Scielo RSS <![CDATA[The European Journal of Psychiatry]]> vol. 20 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Can we predict the health of teenagers 2 years in advance?: A preliminary study]]> OBJECTIVE: A two year follow-up study of a cohort of adolescents on 9 health parameters. METHOD: 325 adolescents were enrolled in April 1999. In addition to answering a general social-demographic questionnaire, they answered Wallston's Multidimensional Locus of Control scale (MHLC) and Olson's questionnaire on family dynamics (FACES III). 10 health indicators were recorded : two analogical visual assessments (VAS) (general coping and feelings of well-being), their concern for their health on a five level Likert scale, Zung's Subjective Depression Scale, and having had to repeat a school year as an indirect indicator of self esteem. Two years later, the sample (n = 86) were re-evaluated through the same questionnaires, and answered a supplementary questionnaire addressing (1) additional medication taken since their initial evaluation, (2) the number of medical consultations they have been through since the baseline, and/or (3) hospitalisations they underwent. They also answered a VAS about their level of concern over their body. RESULTS: Numerous variables belonging to Wallston's MHLC scale as well as to Olson's FACES III questionnaire were found to correlate with health indicators two years later. It proved to also be the case for both several « subjective » values such as general coping and feelings of well-being, and being concerned with one's health, and with more « objective » parameters such as subjects' scores on the "Subjective Depression Feelings" form, or their intake of additional medications. CONCLUSION: It appears that it is may possible to predict two years in advance at-risk adolescents for whom preventive medicine is particularly necessary. <![CDATA[Screening for eating disorders: false negatives and eating disorders not otherwise specified]]> OBJECTIVE: To study the problem of false negatives in the screening for eating disorders. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We administered the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT40) and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) to 186 Italian female students (age 17.68 ± 0.9; BMI 20.84 ± 2.69). Then we submitted not only high-scorers but also all the subjects to a semi-structured diagnostic interview (Eating Disorder Examination - EDE 12.0D). The diagnosis of eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) was applied to cases which met all the DSM-IV criteria for AN and/or BN with one exception. RESULTS: 17 girls (9.1%) fulfilled diagnostic criteria for eating disorders: 1 bulimia nervosa full-syndrome and 16 EDNOS. Of the 17 girls 11 were EAT low-scorers (< 30) and 8 were EDI low-scorers (< 50); 5 subjects scored below the cutoff on both instruments. We calculated sensitivity (35.3%), specificity (88.8%), positive predictive value (PPV, 24.0%) and negative predictive value (NPV, 93.2%) of the EAT40; the respective values for the EDI were 52.9% (sensitivity), 85.2% (specificity), 26.4% (PPV) and 94.7% (NPV). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Our data show that the introduction of the EDNOS diagnoses increases the PPV of the two questionnaires but lowers their sensitivity. We conclude that using a two stage screening approach leads to a very high rate of false negatives with a significant underestimation of the prevalence of eating disorders, particularly of EDNOS. <![CDATA[The impact of the number of episodes on the outcome of Bipolar Disorder]]> BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder is a highly recurrent severe psychiatric disorder. The number of episodes has been found consistently associated with poor outcome. It has been suggested that bipolar patients with long duration of illness and highly recurrent course show great impairment of global functioning. OBJECTIVES The aim of this study is to assess the clinical course and outcome of patients with bipolar disorder I and II with a high number of mood episodes. METHODS: We compared a group of bipolar I and II subjects whose number of episode was higher than ten (N = 167) with a similar-size representative sample of bipolar patients whose number of episodes was lower or equal than ten (N = 131). RESULTS: Bipolar patients with more than 10 episodes have a more severe outcome of bipolar disorder. Qualification and occupational status was clearly worse for the highly recurrent group which showed a predominance of depressive polarity. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that bipolar patients with a highly recurrent course have significant functional impairment. With the passing of time, bipolar illness tends to be ruled by depressive features. Treatment strategies may need to address this issue. <![CDATA[Financing Mental Health Care in Spain: Context and critical issues]]> BACKGROUND: Financing and the way in which funds are then allocated are key issues in health policy. They can act as an incentive or barrier to system reform , can prioritise certain types or sectors of care and have long term consequences for the planning and delivery of services. The way in which these issues can impact on the funding of mental health services across Europe has been a key task of the Mental Health Economics European Network. (MHEEN) This paper draws on information prepared for MHEEN and provides an analysis of the context and the main issues related to mental health financing in Spain. METHODS: A structured questionnaire developed by the MHEEN group was used to assess the pattern of financing, eligibility and coverage for mental healthcare. In Spain contacts were made with the Mental Health agencies of the 17 Autonomous Communities (ACs), and available mental health plans and annual reports were reviewed. A direct collaboration was set up with four ACs (Madrid, Navarre, Andalusia, Catalonia). RESULTS: In Spain, like many other European countries mental healthcare is an integral part of the general healthcare with universal coverage funded by taxation. Total health expenditure accounted for 7.7% of GDP in 2003 (public health expenditure was 5.6% of GDP). Although the actual percentage expended in mental care is not known and estimates are unreliable, approximately 5% of total health expenditure can be attributed to mental health. Moreover what is often overlooked is that many services have been shifted from the health to the social care sector as part of the reform process. Social care is discretionary, and provides only limited coverage. This level of expenditure also appears low by European standards, accounting for just 0.6% of GDP. COMMENTS: In spite of its policy implications, little is known about mental healthcare financing in Spain. Comparisons of expenditure for mental health across the ACs are problematic, making it difficult to assess inequalities in access to services across the country. The limited data available on mental healthcare expenditure suggests that level of funding for mental health is low compared with many of the EU-15 countries. This may indicate inefficient and inequitable funding given the significant contribution of mental disorders to the overall burden of ill health. Attention needs to be directed to redressing both the information deficit and also in using a range of financing mechanisms to promote greater investment in mental health. <![CDATA[<i>TaqI</i>-A polymorphism linked to the <i>DRD2</i> gene and P300 in alcoholic patients]]> BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Different studies carried out mainly in young non-consuming children of alcoholics show an association of P300 abnormalities with alcoholism and with the TaqI-A1 allele. Since the relationship between P300 and the TaqI-A1 allele has not been specifically studied in alcoholic patients, our objective was to investigate whether the association exits in this population. METHODS: Our sample consisted of 176 recently detoxified male alcohol-dependent patients. These patients had been alcohol dependent from a mean age of 22.6 years and consumed on average 164.63 (± 142.99) cm³ of alcohol daily. P300 was studied using an auditory paradigm. TaqI-A polymorphism genotyping was performed. The association between P300 and TaqI-A, and correlation with age and alcohol consumption, was studied. RESULTS: The TaqI-A1 allele was found in 38.6% of our patients (n = 68). The latency and amplitude of P300 were 361.64 milliseconds and 17.53 microvolts, respectively. P300 wave latency in alcoholic patients was longer than the reference value obtained from a sample of healthy men of the Event-Related Potentials Unit (p < 0.001). Alcoholic patients who carried the TaqI-A1 allele showed more prolonged P300 latency than non-carriers, and these in turn more than the control subjects. P300 characteristics varied according to age, but an association with amount of alcohol or number of years consuming was not found. CONCLUSIONS: There is a relationship between the TaqI-A polymorphism and P300 wave characteristics in alcoholic patients. Further investigations need to be carried out in non-consuming alcoholic patients and in healthy control subjects to confirm this association and to clarify the possible influence of the neurotoxic effects of alcohol on P300 physiology.