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New from CPD Online [CPD Online]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00







Pharmacological interventions for sex offenders: a poor evidence base to guide practice: COMMENTARY ON... COCHRANE CORNER [Round the corner]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

Although a significant proportion of prisoners and patients in secure hospitals are sex offenders and victim surveys reveal a high level of hidden sexual victimisation, the authors of this Cochrane review found only very limited support for pharmacological intervention with sex offenders. Given the nature and extent of the problem of sexual offending and the promise shown by new drugs, there is a need for clinical scientists, lawyers and ethicists to rise to the challenge of ascertaining the effectiveness and safety of drugs which are being used to treat sex offenders, some involuntarily, without the evidence base to justify confidence as to their effectiveness and safety.




Mental capacity: different models and their controversies [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

Modern legislation in the UK addressing the issue of decision-making ability uses tests of mental capacity based on the individual’s ability to understand relevant information given to them. Alternative models of mental capacity do exist, but are largely considered defunct. This article reviews these alternative models and considers their importance. Far from being irrelevant to modern views on mental capacity, these models have already been incorporated into legislation such as the Mental Capacity Act 2005. A better understanding of these models can improve clinicians’ understanding of mental capacity in general. Modern controversies such as the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are discussed and ways in which our understanding of mental capacity may have to change in the future are addressed.




Diversion from custody: an update [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

Liaison and diversion services are concerned with ensuring that individuals with mental health problems and related vulnerabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system receive appropriate support and treatment. In the past 15 years there have been significant changes in policy, legislation and the broader landscape in community, custodial and hospital settings which have shaped these services. The Bradley Report, published in 2009, represents an important landmark in this field. Bradley made 82 recommendations, from interventions to improve identification of mental illness and vulnerable individuals at risk of offending to effecting speedier transfers of mentally disordered prisoners to hospital. Some progress has been made in achieving these recommendations, and further investment is promised, but at present only half of England is covered by liaison and diversion services.




After Pool: good practice guidelines for expert psychiatric witnesses [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

Acting as an expert psychiatric witness can be rewarding, but there are potential costs and pitfalls, such that the role should be undertaken only in an informed manner. With reference to the recent disciplinary cases of Dr Richard Pool and Dr Waney Squier, and a judgment of the Supreme Court, advice is offered to potential expert psychiatric witnesses. Suggestions are made as to training, the negotiation of instructions, the citation of published literature, the construction of expert opinion and how to ensure compliance with the ethical duties of the expert witness.




Working beyond your job plan [Clinical reflection]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

A job plan is part of a modern contract, informing employee and employer what they are paid to do. It is not a mandatory, inflexible tablet of stone, but frequently National Health Service (NHS) clinicians find themselves working, to their detriment, in excess of what they have agreed to do, by bridging the gap between resources and demand. So what do we do when we are persistently going above and beyond and there is no more left to give: how can we fix the system, and who really gets left behind?




Bullying victimisation and psychosis: the interdependence and independence of risk trajectories [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

A number of studies have noted an association between being the victim of bullying and psychotic symptoms. We offer an overview of the topic, focusing especially on a developmental perspective. We highlight the results of the latest studies on psychosis across the continuum and its relationship with bullying. Then we summarise the three main explanatory models investigated: developmental, biological and cognitive. We recommend that bullying in psychosis requires careful study of the developmental trajectories involved, and that research should now focus on how personal, social and biological factors interact.




Trinucleotide repeat disorders: an interesting interface between psychiatry and medicine [Refreshment]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

The discovery of conditions resulting from the expansion of unstable trinucleotide repeats, with their neuropsychiatric presentations crossing the boundaries of different specialties, provides ample opportunity for research and liaison work between medical and psychiatric subspecialties. Clinicians’ awareness of the presentations and genetic basis of these conditions improves management strategies and the quality of life of patients and their carers.




How evolutionary thinking can help us to understand ADHD [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

We argue that current debates about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be considered afresh using an evolutionary lens. We show how the symptoms of ADHD can often be considered adaptive to their specific environment. We suggest that, from an evolutionary point of view, ADHD symptoms might be understood to result from an ‘evolutionary mismatch’, in which current environmental demands do not fit with what evolution has prepared us to cope with. For example, in our ancestral environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), children were not expected to sit still and concentrate on academic tasks for many hours a day. Understanding ADHD in terms of such a ‘mismatch’ raises significant issues regarding the management of childhood ADHD, including ethical ones. An approach based on the concept of mismatch could provide an alternative to current debates on whether ADHD results from nature or nurture and whether it is under- or over-diagnosed. It would allow clinicians and policy makers to take both the child and the environment into account and consider what might be desirable and feasible, both in society and for specific children, to lessen the mismatch.




The role of faith in mental healthcare: philosophy, psychology and practice [Articles]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

It is time to improve clinical approaches to faith in mental healthcare, particularly in psychotherapy. Understood as a psychological trait, faith has potentially great personal salience and introduces socially desirable biases into human reasoning. Therapies may have faith-informed components, either explicitly, or (as with some forms of mindfulness) implicitly, which may modify the patient’s faith as well as producing symptomatic change. In this narrative review, the ethics of faith’s inclusion in therapy is briefly appraised. The psychology of faith is discussed, and a model of the influence of the practitioner’s faith on therapeutic choice is presented. Finally, faith-informed approaches to practice, including their impact on therapeutic effectiveness, are considered and recommendations made for their optimal implementation.




Integrating religious faith into patient care: COMMENTARY ON... THE ROLE OF FAITH IN MENTAL HEALTHCARE [Commentary]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

We examine Foreman’s assertion that assessing, addressing and utilising a patient’s faith is warranted. After a brief background, we examine when faith-integrated therapy is indicated, the need for training, an example of such a therapy, and what to do when the faith of the therapist conflicts with that of the patient. Also emphasised is the need for a clear definition of terms.




The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness: holding fast against vanity and illusion [Mindreading]

2017-11-01T00:05:16-07:00

In his early novels, the Icelandic Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness portrayed troubled individuals beset by familial, societal and economic challenges within an unpredictable and often unforgiving landscape; his later work addressed humanistic concerns regarding a well-lived life and the harmony of individual and environment. His 1957 novel The Fish Can Sing lies at the cusp of these preoccupations. Laxness contrasts the economic privations experienced by hard-pressed Icelanders with the ostentatious displays of their Danish colonial overloads; he also portrays individuals afflicted by psychosis, alcohol use disorders and medically unexplained physical symptoms, and delineates the path towards a ‘celebrity’ suicide. The novel warns against self-deceptive vanity and community-endorsed illusions, and celebrates the persistent benefits of nurturing relationships, all within a lyric contemplation of individual adaptive resilience and quotidian domestic pleasures.