April 1st, 2015

Study to evaluate VOICES intervention

By Rivkela Brodsky

Adolescent girls often have a different path into the juvenile justice system than boys. Often, they are arrested and remanded to custody for less serious offenses like truancy, running away and shoplifting, said Marina Tolou-Shams, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I.. “Girls’ pathways into the system are also often relational in nature, such as interpersonal violence and prostitution,” said Tolou-Shams, also associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University and director of the Rhode Island Family Court Mental Health Clinic. This situation is [More]

November 1st, 2013

Study uncovers disparity during stages of treatment

By Susan Gonsalves

A recent study published in Health Services Research tracking mental health care episodes found that blacks and Latinos are much less likely to initiate treatment. And whites are much more likely to have care that consists solely of filling psychotropic drugs without checking in with a provider. Benjamin Lê Cook, Ph.D., MPH, study author, is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior scientist at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance. Cook says this research is unusual because it looked at the beginning, middle and end of episodes of [More]

February 1st, 2016

Study will look at models of integration

By Rivkela Brodsky

A  University of Vermont-led team of researchers has received an $18.5 million grant to examine models for integrating behavioral care into the primary care setting. “There is a broad push from multiple sectors to integrate behavioral care into primary medical care,” said co-principle investigator Rodger Kessler, Ph.D., associate professor of family medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. “There is very little research to guide the elements of models that are most effective when one moves in that direction.” This five-year project will evaluate and compare two models: the most common model – co-locating a behavioral health clinician [More]

February 1st, 2016

Study: Altruism is good for mental health

By Susan Gonsalves

Helping someone else can be good for your mental health. A study, recently published in Clinical Psychological Science, concluded that doing small acts for others such as holding open a door or giving directions to strangers or acquaintances helps to decrease stress. Study author Emily Ansell, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, explained that the research involved people using their smartphone to record their daily feelings and experiences. Ansell said that the benefits of social support for stress are well documented. Less clear, she said, is whether everyday acts of social interaction can improve mood [More]

November 1st, 2010

Study: Are insomnia medications effective for children?

By Ami Albernaz

Despite uncertainty about the safety and efficacy of insomnia medication for children, a new survey finds that child psychiatrists endorse using medication in at least one-quarter of their patients. The study’s authors are recommending the clinical trials be used to learn how effective sleep medications are for children, what the optimal doses are and how the drugs affect mood and daytime functioning. The findings, reported in the August issue of Sleep Medicine, are based on responses from nearly 1,300 members of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Insomnia is a significant clinical issue among many school-aged child and [More]

July 1st, 2013

Study: Belief in God aids treatment

By Jo Kadlecek

Belief in God or a higher power might not be on the list of prescribed treatments for depression or anxiety but a recent study concludes it can improve outcomes for psychiatric patients. Published this past spring in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the study – entitled “A test of faith in God and treatment: The relationship of belief in God to psychiatric treatment outcome” – surveyed 159 patients over the course of a year at Harvard Medical School affiliate McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. and explored the impact faith had on treatment expectations. Led by David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., a [More]

August 21st, 2015

Study: Campus rape reaches ‘epidemic levels’

By Janine Weisman

During their first year of college, nearly one in seven women had been the victim of at least one sexual assault characterized by excessive alcohol or drug use and nearly one in 10 women will have experienced forcible assault or rape, according to a study led by a Brown University psychologist. The study led by Kate Carey, Ph.D., professor of behavioral and social sciences in Brown’s School of Public Health and its Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, proclaimed rape on college campuses to be at “epidemic levels.” The findings emerged from responses to a 2010 survey of 483 female [More]

November 1st, 2015

Study: Cyber bullying on the rise

By Susan Gonsalves

While school bullying has decreased in recent years, incidents of cyber bullying are on the rise, especially among girls, according to the Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey. Data analyzed more than 16,000 students in grades 9 to 12 attending 17 metrowest Boston high schools. The surveys, conducted every other year, spanned 2006 to 2012. Trends were measured by sex, grade and sexual orientation, said lead author Shari Kessel Schneider, Ms.Ph., project director and senior researcher at the Education Development Center in Waltham, Mass. Among the findings: Cyber bullying increased from 15 percent to 21 percent overall; while the hike for girls [More]

November 1st, 2011

Study: Drug does not reduce PTSD severity

By Pamela Berard

A recent study showed that a widely-prescribed medication within the Department of Veterans Affairs used in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder did not reduce overall PTSD severity Risperidone (Risperdal) is the second most widely prescribed second-generation antipsychotic within the VA for PTSD. Two serotonin reuptake inhibitors have FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD, but they appear to be less effective in men than women and less effective in chronic PTSD than acute PTSD, according to the study. Second-generation antipsychotics like Risperidone (which is not approved by the FDA to treat PTSD) are commonly prescribed as an add-on treatment [More]

July 1st, 2017

Study: Facebook makes you feel bad

By Janine Weisman

Nearly 1.3 billion daily active Facebook users around the world spend an average of 50 minutes each day using the social media network or one of its apps, according to the company. But they might be using Facebook at the risk of their own health and happiness. A recent study documented a negative association between Facebook use and overall well-being in contrast to the positive impact of in-person interactions. A pair of authors found that liking the content of others and clicking links significantly predicted later self-reports of diminished physical and mental health and life satisfaction. “If I go out [More]