Editor-in-Chief: John A. Talbott, MD
ISSN: 0022-3018
Online ISSN: 1539-736X
Frequency: 12 issues / year
Ranking: Psychiatry 51/120
Impact Factor: 1.688
Article Summaries
August 2015 ARTICLE ABSTRACTS

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

1.  CAN GRIEF BE A MENTAL DISORDER? AN EXPLORATION OF PUBLIC OPINION
Lauren J. Breen BSc(Hons), PhD, Emma L. Penman, BPsych(Hons), Holly G. Prigerson, MS, PhD, Lauren Y. Hewitt, BSc(Hons), PhD

An international sample of 348 participants was asked if certain expressions of grief could be considered a mental disorder. Analysis revealed that the majority (74.7%) agreed. The presence of pervasive distress, risk to self and/or others, functional impairment, and persistent grief were described as the circumstances under which grief can be a mental disorder. Reasons grief is not a mental disorder in that it is normal, temporary, in response to an event, and that efforts to include it in diagnostic manuals will lead to medicalization and stigma.

2.  DEFINING SUBTHRESHOLD PTSD IN THE DSM-IV LITERATURE: A LOOK TOWARD DSM-5
C. Laurel Franklin, PhD, Vivian Piazza, PhD, Iwona Chelminski, PhD, Mark Zimmerman, MD

This study compared the diagnostic hit rates and validity of commonly used definitions of Subthreshold PTSD in a single sample. Three definitions of Subthreshold PTSD were extracted from literature and two were formed, including a model of DSM-5 PTSD-criterion sets and a definition that requires six or more PTSD symptoms, but no particular criterion set. Most individuals did not meet any definition of Subthreshold PTSD. Need for increased understanding of the diagnostic implications of Subthreshold PTSD is discussed.

3.  RELIGIOSITY AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE UTILIZATION AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS
Alicia Lukachko, DrPH, MSW, Ilan Myer, PhD, Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA

African American adults (n=3,570) who reported high levels of organizational and subjective religiosity were less likely than those with lower levels of religiosity to utilize professional mental health services. This inverse relationship was generally consistent across individuals with and without a diagnosable DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance use disorder. Seeking professional mental health care may clash with sociocultural religious norms and values among African Americans. Strategic efforts should be made to engage African American clergy and religious communities in the delivery of mental health services.

4.  ANOREXIA NERVOSA, BULIMIA NERVOSA, AND BINGE EATING DISORDER IN MIDLIFE AND BEYOND
Roni Elran-Barak, PhD, Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, PhD, Yael Benyamini, PhD, Scott J. Crow, MD, Carol B. Peterson, PhD, Laura L. Hill, PhD, Ross D. Crosby, PhD, James E. Mitchell, MD, Daniel Le Grange, PhD

This study compared frequency of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) among midlife eating disorder treatment-seeking individuals and younger controls. Participants included 2118 treatment-seeking adults. Results showed that percent of patients with BN was significantly lower, while percent of patients with BED and OSFED was significantly higher among midlife relative to younger patients. Percent of patients with AN did not differ. Additionally, midlife and younger patients with BED and OSFED differed on several demographic and eating disorder-related characteristics. This study suggests that BN is less common while BED and OSFED are more common among midlife eating disorder treatment-seeking individuals.

5.  THE EFFECT OF EATING DISORDER MEMOIRS IN INDIVIDUALS WITH SELF-IDENTIFIED EATING PATHOLOGIES
Laura-Kate Shaw, BA Psych Hons, and Judi Homewood, PhD 

We posted an invitation to participate in a study on the effects of reading eating disorder memoirs on the website of an organization that provides support for people with eating disorders. Twenty-four women completed the questionnaire. Qualitative analysis of their responses indicated a recovery continuum, whereby the direction of memoir influence appeared to depend on an individual’s recovery stage and motivation to recover. Individuals who reported that they were exposed to memoirs prior to, or during, their illness reported experiencing negative consequences, whereas those who reported being exposed when in recovery reported more positive outcomes including hope, validation, and social support.

6.  THEORY OF MIND, SOCIAL DESIRABILITY, AND UNLIKELY SYMPTOM REPORTING IN OFFENDERS WITH AND WITHOUT PSYCHOPATHY
Lieke Nentjes, MSc, David P. Bernstein, PhD, Arnoud Arntz, PhD, Mariëtte E. Slaats, MSc, Tina Hannemann, MSc 

The current study investigated the relationship between psychopathy and Theory of Mind (ToM), by comparing the performance of nonpsychopathic offenders (n=40), psychopathic offenders (n=42), and nonoffender controls (n=26) on Happé’s test of ToM.  In addition, it was investigated whether offenders’ ToM skills would moderate the association between the antisocial psychopathy component (Factor 2) and self-presentation. Results showed groups not to differ in ToM performance.  As expected, ToM moderated the association between psychopathy and self-presentation: only for offenders relatively high in ToM, Factor 2 was strongly related to less social desirability and more unlikely symptom reporting.  These results could indicate that offenders who are high in both ToM and Factor 2 exaggerate their mental dysfunction. 

7.  CO-MORBID MEDICAL CONDITIONS IN VASCULAR DEMENTIA: A MATCHED CASE-CONTROL STUDY
Miguel E. Habeych, MD, MPH, and Ruby Castilla-Puentes, MD, DrPH, MBA

The objective of the study was to compare the presence of co-morbid medical conditions between patients with a Vascular Dementia (VaD) and a control group. Among the patients with 60 years of age or older and full year of eligibility during 2010, there were 898 VaD patients, from which 63.6% were women. Concurrent presence of cerebro-vascular disease, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation were found at 12.6, 4.6, 2.8 and 1.7 times higher in VaD patients, respectively. Compared to controls, VaD patients had more septicemia, injuries, lung diseases including COPD, and urinary diseases. The present study confirms that these four medical comorbidities are frequent complications of VaD and physicians should be alert to the presence of them in patients with VaD.

8.  NEUROCOGNITIVE REMEDIATION THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION: A FEASIBILITY STUDY AND RANDOMISED CONTROLLED PILOT PROTOCOL TESTING
Maria Semkovska, PhD, Sinead Lambe, MScc, Diarmaid Ó Lonargáin, MScc, Declan M. McLoughlin, PhD

The present study aimed to test the feasibility and conduct a pilot protocol testing for an RCT of computerised NCRT for inpatients with major depressive episode. The feasibility assessment demonstrated excellent acceptance of randomisation and very satisfactory recruitment and compliance rates. The RCT procedures’ assessment was overall consistent with a successful pilot study with the condition of protocol modification in terms of resources. Preliminary outcome data suggested specific NCRT efficacy to improve targeted neurocognitive processes in depression.

9.  GENERAL SIMILARITIES BUT CONSISTENT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EARLY- AND LATE-ONSET DEPRESSION AMONG KOREAN ADULTS AGED 40 AND OLDER
Jee Eun Park, MD, Ji Hoon Sohn, MD, PhD, Su Jeong Sung, MD, Hye Won Suk, PhD, Maeng Je Cho, MD, PhD

Differences in clinical characteristics, symptomatology, and psychiatric comorbidity between early-onset depression (EOD) and late-onset depression (LOD) were examined in a nationwide representative sample. A total of 319 Korean subjects aged 40 and older with a current major depressive disorder were included, and both a continuous and a dichotomous (40 years) age-of-onset indicator were used in the analyses. Despite general similarities between groups, EOD was related to chronic and severe clinical features. Hypersomnia and suicidal plans/attempts were associated with EOD, whereas anhedonia was related to LOD. Lifetime generalized anxiety disorder was associated with EOD, whereas dysthymic disorder was related with higher age of MDD onset. This study provides additional evidence of consistent differences between EOD and LOD among middle-aged and older Asians.

10.  PERSONALITY DISORDERS AND MINDREADING: SPECIFIC IMPAIRMENTS IN PATIENTS WITH BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER COMPARED TO OTHER PDS
Semerari Antonio, MD, Colle Livia, PhD, Pellecchia Giovanni, Dr, Carcione  Antonino, MD, Conti  Laura, Dr, Fiore Donatella, MD, Moroni Fabio, PhD, Nicolò  Giuseppe, MD, Procacci  Michele, MD, Pedone Roberto, PhD

Impairments in mindreading are central for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It has been suggested that impairments in mindreading are central for BPD. However, empirical findings are inconsistent and it is debatable whether BPD presents a specific profile of mindreading impairments. The aim of this study is to compare BPD and other PD in mindreading. Seventy-two patients with BPD and 125 patients with other PD diagnoses were assessed using the Metacognition Assessment Interview (MAI). BPD showed difficulties in two mindreading functions: differentiation and integration. These results suggest a specific mindreading impairment in BPD and a strong relationship between these impairments and the severity of psychopathology.

11.  CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN: PERCEPTION AND COPING WITH PAIN IN THE PRESENCE OF PSYCHIATRIC COMORBIDITY
Antonella Ciaramella, MD, and Paolo Poli, MD

This retrospective study investigated the influence of psychiatric comorbidity on pain perception and coping with pain in tertiary pain clinic patients, 427 treated for chronic low back pain (CLBP), and 629 for other forms of chronic pain (CG). No differences in psychosomatic dimensions were found between the two groups, but IPQ (Italian Pain Questionnaire) dimensions and intensity scores were higher in CLBP than in CG. According to the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, CLBP patients also had a higher prevalence of lifetime major depressive episodes, dysthymic disorder, suicide risk, and agoraphobia than CG patients. The Multidimensional Pain Inventory showed a close association between CLBP and both agoraphobia and dysfunctional coping style, which increased disability. Both agoraphobia and lifetime depression were associated with an overall increase in dimensions and pain intensity in CLBP, but not in CG. 

12.  BARRIERS TO AND REASONS FOR TREATMENT INITIATION AMONG GAMBLING HELP-LINE CALLERS
Ula Khayyat-Abuaita, MA, Dragana Ostojic, MA, Ashley Wiedemann, MA, Cynthia L. Arfken, PhD, David M. Ledgerwood, PhD

This study addressed gaps in the literature by examining barriers and attractions to treatment among callers to the State of Michigan Problem Gambling Help-line.  In total, 143 callers (n = 86 women) completed the Barriers to Treatment for Problem Gambling (BTPG) questionnaire, and responded to open-ended questions regarding barriers to and reasons for treatment initiation. Greater endorsement of barriers to treatment was associated with a lower likelihood of initiating treatment. Correspondingly, problem gamblers who identified more reasons to attend treatment were more likely to attend. These findings can help get people into treatment by addressing barriers and fostering reasons for attending treatment.

BRIEF REPORTS

13.  EMOTIONAL AWARENESS AND RELATIONSHIP QUALITY AND SATISFACTION IN PATIENTS WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE AND THEIR SPOUSAL CAREGIVERS
Lucia Ricciardi, MD, PhD, Massimiliano Pomponi, MD, PhD, Benedetta Demartini, MD, Diego Ricciardi, PT, Bruno Morabito, PT, Roberto Bernabei, Anna Rita Bentivoglio, MD, PhD

Our aim was to evaluate relationship quality and satisfaction in couples, in which one partner had PD. We evaluated patients’ motor functions by means of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale and patients’ quality of life by means of the PD Questionnaire. Patients were significantly less satisfied of the relationship than their partners as revealed by CSI, and they were more depressed and anxious. A negative correlation between measures of relationship quality and satisfaction and alexithymia was found in the patients group. No correlations were found between measures of relationship quality and satisfaction (both of patients and partners) and any other demographical and clinical variables.

14.  THE PRACTICE OF HOLY FASTING IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES: A PSYCHIATRIC APPROACH
Fernando Espi Forcen, MD, and Carlos Espi Forcen, PhD

In this paper, three cases of medieval religious women were described with a particular attention to the figure of St. Catherine of Siena, her life, popularity and iconography. In the Middle Ages, holy fasting was characterized by a refusal to eat that could involve binging and purging, lack of menstruation, an interest in cooking for others, and in some cases death due to inanition. In the Medieval narratives of fasting, we can see patterns that are compatible with symptoms of anorexia nervosa. From a psychiatric perspective, it is possible to elucidate and understand the practice of fasting among religious people in the Late Middle Ages.

BOOK REVIEWS

15.  Mental Health in the Digital Age. Elias Aboujaoude and Vladan Starcevic, Eds. (2015) Oxford: Oxford University.
Reviewed by John A. Talbott, MD.

16. Clinician’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder: Integrating Pharmacology and Psychotherapy. David J. Miklowitz and Michael J. Gitlin (2014) New York: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Reviewed by Licinia Ganança, MD, and Maria A. Oquendo, MD.

17.  Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Core Concepts and Clinical Practice.  Kristie Brandt, Bruce Perry, Stephen Seligman, and Ed Tronick, Eds. (2014) Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Reviewed by Parna Prajapati, MD, Consuelo C. Cagande, MD, and Andres J. Pumariega MD.

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Dr. Talbott and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
wish to thank the
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
for their support of
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 

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