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  • State of the art reporting of network meta-analyses

    3 November 2018

    © 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Even though increasingly popular in scientific journals, results from Network Meta-Analysis (NMA) remain challenging to interpret, mainly because of the complexity of the statistical analyses and the large number of study findings. The presentation of results in an accessible and understandable format is one of the key issues in properly conducted NMAs. There are several graphical tools (figures and tables) that can provide readers with a comprehensive and straightforward overview of findings about all the most important components of NMAs. However, it should be emphasized that over-interpretation of graphical tools in NMAs or their interpretation in isolation should be avoided, as conclusions should always be drawn in combination with the numerical results.

  • Young people who self-harm: a prospective 1-year follow-up study.

    3 November 2018

    PURPOSE: To explore repetition, service provision and service engagement following presentation of young people to emergency services with self-harm. METHODS: 969 patients who presented to accident and emergency services after self-harm were followed up prospectively for a period of 1 year. Data on rates, method, clinical history, initial service provision, engagement and repetition (defined as re-presenting to emergency services with further self-harm) were gathered from comprehensive electronic records. RESULTS: Young people were less likely to repeat self-harm compared to those aged 25 and above. A psychiatric history and a history of childhood trauma were significant predictors of repetition. Young people were more likely to receive self-help as their initial service provision, and less likely to receive acute psychiatric care or a hospital admission. There were no differences in engagement with services between young people and those aged 25 and above. CONCLUSION: Younger individuals may be less vulnerable to repetition, and are less likely to represent to services with repeated self-harm. All young people who present with self-harm should be screened for mental illness and asked about childhood trauma. Whilst young people are less likely to be referred to psychiatric services, they do attend when referred. This may indicate missed opportunity for intervention.

  • Affective instability, childhood trauma and major affective disorders.

    3 November 2018

    BACKGROUND: Affective instability (AI), childhood trauma, and mental illness are linked, but evidence in affective disorders is limited, despite both AI and childhood trauma being associated with poorer outcomes. Aims were to compare AI levels in bipolar disorder I (BPI) and II (BPII), and major depressive disorder recurrent (MDDR), and to examine the association of AI and childhood trauma within each diagnostic group. METHODS: AI, measured using the Affective Lability Scale (ALS), was compared between people with DSM-IV BPI (n=923), BPII (n=363) and MDDR (n=207) accounting for confounders and current mood. Regression modelling was used to examine the association between AI and childhood traumas in each diagnostic group. RESULTS: ALS scores in descending order were BPII, BPI, MDDR, and differences between groups were significant (p<0.05). Within the BPI group any childhood abuse (p=0.021), childhood physical abuse (p=0.003) and the death of a close friend in childhood (p=0.002) were significantly associated with higher ALS score but no association was found between childhood trauma and AI in BPII and MDDR. LIMITATIONS: The ALS is a self-report scale and is subject to retrospective recall bias. CONCLUSIONS: AI is an important dimension in bipolar disorder independent of current mood state. There is a strong link between childhood traumatic events and AI levels in BPI and this may be one way in which exposure and disorder are linked. Clinical interventions targeting AI in people who have suffered significant childhood trauma could potentially change the clinical course of bipolar disorder.

  • Autistic Traits in an Internet Sample of Gender Variant UK Adults

    3 November 2018

    © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Recent studies have reported a high prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions (ASCs) in adults with gender dysphoria (GD) versus the general population (Jones et al., 2012; Pasterski, Gilligan, & Curtis, 2014). This study utilized snowball sampling to collect data on gender identities, self-reported diagnoses of ASCs, and AQ-10 scores of individuals with GD. Of 446 respondents, 14% reported an ASC diagnosis. Higher AQ-10 scores were observed in those defining as male (M = 5.66, 95% CI [5.10, 6.22]) versus those defining as female (M = 4.25, 95% CI [3.55, 4.35]) and in those assigned female-at-birth (M = 5.67, 99.9% CI [4.91, 6.43]) versus those assigned as male-at-birth (M = 4.11, 99.9% CI [3.53, 4.69]). The genderqueer group (M = 5.73, 95% CI = [5.20, 6.26]) had the highest observed mean AQ-10 score. This study has implications for the management of those with GD and for researchers owing to both the large number of nonbinary individuals identified and to the complexities identified surrounding language when researching this group.

  • Understanding auditory verbal hallucinations: a systematic review of current evidence.

    3 November 2018

    OBJECTIVE: Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are core features of psychotic illness and remain significant in predicting poor outcome and risk. There has been a wide range of approaches to understanding these experiences. METHOD: A systematic literature review summarizing different methods of investigation and their results; phenomenology, descriptive psychopathology, psychological, cognitive neurobiology, and neuroimaging. RESULTS: A number of 764 papers and texts were screened and 113 reviewed. Phenomenological studies are comparably few in number, and psychopathology remains based on concepts defined in the early 20th century. Psychological models focus on voice content and emotional reaction, and suggest a continuum of AVHs from normal experience. Neuropsychological models include AVHs as misattribution of inner speech, whilst functional neuroimaging studies focus on the spontaneous activity and connectivity of auditory networks. CONCLUSION: There has been a large growth in research on AVHs in recent decades dominated by neurobiological and neuroimaging studies. Future research should include focus on phenomenological aspects and AVHs change over the course of developing illness. Integration between branches of enquiry is needed, and the risk is that without this, models are proposed and investigated that bear scant relevance to the symptom itself.

  • Does drug treatment reduce the risk of further self-harm or suicide?: Commentary on… cochrane corner

    3 November 2018

    © 2016, Royal College of Psychiatrists. All rights reserved. Self-harm is a significant social and healthcare problem, with substantial morbidity and healthcare costs. It has strong links to further self-harm and to suicide. The current review is one of three that investigate interventions in preventing recurrence of self-harm, and it focuses on pharmacological treatment. The conclusions are limited by the small number and size of trials identified, and the low quality of evidence. No benefit on recurrence of self-harm was detected in three small trials of antidepressants, but the types studied are ones that are now less commonly used. A small trial of flupentixol suggested a possible benefit on repetition, but this has not been replicated. One small trial of lithium showed no benefit, but this was in contrast to a recent large meta-analysis showing a significant anti-suicidal effect of lithium when used to treat mood disorder. The review highlights important areas for further research.

  • Internet-delivered therapy for anxiety disorders: A solution to unequal access to treatment?: Commentary on... Cochrane Corner

    3 November 2018

    Anxiety disorders are common, often have a chronic course and frequently coexist with other psychiatric disorders. Psychological therapy is recommended as first-line treatment, but equitable access remains a challenge. This month's Cochrane Corner review assesses the evidence for the efficacy of therapist-supported cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders delivered via the internet. Although internet delivery of therapy is attractive for many reasons, and the results of this preliminary review suggest that it is efficacious, this is a rapidly expanding field. Further updates of this review will include more evidence to support or refute the use of this new method of treatment delivery, either alongside or in preference to standard face-to- face CBT.

  • Sleep problems in Alzheimer's disease: Does drug treatment help or harm?: COMMENTARY ON... COCHRANE CORNER

    3 November 2018

    Drug treatments are commonly used for sleep disturbance in Alzheimer's disease, although none have a specific licence for this indication. This month's Cochrane review assessed the available evidence of benefit or harm in the use of these medications. The review identified two studies of melatonin, which did not show significant improvement in sleep over placebo. One study of trazodone suggested a beneficial effect on sleep, but its small sample size limits the generalisability of the results. Larger studies are needed, with careful assessment of the evidence for possible improvements in sleep but also of important sideeffects such as falls and increased confusion.

  • Good news - Athena SWAN

    26 September 2013

    We are delighted to announce that the Department has achieved the Bronze Award, the award ceremony is yet to be announced, but we can start to use the award logo! All thanks to Liz Tunbridge in leading on the application, to the Department Athena SWAN committee for their support and to everyone in the department who has contributed ideas or taken part in focus groups. We are already working towards the submission for the Silver award. Pam Taylor Departmental Administrator

  • Keith Hawton awarded Morselli Medal

    27 June 2013

    Keith Hawton FAcadMedSci has been awarded the Morselli Medal by the International Academy for Suicide Research for "outstanding and enduring achievements in the science and art of suicide prevention".

  • Lithium reduces risk of death and suicide by more than 60% in people with mood disorders

    27 June 2013

    The drug lithium is an effective treatment for reducing the risk of suicide and possibly deliberate self harm in people with mood disorders, finds an evidence review published today on The authors say the drug “seems to reduce the risk of death and suicide by more than 60% compared with placebo” and suggest this review “reinforces lithium as an effective agent to reduce the risk of suicide in people with mood disorders.”

  • New Academic Clinical Lecturer Post in Old Age Psychiatry

    30 June 2014

    We have been awarded an additional ACL (ST4) post from NIHR, with the recruitment window opening in April 2015.

  • School affects girls’ chances of being diagnosed with an eating disorder

    4 May 2016

    The school a girl attends can affect her chance of being diagnosed with an eating disorder. That’s the conclusion of research carried out by a joint UK-Swedish team, led by Oxford University Department of Psychiatry’s Dr Helen Bould.

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Linked to Reduced Depressive Relapse

    4 May 2016

    Professor Willem Kuyken, from the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, leads the analysis into the efficacy of MBCT in prevention of depressive relapse.

  • New research to test whether early detection of depression relapse can achieve 30% fewer full episodes

    4 May 2016

    The Brain Foundation Netherlands has allocated 300,000 euros for researchers, including Prof Catherine Harmer from Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry, to investigate whether existing smartphone Apps can lead to this reduction in risk.

  • Professor Catherine Harmer gives this year's Monica Fooks Memorial Lecture

    4 November 2015

    Depression Events

    Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Catherine Harmer, from Oxford University Department of Psychiatry is presenting this year's lecture on 'How do antidepressants work?'.

  • Anorexia and recurrent depression as deadly as smoking

    23 May 2014

    "The loss of life expectancy associated with some serious mental health problems is the same or worse than that from smoking, People with mental health problems in Britain have the same life expectancy as the general population in North Korea and Bangladesh or people in Britain in the 1930s,"

  • New and improved Athena SWAN webpages!

    12 April 2013

    The Athena SWAN team have now submitted the Department’s Bronze Award application.

  • Congratulations Matthew Warren and Maria Ironside!

    21 June 2016

    Congratulations to Maria and Matthew who have both had successful DPhil vivas recently. We wish them well as they move on to their next adventures. Maria will be moving to Boston to take up a a postdoc position with Diego Pizzagalli. Matthew has already started work as Press Officer at Oxitec.

  • Fun at Oxfordshire Science Festival

    27 June 2016

    PERL spent the weekend at Oxfordshire Science Festival talking to people about our research and how the recognition of facial expressions can be used as a marker of antidepressant effects. We had an interactive task where people could guess the expression of faces using handheld button boxes. It was great to talk to so many children and adults about the work that we do.

  • PERL at SOBP 2016

    27 June 2016

    Quite a few members of PERL were at the Biological Psychiatry conference in Atlanta this year. It was a great opportunity to catch up with some PERL alumni, including Ciara McCabe and Poornima Kumar who both spoke in a great anhedonia session.

  • PERL at FENS Brain Conference, Copenhagen

    21 October 2016

    Quite a few of the lab recently attended The Brain Conference on "New Insights into Psychiatric Disorders through Computational, Biological and Developmental Approaches", which was organised by FENS and held in Copenhagen 25-28 September 2016.

  • Acknowledgements

    1 November 2012

  • Study with us

    23 October 2018

    Our mission is to teach psychiatry to medical students, develop future researchers in our graduate programme, teach doctors in training, and to promote excellence in clinical practice.

  • Job opportunities

    18 February 2013

    If you are planning to apply for a position within the Psychiatry Department, please read the information below on the application process. Please note all applications close at 12.00 midday.

  • PERL at the Headington Festival

    6 June 2018

    Members of PERL were at the Headington Festival this weekend. Our stand had lots of interest and we had good fun telling local people about our research and handing out smiley face balloons.