Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services

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OCD Questionnaire May Help Determine Depression and Anxiety

A shortened version of a questionnaire used by psychologists to assess risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may also help determine the risk of depression and anxiety, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.

The initial Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire (OBQ), developed in 2001, consists of 87 items and has been revised and shortened three times, most recently in 2011, with the goal of making it more practical for use. According to researchers, it now includes only 20 items, but the concepts have not been changed.

The research included two studies. The first study comprised 48 patients who attended an outpatient clinic for stress and anxiety disorders. The second study included 507 non-clinical adults who were recruited via the Internet.

In the first study, participants were given both the original, longer version of the questionnaire and the 20-item version, with similar results found using each version.

In the second study, participants were given the shorter OBQ; a questionnaire used to assess OCD symptoms; a questionnaire used to determine depression symptoms; and a questionnaire used to assess general anxiety. Findings from the second study revealed similarities in beliefs related to OCD, depression, and anxiety.

Given the brevity of the revised OBQ and its potential for patients, researchers said it could become a useful tool for research, treatment of patients, and intervention for those who are predisposed to a number of mental health disorders.

Source.“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Questionnaire May Give Clues to Other Mental Health Problems.” (2014, May 12). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from

Individuals With Mental Health Conditions Are More Likely to Smoke E-Cigarettes

Individuals living with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions are twice as likely to have tried e-cigarettes and three times as likely to be current users of e-cigarettes compared with people without mental health disorders, according to a study published in Tobacco Control. They are also more susceptible to trying e-cigarettes in the future, as they may believe doing so will help them quit.

The study was based on a survey of Americans’ smoking history, their efforts to quit, and their use and perceptions about e-cigarettes. Individuals were also asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, depression, or other mental health condition.

Among the 10,041 people who responded to the survey, 27.8% of current smokers self-reported mental health conditions compared with 13.4% of non-smokers; in addition, 14.8% of individuals with mental health conditions had tried e-cigarettes, and 3.1% were currently using them, compared with 6.6% and 1.1% of individuals without mental health conditions, respectively.

Approximately 60% of smokers with mental health conditions also indicated that they were somewhat likely or very likely to try e-cigarettes in the future, compared with 45.3% of smokers without mental health conditions.

By some estimates, individuals with psychiatric disorders consume approximately 30% to 50% of all cigarettes sold annually in the United States.

A recent article in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services discussed the rising use of e-cigarettes among adolescents.

Source.“E-Cigarettes and Mental Health.” (2014, May 9). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from Ahern, N.R., & Mechling, B. (2014). E-Cigarettes: A rising trend among youth. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 52(6), 27–31.

New Stem Cell Research May Help Detect Early Stages of Schizophrenia

Using new stem cell technology, researchers have shown that neurons generated from the skin cells of individuals with schizophrenia behave strangely in early developmental stages, providing a hint as to ways to detect and potentially treat the disorder early. The findings of the study are published in Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers took skin cells from patients, coaxed the cells to revert back to an earlier stem cell form, and then prompted them to grow into very early-stage neurons called neural progenitor cells (NPCs). These NPCs are similar to the cells in the brain of a developing fetus.

Researchers generated NPCs from the skin cells of four patients with schizophrenia and six people without the disorder. They tested the cells in two types of assays. In one test, they looked at how far the cells moved and interacted with particular surfaces. For the other test, they looked at stress in the cells by imaging mitochondria.

On both tests, researchers found that NPCs from individuals with schizophrenia differed in significant ways from those taken from unaffected people.

In particular, cells predisposed to schizophrenia showed unusual activity in two major classes of proteins: those involved in adhesion and connectivity, and those involved in oxidative stress. Neural cells from patients with schizophrenia tended to have aberrant migration, which may result in poor connectivity seen later in the brain, and increased levels of oxidative stress, which can lead to cell death.

These findings are consistent with a prevailing theory that events occurring during pregnancy can contribute to schizophrenia, even though the disorder does not manifest until early adulthood. Past studies suggest that mothers who experience infection, malnutrition, or extreme stress during pregnancy are at a higher risk of having children with schizophrenia.

The study also found that antipsychotic medications, such as clozapine and loxapine, did not improve migration in NPCs; loxapine in particular actually worsened migration in these cells.

According to researchers, the next steps will be to increase the sample size and broaden the range of patients.

Source.“New Stem Cell Research Points to Early Indicators of Schizophrenia.” (2014, May 13). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from

Depression and Substance Abuse Affect Education, Housing, and Employment in Older Adolescents and Young Adults

Older adolescents and young adults with emotional and behavioral health conditions are much more likely to have significant problems with school performance, employment, and housing stability, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

According to the findings, approximately 8% of older adolescents (ages 16 to 17) with co-occurring depression and a substance use disorder do not have a stable place to live, moving three or more times in the past year. Among older adolescents with depression and substance use disorder enrolled in school, 13.5% have academic difficulties, with a grade average of D or lower.

Young adults (ages 18 to 25) with co-occurring serious mental health illness and substance use disorders are less likely than those without co-occurring disorders to be high school graduates. However, young adults with serious mental illnesses who received treatment were more likely to graduate high school than their peers who did not receive treatment.

According to the report, young adults with co-occurring serious mental health illness and substance use disorders are 1.4 times more likely to be unemployed than their peers without these disorders. When these young adults are able to gain employment, they have difficulty maintaining a job. Data showed that young adults with serious mental health illness are 1.7 times more likely than their peers without mental illness to have had more than three employers within the past year.

According to SAMHSA administrators, a new SAMHSA grant program called Healthy Transitions, which is part of President Obama’s Now Is the Time initiative, will provide $79.2 million over 5 years to 16 states, tribes, and territories to improve access to treatment and support services for youth transitioning into adulthood who experience serious mental health and/or co-occurring substance use disorders.

Source.“SAMHSA Data Reveal the Impact of Behavioral Health Conditions and Treatment on Older Adolescents and Young Adults.” (2014, May 6). Retrieved June 12, 2014, from


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