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Updated NICE guidelines on treating depression

NICE - the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - recently published guidance on "Depression in adults (update)" and on "Depression with a chronic physical health problem".  The "Depression in adults (update)"  replaces guidance originally published in 2004 and amended in 2007.  The 28 page Quick reference guide provides a helpful overview.  Interestingly NICE here use the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for depression rather than the ICD-10 criteria (used in their earlier publications).  A four step approach is charted - each step is described both by who the intervention is for (e.g.

Recent research: six studies on depression – pregnancy, young children, antidepressant side effects, SAD & CBT, and suicide risk

Here are half a dozen recent research papers on depression (all details & abstracts to these studies are given further down this blog posting).  Yonkers et al's publication is a very welcome one - "The management of depression during pregnancy: a report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."  At last here's a major review giving good advice on this extremely important subject.  To learn more it's worth getting hold of a copy of the complete text.  You may have access to this through your academic department.  If not, authors are usually happy to send a PDF via email when asked to - emails can be dug out via a little Google detective work.  Following the [Abstract/Full Text] link will also provide various access routes including a low-cost patient information option.  In further work looking at depression

Recent research: two studies on depression, one on sex, & three on positive psychology

Here are half a dozen research papers that have recently interested me (all details & abstracts to these studies are given further down this blog posting).  The first by Fournier et al is about whether to choose antidepressants or psychotherapy to treat depression.  They found that marriage, unemployment and having experienced a greater number of recent life events all predicted a better response to cognitive therapy than to antidepressants.  In the second study Luby et al looked at depression in children aged between 3 and 6 years old.  Worryingly they found forms of depression even in kids this young.  They also found over two years of follow-up that "Preschool depression, similar to childhood depression, is not a developmentally transient syndrome but rather shows chronicity and/or recurrence."  Hopefully this kind of research will mean these troubled children have a bit more chance of being identified and helped.

Recent research: six studies on positive psychology, goals, relationships, caregiving, mindfulness & nature

Here are half a dozen studies that one could loosely put under the broad umbrella of positive psychology.  Zorba the Greek said "Take what you want and pay for it, says God." and Niemiec et al's study, on the effects of achieving different kinds of goal, supports this statement (for all six research studies mentioned in this blog post see below for abstracts and links).  Quoting Niemiec et al's somewhat awkward language: "The relation of aspiration attainment to psychological health was found to differ as a function of the content of the goals. Attainment of the intrinsic aspirations for personal growth, close relationships, community involvement, and physical health related positively to basic psychological need satisfaction and psychological health.

Recent research: six studies on the long-term effects of abuse & deprivation

Here are half a dozen studies on the long-term effects of various forms of abuse & deprivation.  Paras et al systematically reviewed the association between a history of sexual abuse and a lifetime diagnosis of a somatic disorder.  They found significant links with functional gastrointestinal disorders, nonspecific chronic pain, psychogenic seizures, and chronic pelvic pain.  When analysis was restricted to studies where sexual abuse was defined as rape, they also found an association with fibromyalgia.  Abstracts and links, for this research paper and the further papers described, can be found lower down this page.   

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