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Mental health services lack a strong evidence base on the most effective interventions to reduce compulsory admissions. However, some research suggests a positive impact of crisis-planning interventions in which patients are involved in planning for their future care during a mental health crisis.
This review aimed to synthesise randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence on the effectiveness of crisis-planning interventions (for example advance statements and joint crisis plans) in reducing rates of compulsory hospital admissions for people with psychotic illness or bipolar disorder, compared with usual care (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018084808).
Six online databases were searched in October 2018. The primary outcome was compulsory psychiatric admissions and secondary outcomes included other psychiatric admissions, therapeutic alliance, perceived coercion and cost-effectiveness. Bias was assessed using the Cochrane collaboration tool.
The search identified 1428 studies and 5 RCTs were eligible. One study had high risk of bias because of incomplete primary outcome data. Random-effects meta-analysis showed a 25% reduction in compulsory admissions for those receiving crisis-planning interventions compared with usual care (risk ratio 0.75, 95% CI 0.61–0.93, P = 0.008; from five studies). There was no statistical evidence that the intervention reduced the risk of voluntary or combined voluntary and compulsory psychiatric admissions. Few studies assessed other secondary outcomes.
Our meta-analysis suggests that crisis-planning interventions substantially reduce the risk of compulsory admissions among individuals with psychotic illness or bipolar disorder. Despite common components, interventions varied in their content and intensity across the trials. The optimal models and implementation of these interventions require further investigation.
Declaration of interest
E.M., S.L., S.J. and B.L.-E. received funding from the National Institute for Health Research during the conduct of the study.
Understanding patient experiences of detention under mental health legislation is crucial to efforts to reform policy and practice.
To synthesise qualitative evidence on patients' experiences of assessment and detention under mental health legislation.
Five bibliographic databases were searched, supplemented by reference list screening and citation tracking. Studies were included if they reported on patient experiences of assessment or detention under mental health legislation; reported on patients aged 18 years or older; collected data using qualitative methods; and were reported in peer-reviewed journals. Findings were analysed and synthesised using thematic synthesis.
The review included 56 papers. Themes were generally consistent across studies and related to information and involvement in care, the environment and relationships with staff, as well as the impact of detention on feelings of self-worth and emotional state. The emotional impact of detention and views of its appropriateness varied, but a frequent theme was fear and distress during detention, including in relation to the use of force and restraint. Where staff were perceived as striving to form caring and collaborative relationships with patients despite the coercive nature of treatment, and when clear information was delivered, the negative impact of involuntary care seemed to be reduced.
Findings suggest that involuntary in-patient care is often frightening and distressing, but certain factors were identified that can help reduce negative experiences. Coproduction models may be fruitful in developing new ways of working on in-patient wards that provide more voice to patients and staff, and physical and social environments that are more conducive to recovery.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
Self-harm in young people is associated with later problems in social and emotional development. However, it is unknown whether self-harm in young women continues to be a marker of vulnerability on becoming a parent. This study prospectively describes the associations between pre-conception self-harm, maternal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems.
The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS) is a follow-up to the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) in Australia. Socio-demographic and health variables were assessed at 10 time-points (waves) from ages 14 to 35, including self-reported self-harm at waves 3–9. VIHCS enrolment began in 2006 (when participants were aged 28–29 years), by contacting VAHCS women every 6 months to identify pregnancies over a 7-year period. Perinatal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale during the third trimester, and 2 and 12 months postpartum. Mother–infant bonding problems were assessed with the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 2 and 12 months postpartum.
Five hundred sixty-four pregnancies from 384 women were included. One in 10 women (9.7%) reported pre-conception self-harm. Women who reported self-harming in young adulthood (ages 20–29) reported higher levels of perinatal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems at all perinatal time points [perinatal depressive symptoms adjusted β = 5.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.42–7.39; mother–infant bonding problems adjusted β = 7.51, 95% CI 3.09–11.92]. There was no evidence that self-harm in adolescence (ages 15–17) was associated with either perinatal outcome.
Self-harm during young adulthood may be an indicator of future vulnerability to perinatal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems.