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This Month's Highlights   |    
December 2006: This Month's Highlights
Psychiatric Services 2006; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.57.12.1679
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Seven research reports on psychosocial treatments are featured in a special section dedicated to the memory of Wayne S. Fenton, M.D., Gerard E. Hogarty, M.S.W., and Ian R. H. Falloon, M.D., D.Sc.—three leading researchers and patient advocates who died in 2006. The first paper, which Mr. Hogarty and his coauthors submitted a year ago, reports on a follow-up study of cognitive enhancement therapy (CET), a small-group approach to the remediation of neurocognitive and social-cognitive deficits of persons with schizophrenia (page 1751). CET is only one of a series of psychosocial interventions that Mr. Hogarty developed in the course of his career, the highlights of which are described in a remembrance by Anthony F. Lehman, M.D., M.S.P.H, and Thomas H. McGlashan, M.D., in this month's Taking Issue (page 1677). Dr. Falloon is coauthor of another paper in the section that reports on an Italian trial of a rehabilitation approach based on individualized goal setting (page 1778). All but one of the seven research reports were peer reviewed by Dr. Fenton, who was an energetic member of Psychiatric Services' editorial board and whose sound advice and encouragement helped guide many authors' papers to publication.

The President's New Freedom Commission based its final report on the findings and recommendations of several subcommittees. The Medicaid Subcommittee examined a range of Medicaid requirements and practices that create impediments to the delivery of effective mental health services. Stephen L. Day, M.S.W., who assisted the subcommittee in its analysis and who drafted its report to the Commission, summarizes the policy issues and provides background on the Commission's recommendations for the Medicaid program. Mr. Day notes that because Medicaid is the primary source of financing for mental health services, carefully considered changes in Medicaid policies will be a powerful force in the system transformation called for by the Commission (page 1713). The article is the fourth in an ongoing series on mental health system transformation. The series is supported by a contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In the Economic Grand Rounds column, Chris Koyanagi examines positive and negative aspects of new options for state Medicaid programs created by the 2006 Deficit Reduction Act (page 1711).

Five articles in this month's issue examine the prevalence of anxiety disorders and their impact on people's lives. In a sample of more than 1,000 older adults in Brooklyn, New York, Carl I. Cohen, M.D., and colleagues found prevalence rates of 2.3 and 13.3 percent for syndromal and subsyndromal anxiety, respectively. In the past year, 23 percent of the first group and 12 percent of the second group had sought mental health care (page 1719). To identify potential medications for future effectiveness trials targeting the secondary prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Douglas Zatzick, M.D., and Peter P. Roy-Byrne, M.D., documented the types of medications prescribed for seriously injured patients at discharge from a level 1 trauma center (page 1726). In a study of 324 primary care patients with major depressive disorder, Dinesh Mittal, M.D., and colleagues found that nearly 70 percent had comorbid anxiety disorders and that those with generalized anxiety disorder or PTSD experienced significant impairments in health-related quality of life over and above those related to depression (page 1731). Povl Munk-Jørgensen, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, examined data from 756 general practitioners and nearly 9,000 patients to determine rates of generalized anxiety disorder in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In more than a third of cases the physicians did not detect the disorder (page 1738). In a qualitative study Snigdha Mukherjee, Ph.D., and colleagues analyzed transcribed interviews with 21 economically disadvantaged patients who received cognitive-behavioral therapy for panic disorder and found that adherence depended on a day-to-day decision-making process based on self-monitoring and on beliefs about the treatment's efficacy (page 1745).

• Analyses of data from a large urban county yielded a strategy for estimating the number of assertive community treatment teams needed in any given area (page 1803).

• The Best Practices column presents results from an evaluation of mandated annual depression screening for all patients in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics (page 1694).

• Researchers in Bali found that most families of individuals with schizophrenia attributed the illness to supernatural causes (page 1795).

• The annual holiday book review section features novels that may be of interest to mental health professionals (page 1814).

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