate whether their research designs accounted for sex or gender. We aimed to inform research policy by understanding the extent to which applicants across health research disciplines accounted for sex and gender. We conducted a descriptive statistical analysis to identify trends in application data from three research funding competitions (December 2010, June 2011, and December 2011) (N = 1459). We also conducted a qualitative thematic analysis of applicants' responses. Here we show that the proportion of applicants responding affirmatively to the questions on sex and gender increased over time (48% in December 2011, compared to 26% in December 2010). Biomedical researchers were least likely to report accounting for sex and gender. Analysis by discipline-specific peer review panel showed variation in the likelihood that a given panel will fund grants with a stated focus on sex or gender. These findings suggest that mandatory questions are one way of encouraging the uptake of sex and gender in health research, yet there remain persistent disparities across disciplines. These disparities represent opportunities for policy intervention by health research funders.
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99900. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099900 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance
Perimenopause is a period of high risk for mood disorders, and it has been proposed that perimenopause is also a window of risk for processes linked to later dementia. However, in human perimenopause, the neurobiological changes implicated in the genesis of mood disorders or dementia have not been identified. Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) is an important brain enzyme that creates oxidative stress, influences apoptosis, and metabolizes monoamines. After declines in estrogen level, MAO-A density may be elevated for a month or longer, and repeated declines in estrogen level occur with greater magnitude during perimenopause.Objective
To investigate whether MAO-A total distribution volume (VT), an index of MAO-A density, is elevated in women of perimenopausal age (41-51 years).Design, Setting, and Participants
In a cross-sectional study at a tertiary care psychiatric hospital, 58 women underwent carbon 11–labeled harmine positron emission tomography. These included 19 young women of reproductive age (mean [SD], 28.26 [5.05] years), 27 women of perimenopausal age (mean [SD] age, 45.21 [3.41] years; including 14 women with change in menstrual cycle length with a mean [SD] age of 45.50 [4.00] years and 13 women with no change in menstrual cycle length with a mean [SD] age of 44.92 [2.81] years), and 12 women in menopause (mean [SD] age, 56.25 [3.19] years).Main Outcomes and Measures
Values of MAO-A VT in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, dorsal striatum, ventral striatum, thalamus, hippocampus, and midbrain.Results
On average, MAO-A VT in perimenopausal age was elevated by 34% compared with reproductive age and by 16% compared with menopause (multivariate analysis of variance, group effect, F16,94 = 3.03; P < .001). Within the perimenopausal age group, meeting Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop criteria for perimenopause, which is mainly based on menstrual cycle length, was not associated with MAO-A VT (F8,18 = 0.548; P = .81) but tendency to cry was positively correlated with MAO-A VT in the prefrontal cortex (r = 0.54; P = .008).Conclusions and Relevance
To our knowledge, this is the first report of a change in a central biomarker during perimenopausal age that is also present during major depressive episodes and high-risk states for major depressive episodes. The functions of MAO-A influence oxidative stress and apoptosis, 2 processes implicated as excessive in both mood disorders and dementia. Hence, greater MAO-A VT during perimenopause may represent a new target for assessing novel interventions to prevent mood disorders and reduce longer-term risk of neurodegenerative disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbearing with a 13% prevalence. Vulnerability to depressed mood has an important role in the onset of major depressive episodes (MDE), but has not been investigated in postpartum. The aim is to assess whether day-5 postpartum blues and severity of dysfunctional attitudes predicts vulnerability to depressed mood.
About 45 healthy women were recruited: group 1 (n=12) was day-5 postpartum during the typical peak of postpartum blues. Group 2 (n=11) was within 18 months postpartum and reported a vulnerability to cry (and had elevated dysfunctional attitudes but no MDE). Group 3 (n=11) was within 18 months postpartum and no vulnerability to cry. Group 4 (n=11) was not recently postpartum. Vulnerability to depressed mood was measured by the change in the visual analog scale from the sad mood induction procedure (MIP).
Univariate analysis of covariance demonstrated that day-5 postpartum blues and level of dysfunctional attitudes were highly predictive of change in sad mood (postpartum blues: F(1,41)=12.9, p<0.005, dysfunctional attitudes scale score: F(1,41)=11.49, p<0.005).
Although the effects were robust, sample sizes were 11–12 within each group.
Two factors (day-5 postpartum and severity of dysfunctional attitudes) predicted vulnerability to sad mood. Since the severity of postpartum blues predicts PPD, MIP on day-5 postpartum represents a quantitative measure that can be applied to screen novel, early interventions for preventing PPD. Interventions to prevent PPD through increasing resilience against mood induction should target postpartum women with greater severity of dysfunctional attitudes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Clinical practice guidelines disagree on whether health care professionals should screen women for depression during pregnancy or postpartum. The objective of this systematic review was to determine whether depression screening improves depression outcomes among women during pregnancy or the postpartum period.
Searches included the CINAHL, EMBASE, ISI, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO databases through April 1, 2013; manual journal searches; reference list reviews; citation tracking of included articles; and trial registry reviews. RCTs in any language that compared depression outcomes between women during pregnancy or postpartum randomized to undergo depression screening versus women not screened were eligible.
There were 9,242 unique titles/abstracts and 15 full-text articles reviewed. Only 1 RCT of screening postpartum was included, but none during pregnancy. The eligible postpartum study evaluated screening in mothers in Hong Kong with 2-month-old babies (N = 462) and reported a standardized mean difference for symptoms of depression at 6 months postpartum of 0.34 (95% confidence interval = 0.15 to 0.52, P < 0.001). Standardized mean difference per 44 additional women treated in the intervention trial arm compared to the non-screening arm was approximately 1.8. Risk of bias was high, however, because the status of outcome measures was changed post-hoc and because the reported effect size per woman treated was 6–7 times the effect sizes reported in comparable depression care interventions.
There is currently no evidence from any well-designed and conducted RCT that screening for depression would benefit women in pregnancy or postpartum. Existing guidelines that recommend depression screening during pregnancy or postpartum should be re-considered.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 06/2014; 76(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.01.006 · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated levels of irritability have been reported across a range of psychiatric and medical conditions. However, research on the causes, consequences, and treatments of irritability has been hindered by limitations in existing measurement tools. This study aimed to develop a brief, reliable, and valid self-report measure of irritability that is suitable for use among both men and women and that displays minimal overlap with related constructs. First, 63 candidate items were generated, including items from two recent irritability scales. Second, 1,116 participants (877 university students and 229 chronic pain outpatients) completed a survey containing the irritability item pool and standardized measures of related constructs. Item response theory was used to develop a five-item scale (the Brief Irritability Test) with a strong internal structure. All five items displayed minimal conceptual overlap with related constructs (e.g., depression, anger), and test scores displayed negligible gender bias. The Brief Irritability Test shows promise in helping to advance the burgeoning field of irritability research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though intimate partner violence (IPV) is predominately understood as a women's health issue most often emerging within heterosexual relationships, there is increasing recognition of the existence of male victims of IPV. In this qualitative study we explored connections between masculinities and IPV among gay men. The findings show how recognising IPV was based on an array of participant experiences, including the emotional, physical and sexual abuse inflicted by their partner, which in turn led to three processes. Normalising and concealing violence referred to the participants' complicity in accepting violence as part of their relationship and their reluctance to disclose that they were victims of IPV. Realising a way out included the participants' understandings that the triggers for, and patterns of, IPV would best be quelled by leaving the relationship. Nurturing recovery detailed the strategies employed by participants to mend and sustain their wellbeing in the aftermath of leaving an abusive relationship. In terms of masculinities and men's health research, the findings reveal the limits of idealising hegemonic masculinities and gender relations as heterosexual, while highlighting a plurality of gay masculinities and the need for IPV support services that bridge the divide between male and female as well as between homosexual and heterosexual.
Sociology of Health & Illness 05/2014; DOI:10.1111/1467-9566.12099 · 1.88 Impact Factor