Mental illness mostly caused by life events not genetics, argue psychologists

Mental illness is largely caused by social crises such as unemployment or childhood abuse and too much money is spent researching genetic and biological factors, psychologists have warned.

Over the past decade funding bodies like the Medical Research Council(MRC) have spent hundreds of millions on determining the biology of mental illness.

But while there has been some success in uncovering genes which make people more susceptible to various disorders, specialists say that the true causes of depression and anxiety are from life events and environment, and research should be directed towards understanding the everyday triggers.

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Medical interventions for suicide risk isolating those without mental illness, inquiry hears

Placing too much emphasis on medical intervention when it comes to preventing youth suicide risks isolating those at risk who do not experience mental illness, an inquiry has heard.

Menslink ACT chief executive Martin Fisk said more than half of the teenagers and men who approach his organisation with thoughts of suicide are on the autism spectrum, a brief review of its case notes had revealed.

And half of people who approached with thoughts of suicide had experienced a recent stressful life event, such as a relationship breakup or the loss of a job, Mr Fisk said. Of those, less than half had a mental illness.

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New Joint Virtual Issue: Clinical Nutritional Assessment

A new Virtual Issue from the Journal of Clinical Nursing and the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics has recently been published. You can read for free the editorials and articles on nutritional screening and monitoring, including malnutrition tools in hospitals, nutrition for cancer survivors and undernutrition.

Journal of Clinical Nursing: VI: Clinical Nutritional Assessment.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia

Currently there are more than 353,800 Australians with dementia and this figure is expected to increase to almost 900,000 by 2050. More than 1.2 million Australians are involved in their care and the cost of dementia on the health and aged care systems in calculated to be at least $4.9 billion per annum.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia will provide health professionals and carers in primary care, aged care and hospital settings with access to recommendations reflecting current evidence on dementia care to better respond to the needs and preferences of the person living with dementia.

These guidelines contain 109 recommendations that health and aged care staff should apply in their workplaces while also responding to the needs and preferences of the person with dementia and their carer(s) and family.

Of these recommendations, 29 are evidence-based recommendations, 7 are classified as consensus-based recommendations and 73 are practice points.

Guidelines and Principles of Care for People with Dementia.

Summary & commentary

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework

Good health care outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples require health professionals to be both clinically and culturally capable. Ensuring all health care professionals develop their cultural capabilities before graduating is one way of enhancing health service delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework has been developed to address the variability amongst all health professions and higher education providers in terms of the nature and extent to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curriculum is being implemented. The aim of the Framework is to provide a model for higher education providers to successfully implement Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curricula, with clear learning outcomes and associated capabilities that could be applied widely across tertiary learning contexts.

Patient safety tools and resources

AHRQ in the US has created tools to help your hospitals to reduce readmissions, hospital-acquired conditions—including infections—and improve health literacy, patient/family engagement, and boost quality performance. All tools are evidence-based and available at no charge.

Patient Safety Measure Tools & Resources

Reposted from HealthInfo Blog

Determinants and Gaps in Preventive Care Delivery for Indigenous Australians: A Cross-sectional Analysis

Potentially preventable chronic diseases are the greatest contributor to the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-­Indigenous Australians. Preventive care is important for earlier detection and control of chronic disease, and a number of recent policy initiatives have aimed to enhance delivery of preventive care. This paper examined documented delivery of recommended preventive services for Indigenous peoples across Australia and investigated the influence of health center and client level factors on adherence to best practice guidelines.

Conclusions were that wide variation in documented preventive care delivery, poor follow-up of abnormal findings, and system factors that influence quality of care should be addressed through continuous quality improvement approaches that engage stakeholders at multiple levels (including, for example, access to care in the community, appropriate decision support for practitioners, and financial incentives and context appropriate guidelines).

See full analysis

Asthma & COPD (AIHW)

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new web report: Asthma & COPD.

The Asthma snapshot is a web-based product providing the latest available information about this health condition in Australia. Asthma is a common condition, affecting 1 in 10 Australians. The product provides information about prevalence, treatment, management, quality of life and expenditure.

The COPD snapshot is a web-based product providing the latest available information about this health condition in Australia. COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in Australia. The product provides information about prevalence, treatment, management, quality of life and expenditure.

View web page: Asthma.

View web page: COPD.

Dementia Enabling Environments

The Dementia Enabling Environment Project (DEEP) Virtual Information Centre provides practical tips, guides and resources to help make the places where we live more dementia enabling. This will encourage a person with dementia to lead as full and independent life as possible. These can be simple modifications that anybody can make to their home, to landscaping, care environments or architectural design changes. Use this site to explore different home settings and learn more about key design principles in each area of the house and to download useful information and resources. Further sections on hospitals and urban design are soon to be added.

Admitted patient care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics (AIHW)

Admitted patient care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics

In 2014-15, there were about 10.2 million separations in Australia's public and private hospitals: about 6.0 million of these occurred in public hospitals; 94% of separations were for acute care and 4% for rehabilitation care.

Between 2010-11 and 2014-15: the number of separations increased overall by 3.5% on average each year, by 3.2% for public hospitals and by 4.0% for private hospitals, private health insurance funded separations increased by an average of 5.9% each year and; public patient separations increased by 2.7% each year.

Media release: Australian private hospital admissions rising faster than public hospital admissions

Download report: Admitted patient care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics

National Aged Care Places Stocktake Reporting Tool (webpage and SASVA dynamic data display release) (AIHW)

National Aged Care Places Stocktake Reporting Tool l provides a quick, user-driven view of the number of operational aged care places in Australia at 30 June from 2006-2015. The Stocktake Reporting Tool summarises the number of aged care services and places into interactive graphical representations that enable the user to obtain an overview or to specify the year, aged care planning region, care type, and provider type.

View web page:
View SAS VA:

Social wellbeing, locality and ageing: a snapshot of the social lives of older people in rural Australia

The older population in Australia (65+) is expected to double in coming decades, creating many multi-faceted implications for Australian society. The sociology of ageing suggests that older people experience their social world in a distinct way that is uniquely shaped by their memories, historical life events and group membership. Moreover, it is deeply influenced by where they choose to live as they grow older. This paper summarises research currently being undertaken at the University of South Australia within the school of Natural and Built Environments.

The central objective of this research is to identify the various roadblocks to achieving social wellbeing for older Australians with diverse demographic characteristics in a variety of urban and rural living environments. The services available in different localities vary, as do the local community networks, and the collective attitudes and life experiences of older people in the community. This paper begins by presenting a summary of current ageing trends and offers a review of published gerontology research. The paper considers the social construction of age, and the role that social capital; social isolation and loneliness play in shaping the dynamic social experiences and well being of older people in rural settings.

Louise Bethany Keough, Social wellbeing, locality and ageing: a snapshot of the social lives of older people in rural Australia

Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs)

The Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs) have been developed in consultation with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). Their purpose is to provide nationally consistent advice and guidance to public health units in responding to a notifiable disease event.

Diseases covered include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis C, Invasive meningococcal disease, Legionellosis, Pertussis, Tuberculosis and several others

Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs)

e-Mental health: a guide for GPs

e-Mental health interventions aim to improve users' mental health through a structured, online program of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or another evidence-based psychological treatment. There are a range of e-mental health interventions that are designed to be used in the management of mild to moderate anxiety and depression. In addition to providing a convenient, flexible and cost-effective option for consumers, these interventions can increase access to information and support in areas where it is difficult to see a mental health professional for face-to-face therapy.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed a resource to assist its members to navigate the growing number of online mental health services available to the Australian public.

e-Mental health: A guide for GPs is a practical, user-friendly reference that provides an introduction to the use of e-mental health interventions with suitable patients in the primary care setting. The Guide provides links to key resources and takeway messages for practice.


Age and Ageing Collections on Falls and Stroke

The journal Age and Ageing has freely available collections of articles on both falls and stroke. .

The field of stroke medicine has seen significant advances in recent years, and there is an ever increasing awareness that there are real opportunities to make a dramatic difference to stroke patients. This online collection showcases some of the very best of such work.

The falls collection of articles is made up of the best articles published on falls in the journal.

Stroke Collection

Falls Collection