October 1st, 2010

Study: Older people happier

By Ami Albernaz

If you’re facing down 50 with some degree of dread, you may find comfort in a study that suggests people who’ve passed that milestone tend to experience less stress and greater happiness on a daily basis than do younger adults. Analyzing data from a 2008 Gallup phone survey of over 340,000 Americans between ages 18 and 85, a research team led by Arthur Stone, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University, concluded that not only do feelings of overall well-being improve as people age – replicating findings from previous research – but that [More]

April 1st, 2014

Study: Online tool effective

By Susan Gonsalves

Researchers at Yale University have developed a program to teach coping skills to alcohol and substance abuse patients. Lead author Kathleen Carroll, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, hopes that eventually the computer-based cognitive behavioral therapy tool can be made available to practitioners throughout the northeast. “It was a creative endeavor,” she says of CBT4CBT (Computer Based Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), an interactive online program that is driven by video and audio and provides skills training in an entertaining way. A study in 2014 replicated results from a 2000-2002 pilot project with its findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. [More]

December 1st, 2017

Study: panic doesn’t increase adverse effects for pregnant women

By Pamela Berard

Neither panic disorder nor generalized anxiety disorder increased adverse birth outcomes for pregnant women, according to a recent Yale study. However, women who used antidepressants and benzodiazepines to treat those conditions saw a slight increase in some adverse outcomes, according to the study, which appeared in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Lead author Kimberly Yonkers, M.D., professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, as well as director of the Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers, said a major take-home message from the study is that women are not harming their babies if [More]

April 1st, 2013

Study: parity provides relief for most vulnerable

By Howard Newman

We’re well aware of what “parity” – as it applies to mental health insurance coverage – is supposed to do. In a perfect world, parity mandates that insurance companies cannot differentiate between mental health benefits and traditional medical health benefits; they are to be treated equally in terms of allowable treatments, patient co-pays and benefit limits. This result is the goal of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), which was implemented in 2010. There are, however, a number of parameters that can influence the way benefits are administered. One of them involves the individual’s diagnosis. Specifically, how [More]

May 1st, 2017

Study: patients prefer psychotherapy over drugs

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Add one more piece of data to the on-going debate about the efficacy of pharmaceutical medication versus therapy to treat mental illness. In a decision about the best form of treatment, patient compliance should play a role, according to Roger Greenberg, Ph.D, distinguished professor and head of the psychology division at SUNY Upstate Medical University. A major roadblock to the effectiveness of any treatment is the participant’s willingness to engage in and to comply with the full course of treatment. And, according to a review of research done by Greenberg and published by the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychotherapy in [More]

August 29th, 2019

Study: Physical limits hurt mental health

By Susan Gonsalves

Children and young adults with physical conditions like diabetes, ADHD, and asthma are more likely to develop mental health problems according to a U.S. study. The study, led by John Adams, MD, of the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, followed 48,572 young people ages 6 to 25 over a two-year-period. The individuals followed did not have mental health issues at the start of the research, but 14.7 percent were coping with physical problems that required treatment or limited their daily life activities. During the course of the study, overall, 7.8 percent of the participants developed a mental health problem. (Broken [More]

April 1st, 2017

Study: Psychopaths feel fleeting regret

By Susan Gonsalves

A Yale study concludes that psychopaths can feel regret but it doesn’t affect their future choices. The research, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Arielle Baskin-Sommers, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale University and Joshua Buckholtz, Ph.D., assistant professor at Harvard University. Baskin-Sommers explained that they recruited a group of 62 male community members aged between 18 and 55 who are at risk for engaging in anti-social behavior; 70 percent had been arrested and half, incarcerated at some point. She said the purpose of the research was to determine whether the subjects, who [More]

December 1st, 2011

Study: Self-harm patients not receiving mental health evaluations

By Pamela Berard

About half of self-harm patients treated in hospital emergency rooms and discharged did not receive a mental health evaluation before being sent home, according to a recent study. Mark Olfson, M.D., a psychiatrist at Columbia University and his colleagues examined a year’s worth of Medicaid claims. In 7,355 episodes of deliberate self-harm, 4,595 were discharged without being hospitalized (including more than one visit by some individuals). Of those discharged, 47.5 percent had received a mental health assessment in the emergency department and 52.4 percent received a follow-up outpatient mental health visit within 30 days. Olfson says adults who present to [More]

October 1st, 2017

Study: Smartphone use linked to mental health distress

By Susan Gonsalves

College students with high smartphone use report higher levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness, poorer sleep quality and difficulties fulfilling their obligations as a student, according to a study at Assumption College, a small liberal arts school located in Worcester, Mass. Lead authors Adam Volungis, Ph.D. and Maria Kalpidou, Ph.D., emphasized that while the research shows a correlation between phone use and indicators of general symptoms of distress, no causal link was concluded. One hundred and fifty college students, 83 percent of whom were female, filled out a series of questionnaires using a range of assessment tools such as the [More]

May 1st, 2017

Study: Tablet use reduces agitation in dementia patients

By Susan Gonsalves

The idea of using tablet devices as an intervention for older adults, including those with severe dementia, was partially born at a restaurant dinner table, according to Ipsit Vahia, M.D.. He observed that his friends’ boisterous four-year-old, when handed an iPhone, was able to calm down enough so that everyone could enjoy their meals. Vahia, the medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services at McLean Hospital, led a pilot study that built upon previous research showing how art, music and other therapies are viable non-pharmaceutical options for reducing dementia symptoms. The study involved using a wide range of free apps [More]

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