Clinical Psychiatry News

Clinical Psychiatry News is a monthly medical and psychiatry tabloid published since 1973 by the International Medical News Group. Subjects for Clinical Psychiatry News include psychology and psychiatry. The executive editor is Denise Fulton, and Gina Henderson is a senior editor.

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 3, March

Among Women, Hard Drinking Is More Frequent: The Trend toward Increased Intoxication Is Holding True among All Age Groups. (22-Year Ongoing Study)
COLORADO SPRINGS--American women of all ages are getting drunk more often. This was one of several unexpected findings of a groundbreaking 22-year ongoing longitudinal study of women and alcohol. The National Institutes of Health--sponsored National...
Analysts Less Analytic after Sept. 11 Attack. (Self-Disclosure, Reassurance, Advice)
NEW YORK -- In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, New York City psychoanalysts departed from the standard script, initiating phone calls to analysands, offering advice and reassurance, and answering personal questions,...
Antiepileptic Drugs Affect Cognition in Children. (Monitor for Behavior Problems)
SEATTLE -- Some may be better than others, but probably every antiepileptic drug affects cognitive functioning in children, even the newer medications that have been approved in the last few years, Dr. Eileen Vining said at the annual meeting of the...
Attacks on N.Y. Had Little Effect on Pregnancies. (Lack of Depressive Symptoms 'Surprising')
NEW YORK -- Factors associated with exposure to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center--high levels of stress and toxic pollutants--might be expected to pose particular risks for pregnant women and their infants. But preliminary results...
Autism Diagnoses Rose after DSM-IV Publication, Passage of Disability Act. (Fivefold Increase in Cases)
SEATTLE--The increase in incidence of autism might be attributed to the widening of criteria for diagnosis in the DSM-IV and the availability of services through the Disability Education Act in the 1990s, Dr. William J. Barbaresi reported at the annual...
Avoid Antiepileptics for First Febrile Seizure. (Evidence-Based Guidelines)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The first evidence-based guidelines specifically addressing the treatment of a child with a single nonfebrile, unprovoked seizure discourage the use of antiepileptic drugs. The new practice parameter, to be released soon by the...
Behavior Inventory Aids Pediatric Bipolar Diagnosis. (Useful Adjunct to Clinical Assessment)
CHICAGO -- The diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents can be assisted by adding a specialized instrument such as the General Behavior Inventory to a thorough clinical evaluation, Eric A. Youngstrom, Ph.D., said at an industry-supported...
Best Medical Teachers May Be Losing Interest in Teaching. (Money and Pressure)
CHICAGO -- The best teachers might be losing interest in teaching. That's the finding of Dr. Josiah K. Halm, who surveyed winners of the Best Teacher Award at the department of internal medicine of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Recent...
Boys Living with Single Parents at Risk. (Higher Drug, Alcohol Mortality)
Swedish boys living with single parents are at least five times more likely to die because of drug or alcohol addiction than are boys living with two parents, said Gunilla Ringback Weitoft of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm,...
Breast Ca Survival Hurt by the Omission of Axiliary Dissection. (Understaging, Inadequate Therapy)
ORLANDO, FLA.--Older women who had breast-conserving surgery without axillary dissection were almost twice as likely to die from their breast cancer within 7 years as women who received either axillary dissection, radiotherapy, or both in a large retrospective...
CBT Key for Most Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. (Best for Mild to Moderate Cases)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Congnitive-behavioral therapy is a key part of the contemporary first-line treatment strategy in virtually all cases of childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder, John C. Piacentini, Ph.D., said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by...
Childhood Sexual Abuse Predicts Alcohol Problems. (Strong Link)
COLORADO SPRINGS - A history of childhood sexual abuse is one of the strongest predictors of subsequent alcohol problems among women, Sharon C. Wilsnack, Ph.D., reported at a symposium on addictive disorders sponsored by Psychotherapy Associates. ...
Chronic Fatigue: Try Yoga, Citalopram, Placebo. (Three Studies)
NEW ORLEANS -- Some subgroups of patients with idiopathic chronic fatigue respond to treatment with the antidepressant citalopram, some benefit from yoga, and some demonstrate a significant placebo response, three independent studies have shown. ...
Cognitive-Behavioral TX Soothes Workplace Anger. (Attitude Adjustment)
WASHINGTON -- Anger management training works in the workplace. A four-session cognitive-behavioral management training program resulted in significant improvements on the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), compared with baseline scores...
Combine Study Underway, Targets Alcoholics. (Full Results Expected in 2004)
LAS VEGAS -- Naltrexone and acamprosate appear to be well tolerated in treating alcohol dependence when taken alone and when taken together, Dr. Raymond Anton reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. This is...
Comer Schools Pick Up At-Risk Students. (Psychiatric Principles at Work)
CHICAGO--In an era in which public focus on education revolves around improving standardized test scores, urban schools find they must first must keep their students safe, make sure they show up at school every morning, and see to it that they are...
Common Themes Are Found in Cases Involving Suicide. (Idealization, Fantasies of Omnipotence)
NEW YORK -- One-third to one-half of psychotherapists must deal with the suicide of a patient, but little formal research has been done in this area. One study of 10 such cases found a pattern of therapy in which idealization, fantasies of omnipotence,...
Congress Finally Delivers on Medicare Fix. (Positive Update of 1.6% in 2003)
WASHINGTON -- Congress has finally answered the call from medical organizations to increase Medicare physician payment rates. House and Senate conferees for the fiscal year 2003 omnibus spending bill last month reached an agreement that would protect...
Consulting for Companies Is an Attractive Career Option. (Way for Psychiatrists to Broaden Skills)
WASHINGTON -- Some companies and organizations may need outside help in confronting issues that cause strife within the workplace, and consulting psychiatrists are in a prime position to offer their expertise, Dr. Jay Lasser said at the annual conference...
Contaminant Found in 'Safe' Tryptophan Derivative 5-HTP. (Dietary Supplement)
SOUTHAMPTON, BERMUDA -- Some commercially available formulations of the increasingly popular dietary supplement 5-HTP, marketed as a "safer alternative" to L-tryptophan, contain the same contaminant that was responsible for more than 1,500 cases of...
Depressive Symptoms Predict CHF Patients' Decline. (Powerful Predictor)
CHICAGO -- Depressive symptoms are the most powerful predictor of decline in health status among patients with congestive heart failure, Dr. John S. Rumsfeld said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association. Indeed, the presence...
Early Sudden Gains Predict Better Depression Outcome. (7 Points on Beck Scale)
RENO, NEV. - Patients who experience sudden gains early in the course of depression treatment do significantly better overall, Morgen A.R. Kelly reported at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Ms. Kelly, a...
Effectiveness of Zonisamide Increases with Time. (Seizure Frequency Decreased)
SEATTLE -- Long-term treatment with zonisamide led to a continued decrease in seizure frequency in epileptic patients, Dr. jacqueline A. French reported at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. However, because the natural history...
ELBW Teens Have Good Self-Worth, despite Poor Health, School Grades. (Teens with Very Low Birth Weights)
CHICAGO -- Extremely-low-birth-weight survivors, when they reach adolescence, have relatively positive images of themselves, compared with their term peers, despite the negative perceptions of their parents and a higher likelihood of mental and physical...
Estrogen Contraception Could Exacerbate Seizure Frequency in Women with Epilepsy. (93 Patients Surveyed)
SEATTLE -- One in five women with epilepsy could experience an increase in the frequency of seizures after initiating estrogen-containing contraception, according to a survey of 93 epilepsy patients who had used hormonal contraception. "The number...
Estrogens Do Not Protect against Cognitive Decline. (New Data from Two Studies)
High levels of endogenous or exogenous estrogens do not slow the decline of memory and cognition in older women with or without dementia, according to two studies. A study of 202 men and 210 postmenopausal women without dementia examined the impact...
Expert Picks Best Behavioral Articles of Past Year. (Recent Studies Should Influence Practice)
KOHALA, HAWAII -- The behavioral pediatrics article of the past year that is likely to have the biggest impact is the one that established a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and attention problems, Dr. Martin Stein said at a meeting sponsored...
Fibromyalgia's Musculoskeletal Pain May Ease with Pregabalin Therapy. (Effect Is Not on Mood)
NEW ORLEANS -- The widespread musculoskeletal pain experienced by patients with fibromyalgia improved following treatment with the investigational agent pregabalin, Dr. Leslie Crofford said. In a multicenter, placebo-controlled trial that included...
Fink! Still at Large: When Patients Quit Therapy. (Opinion)
Tony Soprano, the main character in the popular HBO series "The Sopranos," recently told Dr. Melfi that he did not want to continue treatment. Dr. Melfi, knowing that this would not be best for her patient, encouraged him to keep his next appointment....
For Minority Parents, ADHD Is Viewed Differently. (Children May Not Be Getting TX)
Lack of information about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and concern that their child will be stigmatized may prevent minority parents or caregivers from seeking proper evaluation and treatment for school-aged children with the disorder,...
Get Businesses to Understand How Damaging Stress Can Be. (Role for Workplace Psychiatry)
WASHINGTON -- The structure, culture, and governing process of an organization can increase or reduce stress as much as a person's lifestyle, and that's where occupational psychiatry comes in, Dr. Jay A. Lasser said at the annual conference of the...
Ginseng for Vitality: An Evidence-Based Approach. (Alternative Medicine)
* Ginseng is one of the most popular of herbs worldwide, but there is a striking dearth of convincing efficacy data. * Serious adverse reactions have occurred in patients taking this supplement. History of Use With 5,000 years of use in Chinese...
Girls, Young Women More Vulnerable to Addiction. (Clear Evidence That 'Gender Matters')
WASHINGTON -- Girls and young women become addicted to drugs more easily than males and suffer more devastating consequences, and the nation's public health infrastructure needs to be overhauled to reflect that fact, former Health and Human Services...
Governors' Report Advises States on Malpractice Crisis. (Damage Caps, Dispute Resolution Lauded)
With the help of states in the midst of a malpractice crisis, the National Governors Association has developed a list of ways that states can deal with, or try to stave off, problems of their own. The governors' advice appears in an issue brief,...
Greater Social Support Linked to More Cardiac Events in Women. (Counters Observations in Men)
CHICAGO -- The long-held notion that a strong social support network provides a buffer against ill health doesn't seem to apply to women with coronary heart disease, Karma Davidson, Ph.D., said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart...
Groups Blame Doctors for Malpractice Rates. (Consumer Organizations)
WASHINGTON -- If physicians really want to lower their malpractice premiums, they should weed out bad doctors who are responsible for medical errors, representatives of a coalition of consumer advocacy organizations said at a recent press briefing....
Harm Reduction May Slow Teens' Beer Tap. (Alternative to Abstinence)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- A harm-reduction treatment approach is an excellent alternative to abstinence for many adolescents and college-aged students with problems related to alcohol or drug use, Steven Rauch said at a symposium on addictive disorders sponsored...
Help Workers Find Solutions in Face of Change. ('It's a Very Individual Process')
WASHINGTON - It's important to find out why work matters to people, Dr. Sandra Kopit Cohen said at the annual conference of the Academy of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatry. Retirement, reorganization, and repatriation are predictably normal...
HHS Takes over Visa Waiver for Underserved Areas. (International Medical Graduates)
Physician groups say they are pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to take over the visa waiver process for international medical graduates who want to stay in the United States and work in underserved areas. But at...
In America, Problem Gambling Is on the Rise. (Rate of Pathologic Activity Is Steady)
Gambling is a sure thing in America. In the most detailed study of its kind to date, John W. Welte, Ph.D., and his colleagues found that 82% of 2,630 people participating in a randomized national telephone survey had gambled at least once in the...
Let Symptoms Guide Treatment of Tourette's. (Watch Severity of Comorbid Conditions)
ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- As a spectrum disorder, Tourette's syndrome comes in different degrees, and treatment should be based on the severity of a patient's symptoms, Dr. Gerald Erenberg said at a conference sponsored by the Tourette Syndrome Association....
Letters
Psychologists Needed Psychologist prescribing has to be considered from the view of what is best for our patients and not from the point of view of what is best for doctors. Family physicians fighting this possibility is fine in an ideal world,...
Link between Isotretinoin Use and Onset of Depression Refuted. (Study of 215 Patients)
Isotretinoin therapy did not appear to cause depression in acne vulgaris patients in a limited, prospective study. The findings contradict anecdotal reports of the drug's possible causal association with depressive symptoms, although they do not...
Magnetic Stimulation May Lift Some Depression. (Poststroke Patients)
TucsoN, ARIZ. -- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation shows promise as a treatment for poststroke depression in patients who prove refractory to other forms of therapy according to Dr. Ricardo Jorge. In a preliminary trial, patients experienced...
Managed Care Constraints Present Constant Challenges in Practices. (Therapists Cite Ethical Problems)
NEW YORK -- Managed care casts a shadow over the practice of psychotherapy from treatment planning to termination, according to a poster presentation at a meeting sponsored by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Therapists interviewed in a...
Medicine in Space. (Guest Editorial)
The tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew reminded us of the importance of the space program and the courage of those who risk their lives in the name of scientific discovery. If the seven men and women who served on the final...
Mental Health Care Often Too Costly for Ca Survivors. (Problem for 16% of Those Studied)
Cancer survivors use more mental health services than do people without a history of cancer, and many survivors Want such services but are unable to afford them, Maria Hewitt, Dr.P.H., and Julia H. Rowland, Ph.D., reported. Of the cancer survivors,...
Most Medication Errors Aren't Harmful. (Hospital Staffing Problems)
Most medication errors that occur in hospitals do not harm patients, Diane Cousins said in a Webcast on medication errors that was sponsored by U.S. Pharmacopeia. Overall, 97.6% of medication errors that occurred in hospitals voluntarily reporting...
New Medical School to Train Physician-Investigators. (Help to Mitigate Shortage)
Are you an accomplished, enthusiastic physician-investigator who can inspire medical students to chase their dream of advancing biomedical research and clinical practice? If so, you might fit the bill to be a guest lecturer for students on the first...
N.Y. Psychiatric Residents Show Therapy Bias. ('Disheartening Finding')
NEW YORK -- To psychiatric residents--in Manhattan, anyway-personal psychotherapy is a valuable educational experience. But the use of psychotropic medication carries significant stigma, according to a poster presentation at a meeting sponsored by...
Patients Sought Help in Years before Suicides: Data Could Point to Prevention Strategies. (San Francisco Area Study)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.--More than 50% of those who committed suicide in San Francisco between 1995 and 1997 had some contact with local community health services in the 2 years before their deaths, Dr. Peter Forster said at a meeting on mental health...
Pinning Down Acupuncture's Role in Medicine. (Several Studies Show Benefits)
SAN DIEGO -- The ancient practice of acupuncture could be ready to enter mainstream medicine. Acupuncture may have a role in treating many complaints common in some medical practices, such as musculoskeletal pain or some gastrointestinal disorders,...
Policy Expert Shares Tips for Managing Patients on Opioids. (Curbing Drug Abuse)
LAS VEGAS-When prescribing opicids for chronic pain, make sure to set dear rules and expectations for yourself and your patient, including an agreement that both of you sign, Dr. Sidney Schnoll advised at the annual meeting of the American Academy...
Practical Psychopharmacology. (Atypical Depression)
Many psychiatrists equate atypical depression with conditions such as hyperphagia and hypersomnia. But the more complex DSM-IV definitions reserves the classification for episodes that are characterized by mood reactivity and at least two of four...
Psychoanalysis Holds Uncertain Place in Field. ('We Have an Image Problem')
NEW YORK -- Psychoanalysis is widely perceived as arcane and irrelevant, and its practitioners as arrogant and aloof. Yet the field has much to offer the community and society in a troubled time and deserves more credit than it frequently gets. ...
Psychotherapy Can Help Traumatic Brain Injury Patients. (Unconventional Wisdom)
NEW YORK -- Psychotherapy can be effective in the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury even in the case of substantial organic damage to the brain, Michael Harvey Psy.D., said at a symposium on traumatic brain injury sponsored by Fordham...
PTSD Rate Tripled among N.Y. Police Officers. (Catastrophies and First Responders)
Los ANGELES--Anew study shows that the rate of posttraumatic stress disorder among New York City policemen and women more than tripled after Sept. 11, 2001, Dr. Charles Marmar said at a meeting on posttraumatic stress disorder sponsored by the Foundation...
Public Supports Clinical Skills Assessment Exam. (Too Expensive, Students Say)
The National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards have launched a major public relations push to win acceptance of the addition of a Clinical Skills Assessment Examination as part of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination....
Recovery-Oriented Approach Requires a Shift in Thinking. (Consider the Whole Person)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- Mental health recovery means more than simply having fewer symptoms or shorter hospital stays, Dr. Ron Diamond said at a meeting on mental health sponsored by the University of Virginia. "Recovery is about being part of the...
Reel Life: Lolita. (Psychotherapy)
Like James Joyce's "Ulysses," Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" is the kind of book that many people buy, few read, and still fewer fully understand. "Ulysses" does end by offering up Molly Bloom's sexually explicit stream of consciousness, the only part...
Research on Neuro Development in 'Infancy'. (Technologic Advances Are Helping)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Using neurodevelopmental signs to inform diagnosis and treatment planning of developmental disorders in children and adolescents is a notion that holds great promise. But using this approach involves navigating largely uncharted waters,...
Resolving Mealtime Problems in Type 1 Diabetics. (Behavioral Intervention an Option)
KEYSTONE, COLO. -- Children with type 1 diabetes who display consistent mealtime behavior problems could benefit from behavioral intervention by a psychologist or social worker, Maggie Powers suggested at a juvenile diabetes meeting sponsored by the...
Road to Universal Coverage Studded with Potholes. (States Face Budget Constraints)
BALTIMORE - Several states have attempted it, but no state has successfully implemented a universal coverage program. And the chances of any state doing so in the near future are slim, several speakers said at a meeting on state efforts to expand health...
Sharp Rise in Autism Rates Is Real, Study Shows. (Report to the California Legislature)
A new study has added fuel to the fire in the debate over the reasons for the increasing incidence of autism. The autism epidemic is a real phenomenon that cannot be attributed to misclassification or the widening of criteria for diagnosing the...
Take Steps to Stop Pediatric Drug Errors. (Calculate with Care)
A few extra steps can help prevent medication errors involving children, the U.S. Pharmacopeia said in a list of recommendations for pediatric medications. Pediatric medication errors often involve misplaced decimal points or improperly calculated...
Thinking like an MBA: Top 10 Tips. (Business School Tips)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Medicine is not a business. It follows a higher standard, and physicians must choose between high-quality medicine and profits. Right? Wrong. Physicians can offer high-quality medicine and still make a profit, but they have to think...
Time Urgency, Impatience Portend Hypertension. (Young Adults)
CHICAGO -- Afeelingof time urgency and impatience in young adults is a strong predictor that they will develop hypertension within the next 13 years, LiJing L. Yan, Ph.D., reported at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association....
Tools Assess Acceptance of Eating Disorder Tx. (Therapists Have a Blind Spot)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Clinicians tend to rate readiness for treatment and recovery in patients with eating disorders considerably higher than is actually the case, Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., said at a symposium on addictive disorders sponsored by Psychotherapy...
Treating Executives Can Lead to Real Change. (Challenges of Psychiatric Consultants)
WASHINGTON -- Helping a person who is not mentally ill may not seem like a significant feat--unless that person is a leader. "If you successfully treat a leader in an organization, you change the organization," Dr. David Morrison said at the annual...
Trust Fund Would Stabilize Teaching Hospitals. (Task Force Recommendation)
WASHINGTON -- Creating a public trust fund for teaching hospitals and their affiliated medical centers would make the financing for these centers more accountable, predictable, and transparent, policy makers announced at a press briefing sponsored...
Twelve Drugs Identified for Pediatric Studies. (Tests to Begin This Year)
WASHINGTON -- Lithium, lorazepam, spironolactone, and baclofen are among the drugs that are slated to be tested in children this year, as part of the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. These and eight other drugs already on the market have been...
Two More Drugs Approved for Social Anxiety. (Sertraline, Venlafaxine)
The recent approvals of sertraline and venlafaxine for social anxiety disorder mean a broader range of treatments has now been shown to be effective for this chronic, pervasive, and underrecognized disorder, according to an investigator in trials of...
TX Resistance Is a Key Signal in Eating Disorders. (Shift in Approach Is Needed)
COLORADO SPRINGS--Think of persistent treatment resistance on the part of patients with an eating disorder not as a patient problem but as a clinician skill issue, Dena Cabrera, Psy D., said at a symposium on addictive disorders sponsored by Psychotherapy...
Use Medication as Adjunct for Patients with BPD. (SSRIs, Related Agents Are Drugs of Choice)
NEW YORK--Medication plays an important, if adjunctive, role in the treatment of borderline personality disorder by addressing temperamental aspects of the condition that underlie problematic behaviors, Dr. Paul H. Soloff said at a conference on borderline...
Walking Helps Women Who Stay at Home. (Alleviates Depression)
NEW ORLEANS - Depression among women who stay at home can be alleviated through participation in a structured walking program, a study has shown. The findings are in agreement with other studies that show a positive association between exercise and...
Watch out for Sub Syndromal Depression. (Increased Cardiac Risk)
CHICAGO -- Physical symptoms of depression--not mood-related ones--predict increased risk of coronary heart disease, Karma Davidson, Ph.D., said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association. She reported on 1,077 adults in...
Work with Patients Is the Key to Improving Medication Adherence. (Consider Reasons for Noncompliance)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. -- To some extent, patients and physicians work at cross-purposes when it comes to medications, Dr. Steve Goldfinger said at a meeting on mental health sponsored by the University of Virginia. Given that, don't be surprised...
Zonisamide May Benefit Chronic Pain Patients. (Anticonvulsant for Pain)
ORLANDO, FLA. -- Chronic pain was reduced in most patients taking the anticonvulsant zonisamide, Dr. Michael Kaplan said in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In a retrospective...