Friday, April 27, 2012

The impact of multimorbidity on GP diagnosis and treatment of depression: A qualitative approach

Primary care providers often struggle to identify depression in older individuals, with patients with multiple chronic conditions presenting additional unique challenges. Whilst research has discovered much about clinician experiences with depression patients, there is a paucity of literature surrounding the impact of multimorbidity on the diagnosis and management of depression in primary care.

Eight GPs with multiple referrals to a multidisciplinary clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital engaged in a semi-structured interview to discuss the impact of multimorbidity on the diagnosis and detection of depression. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was used to identify key themes. Grounded theory was generated from data relating to the role of multimorbidity.

Participants described multimorbidity as having both a positive and negative impact on depression diagnosis, and providing a complex treatment context. Positive outcomes included relationship generated from frequent presentations, creating time to identify symptom causation and discuss the subject with the patient. Adversely, multimorbidity obscured symptom causation. Treatment was affected by a range of variables, and included medical and social interventions.

GPs recommend social interventions where medical interventions are perceived as inappropriate. Research into the efficacy of social interventions in multimorbid patients is needed.

Miss Melinda Stanners PhD Candidate University of Adelaide

13th International Mental Health Conference
Positive Change – Investing in Mental Health
6-8 August 2012, The Outrigger Surfers Paradise

The conference will examine state, federal, international and COAG initiatives, early intervention strategies, validated treatments, suicide prevention and the effectiveness of mental health preventive measures. | Visit the website

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A chronic disease management or rehabilitation approach to dementia 2012

Australia’s population is ageing and over the next 20 years the number of people with dementia is predicted to more than double. Early diagnosis and intervention has been shown to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, as well as for family members and carers.

The House of Representatives Committee will inquire into and report on the dementia early diagnosis and intervention practices in Australia, with a particular focus on how early diagnosis and intervention can:

- improve quality of life and assist people with dementia to remain independent for as long as possible;
- increase opportunities for continued social engagement and community participation for people with dementia;
- help people with dementia and their carers to plan for their futures, including organizing financial and legal affairs and preparing for longer-term or more intensive care requirements; and
- how best to deliver awareness and communication on dementia and dementia-related services into the community.

Response... more

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mental Health Research - Exercise

Dr Lovell and Dr Kannis, from the University of the Sunshine Coast, are conducting research examining the prescription of exercise for patients with mental health challenges.

Although the potential benefits of exercise as a treatment for mental illness are well documented, research examining practical challenges of such interventions is sparse.

In light of the limited research in this area, this project attempts to further our current understanding of what mental health conditions are being treated or managed by exercise and what methods of exercise prescription are currently being used. Furthermore, this survey will also examine what issues are considered to be key road-blocks to the prescription of exercise for mental health by practitioners treating patients with mental health concerns.

Findings from this current project should assist practitioners, researchers, as well as policy makers, to design more appropriate initiatives utilising exercise in real world situations to help treat and manage mental illness.

What are we asking for?
We’re asking you to please complete an anonymous online survey that takes less than 15 minutes. More details are provided at the start of the survey. 

If you would like further information please feel free to contact us using the details below.

Please click on the link below to start the survey:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mental Health Workshops for Motor Cycle Riding Health Professionals

The Association has received requests from members to hold a National 2 day Workshop for Motor Cycle Riders in the Mental Health Profession. The program would consist of a choice of 4 half day workshops over the 2 days.

The first workshop is planned for the WAGGA region in early 2013, with a committee/ridemaster escorted ride from each Australian Capitol City.  Woorkshops will take place on a Saturday and Sunday.

The workshops will appeal to those in Private Health Services, Non-government Organisations, Nurses, Psychologists, Commonwealth Government, Allied Health, Psychiatrists, Family Therapists, Educational Institutions, Emergency Room Personnel and Local/State Governments. A group ride to and from the 2 day event is planned from each Australian Capital.

Workshops will include: Depression, Youth Suicide, Anxiety and Bipolar Disorders.

If you would like more information please visit this link and complete the online form on the Association website..

Monday, April 2, 2012

Public Consultation on the Draft Clinical Practise Guidline for the Management of Borderline Personality Disorder (April 2012)

The National Health and Medical Research Council is pleased to invite comments on the consultation draft of the Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Borderline Personality Disorder.

The draft guideline has been developed to assist health professionals to diagnose, treat and manage borderline personality disorder in adolescents and adults.

We are seeking your feedback in order to finalise the draft guideline for publication in 2012. Copies of the draft guideline and full details on how to make an online submission can be found at:

If you would like further information about the development of the guideline or the consultation process, or are unable to make an online submission please contact the BPD Guideline Team on (03) 8866 0400 or by email

If you know of anyone who may be interested in commenting on the draft guideline, please make them aware of the public consultation period which closes on Monday 14 May 2012 at 5pm AEST.

Mental Health News - Australia

Experts slam age of consent
The Australian
But the proponent of the laws, Western Australia's Mental Health and Disability Services Minister Helen Morton, says they simply give effect to the common law operating in every other state and territory that allows mature children to give consent if ...
Doors to open on new mental health unit
ABC Online
The first mental health unit to be built in north-west Western Australia is due to open within weeks. However, there is concern the $9 million facility will not be big enough to cater for the hundreds of people flown to Perth each year for treatment.
Desperate need for mental health care
There is a desperate need for mental health services that specialise in treating young Australians, leading medical expert Ian Hickie says. Mental health remains the single biggest health issue affecting young Australians, with 75 per cent of disorders ...
Clinic opens door to young mental patients
The Australian
AUSTRALIA'S first private early intervention in-patient service for young people with mental health problems opens its doors today, as private providers start to respond to the continuing critical shortage of treatment options for young adults needing ...
Study shows mental health risk for Pacific youths
Radio Australia News
He spoke to Radio Australia's Pacific Beat about the mental health issues young Pacific Island migrants faces. "People born in the Pacific have 50 per cent less rates of mental disorder compared to their relatives born in New Zealand and I think those ...
Inquiry calls for 90-day limit on asylum detention
ABC Online
"While academics and psychologists tell us that mental health begins to erode after three months in detention, there are people with adverse security assessments in Australia's immigration system who have been detained for well over two years.