Hearing violent voices in America and in India

Interesting piece in the New York Times about a study that compares voices heard by schizophrenics in the US and in India. The researchers wanted to see if people who heard voices in India heard the same exhortations to violence as those in the US. How influenced by culture were these voices?

‘The two groups of patients have much in common. Neither particularly likes hearing voices. Both report hearing mean and sometimes violent commands. But in our sample of 20 comparable cases from each country, the voices heard by patients in Chennai are considerably less violent than those heard by patients in San Mateo, Calif.’

Read more Hearing violent voices in America and in India

Remote collaborative care for depression

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looks at the remote provision of mental health care in rural health centres. These centres cannot support a practice-based mental health team and so depressed patients usually depend upon the local doctor and nurse to deliver evidence-based treatment. This compares to larger centres, where on-site mental health practitioners can provide collaborative care.

In this study 364 patients who screened positive for depression were allocated to either solely centre-based care or to receiving additional collaborative care delivered remotely by an off-site team. Follow up at 6, 12 and 18 months showed that the latter group experienced significantly better outcomes.

Medscape carries a short discussion of the study.

Successful and Schizophrenic

A moving account by Elyn R. Saks of building a successful and creative life while experiencing schizophrenia. After a hospitalisation at the age of 28 she was advised that because of her diagnosis she would never lead an independent life. She has since become Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School.