Concise Associated Symptoms Tracking Scale: A Brief Self-Report and Clinician Rating of Symptoms Associated With Suicidality

Article · June 2011with40 Reads
DOI: 10.4088/JCP.11m06840 · Source: PubMed
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings recommend monitoring negative symptoms associated with the initiation of antidepressant medications as these symptoms may interfere with full recovery and pose safety concerns. There is currently no brief, reliable rating instrument for assessing treatment-emergent, negative symptoms. We evaluated the psychometric properties of 2 versions of the newly developed 17-item Concise Associated Symptom Tracking (CAST) scale, the CAST Clinician Rating (CAST-C) and CAST Self-Rated (CAST-SR), which are brief instruments designed to measure the 5 relevant associated symptom domains (irritability, anxiety, mania, insomnia, and panic). The study enrolled 265 outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD), from July 2007 through February 2008, into an 8-week, open-label trial with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Diagnosis of MDD was determined by the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening questionnaire and an MDD checklist based on DSM-IV-TR criteria. Suicidality (suicidal ideation with associated behaviors) is 1 of 9 symptoms of MDD (depressed mood, loss of interest, appetite or weight change, sleep disturbance, reduced concentration or indecisiveness, fatigue or decreased energy, psychomotor agitation or retardation, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt). Psychometric evaluations were conducted on both versions of the CAST. Cronbach α was .80 (CAST-C) and .81 (CAST-SR). Factor analysis identified 5 factors for each scale: (1) irritability, (2) anxiety, (3) mania, (4) insomnia, and (5) panic. When the item that cross-loaded on 2 factors was eliminated, the 16-item solution had a better goodness of fit (CAST-C: 0.90 vs 0.87; CAST-SR: 0.88 vs 0.84). Cronbach α for the 16-item versions was .77 (CAST-C) and .78 (CAST-SR). The 5 associated CAST symptom domains correlated well with other standard measures of these domains. The 16-item CAST-C and CAST-SR demonstrated excellent psychometric properties. These are potentially useful measures for monitoring treatment-emergent negative symptoms associated with antidepressants, as recommended by the FDA.
    • Since Cronbach's alpha is a lower bound of reliability and it is thought to be more meaningful with fewer scale items, this measure supports that the items of both scales have little within-item variability, and thus have strong inter-correlation at baseline (Cronbach, 1951). Our confirmatory factor analysis models suggested that the 7- item scale fit the given 3 factor construct better than the 12-item scale, which is consistent with previous results (Trivedi et al., 2011a). All model fit diagnostics of the 7-item scale (GFI ¼ 0.97, RMSEA ¼ 0.07, SRMR ¼ 0.05, CFI ¼ 0.98) were as good as or better than those of the 12-item scale (seeTable 2).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: People with bipolar disorder are at high risk of suicide, but no clinically useful scale has been validated in this population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties in bipolar disorder of the 7- and 12-item versions of the Concise Health Risk Tracking Self-Report (CHRT-SR), a scale measuring suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, and associated symptoms. Methods: The CHRT was administered to 283 symptomatic outpatients with bipolar I or II disorder who were randomized to receive lithium plus optimized personalized treatment (OPT), or OPT without lithium in a six month longitudinal comparative effectiveness trial. Participants were assessed using structured diagnostic interviews, clinician-rated assessments, and self-report questionnaires. Results: The internal consistency (Cronbach α) was 0.80 for the 7-item CHRT-SR and 0.90 for the 12-item CHRT-SR with a consistent factor structure, and three independent factors (current suicidal thoughts and plans, hopelessness, and perceived lack of social support) for the 7-item version. CHRT-SR scores are correlated with measures of depression, functioning, and quality of life, but not with mania scores. Conclusions: The 7- and 12-item CHRT-SR both had excellent psychometric properties in a sample of symptomatic subjects with bipolar disorder. The scale is highly correlated with depression, functioning, and quality of life, but not with mania. Future research is needed to determine whether the CHRT-SR will be able to predict suicide attempts in clinical practice.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
    • irritability. Relatedly, recent research suggests that marked irritability, which refers to a mood state characterized by increased proneness to annoyance and anger provocation (Safer, 2009), may represent an acute suicide risk factor (Trivedi et al., 2011). In a study of 100 psychiatric inpatients who had made a suicide attempt in the preceding 24 hours, marked irritability was associated with a 101-fold increase in suicide risk (Balázs et al., 2006 ).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Empirically informed suicide risk assessment frameworks are useful in guiding the evaluation and treatment of individuals presenting with suicidal symptoms. Joiner et al. (1999) formulated one such framework, which has provided a concise heuristic for the assessment of suicide risk. The purpose of this review is to ensure compatibility of this suicide risk assessment framework with the growing literature on suicide-related behaviors. This review integrates recent literature on suicide risk factors and clinical applications into the existing model. Further, we present a review of risk factors not previously included in the Joiner et al. (1999) framework, such as the interpersonal theory of suicide variables of perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and capability for suicide (Joiner, 2005; Van Orden et al., 2010) and acute symptoms of suicidality (i.e., agitation, irritability, weight loss, sleep disturbances, severe affective states, and social withdrawal). These additional indicators of suicide risk further facilitate the classification of patients into standardized categories of suicide risk severity and the critical clinical decision making needed for the management of such risk. To increase the accessibility of empirically informed risk assessment protocols for suicide prevention and treatment, an updated suicide risk assessment form and decision tree are provided. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
    • It should be noted that the majority of patients in our study had a primary diagnosis of MDD or bipolar disorder. We did find a significant effect of treatment on irritability and panic using the CAST (Trivedi et al. 2011b), wherein patients treated with ketamine compared to midazolam had lower levels of irritability and panic symptoms 24 h following treatment. These findings raise the possibility that ketamine may reduce suicidal thinking in part by reducing irritability and panic.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Suicide is a devastating public health problem and very few biological treatments have been found to be effective for quickly reducing the intensity of suicidal ideation (SI). We have previously shown that a single dose of ketamine, a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is associated with a rapid reduction in depressive symptom severity and SI in patients with treatment-resistant depression. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ketamine in patients with mood and anxiety spectrum disorders who presented with clinically significant SI (n = 24). Patients received a single infusion of ketamine or midazolam (as an active placebo) in addition to standard of care. SI measured using the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI) 24 h post-treatment represented the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale - Suicidal Ideation (MADRS-SI) score at 24 h and additional measures beyond the 24-h time-point. The intervention was well tolerated and no dropouts occurred during the primary 7-day assessment period. BSI score was not different between the treatment groups at 24 h (p = 0.32); however, a significant difference emerged at 48 h (p = 0.047). MADRS-SI score was lower in the ketamine group compared to midazolam group at 24 h (p = 0.05). The treatment effect was no longer significant at the end of the 7-day assessment period. The current findings provide initial support for the safety and tolerability of ketamine as an intervention for SI in patients who are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior. Larger, well-powered studies are warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
    • The neuronal up-regulation of GluK4 by fluoxetine may appear paradoxical since genetic ablation of this receptor subunit causes anxiolytic and antidepressant-like behavior in mice (Catches et al., 2012). However, there is a risk of elevated suicidality during initiation of antidepressant therapy (Fava and Rosenbaum, 1991; Kraus et al., 2010; Trivedi et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2013 ), which might be related to this up- regulation. The GluA2 gene is expressed in both neurons and astrocytes (Cahoy et al., 2008), and it is up-regulated in whole brain by fluoxetine treatment (Ampuero et al., 2010; Vialou et al., 2010; Barbon et al., 2011).
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is firmly believed that the mechanism of action of SSRIs in major depression is to inhibit the serotonin transporter, SERT, and increase extracellular concentration of serotonin. However, this undisputed observation does not prove that SERT inhibition is the mechanism, let alone the only mechanism, by which SSRI's exert their therapeutic effects. It has recently been demonstrated that 5-HT2B receptor stimulation is needed for the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine in vivo. The ability of all five currently used SSRIs to stimulate the 5-HT2B receptor equipotentially in cultured astrocytes has been known for several years, and increasing evidence has shown the importance of astrocytes and astrocyte-neuronal interactions for neuroplasticity and complex brain activity. This paper reviews acute and chronic effects of 5-HT2B receptor stimulation in cultured astrocytes and in astrocytes freshly isolated from brains of mice treated with fluoxetine for 14 days together with effects of anti-depressant therapy on turnover of glutamate and GABA and metabolism of glucose and glycogen. It is suggested that these events are causally related to the mechanism of action of SSRIs and of interest for development of newer antidepressant drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article outlines the role of measurement-based care in the management of antidepressant treatment for patients with unipolar depression. Using measurement-based care, clinicians and researchers have the opportunity to optimize individual treatment and obtain maximum antidepressant treatment response. Measurement-based care breaks down to several simple components: antidepressant dosage, depressive symptom severity, medication tolerability, adherence to treatment, and safety. Quick and easy-to-use, empirically validated assessments are available to monitor these areas of treatment. Utilizing measurement-based care has several steps-screening and antidepressant selection based upon treatment history, followed by assessment-based medication management and ongoing care. Electronic measurement-based care systems have been developed and implemented, further reducing the burden on patients and clinicians. As more treatment providers adopt electronic health care management systems, compatible measurement-based care antidepressant treatment delivery and monitoring systems may become increasingly utilized.
    Article · Sep 2011
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore relationships between baseline sociodemographic and clinical features and baseline suicidal ideation, and treatment effects on suicidal ideation and behavior, in depressed outpatients. From March 2008 to September 2009, the Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes study, a single-blind, 7-month randomized trial, enrolled outpatients with nonpsychotic chronic and/or recurrent major depressive disorder (DSM-IV-TR criteria) in primary and psychiatric care (N = 665). Participants received escitalopram plus placebo, bupropion sustained release (SR) plus escitalopram, or venlafaxine extended release (XR) plus mirtazapine. The primary outcome measure for this report is presence of suicidal ideation assessed by the Concise Health Risk Tracking Self-Report, which measures suicidal ideation and behaviors over the last 24 hours. Sociodemographic and clinical features were compared in those with versus without baseline ideation. At 4, 12, and 28 weeks, treatment effects on suicidality were assessed, and unadjusted and adjusted outcomes were compared among those with and without baseline ideation using linear, logistic, ordinal logistic, and negative binomial regression models. Baseline suicidal ideation was associated with greater depressive severity, childhood neglect, childhood abuse, early major depressive disorder onset, greater psychiatric comorbidity, and worse functioning and quality of life. After adjustment for treatment, gender, age at first depressive episode, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and depressive severity, depressive symptom outcomes did not differ between ideation groups at 12 or 28 weeks or between treatments. Overall, 79% of participants with baseline suicidal ideation had none at week 4, 83% had none at week 12, and 86% had none at week 28. All treatments reduced ideation, with bupropion-SR plus escitalopram the most effective at week 12 (P < .01). In participants without baseline ideation, emergent ideation did not differ between treatments: 2.5% had ideation at 4 weeks, 1.3% had ideation at 12 weeks, and only 1.7% had ideation at 28 weeks. Four patients (all receiving venlafaxine-XR plus mirtazapine) attempted suicide (P = .0162). Baseline ideation did not affect depressive symptom outcome. Bupropion-SR plus escitalopram most effectively reduced ideation. Ideation emergence was uncommon. Venlafaxine-XR plus mirtazapine may pose a higher risk of suicide attempts. Identifier: NCT00590863.
    Article · Oct 2011
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