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The stress of migration as well as social factors and changes related to the receiving society may lead to the manifestation of psychiatric disorders in vulnerable individuals after migration. The diversity of cultures, ethnicities, races and reasons for migration poses a challenge for those seeking to understand how illness is experienced by immigrants whose backgrounds differ significantly from their clinicians. Cultural competence represents good clinical practice and can be defined as such that a clinician regards each patient in the context of the patient's own culture as well as from the perspective of the clinician's cultural values and prejudices. The EPA Guidance on cultural competence training outlines some of the key issues related to cultural competence and how to deal with these. It points out that cultural competence represents a comprehensive response to the mental health care needs of immigrant patients and requires knowledge, skills and attitudes which can improve the effectiveness of psychiatric treatment. To reach these aims, both individual and organizational competence are needed, as well as teaching competence in terms of educational leadership. The WPA Guidance on Mental Health and Mental Health Care for Migrants and the EPA Guidance on Mental Health Care for Migrants list a series of recommendations for policy makers, service providers and clinicians; these are aimed at improving mental health care for immigrants. The authors of this paper would like to underline these recommendations and, focusing on cultural competency and training, believe that they will be of positive value.
Rapid urbanization worldwide is associated to an increase of population in the urban settings and this is leading to new emerging mental health issues. This narrative mini-review is based on a literature search conducted through PubMed and EMBASE. A total of 113 articles published on the issue of urban mental health have been selected, cited, reviewed, and summarized. There are emerging evidences about the association between urbanization and mental health issues. Urbanization affects mental health through social, economic, and environmental factors. It has been shown that common mental syndromes report higher prevalence in the cities. Social disparities, social insecurity, pollution, and the lack of contact with nature are some of recognized factors affecting urban mental health. Further reserach studies and specific guidelines should be encouraged to help policy makers and urban designers to improve mental health and mental health care facilities in the cities; additional strategies to prevent and reduce mental illness in the urban settings should be also adopted globally.
There is a lack of studies evaluating smoking cessation treatment protocols which include people with and without mental and substance use disorders (MSUD), and which allows for individuals with MSUD undergoing their psychiatric treatment.
We compared treatment success between participants with (n = 277) and without (n = 419) MSUD among patients in a 6-week treatment provided by a Brazilian Psychosocial Care Center (CAPS) from 2007 to 2013. Sociodemographic, medical and tobacco use characteristics were assessed at baseline. Tobacco treatment consisted of 1) group cognitive behavior therapy, which included people with and without MSUD in the same groups, and 2) pharmacotherapy, which could include either nicotine patches, nicotine gum, bupropion or nortriptyline. For participants with MSUD, tobacco treatment was integrated into their ongoing mental health treatment. The main outcome was 30-day point prevalence abstinence, measured at last day of treatment.
Abstinence rates did not differ significantly between participants with and without MSUD (31.1% and 34.4%, respectively). Variables that were significantly associated with treatment success included years smoking, the Heaviness of Smoking Index, and use of nicotine patch or bupropion.
The inclusion of individuals with and without MSUD in the same protocol, allowing for individuals with MSUD undergoing their psychiatric treatment, generates at least comparable success rates between the groups. Predictors of treatment success were similar to those found in the general population. Facilities that treat patients with MSUD should treat tobacco use in order to reduce the disparities in morbidity and mortality experienced by this population.