The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Hearing Voices: An Interpersonal Experience?

University of Manchester

University of Manchester (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A research seminar exploring novel therapeutic approaches for auditory hallucinations

Attachment:  Manchester Voices Seminar final

Date:  10th September 2013

Time:  9 am – 4pm

 Venue:  University of Manchester Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you really at risk of attack by someone with schizophrenia?

By Rebecca Syed, Research Fellow at King’s College London and an Editor for the CSzG

A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer in our beds.

But by pressuring mental health services to focus on the risk of violence we are in danger of actually increasing it.

Most of the debate around risk and offending has centred around schizophrenia – the bread and butter of community psychiatry. But what is the evidence relating to the risk of violence in those diagnosed with schizophrenia? Read the rest of this entry »

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CSzG at the 14th International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology conference

Three days after returning from an extremely relaxing holiday in Greece, I was back at the airport to board a flight to Leipzig, Germany. The event put me firmly back into work-mode, with the prospect of presenting both poster and plenary session on two research topics undertaken at the CSzG base during the past year.

With over 300 epidemiologists attending the conference at the Westin Hotel, central Leipzig, the opportunity to keep in the loop of on-going research, newly published material, or just to get a different perspective was prevalent in every symposium hall. Friday’s schizophrenia symposium speakers gave insight into various areas of interest: including risk factors for different psychosis syndromes; prediction tools for incidence of first episode psychosis; social adversity over life course increase of psychosis; and a study counteracting internalized stigma with day clinic treatment for people with schizophrenia (the results of which called for larger RCTs to confirm any positive findings). Some representation for RCTs did not go amiss. Read the rest of this entry »

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Through the eyes of a service user

By Ben Gray, Consumer Peer Reviewer and Plain Language Summary writer

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the bran...

English: Close-up of 0.5mg tablets of the brand name benzodiazepine drug, Ativan. Generic name is Lorazepam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘People with mental health problems may exhibit agitated, violent and aggressive behaviour which can be a danger to themselves or others. Usually, de-escalation techniques such as talking to the patient are used to calm down the situation. However, people’s behaviour may be too disturbed, violent or agitated. In these circumstances, rapid tranquillisation is given to achieve a state of calm. Three major classes of drugs are used to achieve rapid tranquillisation: typical antipsychotics; benzodiazepines; and more recently atypical antipsychotics. …’ Read more

(excerpt from the Plain Language Summary for Benzodiazepines alone or in combination with antipsychotic drugs for acute psychosis)

From a service user perspective, having a mental health problem can be an experience that is frightening, agitating and even terrifying.  Hearing voices and seeing things can make people feel scared and panic, so that they become agitated.  A person I knew in hospital often saw people covered in snakes, while another saw people on fire.  I myself have heard frightening and taunting voices, saying: “You wait until you see what I’m going to do to you!”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Processing the process: Systematic Reviews

By Angelique Bodart, Editorial Assistant for the CSzG

As you look through the Cochrane Library > Schizophrenia and Psychosis you notice that the one thing you were hoping to find isn’t there but you know for a fact that there’s trials out there looking at that exact thing.  Why is there not a systematic review on that topic?  Because you or another clinician have not contacted us to ask to write one, or perhaps it is being done behind the scenes you just don’t know it yet.  As we have seen from Prescribing as a junior doctor: do we know what we think we know? and The Clozapine rollercoaster, systematic reviews are very important to doctors, they are also very important to patients, as they enable both to make an informed decision about how to treat schizophrenia or at least support recovery and stability.  Unfortunately systematic reviews of drugs, therapies, ECT, hospitalisation procedures etc. don’t happen by magic.  They happen because someone has contacted us with an interest they wish to pursue, to establish the usefulness of, with other like-minded people. Read the rest of this entry »

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