• Secondary care specialist visits made by children and young people prescribed antidepressants in primary care: a descriptive study using the QResearch database

      Butler, Debbie; Hollis, Chris P.; Morriss, Richard K. (2020)
      BACKGROUNDAntidepressants may be used to manage a number of conditions in children and young people including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. UK guidelines for the treatment of depression in children and young people recommend that antidepressants should only be initiated following assessment and diagnosis by a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The aim of this study was to summarise visits to mental health specialists and indications recorded around the time of antidepressant initiation in children and young people in UK primary care.METHODSThe study used linked English primary care electronic health records and Hospital Episode Statistics secondary care data. The study included 5-17-year-olds first prescribed antidepressants between January 2006 and December 2017. Records of visits to paediatric or psychiatric specialists and potential indications (from a pre-specified list) were extracted. Events were counted if recorded less than 12 months before or 6 months after the first antidepressant prescription. Results were stratified by first antidepressant type (all, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic and related antidepressants) and by age group (5-11 years, 12-17 years).RESULTSIn total, 33,031 5-17-year-olds were included. Of these, 12,149 (37%) had a record of visiting a paediatrician or a psychiatric specialist in the specified time window. The majority of recorded visits (7154, 22%) were to paediatricians. Of those prescribed SSRIs, 5463/22,130 (25%) had a record of visiting a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Overall, 17,972 (54%) patients had a record of at least one of the pre-specified indications. Depression was the most frequently recorded indication (12,501, 38%), followed by anxiety (4155, 13%).CONCLUSIONSThe results suggest many children and young people are being prescribed antidepressants without the recommended involvement of a relevant specialist. These findings may justify both greater training for GPs in child and adolescent mental health and greater access to specialist care and non-pharmacological treatments. Further research is needed to explore factors that influence how and why GPs prescribe antidepressants to children and young people and the real-world practice barriers to adherence to clinical guidelines.
    • Short text messages to encourage adherence to medication and follow-up for people with psychosis (Mobile.Net): Randomized controlled trial in Finland

      Adams, Clive E. (2017)
      BACKGROUND: A text messaging service (short message service [SMS]) has the potential to target large groups of people with long-term illnesses such as serious mental disorders, who may have difficulty with treatment adherence. Robust research on the impact of mobile technology interventions for these patients remains scarce. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of our study was to investigate the impact of individually tailored short text messages on the rate of psychiatric hospital readmissions, health care service use, and clinical outcomes. In addition, we analyzed treatment costs. METHODS: Between September 2011 and November 2012, we randomly assigned 1139 people to a tailored text message intervention (n=569) or usual care (n=570). Participants received semiautomated text messages for up to 12 months or usual care. The primary outcome, based on routinely collected health register data, was patient readmission into a psychiatric hospital during a 12-month follow-up period. Secondary outcomes were related to other service use, coercion, medication, adverse events, satisfaction, social functioning, quality of life, and economic factors (cost analysis). RESULTS: There was 98.24% (1119/1139) follow-up at 12 months. Tailored mobile telephone text messages did not reduce the rate of hospital admissions (242/563, 43.0% of the SMS group vs 216/556, 38.8% of the control group; relative risk 1.11; 95% CI 0.92-1.33; P=.28), time between hospitalizations (mean difference 7.0 days 95% CI -8.0 to 24.0; P=.37), time spent in a psychiatric hospital during the year (mean difference 2.0 days 95% CI -2.0 to 7.0; P=.35), or other service outcomes. People who received text messages were less disabled, based on Global Assessment Scale scores at the time of their readmission, than those who did not receive text messages (odds ratio 0.68; 95% CI 0.47-0.97; P=.04). The costs of treatment were higher for people in the SMS group than in the control group (mean euro10,103 vs euro9210, respectively, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: High-grade routinely collected data can provide clear outcomes for pragmatic randomized trials. SMS messaging tailored with the input of each individual patient did not decrease the rate of psychiatric hospital visits after the 12 months of follow-up. Although there may have been other, more subtle effects, the results of these were not evident in outcomes of agreed importance to clinicians, policymakers, and patients and their families. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 27704027; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN27704027 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6rVzZrbuz).
    • Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of CBT vs antipsychotics vs both in 14-18 year-olds: Managing Adolescent first episode Psychosis: A feasibility study (MAPS)

      Hollis, Chris P. (2019)
      BACKGROUND: Adolescent-onset psychosis is associated with more severe symptoms and poorer outcomes than adult-onset psychosis. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend that adolescents with first episode psychosis (FEP) should be offered a combination of antipsychotic medication (APs), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and family intervention (FI). The evidence for APs in treating psychosis is limited in adolescents compared to adults. Nevertheless, it indicates that APs can reduce overall symptoms in adolescents but may cause more severe side effects, including cardiovascular and metabolic effects, than in adults. CBT and FI can improve outcomes in adults, but there are no studies of psychological interventions (PI) in patients under 18 years old. Given this limited evidence base, NICE made a specific research recommendation for determining the clinical and cost effectiveness of APs versus PI versus both treatments for adolescent FEP. METHODS/DESIGN: The current study aimed to establish the feasibility and acceptability of conducting such a trial by recruiting 14-18-year-olds with a first episode of psychosis into a feasibility prospective randomised open blinded evaluation (PROBE) design, three-arm, randomised controlled trial of APs alone versus PI alone versus a combination of both treatments. We aimed to recruit 90 participants from Early Intervention and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams in seven UK sites. APs were prescribed by participants' usual psychiatrists. PI comprised standardised cognitive behavioural therapy and family intervention sessions. DISCUSSION: This is the first study to compare APs to PI in an adolescent population with FEP. Recruitment finished on 31 October 2018. The study faced difficulties with recruitment across most sites due to factors including clinician and service-user treatment preferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current controlled trial with ISRCTN, ISRCTN80567433 . Registered on 27 February 2017.