Psychiatric Times Vol 26 No 1

Protecting Yourself and Your Patients

January 01, 2009

Good risk management is part of, but also distinct from, good clinical practice. The principles of risk management evolved in the 1960s as a way to defend businesses from loss of financial assets from tort claims

Combined Therapy Eases Anxiety in Children

January 02, 2009

A combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants to treat anxiety disorders in youngsters has yielded positive results in a government-funded study that was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.1

Toward Credible Conflict of Interest Policies in Clinical Psychiatry

January 01, 2009

A recent letter to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) from Sen Chuck Grassley about the APA’s financial relationship with pharmaceutical companies raises concerns about undue industry influence.1 By instituting a disclosure policy for DSM-V, the APA took a halting first step in restoring public trust in the most influential text on psychiatric taxonomy in the world. Unfortunately, the APA’s efforts at creating a conflict of interest (COI) policy have failed to ensure that the process for revising diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines is one that the public can trust. The need for more safeguards was evidenced when the APA reported that of the 27 task force members of DSM-V, only 8 reported no industry relationships.2 The fact that 70% of the task force members have reported direct industry ties-an increase of almost 14% over the percentage of DSM-IV task force members who had industy ties-shows that disclosure policies alone, especially those that rely on an honor system, are not enough and that more specific safeguards are needed.

Fishing Expeditions and Autism: A Big Catch for Genetic Research?

January 02, 2009

I am a fan of the television show Deadliest Catch-a documentary series that follows the travails of deep-sea fishermen in the Bering Sea. (Actually, it is mostly about deep crab fishing.) Living in Seattle, I have actually seen some of the boats filmed on the show.

New Agents of AbuseUnderstanding Prescription Drug Misuse by Adolescents

January 01, 2009

A large percentage of youths use and abuse psychoactive substances. According to the 2007 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, the percentage of US adolescents who used illicit drugs or drank alcohol continued a decade-long drop, revealing that 19% of 8th grad­ers, more than 36% of 10th graders, and 47% of all 12th graders have taken an illicit drug (other than alcohol) during their lifetime.1 According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the rate was 3.3% for misuse or nonmedical use of prescription drugs.2 The misuse of prescription drugs among adolescents was second only to marijuana use. In fact, prescription drugs increasingly have become a part of the repertoire of drug-using adolescents.

Enhancing Suicide Risk Assessment Through Evidence-Based Psychiatry

January 02, 2009

Suicide risk assessment is a core competency that all psychiatrists must have.1 A competent suicide assessment identifies modifiable and treatable protective factors that inform patient treatment and safety management.2 Psychiatrists, unlike other medical specialists, do not often experience patient deaths, except by suicide. Patient suicide is an occupational hazard. A clinical axiom holds that there are 2 kinds of psychiatrists: those who have had patients commit suicide-and those who will.

New Technology Could Lead to Card-Swipe Medical Tests

January 02, 2009

Imagine seeing a patient in your office and being able to test for dozens or even hundreds of diseases with just the swipe of a card that contains microscopic samples of the patient’s blood, saliva, or urine. This technology may not be far off.

Internet Use Stimulates Brain Function in Seniors

January 02, 2009

A new study is raising important questions about the brain’s ability to remain active and regenerate in later life and whether Web searching can stimulate brain activity in middle-aged and older adults.

DSM-V Controversies

January 01, 2009

After some members and mental health writers criticized the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for “secrecy” surrounding the development of DSM-V, the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to make public regular DSM-V reports as well as summaries from work group chairs on the Web site at www.dsm5.org.

In Memoriam: Paul Genova, MD (1954-2008)

January 01, 2009

My friend Paul Genova’s protean life is not easy to wrap in the winding sheet of an obituary. Paul-who died on December 13th of complications from multiple myeloma-was a man of many talents and sensibilities.

And Now, Your Parents' Relationship?

January 01, 2009

She paused for a few moments and then responded, "I don't know when children may begin to think their parents are unhappy with each other except, of course, if there are a lot of arguments and fights. My parents didn't argue or fight, but they were not openly affectionate either.

Metabolic Syndrome in Patients With Major Depressive DisorderAssociated Risk Factors

January 02, 2009

Although most studies have focused on the risk of metabolic syndrome for patients with schizophrenia exposed to atypical antipsychotics, other psychiatric patients appear to be at risk for metabolic disturbances as well.7-9 Major depressive disorder (MDD) may be of particular interest because it is much more common than schizophrenia and is treated with a broad range of psychotropics.